2018: Personal & travel goals

I don’t typically make New Year’s Resolutions. And when I do, I almost always do it on a whim and rarely stick to them. Therefore, I have no certainty in my mind that I’ll stick to these goals either. I think the travel ones will be easier than the personal ones, but there’s only one way to find out.

Perhaps this blog will give me the degree of accountability which will keep me committed, but I think if I have to rely on that, it’s probably not a goal worth sticking to in the first place.

I think the biggest problem with making goals is my limited attention span. Or more accurately, my tendency to jump around from one idea to another. While I am lucky to have some wonderful constants in my life, as far as pretty much everything else is concerned, what I want in January, might be very different from what I want 6 months later.

Having said all that, I’m here to lay down some goals (or New Year’s Resolutions, if you prefer) for the world (or, my very limited readership) to see. This is me on a soapbox, writing an attention-seeking, grandstanding, self-important navel-gazing blog. Enjoy!

Travel Goals:

Visit 5 New Countries

In 2015 I visited 11 new countries, while in 2016 & 2017 it was 6 each. While 5 might not sound like a difficult thing to achieve, I’ve moved away from the box-ticking approach to travel and instead prefer slow travel, taking the time to get to know somewhere. I’ve already got a few countries in mind, but no firm plans as of yet.

Visit 10 new places within the U.K.

Right now, this one is far more interesting to me. I want to see more of the country that I currently call my home. There are places in the U.K. for which I am ashamed to say I have never visited, even though my friends from the other side of the world have. While this does include things in the capital, I’m thinking further afield as well. Whether it’s day trips, road trips or weekend breaks, I’ll be aiming to see 10 new places in the U.K. this year.

Go somewhere I never thought I’d go

This is a bit of a sneaky one, as I’m pretty sure I’ll be achieving it early in the year through work. However, it’d be nice to think that maybe there is somewhere else I haven’t thought about as a future destination, that I could end up winding up in during 2018.

Climb to the top of as many countries as possible

This is definitely going to be a work in progress – but I want to climb the highest peak in as many countries as possible. It’d be nice to get this started this year, even if it just to revisit some of the ‘highest peaks’ I’ve already climbed.

Microadventure more!

This won’t be hard to achieve. At all. Finish work, drive a couple of hours, climb up a big hill. That’s honestly all it needs to be. Sleep outside, get in some wild swimming, whatever. I’m not fussed. I just want to spend more time outside, more time completing cheap, local adventures. Not putting a number on this because it really is a case of ‘the more, the better’.

Write a bucket list

Now, this is something I thought I’d never do. Actually write down a list of travel related things I want to achieve. I always thought that the rigidity of this would end up being restrictive and remove the chances of spontaneity. However, now I see it a bit differently. If I keep it as a never finished, always evolving, longer-term wishlist – then I think all it’ll do is add a bit of focus and allow me to try and sort through my thoughts (and save on post-it notes and random bookmarks).

Complete another multi-day hike

This is something I’m throwing in here because I really want to hike more and camp more, so I might as well combine the two – I have no idea if I’ll have the time to complete this. There are lots of multi-day hikes on my list (a list which has been growing since 2012), so it would be nice to cross one off this year.

Personal Goals:

Publish blogs frequently

Consistency is key. Therefore, I’ll aim to publish at least one blog a week throughout the whole year. This is going to be hard for me because I’ve literally not done that since I first started the blog in 2012. I also have a very inconsistent routine, which makes any guarantees with my time pretty difficult. However, this is one goal I’m reasonably determined to stick to.

Continue learning Spanish

I started learning Spanish in 2017 and I’d like to continue. While I probably wont have time to continue the formal lessons I’ve been taking for the past few months, I’d like to carry on learning in some form – even if it’s just teaching myself by listening to reggaeton.

Start reading again

It would not be hard to read more than I read in 2017 (a handful of books, the news and a tonne of political and current affairs shit online). I use to read so much more. And not just when I was a student, I even read for pleasure. I’ve got about 50 unread books in my flat and I should aim to get through some of them.

Get healthier & eat less meat

I mean, I like to think I’m pretty healthy – but I could be a lot healthier. I haven’t had a gym membership in about 3 years, but that’ll change come January (so I can contend with everyone else that starts in January and quits after 2 weeks). I also have a bike which is rarely (understatement) used. As for the less meat thing – I went most of 2016 by not eating meat and I’d like to do it again. I doubt I’ll go cold turkey (pun intended), but even if I just cut down I’ll be pretty happy.


This is pretty much a goal of mine every year and it will continue this year as well. I want to find (or create) an opportunity to volunteer some of my time and energy into improving the life of those less fortunate. Again, this is the case of ‘the more the better’.

Go diving (scuba or sky)

I’ve wanted to skydive for years – having saved up for my AFF course back in 2012 (before blowing it all by moving to Australia for 13 months). While there I went to Fox Glacier (NZ) and made a vow that would be the first skydive I ever did. Since I don’t foresee a return to NZ in the near future, maybe I need to start exploring alternative options! As for Scuba diving – I booked a try-dive a few months ago, but unfortunately had to cancel it. Let’s try again…

There we have it.

12 goals for 12 months. I’ll try and do (reasonably) frequent updates to let you know how I’m getting on, but mainly because that might motivate me a little bit to get these done.

Do you have any goals? Let me know below.


19 Comments on “2018: Personal & travel goals

  1. Happy New Year!! Your goals were so awesomely honest. I told myself i would also work on posting more frequently and we will see lol scheduling posts usually helps me. And I love the idea of traveling close to home too because when I think of traveling I think of crossing oceans right away too!


  2. Nice list! Some of them absolutely resonate with me as well. I’m more of a slow traveler and prefer that to just ticking off places so I can say I’ve been to “x” number of countries. Looking forward to reading about your travels in 2018!


  3. Good list, though I do habit of thinking about going to places just to box tick. I’m trying to learn Spanish at the moment and went on a few trips there last year – Madrid/Toledo and Segovia are brilliant! Looking forward to hearing about how you get on this year! Did sky diving in Pennsylvania a few years ago – you won’t regret it!


  4. Scuba diving is a window into a different world. PADI is a good organization to learn from. I have a dry suit because I dive at home on Vancouver Island. I’ll never jump out of a plane though. I’m concentrating on getting travel books written. Can’t justify any airplane travel until I get one published.


  5. Wow those are a lot of goals! I too am determined to read more and have set the goal of at least 12 books for the year! Volunteering is also a great idea I’m part of this organization right now called YearUp where I’m mentoring someone but always great to find other opportunities. Best of luck in 2018 on the goals!


  6. I can relate to the bucket list idea! I pretty much use Pinterest to mark any place that looks even remotely interesting to visit. A lot of people think that having a set list limits you, but I actually think it can be inspiring. Right now I might only have 2 or 3 destinations a year and the places I choose almost seem random. I think having a list to help me get it all organize will actually inspire me to travel more frequently and efficiently.


  7. I am good at setting goals but not attaining them. I do better when it’s fly by the seat of your pants. Good luck to you with your goals – quite a worthy list! Happy 2018!


  8. I’d love to visit 10 new places in the UK this year. Top of my list? A distillery tour of Islay! Beautiful scenery and the World’s best imo drink haha. Good list


  9. So you made a resolution to make a bucket list…. Isn’t that the dreaded resolution to make a resolution loop. Seriously though, I love the idea for microventure. Even the name is cool. We have just moved to a new city that is loaded with so much new stuff like kayaking in alligator filled streams. We can even pass by the old Tarzan set that has an island filled with monkeys and a lagoon that has bio luminescent algae in the summer. Microventures on long summer days might be the perfect way to start knocking these things off the list.
    I would definitely recommend Scuba. There is more life, and more habitat under the ocean than above it. One thing to note, you need to plan to dive every six months to a year or your skills will start to rust. You can pay for a refresher course but it just adds to the project cost.


  10. I do not set tons of goals neither. In terms of travel, I already have an idea of what I am going to do for my big yearly trip. Apart from that, I want to visit places in California I have not been before. It will be nice to visit another state too. With respect to my blog, I put on some work next year and hope that is going to pay off. I still have some work to do (this is a never-ending story). Wish you the best in 2018!


  11. Reading this, I found myself in your words! A lot! New Years resolutions – not a fan of them either, but that one time I set myself one (2016 – get to travel to 10 different countries in a year), I actually managed to complete it just before the year’s end; travel goals – I would rather call them travel dreams 🙂 I also did not visit my own country that much, which is a shame, because I have an extraordinary country, so this needs to happen asap and I did not want under any circumstance to put down a bucket list (it would have some many items on it, that I am afraid I’ll get discouraged that I won’t have time in this life to do them all). in terms of personal goals… just live your life 😛 It is too short to bother it with any restrictions whatsoever (in the common sense limit, of course :P). Have a great 2018 and safe travels!


  12. 12 goals for 12 months? Excellent stuff, sir! I wish you all the best with them – I also live in the U.K. and agree that there is so much to see here, and I definitely want to check out more places I haven’t been to as well. Great that you want to go to a place you would have never thought you would have too – all about leaving that comfort zone eh? 🙂


  13. It is nice to see that you are not looking at 2018 as a numbers game and would prefer to do slow travel. That is what we also have realized over time. The real joy of travel is derived from immersive and slow travel, and that is what we too would like to do this year.


  14. Pingback: 2018: Personal & travel goals – bye:myself

  15. I have done some of your resolutions (and you have some good ones) and I am glad that I achieved some of mine last year. If you like hiking, I recommend the Grand Canyon or Patagonia. Hopefully, you would stick to it and share with us your experience! @ knycx.journeying


  16. Lots of great and ambitious goals for the year! I can relate to a lot of your personal ones: eating less meat, trying to blog more frequently and reading more. I’ve set myself a goal of 2 books a month. I’m also trying to reduce the amount of time I’m on the computer aimlessly clicking around.


  17. I love what you said about traveling slow. I think a lot of people like to collect countries, but I like to explore countries. I guess I like to collect cities. I like to see how a country is different from city to city, and north to south from the people to nature to food and culture.


  18. I like your personal travel goals – especially about going someplace you’d never thought you would, going to the ‘top’ of the cities (oh the views are always so amazing in such places), and going scuba or sky diving 🙂 I also agree with your approach of travelling slow and enjoying a country rather than ticking boxes, which is exactly what I’ve been doing in the last 3 years as well. I visit about 4-5 countries a year but I make sure I spend enough time in exploring cities there rather than 1 city per country and running through. Wish you all the best for achieving all the goals in 2018!


  19. I try not to make “resolutions” because I know I’ll break them, but travel goals are different. This is actually the first year I haven’t written out goals, mostly out of laziness, but I do find that writing them down, and especially in a public forum like this really keeps you accountable, so you’re already on the right track. Keep up the good work and best of luck!


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