9 Travel Resolutions for 2014

I recently discovered a travel blog I absolutely love. Kate McCulley maintains Adventurous Kate: Solo Female Travel. Kate is part of a brave class of travel writers who quit their 9-5 j.o.b. to travel the world continuously. Confession: I'm slooowly gearing myself up for that possibility (oh, the possibility!). Of course, the moment I stated the intention, I was flooded with an awareness of resources and websites and a network of amazing people who've done exactly that. Spend some time surfing around her site, particularly the "How I Saved $13,000 For Travel In Just Seven Months" post. It's so inspiring to me because it's so completely normal. Student loan payments, Netflix automatic debit payments, weekend brunches with friends...she lays out how she massaged a seven month travel budget out of her real life. A life that looks quite a bit like mine. And by "quite a bit" I mean exactly.

In this post, however, I want to share her discussion of 2014 travel resolutions. Even if every resolution doesn't resinate with you, at least one is bound to. Get inspired and get out there! Click here to read her full post, as the annotations below are mine.

1. Spend Christmas 2014 on the beach

I just spent Christmas 2013 on the beach. I've spent many a winter holiday on the beach, but it's a great reminder that this tradition never disappoints. Traveling far away during the holidays also conveniently pulls you out of the shopping, parties, guilt, gift, consumption treadmill that I dislike so much.

Corona del Mar, Orange County, California - December 2013

2. Get into points and miles

I've long since mastered the Delta hub of Salt Lake City and American Express / SkyMiles Platinum and I are longtime friends (cha-ching); however, I love her suggestion to study the three primary alliances (Star Alliance, OneWorld, Skyteam). I think this is savvy knowledge for any traveler and similar to my wonky obsession with plane models and knowing which seats are the most strategic/comfortable on each.

3. Visit that destination you have always, always dreamed of visiting

Denmark. Hands down. There are many others, but all roads lead home. I don't know if 2014 is my year for this or not. I'm still researching my family history and the perfectionist in me is inclined to over-plan this one to death. Hmmm, so maybe realizing that should actually force my hand. Get over it, and go already.

4. Become a better travel photographer

I recently completed a travel photography course that I absolutely loved. I'll be blogging about it soon, but for now check out Traveling Light: The Spirit of Travel Photography. Some of you may remember the other photography course I took from Laura Valenti Jelen, Candela: Finding Inspiration Through Photography. The brilliant thing about both courses is they aren't technical discussions of manually controlling your aperture. Both courses cut to the philosophical and emotional core of making photographs. It's changed my entire approach. Entirely.

Cafe Du Monde, French Quarter, New Orleans - December 2013

5. Try staying in an Airbnb rental

Yes. This. This is big for me. I dream of making my way around the world, traveling continuously for at least one year, staying in Airbnb rentals and/or house sitting. Affordable, local experiences, far more memorable than a Hilton (though I love Hilton Hotels and should Hilton Hotels decide to sponsor my adventures, I will not say no. (Are you listening, Hilton Hotels?)).

6. Get your passport or renew it

I'm on my third passport in as many decades of life, so I'm all over this. Done and done.

7. Get outside your comfort zone

In other words, in no particular order, I need to tackle: stifling heat and humidity and sweat, backpack instead of suitcase, couch surfing, Southeast Asia, camping...I could go on. I also realize I just described some people's ideal travel experience. We all have our comfort zones.

8. Start a travel savings account

Done. Automatic withdraws from checking account each month. The trick is never touching it. The bigger trick is creating travel investment accounts. Why piddle around with 0.9% interest when you can put it in the market at higher yields, take it out once it's grown, and bon voyage! Yes, I rattled that off like I knew what I was talking about. But hey, investing for this purpose is on my list of Stuff To Figure Out In 2014.

9. Travel solo for the first time

Done it. Absolutely love it. Will do it again. A lot.

peek-a-boo...you get used to creative selfies when you're flying solo

What resolutions should we add to this list?

Bon voyage! Love,

Happiness 2.0: Digging Deep in 2014

A New Year. The Desire Map. Feelings That Aren't Feeling-y Enough.