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Looking Forward to a Year of Exploration

Published in the Battle Creek Enquirer

Let me save you the effort of looking back at my travel resolutions for last year. In short, it was almost a total bust of a year, resolution-wise. Life-wise it was a fair to good year but keeping my travel resolutions was a non-starter. The only one of the 10 I got right was remembering my toothbrush and other toiletries.

Really? That’s all I got?

I packed my workout clothes every time and stayed at hotels that will loan you clothes and shoes. I still didn’t work out regularly on the road. Packing healthy snacks? Not once. I did get to the airport a little earlier a few times to avoid that sinking “am I going to miss my flight?” feeling. I seem to remember being a touch more patient when traveling, but I may just be remembering the good stuff.

As for the places I wanted to travel, I scored a big zero. I don’t recall traveling any less, but I didn’t get to Prague or even to the Upper Peninsula. I still haven’t spent a weekend on Lake Huron. I didn’t get to the Florida Keys, but I did get to Sarasota, Fla., and had a lovely sun-soaked few days. Can I count that? I didn’t get to Yosemite or Yellowstone, but I spent an afternoon at Binder Park Zoo. Not quite the same thing as a national park, but a lot closer to home.

I did travel to Disney World again (my husband’s a certified Mouseketeer, so we seem to have a permanent trip plan to see his pal Mickey). We had a lovely family vacation on the Russian River in California wine country. I visited Albion, Lansing and Coldwater and spent some wonderful hours floating on local Michigan lakes. Detroit and Grand Rapids were a big part of my Michigan travel, too. And with a daughter in college in northern California, I made a few trips to visit her. I did have a very short trip to Lusaka, Zambia, but didn’t get to see anything of the country.

Due to my mixed track record for 2014, I’m a little reluctant to outline another set of resolutions for 2015. A few of these have now been on the list unsuccessfully for two years in a row. It’s embarrassing. But I think it might be worse to not even try. I’ll cut back to a simple list of five, however.

1. I will work out every day on every trip. Period. No excuses.

2. I will remember to check my seat assignment as far out as possible. Sitting in a middle seat at my advanced age is simply not a viable option.

3. I will make it to the Upper Peninsula and Lake Huron.

4. I will make it to someplace in Europe that I’ve never been.

5. I will enjoy every moment of time spent traveling with my family and friends, making wonderful indelible memories that sharing adventures in common brings.

Travel can be such a chore. It takes you away from the comforts of home. One endures beds that are too soft, or too hard or too small. Occasionally, you get hotels rooms that are sterile and cold. Flying is stressful, and driving can be even worse. Eating out can pack on the weight, and that indigestion caused by eating late is awful. I often come home from traveling even more tired than when I set out.

But if I never ventured out in the world, I would have missed so much: fabulous sunsets, incredible meals, understanding different places and people. Most of all though, travel is about getting out of my comfort zone, trying new things and being with people I love. I wish nothing more for you and yours in the coming year!

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