Every year is a new beginning when each of us thinks about what we should do better or stop doing in the future. It’s when I think of my new year travel resolutions. January is a happy month for a full-time employee because the annual leave gets reset. It’s hard not to think of how many beautiful places I could see in 25 days. Plus weekends. Plus bank holidays. Oh, the joys.
Yep, you’ve read it right. It’s not because I’m tired of traveling, it’s because I want to focus more on quality vs quantity. When I was younger, I used to take on any chance to travel. 6 am flight? Perfect. Night in the airport? Sure, I’ll bring a blanket. £5 for accommodation with no hot water or electricity? Cozy.
These were totally fine back then and if I were to live it again, I would choose them again. I highly recommend it for low budget travel, and especially in your 20s. Although technically I’m still in my 20s, I feel a bit like been there, done that. So in the new year, I’ll adapt my traveling style to my increased budget and level of laziness (aka getting older).
I plan to have fewer travels, in less touristy destinations. This comes on top of my work-related travels, which I enjoy, but doesn’t really count as holidays.
To continue the idea from before, I will not only travel to fewer destinations, but I’m planning to take it slower. Before, I was trying to move as much as possible while traveling, to see it all, to check it all.
I took a night bus from Buenos Aires to Cordoba. Next morning, I refreshed myself a bit in a public restroom and was ready to explore the city. I enjoyed lunch while catching up with a friend I haven’t seen in a while. In the evening I took another night bus from Cordoba to Mendoza. Next morning, in Mendoza, ready to explore again. But by noon, after enjoying the juicy beef with local wines, I was ready to sleep. I had booked a real bed this time. Next morning, I was again up, taking another 10h+ bus through the Andes, on my way to Santiago de Chile.
I didn’t feel it was very tiring at that time, but now I think it would. I plan to stay 2-3 days in one place, at least. I believe you see it differently when you take the time to explore, preferably at the locals’ pace. If I start being in the fast forward mood again, remind me of this one!
Do more research
I’ve recently been on a holiday in Mexico with one of my best friends. She travels to an exotic destination once a year, and she allocates lots of time for research. The research is not only about “top x places to see in y” but also about the local culture, the customs, what’s happening in the news or how they prepare a local dish.
This way you have a better understanding of where you’re going, you will have less of a culture shock and you get excited to realize your knowledge comes so handy. My experience in Chiapas, which I didn’t even have on my list, was amazing. It was not my research this time, but I plan to do more for my next trips as well.
Become a better storyteller
Since I’ve started my blog, I’ve learned a lot about travel blogging. I started to improve (and shape) my photos, the way I share my stories and what would be useful for my readers. Before my blog, none of this was in my head while traveling.
My first travels to different continents were more intense, as I was discovering different sides of me and different sides of the world. Some pretty, some not. Last few travels though, it doesn’t seem to be intense anymore, and it amazes me how relaxed and natural I feel in a completely unknown place. It’s similar to when you learn how to swim. At first, you are scared of the water, or your capability, or both. But with a bit of practice and patience, you understand you can trust both the water and yourself. Then swimming becomes a pleasure. Oh, and I love to float.
If my previous travels were more about what I can learn from the world to make my life more beautiful, now it’s more about what is the most beautiful and useful to share, and how can it help to make others happy. Ok, if not happy, at least to smile. After they’ve learned how to swim.
Happy New Year!