As travelers, we often think about how we can help out and improve things in the countries we visit through volunteering and sustainable, responsible travel. Something we tend to hear less about, however, is how to help with issues happening back home while we are traveling or living abroad. Whether they are natural disasters, political or social upheavals, or a million other things, turmoil back home still effects us even when we’re on the other side of the world. Some people will say that you should just ignore everything and not let it ruin your good time, but most of us want to do what we can to aid those back home in times of need. So I’ve made a short, simple list of things you can do today to provide support to your home city or country when needed. (This was of course brought on by the current dumpster fire that is the United States, but these tips are all applicable to any country or situation.)
When I arrived in Rotorua, I was full of energy and hope. Finally, I had a chance at a job that isn’t waiting tables. Back in Auckland, I had spent the previous weeks going to fruitless job interview after job interview. Then one day while scouring BBH for new postings, I saw that a hostel in Rotorua was looking for a worker and was willing to train new staff. I decided to give it a shot and sent in my resume and cover letter and got a response in just a few hours. The next morning I hopped on the first bus of the day and headed down to Rotorua for my last minute job interview.
I’ve come to realize that my brain doesn’t really accept that it is a new year until a few months in. So, this year, I decided to wait until I began writing 2015 on forms without having to think about it (and no longer had to worry about trying to discreetly turn the 4 in 2014 into a 5) to start making ‘resolutions’.
Apparently it takes my brain nearly a quarter of the year to settle in, because it wasn’t until the end of March that I seemed to finally accept that 2015 was really happening. So began my resolution plotting. The best course of action seemed to be to choose a few vague topics and then narrow down how I was actually going to accomplish each of them (that’s always the hard part.)
My goals were as follows:
- Travel more
- Start a blog
- Make Videos
Couldn’t be more vague unless I literally just decided to “do things and make stuff,” but at least it was somewhere to start. I then had to make plans as to how I was going to make these resolutions a reality. Actually doing things is always the part that catches me up. Dreaming up all the things I’d like to do with my life is so fun, and then the reality of the work that is required ruins it.
I had already decided, though, that this year was going to have to be different. I couldn’t bear to spend another minute at my 9 to 5 without knowing that I was at least working towards something better. So I made plans for the ‘active participation required’ part of the resolutions.
- Travel more
- Step 1: Decide where I want to go and how much money (and time) it will take to get there.
- Step 2: Save the money, go to the place.
- Step 3: Repeat until I run out of money.
- Start a blog
- Step 1: Sift through my old abandoned blogs. If I don’t like any of them, start a new one from scratch (40th times the charm!)
- Step 2: Research how to not suck so much at blogging, attempt to apply new knowledge.
- Step 3: Keep doing it, because it doesn’t count if you give up after two posts again!
- Make videos
- Step 1: Make videos of things I actually enjoy (traveling, going around the city, whatever) instead of just letting work zap all of the fun out of something I actually love a lot
- Step two: Put them somewhere that others can see them (a blog, perhaps? What an idea.)
So now it’s June and I’ve had a few months to work on these resolutions. I have actually been doing alright keeping up with them so far (except I’ve been slacking on the “make videos” part, but we can’t all be perfect.) I just got back from a trip to New Orleans and have a trip to Tokyo planned for next month. And if you’re reading this, that means I’ve actually started the blog for real.
Part of me hopes that putting these ideas down in writing will force me to actually stick to them for the rest of the year instead of starting to get lazy because the excitement of having a new goal has worn off. I look forward to keeping up with my resolutions and sharing all of the adventures they bring here on the blog.
Do you make New Year’s resolutions? If so, do you keep up with them as the year goes on?