“The secret of change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.”Socrates
Every year so many people make a massive deal about their New Year’s resolutions, and they never keep them past February…March if they’re persistent. Here are a few resolutions you will actually want to set and keep.
Go Somewhere with Different Beliefs
It can be so easy to travel to places that are only mildly different from your culture, customs, and beliefs. One of the most significant points of travel is to open your eyes to the rest of the world and to different ways of living that are just as valuable as your own.
Pick a Destination That Challenges You
Whether it be challenging you to become a better person or having to learn how to travel by yourself, learn a new language, or learn how to use the local public transportation, pick one city/country to visit that won’t let you visit on autopilot. It might be stressful at first, but you will become more resourceful and notice the little things you might otherwise overlook.
This one should be on every serious traveler’s resolution list. Explore your own country more or finally save up to visit that one place you’ve always talked about non-stop. As long as you safely budget, traveling more is never a problem.
Be a Sustainable Traveler
Leave wherever you visit a cleaner place than you found it. Make an effort to pick up trash you spot. Use reusable straws or water bottles. Conserve water when you shower, brush your teeth or wash your hands. Buy from local vendors/shops to support the economy. There are endless options that are 100% feasible no matter where you travel. It just requires a tiny bit of your effort.
Reduce Your Carbon Footprint
It might be tempting to rent a car and go driving all over the place during your vacation. Try spending less time in a car and more time walking, hiking, biking, or using public transportation. You can explore more places at a slower pace, and you might even discover a new shop/restaurant/attraction you might have missed if you were driving by quickly.
Practice More Respect
It’s incredibly difficult to find yourself in a new country, new culture, and trying to speak a new language. Any of those things can cause lots of stress and frustration. Take a deep breath and make sure you stay respectful to everyone. After all, you chose to visit this new place and everyone living there does not deserve the blame. When you travel, you’re representing your culture and country. Stereotypes are born when people don’t show respect to others. Stay patient and treat everyone you meet well.
Disengage to Engage
If you’re always on your phone in a new place how can you truly experience the sites and people around you? Take all the pictures you want and update your friends and family, but please don’t forget to actually travel and see what the world has to offer. I promise it’s better than what’s on your screen.
Make a Positive Impact
Even if that just means being nice to someone who went out of their way to help you or by volunteering, do something positive when you travel. I always pick up trash and thank everyone who rarely gets thanked like waitresses, hotel concierge, etc. Basically, all I’m saying is practice being a good person and you’ll find that you just might become that much better. As cheesy as it sounds the quote “be the change you wish to see in the world” is incredible advice that everyone should take steps towards making a reality.