The Common Ground Between New Years Resolutions and Travel

There’s no time like January to make some travel resolutions for the New Year.

If you’ve been wanting to expand the ways you travel, to travel smarter, or to become more immersed in local culture – keep reading. We all get into bad habits when it comes to traveling, but sometimes breaking out of our comfort zones can lead to some of the most rewarding moments of a trip.

Washington Square Park, Greenwich Village, NYC

Walking Tours: While zooming around underground on a subway certainly has its appeal for covering large distances quickly, nothing replaces exploring on foot. With iPhone apps and blogs full of itineraries, it is possible to find a walking tour that is an exact match with your interests. I recently wrote a blog for iStopOver magazine describing an itinerary for a literary walking tour of the West Village. All you need is a basic map and a few points to guide you through the neighborhood. This itinerary will reveal some great literary haunts of New York City, including the former home of ee cummings, the famous literary pub the White Horse Tavern, and the narrowest house in New York City that was once home to Edna St Vincent Millay.

The daily catch from Malta’s biggest fish market

Exploring Markets and Signing up for a Cooking Class: There is no lens into a culture that is as rewarding as cuisine. The best place to begin is the market – here you will find the local language, customs, and ingredients spread out through a thrilling maze of bartering and community banter. One market I especially enjoyed this year was the fish market in Marsaloxx on the island of Malta. Take this immersion into local culture one step further by signing up for a cooking course or bringing overflowing bags of local ingredients back to a vacation rental to prepare a feast.

Venice

Whet Your Appetite for Travel through Reading: Nothing will break you out of a travel rut quite like a fascinating travel book or article. One publication that brightens my day when it arrives in the mailbox is AFAR Magazine. Beyond the excellent design, this magazine brings together some of the best voices in travel writing. One of my favorite features is called ‘Spin the Globe’ – where editors literally spin a globe in the office to choose a destination for a writer – who doesn’t know where they’re going until they reach the airport. From Russia to Venice, this feature has always revealed insights into the destination that make me want to explore further.

Cooking with new ingredients can bring travel right into your kitchen.

Travel Close to Home: One of the most common New Years resolutions is to gain control of finances – but this doesn’t have to conflict with travel. Traveling close to home can take many forms. It can mean short weekends away from home discovering your immediate area, or even simply cooking with new spices and a new cookbook to transport you across the globe. A $20 investment such as a cookbook can help you to keep your New Years Resolutions and get your travel fix too.

My travel resolutions of the year are to discover more ethnic food in New York City, to explore culinary getaways in the Northeast and beyond, and to keep infusing a sense of travel into everyday life. Keep reading in 2011 to see how it all turns out.

Happy New Year.

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