We have officially reached a new decade! It’s crazy to think 10 years ago I was 16 and my main focus was finishing high school and getting good GCSEs to become a vet. The only travelling I’d done was on family holidays and I never even considered what a passion I would develop for exploring our globe! This year I wanted to write some travel resolutions for myself and everyone with a love for adventure to take into this year and onto the following decade! I hope this list inspires you and I’d love to hear your own 2020 travel resolutions, but for now, here are mine…
Life is short and we only have one shot at it so this year and beyond we should all resolve to see more of our wonderful planet. Now, this doesn’t have to be big extravagant trips taking you halfway across the globe, there is so much to see closer to home too! I’m based in the UK and despite living out my 26 years here, I have to guiltily inform you I have seen very little of my homeland. The UK is amazingly diverse and has so much history, wildlife and culture to enjoy, and although the weather often leaves a lot to be desired I want to dedicate this year to getting out and seeing more of it! Not only is it often cheaper to visit places closer to home but also better for the environment; there is no need to fly, you can often utilise public transport and you are helping to support your own charities, communities and heritage sites. I think it can be easy to forget about your own backyard and focus on places far away when often there are so many fantastic things to do and places to explore just a stone’s throw away.
As we will all have heard by now, we are in somewhat of a planet crisis. Travelling when done ignorantly can damage the earth and really add to our planet’s building number of issues. However, if done well, there are things we can all do to actually help. Travel closer to home to reduce your carbon footprint, as mentioned above, use public transport rather than taxis or hire cars, or commit to one long trip abroad rather than several shorter ones. I think it’s important to experience the wonders our world has to offer and travelling I feel can ignite a sense of earth stewardship in us all; if you’ve personally seen the elephants grazing on the African Savannah, I believe you become much more invested in protecting them than witnessing them on a TV screen. Travelling gets you outside and experiencing the wonders of nature, it reduces screen time and electricity use while you’re out exploring – even as a blogger and keen social media user, I am never more present in a moment or likely to abandon my electronics than when travelling.
When you travel, think about your waste – take reusable bottles, use soap bars rather than bottles of toiletries or once again use re-usable ones and try and avoid purchasing single-use plastic. Also, consider the companies you use, the accommodation you stay in and the experiences you have – do the companies have a responsible tourism ethos, are you happy with their morals and ethics, are you supporting a company who is sustainable? It may take a bit more research and cost a little more short term but in the long run, this is better for everyone. Additionally supporting companies with a responsible ethos puts additional pressure on other companies to toe the line too.
Push Yourself Outside Your Comfort Zone
Travelling is all about new experiences; tasting new food, seeing new sights, doing new things and encountering new cultures. Often when things are out of the norm it can unsettle us a little and although our comfort zones are safe and allow us to relax, being pushed out of them can be great for you. Being pushed to try new things or being put in situations that are challenging for us (within reason of course!) can really help us develop and people and become more confident individuals. For me, taking my first trip solo is a big step outside my comfort zone this year but I’m sure I will gain so much from the experience.
Give Back While You Travel
I think often we can travel very selfishly, it’s all about what we want to see, do and experience with little thought for the people or environment around us. Tourism can be both incredibly beneficial but also very damaging so aiming to travel responsibly, support ethical companies and giving back is something we should all be more aware of when we travel. It doesn’t have to take up all of your holiday, you can do as much or as little as you want as long as you’re doing something positive! Take part in a beach clean up, help build something in a community, volunteer for a charity, visit a rescue centre ( ensure it’s actually what it says on the tin though!), do something that contributes to the area you’ve travelled to. Trust me you will get a fantastic buzz from lending a hand and it will really add to your travel experience.
This year I will be embarking on my first solo trip and I can’t tell you how excited (and also very nervous) I am. Despite my apprehension, I’m convinced there are so many advantages to going it alone; I won’t have to compromise, I can go at my own pace, I have no distractions or travel partner-related dramas, and it will allow me to meet other fellow travellers much more easily as you’re so much more approachable when on your own. I can’t wait to experience Iceland by myself and I encourage all keen travellers to give flying solo a go.
Travel With Friends
I don’t think there’s anything as fun as a group trip with friends. This doesn’t have to be anywhere fancy, I am personally a big fan of cheap and cheerful! However, adding several personality dynamics to a trip is great fun and will often make for some great travel stories! I find each friend will bring something diverse to the table to make your trip great; You have the planner, the fun one, the free spirit, the voice of reason, the ideas guy – travelling with friends is always amazingly memorable and it’s a great bonding exercise. I have so far been on several trips with friends including multiple UK adventures, a graduation trip to Sunny Beach, Bulgaria, A uni friend Ski trip to the Alps, A girls holiday to Eastern Europe and two big adventures to India and South America with my best friends. It’s something I think everyone should do at least once in a lifetime and trust me, once you do it’ll be tough going back!
Treat Someone To Their Dream Trip
Does your partner, best friend, mum or brother have a dream destination they’ve always wanted to go but have never managed to visit? Could you be the reason that they finally manage to get there? Travelling with someone you love is always a treat, even more so when accompanied by the fuzzy glow that you have made that trip possible. Maybe it doesn’t have to be an extravagant 5* trip to the Maldives, often it’s more about being together, making memories and sharing new experiences. This year I’m taking my mum away for her birthday, she has always put me first throughout our lives and now I’m older and earning, I think it’s high time I pay her back for all those times she’s prioritised me. Have a think if there’s somewhere special you could treat to a trip in 2020, maybe you could even make their year!
Tick Off One Of Your Bucket List Destinations
Let’s face it, any keen traveller has a list as long as their arm of bucket-list destinations. If you’re anything like me, the majority of them have been sat on my list for years and there’s always an excuse as to why I haven’t yet made it there. Well, 2020 is the year to start ticking things off your list! Pick at least one of your bucket list destinations and make a promise to yourself to get there this year. Also, maybe break your travel bucket list down a little; I have two lists – a master list with everywhere I want to travel and, thanks to my resolution to see more of the UK, a list of all the places in my own country I want to tick off. Wherever you want to go just commit to making a start to get yourself there; start a travel fund, book the time off work and get the ball rolling because it will feel amazing when you get to experience one of your dream destinations this year.
Document Your Travel
Although I am a big believer in being present in a moment, I also love having things to look back on. In 2020 aim to document your travel so that in years to come you can reminisce on the amazing times you had, show your friends and family what an amazing trip you had when you return and heck, even show your great-grandkids one day! Document your travels however you like with photo albums, scrapbooks, travel journals or all three! I think creating the way you choose to document your travel is also a great way to re-live your adventures, inspire you to travel more and in my case, it even became a hobby!
I am incredibly bad at this one, I am a planner through and through, I like to know where I’m going, what I’m doing, the rating of the restaurant I’m eating at, everything. Now, often this stands me in very good stead, my research ensures I never miss anything integral to my trip but being spontaneous can certainly reap its own rewards. When I have let loose and allowed someone else to take the planning reigns or I’ve allowed myself to be a little spontaneous while on a trip (though it does give me heart palpitations!) I have largely really enjoyed it. Although I’m not about to completely relinquish my planning persuasions, great things can come to those who are free-spirited and I plan to let go a little bit more this year when adventuring and so should you!
So that’s my list! I hope this has inspired you to kick start your plans for travel in 2020 and make your own resolutions, I’d love to hear them! If you want to see my other 2020 posts check them out here.