I am terrible with new year resolutions. I stopped making them when I was 16, knowing full well I tend to break them faster than I can say “Happy New Year”. So, every new year is now greeted with hope and intentions for my travels – for a change, a new beginning, a renewed belief, a clean slate.
I approached the end of 2014 hoping that I could work on my intentions while on holiday in Bali; thinking it would be all calm and cool (as was the case on my previous trips).
What I didn’t expect was the massive crowd, migraine-worthy traffic, food poisoning and cranky weather. Ah, well. Things don’t always work out the way you want to and you just have to roll with the punches.
And that’s exactly what I did.
Whatever small bits of peace and quiet I wrangled out of that trip, I used it to think about the coming year – my hopes, dreams and intentions.
I’m always faced with an itinerary that needs to be crammed in with activities, sights and must-try local food. There never seems to be enough time to soak it all in, to savour everything. I’ve always wondered how things would be if I just had that little bit more time; to slow things down.
What would I have discovered? What would I have tasted? What adventures would I have had?
I’m convinced that slow travel would answer those questions. And answer them in more ways than one.
I have never lived abroad before. Malaysia has always been my home and I am forever grateful for it. But I have that niggling feeling of wanting to know how other parts of the world work.
I know it would never be perfect or what I expect it to be, but at least I get to experience a life that is totally unexpected, foreign and challenging.
Be Kind To Myself (And To Others)
We all make mistakes when we travel – inadvertently insulting a culture (even when we never intend to), getting the travel dates wrong when making plans, taking the wrong train from the wrong platform, spilling drinks on the passenger next to you (sorry, attractive French man) and a host of other travel mishaps.
Instead of letting it go, I tend to berate myself over the smallest of mistakes. I need to stop. Immediately.
Apologise, learn from it, breathe it all out and let it go. There’s no point in letting it take over my life for the next 10 minutes, let alone the entire day. Also, said French man lived. So there!
Facing My Fears
I fear swimming in the deep end. I fear cycling downhill (well, cycling. Period). I fear skating. I fear riding a motorbike. All fun things, I know. But, somehow, I fear them with every fibre of my being.
Maybe it’s time for the rebellious teen in me (I know she’s in there somewhere) to come out and be fearless, to do the things I’ve always been running away from.
To Explore With Heart
Nothing beats seeing a new place with an open heart. We see things for what they really are, whether good or bad. We experience something uniquely ours, our very own take on a new surrounding.
I think it’s imperative that we approach a new place with a sense of wonder; all senses ignited. Ultimately, isn’t that what travel is all about?
I’m hoping for a great year ahead – one of wanderlust, one of kindness and all aforementioned elements rolled into one. I feel a sense of adventure for places I haven’t been to and I can’t wait to go out there and make those adventures come true.
And I wish the same for you.