I'll put it on my list: 12 Travel Goals for 2012
A couple of my favourite craft and lifestyle blogs do these special birthday lists of goals for the coming year like "28 before 29" etc. I am fast approaching my 30th birthday and though I am inspired by the concept, the thought of listing 30 things to then do before my 31st birthday presents just too many negatives when I already know I will spend at least half the year paralysed by the shock of being "old". (I am joking. I am actually looking forward to embracing a new decade, one where my new love of crochet, green tea and reading non-fiction, will finally suit my mature years.)
Instead here are my 12 Travel Goals for 2012 , a year I have big hopes and dreams for. I have tried to keep the goals realistic and attainable. In twelve months time I hope to be writing a blog post about how I have achieved all of these things, or at least how I gave them my best shot.
Maybe this one is cheating as I've been planning it as part of this trip but it's a valid goal for this year and one that I could tick of as soon as next month. I am currently researching what to do and where to go in a relatively short space of time (two weeks) and the fact that I'll be doing it with one of my best friends from home will make the trip totally "sweet as".
This also may happen sooner rather than later as NewMan may have to return to Southeast Asia, but in my opinion it is already overdue. I have travelled alone with work so am no stranger to days and nights with only myself for company, however, there was always the comfort of the company credit card and the fact I could expense my phone and internet bills. I am equally scared and inspired by the idea of making my own way in an unknown territory for a week or so. It is a challenge that I have set myself and I genuinely have no idea how I will feel about it before, after and during.
This is a biggie. This will be hard work to complete. Of all the goals I have listed I think this will be the hardest to complete, or rather the easiest to not keep up with as it requires thought, effort and commitment on a daily basis. Well, it's about time I was good for something so I'm going to give it ago and if there's anything out there that I want to do every day (apart from annoying NewMan and drinking tea) it's photography. So here is my 365 for 365 profile, which I'll also feed into my Tumblr and my Flickr so I hope you'll check in with it every now and again. If you also are doing a 365 for 365 or something similar let me know so I can stalk it.
Since we left the UK in October I have been keeping a travel diary documenting where we stayed, what we did, what we saw and how good or bad it was. I have made some brilliant trips in the past but alas have no recollection of specifics like the names of restaurants, hotels, museums and sights I enjoyed so this is my way to ensure I don't forget these details that I can then pass on to others.
Five NewMan and I are both keen snowboarders; it's actually how we met. Despite lapping up every inch of the sun's beams as we dodged the UK winter in Southeast Asia and now in Oz, we are both missing the snow and our boards and if we're honest, we always planned to make it back to Europe in time for the end of the season so fingers crossed that our plans and budget allow this.
How I have missed my lady friends. Until two years ago my trusty band of merry women were my travel companions. Despite NewMan being my favourite travel teammate possibly ever, I do enjoy the different dynamic that female company brings to a trip; magazines, deep and meaningful conversations, fizzy cocktails. Yes, indeed, even if it is to Bristol again a girlie getaway is a must for 2012.
Seven I've made no secret previously in the past about my love of writing; it is one of the reasons I started blogging back in 2009. Until then writing was always a part-time lover, done in secret, the rewards as plentiful as the frustrations while my ambition was only half satisfied. As I left my full-time job to go travelling, I also committed a bigger part of me to writing for a living as I now balance a number of different "jobs" to pay the bills as we travel. Though this means I write words that come more from my head than my heart, I have no complaints. I am still in that wide-eyed giddy phase where I cannot believe that someone will give me pennies for my prose. As for those words from my heart, as well as writing and re-writing short stories I am also tentatively planning a taller one. Needless to say I take great pleasure in this blog and as a result have started to dreaily entertain the idea of focusing my literary ambitions on travel writing. In the words of The Beach Boys, wouldn't it be nice?
Eight NewMan has never been further north than Birmingham and I, ashamedly, have never visited Scotland or Northern Ireland. I'm not saying that these trips need to be made this year but this demonstrates how much more scope there is for travel in your own backgarden and I can't wait to take my newfound enthusiasm and energy for travel to the UK.
Ah yes, that famous travel goal that everyone lists; learn to crochet. Maybe not, but I recently did start learning to crochet as a productive way to kill those hours on long haul flights or during endless waits at airports. Already I know it's successful as a time waster killer, but I would like to actually have something to show for my labours, rather than line after line of inconsistent stitch.
As I pondered on my 2012 goals I was sitting poolside in NewMan's Mum's back yard, drinking her tea and eating her delicious fruit and yoghurt combos. It was easy to totally forget that normally there is literally a world of distance between us. However, with her love for travel equalling ours I think it unreasonable not to hope a meet up doesn't take place. It may take a bit of organisation and inevitably a lot of money, but I think NewMan and I are committed to make it happen.
As I admitted just before Christmas I am missing my family and even though I could happily keep on travelling for the longest time, I am looking forward to seeing them. I also think that going home is an important and essentially definitive part of travel. This may mean you deduct traveller status points from me but I now know I will never be a traveller who loses their way home.
Twelve I referred to this in my post for NewMan's birthday, but it looks increasingly unlikely that he and I will return to London and to the lives we were living before. Instead I think we will continue to explore this life less ordinary we appear to have embarked on and we will do so by living in another country. We've already got a strong idea of where we'd like this to be and there are some equally as appealing back-up options too. We talk about these plans nearly every day with hope in our eyes and butterflies in our belly. Less than a year ago I would have dismissed these kind of conversations as "impossible" or "pie in the sky" and yet a little planning, a lot of saving and a big fat talking to from NewMan has opened up my mind and it would seem my future.
If you would like to also write 12 Goals for 2012 (not just travel) please do share them with me or in the comments below and I will update this blog post with links to your lists. We can then tick off each goal on our list together or commiserate those that we didn't score.
Frances M. Thompson
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