This mantra came across my Facebook feed, on one of the last days of 2023, and it caught my attention. I don’t necessarily agree that all travel goals need to be focused on absolutely new destinations because there’s a lot to be said for re-engaging with places you’ve already seen, whether it’s in a new light or in the comfort of favorite discoveries (thanks to Culture Trip first, and Patricia Shultz (author of the iconic 1,000 Places to See Before You Die), next, for sharing it.
Still: There’s nothing like discovering a new place, either.
This graphic inspired me to post a question on Facebook’s vibrant Windstar Passengers-Yacht Club group. And that question is and was: Do you have a travel resolution (or resolutions) for 2024 and will you share it with us?
For me, my big resolution in the new year is to travel more slowly, be present for more moments, and survive travel mishaps with some state of grace. Destination-wise, I definitely want to sneak in a winter cruise in the Mediterranean. I love Europe during that season for its culture and local vibes. I’d definitely return to Tahiti and, in the slow travel mantra, want to sail on a longer-than-a-week itinerary. 2023’s trip to Korea for the first time inspires me to return to Asia. And the Panama Canal is a wonderful winter getaway that is as much about Costa Rica, rainforests, watersports and jungles as it is about the construction of the storied canal.
This year, the travel experiences that mattered most – and maybe that’s because I wasn’t as insanely pressed for time as in previous years (we adopted a dog with health issues so our travel was super-thoughtfully planned) – were to places outside of my comfort zone. I loved visiting Korea and Poland even as I returned for repeat visits to favorite destos like London, Zurich, Singapore and Helsinki. And so this comment on Facebook resonated:
“Our travel resolution is to see more places we haven’t seen yet.” Thanks, Ellen McAuliffe!
What about you? I am loving the conversation on Facebook, and encourage you to continue to share it there (or below in the comments). In the meantime, here are some special responses. I hope they inspire you, too.
Why travel matters so much to us
Karla and I have a saying “adventures, not things.” The things we do get matter to our long term … our cars will last us a decade, solar power reduces our bill and reduces the fossil fuels burned in our behalf, double glazing our windows lowers our energy bill as well.
Our adventures? Things we’ve not seen. We discovered Windstar through our travel agent. We did Treasures of the Greek Isles for our honeymoon in 2017. Captain Belinda Bennett helped sell the line, and we met now fast friends Alison and Niki Malkin. In early 2018 we took our first trip to Costa Rica.
Then the pandemic hit, and we were benched for nearly two years. We cruised again on Wind Star, from Barbados to Costa Rica, and met Colin Dickson from staff and Brian Lacy and Lisa Kopas.
2022 was our first trip to Tahiti, and we met Clare Bear Sailor Taylor, one of the hotel general managers of Windstar. This year was Italy, and we met PJ of the entertainment team, Elise and Marie from Los Angeles as well.
So, half of our adventures are meeting other wonderful people, sometimes of Windstar, sometimes passengers! –John Perkowski
Why traveling differently matters so much
My resolution is to really immerse myself into a destination rather than taking way too many trips. I know that sounds crazy, but I was actually grateful when one of our trips was canceled last year. Going to the Holy Land for 12 days and Istanbul for three was the highlight of last year. If I’d waited another year, it just wouldn’t have happened. This year I have a three-week trip to Hawaii (Maui, Kauai, and Oahu). I’m thinking this will be my last time to travel there, so I really want to soak it in. I only have a couple of shorter “girls” trips planned for the rest of the year. I went to Tahiti during Covid and plan to return in 2025 with a 17-day Windstar cruise. This time we will bring a few friends with us. It will be nice to not wear masks and worry about all the testing. Due to being in my mid 70’s now, it is time for me and my husband to slow down. I’m getting tired of all the planning and associated stress involved. I’ve been blessed with many trips all over the world (or at least the parts I’m interested in) and will enjoy the memories and have no regrets.—Barbara Ann Fuller Crisler
Looking to the past to move forward to the future
I used to sail tall ships in the Caribbean (anyone remember Barefoot Windjammer?) where I met Meivon Clement on his first trip as a purser. When Meivon moved up to Windstar, I sailed a week out of Puerto Rico (I had been to the airport, but not the island), and discovered the wonderful crew of Windstar. Since then I’ve only sailed on Windstar, and have been to many of the places on my “life list,” including Iceland, Alaska, Australia, Singapore….some I loved and want to revisit (Australia), and some not so much (Monaco). The pandemic shut down my long-planned and top life list trip to Amsterdam for SAIL Amsterdam and the British Isles. Unfortunately, Windstar isn’t doing SAIL Amsterdam in 2025, so I’ve figured a way to cruise Great Britain to Amsterdam just before SAIL Amsterdam, and then will stay ashore. Windstar lets me travel safely and comfortably as a 74 year old solo woman traveler. –Patricia Jackson
When life weighs in more heavily than usual
After being diagnosed with aggressive multiple myeloma early in 2023 and having a stem cell transplant in June, I decided to treat myself to a bucket list destination each year. I’m starting with a Panama Canal cruise on Star Pride in March 2024, my first post transplant trip. Life is short—time to make things happen! –Carlye Lehne
Looking at the world’s big picture
At the risk of sounding cheesy/a bit Miss Universe-ish, my resolution is to do my best for world peace through cruising. Has a war ever broken out on one of the world’s great cruising vessels? Has there ever been a misunderstanding that hasn’t been repaired? Has there ever been a cruise where we haven’t learnt something new – about others and about ourselves? Has there ever been a cruise where you haven’t made a new friend from another country or an entirely different background? If only the world could be a cruise ship. –Wendy London
Here’s where we’re going next
My wife of 50 years and I took our first cruise ever this year on Windstar in the Greek Islands. It was fabulous and we are now committed to a Windstar Cruise every year and maybe two! A repositioning cruise, Tahiti and the Panama Canal are on the Bucket List by the end of 2025! –Kris W. Anderson
I challenge myself when it comes to travel
My resolution is to maintain my personal travel goal: “The number of countries visited must always exceed my age.” I have met that goal every year since I was in college, 50 years ago. I am currently 10 countries ahead of my age. –Kim Hackett
And from the “you can’t possibly argue with this” viewpoint
My 2024 resolution is to spend as much time in, on, and near the ocean as possible. It’s the blissful cure for almost everything. –Melinda Crow
Share your travel resolution with us below, in the comments! And happiest of New Year’s to you.