I love using the start of the new year as an opportunity to stop and dream up some goals for the year. Some of my 2015 travel resolutions are easy, others will take a little more juggling. I already have some big things happening, so I want to challenge myself while also being realistic and keeping some space in my calendar for a balanced, healthy life.
1. Stop to enjoy more sunsets
This one can be done anywhere. Every evening (and morning, for that matter) we’re given a light show spectacular and it’s free for everyone. We lose our minds when someone paints a building in lights, but most of us hardly stop to look when the whole sky is painted pink, purple, orange, red or blue every evening. Already this year I’ve stopped to enjoy several, and it’s a great time to appreciate where you are in that moment and all the things that you have in your life.
2. Explore my new city
I’m moving to Melbourne at the end of January and I’ll be lucky enough to be living in the city. I want to push myself to explore and get to know a number of suburbs of Melbourne, not just the ones closest to where I live. In the coming weeks, I’ll be doing a series of posts about my favourite neighbourhoods in Melbourne.
You don’t have to be new in town for this to be worthwhile either, I could have easily set this goal from Brisbane. When was the last time you spent a morning wandering around a neighbourhood on the other side of town?
Your own back yard can be full of surprises, particularly when you take to an unfamiliar part of it with fresh eyes.
3. Visit one new continent
I’d love to visit more than one, but I work full time and I want to travel more around my own huge, diverse country. I’m planning a trip to New York in the middle of the year, which will be the first time I’ve set foot in North America!
If I could squeeze in two new continents, the second would be Asia. Technically I’ve been to Asia, stopping in Singapore and Dubai airports, but I don’t count this! Turkey is also part of Asia, but I was in what they consider the “European” side anyway. I would love to visit Japan, but that might have to wait till 2016!
4. Visit two regions of my (new) state
Victoria is a very small state, packed with many diverse regions, which makes it perfect for weekend escapes. I’ve only been to Melbourne in Victoria, so I have a lot of catching up to do! It was so exciting when I realised that I had almost no idea what lay beyond the capital in my new state.
If I had to pick two to start with, I’d be interested in visiting the Yarra Valley, touring the Great Ocean Road or visiting one of the gorgeous old towns in the Goldfields, like Bendigo or Ballarat…Or relaxing in Daylesford, or exploring the majestic Grampians, or even just tripping down to the Morningon Peninsula!
As you can see, I have some tough choices to make!
5. Visit two new states in Australia
Australia has five states and two territories. I grew up in Queensland and have visited New South Wales, the Australian Capital Territory and Victoria, but this year I’d like to add Tasmania and South Australia to that list. It will be MUCH cheaper to fly to the capitals, Adelaide and Hobart, from Melbourne than from my hometown, Brisbane. Knowing that I’d move closer to the southern states in 2015, I made exploring Northern Queensland and NSW my priority while I was still in Brisbane in 2014.
Because New York will take up all of my holiday leave this year, I’ll be stitching together public holidays and weekends to getaway to Adelaide & Hobart. I’d love to explore more of these states, particularly Frecyinent National Park in Tassie, but I’ll be content at least visiting the capital cities!
6. Visit two new countries
I’ll be visiting the United States in June / July, and we can do one weekend trip, which will either be to Charleston, Chicago, Boston or Montreal. So I might get to Canada, or if we’re lucky we might be able to go for a short trip to Fiji at the end of the year. If neither of those work out, then I’d love to manage a trip to Japan or a shorter trip to Singapore, which might be more feasible since it’s closer and smaller – there are many cities I want to visit in Japan!
There are so many countries I’d love to visit, but I’m balancing a big trip to New York, little getaways around Australia, my career, new friends and my relationship. I’d be happier having a balanced year with all of the above, than sacrificing other parts of my life to visit ten new countries.
Of course, everyone is different – this is just where I’m at in 2015.
7. Visit five new beaches
This one shouldn’t be too tricky, living in Australia, but it will be slightly more challenging from Melbourne than it would have been from Brisbane. Looking forward to it, even if it will be too cold to swim!
8. Visit three new national parks
Australia is covered in National Parks, so I’m excited to visit some new ones in Victoria. I haven’t even began to research this year, but I know that the Grampians is said to be one of the most underrated and unique National Parks in Australia. I saw some amazing National Parks in northern Queensland and New South Wales last year, can’t wait to see what 2015 brings!
9. Visit one of Australia’s wine regions
Australia is one of the top ten wine-producing regions of the world. I’ve visited some smaller wineries in Queensland, but our major wine-growing regions are the Barossa Valley (SA), the Yarra Valley (VIC), the Hunter Valley (NSW) and in Tasmania. Fingers crossed for a weekend in the Yarra Valley this year.
10. Become conversational in Spanish
In 2016 I want to do a huge trip around Spain. I’ve been learning Spanish and I want to be confident in speaking by the end of 2015. I’m using the free Duolingo app and the Michel Thomas Method CDs – expensive, but for me they’ve been totally worth it.
11. Complete my MatadorU Writing & Photography Courses
I enrolled in travel writing and travel photography courses with MatadorU at the end of 2014. I’ve already learned so much and have become so inspired to be a better writer and photographer. In 2015, I’m going to finish both courses!
What are your resolutions or intentions for 2015?