Monday, 29 January 2018

2018 Travel Resolutions

1.    Update your bucket list

This one is important. It’s all very well and good saying I want to travel more, or see more of the world, but where? Yeah you can stick 50 countries on your list but which do you want to see first, what can you tick off this year?

Don’t feel pressured by your friends and social media. I know there are a lot of cool photos in dreamy locations but what do you want to do. I know you can’t always know what’s going to happen in life but for me I like to organise my bucket list by things I need to do while I’m still young(ish) and things I don’t mind waiting til I’m older to do. For instance I put go to a Full Moon Party on Kho ** at the top of my list a few years ago because I know I won’t be raving on the shores of the Thai island with a bucket full of booze when I’ve got kids to look after, or I’m 80. I put visit Iceland near the bottom. I know it’s trendy to take a snap in the Blue Lagoon at the moment but I don’t mind doing that in the future and would rather head to sunnier climes at the moment.

Make a list for the next few years, then make it happen. And most importantly, go where YOU want to go and do the things YOU want to do!

2.    Be more spontaneous

Yes I know this may slightly contradict the last point but by meticulously planning your year out you leave no option for a ‘last minute – just can’t resist – what a deal’ – random getaway. Be open to packing up and going on a whim if you can. Some of my best holidays, trips and over night stays were decided hours if not minutes before and who knows what you might be missing out on if you don’t go. If you don’t go you’ll never know is what I always say.

3.    Eyes up camera down

Easier said than done I know. Remember photos are important and they do make great memories but being present and experiencing the moment, whatever it may be, is what really counts. I love a good photo as much as the next person, I love looking back on great times and I know when I’m old and wrinkled I’ll be glad I took so many of everywhere I went. That being said 2018 is going to be the year I put the camera down more and truly be present in the moment of wherever I am. I will of course get a snap but I’d rather eat my breakfast and be out exploring the streets of Paris than sat for 2 hours arranging it artistically on my balcony while my pancakes go cold. Life is for grabbing and experiencing and not always for impressing and sharing.

4.    Stop saying ‘staycation’ 

    I really hate the phrase staycation. I don’t know why, but I do vow never to use it in 2018 (apart from in this blog post!). I’ve made this resolution to help remind me that travelling within the UK still counts as travelling, it doesn't make it a 'staycation'. It’s a big old country, from the Highlands of Scotland, to a city break in Belfast, to the Yorkshire dales and the Welsh coastline, it all counts! So even if you have no big foreign trip planned remember you can always visit somewhere on your doorstep and see something new.

5.    Learn a new skill

I will admit I am making this resolution without an actual skill in mind. But that’s ok, there are lots of things I have no clue how to do so the world is my oyster! I’m always jealous of my friends who love snowboarding, or scuba diving, or roller blading or whatever it is because they can include that on so many trips and add a new dimension to their travels. I love the idea of learning to scuba dive, (or snorkel to be honest, I’m not the most confident in the water), and then where ever I go in the world I can experience the wildlife under the water as well as over it. When visiting Chicago I took a long bike ride along the lakefront and that helped me to see the city in a whole new way. Now I know a 6 year old can ride a bike, so I’m not saying that’s a skill a need to learn but it made me think of different ways I can experience new places instead of just walking around and eating!

6.    Spend less money on material things and more on experiences

    As cheesy as is sounds, people are right when they say 'you can’t take it with you'. All the things we buy will bury us, and the sad thing is we live in a world convincing us we need more and more. A few years ago when I was a student, I had nothing, I didn’t have tons of clothes or bags or shoes, my car cost peanuts, but I travelled LOADS. Back then I would always choose a cheap flight over an eyeshadow palette, a trip over an expensive hair cut and outfit, I’d buy my clothes on eBay for the trip I was about to take and sell them when I got back! But recently since I’ve been more ‘grown up’ and working I’ve gradually bought more and more ‘stuff’ and convinced myself I need things I don’t. 2018 is the year I plan on prioritising travel over anything else, learning to travel with less and be free like old Kate was!

7.    Be more adventurous with food

If you’ve ever been some where on a trip and screwed your nose up at the local cuisine without even trying it you know what I mean. If something is on offer we aren’t used to I feel most of us would have the initial instinct to pass. But no longer! I think there is a lot to be gained by fully immersing yourself in an experience and food is a big part of that. I remember when I visited New Orleans I only had 1 day and night in the city and I was determined to get as much of an authentic experience as I could. I went to a local restaurant and ordered as much of the menu as I could, I had crawfish etouffee, an alligator po boy, delicious gumbo, and a whole host of other typical dishes, then went off into the night in search of real live jazz and a Sazerac to drink. I’m bringing that girl back and wherever I go this year I vow to try as much new food as I can.

8.    Be a packing pro

Although I’ve travelled a fair bit the packing never gets easier for me. Whether it’s back packing through Thailand, an American road trip, or a city break in Paris I always over pack. I want to be prepared for anything and so I end up with far too many options and things I really don’t need to carry. I’m determined this year to only take what I need and get this capsule wardrobe thing down! I’m also making sure I get my travel toiletries and makeup as compact as possible so I’m not holding up the queues at airport security.

9.    Be more socially conscious

There’s no excuse in this day and age to ever be exploiting, abusing or offending the local people and environment where ever we go. With the whole internet at our fingertips there’s just no reason not to be clued up on the place you are visiting. Do your research, learn about what you will find in your destination, be careful not to negatively impact people or places by just not knowing. This may all sound a little vague but for instance if you know animals are being exploited for tourists in an area, don’t add to problem by signing yourself up for it, don’t litter or pollute, don’t dress inappropriately if you are visiting somewhere that things like that matter. Just be aware, open your eyes and travel responsibly.

10. Pause more, breathe and take it in

I try to pack in as much as possible when I travel, I’m usually trying to fit in a weeks itinerary into 3 days, or 3 months backpacking into a month, because hey a girls busy you know? Sometimes we get so lost in fitting everything in and making sure we see it all we miss the point of why we are there in the first place. This year I’m going to pause more, I’m going to look up at the stars and be still. When we lived in Fuerteventura, we were on a tiny island, with hardly any light pollution and every night when we went outside we’d glance up and see a sky teaming with stars and my breath would catch every time. We are busy people and we are always rushing and missing things just staring at the TV; being somewhere we are able to see something so different is exciting just as it is, it needs nothing else, just a moment to take it in and appreciate it. There were so many nights I’d sit out front of our house, a beer in hand, just taking in the night peacefully. Sometimes that’s all we need.

So there we have my 10 Travel Resolutions 2018. I hope this list has inspired you to create some of your own. I’d love to hear if you have anything you want to achieve in 2018 when it comes to travel. Comment below or let me know on my socials.

Keep wandering.

Kate x

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