I was never too keen on making, or sticking to, resolutions for a new year. However, last year, I switched up the meaning of a resolution in my mind. I tried to look at it as a feasible goal or goals for the year. Something that would make my life better, but also something I wanted to do. A way to reach goals of mine, without being completely unreasonable.
Was I ever going to actually go to the gym? No, definitely not. In fact, one of the best decisions I made in 2012 was to quit the gym. Instead, I’ve decided to focus on outdoor activities that give me exercise, while also allowing me to experience life. I don’t want to be the person driving the stationary bike, I’d rather mountain bike and explore new places.
Was I ever going to diet or eat healthy? Again, probably not. This is always something I have trouble with, so why make an unreasonable promise. Instead, I eat what I want and cut back when I need to. I make it my routine and by not making it the only idea in my mind, it seems to be more of a success. We only are here once, and I love food way too much to cut it out of my life or avoid eating food I love.
Was I ever going to get more organized? No, yet again. After many education classes in college and graduate school, I have learned that I am right-brained, meaning I lean more toward the creative side of life. I am not a bed maker and I rarely put my belongings where I need them, but at this point, that’s never going to change. I see no point in organizing when I know where things are when I need them. I cannot waste my precious time cleaning when there’s life out there for me to live.
But, what I can do is try to reach the goals that I have in mind for my life. By setting aside a few of my life time goals to accomplish each year, I have more of a chance of making them happen. So, this is what I choose to do last year.
First, I vowed to travel to Africa and to take my first solo trip. I accomplished these both in one month-long adventure. Africa had been my dream for years, and I wouldn’t let anyone or anything get in the way of getting there. I am so glad I did, and with plenty of time left in my life to visit the continent many times over. I knew I would love it before I got there, and the feelings have just grown over time. I know my love affair with Africa will last a lifetime, and I look forward to visiting the countries within it again and again.
Traveling solo was a big goal for myself this past year, and I finally made it happen. In years past, I had only flown by myself and stayed a night alone in Bangkok before catching a flight home. To me, this wasn’t exactly solo travel. So, when I couldn’t find someone to come along with me to Africa, I decided to head on my own, but join up with a group tour. While, I wasn’t exactly alone and meeting friends along the way, this was the ideal way for me to travel by myself. I made friends with the people in my group, but was still able to experience each country on my own, with no real agenda except for my own. It was a great step into solo travel, and I foresee many more travels this way, without a group, in the future.
Along with this, I wanted to treat my home life as I treat life while I am traveling. Lucky for me, last New Year’s Eve I met Jeff, and he has steered my life completely in that direction. Even while I am home, I always feel like I am fully living my life and given the opportunity to go outside of my comfort zone on many occasions.
The only resolution I failed to make was to begin planning my first RTW trip. Instead, I would like to focus on my goal of stepping foot on all seven continents before turning thirty. Yes, I could combine this with a RTW trip, but now just doesn’t seem to be the time, though who knows what the future may hold. I do plan on taking one in my lifetime, but there are other goals I wish to accomplish first, and I’ve realized those goals in 2012.
Looking back on the year, I couldn’t be more proud of all I have done. I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone at home and abroad, faced my fears, and feel that I have continued to become a better traveler. Most importantly, I have continued to learn more about myself each and every step of the way, which is what I feel resolutions are all about. I have seen and experienced more than some people do in a life time, and I plan on continuing this lifestyle permanently.