A Traveler’s List of New Year’s Resolutions

Isabel M. is currently a junior at SYA Italy and a blogger for the Campus Reporter program. She comes to SYA from Avenues: The World School in New York.

A new year has a variety of meanings: new opportunities to become the people we have always wanted to be, new goals to attempt to fulfill, a new chapter in the book of life…Traveling and studying here in Italy, though, the start of 2019 has an entirely new dimension. It brings a hope of further immerse ourselves in the community we now call home, of improving our language skills and bonds with the people and places that surround us and simply, of exploring more parts of the world. Like anything in life, traveling is a skill that when practiced, can gradually be developed. Lately, I have been thinking about the art of traveling, as well as how to improve in it and thus, these resolutions have a certain twist to them — one that I hope will be useful to me not just this year, but throughout my life as I continue to explore the world and gain a deeper understanding of my place within it.

  1. Go somewhere or try something new (no matter how big or small) every day.
  2. Find the delicate balance between planning and “going with the flow” so that I can see the sites, while still getting to know the nooks and crannies of the places I visit.
  3. Make my own path and discover the hidden wonders — from cafés and markets in small villages to walks and hikes in the untamed countryside.
  4. Interact with locals and be open to making friends wherever I go.
  5. Strive to be attentive and aware of my actions and the ways in which I present myself.
  6. Remain spontaneous and flexible.
  7. Give back to those around me and take something (at least) away from every adventure.
  8. Pack lightly — it will only benefit me.
  9. Be a traveller, rather than a tourist.
  10. Walk, wander and explore.
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