New Years Day is a time for reflecting on the past year and considering what you might have done better, but it is also a time of renewal, a time for looking ahead. We are facing a whole new year to re-invent ourselves, to go to new places, to find a better way to live. With this in mind, I asked our writers to share with you, our readers, their Travel Resolutions for 2013.
I’d like to do something spontaneous and intrepid this year, as last year was mostly a series of short, pre-planned trips that didn’t see me venture any further than Egypt and I missed that feeling of being lost in a place – both spatially and temporally – that creates a heightened sensation to search.
I’m keen to explore more of Europe – to return to Italy as well as to discover new places and countries – maybe Central or Eastern Europe such as the Balkans, but then I’ve never been to the Nordic territory either – so hoping for a few firsts and fresh encounters!
I really fancy escaping to a wilderness somewhere because I was mostly city-bound in 2012, so will be hoping for an enlightening, back-to-nature type experience: anything vaguely adventurous will do.
My travel resolution for 2013 is to focus more on international travel and less on regional and national trips in the U.S.A.
I’m planning on seeing Myanmar this year, as it has opened up to the west. In Europe, I’ll continue to move east and explore Moscow and Romania. They’re Europe’s “new frontier” and are not as developed as Western Europe yet, so should make for some interesting cultural experiences. I’ll also be working with the tourism agencies from European countries to visit more attractions and find those “diamond-in-the-rough” places that offer unique experiences.
I’ll also be extending my travels to Europe by several weeks, so plan on spending 6-8 weeks on my annual trip, instead of my usual 3-4 weeks.
Julie H. Ferguson
No, my travel resolution for 2013 is not my bucket list – that would just be too easy. It’s not even an item on my lengthening list.
The way my husband and I travel and the destinations we visit are about to change as he retires this year. Instead of revolving around his business travel, we can actually choose where to go for the first time in thirty-five years. And, no longer must we move on before we have thoroughly explored a location as his appointments and conferences have dictated in the past.
My resolution is to spend as long as we desire in any one destination, region, or country. Certainly we will plan our departure and book flights to get there, research possible accommodations and perhaps tours that offer the best way to see a remote location; but after arrival, we’ll wing it. Three months at time! The prospect has me giddy with anticipation and overflowing with ideas. My travel resolution can be summarized in one word: FREEDOM 2013!
When I first moved to Europe, I tried to visit as many major tourist attractions as possible. All the famous palaces, cathedrals, and castles I had read about, from Buckingham to Versailles and Notre Dame to Neuschwanstein – I made it a point to join the millions flocking to these sites.
A few years later, I resolved to seek out the more isolated, remote, and exotic locations that are unfrequented by tourists or even locals, such as the haunting Lindisfarne Island off of England’s North East Coast. But, even deeper than experiencing a tourist site or having an off-the-beaten path story is becoming a participant in culture rather than an outside observer.
I have resolved in 2013 and in the coming years to really get to know the culture and have meaningful dialogue with the people in the places I travel. That is how one moves from being a tourist to a “citizen of the world” and that is how a place wraps itself around your heart and changes you in unpredictable ways, so that barriers drop on all sides and you discover one day that you’re “patriotic for humanity” and not any particular place or national attitude. A Blessed New Year and Happy Travels to All!
Jen Westmoreland Bouchard
My 2013 travel resolution is to take more time to wander. Wandering used to be a large part of my travel itineraries. I would intentionally get lost in a city in order to more fully experience it—to allow myself to just be, to take in the sights, the smells, the tastes, and the sounds.
Since beginning to travel with my young daughter, I’ve become more “destination-oriented.” Of course, sometimes this is a necessity (i.e. if the toddler is hungry and we need to get to a restaurant), but most of the time it isn’t. I want to model for my daughter how to be a curious traveler, how to take it all in without constantly feeling like there’s somewhere we need to be, something “better” we should be doing with our time.
Wishing you peace and many wonderful discoveries in 2013.
I resolve, because life moves so fast, to make notes everyday when traveling.
I resolve, because real life gets in the way when I return home from a trip, to flesh out the notes into an article sooner rather than later, because details get lost if not recorded.
I resolve to disregard distractions and write, record and relive my travels.
I resolve never again to miss a flight. A travel first for me in 2012, I missed a flight from Dublin to New York City and paid the price to book another flight — both in money and time. While it was a pleasant surprise to find myself with 24 hours to kill in one of my favorite European cities, the bill for this mistake broke my budget for the whole trip.
Besides being a travel journalist and blogger, I’m a historical fiction novel writer. I didn’t get to make an overseas trip this year because I hired a professional editor for my novel which is now in a publisher’s hands being assessed.
I did manage a couple of short local trips this year but I am resolved to get back overseas in 2013, in particular to return to my beloved Greece (which I write so much about) with a stop in England and Wales to visit relatives and do a bit more research for my current work-in-progress. And with any luck I might even fly to Spain to visit a couple of friends.
Travel is in my blood and I miss it when I’m not on the road or planning a destination, so I look forward to 2013 and all the new adventures it has to offer me, plus the material for a lot of new stories!
My New Years Resolution is to enjoy Southeast Asia, where I will be backpacking for the next few months. After spending Christmas morning watching the sunrise over Mount Bromo, one of Java’s many active volcanoes, I will ring in 2013 with a party in Singapore.
After that, I’ll travel wherever these rickety old buses, bicycles and rickshaw rides take me: surfing in the Philippines, searching for orangutans in Borneo, visiting Hindu temples and Buddhist monuments, and eating as much coconut-flavoured food as possible.
I look forward to learning as much as I can about this colourful, bizarre, sometimes-frustrating, but always fascinating part of the world. Selamat Tahun Baru! (“Happy New Year” in Indonesian)
When traveling, I resolve to ALWAYS stay in hotels or apartments that are located in center of cities. When we are in the countryside, I love to stay in little B&Bs and use them as a base to travel the area in our rented car. But, when in the big city, I not only want to be inside the city, I want to be smack dab in the middle.
Last fall, we were in Paris and we stayed near the Eiffel Tower, about 5 blocks from a Metro stop. Never again. I want to be in the heart of the city, so I can walk out the door and be in the mix. I like to be able to walk to almost everything and be near restaurants and cafes, museums and markets. You can sometimes save a few dollars by staying further out, but take my word for it; it isn’t worth it.
What is your Travel Resolution for 2013? We’d love to hear from you.
Written expressly for EuropeUpClose.com