I can’t believe it’s the new year already! I swear time just needs to slow down. I spent last night at my friends Keith and Lara’s house playing Exploding Kittens. It’s hysterical and worth playing if you haven’t yet.





Every year I make resolutions for the new year. I know some people disagree with the concept of new years resolutions, but I always find them fun. And what better time to reassess your goals and give yourself targets to aim for in the coming year? So here are 10 things I hope to accomplish this year!

Better my photography and editing skills: I definitely need to work on the creativity of photos I take. 100 photos of the same thing ensures at least one should turn out OK, but sometimes I miss the opportunity to photograph other interesting things instead and I’ll think later, “Oh I should have gotten a photo of that!”. I also feel like a lot of photos I take are blurry or a bit soft. Learning how to better focus my camera should really help having to take less pictures in general. And I’d love to learn how to use Lightroom more efficiently, maybe take a class.

Develop my blog and increase readership: This is a big one for me. I’ve finally gotten this blog up and running and am consistently posting, now I need to take it to the next level! I want to expand the topics I write about, and really get the word out about this site to get more people reading. I love sharing my travel experiences with everyone and hope to continue doing so for as long as I can (so make sure you tell everyone you know to read this blog!!).

Become a better storyteller: This one is hard, but kind of goes hand in hand with the one above. How do you become a better story teller? One of the reasons my friends encouraged me to start a travel blog was to share my stories. I would tell them about everything I’ve done and they would say, “You should write these down!” but when I go to actually put words on paper (or digital screen, as it were) I come up blank and the stories end up being a sterilized version of what they once were. I’d really like to work on making everything come alive for you better, and not just recounting step by step what I did on my travels, because that can get boring for everyone!

Eat more vegetables: I always need to eat more vegetables. Don’t we all? They aren’t my favorite food, but no one can argue that they’re good for you in so many ways (I think it might literally be the only type of food out there that no one debates the health benefits of). My goal here is to learn better ways to incorporate them into my meals, whether it’s hiding them in other things, or just plain cooking them on their own in a way that I enjoy eating. I’d like to manage 7 servings per day. Sigh. I’ll definitely be checking out The Tasty Remedy for great veggie recipes.

Run 100 miles: In 2014, I ran 100 miles. I’d never done that before in my life! In 2015 I wanted to double that, but I ended up doing a lot of other exercise in an effort to prepare for climbing Mt Kilimanjaro. Now that I’m not training for that, I’d like to get back to running and see if I can get to the slightly less ambitious (though still pretty badass, in my opinion) 100 mile mark again.

Read more: I used to read somewhere around 100 books a year. More recently, I’ve read less than 20. My goal for 2015 was to read about 35 books, which I didn’t quite manage to do. But 22 isn’t bad! Now that I work from home, my normal bus riding reading time has gone down significantly. When I’m traveling, I manage to get a lot of reading in, but the rest of the time there’s always work, cleaning, gardening, cooking, blogging, etc to do. So my goal here is really to add some reading time into my every day, non-bus-riding life.

Learn a foreign language: I’ve tried to learn many languages in my day, but I’ve never been able to stick with any of them. Now I want to finally get serious. More than just sitting down with Rosetta Stone (I’ll just get distracted by the internet!), I want to take a class or 3 in person, something that will hold me accountable. I’ve tried my hand (tongue) at Japanese, French, Hungarian and Italian. I’d also love to learn Spanish and Swedish. Any one of these would be great to develop further.

Summit Mt Rainier: Back in 2009, I attempted to climb Mt Rainier. For many reasons, I only made it to the Ingraham Flats at 11,200 ft. It’s haunted me ever since. With my successful Mt Kilimanjaro summit trek behind me now, I think it’s time to give this one another go. I’ve signed up with my friends Lori and Emma to make the attempt on July 31st. Stayed tuned for more on this to come!

Check something off my bucket list: I have a bucket list. Doesn’t everyone? It always gets longer, no matter how many things I check off. It ranges from very broad (learn to cook, be a better photographer) to very specific (hike the Inca Trail to Macchu Picchu, go cage diving with great white sharks in South Africa) to highly improbable (go to outer space, audition for a Hollywood movie). Aside from things already listed in my goals above, I’d like to check one more thing off the old bucket list, whatever it may be.

Save for my RTW trip: Saving money is hard! Especially since my goal has always been saving for an emergency while simultaneously owning a home and still managing to travel abroad a few times a year. When you’re saving for just in case, with no tangible reward, it’s hard to be motivated. So I’ve changed my angle! I’m saving for a round the world trip, and if I need money to fix something or I lose my job before then, I can pull from my travel savings. Traveling around the world is something I’ve dreamed of doing for as long as I can remember, but I’ve always felt it was impossible. But not anymore! More details on the trip to come later!

That’s it for me! What resolutions have you made for the new year? Or do you disagree with the concept entirely?  I’d love to hear about it!

2016 Travel Plans
2015 Year in Review