2016 is winding down (finally), and as the beginning of another trip around the sun looms in the near distance, it’s that time of year to get those resolutions in order. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean that you need to keep it run-of-the-mill – like losing weight or eating better. Instead, if you’re the type with wandering feet, why not make your next year the best yet for new adventures?
Here’s a list of 10 to get you started for bigger and better travels in 2017.
1. Do One Thing a Day That Scares You
Even if you aren’t always on the road, you can still keep the spirit of adventure alive at home. Make it a goal to do something every day that scares you – whether that be a big fear like skydiving or a small one like trying a new food. The options are endless and can be done from the comfort of your living room or in unmarked territory in the wilds of nature. It’s completely up to you.
2. Be Present
Why is this such an important resolution? In today’s ever connected society even the best of travelers can get caught up in social media postings and making sure you get the perfect shot for your next Instagram. Instead, make it a point in 2017 to live in the moment. Be present. Take in that beautiful vista or that magical sunset with just your eyes and the beautiful company that surrounds you.
Take a mental snapshot. It’s a guarantee that those memories will live on stronger than that filtered photo that took you 20 minutes to get just right. Get caught up and bask in the beauty of that time and place.
3. Learn a Recipe from the Next Place You Will Travel to
One of the best ways to make sure you get the most out of a trip is to know a little about the destination before you go. Make it a fun weekly or monthly activity where you research local dishes of your next adventure. Invite friends over and turn it into an educational feast. You’ll be able to have some idea of what to expect from local fair when you go, and your friends’ stomachs won’t complain either.
4. Plan a Road Trip You’ve Been Meaning to Take and Go
If your any kind of experienced traveled, it’s sure that you have a list road trips you’ve yet to take. Make it a point next year to actually take one. Sit down in January and map out the dates and take a look at all of the possible road trip destinations. Plan out your dream PCH experience in a convertible, or hit up every roadside stop on 66. Whatever that roadie is you still need to take – don’t just talk about it – do it.
5. Practice Patience and Mindfulness
This can be applicable in just about any part of your life. But, being patient and mindful is especially helpful when you’re out on the road in strange and foreign places. Don’t be in a rush. Appreciate where you are and what you’re doing, and be mindful of those around you. You’ll find that you’ll be more open to new perspectives and the differences that make all of humanity beautiful.
6. Learn a New Language
Always wanted to learn Spanish before you take that long-awaited trip to Andalucía? There’s nothing that says you can’t start tomorrow, but be bold and put it on your to-do for 2017. Learning a language and using it in the cultures you travel to allow you to experience the destination in ways that aren’t open to those who can’t converse with the local population. It’s so worth the time and effort to do so.
Download a mobile app like Duolingo to get you started. You’ll be ‘hablando español’ before you know it.
7. Take a Photography Class
That doesn’t necessarily mean don’t document. By all means do, just save the online stuff for later, and make it a point to maximize your photo skills. There are even ways to become an expert for free. Sign up for an online course and take your travel photo skills to the next level. You’ll walk away with memories etched in your mind and some stunning photos to keep in your albums.
8. Travel Lighter
Being bogged down by bags and luggage can take a whole lot of the fun out of traveling, especially the less interesting parts that are transits and layovers. Keep your luggage light. It’ll keep you in a better mood, and allow you to enjoy where you are and who you’re with that much more. Nobody likes a grumpy travel partner.
9. Give Kindness Wherever You Are
With the state of the world, perhaps this is the most important resolution on the list. The only action that can generate positivity is positive action. Make it a point to be kind in 2017 – even when you aren’t feeling very gracious or happy. Giving love and kindness is free, and you never know what kind of ripple effect that can have on those around you. Be a light in a dark world.
10. Immerse Yourself with the Locals
And when you get to a new place, don’t be a typical tourist. Make it a point to befriend people of the local culture and community. This is also where kindness comes in handy. It attracts others, and there is truly nothing like a travel experience where you are welcomed as if you’ve come home. It’s truly one of the most beautiful parts of exploring the world.
There may be other resolutions out there you want to add to your list, or specific bucket list items that you want to check off. Whatever you decide to do to make your 2017 travels bigger and better, just do so with purpose and intention. You’ll find love, beauty and kindness in the most unexpected places.
Kacey is a lifestyle blogger for The Drifter Collective, an eclectic lifestyle blog that expresses various forms of style through the influence of culture and the world around us. Kacey graduated with a degree in Communications while working for a lifestyle magazine. She has been able to fully embrace herself with the knowledge of nature, the power of exploring other locations and cultures, all while portraying her love for the world around her through her visually pleasing, culturally embracing and inspiring posts. You can follow her @kacey_mya on Twitter and @thedriftercollective on Instagram.