2016 was a year of twists and turns, yet the milestones were just as great. I had a lot of firsts this year: new states, new countries, and new bylines. I had some setbacks – changes in relationships, work scenarios, and just time beginning to creep up on me – but thankfully nothing major going wrong. Here is my three best moments from this year.
What I accomplished:
Taking my first cruise. While I’m sad to learn that Fathom Travel will be ceasing its cruises, I’m also grateful that I was able to go on one of their social impact cruises to the Dominican Republic in May. I hung out with travel influencers and other passengers (who I still keep in touch with). Excursions brought us into communities where we got to learn about micro-businesses and help out with their projects. I also purchased products such as notecards made from re-purposed scrap paper and chocolate bars from a women-owned cooperative.
Checking off new cities. I’ll probably still keep using this example, but it’s still a valid one. 2016 had me on the road a lot; I estimate on and off over 10 months. That’s a record. I’ve been lucky to visit five new states – Ohio, New Mexico, South Dakota, Utah, and Minnesota – and four new countries – Dominican Republic, Norway, Denmark, and Sweden. Also I got to revisit six states I’ve already been to (New Hampshire, Texas, Rhode Island, California, Virginia, and Pennsylvania) plus two countries (Mexico and Jamaica). In each location, I got to try new foods, witness amazing festivals and events, and just wander around different neighborhoods and attractions.
Being exposed to new scenarios. At times, my work trips can schedule situations that either I do or don’t (want to) do. I’m not an athletic person, so I tend to shy away from choosing or having to participate in certain adventure activities (such as being a poor swimmer). However, my trip to Utah’s Red Rock Country put me in a situation where I had to do it. During our trip to Goblin Valley State Park, we were led by our guide Chris from Get In the Wild to go rappelling down a 90-foot high section called Goblins Lair. I was seriously freaking out – bawling like a baby and probably stalling my drop by 10 minutes – but with some encouragement (as in, you have to do this), I made it down just fine. I wasn’t my best self during the experience, but I’m glad to have done it.
Now here’s what need I work on:
Blogging more. I’ve been behind on posting here more, and I don’t like it. I had been putting a lot of energy toward getting publishing, but I want to commit more time to posting about work trips, topics that are on my mind. I kick myself a bit because there were a lot of good moments this year, but hopefully I can still post about them. So expect a lot of catching up.
Getting fit. I had some health concerns this year (nothing serious/crucial, thankfully) but my goal for 2017 is to build up my stamina. One thing, among many, that travel has taught me is that you have to adapt to your surroundings – particularly with getting around. Going up stairs, to walking many blocks, to hopping up and off subways or buses. My pace might be getting slower, but there are still places I want to get to. So more exercise for me.
I’m sure more “must dos” will come up. But tell me what’s your travel goal for 2017?