Top 12 Travel Resolutions for 2018 (and a sprinkle of 2017 reflections)

Leaving London life and entering a new chapter 

2017 didn't go exactly as planned. I expected to arrive at year end nearly married, a homeowner and possibly a mother. When this vision was turned on its head, I turned to what I know and love best: travel. I quit my job and started a blog (as you do), packed my bags and created a plan for longterm travels. 

So instead of turning to my resolution regulars, good old "be more assertive in the workplace," "eat healthy" and "work out 3x days per week," this year my travel plans are getting all the attention. And I'm SO looking forward to making all of them a reality. Of course the start of my year wouldn't be complete without a bit of self-help sop too, so I've thrown in some personal development goals for good measure. 

So here are my (mostly) travel resolutions for 2018. Hopefully they will help inspire your travel plans, encourage you to try something new or tick another cool thing off your bucket list.

Living it up at The Secret Garden party. My first proper music festival  - and another tick off the bucket list! 

1) At least one solo trip. I've now done countless solo trips (surprisingly given my social nature) and whilst I can't deny they can sometimes be lonely, the highs of travelling alone certainly outweigh the lows. The best part: you do / see / eat / drink whatever you want at all times. No compromises. The meaningful part: you're forced to face (and beat) those pesky demons as well as seriously hit the pause and self-reflection buttons on your life. This autumn, I spent a month travelling solo through South America, and though I found it excruciatingly difficult at the start, I finished - as cheesy as it sounds - feeling like a better friend to myself.  So I've decided I'm going to embrace solo travel every year.  Take some time for myself and use it as an opportunity to visit a place no one else I know is particularly interested in. 

A yukata selfie in Kinosaki, Japan. And my first ever long-term solo trip.

2) Go somewhere in the Caribbean. Growing up in Florida, the Caribbean always seemed too close and too boring. But after having spent nearly 15 years almost everywhere else, I'm keen to explore this part of the world that's closer to home. I'll go anywhere - Cuba, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Bahamas, etc. Any recommendations? 

This is a cheeky (and beautiful) Florida sunset but the Caribbean is next! 

3) Take on another epic trek.  In 2017, I somehow climbed to the very top of Machu Picchu mountain. It was a brutal two hour uphill climb to the top. And worth every second for those surreal views. But in the process I not only worked every single muscle group, I also faced my fear of heights. And standing at the top feeling like I'd conquered it all was simply one of the very best moments of my life. So I want to do it again. This time in Asia. I just haven't work out where yet.  

Thrilled to have made it to the top of Machu Picchu, Peru. But also made sure to take a photo on very solid ground. 

4) Learn to ski. As a Florida girl, I'm definitely a water baby. And, as mentioned per number three, I have an irritating fear of heights that doesn't go well with adventure. But I still want to learn to ski. I 'tried' once on a volunteer uni trip in Michigan but I don't think that counts. I'm talking full-on week of skiing, complete with lessons and lots of rolling down mountains (possibly with tears).  

Log cabins in Iceland. We didn't ski but I'm sure log cabins in ski resorts are just as cute?

5) Explore Southeast Asia. Over the years I've done a few trips to Southeast Asia. But this year I'm planning some longterm travel there and I simply can't wait. There are so many places left for me to discover: all of Northern Vietnam (Hoi An and Hanoi top my list), Laos, Burma and the Philippines. And so much good food to be devoured. 

Surfer ready to hit the waves in Uluwatu, Bali. Can't wait to explore more of Southeast Asia. 

Which segueways nicely into my next resolution:

6) Take a foodie tour and / or  cooking class.  I love a good tour. Walking tours are my favourite way to explore a city and meet fellow travellers. I love to geek out with a good museum audio guide. And don't even get me started on street art tours. Yet somehow I still haven't been on a food tour. But after my friend Simone raved about her epic food tour experience in Vietnam, I've bumped this to the top of my travel bucket list. 

Ramen in Tokyo., Japan.  And in my happy place. 

7) Launch my travel YouTube channel. I've been meaning to do this for months. But wrapping up work, planning my travels and actual travel have shifted out my original start date.  In any case, I've been teaching myself how to video edit and captured some phenomenal content across my 2017 travels. Now I just need to get my head down and launch my channel. 2018 is the year. So watch this space. 

Jumping for joy in the Uyuni Salt Flats, Bolivia 

8) Perfect my travel photography editing skills. I'm obsessed with photography, but I have yet to nail photo editing. That's all going to change this year. Goodbye instagram filters, hello Photoshop! 

Beautiful sunset views in Paris. Taking photos from the top of Centre Pompidou

10) Indulge in a full-on spa weekend. I wouldn't be The Beauty Backpacker if I didn't throw in at least one beauty resolution. And though I've done a massage or spa day here and there throughout my travels, I've never treated myself to a full-on spa weekend, with everything from early morning yoga to healthy eats and hydrotherapy treats. But 2018 is the year, baby! Now I just need to decide where. Who's in?

Girls spa day at Champneys 

11) Spend a long weekend in the British countryside. Despite spending 11 years in London, I feel I've barely explored what the UK has to offer. Top of the list is a long bank holiday weekend in the Lake District, going on long walks in my wellies / rainboots and Barbour jacket, naturally. I just need to buy one. 

The beautiful grounds of the Pig Hotel, Brockenhurst

12) Keep turning lemons into lemonade. Ok, I'll admit it. This one's a little happy clappy. But I do feel rather proud for ending what was an incredibly difficult year on such a travel high. It's been great to take so much time and space for myself and to be reminded that the world is so much bigger than you (and your struggles). Oh. And that our planet is so bloody beautiful. So may the positive vibes and adventures continue in 2018. 

So a champagne cheers to a fabulous new year! Wishing you all plenty of love, laughs and happiness x 

Enjoying the epic views in Salento, Colombia 

Other posts you might love: