While I don’t subscribe to the ‘New Year, New Me’ motto, I do firmly believe in going into a new year with a plan. Writing out your goals helps to set your intention for the year ahead and gets you excited for what’s to come. What does my 2019 bucket list look like? Well, it’s full of travel, travel and (you guessed it) more travel. Here are my 19 travel goals for 2019.
2. See an Aurora event
3. Try one food that I've never tried before
Everyone knows that food is life and every day I see an international morsel I’m yet to taste. I’ve never eaten crickets so my daring side if desperate to hop on a plane to give them a go, but the real point of this goal is to say yes to whatever local delicacy is on offer every time I travel. If it involves cheese, all the better.
4. Head out of town for more long weekends
One that I’m sure we’re all guilty of, I often forget to make the most of a long weekend by booking a trip. One rolls around and I think of the million chores around the house that need to get done instead of thinking where I could go. Whether it’s a short road trip or a three-day getaway to somewhere close by, in 2019 I’ll be making the most of every long weekend.
5. Take advantage of an epic flight sale
Whenever I see an amazing sale on flights like ‘fly return to Hawaii for $500’ I think ‘OMG I MUST HAVE IT’, but then the sensible part of my brain kicks in and I worry that it doesn’t fit into my travel plan for the year and blah blah blah. Not this year. This year I’ll be embracing my inner spontaneous self by booking one random flight deal and see where the wind (ahem, plane) takes me.
6. Travel with someone new
We all have our favourite travel buddies that we call up when we want to organise a trip, but last year I travelled with a friend of mine for the first time and it was AMAZING. This year, I plan to travel with another friend for the first time (or a group of strangers, I’m not picky) so I can see how they like to satisfy their wanderlust.
7. Do something meaningful while travelling
We would all agree the rise of voluntourism (that’s when you volunteer while travelling) is only a good thing. But alas, I’ve never done it myself. This year, that is all going to change—specifically, finding a way to give back to local communities while on my travels, whether through volunteering, supporting local charities or even doing a beach clean up, is high on my list.
8. Find a view that leaves me breathless
Being awed by the big wide world is why we travel. I crave those quiet moments where I’m looking out over a mountain range, staring up at ancient trees or swimming in an ocean that I’ve never been in before. In 2019, I want at least one of those unforgettable moments.
9. Go somewhere without wifi
Getting off the grid is so refreshing, so this year I’m dreaming of a place where my phone has no signal so I can reconnect and just be without the incessant notifications. Sure, I could just turn off my phone right now, but we all know I won’t, and anyway, getting off the grid is more fun in a foreign country.
10. See whales
Seeing animals in their natural habitat is a gift. There are few animals that aren’t on my list, but next year I want to make my dream of seeing whales in the wild come true. They’re majestic, powerful and kind of mysterious, and I have a feeling it will be one of those moments I’ll tell my grandkids about.
11. Learn to scuba dive
I was never a strong swimmer as a child but I’ve overcome my water phobia in the last few years and now I’m ready to take it up a notch: by learning to scuba dive. I want to see what’s under the waves and let’s be real, diving is the best way to do it. Tropical destinations—I’m coming for you.
12. Finally figure out how to pack like a pro
Learning the art of packing is a skill I’m yet to master. I’m always filling my suitcase with stuff you’re not going to use at the other end, but figuring out what to ditch is so hard. In preparation for 2019 I’m going to watch every packing tutorial I can get my hands on until I finally become a pro. Bonus points if I manage to travel with a backpack and nothing else.
13. Pay for an upgrade on a flight
Like any traveller, I am naturally thrifty (how else would I make all of my travel dreams come true?) so I always sniff out the cheapest flights possible. Just once though, I’d love to spend a little extra cash and have a great time in the sky. I’ve heard a lot about the elusive world of bidding on Business Class seats last minute so that’s my plan for the next international flight. At the very least, I’ll splash out for a seat with extra leg room.
14. Sleep in a capsule hotel
15. Visit a truly epic library
Reading is my second biggest passion after travel and while working at Contiki, I’ve come face to face with images of libraries that are so beautiful they’re basically at Beauty and the Beast library level. I need to see one of these with my own two eyes. There’s one in Austria at Admont Abbey that is beyond magical, but there’s also an epic one in China that holds 1.2 million books that’s on my list. I’ll take both, thankyouverymuch.
16. Swim under a waterfall
I feel most free when I’m swimming, so I just know I’ll feel even more free swimming under a waterfall. I swam under a raging waterfall in Costa Rica years ago and absolutely loved it so I’m keen to repeat the experience somewhere new (and hopefully more relaxing). It’s also good for the ‘Gram and I’m only human (sue me).
17. Do a big hike
Granted this is a leftover from my 2018 list, but that just gives me more incentive to do it next year. Machu Picchu is calling my name, but any chance to stretch my legs and climb a mountain will be taken.
18. Eat at a Michelin starred restaurant
Full disclosure—I ate at a Michelin starred restaurant about seven years ago and I’m ashamed to admit I did not appreciate the experience like I would now. The current plan is to head to Japan first since they have the most Michelin starred restaurants in the world, but also, Singapore’s hawker markets have some of the cheapest. Maybe I’d better do both just to be sure. Hey, this girl’s got to eat.
19. Spend New Year's Eve somewhere that knows how to have a good time
I have such a love/hate relationship with New Year (don’t we all?) and I’m pretty sure it’s the pressure to make it the best night of the year that makes the whole thing… underwhelming. Next year, I’ll be heading somewhere known for its New Year celebrations. Times Square in New York, Las Vegas, Amsterdam or Paris, here’s looking at you.