Well, here goes..
1. Make time for more meaningful experiences with family and friends - we didn't see our family and close friends enough in 2008 and when we did it all seemed so fleeting. That has to change.
2. Travel less and stay longer - we lived out of our suitcases for another 365 days in 2008. It's time to stay put for a bit. That doesn't mean no travel, it means when we travel I want to stay longer in places, rent apartments more, and live more like locals, as we did this year in Milan and Turkey. This may be a personal goal of mine, but I also predict it's going to be a growing trend for 2009.
3. Write that book about our three years on the road - that's right, it's almost three years and what an intense three years it's been: we've written, contributed to and updated 26 guidebooks, worked for dozens of different publishers, written scores of articles for magazines, newspapers and websites, travelled to some 30 countries, and caught flights like most people catch buses. It's time to share some stories.
4. Start that online travel business we've been talking about for so long - now you'll just have to wait to hear all about this one... but don't worry, you'll be the first to know.
5. Make our travel experiences more meaningful - after I spend two weeks on a beach in Thailand recovering from our three years of intensive travel, I want to ensure that from then onwards all our travels experiences are more enriching.
6. Volunteer/donate - it's time to give more to people and projects that need support. It's hard to commit to any ongoing volunteering when we travel so much, so I need to explore ways I can donate my services/time ,and one-off volunteering experiences we can do and write about.
7. Support indigenous Australians more - as an Australian I am so embarrassed about the racism that still exists in Australia and how so many of our indigenous people live in poverty, the over-crowding in communities, the lack of educational opportunities and health care, the social problems. Some of my most enriching experiences this year have been meeting indigenous artists and guides in the Northern Territory. These experiences shouldn't be rare. I need to figure out ways in which I can help effect some positive kind of change.
8. Write the books we really want to write - Terry and I have a tonne of ideas we've been developing over the years for books that combine his photography with travel and oral narratives. This is the year we get one of them off the ground.
9. Go places we haven't been before - we have re-visited a lot of places this year, returning to some places for the umpteenth time - but that's why we get commissioned, for our destination expertise, and we have to go where the work is. But this year I want to make an extra effort to go to places I have never been, places that were on my list last year: Yemen, Ethiopia, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Bhutan, Burma, and Guatemala for starters.
10. Slow down - 2008 raced by, more so than any other year. Is this what is meant by 'life after 40'? Or are we just doing too much too fast. I think it's time to spend a bit more time smelling some roses - or simply breathing in the fragrance of eucalyptus in the Aussie bush.
Thursday, January 1, 2009
Well, here goes..