2016...a clean slate.
2015 was annus horribilis--a really bad year! Yet optimism reins.
It is called the January Effect--off with the old and on with the new--where we are overly optimistic and full of wishful thinking about the coming New Year.
Every year we make resolutions. Every year most of us break them as they usually have a shelf life of 4-6 weeks among the strongest willed amongst us; 4-6 days for the rest of us.
Yet travelers are a different breed; we usually follow through with our resolutions. Even when we have more will than wallet, we figure out a way to wherever it is we really want to go. No false hope here.
So, thinking in that vein, I polled a gaggle of great travel buddies last week, and assembled the following 2016 Travel Resolutions that would make us all better travelers:
We resolve to...:
● ...be a better global ambassador exhibiting the true spirit of America--not what is on TV.
● ...take any and all vacation time we've earned...and steal whatever extra days off we can.
● ...walk more.
● ...go someplace new in 2016, instead of returning to the old tried and true go-to vacation destinations.
● ...stop saying you've done a country, knowing deep down that we could never really know a country unless we lived there.
● ...consciously unplug for longer and longer stretches when we travel.
● ...make our politicians see travel as a right, not a luxury; so we can rest, recharge, rejuvenate and reignite our passions being more creative, loyal and productive employees.
● ...be more in the moment and love where we are...not where else we could go or be.
● ...take authentic, challenging and participatory adventures; less like the reality show, The Amazing Race, and more like the real-life event The Global Scavenger Hunt.
● ...to not do last minute guilt souvenir shopping at the airport on the way home.
● ...take better pictures--but not so many that we forget to see what is in front of us.
● ...not to read (or write) any more travel top 10 or 8 or 7 or 3...lists.
● ...say yes instead of maybe and allow for serendipity.
● ...to give back by donating more of our time and energy to those in need.
● ...challenge ourselves more when we travel.
● ...buy quality travel gear and take less of it.
● ...learn something new in each place we go about the culture, language, cuisine, politics, history and religion.
● ...see our home environments in the context of an out-of-towner and experience our own environment in a fresh way.
● ...get out of our comfort zone daily saying "yes" to unknown adventures.
● ...turn strangers in strange lands into our friends.
● ...be more patient this year.
● ...put our money where our mouths are (and beliefs too!) by not patronizing travel services that, well, patronize us. Saying, "No" and, "That's not right," are mighty powerful words that many in the travel industry need to hear -- a lot more often!
● ...not let technology get in the way of us meeting fellow travelers and indigenous people when traveling.
● ...leave our expectations hidden and deep in the back of a closet at home alone, by traveling fearlessly without preconceived ideas or prospects.
● ...integrate travel more into our lives, as we have with a good diet, exercising regularly and sleeping right. Travel is good for us in so many ways, be it physically, mentally and spiritually.
● ...not flaunt our travel exploits and long-winded adventure stories to others -- nor to shamelessly show off our travel selfies.
● ...be more patient dealing with the trials and tribulations of traveling -- be they TSA lines, surly customer service airline reps, over-packed tardy flights, noisy hotel rooms, boorish fellow travelers or screaming babies.
● ...stop whining and kvetching about traveling--it is an amazing privilege.
Happy New Year and happy trails in 2016!