I’m slightly over a week late, but I’ve decided to participate in travel website BootsnAll’s Indie Travel Challenge 2012. One of my vague resolutions for this year was to be more consistent with my blogging, no matter how busy I get with other things, so this community blogging challenge is perfect. Basically, BootsnAll posts a prompt each week and participants respond with a post on their blogs.

I’ll be doubling up this week to catch up. The first week of January was – of course – all about resolutions. BootsnAll’s post 18 Travel Resolutions to Keep This Year was inspiring, and I’ve lifted a few of their ideas for my own goals (thanks, guys!).


1. Focus on – and finish – school

I started the Travel Diploma program at Grant MacEwan University in September. It’s a one-year accelerated program, packing two years’ worth of material into four condensed semesters. I am learning a ton about the travel industry, which was the point: I want to mix travel and writing, and I think understanding things from an industry perspective will give me an edge in some ways. The downside is the amount of material we’re expected to absorb is insane. I need to focus more on school, and make better use of my study time.

2. Find a really sweet practicum/internship for August/September

There’s a one-month practicum component at the end of my program, and instead of doing it at an agency or airline like most people do, I really want to find something in writing, editing or destination marketing. I plan to apply for the National Geographic Traveler editorial internship in research, even though I doubt a travel program will do much to wow them. If I can find something in a far-off land, so much the better. If I have to work for free, it had better be amazing. Any ideas?

3. Tour

The band I’ve been playing with is actually starting to do things, which is exciting. I haven’t been on tour since the ill-fated Action/Defiance tour of 2005 (read Defiance roadie Rufio’s take on it here), and am dying to go. We have been talking about hitting Canada’s East Coast for two weeks in mid-May, flying out to Halifax and making our way to hang out in the Toronto area for a week. I’ve never seen the Maritimes, and would love to see Quebec City. I’m also super excited about revisiting Toronto, where I lived for a few years. I’m hoping we will have an actual album out by October, and can do a longer tour of the U.S. Visiting all the weird states is high on my list. Finally, there was some talk about going to Cuba in January 2013. I resolve to make this more than just talk.

4. Write & edit

With everything else I’m involved in, writing has sort of been on the back burner, which is unfortunate because it’s what I really want to be doing. I’d like to make better use of my time and start fleshing out some of my ideas and pitching them to various outlets. I also need, need, NEED to post regularly here and on my Western Canada site, which is totally broken right now and needs a fixin’. I also recently started the Matador U travel writing course (here’s my blog over there!) and hope to improve my narrative writing skills. In addition, hope to pick up some freelance editing work in the realm of travel. Fingers crossed.

5. Be an Alberta tourist

Having a commitment to school stresses me out because it means I can’t go anywhere, but maybe it won’t be so bad. It’ll give me the chance to be an Alberta tourist, which is kind of sweet because I adore this province and there are tons of places I have always wanted to see here. The Vilna Pool Hall, Dinosaur Provincial Park, and Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump are on my list for weekend trips this year. Also high up there, across the border, is Rainbow Danceland in Manitou Beach, Saskatchewan. Not sure if that is an acceptable dream destination, but there it is. Wait, I just realized maybe I could PLAY Rainbow Danceland! New 2012 goal.

6. Become slightly more of a minimalist

I’ve moved around a lot, but have an awful lot of stuff. Some of it, I need (records and books). Some of it, I don’t need (craft supplies – it’s becoming apparent I just will not have the time to learn bookbinding or knit sweaters or develop my own photographs). Time to purge.

7. Be more social

I can be kind of antisocial with friends and strangers alike, and am making an effort to swing the opposite way. I’d like to be a better conversationalist, in order to learn more from other people.

8. Maintain a PMA

As a childhood negative Nancy, I’ve learned that it indeed is a lot easier to be happy than to be miserable. But no one is perfect – I still, occasionally, let things (and people) get to me. 2011 was tough at times, and I consider a positive mental attitude – all the time – a must for 2012.

9. Write in my journal every day

My journal has always been my best friend, but I tend to neglect it when I’m not dealing with some kind of insane romantic situation. And even then, all I have are pages and pages of ridiculous emotional ramblings. I’d like to fill my journals with observations and things that actually matter so I won’t feel the need to set fire to them in 10 years.

10. Save for a long trip

It seems like money gets in the way of everything. I’d like to save enough to go on an epic journey far away that isn’t for work or band. I’m not sure where yet, but saving is a start.

11. Stay weird

Some of my interests are slightly eclectic, and because I will turn 30 this year, I will embrace and hone that more than ever before. I will become a capable prospector and bring back the glory days of the gold rush in Alberta. I will expand my collection of vintage Fire King coffee mugs and melamine kitchenware in gaudy colours (these will not be a part of any sort of minimalist purge). I will take photos of every cat I meet on the street and befriend. Once it gets warm, I will ride my 1970s golden folding bicycle everywhere possible. I will recruit more postcard penpals (maybe even you!). I will retrieve my cat from Vancouver Island and take him for walks downtown on a leash.

What are your resolutions/plans for 2012? Let us discuss!


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