1 - Keep an Open Mind and Open Heart
My journey will certainly change my perspective on the world. I would be lying if I said I carried no preconceived notions or even prejudices about different cultures. I vow to keep an open mind and an open heart and accept people for who they are. This will not be a huge change for me since this is how I prefer to live day-to-day, but next year will be different because I will be outside of my element, immersed in unfamiliar cultures. My goal will be to take it all in and love every bit of it for what it is.
2 - Be Cautious Enough, While Still Being Relaxed and Having Fun
A balancing act to say the least. I am traveling alone for the first time in my life to places I have never been. In most of the countries I will be visiting I will not speak the language and know very little about the culture. Everything will be unfamiliar so I must demonstrate a certain level of caution. However, I also want to embrace the culture and people around me and take advantage of every experience that comes my way. This will require a certain level of balance on my part. I don't want to be the scared little tourist always looking over her shoulder. I want to blend in to daily life (as well as any westerner can), while still keeping my head on my shoulders and knowing that while I would like to see the best in everyone, there are plenty of people able and willing to show me their ugly sides. I've gotten a lot of practice in this balancing act living in NYC, but it time to really flex my muscles.
3 - Breath
This resolution holds a couple of meanings for me. First, as much as I like to deny it, I tend to be a bit of a perfectionist. I expect a lot of myself and a lot of the people around me. I must accept that things WILL NOT go as planned every step of my travels. If something does not work out like I thought it would, it is not a tragedy, and I cannot freak out and derail myself further. I must take a deep breadth and move on, productively. A missed flight, or lost luggage, or whatever else may happen is not the end of the world.
Secondly, I really want to try meditation, and I will be in the perfect place for it during the first half of my trip! My goal will be to meditate for at least 10 minutes a day. Just close my eyes and reflect internally on everything I am feeling and experiencing. There are going to be a lot of new sights, smells, sounds, tastes, pains, and emotions swirling around me 24/7. It will be a nice release to take some time to myself to process how I am feeling both physically and mentally.
4 - Take Advantage of the Opportunity You Have Been Given and GO FOR IT!
There are so many people that would love to be in my place right now, but I am the one who has saved and planned and am taking the leap. I vow to take advantage of every minute, every opportunity, and never take anything for granted. Never say never, and never say no...unless it involves eating insects (sorry - just never going to happen) or is something that is really stupid and dangerous :)
5 - Discover What I Am Most Passionate About and Follow That Passion Furiously
I do not know how this trip will change me. I am hoping it will change my perspective on the world, and that somewhere along the way I will discover what makes me tick. I am really sick of blindly following the rules of life, working over 40 hours a week in a career I'm not happy with. I hope that I not only find what I am truly passionate about, but that I have the courage to follow my passion wherever it may lead me. The year ahead will be a spring board into whatever future I choose. By 2014 I want to be on the track to the life I was always meant to lead.