Resolutions For The New Year: What I Want To Do In 2013

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.

Resolutions For The New Year: What I Want To Do In 2013: White paper lanterns in Jogyesa Temple in Seoul
Resolutions For The New Year: What I Want To Do In 2013: White paper lanterns in Jogyesa Temple in Seoul

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.

Read more.

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.

Live healthier.

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.

Join the Conversation


    1. says: Audrey

      Yes, I’m looked forward to affordable prices on tropical fruits! I’ll be sure to check out the link you sent me. 🙂

  1. says: Marco Fiori

    Read more, live in the moment and be more healthier are the three I’m planning on doing. Broadening the literature I read, walking I do and saying yes more are all things I want to do. Best of luck with yours.

    1. says: Audrey

      Those sound like some great resolutions, Marco! I’m also trying to broaden my range of literature a bit more; I find that I tend to stick to travel books but I want to read more classics and fiction this year. 🙂

  2. says: Amanda @ Farsickness

    Besides learning to breathe through a snorkel, these would be my resolutions if I were to write them down 🙂

    Happy New Year, Audrey! And good luck!

  3. says: Zhu

    Ouch, I had no idea food could be expensive over there! Eating healthier is always a challenge, especially in North America (well, and Korea apparently!).

    I don’t have resolutions… but I’ll try to improve as much as I can!

    1. says: nomadic translator

      my thoughts exactly! I didn’t know vegetables and fruits could be so expensive. But then again, South Korea has proven to be quite pricey, beyond my expectations.

      – Maria Alexandra

    2. says: Audrey

      Local dishes are not expensive at all, it’s just the fresh produce section that makes me tighten my wallet. That’s what’s made it most challenging to eat healthy this year, but here’s to improving in 2013! 🙂

  4. says: Maria

    Travel into and through SE Asia will help you cross the fresh fruit resolution off the list. Looking forward to reading/watching your adventures in 2013

    1. says: Audrey

      Good luck on your resolutions too, Julika! It’s been a while since I last volunteered, so I really want to make time for it this year. 🙂

  5. says: Christy

    Learning how to breathe underwater is one of my resolutions too! I’ve tried Snuba twice and both times I completely sucked at it. My SIL used to be a Scuba instructor and she just informed me my mouth may be smaller than normal so I would need snorkel/snuba gear for kids. I’m holding on to that, hoping that is the only reason I can’t seem to breathe underwater. 🙂 Happy 2013!

    1. says: Audrey

      I’d be curious to try snuba! It looks like a nice introduction before making the leap to scuba. Cheers to our ‘underwater’ resolutions! 😀

  6. I definitely failed at teaching my kids how to pronounce things. Even failed at teaching them what “Nice to meet you” means. I think they succeeded in teaching me more than I did. I still say things with an “ee” at the end and I’m not even in Korea.

    Snorkeling is a lot harder than Scuba. Scuba is all about moving as little as possible. Get your cert! The world down below is so amazing.

    1. says: Audrey

      Ohhh my English is dreadful these days. I have started dropping articles when I speak… I’m still trying to teach my students the word ‘weekend’. I ask them the same question every Monday, “What did you do this weekend?!” and all I get are blank stares…

      Definitely keeping scuba in mind. 😀

      1. I keep having dreams about teaching in the classroom and in my dreams my Korean students speak English so well. Ha! What a laugh.

        I did have a couple of students whose English was spectacular. Those are the ones that make it worth it. It did take 3 months for them to rise to the occasion though.

  7. says: Greg Prohl

    It’s always instructive to read someone else’s resolutions. I don’t really do them in the classic sense, but if I did…one for this year would be more travel…sounds obvious, but really, unless you make it happen, it won’t, right? So far only one big adventure planned, but hoping we can do more along the way.

  8. says: John

    South East Asia is on my radar for 2013 as well.
    I think I have a grass is always greener mentality far too much. Spending the last 2 years in Canada, a lot of the time I wished I was in Europe. Heading to Europe soon and I will be eager to be in Asia. I need to appreciate where I am.

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