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!
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.
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.
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.