I know, it can be overwhelming. New year, new me goals, resolutions, planning ahead and manifesting. It’s easy to get carried away and affirm that this new year you’ll right all your wrongs, achieve all your dreams and that it must be a constant flow of happiness and positivity, within the 365 days of 2019. And social media is not letting you forget it’s time to put your new year, new me facade on.

Having shifted from resolutions to goals a few years back, I understand the importance of setting intentions for the year and the feeling of having them come to pass, or not. But if you are anything like myself the list of goals seem to increase every year.  And though I wholeheartedly agree it’s great to be clear on what you want from life, it can leave you feeling like there is a mountain as high as Everest to climb on Jan 1st.

But this year instead of basically copying over my goals from 2018, bar the ones I achieved or decided to drop, I feel this strong sense to work backwards and get clear on my why, or to be more precise, what I want to feel more of.

2018 was all over the place for me, the good, bad and the exhausting. So it was clear what my intention was to be in 2019. Balance. This is never an easy thing to achieve and may entail shifting focus frequently. But it can’t be all work, no play, all spend and no save, or vice versa.

Having a goal to visit 10+ countries this year may work for some, but for me… it’s important to look inward and understand why I wish to do so and how this may make me feel. By getting clear on this, I believe you are making choices based on what you need internally and thus you’ll feel empowered by your actions.

This is not about staying in your comfort zone, but more so about finding comfort in your why? If I want to go on  some kind of physical retreat, say hiking in Cambodia, I know this will be a challenging experience for me. I could feel scared, tired and exhausted. But above anything I want to feel adventurous, or raise money for charity, or physically push myself. So If I know the latter is my goal, I will feel more inclined to go ahead with that choice.

Some of my previous travel goals have been to travel solo, visit more cities in Europe, go on at least one trip outside Europe a year. Having done this consistently in the past few years, I understand better what goes into these kind of trips. Solo travel can be lonely as well as rewarding, city breaks can be as costly as long haul trips, and travelling outside Europe may entail 11+ hour flights, which can take a day or two of your trip to recover from.

Solo travel for me was, and still is a way to push myself outside my comfort zone. Having done this a few times now I would consider myself comfortable (I’m sure this varies depending on the location). Although I will continue to solo travel, the need to be out of my comfort zone can be directed to other areas in my life that I feel needs that challenge more.

I believe there is power in letting go and allowing the moment to show you what you need to see.

Travel for me is many things. Disconnecting, connecting, exploring, adventure, self reflection, capturing and being lost in a moment. So wherever I choose to go this year, with whom and how long for will be chosen, as much as possible, on what I’m longing for internally. I know going on a trip to Ibiza with friends (which I hope to do this year) will be exciting, thrilling and quite possibly exhausting, so I would need the energy required for this trip.

But like anything, things don’t always unfold the way we would like. So as much as intentionality is key, letting go can be the real tool in having a happy journey and feeling balance. I believe there is power in letting go and allowing the moment to show you what you need to see.

It can be demonstrated by trying to balance on one leg, the more you try not to fall the more energy you use, causing you to shake and fall. Whereas if you focus less on trying to fall, but instead on your breath, the focus is not on the resistance to fall. Might not have explained it well, but definitely try it out!

If you are trying to find balance too, or mapping out your goals think about what you need, and focus less on other people’s 2018 story highlights, or that your favourite blogger travels twice a month, or that your photo of the Eiffel Tower doesn’t look as polished as some travel bloggers.

Having said all of the above, one of my goals is to capture and experience more of my hometown, London, as well as the UK.

I really haven’t travelled around the UK much, as it wasn’t a priority for me. But now having more adventures closer to home is more of a focus, for reasons including making most of a railcard discount, knowing more about England, it’s historic places and the people (that are divided over Brexit). So watch this space as I will be sharing my journey here and over on my instagram @cherylistripping.

Please share in the comments below where you are planning to head to this year, if you do have specific places you want to visit. Or if you also get overwhelmed by you goals!

So for now I wish you fulfilling travels for 2019 xo

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