Now that 2017 is officially over, it’s time to move ahead and think about what we want to achieve in the new year. Sadly, New Year resolutions seem to have a bad rap. No one ever keeps their New Year resolutions – myself included. So in 2018, I’m going to be realistic and set myself some very achievable New Year resolutions. I’m making my resolutions as specific as possible, and coming up with a detailed plan to achieve each Resolution. Having a clear sense of direction always makes it easier to attain goals.
READ MORE: 2017: My Year in Photos
I’m writing my New Year resolutions here not just to share what’s going on in my life with you, but also to remind myself my goals for the new year. Hope this inspires you to write your own 2018 New Year resolutions too. Have a great 2018 y’all!
My 2018 New Year Resolutions
Get to Know Our New Home, Amsterdam
It’s been just over two months since we moved to Amsterdam and honestly it already feels like home. Amsterdam has completely surprised me; I used to think of it as a touristy, gritty city where people just came to get high. But now I absolutely love living in this city!
Amsterdam is a gorgeous place, even in winter. There are so many green spaces, canals and woods all over the city. In fact we live right next to a big canal and a forested park, giving us the sensation that we’re surrounded by nature. Best of all, Amsterdam has all the perks of a capital city and yet it feels like a big town rather than a city. After living in Granada for more than seven years, I was getting tired of Spain, and this was honestly the fresh start I needed.
How I Plan to Achieve It: We’re making use of all the free time we have to explore different corners of the city. We’ve already been to a few museums and markets, and on a canal cruise during the Amsterdam Lights Festival. I’m also working with iAmsterdam to spend a few days exploring the Old West neighborhood and I will be writing about it here. When spring comes, we plan to explore beyond Amsterdam and see more of the Netherlands.
Build a Community
For years, I traveled so much that I was barely at home and I didn’t have any time or energy to build friendships. After slowing down a bit in recent years, I connected with more like-minded people in Granada and it felt great to be part of a community. Now that we’ve moved to Amsterdam, I really want to find a community here and meet others who are leading the same kind of lifestyle. In a way, Amsterdam is the perfect place to meet other digital nomads as it’s known for its big expat community.
How I Plan to Achieve It: I’ve already connected with several other travel bloggers who live here and I’m meeting lots of international mums who just moved to Amsterdam as well. There’s a big international community here and lots of events taking place, so I’m confident it won’t take me long to find my tribe.
Travel More with My Daughter
We’ve been traveling with our 2.5-year-old daughter since she was one month old and she’s already been to 20 countries on four different continents. But funny enough, I’ve only traveled with her when Alberto’s around — with trips to Singapore as exceptions (my family’s there). I hate to admit it, but the idea of traveling solo with her scares me a little. But in 2018, I’m ready to take on the challenge and I want to start traveling with Kaleya on my own.
How I Plan to Achieve It: I’ve already booked several trips for Kaleya and myself, with a short trip to Ukraine in March and then a trans-Atlantic cruise from the Caribbean to Europe in April. The three of us are also going on a ski trip to Slovakia in January, safari in Lesotho and Swaziland for June, and a train-hopping jaunt to Japan in September.
Visit 10 Countries that I’ve Never Been
Some of you probably know that I’m on a mission to visit every country in the world. I’m not in a rush though and prefer to explore new countries at a comfortable pace rather than whisking through them. My current country count is 120 (out of 193 UN nations) and it’ll probably take me 7 or 8 years to get there. I plan to travel to 10 new countries in 2018, and already have booked trips to 8 of them.
How I Plan to Achieve It: This should be easy to achieve as I’ve already planned trips to 8 new countries: Slovakia, Ukraine, Guadaloupe, Barbados, St Lucia, Yemen, Tajikistan and Afghanistan. A few other countries that I really hope to visit in 2018 are Chile, Costa Rica, Lesotho and Swaziland.
Clean up this Blog
After two years of hard work and struggle, we finally relaunched my site with its new design in November! My best friend Bing absolutely saved my life by taking over the project (from useless designers I hired previously) and creating a fantastic design that I always dreamt of. The site not only looks much better, but it’s also easier to navigate, and has a cleaner and simpler structure.
But there’s still a lot of work I need to do on the back end: optimising my content, updating old stuff, removing useless content and making my content more robust. I’ve been blogging for over nine years, so there’s a lot of old content that I need to update and refine. It’s also been on my to-do list for years and it feels amazing to finally work on it.
How I Plan to Achieve It: I’ve already spent the past two months cleaning up my content, reducing 1,200 blog posts to 700. The next step I need to take is to go through every blog post and fine-tune the content. It’s going to take me a few more months to finish the project, but I just need to stay motivated and keep grinding.
Run More Tours
They say the key to a blogger’s success is finding what readers want and giving it to them. And I feel like I finally found that key when I launched WildJunket Tours. For the first time, I’m getting tons of emails and messages from you guys, I’m so thrilled to know that you actually want to travel with me!
It took me years to pluck up the courage to launch my tours, as I don’t always enjoy being in the limelight. But my first tour was so incredibly fun and meaningful that I really hope to run more tours in 2018. I ran into quite some obstacles with a few of my tours in 2017, having had to cancel a few tours because of political issues and other unforeseen circumstances. But it’s all part of the learning process and I’m not going to let that stop me.
How I Plan to Achieve It: In May 2018, I’m hosting a new Socotra tour in conjunction with an adventure tour operator. It’s a rare opportunity as Socotra is notoriously difficult to get to, so I’m really looking forward to this trip. I’ll also be launching a new tour to Tajikistan and Afghanistan for July 2018 and a few more for the rest of the year. Hope you can join me on these adventures!
Writing 2 More Books
It’s been three years since I wrote my first book, ‘The Adventure Traveler’s Handbook’, and it’s about time I publish another book. I’m currently putting together a collection of short travel stories from various parts of the world. The draft should be done real soon and I’m going to pitch it to a publication house or self-publish it on Amazon.
Another book that I’ve been working on is a guidebook for Iran, a country that I really love. I have a special interest in countries that are fascinating and less visited— and I believe many of you share that interest too. It’s not easy to find detailed guides to obscure places like North Korea or Lebanon (not even Lonely Planet publish them), so I’m hoping to help those who are planning to visit these places with this guidebook series.
How I Plan to Achieve It: I should be publishing my collection of short stories very soon, and I aim to finish the first draft of my Iran guidebook in March 2018. Then I’ll start working on the next title to my guidebook series and hopefully be able to self publish that by the end of 2018.
What are your New Year Resolutions?
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