Sometimes I have to remind myself that to travel does not only mean to travel far. Given my job, I can’t always hop on flight after flight and jet off to a new destination every week or even every month. Ever since I was bitten by the travel bug, playing around in my own backyard has become a big part of satisfying my wanderlust. Lucky for me, I live in the great (big) state of California with so many cities that offer unique experiences. I was never a massive fan of driving, but after taking a few road trips, my opinion has changed. I find a lot of people are in the same situation as me in that they can’t jump on a plane all the time, and I always recommend to those people to try a road trip in Calfornia. Just remember, if you are visiting the state then you can use a valid drivers licence from any state, but if you live here or are moving here then you need a ca drivers license. For keen drivers, you can’t beat a California road trip. Two hours one way will have you in a health and wellness oasis, while two hours in the other direction will have you smack dab in the desert. My friend recently told me about the services offered by companies like Cars Relo. Because she doesn’t like driving for long distances, she got the bus down to where she was travelling to whilst a company drove her car to her. This meant she didn’t have to drive for hours, she just had to drive around the area she was staying in which she didn’t mind. That sounds like such a good idea.
Although my travel plans for 2016 will hopefully have me visiting new countries, staying in this country is good enough for now. To hold myself accountable, I’ve compiled my top 10 travel resolutions that don’t require going far that I hope to check off the list this year
1) Visit one of California’s 27 national parks
I recall coming across a BuzzFeed article highlighting 11 National Parks that are America’s best-kept secret. It showcased the beauty of California’s Channel Islands and Redwood National Park, and once I was finished scrolling through the article, I knew this was something worth seeing with my own eyes. California’s wine regions, like Napa Valley could definitely be worth making the trip out to see, especially with experiences like balloon rides to be had; you can see the hot air balloon price here so that you can plan your trip ahead of time.(Photo Credit: wolf4max, Creative Commons)
2) Dine out more often
Whenever I have friends come to visit, outside of In-N-Out & Roscoe’s House of Chicken and Waffles I don’t have much to recommend. I would love to have a response more along the lines of “You should try ____________, they have great ____________”. In addition to being able to impress my friends with my foodie knowledge, I also think tasting the foods of different cultures gives you an intimate look into that culture and a greater appreciation.
3) Drive Pacific Coast Highway (BONUS: Do it in a convertible!)
I’ve always had this vision of driving down PCH, in a convertible, with the top down, and hair blowing in the wind, and I would like to make this a reality. I’ll start in LA and who knows where I’ll end up but I’m more than happy to just go for the ride!
4) Drive 2 hours from home and see where I end up
Living in California affords me the opportunity to drive in either direction and end up somewhere nothing like home and that’s a good thing. Unfortunately, I rarely take advantage of this privilege but I’m ready to start. One of these weekends I’m going to pack an overnight back, hop in the car, drive fro 2 hours and see where I end up. I might even go on somewhere like Black box my car and find a dashcam so I can rewatch my journey whenever I please. This will also be a good exercise for me to break away from my usual routine of planning down to the most minute detail.
5) Walk across the Golden Gate Bridge
I like to consider the Bay Area my home away from home. After living in northern California for a brief spell, it permanently claimed a piece of my heart, and I drive up there whenever the opportunity presents itself. Although I’ve been to the Golden Gate Bridge before, I’ve never walked across it but hopefully that will change this year.
6) Add more travel-inspired items to my home’s décor
I’m not saying I want to pack my shelves with globes or frame and nail every picture I’ve ever taken to my walls, but I would like to be able to look around my place and see subtle reminders of something that I love.
7) Frequent more bookstores
As I’ve said time and time again, I love to read. Traveling has allowed me to get lost in the aisles of some amazing bookstores and libraries and has sparked a desire to discover quainter, independently owned bookstores around town. Don’t get me wrong, I love Barnes & Noble and their vast inventory, but I also want to support these local gems as well.
8) Take a hike…LITERALLY!
I’m no nature freak or a health nut. I’m probably the furthest thing from it, but I would like to adopt healthier practices in 2016. The thing about me and fitness is that for me to want to do it, it can’t feel like actual exercise. That is why I’ll take a dance class before a spin class. With that said, I think a leisurely hike is right up my alley, plus I’ve lived in SoCal most of my life and have yet to hike Runyon Canyon and witness that sweeping view of Los Angeles. If that’s not reason enough, I don’t know what is.
9) Catch more sunrises and sunsets (BONUS: Watch the sunset at the Griffith Park Observatory)
There aren’t too many things left in life that are free, so I would be foolish not to take advantage of one of the world’s natural wonders that involve little more than stepping outside, looking up towards the sky and taking it all in.
What I love most about this list is that it includes things I love while forcing me out of my comfort zone and exposing myself to a few new things. So wish me luck! What are some of your travel resolutions? Drop me a comment below and let me know!