Thanks Girl Tweets World for the inspiration for this post. I spend so much time thinking about where I’ll be going that I don’t spend much time considering how I should be doing it, which is just as important. At the moment I don’t have a solid plan of where 2017 is going to take us but, when it does, I will be travelling with these ideals in mind.
By this I mean visiting places ethically and leaving nothing but footprints behind. There are so many gorgeous parts of the world that I long to visit, but tourism is destroying them (I’m thinking of Phi Phi Island in Thailand right now, but there are many others). For me, travelling responsibly means choosing hotels that take care of the land they are built on, are culturally sensitive and aware, and selecting travel companies for tours that are ethical and environmentally friendly. For example, when we travelled in Thailand we avoided activities that exploited animals and selected tours that were environmentally friendly, such as the Two Sea Tour of Phang Nga Bay.
It’s a huge privilege and responsibility to work in the media, and I have always tried to use whatever platform I’ve been writing for to promote causes that are close to my heart. My dearest hope is that the writing I produce on subjects such as the plight of the elephants in Chiang Mai will change just one person’s mind about travelling ethically vs unethically themselves. I hope in 2017 to be able to raise awareness to more causes, particularly related to animals and tourism.
I love to discover the cultural heart of countries that we visit. Usually this means avoiding anything really touristy and setting out to discover the history and heart of the area. With a small child in the past I have neglected this at times in favour of taking my daughter somewhere easier that she would enjoy, but that she could do anywhere back at home – for example a water park with slides because she would get immediate enjoyment and it’s easy, vs taking her temple hopping in Chiang Mai, which surprisingly she absolutely loved.
Cheese came home from our Thailand trip having learnt about religion, Buddha, monks and the importance of not riding elephants. It wasn’t lost on me how much more she learned doing travel such as this vs things like amusements parks. My goal in 2017 is to use our travel to learn more about each destination and the people who live there and completely skip the other stuff.
We can’t afford to fly around the world as much as I’d like, but we can do more local travel, which is something I want to focus more on in 2017. There is plenty to explore in our own country that we have yet to introduce the Cheese to that I think we will all love, so Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Brisbane + Sunshine Coast are all on the itinerary for the year (if you have any hot tips on things to do in these area that are off the beaten path, please let me know!).
We are hopefully buying a house in January so we will need to cut back on spending. This will mean that I have to be thrifter day-to-day, which is a good thing, and also research free/cheap travel ideas. I’ll be spending more time researching things we can do for free when we travel, both locally and abroad, so you’ll notice more content coming to the blog as a result of this that will help with budget travel plans. I hope to discover free museum days, cheap ways to get around, ideas for exploring nature, the best deals for attractions and hotels and share them with you.
This will be the hardest for me! I find it absolutely impossible to stop taking photos, writing down notes and filming videos to relax and enjoy the moment. I rarely find travel restful because I’m always trying to capture everything to produce great content later – the downfall of your passion also being your career! I finished 2016 absolutely burnt out however, and I see that in 2017 I need to schedule time to stop documenting and just enjoy and relax, as hard as it might be to do.
What are your resolutions? Do you make them?
Christine is the editor of Adventure, Baby!