I’ve never been very good at making New Years resolutions. I usually make mental notes instead; notes that I tend to forget a few weeks down the line, which means these ‘ideas’ never come to fruition… This year I’m making resolutions and writing them down, not just so that I’ll remember them, but also for accountability purposes.
Live in the moment.
While this past year has been a lot of fun, I’ve often found myself daydreaming of the future. Give me tropical jungles, mango lassis, coconut curries, sunsets with a local beer in hand, jagged karsts, and tangled beach hair from hours spent by the sea…you want to be there too, don’t you?! I’ve been very much looking forward to 2013, however, I don’t want to be the kind of person that is so engulfed in ‘what’s next’, that they forget to enjoy the present. I want to go to bed every night knowing I made the most of my day. (That being said, this coming year is going to be epic because in exactly two months I begin my travels around South East Asia and beyond with the hunky Nomadic Samuel. Ow oww!)
Balance work and play.
This year in Korea has been about a lot of hard work. Aside from teaching young students to say ‘beach’ and not ‘beachy’, ‘finished’ and not ‘finishy’ (I’ve failed miserably at both…), I’ve spent many nights and weekends working online. Writing, editing, editing some more, pitching here, and contributing there. At times it’s felt like I’m working two full-time jobs. So, while working whilst travelling will certainly pose its own set of challenges, I’m certainly looking forward to having a bit more down time to actually live a little.
Learn how to breathe through a snorkel.
Sounds like a gargantuan task, doesn’t it? As much as I love the ocean (and I truly do!), I’m a bit of a disaster when you throw me in the water. Remember the first time I tried snorkeling in Cuba? I flipped and flopped like a fish that had been scooped out for the grill. So rather than going big and saying that I’m ready to try scuba (I’m so not there yet), I’m going to take baby steps and aim not to swallow too much water while gazing at all the corals and bright coloured fish below. And I’d also like to become a stronger swimmer.
Volunteer along my travels.
Volunteering in Bolivia is one of the best things I have ever done. I left Cochabamba after two weeks feeling like the kids did more for me than I was able to do for them, and that was a very humbling experience. I worked at a group home where many of the children were living with HIV/AIDS, and they floored me with their love, laughter, and passion for life. I want to get involved in a project in Cambodia or elsewhere along the course of my travels and give back a little.
This one is off to a good start. I’m currently engrossed in an 800+ page novel called The Historian. I’ve ordered some classics and travel literature to pore through during these cold winter months, as well as to take on the road. (Yes, I’m the person who adds 5 extra kilos to her backpack in books and notepads.)
Complete my travel writing course.
I enrolled in the travel writing course with MatadorU a couple of months ago, and while I’m very excited about all the writing assignments ahead of me and everything the course covers, I still haven’t found the time to actually sit down and begin to work on it.
This applies to both food and exercise. I don’t eat copious amounts of junk food, but at the same time Korea’s prices for fresh produce have left me stupefied. You probably wouldn’t believe that an avocado can cost $5, and a nice apple $9, but they can. I’ve dished out the cash on some occasions, but more often than not I’ve just decided to walk away. My body is craving fresh fruits! Bring on the rambutan, papaya, mango, and honey apples. I also want to be more physically active – hike, bike, swim, walk.
Cheers to the New Year and to accomplishing the above! I hope you had fun celebrating wherever you were.