A new way to set travel intentions for the new year.

I love when New Year’s comes around. It’s an opportunity to make a change and set some new intentions, and that, to me, is exciting.

As I often do, I like to clean out my house and closets, pay off all my bills and credit cards, and then set to work on creating my New Year’s Intentions, which are similar to resolutions, but framed in such a way that I actually follow through on them. I like to separate these Intentions into a variety of categories such as work, money, relationships, personal wishes, novel writing, and, of course, traveling.

Many of you might also have travel goals for 2018, and that’s fantastic! However, I ask you — do you make your travel goals come true? Or do you just create a resolution in your mind “to travel more” and let it sit in your mind, never culminating into anything real? If that’s the case for you, I have a better option.

It’s not enough to just say, “I want to travel more.” Most often, that doesn’t work. So I’ve create a practice that I’ve discovered has a bit more success and I’d love to share it with you. First, I create a list of places I want to visit in the New Year. Here’s my list (not in any specific order):

  1. Petra, Jordan
  2. Japan
  3. Morocco
  4. Costa Rica
  5. Belize
  6. Iceland
  7. London
  8. Cuba

I do this for a few reasons, but mostly because saying, “I want to travel more,” is just far too vague to allow any true travel goals to come true. You have to know where you want to travel if you want the Universe, God, or even your own mind to see and notice opportunities that will bring these trips to you in the new year.

The next step I take is to write out why I want to visit all of these places. Sometimes it’s a sentence, other times, it’s a paragraph. And even sometimes I write the sentence as if I’ve already been there. Find the best way that works for you. In taking my list before, here’s what I’ve come up with.

  1. I want to visit Petra, Jordan, because it’s a beautiful example of ancient history and I love history.
  2. The temples, history, and amazing food of the Japanese culture is why I want to visit Japan.
  3. Morocco is a blend of many cultures and languages and I believe I will find something of myself and identity among it’s winding streets.
  4. I’m thankful for the opportunity to visit Costa Rica’s beautiful jungles, ocean, and mountains for a hiking adventure.
  5. Thank you, thank you, thank you for a chance to see Belize’s pyramids and practice my Spanish in a country known for great food and people.
  6. I fell in love with Iceland by writing hotel features for my work. I want to find a fairy hill, have a massage in the Blue Lagoon, meet amazing people, and witness stunning geological sites.
  7. London is the setting of so much literature I love and now that I know a lot of London folks, I think it would be super fun to visit.
  8. I want to visit Cuba before Americans ruin the 1950s time capsule-like environment it currently has. (Haha sorry, not sorry)

Have you done all that? After that, I like to read my travel intentions aloud and after each one, I close my eyes and imagine all the things I might do, see, taste, or experience on a visit to that place. I let my mind go to a positive, happy place and I can feel the warmth spread throughout me. Sometimes, I then say “thank you, thank you, thank you” as I want to show my gratitude to the Universe for helping me make these things true. Most of all, I will put my travel intentions list somewhere where I can read it often and build that excitement each day.

Following all of those steps, I sometimes do a variety of things to boost these travel intentions. For instance, I took thumbtacks and placed them into my wall map on the places I want to visit. I might create a vision board with pictures or drawings of all the attractions or restaurants I want to visit in my travel goal destination. I also will find myself going online and creating a vacation plan or itinerary for when I visit that place. Other times, I’ll go to the bookstore and buy a book about the place to really get me stoked.

Now I know you’re saying, what’s the point of all of this? Shouldn’t I set a goal to travel to these places and just start planning to do just that? Yes, that’s a good point. But often we set goals without any real feeling of excitement. Think about the typical workout resolution that people create. We like the idea of being thin or ripped or in shape, but then our minds go to the fact that we have to stop eating so much or stop eating our favorite foods, and how we have to find a gym, pay that gym fee, and then find the time to workout when we’re tired after work. Workout resolutions don’t work because we aren’t generally excited to do them. We may be for two weeks and then the feeling is over.

By writing out your travel intentions in the manner I explained above, you’ve started an enthusiasm practice that will jet you forward toward actually budgeting for the trips, looking for flight deals, or working a side hustle to pay for the vacation. But what you might find most surprising, is that what you need to visit these places will come to you! All of a sudden, you’ll notice a ton of articles about Iceland appear on your Facebook, or meet a guy who’s been to Petra, Jordan, and knows the perfect guide at an affordable cost, or find some extra money in your monthly budget to set aside for traveling adventures, or discover an app that helps you plan your trip.

It works, y’all.

Don’t believe me? Try my travel intention practice and then hit me up in January 2019. Till then, follow me on social — I plan to post pictures of Japan, Morocco, Petra, Costa Rica, Cuba, Belize, London, and Iceland on my feed.

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