New Year’s resolutions for a long long term traveler

On December 29th, 2015

Like the counting down of the second hand of a clock before it strikes midnight, the year is coming to a close. Every year at this time, I tend to wake up earlier.

I grab a cup of coffee and find myself staring out the window of wherever I happen to be in the world. As the steam rises from the cup in my hands, I can’t help but reflect on my greatest joys and triumphs of the previous year.

I also think of the struggles I faced and even the failures I had. With brutal honesty, I ask myself if I chased my passions and if I pushed myself or if settled for less than the ideal.

It is also the time of year that I look into the future, set big dreams, and establish personal goals for the upcoming year.

My outlet for pushing myself forward has always been travel. I bath in the newness of the road; it refreshes me and challenges me to be better.

So in light of the new upcoming year and the new journey I am embarking on, these are my New Year’s travel resolutions.

Unplug and explore

Driving in Mongolia
As a person who makes a living by travel blogging and freelance writing, I always feel the burden to be connected to the internet. Leaving big cities with reliable internet is something I’m hesitant to do a lot of the time.

This means I sometimes miss the small, cultured filled villages, the beautiful winding nature paths, and the snow-capped mountains in the untouched places of the world.

However this year, I will strive to balance my work with exploring the hidden places of the world.

I will spend more time sitting by bubbling brooks, interacting in the daily lives of the locals, and wondering what’s over the next horizon.

Learn a new language

One of my greatest disappointments in life is that I am only fluent in English. This is something I am determined to change.

I have committed myself to a daily schedule to learn a new language. Not only will I be accomplishing one of my biggest dreams, but I will also acquire a skill that will enable me to be a better traveler and help others in their travels.

Face at least one fear

I am often faced with fears and challenges. Whenever I am contemplating an adventure that I am afraid of, I look deep down inside and push myself. I want to face my fears and overcome them. This year, in particular, I want to conquer bungee jumping.

While I had no problem facing my fears of skydiving, I feel that bungee jumping is a completely different story. Somehow standing on a ledge, knowing that you are not strapped to anyone or anything of real substance, is downright unnerving.

“I honestly believe that confronting my fears has made me stronger, braver, and more confident. I have learned the value of taking a calculated risk and reach beyond the norm. Facing my fears is a yearly resolution for me. It reminds of one of my favorite adventure quotes, “Everything you want is on the other side of fear.” ? Jack Canfield

Check items off my bucket list

My bucket list is a driving force in my life. Often I look back at my life as if I were a boy and always ask myself when I am this old what will I regret not having done in my life. Having a bucket list is a great way to prioritize my dreams and turn them into reality.

This year I am aiming to cross three items off my bucket list.

However, the truth is I don’t know what three items they will be. I do know that I will be spending New Year’s under the sparkling lights of the Eiffel Tower and showing my family around Europe for the first time. This year will be the year that some long awaited bucket list’s dreams become reality.

People use New Year resolutions in a lot of ways and for many different things. As a long-term traveler, I use this time of the year to examine the previous one, learn from my mistakes, and spring forward a little wiser, more aware, and still adventurous.

So what are you hoping for in the New Year?

Stephen Schreck is a lover of all things travel. You can follow his world ventures on his website A Backpackers Tale.

Photo Credit: Jordan McQueen