2011 was a HUGE year for us.
We had planned to summarize it but before we knew it the year was at an end! Luckily that basically sums up 2011 for us as we seemed to be in constant travel mode with little time for anything else. No complaints of course and we certainly count ourselves lucky to be able to do it.
So with 2012 just 6 days old and our return to semi-normalcy after our amazing trip through Egypt we thought we better turn our attention to our Dreams, Goals and the Realities for 2012.
I for one have actually never made a New Years Resolution. EVER.
Nor am I very good at planning my goals and aspirations. Ultimately I know what I want from life but writing it down, reviewing them, ticking the boxes and achieving those goals is the part I struggle with. So by sharing them with you hopefully it will give us a kick in the backside to make these dreams a reality.
- Keep in contact with the family on a regular basis. Long term travel is hard on family relationships. When you are tired you don’t want to email or Skype but we know those five minutes make a world of difference to our loved ones back home.
- Be a better friend. As stupid as it sounds I know that I let my mates down from time to time when I am exhausted. So for 2012 if someone wants to catch up for a beer then I will become a YES man rather than a maybe man.
- Health and fitness. Being a yes man is probably going to relate to some later nights and unhealthy eating/drinking habits. Therefore we will need to make sure we are hitting the gym when not travelling and work out a fitness routine when on the road which is something we never do unless on an adventure holiday.
- Learn a second language. This has been bugging me for 2 years now and it is time we got off our butts and did something about it. We are going to enroll in a night-course over a few weeks and just need to decide on the language. Any advice on which to choose? Thinking maybe French or Spanish.
Travel Blog Goals:
- If I could achieve just one goal this year then it would be become a full time travel blogger by the end of 2012. Still working out how exactly this will become a reality but just by writing it down hopefully it will get the creative juices flowing.
- Travel, Travel, Travel. We want to broaden our horizons on this blog by creating interesting and relevant articles for you. And the best way to achieve that is through travelling. With trips like our 37 days overland from Turkey through Syria, Jordan and Egypt we will have loads of fresh content for you. Just tell us what you want and we will happily oblige.
- Blogging has led us to find a passion in photography. They go hand in hand. No one wants to just read words. Everyone wants visuals! I am going to try a photography course and use that to create a new site for our photographs. Will keep you informed.
- Create an interactive and engaging Travel Community for YOU by building up our subscribers on all media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and through our weekly Newsletter. This will include prizes, giveaways, hidden tips and advice.
- We are going to start creating our first travel videos over the next few months as we think they provide so much insight into a destination in such a short time frame.
Ultimately we want to keep you happy so please let us know what you would like to see in the comments section below.
Keyword for 2012
To tie it all together we really need to have a focus. By creating a keyword we can quickly assess everything we do by relating it back to this. 2012 is going to be the year of GROWTH.
To create your own Dreams and Goals follow our simple steps below and then share them with us if you want:
Goals always start with a Question and then a Dream usually followed by Reality.
- The Question: What is the number one thing you want to achieve over the next 12 months?
- The Dream: Make this as far fetched as you could possibly imagine!
- The Realities: That dream must then be broken down into achievable goals. You can’t hope to achieve your dream by leaping across the river of aspirations. Instead use your goals as safe stepping stones.
If your dream, like mine, is to be the world’s greatest travel blogger then your Goals could be as simple as planning to write 100 words per day EVERY day for the first month. Then 250 words, then 500 etc…
By creating these small but achievable steps over realistic timeframes you can’t fail.
Good Luck and Share them with us below!
Five Steps for Stress-Free Travel
Many people travel to get away from the stresses of daily life. Vacation is often associated with relaxation and a lack of worries. However, many travelers still find themselves stressing over little things while on the road. Fortunately, some efforts can be taken before a vacation to help reduce these worries. Here are five steps to take before traveling to help reduce stress while abroad.
Research Your Destination
Traveling to a foreign country can be a daunting experience. Foreign languages and other cultural barriers can make it difficult to function during the trip. Even though smartphones make it possible to overcome many of these obstacles within a few minutes, it is still critical to research destinations before visiting. Even the smallest bit of research can help to make the trip much smoother and stress-free. While there are endless topics that can be learned before traveling abroad, there are a few key pieces to keep in mind. All travelers should have a general idea about local transportation, cultural customs, and language before visiting a new location. Furthermore, it’s a good idea to have a sense of the general state of cybersecurity in that part of the world, in order to reduce the chances of a security breach of your laptop, smartphone, or tablet.
Purchase Renters Insurance
When traveling abroad for a trip, there is already enough to worry about on the road. In order to have a stress-free vacation, travelers need to take care of any potential problems at home. One of the best ways to accomplish this is by protecting a house or apartment with insurance. Although a robbery or natural disaster may occur during vacation, travelers can rest assured that insurance will cover the losses. Travelers can research renters insurance online to see what kind of options are available.
Organizing Travel Documents
Seeing vacation pictures on Instagram and watching the Travel Channel can lead many people with an idealistic picture of traveling. While travel is still an amazing experience, it requires a lot more red-tape and formalities than most people think. Many countries require foreign visitors to have visas before visiting. These visas can only be obtained upon request and after showing the appropriate documentation. Even when traveling in countries without visa requirements, it is important to carry some important documents. Some of these include a passport copy, flight details, hotel reservations and more.
There is nothing worse than returning home after a vacation with less money than you had expected. This is often a result of poor, or a complete lack of, budgeting. Some travelers make the mistake of assuming that budgeting can take place on a daily basis. In reality, it is much more effective to budget before traveling to a destination. Tourists should calculate the total cost of a trip by adding up transportation, accommodation, food and activity expenses. This budgeting will help travelers save money in the long-run and can help remove any stress associated with potentially over-spending.
Buy a Local SIM Card
People rely heavily on their smartphones to get through daily life. With accurate information just a few taps away, there is no wonder that these devices have become some of the most popular gadgets in the 21st century. People run into a problem when traveling abroad as their phones don’t have data abroad. Ironically, traveling to a foreign country is one of the most crucial times to have a smartphone for maps and other helpful information. Instead of searching desperately for wifi, tourists should buy local SIM cards to activate their phones. This will make it much easier to find directions, translate foreign languages and calculate conversion rates.
Stress-free travel is something that needs to be prepared beforehand. These five steps can help to ensure that your next vacation is as worry-free and relaxing as can be.
Seven Destinations You Should Visit With Your Spouse
When you’re traveling as a couple, finding the perfect romantic destination is essential. What could be better than spending quality time together, just the two of you, in one of the most beautiful places in the world?
Here, we bring you 7 destinations that you absolutely must visit with your significant other. Whether you love relaxing on golden sand beaches, enjoy exploring amazing sights or discovering culture and heritage, there’s sure to be a destination here that appeals to you and your spouse.
1.New York City, USA
So good they named it twice, New York New York is one of the ultimate destinations for lovers. What could be more special than standing at the top of the Empire State Building together, admiring the panoramic views? Whether you’re fans of history, culture or theater, you’ll find something in the Big Apple for you. Take in Broadway show, discover world-class museums and then take a romantic carriage ride around Central Park. If you’ve got time, there’s always the famous Katz Deli where you can recreate the iconic “I’ll Have What She’s Having” scene from When Harry Met Sally!
One of the most romantic cities in the entire world, Paris is an absolute must for lovers everywhere. Strolling hand in hand in Montmartre, kissing on top of the Eiffel Tower and looking into each other’s eyes over a meal in an intimate pavement café, what could be better than that? A dinner cruise on the Seine, watching the lights of the city twinkling on the water is the perfect way to end a perfect day in the City of Love.
If your idea of indulgent pleasure is lying on an endless golden sand beach and listening to the sound of the waves lapping on the shore, Honolulu is the place to go. Luxurious hotels and outstanding service paired with gorgeous surroundings and amazing weather – it all adds up to a fantastic couples’ break.
If you dream of having endless time with your loved one in an exotic destination unlike any other, The Maldives is the ideal vacation spot for you. Gorgeous beaches and clear water make for a wonderful spot, whether you love relaxation or water activities. If you and your spouse are keen divers, this is a destination beyond compare. There are many wonderful dive sites here where you can get up close to colorful marine life and explore the world under the sea. You can even make planning for your trip a romantic couples’ activity! Spend time together browsing online and get details from Scubalist.Pro of all the best diving items on the market.
After Paris, Venice must be one of the most romantic spots on the planet. With its unique canals and gorgeous buildings, Italy’s city of love presents a world of opportunities to spend quality time with your spouse. Ride in a gondola together as the sun sets, enjoy a romantic meal by the canal side, or explore stunning ancient buildings in an amazing setting. It’s a vacation you’ll never forget.
Greece has it all – a wonderful climate, welcoming people, amazing food and gorgeous surroundings. Santorini is one of the most beautiful and unique Greek islands. With its iconic white and blue buildings and black volcanic sand, it is a truly stunning place to explore with your other half. You can dine on traditional cuisine at an authentic taverna, stroll through rustic villages and simply soak in the sunshine together.
7.Blue Lagoon, Iceland
A surprisingly popular destination with couples, Iceland offers something truly unique to partners who prefer to stay out of the sun. With its spectacular landscapes, beautiful natural attractions and welcoming locals, Iceland is a destination for lovers. Also, what could be more romantic than snuggling up together on a cold winter’s night? The Blue Lagoon’s stunning blue geothermal spa waters are the ideal way to spend time together in this one-of-a-kind destination.
These are just seven of the best destinations in the world for lovers to get closer together and enjoy themselves in their own special way. Whether you love sun, relaxation or activity, one of these seven spots is sure to give you the romance you’ve been searching for.
5 Tips to Avoid Conflicts During a Big Vacation
No matter, if you are with family or friends, traveling with a big vacation party almost always, seems to be nothing short of a grueling experience.
Whether you are going through some well-planned and scenic Uganda tours or a culturally rich expedition through Europe, if there are more than 4 people in your traveling party, then the possibility of arising conflicts would certainly be be present.
Most people, when assembled to spend extensive periods of time together, seem to run on high emotions. While that phenomenon is most apparent in reality TV shows, a vacation is not immune to its effects either.
That is why, whenever you plan a big vacation, keep the following tips in mind in order to get the most of your traveling experience while also making sure that your traveling party is not getting at each other’s nerves.
Discuss Itineraries Before Finalizing Them
Itineraries are a touchy subject. While traveling in groups, one of the biggest pet peeves often noticed by people is how a single person hijacks their whole vacation by presenting their own itineraries. On the other hand, if no one discusses itineraries, then it leaves room for all kinds of scheduling disasters to take place.
Therefore, the best approach here is to not just let a single person print out a set of schedule for everyone, but rather to discuss the itinerary with the whole group. Take suggestions and incorporate them wherever you could, and ensure that everyone is agreed on the final itinerary.
Leave Room for Disaster Management
While fixing those itineraries, you will also need to make sure that while your schedule makes the most out of your vacation, it does have wiggle room for times when your car breaks down or when one of your travel companions has a wardrobe emergency.
By ensuring that you have a great schedule as a guideline but which has flexibility for disaster management, you can make sure to maintain the stress levels of your travel party accordingly.
Ensure That You Have Activities Planned for Downtime
Even during great vacations, there may come a time when you would find yourself stuck in your hotel room due to a last minute cancellation of your plans for any unforeseen reason.
For those times of collective confinement, ensure that you have a few indoor activities planned with your travel party. If possible, pack a deck of cards to play some poker or ensure that you have electronic group entertainment with you.
By making sure that you keep your travel group busy even during times when you are not out exploring, you can keep emotions from running high by someone delving into overthinking someone else’s behavior on the trip, which could lead to some interesting but quite unfortunate arguments.
Make Sure That You Have Some Gastronomic Pleasures Planned
During travels, one of the things that could irk people the most is them missing wholesome meals back home. This is a major stress factor that many travelers often ignore until it affects their mood to the level where it leads to testy behavior for no apparent reason.
Thus, ensure that wherever you are traveling, you are aware of the food customs of your destination. You may ask locals about where you could get a good bite to eat, while also packing some healthy travel snacks so that no one in your party goes hungry.
Ensure to At Least Listen to Other’s Suggestions, No Matter If They Are Last Minute
One of the best things that you could do while traveling in a group is to make sure that everyone feels included. Instead of pushing opinions down other’s throats, ensure that everyone in the group is open for discussion and last minute ideas from everyone else.
While not all ideas are great and some may need to be turned down, this will make sure that none of your group members feel like they are on someone else’s vacation. You can also introduce a casual voting system of your own where all of you could vote on certain suggestions so that the majority wins on a travel option fair and square.
Ensure to Stick Together In Order to Avoid Disasters
Vacation disasters are quite common. While they make for interesting stories a few years after, going through those experiences could be quite daunting.
Remember, looking out for each other goes a long way especially when you are traveling. Keep that in mind the next time you are about to snap at your travel companion (and tell your companions the same thing, but in a nice tone, you know, to avoid conflict).
Meet Cole and Adela
We have been wearing out our jandals (Kiwi for flip-flops) on our travel adventures around the world since 2009. We think our blog is thought provoking and a little witty. But we have been proven wrong before. Find out more about us here...
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