After a really tough year back in 2012, I started making goals at the beginning of each January for the year ahead. Each month, I meet up with a friend, and we look at our goals and see what we’ve achieved, what is ongoing, and what is still left to work on.
I have spent the last few days deciding what I want to get out of 2017, looking at my priorities and planning the next 12 months.
Of course, sometimes throughout the year, my priorities change. When I started doing this, one of my primary goals was to get six-pack abs, whereas now I couldn’t care less how my belly looks, as long as I am active, healthy and leading a balanced lifestyle.
Travel has been integral in this year’s list of goals. I have a few trips already booked, but also have some on my radar that I will strive to make happen in 2017.
So here is what I am aiming for in the coming year:
- In 3 weeks, I’m heading into a mystery location in the Cotswolds for some wild camping and hiking. I found this small group trip on the website meetup.com. The guy running it has done countless expeditions worldwide, and has now started his own company giving people like me a taste of adventure. I’m looking forward to braving the British winter with a night under canvas, and getting more confident with my navigation skills.
- For a weekend in February, I’ll be exploring the city of Porto which I have heard only good things about. It’s supposed to be a great place to wander around and soak up the vibes, and it’s likely I’ll be sampling the local port while I’m there. I’m flying out after work on a Friday and back on the Sunday night, so no need to use annual leave.
- March will bring the biggest trip of the year with 2 weeks in Israel. The biggest travel blogging conference in the world, TBEX, is being held in Jerusalem. Running alongside the conference are opportunities to get the most out of the city, with different tours and activities, and I will also be exploring the Palestinian territories. After the event, I’ll be heading down into the Negev Desert, then up north to the nature filled areas that are supposed to be great for hiking, then finishing in Tel Aviv. I’m going to try to get a day trip in to the Dead Sea too at some point.
- Traverse 17, another travel blogging conference, is taking place in London in April. I attended in Cardiff last year and learned so much. There are classes and workshops, networking opportunities, freebies and a chance to explore the city. I think I’ll get even more out of it this year with the additional knowledge I have gained. Last year I knew nothing about Twitter and had no idea what SEO meant, but I’m definitely more clued up to the blogging world now.
- Italy is somewhere that has truly captivated my heart, and in May I’ll be heading to Milan with my Dad. I know the city is quite different from other Italian hotspots, with more of a business focus, but I think it will be fascinating. We are doing a trip out to Lake Como too, which looks beautiful.
- So this one is only half booked, but in September I have a one way flight from Helsinki to London. I cancelled my new year’s trip to Finland and had a limited timeframe to change my flight. I picked a random date in the distant future, and I’ll figure the rest out later. If I stay in Helsinki rather than venturing further away, I’d like to try and fit in a trip to Tallinn as it’s only a boat ride away.
- I have another trip with my Dad planned in October, this time to Scotland. We’re flying up to Inverness and staying in Fort Augustus, near Loch Ness. The surroundings look absolutely breath-taking.
These are my other travel goals for the year; (I realise I probably can’t do all of them, but it’s nice to list my priorities to pick and choose from):
- A long weekend away with my Mum is on the cards and we are looking at Brussels and Bruges. I was actually born in Brussels so feel a kind of connection with it, even though we moved away when I was a baby. I have been seeing Bruges a lot on people’s Instagram feeds recently and it would be lovely to see in person.
- In 2017, I really want to get to know my own country better, and there are a few UK destinations that are up on my bucket list. Big priorities are the Lake District, Dartmoor, Gower Peninsula in Wales (this one is looking pretty likely as my school friends and I are all turning 30 this year and want to rent a cottage there to celebrate), Cornwall, Herefordshire and Bristol. There will, of course, be a lot of long walks involved.
- I would like to do more camping and glamping this year. I love sleeping outdoors, whether that is in luxury or more rustic, so plan to take my tent and get out of London, or even book a treehouse every now and then.
- It has been a few years since I attended the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and I’m going to go back and get lost in the wonderful world of theatre.
- Another festival I want to attend is Into the Wild – a drink and drug-free event with music, poetry and workshops ranging from yoga to fire building to circus skills.
- Montenegro is somewhere I’d really like to visit this year, as there are plenty of opportunities for adventures outdoors.
- I am hoping to go to Salzburg – the appeal being the proximity of the mountains to the city itself.
- As one of my goals, I wrote down that I want to prioritise quality of travel over quantity. However, the list I have just written begs to differ. There are so many trips I want to do, but if I spend every single weekend away from home, I’m not going to be able to afford to enjoy them fully. I don’t anticipate being able to achieve all of these, but, my God, am I going to try.
This is, as you know, a travel blog, but just for fun, I’ll also share my non-travel related goals for 2017. It’s all very well going on adventures all the time, but it’s also important to have a life at home that is wonderful too. So here they are:
- Read at least 1 fiction book a month
- Go boxing once a week.
- Do yoga once a week
- Do 1 other workout a week
- Climb at least twice a month, more if I have the money
- Study Spanish for 20 minutes a day
- Take a DIY course
- Go to the theatre once a month
- Try surfing
- Blog weekly and stick to a schedule
- Cut down on eating out and going to the pub
- Host more dinner parties
- Live more mindfully
- Stop using technology an hour before bed
- Try a new recipe every week
- Do more walking
- Put money into an ISA each month
- Stick to my budget
- Stop apologising so much
- Focus on being more environmentally friendly
- Get involved in my local community
- Learn to drive
- Apply for UK citizenship
- Write letters and send them by post
- Get up early and stick to a morning routine
- Listen to a new music artist each month
- Do a craft project
- Remove filler words from my speech (I say ‘um’ and ‘like’ all the time and I hate it!)
- Watch a TED talk every week
- Speak up when someone is sexist/racist/homophobic etc.
- Speak up more at work and voice my opinions
- Raise more money at work than I did last year
- At work, volunteer when public speaking opportunities come up
- Start therapy again
So this is what my year is going to look like. It’s a lot to focus on, but I like a challenge!
Happy new year to all, and please follow my Instagram and Twitter, both @SeannasWorld.