I don’t always flush my New Year’s Resolution down the toilet. It (partly) worked for me and that’s why I am doing it religiously every year.
In 2017, I had 10 resolutions on my list. I achieved 6, so to me, that’s a pass.
- Go to a Middle Eastern country – I went to Iran with my mum. It was one of, if not the best trip that I’ve taken so far.
- Ice-skate properly – Ice-skating has now become my favourite sport despite many falls in Seoul, Budapest and Tehran.
- Jump from somewhere high enough – Initially, I thought it was gonna be skydiving in Perth or bungee jumping in New Zealand, but both didn’t work out. Instead, I went cliff jumping and that was freaking 70 ft high at Kawasan falls in the Philippines.
- Speak French better – I finally moved on from “Voulez-vous coucher avec moi ce soir?” I am warning you if you google translate this, it’s pretty PG18. It was a famous phrase which is used in so many songs. So about my French, I’ve been eavesdropping French conversations when I am travelling. I know this is not the best thing to do, but you know, there’s a lot of Frenchie travelling and they are in their bubble most of the time so it’s pretty thrilling to understand what they are talking about. And I love it even more when they think that only they understand what they are talking about so they talk about everything, including me sometimes. Told you it’s thrilling. And I can finally hold a pretty decent conversation in French with people now!
- Take 3 international trips – Instead, I took 6. Philippines, Iran, Vietnam, Indonesia, South Korea, Cambodia. Although it costs a big chunk of my savings, I am entirely grateful that I have the opportunity to go to these countries!
- Travel with only carry-on luggage – this has been a travel resolution for a few years but this is the first year that I’ve done it properly! All the trips that I’ve taken in 2017, I have only one 7kg carry-on baggage with me. I am pretty impressed with myself seeing that I took two winter trips (South Korea and Iran, which both hit -12C when I was travelling there).
Okay, so now I am gonna talk about which 4 I failed. Well, I don’t always like to share about my failure but I know you guys like to watch the world burn so let’s start.
- Cook 3 typical dishes from each country that I visited – I love cooking so much but this resolution still didn’t turn out well. It started well in the beginning. I made 3 dishes from Iran and Vietnam (including a failed pho attempt). Then uni got busier and I got lazier. So I made nothing anymore after my trip to Indonesia and Cambodia despite taking cooking classes in these countries.
- Go to Europe, again – as if I have enough money for that to happen. If you know me enough, I love Europe after I went there on a solo-backpacking trip that lasted for 2 months. However, I took too many trips and in the end, I didn’t have enough money to go to Europe. Good thing comes to those who wait and save enough money for it – it’s very true in this case.
- Go to a new continent – Africa, South America, North America or Antartica even. Any of them! But I didn’t make it. I did actively plan for it though. I had my flight booked to Mauritius with AirAsia and was planning to fly to Ethiopia from there. But AirAsia cancelled their route to Mauritius and there goes my flight. Good job, AirAsia.
- Hike at least 1 mountain in each country – I failed this miserably. I was at the starting point of Hallasan Mountain in Jeju, South Korea when they said that my shoes were not compatible as it was really snowy that day. I didn’t get to hike Mount Bromo in Java because mum and dad didn’t want to go with me and I couldn’t leave them alone. I did hike in Malaysia, the Philippines, Cambodia and a small mountain (like 20 minutes) in Iran though.
So that was 2017 and it was an amazing year!
Now it’s 2018 and I have another 10 travel resolutions that I will try to achieve. I am also a dreamer so don’t judge me when it gets too unrealistic for a 22-year-old student to do it. So here goes:
- Go to Eastern Europe – So this is a continuation of my 2017 travel resolution. I really wanna go to Europe so I will try to make it realise. As I am always restricted by my budget, I am gonna choose cheaper countries like Poland, Romania, Montenegro, Albania, Bulgaria, Hungary and etc. I hope I can finally go back to Europe again. Comment below if you know other cheaper countries in Europe to go to!
- Make more travel videos – I had a little time to play with Adobe Premiere Pro (I just finished my free trial now) and I freaking love it. I just did two cinematic films on Seoul and Philippines! Lemme know what you think. I need feedback.
- Speak at least A2 Spanish – I really want to speak Spanish. After learning French, it’s so much easier to learn Spanish (provided I don’t mess up their conjugations). If you have any suggestions on learning Spanish (preferably free), please comment below! The real reason I want to learn Spanish is because I wanna go to Central and South America real bad! These places are not gonna be on my 2018 travel resolutions yet. It will when I have longer holidays and more money ie. after my degree.
- Write more – OMG I am so lazy lately! You have no idea how tempting my bed looks. I have so much content but it’s just so hard for me to sit down and write and not watch more YouTube videos. I am gonna commit to 1 entry per week. Just one, Aaron. You can do it.
- Visit all 10 South East Asian Countries – Up till now, I have been to 8 SEA countries except Myanmar and Laos. The reason why I haven’t been Myanmar is because I need a visa. And for Laos, I just haven’t thought of a reason to go. But now I will try to visit all of them! An extension to this resolution is also I wanna try to visit all the countries properly. For example, I’ve been to Indonesia but only Sumatera, Kalimantan and Java. I haven’t been to Sulawesi and Bali (can you believe that? I can’t either). I haven’t been to Hue/ Danang/ Nha Trang. I haven’t been to Boracay/ Luzon. I haven’t been to Chiang Mai/ Phuket. So, let’s try.
- Cook at least 1 new ethnic dish per month – I have attended many cooking classes in countries that I have been to. I love ethnic food (I even have a list of my favourite ethnic restaurants in Melbourne) And I love cooking. It failed in 2017 but I will try not to let it fail in 2018. So let’s do adobo soon. I have 3 weeks to go.
- Explore Victoria – I don’t know if you have realised but I took so many international trips in 2017. I rarely explore my own backyard (maybe that’s why I have become so broke). Let’s go to at least 3 different places in Victoria in 2018!
- Take 3 international trips – I am not going to increase the number because there are too many uncertainties. Gonna stick to a more realistic number.
- Polish my photography and videography skill – I bought a Canon G7x Mark ii hoping to improve my skill. All my recent Instagram photos are taken by this new baby and I’m really happy with the quality that it produces! I just subscribed to a few website and YouTube photo/videographer and can’t wait to explore this immense realm of knowledge!
- Travel with mum again this year – I went to Iran with mum and that was the best trip I’ve taken so far. And I wanna take more trips like this. You ready, mum?
Having a list of travel resolutions doesn’t mean that I am only gonna achieve those listed. It doesn’t restrict me. Maybe I will fail them miserably just like my pho, maybe I will achieve more stuff that I didn’t originally plan, but these resolutions are something for me to look forward to every day I wake up.
And peace! Talk soon!
I love the idea of cooking dishes from the country. Travel on!!
Yeah it’s amazing! Especially when you get to cook in different kinds of kitchen!
Wow….you’ve had a busy year! I love that you have a set of travel resolutions. I have never been out of the UK, but this year I plan on getting passports for me and my family and go on our first holiday abroad.
That’s a great start! There’s many nearby countries around the UK for you to go to without breaking the bank! Must be exciting!!!
6 out of 10 is a great achievement in itself. Considering I set one and couldn’t do that. I wish you the best of luck in achieving your 2018 resolution.
I will try my best Cia! Thank you!!
That’s just so awesome Aaron, you really achieved a lot in 2017 and I love the way you write. It feels like I’m chatting to my son about all his trips. Hope you get to see all those other wonderful places and that your mum can go with. Happy travels
Thank you for the lovely comment, Michelle! Yes, it was wonderful to travel with my mum and I want to share it with the world.
You have some really nice travel resolutions for this year. I agree that Eastern Europe is a must, especially that it is not so touristic yet and the people are so friendly over there. Cooking an ethnic dish is also a nice resolution, I am already trying to do this. Just last week I cooked the Guatemalan pepian 🙂
I have to admit that I have little to no idea how’s Eastern Europe is like but you make me wanna go even more now! I just did a quick google search about Guatemalan pepian and it had me drooling!!! OMG it looks so good! It will be on my to-cook list now!
These are all such great goals!!! Good luck!! I’m jealous.. it sounds amazing!
Wow what an incredible amount of awesome experiences you had in 2017, well done on achieving so many of them – and they were not all easy ones to do! I am sure you will do great in smashing this years goals and many more!
Yeah! Hopefully I will achieve all of them!
You absolutely made my day with your French !! I hope you do know a bit more than that sentence Haha! If you need any tips or anything ask me, I am French 🙂 And it’s so true french always stay in their bubble mostly because they don’t speak English very much/at all!
Hahaha, thanks for the offer! I will blast you with all my questions soon =P Yeah, that’s true. But once in a while, I meet very lovely French. And when I was in France, I had a really good experience with the French!
Wow – you got 6 out of 10 of your travel goals. That’s pretty amazing. Are you also working on personal goals? How is that going?
My personal goal for the year – pass med school! This year will be the hardest year so I really hope that I get through it without much stress. Eek!
Great ideas here. Ice skating proper made me laugh, I have tried all over the world both Manchester, London and New York and still I cant seem to nail it x
Hahahah but at least you get to go to those places! You don’t wanna know how badly I fell at these places and how many hours I spent wiggling my way before I actually can skate it with confidence!
I love how you ended your post on “Having a list of travel resolutions doesn’t mean that I am only gonna achieve those listed. It doesn’t restrict me.” It always good to go out of the list and do something completely different.
Exactly! Maybe (and hopefully) I will achieve more! Thanks Shadlyn for the lovely comment!
You had an incredible 2017! Even if you didn’t completely pass, you should be proud of yourself. Your goals for this year and I’m sure you can reach them all. Good luck!
Thank you so much! Fingers crossed that I will pass them all this year!
I loooved reading your blog post. I am Albanian and my bf is Polish, born and raised. We visited both countries this year and I love both, however, maybe I am biased but Albania is phenomenal. Poland is better historically but Albanian beaches are gorgeous, very warm people and the food is … AHHHHMAZING. All the other countries you’ve listed are also great. Also, remove such words “as if I have enough money for that to happen” from your thinking. You want to think that you always have money to do what you love (travel) and change our mindset. You;ll see that great things will happen. 🙂
Yes maybe that line should be totally erased from my brain! Thank you for the recommendation! I didn’t know that Albania has such nice beaches and now I am SO EXCITED FOR THE FOOD!! I have no idea what food in Albania is like so I hope that I will get a chance to try!
Wow. Looks like 2017 was an amazing year for you. I cannot wait to head to South East Asia and explore that more. Looking forward to where you go in 2018.
Yeah it definitely was amazing! Stay tuned and hopefully I will go where I wanna go!
That is awesome travel resolutions lists. Wishing the best of luck in achieving all your goals this 2018.
You are so adventurous! What an amazing story! Sounds like you fulfilled your life in an instant. You have such awesome 2018 travel resolutions. 🙂
Hopefully I will achieve all of them! Thanks!
These are some great travel resolutions, so amazing you accomplished 6 from last year. I am sure you will do great with this year’s goals, Best wishes!
Hopefully! Thank you for the wishes!
These are some great goals! Wishing you the best of luck in achieving all your goals this 2018.
Wow! Yeah, you should feel good about those 6 achievements! I thought it was cool that you had “Travel with only carry-on luggage” as one of your resolutions because that’s always a big deal for me when I travel. I feel good when I can carry everything with me and not have to wait for my luggage or worry that it got lost.
I know right! That was such a big achievement for me. Last time it used to be such a hassle for me to choose what to pack etc but now everything just become really automatic for me! I am sure with enough planning, you can do it too Steve!
Going through your article is like reading a globe trotter’s diary.. I loved the way you planned to visit few countries and met the goal.. Taking your parents with you during trip is another good idea because they deserve this special warmth from their children.. keep it going…
Thank you! Yeah taking my parents was lovely and I hope that I can do it more!!!
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