January 1st 2011 is right around the corner. This is the time of year when the topic of resolutions tends to come up frequently in conversation. Two years ago, I began making travel resolutions in addition to my usual personal wellness resolutions.
Though (like many) I didn’t necessarily keep all of them, there was something empowering about putting my travel goals and desires for the upcoming year in writing. At the very least, I understood more about myself as a traveler (and as a person). Here are some tips for identifying and articulating your 2011 travel goals if you’re interested. I highly recommend it!
Location, location, location: Identifying where you would like to travel in the upcoming year is a great way to get the ball rolling. I usually divide my list into various categories like “pie in the sky” or “almost too easy.” For example, depending on my life circumstances that year, a trip to New Zealand may fall under “pie in the sky” and a trip to Manhattan to visit my in-laws would fall under “almost too easy.” Seeing my goals laid out like this helps me to begin to establish a travel calendar and budget (and sometimes those “pie in the sky” destinations become “almost too easy”).
Purpose: As a travel writer, I have a built-in “purpose” for traveling anywhere (I can write about my experiences for one of several publications I work for). However, I’ve traveled for purposes other than advancing my travel writing career—I’ve been on trips to practice different languages or learn about various culinary traditions. Of course, the purpose of your trip could simply be relaxation (there’s definitely nothing wrong with that!). What are your desires? What excites you in life? Where can you go to experience or learn more about these things? Answering these questions will help you begin to identify why you travel and help you plan trips that will be more fulfilling for you.
Enjoy the process and don’t get to hung up on if you can realistically achieve all of these goals within the upcoming year. You’ll be surprised by how much you actually do accomplish after identifying where and why you want to travel and set forth a plan.