Yes, this is another recap post for 2016. Yes, I want to urge you to try this resolution! If "travel more” is on your list for 2017, I implore you to keep on reading. First things first:
Why “Travel More” Isn’t the Best Resolution
I’m not saying it’s not a good idea. I firmly believe that everybody should travel more, in any capacity that they’re capable of. But sticking “travel more” on a list and hoping it’ll stick isn’t the best way to go about doing this.
So, maybe you’ve heard of SMART goals. Goals are more likely to be achieved if they are Specific, Measurable, Attainable (although, I like Action-oriented), Realistic, and Timely. You’ll see that just saying “travel more” doesn’t really hit all of these adjectives. But! If you say you’re going to Take 12 Trips in 12 Months?
Well, now we’re talking!
- Specific: The goal is in the name, perfect! If it helps, define what “trip” means to you. For some it’ll mean weekends away. For others it’ll mean international plane tickets!
- Measurable: I have the utmost faith that we can count to twelve. Boom!
- Attainable/Action-Oriented: You can make a list of ideas and assign them to months. Then comes the nitty gritty of making it happen. But you’re setting yourself up for success.
- Realistic: Again, the definition of “trip” will help make this goal realistic for YOU!
- Timely: 12 months = one year. No more (although…) and no less.
Back on January 1, 2016 I might have had some doubts that I could actually achieve this goal, but halfway through the year I knew I was going to get this done. And sitting here on January 3, 2017 I can proudly say that I’ve done it! It looks a little different than what I originally planned, but it’s fabulous nonetheless.
Take 12 Trips: A Success Story
I’m not going to try to dig deep and find a huge, earth-shattering lesson from every trip that I took this past year.
January: I started 2016 off with a trip to the mountains with friends. It was relaxing and challenging, as a ski trip always is for me. I finally learned that a hot cup of soup and a book at the lodge is the best way to avoid on-mountain melt downs. Let’s see if that can carry over to this ski season.
February: I did something so incredibly out of my comfort zone and went to New Orleans during Mardi Gras. And you know what? I survived, and I had a great freaking time. Even self-proclaimed grandmas should say “yes” every once in a while to shake things up.
March: This was the month that I finally made it back to Colorado. My heart lights up just THINKING about it. There’s still so much left to uncover that I want to get back there as soon as possible. Here I learned that maybe I should move a bit closer to the outdoors, but only time will tell if I actually listen to that message.
April: Grad school was at a peak in April and I was extremely anxious that I would “fail” this resolution before things even got rolling. But thank goodness for my bridesmaid duties, bringing me on a road trip to Virginia. Here is where I took a dose of reality and accepted that weekend trips are often exactly what I need - and a weekend trip full of celebrating my best friend is all the better!
May: I cannot BELIEVE that I graduated in May. It seems so long ago by now! I got to visit New York this month and finally (finally!) wandered around Brooklyn. But my big trip of this month was out to Minneapolis/St. Paul to visit Kayla and attend TBEX! Aside from all of the actionable steps I learned at the conference, the big takeaway from this trip was that I want to take more of my friendships that are online and turn them into real life connections!
June: Job searching was getting me down, so June was spent with my family in Connecticut. Lots of beach days, bike rides, hikes, and play time was just what the doctor ordered. This trip was the first time I realized what “relaxed” was and how I had not experienced it in a LONG. TIME.
July: July was the month of the cruise! My family set sail out of New Jersey and headed to Bermuda, Puerto Rico, St. Maarten, and Haiti. I adored spending time with my family and the happiness from June led to total, off-line bliss in July. I realized big-time this trip the importance of unplugging.
August: As a big, end of summer bash, a group of friends headed down to Nashville, Tennessee! Big friend trips are not my norm, but it was so fun to be in Nashville with everybody. It’s so important, especially during these trips to remember your “me-time.” Even if it’s just walking to coffee in the morning, a bunch of us spent some time alone during this trip and I think it made the time together even better!
September: Paul and I hit the road this month and drove from Philadelphia to Savannah, Georgia. We stopped in Charleston, South Carolina too! On the way back, I dropped Paul (read: he left for a business trip) and drove the whole way home by myself. I visited some friends and stopped at Shenandoah National Park. This was the first time I ever camped and hiked by myself. Much to my parents’ chagrin I want more solo outdoor adventures - STAT!
October: In October, I finally got a job and reality set in that taking off for weeks at a time was not plausible anymore. Luckily, I squeezed a trip to Iceland in between orientation and my “real” start date. No big deal, right? I fell SO off the wagon with blogging, but I promise I’ll tell you all about it in 2017. The short of it: I crave international travel and being out of my element and culture is much, much needed.
November: I stuck closer to home and really embraced the weekend travel by crossing the state to Pittsburgh! I saw so many friends this trip and finally met Marissa in real life. And, in natural fashion, it rained or snowed 90% of the time. Mother nature happens, and I’ve got to stop letting it get to me. I was so proud to put the snow aside and venture out anyway.
December: When I couldn’t convince Paul to go to Montreal for New Year’s Eve, I thought December would be a bust. Then my boss decided to send me on an overnight trip to Washington D.C. At first I thought, “no way am I going to count this,” but I jam packed as much as I possibly could into my travel time. I had dinner with a friend, tried a new place to eat, finally saw the White House (and it was decorated for Christmas at that!), and walked around the city. Here I realized my definition of travel might be changing, whether or not I liked it, and I have to adapt or be miserable.
So, I freaking DID IT! I made travel a priority in 2016 and I am so proud and happy and full of inspiration for 2017. So I want to wish you all the happiest new year and I’ll be back later this week (maybe next week, seeing as it is a short work week) talking about my big plans for 2017.
- Before you go - what are your resolutions this year? Tell me in the comments!