When I first decided to write a “Resolutions” column for the New Year I hopped on line to see if a similar article had been previously published. Dozens of pieces populated my screen indicating that the time worn idea might have or should have run its course. Still, the theme is appropriate. However, what I gleaned from my research is that all of the articles are self-centric. Each piece reflected the authors’ own goals for themselves. I’m feeling a bit brazen and have decided to craft resolutions for everyone else, whether or not anyone requested that I do so. Here, I boldly offer my suggestions for truly making changes in your travel life.
Baggage – a classic double entendre. For purpose of clarification, I am referring to luggage and not your personal misgivings about an ‘interesting” past. Travel is as trendy as fashion in clothing. Remember saddle shoes and poodle skirts from the 50’s and bell bottom pants from the 60’s? If you’re still wearing the big shoulder pads from the 80’s you’re probably still carrying your baggage when you travel. I’ll jump past the early 2000’s with the pull behind you Roll-a-boards and suggest you consider investing in the latest in travel trends; luggage with spinning wheels. The Spinners will make the porter-less trip through the airport a breeze as your 360 degree turning wheels allow you to glide effortlessly to your departure gate.
If you’re ready to live life on the edge, how about going cold turkey? I’m suggesting ditching the check in lines and going straight hard-line carry on. You’d be surprised with how far a little bit will take you. The most experienced travelers have baggage down to an art form. Poetry in packing. No lost luggage and no waiting at the carousels watching everyone else’s prized possessions spinning around and around.
Take the Path Less Travelled – Once you’ve upgraded your luggage you might consider downgrading your vacation. Perhaps it’s time to experience something other than a mega cruise ship or an all-inclusive resort. My next suggestion to travelers everywhere is to STOP doing what everybody else is doing. Dare to be different. The most requested vacation these days is often aboard a 5000 passenger cruise ship with all the bells and whistles that include rock climbing walls and Ice Bars. I’ll assume that everyone is now familiar with rock climbing walls and no explanation is needed. The Ice Bar is a newer and unique concept where you pay to go to a warm weather destination and then don a faux fur coat to drink cold alcoholic beverages in a room chilled to 32 degrees. The irony doesn’t escape me, nor hopefully you. The second most requested vacation is an all-inclusive resort. This is a land based vacation where your accommodations and all of your entertainment, meals and beverages are part of your package cost. The services are provided by, and experienced at, the host hotel. I too would admit to enjoying all-inclusive resorts. They’re easy. You can continuously indulge in food, drink and activities without the worry of a post vacation bill coming due. In return for that bounty you trade the opportunity to meet the locals. You deny yourself the opportunity to find a gem of an authentic restaurant with truly incredible food. Sure, you are welcome to leave the resort for a day to seek off site experiences, but most don’t. That’s a shame because you never get to know the soul of a destination.
“Exploration is Really the Essence of the Human Spirit” – Not everyone has the opportunity to go to the moon like Frank Borman, the author of this quote. Astronaut Borman was the Commander of Apollo 8 on the first mission to fly around the moon. He was willing to take himself out of his comfort zone to seek a new horizon and have an out of this world experience. He literally changed his perspective on his daily life and how he viewed “home”. I suggest you do the same. Take yourself out of your comfort zone, make yourself nervous, challenge yourself and take the path less travelled. Really! The numbers are climbing for the amount of travelers who strike out solo. If the thought of wandering the back roads of Portugal searching for wineries on your own makes you really uncomfortable ask a friend to join you. What’s that? You say that you have no friends willing to accompany you? Join a tour. Today’s tours come in many different flavors and vary in flexibility. The latest trend in travel allows you to join like-minded travelers without having to share a room with someone you met 3 hours earlier. Travel experiences can be crafted to allow you the comfort and companionship of travelling as part of a small group for just a portion of your journey. You then have the opportunity to venture solo for a bit and either rejoin your tour in progress or become a member of a different tour. The options are almost limitless. You are bound only by your imagination and okay, perhaps your wallet. Wishing you a new year filled with marvelous journies. “Where ever you go, go with all your heart.”- Confucius