With the New Year comes a fresh season to see travel with new eyes. Perhaps this year you already have set travel plans, or maybe you won’t be able to travel at all. Regardless, now is a great time to keep that spirit alive with a renewed perspective whether your ventures take you near or far.
Up Your Cultural Literacy
Travel isn’t just about sites and places, it’s about real people and life experiences rooted the culture and traditions of a place. Gain cultural competency skills by referencing Hofstede’s Country Comparison Tool or downloading the CultureMee app on your phone. These sources give insight into the cultural dimensions of nearly every country on earth, providing you with the nuances of that location that matter, like facial expressions and hand gestures, the perception of time, or approach to relationships.
Create a Book List
Whether you have lots of travel planned for the year ahead or are just dreaming of the place you want to go, travel writing is a fantastic way to see, hear, smell and imagine another place. Try out something inspirational like this list of books, or go destination-specific with lists for these countries: Morocco, Peru, or Vietnam.
Invite a Friend
There’s nothing like newness to inspire us, be it a new city, country or continent. This year, invite a friend to join in! Perhaps you have a friend that hasn’t traveled much and just needs a nudge from someone they trust, or maybe you have plenty of globetrotting besties but have never actually been anywhere but home at the same time. Pick a theme or destination like nature, hiking or yoga and use it as a time to bond and create new memories together!
Brush Up Your Language Skills
Learning a new language can be daunting, but the value to knowing even a key few words when traveling abroad can be the difference between a genuine smile and an annoyed dismissal. Just because your high school Spanish is rusty doesn’t mean that it’s a loss! Try a language app, take online classes, or get super serious about it and sign up for a class at your local community college. Also, be sure to check out these language + travel package deals for extra motivation!