New year, new us…right? As we prepare to ring in 2023, we’re wondering yet again how to make those pesky resolutions stick. Oftentimes it’s easiest to embrace resolutions related to the things we love—like travel!
Below are eight New Year’s resolutions for those who see travel as more than a vacation. Work your way through the list below and consider pushing yourself into new frontiers within your world, your community and yourself.
We’ll Make More Memories
Happy memories are essential to our mental health, according to Meik Wiking, CEO of the Happiness Research Institute. This is no surprise: memories open hearts, deepen bonds and strengthen identities.
Thomson family guests on hot-air balloon in the Serengeti
This year, we’ll make more memories. We’ll fill our scrapbooks (or Instagram feeds) with photos of the people, places and experiences that matter. That way, even if we’re staying home, we can always take a trip down memory lane.
You don’t need a professional rig to take great photos. Our guide to smartphone photography can help you snap evocative shots on a cruise, hike, staycation or anywhere.
We’ll Learn (A Few Words in) a New Language
If you’ve ever made the New Year’s resolution, “I’ll learn a new language,” you’re not alone. How do we aspiring polyglots know where to start?
Studying up on Swahili words with Thomson’s Safari Journal
This year, we’ll scale it down and start simply. We’ll start with a handful of words in our target language: the hellos, goodbyes, how-are-yous and I’m-goods. Not only will it make our travels go more smoothly, it will help us feel a greater sense of connection with the people we meet.
We’ll Eat Something New
A culinary tour of new destinations doesn’t have to happen overseas–it can occur at your own table! Experimenting with new ingredients spices up our palette, broadens our horizons and keeps our lives from feeling stale.
Market in Stone Town, Zanzibar
This year, we’ll eat something new every now and then. We’ll skip the cheeseburgers and fries in favor of flavors from places we’ve never been. Not only can we taste delicious new ideas this way, but we learn a lot about the mealtime values and traditions of other cultures.
It can be as easy as trying a new restaurant or cooking new dishes at home!
Dreams are the immaterial realm of passion. They are the kingdom of our heart’s yearnings where we can imagine anything that intensifies our sense of adventure. For travelers, that’s often a place, experience or connection that excites them.
This year, we’ll embrace our dreams. We’ll dream unapologetically of the trips, journeys and outings that will enrich us.
Dreams sustain us. Dreams create the architecture of reverie where we can find ourselves amid stress and anxiety. And if we dream long enough, we may decide there’s no better time than now to make them come true.
We’ll Travel Consciously
Traveling consciously means more than practicing sustainability or tipping well. It means working with companies that strive to change the world for the better.
For example, travelers on Tanzanian safaris often make time to visit indigenous communities and purchase handmade goods there. Beadwork, jewelry, leatherwork, wood carvings, paintings and more–souvenir shopping is one way guests can support artisans and their local economies.
Students in FOTZC-supported school
Safari guests don’t stop there. Many give back through Thomson’s sister organization, Focus On Tanzanian Communities (FOTZC). FOTZC partners with Maasai communities to provide clean water, education, healthcare and women’s empowerment programs to those who need them.
We’ll Make Time for Self-Care
Whether it’s a headline or a deadline, forces abound that command our attention and drain our emotional wellbeing. Self-care is the balm to that burnout, recharging our souls and fostering happiness.
Yoga platform at Thomson’s Serengeti Nyumba Camp
This year, we’ll make more time for mental maintenance. We’ll block out a few hours every week for a good book, a bubble bath or planning that dream vacation.
Gibb’s Farm cottage verandah
And when we do take that vacation, we won’t stop tending to our emotional hygiene. We’ll refresh the mind and body at eco-resorts like Gibb’s Farm, places that offer a holistic approach to wellbeing. We’ll look for revitalizing spa treatments, tranquil garden walks and bounties of food and flora that provide a feast for the senses.
We’ll Travel (Partially) Outside Our Comfort Zones
Discovering new places, new foods and new languages are part of the excitement of travel. That doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice our favorite parts of being home! We believe travel should give us the thrill of discovery without sacrificing creature comforts.
Thomson Nyumba campsites strike that perfect balance. Set deep in the Tanzanian wilderness, these generous amenities offer queen-sized beds, freshly pressed sheets, private en suite bathrooms and showers with hot water. Eat full course meals, charge your devices in the lounge tent or play a game of soccer with the camp staff.
Even with unbeatable proximity to the wildlife, it still feels like home.
We’ll Give the Gift of Travel
Travel is one of the only gifts that never lands in a garage sale, junkyard or attic. We keep it forever in our hearts and minds, vivid in memory as the people and places that shaped the experience.
This year, we’ll consider how we can give the gift of travel. We don’t have to cross seas and continents to do it–an outing to a lake, mountain or new community will do.
Especially for children, travel is a profoundly positive gift, fostering empathy and opening their minds to new cultures and ideas.
For anyone, giving travel is a thoughtful, personalized gesture that provides incredible memories and bonds that last a lifetime. Here are five reasons to give the gift of travel.