I’m awful with New Year’s Resolutions. I become obsessively invested in one singular thing for all of six weeks, then just as abruptly lose all interest and whatever it was I was working on sits forgotten in a corner to collect dust.
As such, it doesn’t vibe well with me to set yearly resolutions like: lose weight, eat healthier, spend less money, et cetera. These vague aspirations become meaningless after a few days, and eventually are thrown out altogether.
What does make sense to me (and is a lot more fun) is to set a yearly “Bucket List”: things I want to do/see/take part in within the upcoming year.
2017 was a wild ride, and 2018 holds more possibility than I can imagine (which, if I’m being 100% honest, kind of freaks me out!). Here are just a few of the things I’d like to see happen in the next twelve months:
Go on a sunrise hike
Admittedly, my hiking enthusiasm is a fairly recent thing, with my first solo hike taking place as recently as 2015. It should be criminal to have lived in the Cascade mountains for as long as I did without going on at least one sunrise hike, yet I never did! Now, with Mount Tamalpais in my backyard providing a 360° view overlooking San Francisco and the North Bay, I have all of the opportunities to watch the sun come up! I just have to drag my sorry carcass out of bed early enough to see it…
I’ve crisscrossed the country far too many times than I care to mention, yet nearly all of those journeys were mad dashes to get to the next destination; not at all the leisurely, ambling pace of the ideal road trip. The siren call to wander is irresistible and growing ever louder, and in the upcoming year, I’d like to pack up my car and drive with no real destination in mind and no itinerary to follow.
Do something unexpected
I know, I just said I don’t like vague goals. Bear with me. I have a bad habit of defining myself by routines, like spending all my spare time with my nose in a book. Routines can be comforting, but life doesn’t happen within the zones of comfort: it happens on the edges of dynamic reality, outside the realm of predictability.
I tend to be a little misanthropic: I don’t like crowds, my “stranger danger” alarm is always set on High, and I really don’t like to be touched by people I don’t know. Combine these tendencies with anxiety and it’s a cocktail for spending a lot of time away from other humans.
But, one day in Reykjavik, after a particularly nasty anxiety episode, I walked around downtown with a sign that said FREE HUGS for three hours, and I was entirely overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and affection I received from complete strangers! What’s more: I totally surprised myself by relaxing and actually being grateful that I had asked for help, instead of hiding in a quiet room with a book and avoiding all contact with the outside world.
It’s not something I can do all the time (for one thing, not every city is quite so friendly as Reykjavik), but after having my faith in humanity renewed in such a BIG way, I was ready to go out and experience life! Enough of letting it pass by me!
As the definition implies, I have no idea what is going to constitute as “unexpected” for me in the upcoming year. I suppose I’ll have to wait and see!
Go overseas (anywhere at all!)
The best feeling I know is that of waiting at a gate in the airport. Yes, okay, the waiting itself isn’t fun, but there’s a certain electric energy that makes my eyes go wide and my heart beat faster in anticipation of the adventure yet to come. The last time I felt that electricity, I was heading to Washington for the last time to prepare myself to move to California.
I miss that energy! I miss that rush of hair-raising excitement as I board the plane! It’s one thing to putz around in a car for a while; it’s another thing entirely to fly to a foreign country with nothing but a backpack and a prayer. I don’t much care where I fly off to, so long as it’s somewhere I’ve never been before!
Back country camping
As I become a stronger, more confident hiker, I find myself wanting to spend more and more time in the mountains. During my first excursion into Point Reyes, I made a mental note of all the campsites I passed by, thinking, Wow, it would be so awesome to stay up here for a night!
So far, all of my hikes (even the 13-milers!) have just been day hikes: in and out of the park during daylight hours, carrying little more than some water, food, and a rudimentary first-aid kit. In the upcoming year, I want to spend at least two (preferably four) days in the wilderness, carrying everything with me that I would need to survive.
There’s absolutely no doubt that going from day hikes to multi-day camping would be incredibly challenging, but I’m ready to push my boundaries and discover what I can handle!
Hiking and traveling have recently grown from passions to obsessions. I want to spend 2018 as high on life as I can!
What are you looking forward to in the upcoming year? Tell me in the comments below!