In 2016, John and I had the chance to do a lot of lovely traveling together. We spent time in upstate New York, we saw Navy beat Notre Dame in Jacksonville, and we toured the country eating cajun in New Orleans, fry bread in the Navajo Nation, and doughnuts in Oregon. I traveled with work, visiting San Diego and Seattle and having the pleasure of meeting tons of military spouses along the way. We’ve spent time being local tourists in our new home too– experiencing new restaurants, going to the theater, and seeing the quirky fun things in our town.
As far as travel goes, 2016 was quite the year… And now that John’s transitioned out of the Navy, we have a bit more time (and freedom) to plan and dream where we’ll visit next. And trust me, we have a huge bucket list. The hardest part might be picking where to travel to next.
To do that, I’ve written up a few of our travel resolutions for the rest of 2017.
1. Travel responsibly
While I love to travel, I do not like the footprint it leaves on the environment. This year, I want to be more careful of how my leisure travel impacts our planet. We’ll plan our routes better, make sure we’re keeping the car in tip-top shape so it’s efficient and uses minimal gas and be careful not to drive around with extra stuff, since the weight sucks gasoline.
Go somewhere new.
It’s comfortable to visit the same places over and over again. Comfort is a wonderful thing. But stretching yourself and doing new things– putting yourself in new situations and stretching yourself– is also a wonderful thing. This year, I want to keep exploring new places, eat new foods, and see the world differently.
Be kinder on the road.
When we lived in Virginia (and drove the DC beltway often), it was easy to get upset with every accidental (or intentional) slight from other drivers. This year, I want to keep my blood pressure down and my goodwill up when I’m driving in heavy traffic, or when someone else on the road is being a jerk. Taking a deep breath, dropping back a bit, and turning up some tunes will definitely help me do that. Sure, my car is made of a sturdy steel cage, but it doesn’t mean I want to test it out.
Keep things in shape.
After our long road trip– we put 11,000 miles on the car in a month– we need to be more aware of how we’re treating our only car. Transitioning out the military means we’re down one paycheck too, so doing all of the small things to prolong its life and keep it running is really important right now.
Try new things.
I’m not going to be coy about this one: I want to learn how to ski this year. Now that I’m 30, it’s time to get serious before I blow out my knees and can’t even try. I also want to see New England in the fall (ooh, the colors!) and have fun doing some of local activities we’ve queued up to do but haven’t had a chance to yet.
Most Americans spend very little time traveling. (In fact, we spend very little time taking vacation days… which is crazy.) This year, commit yourself to growing beyond your comfort zone and going somewhere. Take a trip to the beach or to family or to a foreign country. Get out and enjoy our beautiful, magnificent world. This is absolutely your year!