Each year, my New Year’s resolutions are mainly travel related (unsurprising, given where I work). Here are my top 10 travel resolutions for 2013.
My number one resolution every year.
You would think that being a travel journalist means that you have some sort of uber packing skills. Alas, I end up taking a bag the size of Smart Car on just about every trip I do (including two-day weekend breaks). This year I plan to learn how to pack only three outfits for any destination (apparently this can be done).
I’m planning to go a lot greener in 2013 by taking public transport on trips where possible, and ditching budget flights in favour of train travel. I also want to spend more time investigating places I stay at so that I choose establishments that have some sort of real environmental or community commitment (not a token ‘green’ effort).
Last year I got to see gorillas in Rwanda and travel around India – two big bucket list trips! This year I’d love to see the wildlife migration in the Serengeti, check out the Northern Lights, go to Antarctica, paddle down the Okavango Delta, drive from Cape Town to Cairo and go to Burning Man. The only way I’d be able to do all of this is win the lottery and quit my job (worth dreaming about though!).
I always get the best travel stories when I stumble off the mainstream route. Finding ‘undiscovered’ special spots is actually harder to do that it may seem, given that a billion people travelled in 2012 (and thus pretty much went everywhere that’s cool).
I did a crowd-sourced trip to Mauritius in 2012 and found so much more than I would have using a guidebook. I asked for suggestions on social media and recommendations through friends of friends and ended up finding some awesome spots – from hole-in-the-wall restaurants to the best street food vendors.
In aid of helping my achievement of resolution number one, I’m going to get into more budget-friendly ways of travelling (after being inspired by this blog post on eight ways to travel the world for free).
I’ve signed up to Couchsurfing, the social networking site that connects people around the world (over 3 million at this point) with free couch stays but I haven’t yet used it. 2013 will be my year of delving into the wonderful world of sleeping on strangers’ couches!
Travelling doesn’t have to be about taking long expensive holidays. In 2013 I’m going to try and fit as many mini-breaks as possible – weekends away near Cape Town, camping trips, overnight hikes and mountain cottage escapes.
For some crazy (unknown) reason, I didn’t spend any time in the bush in 2012. Like many travelling South Africans, the bush is my restorative space where my head clears and I get to commune with some form of wilderness. No matter what, I’m definitely putting aside leave (and saving money) to spend time in the bush in 2013. I’ve got my sights set on Kruger (of course), as well as Mana Pools in Zimbabwe.
Jacqueline Lahoud, publisher
In 2013 I plan to support more green establishments: vegetarian restaurants, green hotels & B&Bs and organic wine producers, as well as sustainable tourism operators. I’m going to try and pool travel (sharing transport where possible) and keep recycling while travelling.
Cameron Ewart-Smith, editor
My travel resolution is to tick some big bucket list items next year. Look out for my bucket list trips in 2013 issues of the magazine!
Chris Davies, digital projects manager
This year I plan to head back to Europe to see friends and skip the worst of the South African winter.
Kati Auld, digital intern
My travel resolution is to do some more exploring on my own doorstep. It’s very easy to fixate on the wonders of far-away places like Bolivia and Ethiopia, but a lot of what I love about travel (novelty, a break from routine, beautiful scenery) is available in the Western Cape: and I’m supporting local business, too!
Tyson Jopson, online journalist and social media manager
Sleep outside for 30 days. Not necessarily in a row, but 30 days out of 365.
Fatima Jakoet, photojournalist
My 2013 travel resolutions: visit Kruger National Park (no, I’ve never been)and go to Robben Island (no, I haven’t been here either).
Meg de Jong, digital projects
My travel resolution is to make better use of the actual time spent physically traveling on planes, busses and trains. I’ve conditioned myself to power-down and go to sleep, but I’d like to learn to use that time to be productive and blog or work.
Anita Els Uganda and Rwanda and the Red Sea.
Patricia Anne Greening To see as much of South Africa as I can, before I get too old to drive.
Sean Cordingley To do a road trip through Botswana, then West along the Caprivi Strip and down through Namibia.
Alessandra Mariani After 20 trips to Africa, I want to go to Antarctica!
Kai Ivan Ryborg Storgaard Singapore, Malaysia, Cambodia, Hong Kong and China.
Con Robinson To at least do 2 or 3 hikes, as well as go visit my aunt in the Drakensberg again. .
Julie Gane The Seychelles, Cape Vidal, Sodwana, Texas, Colorado and Cape Town
Stiggar Mkhwanazi Mozambique, Afriski, Botswana and Namibia
Ursula Gunti Bathala in the Maldives
Karl van Heerden Just travel
Angela Botha Travel to a new country
Heather Neufeld See more of South Africa and get fit enough to do a short slackpacking trip
Mireille Ter Berg Thailand
Phuthanang Segoati Rwanda in January, Peru and US for my birthday in March, and China in August.
Image courtesy of Autumn Bliss
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