New Years resolutions always follow the same path and travel always takes one of the traditional top spots. Everyone makes the same new years resolutions to travel the world more, but are they a waste of time? Are they better off stopping dreaming and just start doing?
It’s getting to that time of year again. Half way through January, when the frivolities and excesses of the festive season are long forgotten and even the most earnest of resolutions are starting to join them on the scrap heap as people return to their mundane lives, once again disappointed that they never made that step to travel more, lose that weight, give up that vice or be a better person.
New Years Resolutions Are A Waste Of Time.
All those promises you make for yourself to finally make this the year you take your gap year or fulfill that ambition to get out of your rut and travel are too easy to break once you get back to the 9 to 5. They are dismissed as mere fantasy when that alarm clock goes off on the Monday morning and the crappy commute and cold weather hit you round the face with a sharp dose of reality.
These resolutions are often made in earnest of course, promised on a festive high when you aren’t thinking straight, but they are often made on a whim without any real plan or true motivation to make them happen. More often than not that is exactly why they don’t last the distance. There is no substance behind those bold declarations, no real plan of action. They are just too damn easy to forget and break.
Change Your Whole Outlook Instead.
Instead of making a resolution to do one thing, one time only, why not simply forge a life for yourself that you don’t want or need to escape from? Why not make practical choices that make you into the person you want to be, doing the things you want to do, all of the time?
If you are dreaming of a round the world adventure, you don’t need to make a resolution to escape your life and go on a single trip, you need to make travel a natural and enduring part of your life!
As George Bernard Shaw said, life is about creating yourself and he was so right. Only you can make yourself the person you want to be, only you can create for yourself the life you want to live, and what better way to do that than travel?
Now don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with wishing. There is nothing at all wrong with a healthy dose of daydreaming. Hell, I’m the king of daydreaming, I even have old school reports to prove it! As well as the scar on the top of my head where my old English teacher threw a hard dictionary at my head for staring out of the window the entire lesson!
‘If only I did this I’d be happier’, ‘if only I went there and did that my life would be so much better’. If only, if only, if only. There isn’t anything wrong with that. To an extent. It is when people don’t take any steps to make that dream a reality when things go wrong.
World travel is about more than finding yourself, it is about creating yourself.
Daydreaming is often just that. A daydream, a fantasy. Just like all those New Years resolutions. And none of them will ever become a reality if you don’t take those practical steps to make them a reality. Wishes and daydreams are a good way to set your course in the direction you want, but to follow that map you have to actually get your backside onto that ship and set sail!
Only You Can Make That Choice.
If you dream of travelling the world, if you have made New Year resolutions to take your own gap year then what positive steps are you actually taking to make that a reality?
What are you doing to turn those daydreams and resolutions into an actual full on life changing experience? If you want to become a better, fitter, stronger, more rounded, more educated and generally more awesome person, then independent world travel is one of the best ways to do that, trust me! You can have it all if you want it enough! But what are you actually doing about it? Reading this website and getting one of my books are an excellent start of course, so at least you know you are on the right track! But what else are you doing?
Do something today that your future self will thank you for.
Have you started saving? Have you made a rough itinerary? Have you booked that ticket?
Take control of your life. You are the only one who can steer your own destiny down the path you want it to go down. You are the only one who can invent your own future, for good or bad!
You Have The Power. Use It!
Just imagine your future self, fifty or so years down the line after working your backside off every single day in a job you couldn’t care less about. Imagine yourself sat there staring at the walls in that nursing home when the government has stolen your house and savings you worked all those years for to pay for the care they say you need. Just imagine looking out of that window, realising you are near the end and wishing you had done more, seen more, travelled more.
Depressing thought, isn’t it? Life really is that short. You really don’t have as long as you think you do. Trust me on that, I am a nurse and I have seen far too many lives cut short and far too many lives remain unfulfilled. I have seen far too many people say at the end, ‘I wish I had‘.
Well instead of letting that depress you, ask yourself what are you doing today, this very moment, that your future self will thank you for?
What steps are you taking to make sure your future self will be as healthy, as happy as they can be? Are you taking concrete steps to plan your trip, buy your plane ticket and see more of the world?
If you are, then that is outstanding soldier! You don’t need those ridiculous resolutions, you are already starting to live the life you want to live! You are already steering yourself down the path that you want to go down and you are a damn superhero for it! No amount of New Year’s resolutions will replace that.
And if you aren’t yet, well don’t worry. You know what the next step is.
You Can Do It!
Just look at me. If I can follow my dreams of travel and still manage to follow all of my other dreams too, then anyone can! And that includes you.
I can provide you with all the logistical advice and practical information you need for travelling the world on your own terms, but only you have the power to take that step and make your dreams a reality!
So scrap those New Years resolutions and take some positive steps to improve your own life. Make an actual plan to get out there and travel more. Be the change you want to see.
Did you enjoy this article? Have you had any low points during your own adventures? I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below or on Facebook or Twitter, and please feel free to share it with any or all of the social media buttons. If you want to get more great backpacking tips, advice and inspiration, please subscribe to updates via email in the box to your right.