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Getting away from the blue-light glare of a computer screen to breathe in fresh air… Making choices that have a positive effect on our worldwide community… Taking time to focus on body, mind, and soul… When we drew up our resolutions for 2022, we found ourselves tying those goals to upcoming trips. Whether you’re looking for inspiration for your upcoming travels or motivation to help you stay on track, here are ten trip ideas based around five New Year's resolutions to spark your imagination.

1. Getting outside more

Do you yearn to wander through trackless wilderness, climb windswept mountains, or wander through dense forests to smell the green scent of growing things? If your goal is to unplug this year and enjoy time outside, we can suggest a range of options, including these two experiences.

Japan: forest bathing on Asahidake

Experiencing nature is so important to the Japanese culture that the country has a word for it: shinrin-yoku, literally ‘forest bathing’. Soak in the glories of Japan’s mountain scenery with hikes on the peak of Asahidake, where the air is filled with the spring perfume of blooming flowers and the whisper of alpine breezes through the trees.

Hiking trail at Mt. Asahidake, Hokkaidoi
Hiking trail at Mt. Asahidake, Hokkaidoi

2. Travel for good

If you’ve decided that you want to be more mindful of your health — physically, mentally, or spiritually — a trip can be a great time to refocus your priorities. Here are just a few suggestions for destinations where you can relax your mind, rejuvenate your body, and heal your weary soul.

Thailand: Anurak Community Lodge in Khao Sok National Park

Just the choice of hotel can make your visit a force for good. For example, in Thailand’s Khao Sok, the Anurak Community Lodge directly supports biodiversity, local communities, and regional conservation projects. A stay here might include a jungle-foraged cooking class and dinner, a guided canoe trip down the Sok River, or a cycling safari through the nearby national park. All the while, your presence helps their efforts to rewild certain areas by planting indigenous species, as well helping to provide jobs for nearby residents.

Longtail boat on Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park
Longtail boat on Cheow Lan Lake, Khao Sok National Park

Australia: Kangaroo Island

Sea lions, fur seals, kangaroos, wallabies, koalas, echidnas, platypus, goannas, bandicoots, and 253 bird species (many rare or endangered) all make their homes on Kangaroo Island, off the coast of South Australia. A visit here will help support the island’s conservation efforts, which are more important than ever after the devastating fire that burned half the island in the early days of 2020.

  • You can include a stop at Kangaroo Island on this suggested itinerary through South Australia’s Wine Country and Outback.

3. Embracing life to its fullest

The past few years have highlighted how important it is to make the most of every moment and seize every opportunity for growth and adventure. For travel, that might mean taking the plunge and planning that big trip you’ve always dreamed about. Here are two that have captured our imagination recently.

USA: road trip along the Pacific Coast Highway

Top down, wind in your hair, music blasting on the radio — driving a convertible along the Pacific Coast Highway is one of the quintessential American road trip experiences. We suggest driving south from San Francisco and ending in sunny San Diego. Along this route, you’ll pass windswept coastal cliffs, sleepy shoreside towns, unspoiled beaches, and, if you’re lucky, whales breaching in the distant surf.

Bixby Bridge and Pacific Coast Highway 1
Bixby Bridge and Pacific Coast Highway

Kenya: seeing the Great Migration on safari

Wildebeest cross the Mara River during their Great Migration
Wildebeest cross the Mara River during their Great Migration

You watch heart-in-mouth as wildebeest in their hundreds scrabble on the banks of the Mara River, clouds of dust rising as they build up the courage to cross the crocodile-infested water. A few take the plunge and the rest follow in a frenzy. Not all of them make it, but later, on a game drive, you still see thousands of them dotting the plains, watched by the hungry eyes of big cats. If you dream of seeing the Great Migration in action, along with a whole host of other wildlife, Kenya’s Masai Mara is the place to be.

4. Focusing on your health

If you’ve decided that you want to be more mindful of your health — physically, mentally, or spiritually — a trip can be a great time to refocus your priorities. Here are just a few suggestions for destinations where you can relax your mind, rejuvenate your body, and heal your weary soul.

India: yoga on the banks of the Ganges in Varanasi

There are few places more saturated with spirituality than Varanasi, a sacred city that’s featured in the Mahabharata. Each evening, the air grows heavy with incense and the faithful make offerings of flowers to float down the Ganges. A yoga session, held on the shores of the river at sunrise, is a grounding way to start your day of exploration in India’s holiest city.

Sadhu meditating on Holy Ganges River, Varanasi
Sadhu meditating on Holy Ganges River, Varanasi

Iceland: soaking away your stress in thermal baths

The steamy, mineral-rich waters of Iceland’s many thermal baths are thought to provide special health benefits. Certainly, hot-water soaks are a relaxing Icelandic tradition, especially when they include the sweeping cliff-top views that you’ll find at Geosea Geothermal Baths near Húsavík. Let the geothermal heat unknot your tension as you admire the icy blue-black waters of Skjálfandi Bay, with the Arctic Circle on the horizon.

5. Taking your hobby to the next level

Whether you’re brushing up your verb conjugations in another language or improving your mastery in the kitchen, maybe you’ve resolved to learn a new skill in this upcoming year. A trip can be the perfect occasion to showcase those skills as you improve upon them. Here are a few suggestions.

Vietnam: a cooking class in a garden home

A one-time imperial capital, Hue is the heart of Vietnamese culinary heritage and an ideal destination if you want to learn more about traditional Vietnamese cuisine. We’ll arrange a private cooking class at one of the city’s stately garden homes. These near-palatial, single-story buildings are unique to Hue and traditionally surrounded by gardens where you can pick pineapples, jackfruit, pomelos, and herbs. The fresh ingredients you pick will then form a major part of the meal you’ll make and share with your host.

Vietnamese woman selling street food
Traditional Vietnamese food being served in Hue

Italy: a chance to use your language skills

Dinner by the Colosseum, Rome
Dinner by the Colosseum, Rome

If you’ve resolved to learn a new language this year, you deserve a trip to Italy to try out your newly minted skills. You might spend time chatting with your waiter at a street-side cafe, reading the Italian-language information labels in museums, or swapping recipes with a chef in a private cooking class. Or you can simply revel in dolce far niente (pleasure in idleness) as you meander through piazza, palazzos, and markets, listening to the locals talk.

  • You’ll have plenty of opportunity to use your Italian on this ten-day trip through Italy’s art cities.

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