First of January always proves to be a magical time for me. According to an Italian proverb – Anno Nuovo, vita nuova (new year, new life), as someone recently reminded me when I told them about changes to my career. New year always brings me hope, that this year will be better than the last, that this year I will be better. That finally I will create the habits that will support the resolutions I have set for myself.
It was with that hope that on the first of January I was writing down my new year’s resolutions connected with travel. I felt that over the last year I somewhat I slightly failed my dream. True, I managed to visit four new countries and went to some amazing places, but I felt disappointed with my writing routine (or lack of thereof) and in general had the impression that I should have been doing much more to carve wider space for travel in my everyday life. I decided it was the last time I finish the year with that feeling and that 2018 will see me embracing travel to the level it deserves. In order to help myself achieve those goals I decided on the following resolutions:
- Write a new post at least once a week
I designated Saturday mornings as my travel-writing time and will be ensuring that it is my priority. I had many moments of self-doubt last year, wondering whether having this blog makes sense and I often felt discouraged seeing that I wasn’t getting as many readers as I wish I had, but I decided that I started this blog for myself and should carry on writing not for the outcomes but for the pleasure of writing and a chance to relive the memories of the places I visited. I just need to do it more often, to stay on top of everything and capture as much as possible before my memory starts to fade.
- Do something every week to promote my blog
Having said all that about remembering my reasons for writing, I still decided that this year I want to be brave and shout more about my blog. Writing about your experiences and opinions can often leave you feeling quite exposed and it might be tempting to keep your posts hidden from the critical eyes of others. But perhaps promoting what I create is something I need to do as part of working on my self-confidence. And who knows, perhaps one of my posts can help someone to plan their trip or to see some place in a different light? So each week I will tell someone new about my blog, mention it in groups that have travel interest and be on the constant look out for ways to promote it. As part of having the courage to expose myself to criticism, I will also send an article to a travel magazine to see if they would be interested in publishing it (one of my greatest dreams!). I am also hoping to run at least one travel workshop in London. I have run some successfully in Poland already, but would like to do more of it this year and translating it into English and running it here, might be easier than waiting until I’m again in Poland.
- Learn photography
Part of the reason I have never tried to send articles to magazines and haven’t done as much in the blog promotion department was my conviction that my photos are simply not good enough. I have never learnt photography in any form and just ended taking photos when I was away, documenting what I saw. Looking at the photos upon return however, I always wished I knew more about photography, so that I could capture at least a glimpse of the beauty I was witnessing. This is why this year I promised myself I will finally learn about the shutter speeds and ISO, and try to hone my photography skills.
- Read at least one travel book and magazine each month
I have a stack of unread issues of my favourite travel magazines waiting to be picked up. Just like a number of travel books, they have been gathering dust, while I have been busy reading everything else (out of 102 books I read last year perhaps 5 were travel literature!). I have been postponing opening them up out of fear that they would wake up my well tucked-in feeling of guilt at not creating enough space for travel in my life. This is how I had created a vicious circle that I now decided to break. To keep my wanderlust intact, I will read at least one travel book each month and one of the travel magazines. This will help to declutter the magazine area, in line with my newly found minimalist tendencies, but it will also help me to finally create a travel binder I always dreamt of having. Over the years I have been writing down little tips and information on various countries I have been meaning to visit, but as they were dispersed across various notebooks and lose papers, I would usually end up losing them before I had a chance to incorporate them into my travel plans. This year, I will finally create a binder allowing me to store all the information (notes and articles) in one place, so that when the time to visit particular country finally comes, I will know what to see and how to get there.
- Visit five new countries in 2018
While I love returning to my favourite places (see you very soon Istanbul!), there is no better feeling than discovering a new country. Wandering through the unknown streets, tasting foreign food and having soul filled with a childish sense of wonder are among the best moments in life. So this year, I vow to step my foot in five countries I have never visited. Instead of things, this year I will be buying plane tickets.
What are your travel resolutions?