A New New Year’s Resolution

Candice Gaukel Andrews December 31, 2013 6

Yellowstone National Park is often referred to as “America’s Serengeti.” ©Henry H. Holdsworth

It’s December 31, the eve of a brand-new year. Time for reflection on the past 12 months and dreams of how we’ll make 2014 even better.

And that puts us into the territory of New Year’s resolutions.

There are the traditional promises that we make to ourselves at the start of every January: we’ll eat more vegetables, lose 20 pounds, think more positively about ourselves or find a new job. Unfortunately, those kinds of resolutions—as we discover year after year—usually become dull and old by the 31st of the month.

So this year instead, why not think of your favorite travel experience and then—rather than try to replicate it—contemplate how to build on it. This type of resolution won’t evaporate into thin air by next month’s end or even six months from now. As it’s often been said, you can always find a good reason not to go on a trip, but you will never regret having gone.

I once chose a trip location based solely on how the light played upon its mountains. ©Eric Rock

If you’ve already taken your once-in-a-lifetime trip to Africa, for instance, strive for the sensation you felt back then—and learn even more—by witnessing the Earth’s incredible breadth of wildlife in a far different ecosystem. Consider traveling to Yellowstone National Park, known as the “American Serengeti.”

Perhaps it’s kayaking, indigenous cultures or wine that is your passion. It doesn’t matter where you go to pursue your yearnings; just endeavor to delve into them deeper. You may find yourself headed to Greenland, Papua New Guinea or Portugal. I once went on a trip not because the location itself was on my bucket list but because I saw a photograph of how the light played on the mountains there.

One of my goals for 2014 is to take my photographic skills to a higher level. So rather than chose a location for my travels, I opted to go on a trip during which I could improve my artistry. It didn’t matter if I wound up in Botswana or the Galapagos.

I encourage you to take this challenge for 2014. First, answer the question: What is it that you truly seek in 2014? Now, where will that hunger take you?

Happy New Year,




  1. Bob Johnston January 3, 2014 at 9:23 am - Reply

    My goal for 2014 is to expand my photography skills and portfolio. This means I will:
    – Learn more about my camera’s capabilities
    – Get out more, shoot more, seek more photo opportunities
    – Target subjects are eagles, hawks and cardinals in the wild
    – Learn to look at landscapes with a new eye
    – Do more volunteer work at historical sites
    – Increase my PS skills
    – Build a web platform where I may share outdoor and historic photography

    …that’ll get me started. – Happy New Year to All

  2. Nigel Wells January 1, 2014 at 3:15 pm - Reply

    My goal is to start a new career in Canada that will make a positive contribution to sustaining the amazing environment that we are privileged to be a part of.

  3. Susan Nelson January 1, 2014 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    Great article, Candice. I’m truly searching my heart to see where my ‘hunger’ takes me this year.

  4. Ruth Kozak January 1, 2014 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    This is an exciting year for me as my historical novel SHADOW OF THE LION will be published in UK. I’ve also been invited to write for another on-line travel ‘zine. So I have to keep on track with my writing assignments. I won’t make any new trips abroad until later in the year but it’s my goal to find more local stories to submit. To read more and write more are my main goals for 2014.

  5. Diane Leone January 1, 2014 at 1:26 pm - Reply

    Candice, love this question! I seek more trips this year. I plan on writing more often about my travels and upgrading my photography knowledge. I was debating whether I should take a trip (an amazing trip) and after reading your post, I know I will regret NOT taking it. Thank you for helping me make the decision to go! Happy 2014.

  6. Travis December 31, 2013 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Cold weather!!!

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