With the confetti settled after celebrating the launch of a new year, and everyone discussing their resolutions around me, I have thought about setting some travel goals for 2013. I’m already aware that my schedule this year is going to span Asia, Europe, and Latin America. So, as I reflect on how travel impacts my life, I strive to make this year better than ever. I’d like to share a few of my goals with you, and perhaps they will spark you to think of some for yourselves.
1. Packing Less
I am a self-confessed over-packer. It’s a fact that on every business or personal trip I take, I actually wear about half of what I bring. I have always joked that I pack too much in order to have enough choices, but this year I will strive to get rid of this mentality that “more is better.” The older I get, the clearer it is becoming that more is just more—not better. I think this will be a tough adjustment at first, and I envision packing (followed by heavy editing), before it becomes second nature.
2. Travel to visit a loved one
For as long as I can remember, vacations have mostly been about crossing the places I always dreamed of visiting off of my “must see” list. It was frequently more about the location than whom I would be visiting. The truth is that time is very precious, and I want to use it more wisely. Chances are the famous landmarks we know and love will be around a long time, but family and dear friends may not be. I hope to spend some of my free time this year to reconnect with those that matter to me—even though their location may not be the most glamorous on earth.
3. Learning from my surroundings
It is a true gift that I have the chance to visit so many places for my job. Yet, in hindsight, I realize that my focus during a trip is mostly to get my job done and not to pay so much attention to the culture surrounding me. Yes, of course I notice the obvious things. However, cultures young and old all have something to teach us, or can show us a different way of seeing things. This year I want to spend more effort on noticing the differences between myself and others, and appreciating them. Hopefully through that process, I can learn, grow, and become a better person—instead of merely thinking to myself that this is not how we do things where I am from!
As always, I wish you all a year of safe and happy travels.
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