Ten Travel Resolutions for 2021 | GeoEx
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Ten Travel Resolutions for 2021

By Don George | January 11, 2021

Wildflowers in bloom

In my last Wanderlust dispatch, I described my 10 silver-lining lessons from 2020. Now a bright new year has begun, and I’m looking ahead to the promises and potentials of 2021.

As more and more countries open their borders and more and more people get their vaccinations, a new breeze of optimism is freshening the travel scene. While the need to travel prudently and cautiously is still paramount, and while the focus is on later-in-the-year journeys rather than let’s-leave-next-week trips, it does feel as if the gradual re-emergence of travel has begun.

It’s almost intoxicating to contemplate and anticipate—but of course, all optimism has to be tempered with reality. At GeoEx, we are closely and continually monitoring conditions around the globe, we are in nonstop contact with our partners worldwide, and we are doing everything we can to ensure that the strictest safety standards are being met in all phases of our trips for our travelers.

While we know that travel’s re-opening won’t happen like a curtain rising on a global stage, we’re thrilled by the prospect of sending travelers into the field again, when the time becomes right. Trip by trip, country by country, we’re preparing to participate in the grand global re-opening of 2021, and that is exhilarating. We are ready to start talking about future travel possibilities and plans whenever you are ready!

As for me, I have ten trips on my calendar for 2021, starting with journeys to my beloved Japan in March and April. Will I get to Japan this spring? That’s still uncertain. And will my other trips this year actually happen, including this autumn’s new and trailblazing Unexplored Japan journey, which I’m so excited about? We’ll see! For me, safety is the top priority, my safety and the safety of the people I encounter and the places I visit.

At this moment, then, my crystal ball is still cloudy, but at least it’s a rosy cloud. I am guardedly optimistic that travel will recommence to much of the planet before the end of 2021.

As we’ve entered this new year, my wanderlust has been sparked by various travel publications and pundits—including GeoEx’s own experts—talking about where to go. This is always an inspiring topic, and I’m happy to discover which places are enticing other travelers in the know. But for me, this year, instead of focusing on where I’m going to go, I find myself thinking more about how I’m going to travel when it’s time again to roam.

In many ways, the pandemic has heightened my appreciations and intentions, and so, as I peer into the wander-mists of trips to come, here are my 10 how-I’m-going-to-travel resolutions for 2021.

1. My fundamental resolution is to travel more mindfully and respectfully than ever before, to be more aware of my effect as a visitor on the local people, culture, economy, and sites, to be more attuned to the preciousness and precariousness of Earth’s infinite mosaic pieces, and to share the lessons this mosaic teaches.

2. I also resolve to travel more slowly and attentively, to take my time as I wander the road, whether in my California backyard or halfway around the globe; I resolve to follow the mantra that travel’s goal is not to win a race, but to spend deep-layering days in an enriching space.

3. I resolve to be a better asker of questions and hearer of replies, to listen unfettered and unfiltered to the heart and the mind, to search for the soul-beat of a people and place, and attend with ears open to unexpected grace.

4. I resolve to stay in the moment as much I can, to deflect the world’s distractions and demands, to focus on the here and now, and find abiding wonder in the humble wow.

5. I resolve to hone all my senses wherever I wander, not just to see, but to taste, smell, hear, and touch each adventure, to honor every place that I choose to explore by savoring it to its sensuous core.

6. I resolve to keep refining the sacred rites of patience, compassion, kindness, and light, and to thread these into the skein of my everyday life.

7. I resolve to recognize that we are all truly in this together, whatever our station and belief, and that every person I meet embodies a tale of losses and loves, trials and needs, triumphs and failures, detours and dreams.

8. I resolve to travel like a pilgrim, to celebrate the sanctity of every place, to plumb the wisdom of every space, to treat every encounter, wherever I may be, as a blessed opportunity.

9. I resolve to practice the fine art of vulnerability, to enter a place with a wholehearted embrace, to abandon embarrassment and fear without measure, and let serendipity guide me to its truth and treasure.

10. I resolve to keep my mind and heart as open as I can, wherever my path may weave, and to pour into the world all the love that I hope it returns to me.

As we discovered together in 2020’s dismay, the world can toss daunting obstacles our way. It’s not easy, but with the right spirit and sight, we can alchemize these into seeds of light. As we emerge from last year’s dark clouds and glooms, may this year radiate sun-bright, and nurture all these frail hope-seeds into healing, bridging, world-bettering blooms.

GeoEx Trip Leader Don George at a vineyard in France

Yours in abiding wanderlust,

Don George

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What do you think about these resolutions? And what are your travel resolutions for 2021? Please share your thoughts! It means so much to me, and to all of us at GeoEx, to hear from you! Thank you—and Happy New Year!

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3 years ago

Thank you for your resolutions. I’m going to save them and read them again as I make plans to actually travel again.

3 years ago

Amen to those words of wisdom for good travelers all over our Planet! ☮️

3 years ago

Thank you Don! Great words to travel by this upcoming year…

Diana Chang
Diana Chang
3 years ago

What a lovely set of resolutions. All travelers should embrace them. Of course, I have to add my two cents. That is, I resolve to tred as lightly and with as small a foot print as I can on this fragile and beautiful planet. Thank you for your blog

Lee Fuller
3 years ago

Well put Don, another very thought provoking article, full of wise insights!

Kathy Smith
Kathy Smith
3 years ago

After reading your resolutions I printed them off & intend to tuck them into my family
picture album I carry on trips. I wish each beautifully written word had come out of my mouth so I wouldn’t change a word !

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An Anthology of Travel Stories
Edited by Don George