My Travel, Work, and Health Goals for 2016


The one word I hope will end up describing my 2016? Change.

Change and experimentation.

And stopping.

This is the year Dave and I finally find a base to return to between trips – we’ve been wanting to take the plunge for a couple of years, but ended up giving in to our wanderlust at the expense of our sanity, health, and travel. Finding a base means we’ll be able to travel better and work better, which means higher quality and more frequent posts for you.

I feel as though I’ve been treading water for several years and I’m finally on the brink of drowning. January will be about solo adventuring in the South Pacific, February will revolve around eating with friends in Mexico, March will be full of puppy love when we housesit in Seattle for friends, and then Dave and I will be searching for a home. A real home. A place we can fill with furniture and love. I’m already planning on creating a soundproof sanctuary I can hide away in whenever I’m overwhelmed.

So, change. Setting defined and achievable goals is important to me, and I regularly set myself specific targets to work towards, rather than vague ideas to lose weight or eat healthier. This year, I’ve decided to publicly share them in order to hold myself accountable and keep you updated on my progress throughout the year. I’m confident I can hit them all.

Here goes!

Lauren hiking in New Zealand

Travel Goals

To Visit a Country That Intimidates Other People

I love shattering perceptions when I travel, so I’m hoping that 2016 will be the year I visit somewhere other people view as dangerous to see what it can offer tourists. At present, Pakistan is at the top of the list – a good friend of mine lives there, and I’ve received many offers from my Pakistani readers to show me around. 2016 may just be the year I finally take them up on it.

Failing that, Iran remains permanently on my list of dream destinations, as does overlanding across West Africa.

Muttrah, Oman

To Visit My Big European Oversights

It’s 90% likely Dave and I will end up making our base in Europe, which will give me the perfect opportunity to visit the places I really should have seen by now. I’ve explored a significant chunk of the continent, but there are several key destinations I’m embarrassed to admit I’ve never seen.

I’ve never been to Paris.

I’ve never been to Berlin.

I’ve never been to Greece.

One thing’s for certain: September is going to be all about Greece. Every couple of years, Dave and his best friend gather a group of people and charter a yacht somewhere in the world for a fortnight of sunshine, swimming, and beers. This year, we’ll be sailing the lesser-visited Ionian coast in Greece, then Dave and I will be hitting up the tourist spots afterwards. I can’t wait to eat everything!

Sailing off the coast of Turkey

To Shatter More Myths About Expensive Destinations

Much like I did with the Maldives, I’ll be spending January showing you how cheaply you can visit paradise. I’ll be travelling to the Cook Islands, French Polynesia, and Fiji, writing detailed guides to how you can visit them for under $50 a day. Yes, you can even do that in Bora Bora!

I’m keeping my plans loose for the rest of the year, but if I can find the time, I’d also love to head to the Seychelles and Mauritius to make up for having to cancel my trip last year.

Olhuveli bungalow view

To Start Taking More Defined Trips

I mentioned in the introduction that having a base will better my travels, and it’s because I can start taking more defined trips rather than floating from place to place, spending the majority of my time on my laptop.

How will it work? I’ll spend several months writing and scheduling posts on Never Ending Footsteps so that I can then spend a month offline and fully immersing myself in a destination. I’ll be able to research a place instead of just turning up and winging it; I’ll be able to take tours and do activities because I won’t be writing; I’ll be able to get to know a place more than superficially because I’ll be outside exploring. All of this means more detailed coverage of destinations on the site and a healthier, happier version of me.

Lauren at Shwedagon Pagoda

To Take One Trip I’ve Never Considered Before

I want to get out of my comfort zone this year and try something I would normally steer away from. It could be anything from a yoga retreat to a surf instructor course; a spa holiday in a 5* resort to a camping trip. I think it’ll be fun to try something that’s not me at all and see how much I enjoy/hate it.

2013-NZN-dustinmain-50

Fitness Goals

To be able to do 100 push ups

Last year, I discovered my love of push-ups and have worked my way up to the point where I can do twenty proper ones without stopping. I’m giving myself a year to get to a hundred.

To be able to do the splits

Real-life friends will laugh at this, as being able to do the splits has been a mainstay in my resolutions list for more than a decade. I’ve always dreamed of it, but never been able to commit to enough stretching to make it happen. I got close in Mexico two years ago, but then I caught glandular fever/mono, and it all slipped away from me. 2016 is the year.

To run a 10k

I got into running last year, surprised to discover how frequent exercise puts me in a positive frame of mind. I half-ran, half-jogged a 5k race in 2015 and with a full twelve months to get in shape, I’m confident I can reach the point where I can run a 10k without stopping.

Take Rock Climbing Lessons

I was answering interview questions a few weeks ago and the first one had to do with my hobbies. I froze. My hobbies? I realised I don’t actually have any. I travel, I plan my travels, I read about travel, and I write about travel. And travel kind of makes it hard to cultivate other passions.

Rock climbing is something I’ve always wanted to try. With a base and a routine, I’m going to give it a go.

Find a Gym and Start Weightlifting

As soon as Dave and I find our base, I’m joining a gym and getting a personal trainer. It’s time to get strong.

Health and Lifestyle Goals

Experiment With the Whole30 Diet

Diets are often a bad idea, especially ones like the Whole30, which are incredibly restrictive. But at the same time, I believe it could be beneficial for my anxiety. I know that your diet can drastically affect your mental health, and when I cut out sugar for a couple of weeks a few years back, I felt incredible.

I’ve wanted to try something drastic for years, but travel — and rarely having a kitchen — has made it near-impossible. I’m excited to see if it has any major benefits for my anxiety.

Meditate Five Times a Week

I know that if I set myself a goal of meditating every day, I’ll never stick to it, but five days a week is an achievable goal. Again, it’s all about getting to grips with my anxiety and feeling stronger and healthier. I know meditation will help me; it’s just about remembering to do it on the days when I feel fantastic rather than solely on the day after I have a panic attack.

To Give Myself at Least One Month Offline

When I hit the reset button earlier this year, one of the best things I did for myself was to stop. No writing, no social media, no emails.

This year, I’m going to try and take a minimum of one month offline to do anything that doesn’t involve writing. My month in Greece could be the perfect time to do it.

To Learn How to Cook

I used to find it was funny that the only dish I could make was a sandwich, but now it feels like a huge embarrassment and failure as a human. I can make toast and I can put things into an oven, and sometimes I can even chop vegetables without slicing my hand open, but that’s it.

Travel has opened my eyes to the joy of food – it’s now one of my favourite ways to learn more about the world – and I’m gutted to have such limited cooking abilities. With a long-term home on the agenda, one of the first things I’m going to do is pick up a handful of recipe books and start recreating my favourite dishes from around the world.

Lauren cooking Christmas dinner

To Gain Confidence With my Spanish

I’d always been confident in my Spanish language skills until I spent time in Mexico and Spain. Suddenly, people (not locals) were laughing at how I spoke Spanish with a British accent and asking why I don’t use a Spanish accent. And it knocked my confidence so hard to the point that I barely utter a word when I’m in Spanish-speaking countries; I’m too embarrassed to speak. These days, I stand awkwardly and understand everything that’s going on, but keep my lips firmly sealed.

Last year, I worked hard on not caring about what people think of me, and this is one of my few remaining hangups I can work on. I’ll be spending a month in Oaxaca at the start of the year, then potentially moving to Spain a few months later, so there’s no excuse.

Granada Alhambra views

Business Goals

lauren-hammock-belize

Write Another Book

What?!

I know. I swore I would never write another book after the first one destroyed my mental health, but this one will be different. I’m keeping it under wraps for now, but I can tell you that it’s about travel, I’ll be self-publishing, and it’s not a memoir. I hope to release it within the first six months of 2016.

Create Detailed Resources on Never Ending Footsteps

This year, I want to work on sharing the expertise I’ve gathered from five years of living the nomadic dream. Like how to travel when you have anxiety. Or a detailed guide to what to pack and what to leave behind. Or how to travel long-term. Or how to work from anywhere. I’m talking 10,000+ word resources that contain everything I know about a topic.

2016 is the year where I start producing helpful content as well as narratives about my disasters.

Get My Work in Big Publications

I’ve created a list of ten magazines, newspapers, and websites that being featured in would blow my mind, and another list of ten major publications I’m confident I can write for. I suck at marketing myself and actively avoid putting my words in front of another site’s audience, so 2016 will be all about growing my confidence by getting featured in new places.

To Switch Up My Social Media Focus

I’ve always been a Facebook/Twitter kind of girl, but I’m starting to feel their limitations. Twitter is fun but sends so little traffic, and my Facebook reach declined by half a few months ago. It’s time to widen my horizons, and I’ll now be focusing my energies on Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, and Snapchat as well.

My Instagram account has been sorely neglected from the day I created it, but I’m proud of my engagement levels there. My photos gain between 150 and 250 likes from an audience of 3,000 followers, but 3,000 isn’t great. By the end of the year, I’m hoping to have 20,000. I’m excited to start sharing a mix of my favourite travel photos and what I’m currently up to!

Pinterest is another site I’ve been neglecting, but I’ve become obsessed with it over the past few months. I’m also terrible at it. I think almost all of my blogging buddies cite Pinterest as their highest referrer. Me? I get 100 visits a month. By the end of 2016, I’m hoping for 50,000 monthly referrals. Aim high!

Youtube is another area I’m going to focus on. After my packing video went somewhat viral, I find my channel with 150,000 views, 1,100 subscribers, and people emailing me every few weeks to tell me they found my video, was inspired to quit their job, and have been travelling ever since! All that from one video and a site I haven’t signed into for a year. This year, I want to start producing high quality Q&A videos. To put some numbers on it, I hope to get a minimum of 25 videos uploaded and grow my audience to 5,000 subscribers.

Finally, Snapchat, which I love because I can give you live updates of my travels and disasters! I’m especially excited to snap my way around the South Pacific on a budget — the beaches are going to be incredible! I’m nefootsteps over there if you want to follow along on my adventures.

And that’s it for my 2016 goals! I’m excited to start kicking ass and start creating a life that’s healthier, happier, and full of balance.

What are your goals for this year?

Previous 15 Travel Lowlights from 2015
Next Month 53: Travel Summary and Statistics

81 Comments

  1. Iain
    January 4, 2016
    Reply

    I am relatively new to your blog, and this is a comprehensive set of goals that aren’t vague. I think about it now, and think maybe I should do the same for life in general for the year.

    My recommendations for Berlin… Tempelhof Abandoned airport tour. Its fantastic.

    Cheers, Iain.

    • Lauren
      January 4, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Iain! I find I never, ever stick to my plans if I leave them vague, so I try to put numbers on most things. Thanks for the Berlin recommendation! :-)

      • Visiit
        February 2, 2016
        Reply

        Hi Lauren, Keep rocking and all the best :)

        • Lauren
          February 3, 2016
          Reply

          Always :-)

    • Ruben
      January 19, 2016
      Reply

      “The world is a book and those who do not travel read only one page.”

      • Lauren
        February 11, 2016
        Reply

        Okie dokie!

  2. Nicholas
    January 4, 2016
    Reply

    I’ll be in Iran later this week – would you like a report back?

    Good luck with your goals!

    • Lauren
      January 5, 2016
      Reply

      Yes please!

  3. Patryk
    January 4, 2016
    Reply

    Ambitious goals! I am keeping our fingers crossed for you :)

  4. Brianna
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    This post makes me excited to keep reading into 2016! Thanks for giving us a little sneak peek :)

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      So happy to hear that! :-)

  5. Caroline
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Cheers and Happy New Year, Lauren! Loved reading your goals and can’t wait to read about all of those upcoming plans. Your mention of the newsletter jogged my memory — I haven’t received your newsletter in a few months and just wanted to check whether you were sending it — not sure if the problem is with my email address or if you’re just taking a break from it.

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      I am still sending it! I just took a break for a few months to recover from anxiety and stuff. I’ll be starting to resend it at the end of the month :-)

  6. Chu
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    If you can run walk 5k you can run 10k.

    It’s not as daunting as it sounds. Just go at your own pace and you’ll he fine.

    Looking forward to the next book. The last one was fab, and helped me decide to ditch the suitcase and ‘nice’ hotels to travel light next year and really get as far from the home from home places as much as poss.

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      You know, people say that to me, but I can’t. I can walk 20k, but as soon as I run more than 1k, I’ll be on the verge of throwing up, with chest pains. And that’s at a jogging pace — like, a 15 minute kilometre run. I don’t know why I find it so hard!

      And thank you so much for the compliment! I’m thrilled to hear that.

  7. Tommy
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    May I suggest Algeria for the intimidating country list. I went there a couple of years ago and it was very enjoyable. The scenery was varied and amazing (Constantine looks like some of the other cliffside cities you’ve posted) and the people were friendly and curious. It’s one of the nicest countries people-wise I’ve ever experienced.

    • Lauren
      January 5, 2016
      Reply

      Oooh, I like that idea! I almost visited Algeria a couple of years ago while I was in Morocco — it looks amazing!

  8. Melanie
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Great plans! Well done. I went to Iran in May last year. Loved it. I also love Overlanding (haven’t done west Africa yet, it’s on my list). I love it so much I wrote a resource site just for Overlanding to try and encourage more people to go. Any questions, let me know! Melanie.

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much for the offer, Melanie! I absolutely will get in touch when my plans become more concrete :-)

  9. Maddy
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    I love this! I think sharing goals makes them more real, which makes you work harder to achieve them (and I too need to set “concrete” and not vague goals in order to have ANY hope of achieving them.) Thanks for sharing!

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      Glad you found it helpful! :-)

  10. Stacey
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    What an honest, creative and inspirational list! You set your goals admirably. I agree with going somewhere people think is dangerous; it’s time people stop viewing the world as a scary place, which is the most common reaction I get when people learn I’m a solo woman traveler. Also, I just relocated to Seattle last week after a year of traveling with a home base in the Bahamas. The seasonal weather change is welcome–and their are many puppiesssss! You’ll love the Pacific NW. I gain a lot from reading about your struggle with anxiety; travel helps me handle mine as does theatre, which is something I’m taking up again here in Seattle. Cheers and happy travels!

  11. Dominique
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Your travel goals are really fun! Visiting a country which intimidates people and taking a trip you’ve never considered before are great ideas and easily achievable! :) It’s good that you’ve also scheduled some offline time. This will be a great year for you and I can’t wait to follow along in your journey!

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Dominique! I’m feeling so optimistic about 2016 :-)

  12. Lotte
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Great, concrete and ambitious goals Lauren! I think sharing them online definitely makes you much more committed! I haven’t found the guts yet to do so myself…

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      I’m hoping it’ll keep me accountable by making them public! If you don’t see an update post about how well I did at the end of the year, you can assume that that was not the case, haha.

  13. Inverted Sheep
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    I love how you’re thinking big with your goals, but also thinking about how to attain them. I like countries that intimidate other people and I’m looking forward to finding out about where you choose to go. Iran is high on my list for this year – I hoped to go there a few years ago, but had my trip cancelled at the last minute and ended up discovering Shetland instead. Not much difference! Now I’m hoping for positive changes in the visa situation so I can finally get there this summer. I want to combine it with Armenia and Nagorno Karabakh as one of my goals is to go to a place that doesn’t officially exist. Good luck with everything and have a great 2016!

  14. Ayesha
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Inspiring list, thanks for sharing!

    My travel goals are all about Europe this year. I’ve travelled far and wide but like you, have neglected Europe as its so close to home and will always be there. So I’m starting with Malta and Copenhagen in the next couple of months then go from there. I want to do regular shorter breaks rather than longer trips this year. You’ve sold Talinn to me from your pics too!

    Good luck and HNY! Oh btw, meditation is the best thing I’ve ever done for myself. (Aside from travel solo!) and I highly recommend it. Headspace is a good place to start. Hopefully catch you in London one day!

    • Daniela @ Grumpy Camel
      January 5, 2016
      Reply

      Hi Ayesha,

      Do get in touch if you’re visiting Malta, I’d be more than happy to recommend some great places and share a few local secrets with you!

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      I’ve been Headspace-ing for three months and counting now and it’s made such a huge difference to my quality of life! Definitely try to hit up Tallinn this year — it’s such a great city! :-)

  15. Terra
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    What an inspiring set of goals to set for yourself! I hope you can reach them all in 2016, or come really close! I cant wait to read all about it in the months to come.

    I am especially looking forward to seeing where you decided to travel that others view as unsafe. Iran looks incredible, but I would love to hear more about traveling to Pakistan! This past year has brought me a desire to travel to Afghanistan, but for many reasons, mainly fear, I have left it off my 2016 travel plans.

    • Lauren
      January 5, 2016
      Reply

      I’d love to visit Afghanistan, too! My best friend is from there, but she tells me it’s too dangerous to visit now. Hopefully some day soon!

  16. Sky
    January 4, 2016
    Reply

    I love the idea of visiting a country that intimidates other people. I’m heading to Iran in September but I’ve only told a few people because I don’t feel like listening to 9 months of “you can’t go there! it’s full of terrorists! You’re going to die!” I’m excited, though!

    I love how specific the rest of your goals are. I’d like to try a new “diet” to see if that helps with my anxiety as well. I recently took a meditation course and fell in love with the style the instructor taught so I look forward to continuing that this year!

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      I’m so excited that you’re going to be heading to Iran, Sky, and can’t wait to follow along! It looks like an incredible country full of warm, welcoming people :-) But, yeah, I can imagine the reaction to you going wouldn’t be all that positive given the sterotypes.

  17. Overlanding West Africa
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren, we were sent a link to you article by a fellow overland lover, noting your comment about overlanding in West Africa. It would be great to see you out there promoting the region – Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea need all the help they can get since the Ebola outbreak. We are running trips again and with good numbers too, but it’s going to take a lot more than just us to help show the travel community that the region is once again open for tourism. Please do get in touch if you are planning on visiting!
    Dave the Hat, Overlanding West Africa

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Amazing. It was actually you guys I was thinking of when I wrote the post! I’d love to join a tour. Will take a look at dates over the next year and see if I can squeeze one in :-D

  18. Emma
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,

    Wow, that’s quite a list of goals! I’ll keep my fingers crossed and know for sure you are going to make a lot of them!

    If you decide to come to Berlin, please drop me a line via email. I’m originally Dutch (and also blogging about Berlin in Dutch) but moved to Berlin 2.5 years ago and couldn’t be happier. The Netherlands was so busy and crowded, it was driving me crazy, and I needed to get away. I was thinking about London too, but realised I couldn’t afford it. Berlin proved to be the BEST possible option I could’ve ever think about! I’ll be happy to show you around in the city, if you come visiting! Plus, for me it would be cool to meet a more international blogger :-)

    Also, you might want to consider Berlin as a base in Europe. Despite the fact that we’re in a 3.5 million people city, life is calm, relaxed and green here. We have a fantastic public transport system and lot’s of houses on the market for 1000 euro per month, including water and county taxes. The two airports Tegel and Schönefeld/BER Airport are growing into more and more direct flights to New York/Miami/Dubai/Quatar (and there’s a great connection to Frankfurt for other international flights) and fantastic railway system in Germany and rest of Europe, make Berlin a brilliant base. Only downside: you would need to learn German. But hey, everybody can do that. Let me know if you have any questions!

    Love from Berlin, Emma

  19. Marnie
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    Love this Lauren! I hope 2016 is a great year for you, both personally and professionally. Also, reading this made me realise I’d actually watched your packing video on YouTube ages ago! I didn’t even link the two together – I’m currently immersed in How Not To Travel The World (and loving it, btw!) x

    • Lauren
      January 5, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you so much! I’m delighted to hear you’re enjoying reading my book, and I love that you stumbled upon my packing video! :-D

  20. Cest La Vibe
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    These are some great goals! I want to visit a country that intimidates other people too. I’m looking at Venezuela.

    • Lauren
      January 5, 2016
      Reply

      Venezuela is appealing for me, as well! I really want to see Angel Falls.

  21. Claudia
    January 6, 2016
    Reply

    Lauren, if you do decide to go to Iran, I need to put you in touch with my blogger friend Angela Corrias. She goes there all the time, loves it and writes about it. She would be able to show you it is not as challenging as you may think!

    As for my goals… I would love to have a steadier income that allows me to plan more travels and work on my blog :)

    • Lauren
      January 7, 2016
      Reply

      Ah, that would be amazing! I’ll drop you a message if I decide to go :-)

  22. Daniela @ Grumpy Camel
    January 5, 2016
    Reply

    You’ve got a busy year ahead, good luck xx

    If I had to choose a country that intimidates others it would be Afghanistan. It was Khaled Hosseini’s books which got me interested in Afghanistan, and since then I’ve read many memoirs by people who worked there. I’ve always found Afghan culture so intriguing, and I hope that one day there will be peace and stability.

    I plan to brush up on my Spanish and learn how to cook as well!

    • Lauren
      February 11, 2016
      Reply

      My best friend is from Afghanistan, so I’ve always wanted to visit, as well.

  23. kyh
    January 6, 2016
    Reply

    iran is on the very top of my list! and armenia + georgia too.

    and what a list you’ve made! can’t wait to read more field reports from you. happy travelling!

    • Lauren
      January 7, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks, Kyh! :-D

  24. Megan
    January 7, 2016
    Reply

    Wow! I found these goals really inspiring, I love how they arent vague and by the end of 2016 you can really assess what you achieved! All the best for the year ahead :)

    • Lauren
      February 11, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks, Megan! I knew I wouldn’t stick to my goals if I had a vague plane like to get healthier and eat better.

  25. Lerchan
    January 8, 2016
    Reply

    Hey Lauren, from what you said about more defined trips. That! I want that.

    I love reading your guidelines about Maldives on budget and I actually have traveled to Maldives following your path last year. It was fabulous.

    When I found out you canceled Seychelles, my heart broke a little but that is all alright.

    Look forward to read more posts in 2016

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you for the kind words, Lerchan! I’m hoping to make it to the Seychelles within the next couple of years. It’ll be much easier now that I’m going to be based in Europe.

  26. Svenja
    January 9, 2016
    Reply

    Impressive list of goals, especially looking forward to your next book! Going to re-read the first one, have the kindle edition since the day it came out, read it in one day, and absolutely loved your way of writing.

    When you go to Berlin, are interested in history and can handle being in underground bunkers and tunnels for some time, try to do a Berlin Underground Tour (“Berliner Unterwelten”).

  27. Aurélie
    January 11, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,
    I absolutely love your blog!
    I would love to meet you when you come to Mexico! I live in Mexico City and would be happy to give you tips if you need any!
    Auréli

    • Lauren
      January 29, 2016
      Reply

      I’ll be in Oaxaca for the entire time, so likely won’t get a chance to meet you unless you swing by there.

  28. April Yap
    January 12, 2016
    Reply

    it’s really good to set a goal in every year to make it more fun and interesting and your goal is awesome.. haha.. Good luck for that!

    • Lauren
      February 11, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks, April! I’ve already managed to cross a few of mine off the list :-)

  29. Matt
    January 19, 2016
    Reply

    I feel your pain with the Spanish! As an Anglo-Montrealer, I can understand French with no problems and I can speak it, but my accent is embarrassing. And I’ve lived in a French-speaking city my entire life! You just have to say what you want to say and not worry about what people think. And once you spend a few weeks using the language on a semi-regular basis, your accent will start improving (but it gets worse when you don’t use it…).

    Also, I’m excited to see more Instagrams from you! It’s pretty much the only form of social media I use, and I always look forward to seeing your photos!

    Good luck planning your Pakistan trip, you must be brave! I have a one-day layover in Cairo in a few weeks, and my family is convinced that ISIS will come and murder me. If I told them I was planning a few weeks in Pakistan, my mother would probably murder me.

    Lastly, your Cook Island photos look amazing! I have a bunch of frequent flyer points saved up that I can use on Fiji Airways, so I’m excited to read about your other South Pacific destinations.

  30. David Morgan
    January 20, 2016
    Reply

    I am inspired by your goal. I’ve visited three countries (Bangladesh, India & Bhutan) in 2015 & my 2016’s regulation is 5 countries visit- Nepal, Malaysia, Thailand, Singapore & Maldives.

    Thanks for your nice sharing & wish me good luck.

    • Lauren
      January 29, 2016
      Reply

      Awesome! You’ve made some great choices there :-)

  31. Nadia
    January 23, 2016
    Reply

    Hi Lauren

    What an absolutely inspirational blog I’ve stumbled upon.

    Just bought your book from Amazon and can’t wait to start reading it. Eagerly awaiting for it in the post!

    Have fun and good luck in 2016!

    • Lauren
      January 29, 2016
      Reply

      Thank you SO much! I really hope you enjoy the read :-D

  32. Hung Thai
    January 25, 2016
    Reply

    I would be very curious to see your trip to Pakistan. I’m not afraid to go there but there’s a side of me that says, “there are so many other places you haven’t gone to yet, why risk it?”

    Also, great financial you got there. I have yet to make a penny from my efforts but I do this blogging business as stress relief rather than to make money so I guess I’m okay there.

    Good luck with everything.

    • Lauren
      February 4, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks! :-) Pakistan looks beautiful and have a few friends who live there definitely increases my confidence about visiting. Bad things can happen all over the world, after all — I’m definite proof of that!

  33. Soumya Shetty
    February 3, 2016
    Reply

    I’m delighted to read your wonderful travel, health and work goals for 2016! Each of the points mentioned by you will surely motivate many of your readers to plan their goals too. Thanks for sharing such an inspiring post with us.

    • Lauren
      February 3, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Soumya! So happy to hear you found it inspirational :-)

  34. spring Techno Solutions
    February 4, 2016
    Reply

    This post makes me excited to keep reading into 2016! Thanks for giving us a little sneak peek :)

    • Lauren
      February 4, 2016
      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed! :-)

  35. Ella
    February 4, 2016
    Reply

    Wow, good luck with all of your goals! I hope you manage to achieve at least some of them… because even if you only manage a few, it sounds like it will be a very successful year for you. So good luck and I will just finish by saying that meditating more is a great goal to have. I’ve been doing more of it recently, and it’s been really helpful with my anxiety and depression issues. It’s really effective :) Good luck and I wish you a great 2016!! :)

    • Lauren
      February 4, 2016
      Reply

      I’ve managed to cross a couple off the list already, so it’s shaping up to be a great year! Meditation is changing. my. life. I’m never stopping!

      • Ella
        February 4, 2016
        Reply

        Yay! That makes me really happy to hear ? haha

        • Lauren
          February 5, 2016
          Reply

          :-)

  36. Heather
    February 4, 2016
    Reply

    I have been trying to use my instagram more and actually picked up a few more followers the last month. Not much but a start. I think you should go camping in the Ouachita Forest in Arkansas. My husband and his brother try to go when they can and love it. I do not do camping unless its a state park with running water and a shower. Arkansas has many beautiful state parks you can camp at. I hope you meet all your goals this year and good luck.

    • Lauren
      February 5, 2016
      Reply

      Congratulations on the additional followers! :-) That could work — I will be in the area later this year.

  37. Maggie
    February 5, 2016
    Reply

    Absolutely Inspirational Post!!! Your list of personal goals inspired me.I’m glad i stumbled upon your blog and found some interesting post. Thanks for sharing Lauren!!

    • Lauren
      February 18, 2016
      Reply

      Thanks for the lovely comment! :-D

  38. Lauren Bishop
    February 7, 2016
    Reply

    Whole30 is the best thing you will ever do for your health. Whoa that’s a massive statement, but honestly, giving yourself the opportunity to learn which foods truly fuel your body actually feels so liberating. The first month is restrictive but as you introduce foods back into your diet you learn so much. I learned that sugar has horrible implications for me so now I eat it very sparingly but don’t feel deprived because it is a conscious choice. I feel like the lessons I learned help with my food-related anxiety, my sleep and my overall health. Knowing how to cook is must though so maybe work on that one first. :D

    • Lauren
      March 20, 2016
      Reply

      That’s amazing to hear such a glowing recommendation, Lauren! I’m excited to try it in a couple of months :-)

  39. Giannis
    February 24, 2016
    Reply

    wow you’re coming to greece this september!! That’s great. It’s true that the ionian sea isn’t as widely visited as the aegean but there are many hidden gems. Well personally i would prefer renting a sailboat instead of a yacht (avid sailor here) but i guess it all comes down to wether you want to spend more time travelling or or to visit as many islands possible!! Anyway if you need any information about athens i would be more than happy to help you!! Also might i recommend that you visit crete(i can also help on this one). And ofcourse dont forget to visit both the shipwreck beach(duh) and the blue caves in zakynthos!!!

    • Lauren
      February 25, 2016
      Reply

      I am! Honestly, I don’t even know the difference between a sailboat and a yacht, haha, I’m just going along with what everyone else does. Thanks so much for your kind offer of Athens advice — I’ll drop you an email nearer to the time. So many places I want to see!

  40. Biz Strach
    May 16, 2016
    Reply

    Visiting new places is one of my favorite things in the world–travelling to those new places is one of the least. On a day-to-day basis I have my anxiety pretty under control, but when I travel I go back to square one–I can’t think of many “big” trips I’ve taken without some sort of anxiety-driven panic setting in. I love the idea of more resources around managing anxiety while travelling, along with so many of your other goals! Truly, you’ve set so many ambitious goals, but from your blog (and book) I feel like I know you well enough to have confidence that you’ll achieve them :) I’m excited to see where this year takes you!

    • Lauren
      July 23, 2016
      Reply

      That’s so kind, thank you so much! :-) And your comment was a reminder to check in with my goals and see how I’m doing so far. Definitely going to be getting the anxiety resource up soon. It’s a big one!

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