Happy New Year's EVe confetti

New Year’s Travel Resolutions

by Kaisa

One of my New Year’s travel resolutions for 2018 was to publish a new blog entry once a week. Besides the fact that it’s January 27th and I’ve finally scraped enough words together for a grand total of ONE, I think that resolution is going super well, guys. I wish I could say I’ve been preoccupied with the cliffs and hills of some glorious hike, or debauchery of hostel life in a glamorous city.

What I would look like, were I off to some glorious hike or glamorous city.

Nah. I’ve been watching YouTube videos of other people doing those things, while wrapped in approximately seven blankets and flirting with frostbite every time I take my dog out to poop.

The winter blues, dawg.

I love snow, but when January rolls around it’s easy to get depressed in the never ending Midwest winter. My muscles are tense from the frigid air, my truck never seems to want to start, and when it does the roads are too icy to go anywhere. I’m a grumpy hot freezing mess. I know I’m lucky to get to live and work in National Parks when I’m not traveling, but the winter blues suck.

The solution?? Travel resolutions! Hah. HAHA.

Haters gonna hate, but I love New Year’s resolutions. Whether you keep them or not. It’s the idea of a fresh start, of people actively trying to live their best lives. There’s nothing like daydreaming about my best life to make these chilly months of saving up for travel go by faster. Here are a few of my #2018travelgoals!

Excellent example of living best life (Lembongan, Indonesia)

Hike hardcore.

This one’s kind of like the universal get-in-better-shape resolution, but without the gym membership! Yay!

I went on a huge National Park trip in 2017, but because I brought my dog it wasn’t the most trail-friendly travel. At least, not on the most iconic trails like Angel’s Landing or Rim Trail.

joshua tree national park

Joshua Tree National Park

I wanna hike more in 2018. There are so many lists of amazing trails around the world, all of which give me mad trek envy. Seriously, read one of these. I don’t think I’m quite ready to commit to the Camino de Santiago or PCT this year, but I’ve been eyeing the Tour du Mont Blanc or Grand Canyon rim to rim hike.

The furry reason I didn’t get to hike in National Parks in 2017. Frontline can’t get rid of his travel bug.

There is scientific evidence that nature is good for us. Smart phones are scary trash and horrible for mental health so LET’S ALL TREK MORE. We may actually make the world a happier place. Ain’t no Russian hacker bots in the mountains.

Start vlogging.

It’s time. I’ve put off vlogging this long because frankly I don’t “get” it. I have enough headaches editing pics for my blog, let alone videos, but it’s time. More and more travel bloggers have beautiful YouTube videos that say things even the best written posts can’t put into to words, so I’m gonna lean into it. If anyone has any Travel Vlogging for Dummies links you want to throw my way, by all means…

(This one also means I might need to invest in a better camera/GoPro type contraption) (I kind of want a newer iPhone anyway? Their cameras are sick, okay)

Lose a continent virginity.


Unless you’ve already set foot on all seven continents (or you’ve set foot on six and, like me, can’t yet afford the 24-carat cruises and diamond encrusted penguins of Antarctica), this is an easy one.

machu picchu

I want to go to there. (Source: Pixabay)

I find it all too easy to keep going back to the same regions over and over, particularly Europe and Southeast Asia. There’s ALWAYS more to see, made painfully clearer every time you visit. Meanwhile, I have never seen so much as a layover in Central or South America. That’s what I want to change this year. I would love to explore Colombia and/or Peru (hey, I could hike Machu Picchu, vlog about it, and nail three resolutions in one)! Australia is also on the list, but tbh my 2018 budget might not allow for that one either. Which leads me to…

Make (read: save) dat paper.

Thy shan’t make travel resolutions thy can’t afford. I spend a straight up stupid amount of money on 1) student loans 2) spoiling my dog and 3) egregious amounts of makeup. I don’t have a car payment (#knockonwood please stay alive, very old truck), my rent is cheap in housing provided by the National Park Service, and I split groceries with my boyfriend who is, ahem, very frugal. I never buy clothes. I almost never eat out. BUT, I can still step it up. We all can always step it up!

I can’t avoid paying student loans, so that’s that. Moving on. I can probably spoil my dog less, but no promises there (HE’S SUCH A GOOD BOY). So, for me, I need to cut down on my main frivolity: pretty pretty makeup. Making a budget and sticking to it is one of the most important things in planning a trip. I truly believe it fixes the issues/fears that keep folks from traveling. Since I’m planning to travel internationally way more in 2018 than I did in 2017 (the first year in, well, YEARS I did not leave the country), budget is king. And queen. And royal baby.

Chinese New Year in Bangkok, Thailand

Okay, that’s all I got.

New Year’s travel resolutions are great, but they’re only half the battle. In fact, they’re like, 1% o the battle. Let’s get out there and kick ass. Bring it, 2018!

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Isadora Koller January 28, 2018 - 3:40 pm

Oh lord, I’m in love with your dog!! hahaha he looks SO cute! Dear, if you get the chance, do go to Peru, I was there some months ago, it is such an amazing country, and perfect specially for those who are looking for some hiking!! There are some crazy trails, not only to Machu Picchu, the good thing is that there are trails for all kind of hikers, from the noobs to the hardcore ones lol

jillian January 28, 2018 - 11:34 pm

Good resolutions! Saving money for travel is always on my list! Looking at Central and/or South America is smart-they can be inexpensive if you do it right. Good luck!

Katherine January 29, 2018 - 7:16 am

I totally agree with hiking more! I love exploring new outdoor places, just need to get in better shape first haha


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