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2017 Travel Resolutions

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Let's face it, 2016 was annus horribilis--a really bad year!

Yet hope reigns, and 2017 offers us a clean slate.

Off with the old and on with the new; it is called the January Effect----where we are overly optimistic and full of wishful thinking about the coming New Year.

But every year we make resolutions. And every year most of us break them. Most resolutions I am told have a short shelf life of 4-6 weeks among the strongest willed amongst us--4-6 days for the rest of us. Yet I think we can agree that travelers are a different breed; we usually follow through. 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.

In that vein, I came up with the following 2017 Travel Resolutions that might help make us all better travelers; and so, I resolve to:

● a better global ambassador exhibiting the true spirit of America--not what is on TV.
● something new for the first time every day when I travel.
● ...take any and all vacation time I've earned...and steal whatever extra days off I can.
● ...walk more wherever I go.
● ...prioritize experiences over stuff; memories over expenses; new friends over miles.
● ...go someplace new in 2017, instead of returning to my same old tried-and-true go-to vacation destinations.
● ...unplug more often and not let technology get in the way of meeting locals.
● ...leave my expectations at home, alone, by traveling fearlessly without preconceived ideas.
● ...take more authentic, challenging and participatory adventures; less like the reality shows, and more like the real-life event The Global Scavenger Hunt.
● not do last-minute guilt souvenir shopping at the airport on my way home.
● trust strangers in strange lands.
● ...take better pictures--but not so many that I forget to see what is in front of me.
● give back by donating more of my time and energy to those in need.
● ...learn something new in each place I go.
● a more active advocate of consumer rights pursuing a real Airline Passenger Bill of Rights.
● ...attempt to leave as much of my travel dollars in local economies.
● ...get out of my comfort zone daily by saying a hardy "YES" to serendipitous adventures.
● not intellectualize the differences between travelers and tourists. Bottom line: If you don't live there you're a tourist. Get over yourself.
●...learn how to cook a dish from every country I visit in 2017.
● more patient dealing with the trials and tribulations of traveling.
● ...stop whining and kvetching about traveling--it is an amazing privilege.

What are your 2017 travel resolutions?

Happy New Year and happy trails in 2017!