Its a new year, and with it, a fresh start. Its a chance to set yourself new goals and come up with plans on how to better yourself. A common resolution is to travel more, but we want to take it a step further and give you some realistic and tangible travel goals that we can all strive for in 2015.
1. Travel in your own city.
Its very common for people to focus on seeing and exploring sites that are outside of our own home town, but how many of us have actually taken the time to explore where we live? Maybe you live in NYC but have ever actually been to the Statue of Liberty? Maybe you haven’t been to the Liberty Bell but you live right outside Philadelphia. It could even be something as simple as exploring a new hiking trail in your area, visiting the local library, or any other point of interest in your town that you never thought of before. Take some time in 2015 to actually explore where you live!
2. Revisit somewhere you have already been.
We learn so much from a place when we visit it. We learn even more when we visit it a second time. The first visit might be about seeing the important sites and getting a vibe for what the place is like. The second time you go somewhere its easier to focus on enjoying the little things each place has to offer, like a beautiful park or local restaurant you didn’t have time to try before. We often get so focused on visiting the new, that its easy to forget how amazing it can be to revisit the old!
3. Travel to a new state in the US.
When people think of travel, they often dream of far off places and exotic lands. Its easy to forget how amazing and diverse the United States can be! Head to Vermont and go skiing, hit up the beaches in California, see the skyline of NYC at night, have some real Barbecue in Texas. There are so many incredible cities and places in the US to see and some of them might be right next door to you!
4. Check something off your bucket list.
We all have a bucket list. There are things in our lives each of us want to accomplish. Maybe its seeing a sunset in Greece, or riding an elephant in Thailand. Whatever is on your list, find a way to check off at least one travel related item! Its a huge accomplishment to check something off your list and you will feel more confident in tackling everything else on it!
5. Visit a place without getting caught up in the site seeing.
We’ve all done it before. Visited a new city and had a check list in front of us of the key sites we needed to hit. After hitting up every single site and rushing around the city trying to see everything you end up exhausted and often with negative feelings towards the city. “The subway system was horrible!” or “There was no easy way to get from point A to point B!” or even worse “The food was awful!” These feelings happen when you don’t take the time to relax and enjoy where you are. When you are trying to fit everything in its easy to eat at a sub par restaurant or complain about how much walking you did. Take our advice and limit the amount of site seeing and try to take some time to just get a feel for what the city is all about. Maybe this means wandering through a neighborhood or relaxing for a little at a cafe. Either way, take the time to really appreciate where you are!
We’ve all heard it before, its important to face our fears and try new things. While we may get tired of hearing it, there are so many benefits to this, and traveling provides the perfect opportunity to do it! Are you afraid of heights but headed to Switzerland? try an activity like canyoning or hike the alps. Does the thought of skiing make you nervous but you’re taking a family trip to Colorado? Give it a shot. These goals don’t need to be drastic. Are you an extremely picky eater but visiting Italy for the first time? Make it a point to try some pesto (you can thank us later).
7. Recognize that travel is not a competition of who has been more places.
Its easy to want to check off as many places on your travel list as possible. When we get caught up in the numbers game of whose been to more places, we lose sight of what traveling is really all about, which is living in the moment and embracing each new destination. The traveler who tries to cram as many places as possible into a short amount of time ends up exhausted and without a full appreciation for each place they visited. The savvy traveler knows its wiser to pick a few well researched places and spend more time getting to appreciate each one. So instead of trying to cram 10 plus destinations into your next summer vacation, pick a few that interest you and really focus on those!
8. Be a traveler, not a tourist.
We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again. If you only take one resolution from this list, we hope this is it. Traveling is not about visiting all of the sites and tourist traps. Its so much more than that. Learn about what the locals do, and do it too. Don’t eat at a place just because it received 5 stars on yelp and is easy to get to. Instead, find a local restaurant where everyone who lives there knows its the best. Explore, get lost, don’t be afraid to stray from the guide books. Just because your guide book gives you a top ten list of necessary sites and activities doesn’t mean its a requirement. Take a cooking lesson, see a show, wander around a neighborhood, find somewhere off the beaten path, and above all else pride yourself on being a real traveler and live in the moment.