Resolutions for Life and Travel in 2014

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I've always thought I was a bit weird because I love lists. Any kind of lists, really, but especially to-do lists. I like making lists, because it usually means crossing things off of them — and therefore feeling quite accomplished when I do. But I suppose enjoying a feeling of accomplishment and productiveness doesn't make me weird. After all, I know a lot of other people who like lists, too. And I know a lot of people who make lists around this time each year.

Ah, the New Year's Resolutions list. Don't lie and pretend like you don't make a list each year too, if only mentally. We all do it, even if we say that we are totally against only making resolutions and vowing to change once a year.

I usually don't write my resolutions down. This year, though, why not share them? Writing down your resolutions makes you more accountable for them. And writing them down online, knowing that tens of thousands of people read this blog each month? Yeah… that's accountability.

So I give you my Resolutions for Life and Travel in 2014.

Resolutions

Travel resolutions

Be conscious of the length of my trips — Now that I've got a steady (and fantastic) relationship in my life, I want to be more conscious of how long I disappear each time I go away. I'm lucky that I'm dating someone who is supportive of what I do, but I realize that I also need to make some compromises in order to make things work since he can't up and leave whenever he wants like I currently can. You probably won't see me traveling for longer than 3-6 weeks at once in 2014 for this reason!

Travel closer to home — An easy way to keep the above resolution will be to travel closer to home more often. It's something I want to do more of, anyway, since there's SO MUCH to see in North America. The U.S., Canada, Mexico… I've barely even scratched the surface of any of them. I have a feeling some long-weekend getaways to places within driving distance are in the cards for this year.

Visit friends more often — I have friends literally all over the U.S.: Santa Fe, Los Angeles, Chicago, Alabama, South Carolina… All of my best friends have fled Ohio, and I want to follow through on promises I've made to visit them this year. Not only will it be great to see them, but we can have some local travel adventures, too!

Work resolutions

Be proactive about finding freelance work — I'm under no delusions that I can turn travel blogging into a full-time career. It's incredibly hard. But categorizing myself under the larger umbrella of “freelance travel writer”? Well that just might work. I've picked up a couple of freelance jobs within the last 6 months (everything from writing to website management) and need to track down a few more steady opportunities soon. Once I get back from Asia in March, I'll have those annoying things called bills to pay again, and it would be great if I didnt't have to give up being my own boss.

Think outside the box — This kind of goes along with the above, but I want to get more creative this year about what I can do with the skill set I have. I'll be trying this out soon with a travel blogging course, and have a few other nebulous ideas of how I can employ myself creatively this year.

Find a better work/life balance — If I don't have anything else to do, there are some days that I work 10+ hours a day on blogging/freelance stuff. This isn't healthy (seriously, I've gotten too fat for most of my pants in the past few months), and also keeps me from having time for any other hobbies. This year, I want to limit myself to normal work hours (or at least close-to) and “turn off” in the evenings and on weekends.

Life resolutions

Pay off my credit cards — I've collected a bit of credit card debt in the last few years from traveling, moving multiple times, and being in grad school. (I have some student loans, too, but we won't talk about those yet.) In 2014, I want to pay off the credit card debt I have, and start stashing some money away in savings instead.

Learn to cook (and force myself to do it) — Despite my grandma being an avid cook and baker, the love of cooking did not get passed down to me. I don't know that I'll ever *love* cooking, but I at least would like to be able to make some decent dishes. And, since I'll hopefully still be working from home once I move into a new place in March, it should mean plenty of time to try out some recipes in the afternoons.

Get in shape again — I hate gyms. I hate treadmills and lifting weights. But there are, in fact, other ways of getting in shape. I want to find a local dance class once I move (last year I signed up for an adult tap dancing class and it was SO good to get back in my dance shoes!). I want to find a good, challenging yoga class. I want to use the hula hoop my sister bought me last year to both learn some cool tricks and get a good workout. And, if the boyfriend has anything to say about it, I may just end up at a karate class or two (I suppose it's inevitable when you're dating someone who people legitimately address as “Master”).

 

Looking back at this list, it actually seems achievable. But the list is here to hold me accountable, and remind me of where I want to be a year from now. Here's to a successful, fulfilling 2014!

Tell me: what are some of YOUR resolutions for 2014?

 

"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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42 Comments on “Resolutions for Life and Travel in 2014

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  1. I love reading through people’s goals and resolutions and lists at this time of year! Your goals sound great and I’m excited to read about your adventures — domestic and abroad!

      Thanks, Erika! I have a feeling it’s going to be a good year.

    I agree about there being SOOO much to see and do in North America. If you add the Caribbean, I could travel a lifetime just in this region and not get bored.

      So true, Jeff! I really would like to see more of Canada and Mexico, too. I’ve actually seen a bit of the U.S., but there’s still a LOT I’ve missed.

    Hooping is great exercise and lots of cities have classes for it now! But a friend of mine learned just via YouTube and she is incredibly skilled at it now. Dance is such a fun way to work out. And if you’re not into karate, kickboxing could be a good option!

      My sister has been teaching herself to hoop via YouTube videos, and she’s pretty good, too! It is an AMAZING workout, which is why I want to do more of it this year. I haven’t yet because I’m not very good at it… but hopefully that will change soon!

    I’m such a list writer too. I make lists for everything. It makes me feel much more accomplished.
    I’m with you for the year on being more proactive about finding freelance work. I need to be better at going after it and having more confidence that I am good at what I do.
    Good luck to you! Hopefully I’ll see you somewhere this year!

      I hope our paths cross, too, Val!

      And yes… let’s both prod each other to be more confident and proactive in our work lives!

    I love making lists too, I’m old school and always like to write things down. I usually have several stacks of notes on my desk and always feel good when I can throw one away because I got something done. I never make resolutions though, never have, never will!

      Ah yes, throwing away/deleting a list is always a great feeling!

    Learning to be a better cook was my resolution last year – I didn’t really get around to it until November but I am pretty pleased with my progress. My friends are loving it as well! They send me new recipes to make and then invite themselves over to “taste test”! I’m on to them – but at least I’m having fun learning how to cook and bake.

      Hahaha, your friends sound smart! Good for you, though.

    great goals, a lot line up with mine too, I need to start exercising more too! And pay off my credit cards. Woof :/

      Woof indeed. Let’s be cheerleaders for each other!

    All the best for your resolutions, Amanda. Hope you tick off all of them this year!

    Lists are awesome! 🙂 That feeling when you cross something off… All the best with ticking off this to do list for 2014.

    You know what? I’ve got a pair of tap shoes that still fit but haven’t seen the light of day for a long time! I hate the gym, too. Looks like you may have given me some unexpected inspiration! Here’s to a fab year for you!

      Break those tap shoes back out, Clare! You can probably find adult dance classes to get involved in – there seem to be more and more of them these days.

    I love reading everyone’s resolutions. I have some similar ones. One of my travel resolutions is to travel with friends though. I haven’t done much of that – mostly I travel alone, with coworkers or with a significant other or family. I’m already planning a couple friends getaways for 2014.

    Congrats on starting a travel blogging course, how exciting!

      I love your traveling more with friends resolution! It can be very fun, especially if you don’t do it often.

      And thanks! I’m really hoping the blogging course goes over well!

    Sounds like a good set of goals!

    I’m aiming to balance my literary writing with my blogging this year, so I have goals in both camps. But I definitely want to visit a new country out of Europe this year, as well as visiting a friend in Barcelona and family who have just moved to Ireland – both new destinations for me. I also want to climb a mountain, which is partly a travel-based desire, but mainly an incentive for me to get in shape! (Like you, I think I often work too many hours in a day, so exercise is what tends to take the hit!)

      Those sound like great, achievable goals, Katie! Good luck with them!

    Great goals Amanda!! I have some similar ones too! 🙂

    Hope to see you somewhere this year! x

      Happy travels, Helen! And yes, hopefully our paths will cross again!

    My list looks a lot like yours!

    It’s great to hear you have somesome new plans. I’m currently still trying to pin mine down …

    Keep up the great posts x

      Must be a good list then! 🙂

      Good luck figuring out your plans, too!

    You are so right about there’s so much more in the USA/Canada. A few years ago I thought I was “done” with the US (foolishly thought that just because i have been to the major cities like NY/LA etc) but that changed when my husband insisted we do a Northwest road trip a couple of years ago. Montana and Wyoming are just SO beautiful! I wish to explore the southern states too one day.

    I do love to cook but the past year i have been making easy / unhealthy food so the resolution this year is to make more effort into making clean and healthy food. it requires a lot of effort and change in habits. i started out as “detoxing” from the christmas junk and im hoping it will carry throughout the year (and forever!)

    All the best in 2014 🙂

      All the best to you this year, too, Jean! I can definitely recommend that exploration of the Southern states – all very unique and interesting. And the Southwest is just stunning. I myself need to get up to places like Montana and Wyoming!

    Visiting friends is a great resolution. I think it’s a nice counterbalance for people who do a lot of solo travel.

      Agreed! And it’s a win-win, really. I get to travel AND catch up with people I love and miss.

    I LOVE making lists, and finding out other people’s resolutions. I’m not making any major ones this year, but I love your goals to travel more locally, and to spend more time with friends. So often lately I feel like I know what’s going on because I read their latest facebook status but catching up via skype or in person is so different, and way more fun.

      Being able to keep in touch these days via social media is great. But no, it’s definitely not the same as catching up in person!

    Great goals! Can’t wait to hear about your successes this year.

    Mine are to keep in better touch with my loved ones and explore more domestically – after RTWing in 2013 this year is for sticking close to home 🙂

      Great resolutions! And exploring closer to home can be just as great as traveling RTW!

    Great resolutions – seems like you’re really focusing on finding balance. I think it’s a great point about traveling closer to home. I’m abroad now, but traveling has made look at places back home through “traveler’s eyes.” I’m thinking about all of the site-seeing I can do in my own hometown when I visit my family next time.

      That’s exactly what I’m hoping to do this year – find a better balance. It’s tough, because I LOVE what I do, and I don’t mind putting in the extra hours and effort. But I really need to rein it in! Taking shorter trips closer to home I think will be a good first step.

    great goals! very achievable! it always helps to put them out there doesn’t it! my work goals are rather similar as I find I have been pretty lazy in finding freelance work

      It helps me feel a lot more accountable for these goals, now that they’re out there for people to read!

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