My Travel Intentions for 2018

I read somewhere recently that one should set intentions, rather than make resolutions for the beginning of a new year. I don’t know that I’ve ever actually held onto a resolution long enough to see an impact in my daily life, so I’ll get on board with setting intentions for 2018. These won’t be about my health or finances, though those will likely come too. These will be travel- and human-related. Better to write them down, if they’re actually going to happen, right?! Hopefully I’ll come back to these, and update my progress, for my own sake!

Wishing you and yours a happy and healthy 2018!

  1. Take advantage of at least five new cultural/historical experiences right here at home. Thinking about starting with the Somali Museum of Minnesota, the Mill City Museum (which I still can’t believe I’ve never been to!), and the top of the Foshay Tower.
  2. Make concrete plans to get to South America. Find a travel partner for Machu Picchu, find a company for my Trail trek, and start saving! Doing responsible, adult things means less disposable income, but this particular site seems time-sensitive, as travel on the Inca Trail is being limited by the Peruvian government.
  3. Be more open to new people when I travel. It’ll take work to make this happen, especially when I eat, as I often eat alone, but this also applies generally. I usually have my RBF on in full-force when I’m in situations that could turn precarious, but especially as the image of Americans around the world is changing, I will try to smile more often, and experience things that will find me in communion with other travelers I can learn from.
  4. Be more open to spending money when I travel. I’ve been really conscious about spending money on experiences, rather than souvenirs, but I’m also still a product of my mother (who I’m convinced actually grew up during the Depression). I think I often miss out on cultural touchstones in an effort to be frugal. That €4 to sit and sip espresso at a cafe in Roma that I can never justify, the Czech Pilsner at dinner overlooking the Charles Bridge that I hesitate in ordering, the three or four meals it takes trying to find the best schnitzel in Vienna. None of those are necessary, but everyone needs to eat, and all of those choices enhance experiences. I need to remember that. And dang it, when you want an Aperol spritz in Piazza del Popolo with people you haven’t seen in years, spend the €11!
  5. Plan my 2018 to include at least one road trip and at least three new cities.
  6. Connect with at least five current and former students about study abroad options at the college of their choice.
  7. Write an actual letter once a month to someone I’ve lost touch with, but want to keep in my life.
  8. Actually write more here too–this blog is largely self-serving, but if I can convince even one person of the importance of travel (or reinforce what they already know!), it’ll be worth it! Once a month might be tricky in the doldrums of early spring, but it’s a pretty minor commitment to make.
  9. Help at least two people who have the desire to travel (but lack the practical planning tools) to take their first trip, domestic or international.
  10. Be the best ambassador I can be for everything I represent. Minnesotans, Americans, teachers, women, sports fans, politically-engaged individuals, travelers, etc. Life today is challenging enough; we should all try to do the best we can to represent ourselves to the world with integrity, virtue, and value.

That sounds like a pretty valuable way to bring in 2018. Hopefully, I’ll update this list as the year goes on, but until then, hope we’ll all find fulfillment and challenge in 2018. It’s gotta be better than 2017, right?!

MC Lean

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