Instead of making the usual New Year’s resolutions (and ultimately fail at keeping them), this year I thought I would make travel resolutions. My resolutions won’t address where I want to travel, because let’s be honest that would be a never-ending list, but rather how I want to travel.
Let’s get started then…
Take advantage of being location-independent
The nature of running a freelance business means that I can essentially work anywhere with my laptop and a decent Wi-Fi connection. However, last year I didn’t take advantage of my being able to work anywhere as much as I would have liked, and, for the most part, I worked out of my home ‘office’. I brought my work along with me during my numerous trips to Melbourne, allowing me to stay weeks at a time, but my first true taste of being a ‘digital nomad’ was in Phnom Penh while visiting my brother. During the days, I found cute cafes to work out of (Phnom Penh has an excellent Wi-Fi network), and then hung out with my brother in the evenings. This was exactly how I had envisaged my freelancing lifestyle to be.
This year, I want to better capitalise on my ability to get up and go whenever I see fit, while juggling work at the same time. I’m currently hatching travel plans, and while the details are still hazy, it will likely involve more time in Phnom Penh and South-East Asia. Stay tuned!
Travel more slowly
I am the biggest culprit of committing the ultimate travel faux pas of attempting to squeeze 10 countries and 20 cities into 1 week of travel. I feel this is how Australians are wired: it takes us sooooo long to travel anywhere so we have to visit as many cities/countries/sights as we can while we’re there, otherwise it’s not worth travelling the distance.
This year, I’m aiming to travel more slowly and avoid rushing from place to place. I’m getting better at it; last year, we spent 3 weeks exploring Peru—although, admittedly, it was a bit of a mad dash around the country—and a leisurely 10 days in Phnom Penh. The benefits of slow travel are plentiful; instead of packing your bags every night in preparation for the next destination, you have more time to settle in and to get to know a place beyond its tourist attractions, to find a favourite local cafe to frequent and to experience life as a local. Perhaps this is why I enjoyed my time in Phnom Penh so much—I was able to slow down and experience life as I would if I had lived there.
Be less lazy in my travel writing
I would never call myself a travel writer, because I know that travel writers are a rare breed and having the ability to be able to transport readers to another place in the writer’s mind requires a special talent.
I will always be my own worst critic, but I cringe when I read past posts and articles that I’ve written because I know that I’ve become extremely lazy with my writing. To be fair, travel blogging is an entirely different kettle of fish: it’s conversational and casual, much like talking to your friends about your travels once you’ve returned from a destination. However, words such as ‘stunning’, ‘spectacular’ and ‘beautiful’, which are littered throughout my posts, don’t suffice in conjuring up the peculiarities and characteristics of a place in someone’s mind. Every place I go to is ‘stunning’ in one way or another, but I want to delve into the reasons why a destination has made me feel a certain way and show rather than tell.
Be in the moment as opposed to trying to capture the moment
Since starting this blog, I’ve been more conscious of trying to capture content for the blog while travelling. This involves taking photos on my camera, on my phone, filming on the GoPro, and recording videos on Snapchat and InstaStories—needless to say, it can be difficult to enjoy the moment when you’re trying to get the perfect Insta-worthy shot from a billion different angles (and huge props to my hubby who has been endlessly patient with me). Instead of basking in the moment, I’m thinking about what hashtags to use, what caption I should write—irrelevant things that will probably be redundant in a few short years, given how quickly technology is advancing.
At the end of the day, we’re not going to remember how many ‘likes’ a photo got on social media, we’re going to remember a specific place and time, the people we were with and what we were feeling in that moment.
…But take better photos
Following on from the previous point, although it’s important to be in the moment, it’s inevitable that you’ll want to try to savour some of these moments through photos and video footage. Although I’ve always loved taking photos, I’ve never put in the time to learn about composition and lighting and to figure out what all of those settings on my camera actually do. Subsequently, out of the 2000 photos that I take during a holiday, I am usually only happy with 5 photos—if I’m lucky. This year, I want to focus on taking the time to set up a shot instead of being snap-happy and aim for quality over quantity, which hopefully means I’ll have better photos to share with you on the blog!
These are my travel resolutions for the year. I’d love to hear what your travel resolutions are for 2017. Leave a comment below!