I know what you're thinking; you don't want to read yet another list of resolutions from another Internet stranger on Huffington Post right? Well, to be honest, I didn't want to write one either. Instead, I feel much more inclined to tell you the things I'm resolved NOT to do when I travel, because apparently I'm contradictory. Well, I'm not ok?
But if this list inspires you with your own list of anti-resolutions for a great 2014 full of adventure and new memories, then I'll consider this my swan song of articles thought up in 2013.
1. I will not waste money
There is enough information out there on the Internet that I really have no excuse for not spending my money wisely when it comes to travel. To that end I will refresh my memory with these money-saving travel tips and I will never again succumb to over-packing, under-researching and eating at over-priced tourist trap restaurants.
2. I will not worry
Instead of stressing out over a missed train or an itinerary in shambles, I'll remember that I'm on an adventure and to go with the flow. Life is messy, and therefore so is travelling. Instead of planning out every event to the minute, I'll travel with a decent idea of what I want to accomplish, and see where the day (or night) takes me.
3. I will not be a bad houseguest
credit: Michele Kerstholt Photography
Staying in other peoples' homes saves me money and allows me to experience a destination much more like a local, but it goes without saying that there are many ways to enhance the experience further for myself and the homeowner. I will therefore always take my shoes off, never point my feet at your image of the Buddha, clean up after myself and put the toilet seat down, and in exchange my host may just reward me with recommendations for things to do or tips on where to get the best caipirinha in town.
4. I will not follow the crowds
credit: Gary Larson
I will travel where I want to travel, how I want to travel, when I want to travel. Trendy city breaks and glossy travel magazines will have no bearing on me; I will travel where my heart desires, and what do you know, I bet I have a better experience for it too.
5. I will not worry about my waistline
credit: Pranav Bhatt
Every meal, cake and ice cream I eat in 2014 will be accompanied by a little mental 'carpe diem' , because I'd never actually say #YOLO, even to myself. There is something very depressing about finding yourself in a new city and not trying a local pastry delicacy with your morning coffee or not ordering a bottle of local wine to accompany a meal. Of course, I'll counteract the extra calories with long walks, climbs up church towers and maybe a little cycling while I travel. Well, I'll try...
6. I will not fear the cold
In line with Anti-Resolution No. 4, I will not be afraid to go against the trends and I will not wait for sunnier days until I pack my suitcase again. In fact, I will visit snow-covered cities in the deep of winter and I will marvel at how well they are equipped for the weather, while warming up with chai tea lattes or a local equivalent.
7. I will not let language be a barrier
We English speakers are already blessed when we travel, but in many ways the popularity has become a curse to Anglophones as sometimes we panic when suddenly face to face with someone who doesn't have a decent command of our language. No more! I will rely on phrasebooks, over-the-top hand gestures, my favourite translation app and a bottomless source of smiles to ensure I am brave enough to travel wherever I want regardless of language barriers.
8. I will not ignore my home town
They say charity begins at home, well, I like to think travel does too. On the weekends I'm not away, I will explore my local surroundings like the avid tourist I am away from home, and I hope it will result in my discovering new reasons to like where I live.
9. I will not view the world through my camera lens
While I love photos and documenting my travels, there is something to be said for collecting more memories than photos of a place. On previous travels my endeavours to take the perfect photo has actually stopped me from capturing the perfect memory so I hereby vow to change this.
10. I will not forget my toothbrush
Or my passport.
In fact, the toothbrush thing is fine, can pick up a new one anywhere - but I will never, ever forget my passport.
So, that's me done and all inspired for a year of crowd-beating, memory-creating, new food-eating travel experiences. Have you got any resolutions (or anti-resolutions) for travelling in 2014?
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