My 2016 Travel Resolutions

Our Suburban truck and tent trailer on a family vacation many years ago. Probably half the stuff in the truck is Mom's...just kidding! It's probably snacks for the four kids.

Our Suburban truck and tent trailer on a family vacation many years ago. Probably half the stuff in the truck is Mom's...just kidding! It's probably snacks for the four kids.

I resolve to refrain from judging how others travel—like my mom, whom I tease for not exactly packing light when she brings not one but two of her own bathroom mirrors on our family vacations. [Note: She would like me to clarify that this is because of her poor vision, not vanity.] As the Bible and The Byrds say, to everything there is a season. Sometimes it’s fun to be a camera-carrying, museum-hopping, tour-grouping tourist, and sometimes it’s good to be a long-terming, local-living, light-packing traveller.

I don't need to go extreme and say that all my possessions need to fit into my backpack, but I could pare down my stuff a little.

I don't need to go extreme and say that all my possessions need to fit into my backpack, but I could pare down my stuff a little.

I resolve to let go of more of my stuff. I may tease my mom for bringing so much stuff on family trips, but I could stand to live a little lighter at home. This fall, I started working on Marie Kondo’s decluttering program she outlines in her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, and was able to get ride of a lot of clothes and even managed to donate a few books—well, before buying a few new ones. Before my winter vacation, I (unintentionally) had some success with purging unneeded papers when I misplaced my passport and had a massive late-night cleaning session. I try to pack light when I’m travelling, so I should do the same at home. 

During the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, my sisters and I were tourists. I want that feeling every weekend.

During the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics, my sisters and I were tourists. I want that feeling every weekend.

I resolve to have a mini-vacation each weekend. One of the downsides to being a teacher is that there is always work to be done (which, I do realize, is not a problem that is limited to teachers). One of my teacher friends for years has recommended that I stop planning lessons and grading work on weekends to give myself some free time. This year I finally listened to her, and it has made such a difference to my life. I told her after one of my first non-working weekends that I felt like I had just had a vacation; I felt so relaxed. Now I want to take my weekends to the next-level by actually pretending I’m on vacation and doing more touristy activities, like checking out local museums (and renewing my membership to my favourite, the Museum of Vancouver), hiking and biking more, and renting a car to go for weekend getaways.

What are your travel resolutions for 2016? Any bucket-list items you're planning to tick off this year? Let me know in the comments below!