Think of the last time you were stopped in your tracks by something beautiful, a moment of true awe. The more you travel the more you realize how much of the world you have not yet seen. As an outdoor enthusiast, my list of desirable travel spots exceeds both my bank account and my available vacation time. But this year I have set a new year’s resolution that I plan to continue for the rest of my life and I challenge you to do the same.
Visit one new country every year. This could be as simple as extending your layover on a work trip through the Tokyo Airport to go outside and climb Mt. Takao or a weeklong planned family vacation sea kayaking in through the Galapagos Islands. If you are really pressed for time and money take the cheapest international flight you can find and fate may send you to Iceland to view the northern lights for an extended weekend. It is completely feasible to see all seven continents and more than 50 countries before you die if you visit at least one every year.
Alternatively, the United States is a vast country with an incredibly diverse landscape. An equally valuable goal with a lower carbon footprint is to visit one new state every year. In both cases fulfilling this goal means more than a layover in an airport or a drive down the interstate. This is a resolution to travel in pursuit of awe, to paddle down rivers, hike new mountains, or venture into caverns. Challenge your friends and family to set this goal with you and to hold you accountable for completing it.
Did you know that the largest cave system in the world is located in Kentucky? Add Mammoth Caves to your exploration list.
Consider traveling by bicycle to make the journey itself the reward. There is a 335-mile non-motorized trail running from Pittsburgh, PA, skirting past West Virginia, Maryland and Virginia, to lead to our national’s capital.
Coming up in two weeks the annual Winter Carnival in St. Paul, Minnesota features ice palaces, a snowplow competition, and a winter run.
If you’ve got your passport on hand Canada is not far and features incredible glacier hiking for individuals of all physical abilities.