For 2016 as with every other year, I have vowed to make some Travel resolutions which I would like to share with you. I hope that some of my resolutions will inspire you to make some changes in the way you travel too.
1. This year, I want to support more local communities when I travel.
Many people take the opportunity to travel for granted. Sure, travel can be a reward for hard work and you want to splurge a little, but what about those who have less than you? What about those regions that you visit that are still living a traditional life like it was 500 years ago? Don’t you want to help sustain and maintain that culture and lifestyle? Travelling with companies who work with local ground operators is one of many ways to keep your tourism dollars within local communities. This year, I will travel only with companies who use local tour operators.
2. This year, I want to seek a deeper meaning from my travels.
Sure, we all travel for different reasons, but the satisfying feeling of giving back or even seeking a deeper understanding of other cultures, religions and lifestyles is far more rewarding than sipping the most expensive cocktail in the worlds most lavish bar. This year, I will travel to understand the world more.
3. This year, I want to travel outside my comfort zone.
We are all culprits of it – sticking to comfortable and familiar ways. I urge you to travel outside your comfort zone, even if it’s only a little – it might be you take local transport from an airport instead of a pre organised chauffer driven car. I don’t expect everyone to go hiking in the K2 Mountains of Pakistan using a compass for guidance, but just alter your style of travel slightly – you will be amazed at how eye opening and exciting it can make things! This year I will travel on more local transport and spend more time living with locals in their homes.
4. This year, I want to visit at least 3 countries I have never been to before.
Sounds pretty straight forward and simple, but many travellers, like many humans are creatures of habit. Returning to the same travel spots year on year. Many people also don’t know that you can get amazing airfare combinations allowing you to visit multiple countries on one trip. Did you know you can get an airfare in the South Pacific that allows you to travel through Fiji, Vanuatu and the Solomon Islands? Start ticking more places of your list! This year I want to visit Peru, Cuba and Mexico.
5. This year, I want to make that bucket list trip a bit more of a reality.
We all have those countries on our list that we want to get to one day like Antarctica or for me, a 6 month trip through West Africa. There is always excuses of I can’t afford it at the moment, I don’t have enough annual leave. Instead of making excuses, start making it happen. Open a separate bank account for that once-in-a-lifetime trip and start filtering money into it each pay day. It may only be $100 a month, but it’s a start and will bring it to life sooner! This year I will start saving for my West African overland dream trip.
6. This year, I want to explore my own country more.
We often forget the beauty that is right at in our backyard. We also often think that travel within our country is expensive compared to heading overseas. While that may be true in some cases, there are plenty of amazing experiences you can have at a fraction of the cost. Cabins in National Parks are often only $30 a night in low season, camping, even less! Research and look for cool things to do that aren’t too far from home – like waterfalls you can swim in, festivals you can attend or secluded beaches you can hike to. This year I will explore my own country more.
7. This year, I want to remember that travel is all about the people who join you on the journey and the people you meet along the way.
I love to travel, and it’s not because I go to amazing destinations, continuously learn about our amazing planet and experience unusual encounters and adventures, yes, that’s all great and wonderful, but it’s also because of the people I meet on my travels who come on the journey with me. To me travel is about the memories we make throughout our entire travel journey. This year I will travel more with others and embrace the opportunity to share my encounters with other travellers.
8. Finally, this year, I want to become a better me.
You may not think this last resolution has much to do about travel, but you’d be wrong. It has everything to do with travel. If I want to be more supportive of local communities and economies, seek a deeper meaning from my travel, travel outside my comfort zone, explore new styles of travel and destinations and have more fulfilling and immersive travel experiences, it’s going to require a bit of hard work and effort from my end.
What are your travel resolutions for 2016?
This category of tours involves light trekking, walking, cycling, rafting or kayaking for a few hours each day with a small amount of inclines and declines. You will require a reasonable level of fitness and good health to participate. It is important to note that due to the nature of some of our trips, they may take place in remote areas (with basic facilities) and can involve long travelling days on various modes of transport.
Suggested preparation : At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake aerobic exercise (this may include jogging, cycling or fast walking) for 30 minutes, three times a week. It is also advised to walk on variable terrain and in variable weather conditions. For a cycling adventure, road cycling twice a week is recommended and for adventures which involve paddling and kayaking, it is important to gain confidence and rhythm rather than speed prior to departure.
This category of tours involve trekking, kayaking and cycling for period of 6 to 8 hours a day at a fairly consistent pace. Ideal for people looking to slightly increase the heart rate. For our moderately rated tours, you must have a good level of fitness and also be in good health. It is also important to be prepared for variable weather conditions. Altitude may also come into play. This category of tours may involve visiting remote areas where facilities can be quite basic. Accommodation may also involve camping, homestays or basic accommodation where facilities may not be considered of western standards. To enjoy this style of travel, it is suggested for travellers to have a reasonable level of fitness and health, a positive attitude, as well as a fairly active lifestyle. An open mind is also required.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 months prior to departure, it is recommended that you undertake 45mins – 1 hour of aerobic exercise, three to four times a week. Some potential exercises that could be beneficial include hill walking with a backpack on over variable terrain and weather conditions, as well as running and cycling dependent on the activity you plan on undertaking.
This category of tours involves trekking, kayaking, cycling or other adventure activities in remote areas for up to 8 to 10 hours a day. It is important to note that with the remoteness of some regions comes a variety of other challenges such as variable weather conditions, accommodation as well as facilities. You must have an excellent level of fitness and good health to be able to partake in this category of tour. You must have confidence in your own ability and be in good physical condition. Includes extended periods of endurance.
Suggested preparation: At least 3 to 4 months of strenuous exercise, four times a week. When preparing for treks it would be beneficial to participate in hill walks with a weighted day pack (approximately 5-8 kg) once a week for aerobic fitness and strengthening of leg muscles. It is also important to do this on variable terrain to prepare for challenging adventures. When preparing for cycling adventures, regular bike riding (at least 4 to 5 times a week for 1-4 hours is essential). It is also important to cycle on uneven surfaces or even participate in other aerobic exercises such as running or swimming to build up strength and stamina. Altitude may also be a factor in these tours.
This category of tour often involves extreme trekking, cycling or other extreme adventure activities. It is important to expect remote and poorly defined tracks and to be prepared for variable weather conditions for 10 to 12 hours per day (may sometimes be more depending on weather and altitude). These adventures are suitable for travellers who have prior experience in strenuous travel and activities, are extremely fit and have excellent health. It is also important to note that some of the terrain on these adventures will involve trekking in snow, at high attitude levels and may require technical equipment.
Suggested preparation: It is important to note that physical fitness should be an ongoing activity, commencing around 5-6 months prior to departure, or even before if you have no prior fitness. Exercise should focus on building maximum endurance and stamina. Four to five hard sessions of 40-60 mins per week should be completed and can include exercises such as going to the gym, running, swimming or cycling to focus on building aerobic stamina. It could also be beneficial to prepare by hiking on rough terrain, in extreme weather conditions or partake in altitude training.