New Year’s Travel Resolutions

I discovered my name on a tree in Caye Caulker, Belize.

One of my missions on this blog is to inspire people to travel, and I think that’s fairly easy to achieve no matter what your finances. Here are some easy New Year’s travel resolutions to make.

1.     Go some place you’ve never been

It can be tough to jump into the unknown, but it’s completely worth it. If you’ve always wanted to go to Asia, there shouldn’t be anything stopping you. Research the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Arc de Triomphe for your dream vacation in Paris. Look for the good deals for your own private getaway (complete with a hammock) on one of Belize’s many cayes. Or visit your friend who moved away to San Francisco and spend time together closing down the bars in the Mission District. And if you don’t know anybody in your dream spot, that shouldn’t stop you. You have resources like Couchsurfing to not only give you free accommodation, but also a new friend.

2.     Use that foreign language you learned in school

My biggest regret in college is that I never studied abroad. Even more so, I’m disappointed that I didn’t keep up with the French or Japanese that I learned. I’ve found myself speaking these languages several times in Central America. So, put that Spanish you took in high school to use. You don’t even need to travel to do this. Find the Spanish-speaking neighborhood in your community and just introduce yourself. Most people are receptive that you’re making an attempt to use the language. You can also use a Web site called that links you with native speakers in languages all over the world, even Esperanto.

I shot one of the most beautiful sunsets of my life in El Remate, Guatemala. I was also speaking in French and Spanish here.

3.     Dust off those skis, surfboards, scuba diving tanks, etc.

If you know how to scuba dive, surf, ski or snowboard, go out and do it. It’s such a waste of time to have trained for a talent and not use it. Take a trip to the mountains in Colorado or Quebec, or escape the cold and go diving in Honduras. It’s among the cheapest places in the world to dive. And if you’ve never tried a board or extreme sport, do it. Until October, I had never skateboarded in my life. I may have stopped several times during the night because I chickened out, but by the end, I was thinking how great it was to fly down the parking garage. That was before I hit the speed bump, fell on my butt and tore open my hand. Despite the pain, I still wouldn’t trade the experience for anything.

Whatever your resolution, stop saying “I can’t,” and start saying “I can.” Have a fantastic 2013!

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