TRAVEL RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017 (AND HOW I DID IN 2016)

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Wow, only two days left in 2016 and what an unbelievable year it was. We lost a lot of icons in the past few months, finally saw the end of the longest and craziest Presidential campaign in history and the Chicago Cubs won the World Series.

My fiance and I also completed our 50-state journey when we visited Alaska in September (I actually took another trip to Alaska in October). Reaching the 50-state plateau marked off a lifelong goal for me, but (on a smaller scale) also checked the box of one of my four travel-related resolutions for 2016. So how’d I do? It looks like I passed – but by the seat of my pants…

2016 RESOLUTION RECAP

Breeah posing by a set of phones and world time map at the Taiwan airport as we waited for our flight to Guam

Breeah posing by a set of phones and world time map at the Taiwan airport as we waited for our flight to Guam

  1. Visit my 20th country/territory: PASSED!

I squeaked by here on a technicality. In flying to Guam in May, Breeah and I spent a bit of time at the airport in Taiwan. This was my only new visit on foreign soil in 2016. Of course, we both got to Guam and the Northern Mariana Islands, which bumped me to a healthier 26 “countries” on the Travelers Century Club count. Even funnier is this quote from last year’s post, “I generally probably wouldn’t count a U.S. territory as another country in my own heart, but, then again, I’ve never had to travel across the world to, say, Guam…”. The prescience is strong with this one…

Both of us enjoying a nice, brisk windy September day at the northernmost point of the United States - Point Barrow, Alaska

Both of us enjoying a nice, brisk windy September day at the northernmost point of the United States – Point Barrow, Alaska

2. Get to Alaska, complete 50 states: PASSED!

Not only did we visit Alaska, but somehow also got to two “extreme” points in Barrow and Adak that I’ve long targeted. Alaska was one of my top personal travel moments of 2016 and really solidified the place in my heart as a future destination for years to come, there is just way too much to see and do up there.

Lassen Volcanic National Park in June. A lot of people don't realize that this was the site of the last volcanic eruption in the Lower 48 before Mt. St. Helens.

Lassen Volcanic National Park in June. A lot of people don’t realize that this was the site of the last volcanic eruption in the Lower 48 before Mt. St. Helens.

3. Visit my 25th National Park: PASSED!

The trip to Alaska also pushed me up and over the 25 mark for National Parks visited (not National Park units, just the big parks). I added Kenai Fjords National Park, Denali National Park, Olympic National Park and Lassen Volcanic National Park to my travelogue in 2016. I also re-visited Badlands National Park, Crater Lake National Park and Voyageurs National Park.

4. Write more: FAIL, FAIL, FAIL…EPIC FAIL…

Yes, life has been busier for me in 2016 than in any other year since I started blogging, but I’m still very disappointed in my output. I’ve pledged to myself to start focusing more on my writing again in 2017, and will include this as part of my resolutions for next year…which begin now…

2017 RESOLUTIONS

  1. Write more

Let’s just make it number one. That’ll force me to get my butt in gear.

Ritidian Point, Guam - near the spot where I popped the big question

Ritidian Point, Guam – near the spot where I popped the big question

2. Get married!

OK, so this is truly number one, but this is an easy one to accomplish (just took a heckuva lot of planning!) 🙂 Breeah and I are getting married early next year (I will dive more into it, so stay tuned here). Yes, of course we are going out of the country for this one. I mean, we got engaged in Guam, why would we settle for a wedding in the traditional U.S.? Where? You’ll find out sooner or later…

3. Kick the tires on a Cuba trip

Been meaning to do this for awhile, but with regulations eased up on U.S. travelers, going to Cuba hasn’t been this easy (or this rewarding) in decades. I’d like to go sometime in 2016 or (at least) book a trip for this year or next. It’ll definitely take a bit of extra planning than I usually do for our adventures.

4. Visit more of Eastern Oregon

The true remoteness of Eastern Oregon beckons...

The true remoteness of Eastern Oregon beckons…

Including a trip to the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. Was really hoping to do that this year but the Summer really flew by. I won’t let that happen in 2017.

5. Get to 145 National Park Units

Casa Grande was my most recent NPS unit visit (December 2016)

Casa Grande Ruins was my most recent NPS unit visit (December 2016)

I really, really want to put 150 here, but 14 can be tricky when there aren’t THAT many units near us, especially with only 3-4 we have yet to visit. I think a solid year would get us the 13 we need to get to that magic number, but I’ll give myself a solid shot at getting eight more for the year and hope I can do even better.

2 thoughts on “TRAVEL RESOLUTIONS FOR 2017 (AND HOW I DID IN 2016)

  1. What! You made it to the Casa Grande ruins! Mere minutes from me (well, an hour or so, but still). Glad you got to see some of Arizona. Next time look me up. Have enjoyed following your travels over the past year, and I agree with your #1 resolution. Share more! Also, congratulations on the engagement. Woot woot. Happy New Year.

    • Yeah I spurned a buddy of mine down in that area as well – he was none too pleased with me! I do plan on coming back over Final Four weekend – a friend of mine and I are going to the semifinals in April.

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