Every year, everyone seems to make promises for self-improvement as part of their New Year’s resolutions. Many of those resolutions are travel related and whether you are a new or veteran traveler, setting for goals is an excellent way to challenge yourself and enhance your adventures around the world.
Here are some superb ideas for your 2017 travel resolutions.
Traveling is a privilege. It is important to never forget how lucky we are to explore remote parts of the world. Volunteering in different countries is a good way to give back and make a difference in people's lives. There are places everywhere around the world to volunteer, including in your local community. Donating some of your precious time can make a lasting impact on the planet. When planning your next trip, research opportunities that allow you to give back to the local community and you’ll find the experience as personally enriching as it is for those you help.
Each year, people are becoming increasingly aware of the evils that are driven by tourism. Sadly, many animals and villages are exploited to cater to tourists. It goes without saying that supporting these activities is irresponsible. As travelers, we are fortunate to experience the best these countries have to offer. Yes, I know it is hard to resist that selfie of riding an elephant in Southeast Asia, but the shocking truth is that this animal went through excessive abuse during training. This is just one of many examples of how a popular tourist activity has severe repercussions.
Nowadays, there are many websites and blogs that focus primarily on traveling responsibly. A good travel resolution is to commit to being a more aware and responsible traveler. Before leaving home, do a little research so you know what to avoid.
"Don’t die without embracing the daring adventure your life is meant to be." — Steve Pavlina
One of my yearly resolutions is to push myself outside my comfort zone. There is nothing quite as satisfying as fighting the fear building up inside of you and pushing yourself past it to achieve a new goal. Adventures help us grow not only as travelers, but as people. It makes us strong, determined, and more capable in our daily lives.
The wonderful thing about including an adventure is that it is personal and entirely different for every single person. For some people, an adventure might be a weekend road trip. For others, it might be trekking the snowy pass to Everest Base Camp. Whatever it means to you, there is no adventure too small that it is not worth having. Challenge yourself and experience something new in 2017.
We all travel the regular tourist trail. Of course, when visiting France you are going to spend an evening drinking a glass of wine under the bright lights of the Eiffel Tower. Even seasoned travelers follow the regular tourist trail a lot of the time. Many people are nervous to stray too far from the beaten track. However, I think this is a huge mistake. Personally, some of the most meaningful memories I have while traveling come from the moments when I have ventured away from the tourist track. Now I am addicted to venturing into the lesser known cities and neighborhoods. I love wandering around streets where I am the only foreigner or sitting at a cafe trying to communicate with the locals. Straying from the tourist track is an excellent way to discover the heartbeat of a country.
Many of us who travel often never spend time exploring the areas where we live from a traveler’s perspective. I am guilty of this as well. I can describe the markets in the little villages of Vietnam, but struggle to name some of the small towns two hours away from where I grew up.
Acting like a tourist where you live is an excellent way to develop a new love for your own backyard and the history it holds. It is a great travel practice that doesn't require venturing too far from home.
Every year it is important to let yourself grow as a traveler. These are some goals to think about when planning your travels next year. So bring on 2017 and let’s get ready to hit the road.
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Stephen Schreck is a world traveler, nomad, and adventure backpacker. Knowing a life of aimlessly wandering the globe in search of adventures was the only life for him he set out to make his dream his reality. Currently he is trying to conquer his fears and tackle his bucket list. Follow Stephen's adventures at A Backpacker's Tale or on social media on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram.
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