My Travel, Work, and Health Goals for 2017


the sahara desert morocco

It’s that time of year again!

…She says as if this is some kind of regular column.

I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about putting up my personal goals for public consumption (and judgment) last year, especially as one of my aims for 2016 was to start sprinkling a little more privacy into my online life. But to my great surprise, I really freaking loved putting my goals out into the world.

It kept me accountable. It kept me focused. And yeah, knowing that some readers had told me I was being too ambitious and wouldn’t be able to do it made me put in a hell of a lot more effort.

I loved having trackable goals for my year, and I feel happier and stronger for achieving so much — most likely more than I otherwise would.

Have you checked out my post about how I did with my 2016 goals yet? If not, bounce on over there and take a look.

I’m determined to make 2017 my best year on planet earth, and I have tons of goals in mind to help me get there. Many of these focus on furthering on my 2016 goals, and some are 2016 goals rolled over because I wish I’d been able to achieve them.

As gaways, my goals are S.M.A.R.T., because making vague aims to lose weight or eat better don’t work for me. I need numbers to aim for to help me track my progress or I just get lazy. S.M.A.R.T. for me is:

  • S – specific
  • M – measurable
  • A – attainable
  • R – rewarding
  • T – time-bound

This will most likely be a long post, so grab a glass of port and settle in for the ride.

My 2017 Travel Goals

If you thought that me stopping travelling full-time would mean a reduction in the amount of travelling I do, you’re wrong! These days, my wanderlust is back in full force and I can’t seem to stop booking flights and dreaming about faraway destinations. These are my five travel goals for 2017.

the sahara desert morocco
Morocco is the only African country I’ve been to. I have plans to change that in 2017!

To Explore Seven New Countries in Africa

Africa is a big blank space in my travel map and I’m aiming to start changing this in 2017.

In 2017, I want to kickstart my African explorations by visiting seven new countries on the continent. I’ll be heading to Mozambique in just five days[!], travelling solo and overland through Swaziland and across South Africa to Cape Town, and then heading into Namibia for a big road trip with Dave in March.

As for the other three countries on my list, I have no idea what they could be. I’m keen to check out Cape Verde, as well as Sao Tome and Principe. Sierra Leone and Ghana are high on my West Africa wishlist. Djibouti is a place I’ve recently become obsessed with and Botswana sounds amaaazing. As does Gabon and Ethiopia and Zambia and Malawi and Zimbabwe and Uganda and Madagascar. And Mauritius is somewhere I’ve had high on my list ever since I cancelled my trip there a couple of years ago. Argh!

Let’s just say I’m not stuck for ideas right now.

To Take My First Steps in South America

Just like the African continent, South America is a black hole in my universe. I’m determined to take my first steps on my sixth continent this year and I’m open to pretty much anywhere. Because I want to go everywhere! Colombia, Peru, Ecuador, Brazil, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia, Suriname… Swoon. They all sound amazing.

How will I decide? Most likely I’ll keep monitoring cheap flights from Europe to South America and if one pops up that works for me, I’ll jump on it!

I’m excited to see which country I end up choosing.

To Explore More of Portugal

The longer I spend in Portugal, the more I fall in love with it. I’m going to make a real concerted effort to see as much of the country as possible in 2017.

I’ve already booked a week in Porto in May, which I’ll be using as a base to explore some northern Portugal cities I’ve had on my radar for a while, and I’d like to check out the Algarve away from the Little Britain tourist hellholes as well.

I’m also hoping to take a trip to both Madeira and the Azores this year, as both look stunning.

To Finally Make it to Two of my Asian Oversights

There are two major countries in Asia I feel I really should have been to by now, so 2017’s the year to make it happen.

First, India. I’ve made and cancelled so many trips to India that it’s no longer funny. So this year, I’m hoping to take a solo trip to India and hope that I don’t die while doing so. It’ll most likely be an open-ended trip, as I really don’t know how I’ll feel about the country. Part of me thinks you can only do it justice if you plan out a three-month-long trip as a minimum; the other part of me is worried I’ll get dysentery, hate every second, and want to fly home immediately. Because I’ll also be working on reducing stress this year, if it’s too much for me, I won’t be ashamed to go home and try again another time.

Second on my list of oversights is Japan! I’ve been crazy-obsessed with the idea of going to Japan for years now, but always ended up cancelling tentative plans due to the costs. Japan is pretty expensive to travel through. Well, this year, I’m planning on finally getting there and I couldn’t be more excited. I’ll most likely hit it up in November, when Dave and I will be flying to Australia/New Zealand for Christmas. It’s a logical stopover for us and one that will be fulfilling a long-held travel dream.

To Visit My Remaining Countries in Europe

I loved spending my 2016 summer jumping around Europe, so I’ve decided to do exactly the same this year. While last year focused on my oversights, this year will focus on the countries I have left to visit.

This is totally a stretch goal, because I still have a lot to check out: Albania, Belarus, Denmark, Ireland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, and San Marino.

I’ll most likely aim to spend my summer out east, hitting up Albania, Macedonia, Kosovo, and Moldova, with a trip to Belarus tacked on to the end. Dave and I are also planning for taking an offline summer vacation to Malta, and I may be able to squeeze the others in on random weeks or fortnights throughout the year. Liechtenstein and San Marino will be a pain in the ass, but Denmark and Ireland should be easy enough.

Monk Gym in Phrae
A Gym for monks (maybe) in Phrae, Thailand.

My Fitness Goals for 2017

My fitness was one of the areas I failed with in 2016, so I’d like to give it a renewed focus in 2017. I’ll still keep up with my gym membership and aim to visit four times a week while I’m not travelling.

To Be Able to Do 100 Push Ups

This was my goal in 2016, and I fell short by just 14. I’d love to finally get to be able to doing 100 push ups without stopping by the end of 2017. I’m convinced I’ll be able to easily do this if I can find the motivation to do them in hotel rooms as I travel around the world.

To Be Able to Do the Splits

Yep! It wouldn’t be a Lauren list of goals if this wasn’t in there! I’m fairly confident I’ll be able to get here if I stay focused on it, but I’ve said that for 15 years and counting now.

To Be Able to Do Five Pull Ups

Eeeep! I hate pull ups. At the moment, I can do maybe 10% of one. But I want to continue with my strength training this year, and pull ups are such a basic and important part of that. I know I’ll be able to get there with this one if I can get over myself and learn to march proudly up to the pull up machine at the gym and feel no shame about my puny attempts. Oh, and also get a trainer to show me how to do actually do a pull up.

To Do Blogilates Five Times a Week

I’ve got a whole lot of nostalgia stirred in with this goal. Back when I was living in a hippie beach town in Mexico for three months, I got hooked on Blogilates videos and did them religiously for the better part of a year. And it made me feel so good! I love Cassie’s fun personality, challenging routines, and the sheer variety of videos there are to choose from. I also love that it’s easy to do the routines while travelling.

I used to walk around Sayulita with a spring in my step and a weight off my shoulders, and it was all because pilates did wonderful things for my body. I’ve missed feeling like that and would love to get it back.

I stopped doing the videos regularly after getting mono, and although I’ve kept trying to start back up, I’ve never been able to build up the momentum to keep going for more than a month.

 

Monument Valley viewpoint
At Monument Valley with my arms outstretched in a very natural way.

My Health/Personal Development Goals for 2017

2016 was the year that I took greater control of my health. I did the Whole30, I got a ton of blood work done, I saw a naturopathic doctor, I meditated everyday, I learned to cook, and I now have a lifestyle that makes me feel strong, happy and healthy. This was a real focus of mine in 2016 and I’m excited to take it further this year and get myself feeling the best I ever have.

To Become Reasonably Conversational in Portuguese

Yep! This year, a huge focus of mine is to learn to speak Portuguese. A few friends of mine in Lisbon have found a teacher they like who offers one-on-one classes for just 90 euros for five sessions, which sounds pretty perfect to me. I know I’d be way more confident and ask more questions in a one-on-one situation than in a group situation, which would just make me uncomfortable.

I’ll be travelling a lot this year, and I know that consistency is key, so I’m not going to make this too challenging for myself. By the end of 2017, I’d like to have passed the A1 and A2 CEFR exams in Portuguese.

To do a Silent Vipassana Retreat

I fell in love with meditation this year, and plan on keeping up my average of five times a week in 2017. It had so many benefits for me!

I also want to further my practice this year by doing a silent vipassana retreat. I’ve had so many friends do it and come out saying it was both the worst and best thing they’ve ever done, which has me intrigued to give it a go. I highly doubt the silence aspect will be a problem for me as an introvert — it actually sounds amazing, ha — but the sitting still and meditating for ten hours a day with only my crazy-ass mind to keep me company? I know it’s going to be tough.

Will I be an absolute eye-rolling cliche and do the retreat while I’m in India? Maybe!

Keep a Journal for an Entire Year

One of my greatest regrets from over five years of travel is that I didn’t keep a diary. At the time, I told myself it was fine because I had this blog to keep track of what I’ve done, but this blog doesn’t keep track of everything. In fact, I probably only record about 20% of my travels here, because most of it is mundane. But it’s the mundane stuff I wish I’d remembered. The people I’ve met and their names and the conversations we had and the times I got lost trying to find my hostels and the times I cried and the things that made me scared. I’m sad I can’t look back and read a diary of the thoughts and experiences that haven’t been polished for public consumption.

I’ve bought a journal and I plan to write in it almost every day this year.

I’m one of those people who have started diaries like, once a month sometimes, but as soon as I missed a day, I would stop writing in it and tell myself I needed to start a new one. Which I know is really weird. Hopefully that won’t happen this year.

Wake Up Early Every Day for 30 Days

I thought about doing another whole30, but I eat paleo most of the time anyway these days and still reap many positive effects.

So it’s time for another 30 day challenge!

One challenge I’ve been seeing online a lot recently is a challenge to wake up early every day for a month. I love being awake early in the morning! I’m most productive when I wake up and it’s still dark and silent outside. But I’m lazy and sleeping with someone else means I always choose cuddles over blog posts and stay in bed until 9 am every day.

In 2017, I’m going to set myself a challenge to wake up at either 4 am or 5 am every single morning to see what effect it has on me. Will it make me cranky and angry? Will I waste every afternoon to napping? Will I punch Dave in the face? Will it be amazing and fill me with energy and mean I can get more done? I like this challenge because I can do it while I’m travelling too.

Drink More Water

Oh man, I’m lazy about this. But water is everything. I bullet journal my life these days, so I keep track of water intake every single day, because it’s important to me.

After getting my blood work done, I learned that the ideal amount of water for me consume per day is 1.5 litres. I’m going to try to meet that goal an average of five times a week for the entire year. I’ll use the habit tracker in my bullet journal to track how much I drink and tally it up at the end of the year.

This should be pretty easy to keep up with while I travel too. I travel with a Grayl water purifier bottle that kills 99.999% of all viruses, bacteria, and cysts in water, making it completely safe to drink. You can drink tap water anywhere in the world with this kickass bottle!

Lauren and Leo
Working not working in Seattle

My Work Goals for 2017

I was far too ambitious with my work goals in 2016, so I’m keeping them simple for 2017. Mostly.

To Release My First Course

I’m so excited about this! I want to focus on building more products for my site, and first up is a course on overcoming your fears to travel. I must get five emails a day from people who suffer from anxiety but dream of travelling, so I don’t know why it took me this long to get my ass in gear and realise this is what people want from me! I hope to have my course live in April, and I really hope it does well.

To Up My Social Media Presence

I’m pretty good at social media and usually get an above-average level engagement, but for some reason, I’ve never been a regular poster anywhere but Twitter. I’m lazy, I forget about it. And I’m worried my posts will make people unfollow me, so instead I don’t post anything at all. Which is riddonk.

In 2017, I’m going to try to average five posts a week on my Facebook page and five photos a week on Instagram. I think my average at the moment is probably one.

To Double My Traffic

Pre-book deal, there was a group of around ten travel bloggers that I knew were at a similar level of traffic to me. When I took a year out to work on getting a publishing deal and write the book, then another year out to recover from writing it, I was left behind in their wake. And yes, I know that comparison is the thief of joy, but I still do it nonetheless.

How do I plan to get there? By hiring someone to improve my Pinterest game and by continuing to write lots of detailed resources that will rank well in Google.

To Start Publishing a Series of Travel Guides

I’ve always wanted to have a series of detailed travel guides to the countries I’ve been to on this site, but been put off by the sheer amount of work involved in writing down every single thing I know about a place. I’ll be aiming to get six of these published this year, which means one every couple of months. I’ll most likely start with Mozambique, as I’ve personally struggled to find much information about it and will be travelling fairly extensively across the country.

To Write One Guest Post a Month

Last year, I set myself a goal to get my writing published in twenty different publications. I managed just one and that was an article I’d pitched back in 2015.

This year, I’d like to keep this goal but cut it down to one guest post a month. I’m in the process of finishing off my first one for January, so I’m already on track with this. Fingers crossed I don’t let my Imposter Syndrome creep back into my life and prevent me from hitting this one!

I'm all about challenges. But not eating this hot dog, because I think it ended up giving me food poisoning.
I’m all about challenges. But not eating this hot dog, because I think it ended up giving me food poisoning.

And that’s it for my goals for 2017! I’m so excited for this brand new year and can’t wait to get back to conquering the world again. While I think I’ve set myself some pretty ambitious goals, I know I’ll be able to hit the vast majority of them if I stay focused and don’t get all infected like I did last year.

 

What goals have you set yourself for 2017?

Previous My 2016 Goals: How Did I Do?
Next What's it Like to Travel in Mozambique?

71 Comments

  1. Brooklyn
    January 14, 2017
    Reply

    Awesome goals. I am so excited to read all about AFRICA!!!!
    I’m tempted to try to do 100 push ups this year. I’ve heard a lot of people mention this as a goal, so maybe I’ll try it out.

    I adore Blogilates! I’ve been doing Cassey’s workouts for years, but this past year I was pretty inactive.

  2. Jub
    January 14, 2017
    Reply

    Boom! If you can reach most of these goals, you are going to have one insanely awesome year Lauren :D

    • Lauren
      January 15, 2017
      Reply

      I hope so! :)

  3. Anne Morgan
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    If you’re going to be travelling through South Africa you could always nip into Lesotho to help get your Africa count up.

    • Lauren
      January 15, 2017
      Reply

      I considered it, but I don’t think I’ll have enough time. I’d like to spend enough time there to do it justice rather than just bopping in and then out again a day later just so that I can add it to my list. We’ll see! If Mozambique ends up being super-rainy, I might have some extra time.

  4. jennifer
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    OOOH India. I took my first trip there in November. My itinerary changed so many times. As the trip got closer, I got a bit more scared that I would have a mental meltdown. In the end, I decided to spend most of my time in Sikkim. I love myself for making this decision. I got to spend time in India, but it was more Tibetan and did not have anything at all crazy about it. Even with the demonitization, the trip went very smoothly. Definitely looking forward to reading about your year as it unfolds!

    • Lauren
      January 15, 2017
      Reply

      Ah, interesting! I’d not heard of Sikkim before, but it looks beautiful! Glad to hear your trip went smoothly, as I rarely hear that about India :-)

  5. Dalene
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    I think we should just both give that hot dog another try. :)

    • Lauren
      January 15, 2017
      Reply

      Hahaha, I’m down! What’s the worst that could happen? :-)

  6. Hajar Rinjani Trekking
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren… can’t wait for your travel guide series. And it’s great hear that you want to share yout guest post. I can’t wait to read them.

    • Lauren
      January 15, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks so much! :-)

  7. Lily
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    Hey! I’m a peace corps volunteer in Swaziland. Let me know if you want to meet up and have a tour or just some drinks, it’s a small country.

    • Lauren
      January 15, 2017
      Reply

      Yes! I will drop you an email :-)

  8. Dominique
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    Great goals! Africa… South America… Two of my big oversights as well! There is so much to explore on those continents! I’m thinking of going to Africa in September but I don’t know if it’ll be Madagascar, Namibia, Botswana or Mozambique… Let’s see!

    Good luck with achieving your goals this year, it looks like you’re in for quite a challenge :)

    • Lauren
      January 15, 2017
      Reply

      Ooooh, that’s so exciting! And thanks for the well wishes! :-)

  9. Rachel @ Better LIVIN
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    Africa is the top place I want to go, so I’ll really enjoy reading about your experiences!

    • Lauren
      January 15, 2017
      Reply

      I’m so excited to finally get to see more of the continent :-)

  10. Katelyn
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    Good luck with all your goals Lauren! I’m going to be heading to South Africa in April so I’m looking forward to seeing how you find it.

    A big goal of mine for 2017 is to live for now – stop worrying about what might happen and just do things I want to do and trust it’ll all work out. I definitely think you should try India, and like you say, do an open ended trip and just see how it goes – it might end up being your favourite trip so far!

    • Lauren
      January 16, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Katelyn! I love your goal for 2017 and that’s totally one of mine, too. I’m over worrying about every single thing that might happen but actually rarely ever does :-)

  11. Natalie
    January 15, 2017
    Reply

    I should’ve taken notes about all the things I want to comment on in this post!

    100 push ups=wow! I worked up to 10 in 2009 and was very proud of myself. Now, I can do zero. You are so close, I really hope you can achieve this cool goal!

    I’m also hoping to make a trip to Chile this year. However, we are close to finding out something *really big* news. And if that news happens, I’m not entirely sure how our travel plans will play out.

    I’m excited to read about your adventures in Africa, too. I don’t believe I’ll make it there for another few years, so I’ll live vicariously through your posts.

    Annnnnnd… I may comment again if I left out something!

  12. William
    January 16, 2017
    Reply

    Sounds like a great plan! Reminds me I need to make some of my own, outside travel of course. I take as many times away as a full time (real job) will allow. I’ve been wanting to go to Africa for a while now as well, including South Africa and hike Kilamanjaro. (separate trips of course)

    The big trips for me this year will be New Zealand and Alaska. Two somewhat remote. Ahh to have time to do more. :)

  13. Ali
    January 16, 2017
    Reply

    Sounds like some amazing goals on your list! Morocco is also the only country I’ve visited in Africa, but I’d love to see more. I’m interested to read about your experiences in Mozambique and Namibia. I’m super impressed with your goal of waking up at 4am or 5am every day for a month. That sounds like torture to me! I should try to get up earlier, but I think 7am is about the earliest I would voluntarily aim for. And learning some Portuguese sounds like a good idea since you’re living there. My German is still pretty bad, but I’m glad I know enough to get by in simple situations, and even when I’ve been hospitalized here, I can at least get my point across with the nurses in German. Hopefully Portuguese won’t be as hard to learn as German is!

  14. Davy
    January 16, 2017
    Reply

    Good luck with hitting the rest of Europe (Albania, Belarus, Denmark, Ireland, Kosovo, Liechtenstein, Macedonia, Malta, Moldova, and San Marino).
    Moldova and Albania are both underrated and very cheap, in Albania I recommend Berat, Butrint and any of the beautiful virtually deserted beaches and with Moldova the breakaway reigon of Transdinester is worth a visit but the Cricovia wine tour is a must (like an underground Bond villisn layer from the old Bond films).
    San Marino is an easy bus trip from Rimini and Vaduz (Leichtenstein) an scenic bus trip from Zurich.
    Most of the others you’ll have heard enough about (Denmark, Ireland, Macedonia and Malta) but the only two I have left to visit In Europe are Kosovo (visiting in March whilst I Skopje) and Belarus (which looks the most difficult with expensive Visas and none of the budget airlines flying there (only the local carrier Belavia).
    Lastly if you go to India be prepared for the roads and traffic, travelling to Corbett National Park in the north from Delhi by car was an experience (especially when it got dark – lights on cars seemed to be optional).

    All the best and keep exploring.

    Davy

  15. Jayne
    January 17, 2017
    Reply

    Big goals for us this year.. in less than two weeks we head too Argentina, Antarctica, Chile, Easter Island and Uruguay for 3 months. Then home for 5 weeks to get visas and June we go to Japan, South Korea, Mongolia where we pick up the trans-Mongolian/Siberian and head across Russia on the train to Europe. We will travel around Europe for a few months then back to Africa in late October to Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Swaziland and South Africa for two months. We went overland through Africa for two months in 2014 from Nairobi to Cape Town and loved it.. you will love Africa :-)

    • Lauren
      February 11, 2017
      Reply

      Ah, exciting! That sounds like an amazing year of travel for you. I can’t wait to read all about it! :-)

  16. Adventurous Kate
    January 17, 2017
    Reply

    As usual, your goals are audacious and inspiring!

    I really like your idea of waking up early every day for a month. I would LOVE to do that myself, but I feel like I’m wired to work and especially write late at night (case in point, it’s 11:16 PM as I write this). I might join you on that challenge, though! We could learn a lot about ourselves!

  17. Suneé
    January 17, 2017
    Reply

    Another impressive list! I can’t wait to see what you think of my home country, South Africa, and although I’ve seen very little of Mozambique myself and none of Namibia, I have friends who can’t stop waxing lyrical about either. By the way, you absolutely have to go to Vic Falls if you can manage it – the Zimbabwean side is amazing! Good luck for your 2017 goals!!

  18. Antonio
    January 17, 2017
    Reply

    Hello again:
    Both Madeira and Azores Island are really cool to go. If need to opting, I guess Azores: more islands, more things to see: São Miguel Island (“Lagoa das sete cidades/Lagoon of the seven cities” is a must see) and you need to summit the Pico (extinct Vulcan) in Pico island, Flores Island (Flower island) is gorgeous (very green). The more time you have to spend there more islands you can visit.

    In Algarve, the biggest touristic area is in the Middle (Albufeira, Portimão). From Lagos city till Sagres cape, less crowd and gorgeous little beaches … and the atlantic coast: Aljezur, Amoreira beach… (but more windy)
    In the north you have Braga, Guimarães (we call it the birthplace of the Portuguese nationality), Ponte de Lima and the only Portuguese National Park: Peneda-Gerês! – Mandatory.
    Your 2017 looks GREAT! Have nice adventures (and don’t forget to publish all that ahah)
    Antes de saírem de Portugal, eu gostava, um dia, de falar com vocês em Português.
    Beijinhos e boas aventuras este ano
    António

  19. veena
    January 17, 2017
    Reply

    I have so many thoughts!

    First and foremost, India. I really do hope you make it there, because it has so many amazing things to offer. Yes, it is loud and crowded and chaotic and overwhelming, but it is also beautiful and calming and welcoming and incredible. I lived there on-and-off for 11 years and traveled extensively, so please let me know if you have any questions or need some advice or even just a pep talk. Also, Candace Rardon at The Great Affair wrote an amazing guide to traveling in India that I recommend to anyone and everyone considering a visit [http://www.candaceroserardon.com/2013/12/india-travel-guide/] — one of the best takeaways is to land in Delhi or Bombay and then get out as quickly as you can before you get overwhelmed. I could go on forever, so I’ll leave you with that and hope I hear from you if you need anything else while you’re planning a trip.

    For Mozambique, Kristin at Be My Travel Muse wrote some great pieces on traveling solo there, because she also had a difficult time finding information online.

    I am especially hoping you make it to Peru, because a friend and I are discussing hiking the Inca Trail in 2019, and I would love to read your perspectives on the country.

    Kudos to you on the 100 push ups goal! I hate push ups with a passion, so my goal might be to get to 25, but I wish you well.

    I think that’s everything. Good luck!
    xx

  20. Emma McKay
    January 17, 2017
    Reply

    Wow, Lauren, wow!!! When people set goals for the new year – I’ve never heard of someone set so many! You’re incredible… Very inspiring! I’d have to write each out on a post it and stick them all over the bathroom mirror/fridge or all over a wall so I read them every day. Cannot wait to read your progress and follow all of your adventures & fun! Your book ‘How not to travel the world’ is such a massive hit. I’m still yacking about it to friends – with them going on to order it. You’re a terrific writer and blogger. Looking forward to reading your travel guides! Love that your diet, mediatation & exercise are all helping your health and how you feel about life.
    Right…. getting out a piece of paper now to make my very own SMART goals for 2017. End of my UK Visa and therefore doorway to Europe. Time to head back down under to land of the kiwis & long white cloud. Happy 2017! X

  21. Arianwen
    January 18, 2017
    Reply

    First of all, I LOVE that you set yourself SMART goals in travel. Also, South America is the best! I would recommend Bolivia or Peru the most, or Ecuador if you can get across to the Galapagos Islands!

    • Lauren
      January 28, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks so much, Arianwen! I’m sooo excited to finally get to South America. It’s taken me far too long to visit :-)

  22. Amanda
    January 20, 2017
    Reply

    Namibia is AMAZING. So vast, desolate, stunning and very friendly people. I much preferred Lesotho to a Swaziland, it was like a step back in time and stunning scenery, Swazi was very like SA. Cannot wait to read about Mozambique, one African country I’ve not made it to.

    • Lauren
      March 2, 2017
      Reply

      I couldn’t squeeze Lesotho onto this trip, unfortunately. The only way I’d have been able to get there would have been via a day trip from Durban that sounded pretty crap. I didn’t want to just hop in and out again to cross it off the list. I head to Namibia in a couple of weeks and I’m so excited!

  23. Amy
    January 20, 2017
    Reply

    Exciting plans! I’m really interested to see how the India trip pans out as it’s a country I still haven’t gotten around to visiting yet. I definitely relate to your health and fitness goals too, I went to Yoga for the first time today and am already aching like crazy!

    • Lauren
      March 2, 2017
      Reply

      I’ll be interested to see that, too, as I’ve kept putting off visiting for long. I have no idea whether it’ll be more or less overwhelming than I imagine at this point!

  24. Carla
    January 21, 2017
    Reply

    I can’t wait to hear about your Africa trip! We go back and forth to Tanzania 2 or 3 times a year and I absolutely love it (we have a non-profit here in the US and partner with an NGO over there), but South Africa, Botswana, and Namibia have been on my dream list for years now!

    • Lauren
      March 2, 2017
      Reply

      I really hope I can get to Tanzania this year, as it looks incredible.

  25. Team Gillis Realtor
    January 22, 2017
    Reply

    Hey, Lauren! I really hope you will reach your goals. I am so happy and inspired to read your plans because I feel like I need them too.

    • Lauren
      January 24, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you! :-)

  26. Katie
    January 26, 2017
    Reply

    Firstly, I love the idea of having S.M.A.R.T goals! I should keep this in mind when reflecting on my own goals for the year, as some of them are definitely not measurable or attainable! I can’t wait to read about your time in Africa. It is a continent we haven’t managed to get to yet but would love to visit!! South America is another continent we have yet to visit too so can’t wait to read more about wherever you decide to go! I would love to visit the Amazon Rainforest, it is high on my bucket list.

    You must visit Japan! We went to Tokyo a few years ago and it is freaking awesome!! You will love it! It is different enough that you will be amazed every where you go but it is such a safe and welcoming place, I have never felt so secure in a different country than I was in Japan.

    Good Luck with your fitness goals too! Writing one guest post a month sounds like a good goal, may attempt it myself (she says doubtfully). Can’t wait to read your travel guides and see what your year brings!

    I promise one of my 2017 goals is to not write essays on your posts!

  27. Martin
    January 27, 2017
    Reply

    Hay, lady…

    if you need some assistance while visiting Macedonia, be free to contact me… I would be glad to help…

    Take care,

    Martin

    • Lauren
      January 28, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks!

  28. Ian
    January 28, 2017
    Reply

    Inspirational stuff, Lauren! Like you, Africa and South America are on my hit list and, at last, I’ll be heading off to Peru this October. Your point about drinking water resonates with me. Unless I’ve got a strict regime for drinking the stuff I usually just ignore it. But I’ve been glugging 2-3 litres of it every day for the past three weeks and it’s amazing just how much better I feel. Happy travels in 2017!

  29. Kristen
    January 31, 2017
    Reply

    I did an amazing trip awhile back that included Namibia (Safari, sand surfing, and checking out oyster farms), South Africa (cage diving with great white sharks), Zimbabwe (walk with lions and bungee jump victorial falls bride, and Rwanda (gorilla trekking Virunga Mountains).

    Of all of them, hands down Rwanda was my favorite. When I look back on my Africa travels, trekking the Virunga Mountains until we found the family of Silverbacks was truly spectacular. I didn’t see that on your list, so just wanted to chime in that I strongly recommend it!

    • Lauren
      March 30, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you so much for the recommendation, Kristen! I’ve added it to my list and will keep an eye out for flights :-)

  30. Alex Steven
    February 7, 2017
    Reply

    Hey, your goals are really inspiring.Get up early is the best thing you can do to lead a healthy life.And traveling, well it’s no less than a therapy.I am a traveler myself and it’s a mind blowing feeling to look around the world.Good luck with your goals. :-)

    • Lauren
      March 2, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you! I’m hoping I’ll see many benefits from rising early, rather than just wasting all of my afternoons napping :-)

  31. Ronnie Walter
    February 7, 2017
    Reply

    Impressive and Inspiring.Hope you reach all your goals.Good Luck!

    • Lauren
      February 11, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you!

  32. Travel ETA Australia
    February 8, 2017
    Reply

    Did you really achieve your last year’s goal, Laureen? I hope so. Those travel goals for 2017 of yours are quite amazing. Please don’t limit yourself exploring in Africa or Europe. Expand your feet in Asia and Australia too. Good luck in your travel. I hope you’ll fulfil this goal. Take care.
    “Keep going”

    • Lauren
      February 11, 2017
      Reply

      My previous post was about how I did with my 2016 goals ;-)

      I’ve actually spent a significant amount of time in Asia and Australia, which is why I am now focusing on Africa.

  33. Kaila Yu
    February 8, 2017
    Reply

    Drink more water is totally on my list also! It’s difficult I just don’t enjoy the taste (or non-taste) of water and I love guzzling down fruit juices but water in its purest form has gotta be more healing than fruit juice which is processed in some way

    • Lauren
      February 11, 2017
      Reply

      Absolutely! Fruit juice is full of sugar, and therefore calories, and has so few actual nutrients in it.

  34. Angelica
    February 8, 2017
    Reply

    I suspect you’ll crush your goals this year like you did in 2016!

    I loved Japan. Like, a lot. I was in living in Thailand at the time and figured I’d hop on over to a few nearby countries. Just…everything about it was wonderful, though woah–dem prices. Ouch.

    Unfortunately, Mt. Fuji was so foggy the day I went that I couldn’t see a thing, lol! Make sure to check the weather report!

  35. Greg
    February 13, 2017
    Reply

    You can definitely work your way up to doing 5 pullups! The trick will be finding places to practice them when you’re on the road. Love this post! I need to get brave enough to publish my goals!:)

    • Lauren
      February 19, 2017
      Reply

      Yes! Definitely. The main barrier to achieving my fitness goals will most likely be me not having consistent access to a gym. We’ll see what happens. At the moment I can pull myself up about one inch, so thank you for your faith in me achieving my goal of five pull ups! It feels a long way off right now ;-)

  36. Chrys | Women Digital Nomads
    February 14, 2017
    Reply

    That’s a long list of goals but I love how you’ve sectioned them! I always focus on career goals so I need to start adding other type of goals to my list for 2017 :)

    • Lauren
      February 19, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you! Yes, I always try to set myself five goals in travel, health, fitness, and work, but make sure to keep them achievable. I have probably been too ambitious with my travel goals this year, but we’ll see how it goes :-)

  37. Denise
    February 15, 2017
    Reply

    It’s part of my bucketlist this 2017. My goal is be healthier than last year.

    • Lauren
      February 19, 2017
      Reply

      That’s a great goal! I know I’ve felt like focusing on my health has dramatically improved my quality of life.

  38. Shelby Berke
    February 18, 2017
    Reply

    Japan is my absolute favorite country we have travelled to on our RTW trip. Make sure you look into getting a JR Pass — they are expensive, but we did not get one and ended up having to take some overnight bus rides through Japan (what a shame when the Shinkansen bullet trains are so awesome). It would have been more than worth it to get a pass, but we procrastinating researching it too long.

    India was awesome. I love the south in Kerala, but I absolutely hated my time in Delhi. It was the only place in the world that I really just disliked and will not go back to. Don’t skip it, but I would recommend heading to Mumbai or elsewhere if you have the chance or don’t book a 6 day trip to Delhi (learn from my mistake!).

    • Lauren
      February 19, 2017
      Reply

      Thanks so much for the tips, Shelby! And especially the one about getting a JR Pass — Dave and I have definitely procrastinated on booking/buying travel related stuff and ended up screwing ourselves over in the end.

      Kerala is probably highest on my list right now :-)

  39. Tiffany
    February 22, 2017
    Reply

    Your goals sound awesome and exciting! I am looking forward to reading about your travels to Africa as that is one of my goals for 2018!

    • Lauren
      February 27, 2017
      Reply

      Thank you! So far I’m loving all of my Africa travels. I head to Namibia in a couple of weeks and I’m so excited! :-)

  40. Amol
    March 12, 2017
    Reply

    Hi Lauren,do visit India.There are lot of negative vibes about India but it’s a very beautiful country with people from different fields.You can try Mumbai(Maharashtra) state,Kerala,Rajasthan followed by Jammu and Kashmir.Kashmir is just mesmerising and it’s called mini-Switzerland.The perfect time to visit is around Nov-Mar when the climate is cold.Do let me know if you need any help regarding India.
    P.S:I found your blog very interesting and keep posting such good stories.

    • Lauren
      January 2, 2018
      Reply

      Thank you so much, Amol! I really appreciate your kind offer for help :-)

  41. Yudith @ raisefrequency
    July 18, 2017
    Reply

    That is an impressive list of goals for 2017. You must be very busy. How are you able to workout and get done so much work while travelling?

    • Lauren
      July 18, 2017
      Reply

      I don’t travel full-time, so when I’m living in Portugal (for about half the year), I spend most of my time working and living healthily.

  42. Eleanor
    July 27, 2017
    Reply

    Hey Lauren,

    Love this! We recently did Japan and stayed in Airbnb’s which ended up being super-affordable (and authentic) in comparison to the hotels we checked out – definitely worth seeing how it stacks up in November. Also, loving the Portuguese in tandem with native language fitness classes. Totally the best way to embed the language. I tried doing this with Finnish before we stayed in Helsinki for a bit and it definitely helped. Really looking forward to hear how you progress with the goals!

    • Lauren
      August 1, 2017
      Reply

      Oh, that’s so good to hear! I’m about to start planning my Japan trip, so I’ll definitely look into Airbnbs there. Over half way through the year now, and I have about half of my goals done! There’s already a few I know I won’t hit, but I’m on track to cross off most of them!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.