The Backpacker’s New Year’s Resolutions!

Every year lists of empty resolutions end up in the bin as our brief optimistic streak ends and reality sets in. This year we’ve changed our lists, looking at them from a distinctly travelling perspective. Well, how else are we going to have the resolve to actually do them?

I will not blow my student loan (again!)
Instead of jetting off to some far off country, this year I am going to make an effort to explore closer to home. I haven’t properly been to Wales or Scotland let alone the majority of Europe. Let’s not forget that the UK has some magical places waiting to be discovered. A cosy youth hostel in the nearby Peak District might be a perfect winter weekend.

I will get healthy
In trips that I make this year I am going to treat my body better. If you are in the area try getting detoxed in one of India’s holy towns. Pushkar has alcohol, meat and egg-free regulations to help detox your body and mind. For a less spiritual (and closer to home) experience why not try your hand at surfing at Newquay’s Fistral beach for a full-on work out.

I will make a difference
Travelling gives me the opportunity to help change the situations that many people suffer in the poorer parts of the world. Overseas volunteering, though a contested issue, can be hugely beneficial to others and a chance to experience local life and culture. However, I’ll make sure the work I choose doesn’t compromise the locals’ independence and that I’m properly trained and prepared. Also by always supporting local charities wherever I go I can really make a big difference.

I will decrease my carbon footprint
A single roundtrip to Asia causes as much pollution as my car does for a whole year so maybe this year I am going to compensate for the travelling I’ve done in the past. If you really want to fly however make amends for your air miles by staying in an eco-lodge (now in over 60 countries) or earning your keep by working on an organic farm (check out World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms).

I will learn something new
I want to get the most from everywhere I travel to. From cookery courses in Tuscany to scuba diving in Spain and creative writing courses in San Francisco, the world of knowledge is our oyster. A language course is an amazing way to immerse yourself in local life and also means you come away with more knowledge of where you lived than simply what the main tourist attractions are.

Ruth Edwards & Ellie Simpson


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