Let's face it. As soon as the last New Year's balloons have deflated, your resolve to be a fitter, healthier superhuman in 2014 will be as flat as morning-after champagne. So why not make some resolutions you can keep by planning your travel adventures for 2014? At Lonely Planet we aren't hanging our hopes on daily yoga or giving up chocolate, but we will be scaling volcanoes, discovering apocalyptic landscapes and doing our own snowboarding stunts (ambulance at the ready). These are a few of our travel resolutions.
Dance up a storm at Eurovision
I’m setting the wind machine to ‘cyclonic’ and purchasing a glittery ticket for my first ever Eurovision Song Contest, which is being held next year in the cobblestoned cuteness of Copenhagen, Denmark. I may need to journey halfway around the world to experience it, but it’ll be worth every mile so I can finally witness live every key change, costume reveal, dancer boo-boo and awkward co-host moment. Australia’s fascination and embrace of the contest goes back decades and this year I’ll be there – mirror ball in one hand, Aussie flag in the other.
Chris Zeiher, Asia Pac Sale & Marketing Director. Follow him @chriszeiher
Have an Indian adventure
For me 2014’s resolution is finally making it to India. Previous plans to head to the Indian Subcontinent have regrettably fallen by the wayside, but this time my flights are booked and a hefty edition of A Suitable Boy is already waiting in my luggage. I’m planning to ramble through Rajasthan to my heart’s content, discover how chaotically beautiful Varanasi really is and finish by chilling out in Darjeeling. Travelling with my housemates is adding to the excitement: during a previous flit to Istanbul one of my flatmates thought nothing of wearing sunglasses with one lens missing whilst sporting a bum-bag the size of the Aya Sofya. Keeping my street cred in tact will be as important a travel resolution for my Indian adventure.
Joe Revill, Foreign Rights Coordinator and banal tweeter @JoeRevill
Climb an Indonesian volcano
I had my first volcanic experience a few years ago during a trip to Guatemala. On scaling Pacaya volcano I was rewarded with an amazing display of lava flowing down the slope towards us. With no safety measures in place some people in the group edged so close that their shoes actually melted. Our guide got twitchy and after a few hot rocks tumbled our way we had to leave, but the experience left me keen to see more. This year I’ll be heading to Java in Indonesia where I’m hoping to climb Gunung Bromo and Gunung Semeru, two active volcanoes in the east of the island. Hopefully I’ll be in for more action-packed adventure, but this time I’ll be sure to stay at a safer distance!
Heather Carswell, Media & Communications Manager EMEA. Follow her at @Heath_c
Perfect snowboarding stunts
Each time I go snowboarding I try to do something new. I’ve perfected the mediocre 180 (spinning half a rotation as I jump, my board waggling and my face panicked). Next up, during a January trip to Samoens in the French Alps, is the boardslide, where you hop on to a box or rail and slide down, board perpendicular to the rail. Put your weight too far forward or back and you can land on your face or tailbone, so I’m feeling a little tense about the idea. But better to try it and share the stories of grievous falls which – like fish – get bigger with each telling, than to never give it a shot. And who knows? I might even nail it first time.
James Smart, Destination Editor. Follow him @smartbadger
Seek out solitude
The number of places where you can feel like the first - or the last - person on earth is dwindling. I live in a densely populated city, and love its relentlessness reinvention, but I daydream of untrod landscapes. I’ve found a few: the crater lake atop Volcan Maderas on Nicaragua’s Isla de Ometepe felt primeval, as if a dinosaur might spring from the undergrowth at any moment; a few whitewashed structures huddle against the steep scree slopes of India’s Spiti Valley, but for long stretches it’s just you, the vultures, and Buddha; and when the sea-fog enshrouds the Black Cuillin on Scotland’s Isle of Skye, the loneliness is as palpable as the water droplets tingling on your skin. I’m searching for that sense of solitude again this year - Namibia’s Skeleton Coast is one place I might find it; the abandoned nitrate mining towns of Chile’s Atacama Desert also hold rich promise for this apocalypse tourist.
James Kay, Digital Editor. Follow him @jameskay123
Take my tots up a mountain
Our 2013 hiking trip to the Brecon Beacons included two young members, a seven-month-old, who uncomplainingly sat in a super-duper hiking rucksack on his dad’s back, and my 18-month-old daughter, who would only get in the pram on her own terms. Undeterred, we set out for Sgwd yr Eira waterfall, abandoning the pram in a bush after 0.2 miles due to rough terrain. Through a mixture of carrying and dragging my daughter, we finally made it. Loving a challenge, the aim for 2014 is to get those kids up a mountain and bestow on them full ‘Mountain Baby’ status. Pen y Fan anyone?
Claire Naylor, LP Senior Editor – Freelance. Follow her at @thingsjonesdoes
Hit the USA’s music scene
On finding out that one of my lifelong travel resolutions – spending a year living in the USA - was going to come true in 2014, my travel goal-setting went into overdrive. Visit every one of the 48 contiguous states! Drive coast to coast from Florida to Seattle! Hike the Appalachian Trail (all 2100 miles of it)! I have settled on something more achievable but closer to my heart - I’m planning a year of musical exploration. I’ll be throwing myself into the country music scene of my base town, Nashville. I’ll then progress to blues in Memphis, jazz in New Orleans, join the hipsters in Austin’s live music bars, and finish up with electronica, in, well, Motown.
Dora Whitaker, Destination Editor for east and mid-USA. Follow her @dorawhit
Explore my own country
I want to walk some more of the Wales Coast Path, particularly in Pembroke, where I spent many a childhood summer building sandcastles and splashing about in the invigorating (read: freezing) surf. I’m determined to haul myself up into the Brecon Beacons at some point and perhaps even make it to Snowdonia. I’ve never been to Scotland either (shameful, I know) so a trip on the Caledonian sleeper could be in order… Edinburgh Festival is one of the quintessential cultural experiences in the UK, so I have no excuse not to go.
Emma Sparks, Social Media Coordinator. Follow her @Emma_Sparks
Finally make it Down Under
2014 is the year I finally intend to make it to Australia to visit my extended family. Now that my cousin is getting married, I have the perfect excuse to head over there. With just under three weeks to play with, we’re limiting our trip to Western Australia and, despite warnings about distances, plan to hire a Winnebago and drive north from Perth to Ningaloo Reef and then back south again for the wedding. Have we bitten off more than we can chew? Have we chosen to visit Australia at the most expensive point in recent history? Probably and definitely, but you can’t put a price on memories.
Jo Cooke, Destination Editor. Follow her @Joannacooke1