New Year: 2018 Adventure Resolutions
This year, I will travel to… Find out in my 2018 Adventure Resolutions!
Happy 2018 my readers! I’m a bit late to welcoming everyone to this new year but that’s because I was busy gallivanting around Spain! (This post is being typed mid-air on my way back to Boston from JFK Airport after being stranded there for the night post-bomb cyclone.) My adventure resolutions is a series of ten travel commitments I began last year in 2017 and am continuing forth in 2018. Last year, I completed 5 out of the 10 adventure resolutions I set:
- Wake up to see the sunrise – Bagan, Myanmar (Completed Feb 2017)
- Get lost in a new city – Jiufen, Taiwan (Completed Feb 2017)
- Stop putting it off – Busan, South Korea (Completed June 2017)
- Try something trendy – Taipei, Taiwan (Completed Jan 2017 )
- Unplug for 24 hours – Halong Bay, Vietnam (Completed Apr 2017)
This year, I’m hoping to at least 7 out of 10 of my resolutions checked off!
WORDS TO LIVE BY IN 2018
“Today, I choose joy.” In my life, every year that’s ended in the number “8” has been an extremely positive year for me which is why this year’s mantra is all about positivity, happiness, and joy. For those who know about my struggles with anxiety, I am choosing to be joyful each and every day. 2017 was a year of acknowledgement, of accepting and recognizing weaknesses. I gently reminded myself that “I Can Do Anything, But Not Everything.”
HERE ARE THE ADVENTURE RESOLUTIONS FOR 2018!
1. HIT FIFTY COUNTRIES
As a country counter—and proud of it!—hitting fifty countries is a huuuuuge milestone for me and one I have been eyeing since 2014. Four years later, tickets acquired, I will be checking off this goal in Lithuania of all places! One thing I’ve read about Lithuanians is that they are aerial enthusiasts and Vilnius is the one capital in the world where you can fly in a hot air balloon over the city, which totally makes sense since Lithuania has the highest capita of hot air balloons per citizen. If you’re curious, this unique sightseeing experience starts at $150 USD for an hourlong ride over the Old Town.
WHERE: Vilnius, Lithuania
WHEN: April 2018
2. SWING BY THE GOLDEN GATE
Of all the instagrammable spots in the USA, the lone swing looking out onto The Golden Gate Bridge is by far one of the most recognized. This little corner of the world is Kirby Cove, and while it’s not the only swing near the Golden Gate Bridge, it’s definitely the most popular. Getting there involves a lot of climbing up and down rocks so it’s not the easiest place to get to, but that shot makes the hike worthwhile! For a weekend itinerary in San Francisco, click here.
WHERE: San Francisco, California, USA
WHEN: February 2018
3. SURVIVE A TAPAS CRAWL
Tapas is so popular in Spain that they have an actual verb for the activity, tapaer, meaning “to go to tapas.” Before heading to Spain, I thought tapas simply meant bite-sized servings but to my surprise, tapas is a smorgasbord of various nibbles, from montados (canapes) to revueltos (dishes made with eggs) to raciones (small portions of larger entrees) and conservas (preserved foods in tins,) that come together to form a complete meal. COMPLETED 1/5/18: I hardcore “tapeo-d” all around Barcelona all thanks to my lovely employer, who rented out the Mercat Princesa food hall for my colleagues and I during our work trip so we could try infinite amounts of tapas for free. Needless to say, I’ve left Spain a little softer around the edges but happy to have mastered the art of tapaer.
WHERE: Barcelona, Spain
WHEN: January 2018
4. MOVE TO THE BEAT OF FLAMENCO
When I think of Spain, I think about flamenco dancing and paella and my two priorities in Madrid were to 1) learn the secrets of making paella and 2) see a flamenco show. Flamenco is actually a four-part production comprised of baile (dancing), toque (guitar playing), cante (singing) and palmas (handclapping). There’s also a whole lot of fingersnapping and cheering going on too. COMPLETED 1/6/18: My Madrileno friends got tickets for me to the Teatro Madrid located in the Malasana neighborhood where if you come early enough, you get to sit in the front table of this small theater and be close to all the action. We were so close that you had to dodge being pelted by the sweat bullets from all the furious dancing occurring on stage but on the plus side, we captured some great dance shots from our seats.
WHERE: Madrid, Spain
WHEN: January 2018
5. SCOPE OUT A CITY DIFFERENTLY
Fun fact: Stockholm was built over fourteen islands so one of the best ways to get around Stockholm is to soak it in by sea. There are quaint canal tours, tourist-friendly hop-on-and-off boats, and even a 3-hourlong brunch cruise featuring an authentic Swedish smörgåsbord. I’d like to venture beyond the city’s shoreline into the rawness of the Swedish archipelago where 30,000 islands brimming with incredible wildlife await and it seems there’s only one route into the thick: via RIB speedboat, a high-speed thrill ride traveling at 45 knots or 60 miles per hour! For a Top Five Things to Do in Stockholm, Sweden, click here.
WHERE: Stockholm, Sweden
WHEN: April 2018
6. ZIPLINE THROUGH THE JUNGLES
I got my first taste of ziplining in India soaring across an ancient fort and I’ve been dying to get my next adrenaline rush. I’ve heard that Costa Rica is THE place to go ziplining with cable lines zigzagging across the canopy spread, over waterfalls and thick tangles of tropical vegetation. And the cables apparently span miles and miles, meaning hours of fun. Most zipline tours are over 10 rides long, and usually include rapelling and walking across questionable suspension bridges, so it seems like a worthy, adventure-ridden investment. For a list of the Top Five Things To Do in Jaco, Costa Rica, click here.
WHERE: San Jose, Costa Rica
WHEN: December 2018
7. PAY HOMAGE TO FRIDA KAHLO
I not only idolize the late Frida Kahlo as a feminist icon, but also for her promotion of color theory. As an anthropology student and graphic designer, I adore her intentional choice of colors inspired by indigenous Mexico. When I visit Mexico City later on this year, I would love to make a pilgrimage to the Caza Azul (The Blue House) to dive into the private world of Frida Kahlo. Her old residence has been turned into a museum, providing a rare look into the life of one of the most popular artists in history.
WHERE: Mexico City, Mexico
WHEN: May 2018
8.GREET THE SUN IN CHICHEN ITZA
I’m on a quest to see all seven new wonders of the world and Chichen Itza will be world wonder number four (I’ve visited Peru’s Machu Picchu, Rome’s Colosseum, and Agra’s Taj Mahal.) The centerpiece of Chichen Itza, an ancient Mayan city, is the 75-foot-tall Temple of Kukulkan. The Mayans were masters of astrology and this monument is actually a three-dimensional calendar marking the occurrence of spring and autumn each year. During equinox, the sun’s rays cascade down the pyramid’s main stairwell, linking with the serpent heads at the base of the steps, to create an illusion that celestial serpents are slithering down from the heavens.
WHERE: Mexico City, Mexico
WHEN: December 2018
9. GO BUNGEE JUMPING
The thought of bungee jumping is terrifying in and of itself. Now imagine adding an extra layer of terror when your launchpad is a tiny cable car that’s suspended in midair! The unique springboard (ie. the cable car) is not the only novel thing about the Sigulda bungee jumping experience. You jump out towards a massive lake surrounded by lush forest, giving you a spectacular view of Latvia’s natural offerings. If the view below doesn’t inspire you to jump out of the cable car, I don’t know what will.
WHERE: Sigulda, Latvia
WHEN: April 2018
10. SPEND A NIGHT WITH GHOSTS
When the sun goes down, that’s when Tallinn’s Old Town truly gets interesting. Almost every property within Old Town is allegedly haunted. The most pervasive of hauntings is the story of the Devil’s Wedding. Down Rataskaevu Street, near the so-called Cat’s Well, you’ll see that building number 16 has a bricked-up window. Legend has it that the Devil himself hosted a wedding in that very room, now a guestroom I’m attempting to spend a night in. Centuries ago, a cloaked stranger walked into this former inn offering a king’s ransom to rent this room under the condition he be given total privacy. But the overly curious innkeeper was prompted to peep through the keyhole when he heard thunderous noise coming from the room. The next day, the innkeeper fell deathly ill and shared on his deathbed that he had witnessed the Devil’s unholy matrimony. For a photo essay of Tallinn, Estonia, click here.
WHERE: Tallin, Estonia
WHEN: April 2018
Ahh your going to be having so much fun on your travels this year! I can’t wait to see them unfold!!
How bout chasing the northern lights ? I would love to go with u!
Hope you will be able to make all that happen. As for me, I don’t make any resolution, just a plan to go here and there without any reservations yet.
Good luck with your awesome plannes for 2018 and that you are hitting soon your 50th country! We’ve been to 42 so far but we are hoping to add some more this year too. Great bucket list! I think Golden Gate is great!!! Do it for sure! And wow bungee jumping… that’s not for me! Although we went to New Zealand where I could do it on the highest bridge. But nope… not for me;)
this is super inspirational! I love this post! you have such a positive and happy vibe! you’ve inspired me to start my own goals!
Wow!!! What a great resolutions list!! You’re so close to 50! Your blog inspires me so much to travel! Thanks and keep it up!
Love your enthusiasm and the way you target your travel goals. Truly awesome. Might we suggest rather than counting countries, you instead focus on quality travel experiences? Just a thought. You have already had so many amazing experiences that honestly have little to do with checking off a country, and more to do with connecting with a cultural experience. You will have many more. And you are so natural at it. We cannot wait for your next photo, and experience.
Amazing list and the pictures/drawings, did you make them? They are stunning, you have a beautiful blog and…congrats on hitting 50 countries this year(and on mastering the art of Tapear (I am from Barcelona, amazing your company booked el mercat de la pricessa!)
This is a fantastic and adventurous list for 2018! I’ve done a few of these things, like Chichen Itza and tapas eating, but I’ll leave the bungee to you! Happy travels!
That is a very well-thought out list, down to the specifics! You do your research well 🙂 All of it sounds amazing, and the variety of experiences is very interesting. Have a fabulous 2018!
Those are some amazing goals! I don’t know what I’d be scared of more…the bungee jumping or sleeping in the haunted place? I’m happy you’ve already completed some of your goals, too. Beautiful blog post with the beautiful painted imagery, too.
I am weary of resolutions. But yours looks more like an itinerary than wishful thinking. The design aesthetic of your blog is very appealing. Have a blast this year. I would be with you in spirit at Frida Kahlo’s place – look forward to that blog
What an adventurous and fun 2018 resolutions to have. I have done few of these and totally loved it. One country that you can add to your list is Romania. Probably attend a traditional Romanian wedding.
I absolutely love how you’ve presented your travel goals and achievements 🙂 I’d really love to ‘spend the night with the ghosts’ in Tallinn too 😉 Wish you all the best for achieving all your goals this year!
These are incredible resolutions and I seriously wish you all the luck!
I didn’t realize the Spanish have a word for eating tapas. I love it! I loved Flamenco in Spain too but I went in Granada, in southern Spain. 🙂 And you’re going to LOVE Costa Rica. And Stockholm is fabulous! I studied abroad there and miss it! Looks like you have an incredible year ahead.
so cool! i was happy to see Vilnius in the list. it’s my hometown and i love it so much. hope you enjoyed your time there at your fullest 🙂
hmm…gives me an idea to make a travel goals list too. i’m def keen to do Mexico, it is my dream destinations and hope to do it next year! good luck with fulfilling these. i look forward to their posts!
Courtney from Antipodean Adventurer
I loooooved these resolutions! You sound like a no fears type of girl – someone I’d love to be but my fear gets a hold of me hahah. I’m jealous about the swing in SF as I went there earlier this year but didn’t know there was a swing 🙁 and 50 countries is such a feat! Can’t wait to see how you go on this in 2018 🙂
Whah, such a great and fantastic list for 2018! I would love to go to Chichen Itza, but I’m afraid this year won’t be the time to go, since I have a lot of travels to do myself (:
I love that you already have so many adventures planned out for 2018! And you’re already knocking down the list with your tapas eating and Flamenco watching. The chasing ghosts in Tallin sounds pretty spooky and cruising through Stockholm at 60 MPH on a RIB speed boat will be a blast! We’re off to Morocco shortly and then hopefully headed down to Namibia – beyond that I am not sure what 2018 will hold for us, but I hope it is half as awesome as yours looks like it will be!
Amazing, as always, Izzy. I’m so excited to follow this year as well as the wedding planning!!!! I’m super jealous of Mexico City! Everyone seems to be going there and I want to go too! Haha! I’m also dying to see your journeys through Eastern Europe and huge CONGRATS that this will be the year you hit 50! I’m lagging way behind you! This country-counter is hoping to hit 30 this year! 😉
Love the energy of your writing style! And I really dig your checklist. I’ve done a few on your list like Chichen Itza, which is an amazing place. I think you’ll really enjoy it. When I was in Mexico City I skipped out on the Casa Azul but I hope to go back. One recommendation when you are in Mexico City is to also stop at the Jardin del Arte (Garden of Art). It’s a small park where all the local artist go to sell their artwork and it’s really an amazing place. It would be the perfect way to top off a visit to the Kahlo Museum.
You have a very interesting list of travel resolutions for 2018. It is inspirational to see you completed so many of your resolutions for 2017. I am pretty sure you will be able to achieve the 2018 ones as well. Flamenco, Pyramids, Zipline and the rest are all so different from each other. Which means end of the year you will have a very rich experience.
Sherrie Fabrizi Allbritten
Wow!! You are really going to be traveling 2018!! Good for you! It looks like you have a lot of goals and plans- I wish you luck with all!