The New Year is upon us!
It’s also been amazing to watch my family eyes light up as we wander the cities, and streets of Europe.
I love this time of the year, when we just finished spending time with loved ones.
And don’t even get me started on the enormous meals and sugary pastries I have stuffed myself on the last couple weeks.
Seriously I am in Paris at the moment, and I’m 99% sure I am doubling the economy of the bakeries in France.
Seriously it is like my entire European Budget is spent on crepes, pastries and cheese!
From a traveling standpoint the New Year is also a massive time of reflection. I look back in fondness at the new countries I visited, the adventures I shared, and the temples I explored.
It is a time of year I celebrate my triumphs, and I analyze my failures.
But It’s also a time I use to focus on the future.
I am always asking myself how I can improve as a person, how I can become a better traveler, and accomplish my dreams.
So without further ado, these are my Travel New Year Resolutions for 2016.
These are promises to myself and to you readers.
Travel New Year Resolutions for 2016
Learn a Language
I don’t have many disappointments in my life, but one thing that has always bothered me is that I am only fluent in English.
Sure I know a handful of words in a dozen languages but I have never experienced the joy of conversing with a local in their own language.
Occasionally, I’ve flailed my arms around in an epic game of charades.
Or quickly scribbled a drawing back and forth on in the hopes of getting a point across.
I yearn to have a deep conversation with a local in their own language. In 2016 I will start learning another language.
No longer will I suffer this weight of disappointment.
Connect with me: If learning a language is on your 2016-to-do-list then let’s follow each other on Duolingo!
Venturing Off the Beaten Path
I love sightseeing but I also love venturing off the beaten path. And in all honesty the longer I travel, the more it appeals to me.
This year I am vowing to spend a lot more wandering in the unknown.
To kick things off it looks like I will be spending Chinese New Years (Early Feb) with a friend and her family in China.
Part of getting of the beaten path means spending more time with locals.
I basically live in hostels so I am always making new friends from all over the world.
These are people with whom I’ve had the honor of sharing incredible life experiences and unforgettable moments.
And even though I interact with people from all over the world on a daily basis I rarely make lasting friendships with people whose country I am in.
It is one of the downfalls of hostels. You meet people from all over the world but they are also traveling.
I want to make lasting friendships with the people in whose country I am visiting and through their eyes learn more about their countries and culture.
Visit 4 New Countries
I hate when people flaunt how many countries they have visited. I once met a guy in a hostel who had been to 78 countries but in only each country for 1 or 2 days.
He was chasing passport stamps, which if that is his thing than more power to him.
However, I am chasing immersing myself in a country, meeting the people, and getting a good feel for the culture.
I think it is important to keep track of how many countries you visit, but I also don’t think you ever need to flaunt numbers.
That being said I plan on visiting at least 4 countries in 2016.
Not a ton of new countries this year, but as you’ll read later that I am planning to stay put in one country most of the year.
Travel Slower and Spend Most of the Year Exploring One Country
The start of this year of travel is really busy for me.
In the next couple months, I’m visiting Spain, Portugal, France, and Italy. ( Whew – wipe sweat from brow)
Then I will head straight to China where I will start slowing down my travel for the rest of the year.
The more I travel the more I appreciate the beauty of traveling slowly.
While I am speeding through a few countries in the next couple months I feel Ican be forgiven as I have visited these countries many times.
I’m visiting and writing about a few cities that I have never made it too before such as Madrid, Nice, Lisbon and Cinque Terre.
So get ready for lots of new info on Europe! (Insert high five here)
After reading the above section, you are thinking.
Wow, that is a way to fast.
I couldn’t agree more!
I never try to travel fast anymore. In fact, one of my travel resolutions is to spend most of the year in one country, New Zealand.
Write My Adventures
If browse through the last year of blog posts you will notice that I talked less and less about my experiences.
Most of the content I wrote focused on travel tips and destinations.
This was mainly due to the flood of travel questions in my inbox, and I was trying to answer all the questions about backpacking the world with blog post.
However, it turns out you all really like my me to share my personal stories as well. You flatter me fellow travel junkies!
Like that time I…….
or remember when….
You all loved that time I…
In 2016, I will be catching up on writing my own adventures, while keeping a good balance of travel tips and destination pieces.
In my 2015 reader survey you guys overwhelming said you would like more giveaways, and discounts. I totally understand this, and am starting to work with companies to offer regular giveaways on the site.
Make sure to sign up for the newsletter to be notified when giveaways are happening!
Another popular request on the survey was that you guys want reviews on everything from companies, tours, and hostels.
This is content I plan on adding weekly in 2016.
Finally, a Massive Thank You!
As you can see 2016 is a massive year for me personally, and the site. I’m stoked the site has been doing so well.
In the last three years, we have grown from a couple of dozen weekly readers to 7,000-8,000 a week!
How awesome is that?
In light of the upcoming year, I say we double that number and provide our fellow travel addicts with the best travel advice we can.
Happy NEW YEAR!