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As the year ends, people typically make plans or resolutions for 2017. Maybe you are making – or thinking of making – some too. Why not add travel-specific ones to your list? Make 2017 a year of memorable adventures – and more!
Below are some suggested resolutions.
1. Go somewhere you’ve never been to.
What new places would you like to explore? Put those on your list and start planning your travel calendar for the year!
To make your adventure more exciting, why not also aim for some place that you may not be familiar with but you may have seen some photos of, or even a place you have never heard of? The Philippines alone has many beautiful underrated provinces like Biliran, with its pristine waterfalls and beaches; and Capiz, abundant in fresh seafood, beaches, and other unspoiled natural attractions.
For overseas travel, try countries or cities and towns that are not typically visited as well! One is laidback, visa-free, and fellow ASEAN member Myanmar, which has beautiful temples and ruins, and warm, friendly people not unlike Filipinos. (READ: WiFi at a temple, other surprises in Myanmar, the Golden Land)
2. Try something you’ve never done, or do something you don’t usually do!
This year, get out of our comfort zone and try something new! If you are used to traveling with a group, travel solo! Solo travel can open you to fresh, exciting experiences that you wouldn’t otherwise have if you travel with family or friends. You usually make new friends, too! If you’re not very confident yet, you can start with places near you, or places you’ve been to. (READ: 5 tips in planning your first solo trip)
If you are used to planning your itinerary down to Excel spreadsheets, why not go on a spontaneous trip, even somewhere nearby? Prepare to be surprised! Or, if an entire trip is too much for you, leave half a day or one day for spontaneity. Be open to invitations or suggestions from people you meet on the road!
Is there an activity that you’ve been thinking of trying, like surfing, whitewater rafting, or even rock climbing? Do it this year!
Get yourself out of your comfort zone and watch amazing things happen!
3. Finally cross that item off your bucket list – or take steps to do so!
Is there a place you have been dreaming of for a long time – maybe since childhood – that you have yet to go to? Make 2017 the year you finally fulfill that dream! Nothing beats the feeling of finally setting foot on the place you have only imagined for so long. Or, if making that dream come true will take longer, take concrete steps to do it. Start researching and planning! Which brings us to Travel Resolution #4….
4. Set up – and sustain – your travel fund.
Setting up and continually replenishing your travel fund is a must as it can finance not only your bucket list trips but also your spontaneous trips or sudden travel opportunities (especially if you need to book that flight on sale right now, or say yes to a last-minute travel invite), or the trips that will get you out of your comfort zone, as we covered in Resolution #2.
Figure out how much you will need and work backwards from there to see how much you should set aside. For example, let us assume that your dream destination is Batanes. Assuming a modest budget of P14,000 (of course, you can spend less than this if you luckily score the lowest airfare and do DIY tours), you will need to save around P39 a day, or a little over P1,000 a month. Then project how much you will need for other trips you have planned this 2017 (see Travel Resolution #1) and also for possible spontaneous trips. See how much you will need to set aside per day or per month.
If you think your salary or earnings are not enough, see what you can cut down in your current expenses to add to your travel fund. Maybe lessen your Starbucks coffee or Uber rides, if you can? Or, if it is difficult to cut down on expenses, take extra paid gigs to add to your travel fund!
5. Travel more responsibly.
While you are fired up exploring new places and checking items off your bucket list, try to be mindful of your impact. When you go to the beach or snorkel, or climb mountains, do you practice the leave-no-trace principle? In places with sacred and deep indigenous traditions like Sagada, do you take time to find out what is the prescribed behavior?
Perhaps you shouldn’t haggle too much with that local handicraft vendor, considering the intricacy of her work and how she depends on it for her livelihood? And while you have the best intentions volunteering for a cause, have you checked if the cause is legitimate, and if it truly helps those concerned and does no harm? (READ: 6 travel mistakes that harm beautiful destinations)
Travel more mindfully this 2017.
6. Refrain from travel envy – or better yet, put it to good use!
As you scroll down your Instagram or Facebook feed, you suddenly find a postcard-perfect snap of your friend in one of the places you have dreamed of since childhood. Or you see a photo of your friend in a place so beautiful – this is the first time you’ve seen it! – and you suddenly want to go there too.
And then you feel that unpleasant feeling welling up – envy.
It need not always be a bad thing, though. Envy can be a reminder for you to pursue your own travel dreams, especially if you have placed them on the back burner. It can spur you to work harder to make them a reality, no matter how long it takes.
Here’s one of my favorite self-portraits (you gotta love yourself first!) taken at one of the New 7 Wonders of the World, and a UNESCO World Heritage Site; the ancient Incan citadel, Machu Picchu in Cusco, Peru! I personally loved that traditional and handmade chulio and poncho I got from a public market near Plaza de Armas, plus that misty morning at the top of Peruvian rainforest. I want to go back!!!
In fact, you should not be envious when you see your friends’ photos in your dream destination – you should be happy! That they were able to do it means you can probably do it too. And, you now have someone to ask for help and firsthand tips for your own trip!
7. Be thankful for your travels.
Traveling is a privilege. In reality, not everyone can travel or may have serious difficulties traveling due to finances, obligations, or disabilities.
So, if you were able to travel even once this 2016, or already have plans and means to travel in 2017, then you have much to be grateful for.
Bring that feeling of gratitude with you as you set off on more adventures this 2017! – Rappler.com
Claire Madarang is a writer, traveler, and seeker who believes in traveling light, particularly in the inner journey. She is also a researcher and documenter. Her work and wanderlust takes her to adventures like backpacking for seven weeks and exploring remote islands and bustling cities alike. Follow her adventures, travel tips, and epiphanies at Traveling Light and on her Instagram.
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