New Year, New Resolutions!

Wednesday, January 02, 2013Ryan Mach

New Year's Resolutions are overrated, lame and a mushy mash-up of reminders that you eventually abandon as the days of the year pass by. They're basically a list of things, some sort of commitment you're hoping to achieve but fail to act on. At the end of the year, when you look back, you sigh with regret because you have barely kept those promises. You take a breath deep and make a recycled pact that next year will be much better. You'll be a better person.

Truth is, you don't really need a new year's resolution to change or improve some things in your life. Change can be done any time, any day of the year. But we all know that creating a new set of promises at the beginning of the year is more dramatic, not to mention inspiring. If anything, it gives you a new sense of hope and a glimmer of light, as bright as those fireworks on New Year's Eve.

I'm not fond of doing New Year's Resolutions myself because I'm simply terrible at keeping them. I have to admit though that creating a list is fun. Such was the case when I made THIS last year. And since I was entertained by the mere act of creating one, why not do another list this time? Doesn't really matter if out of 6 resolutions made, I was only able to accomplish 3. Now, that's not so bad at all, is it?

Without further ado, here's my 2013 Resolutions, not just as a travel blogger or a traveler, but as a well-rounded individual as well.


Burgers (in minimal consumption) and green food are fine

If eating chicken causes wings and feathers to grow on human body parts, I would probably have developed wings by now. My meals for the past year have always consisted of chicken, fried being the regular choice. If you cut me open, you'd see small chicken eggs inside. Hehe! I'm not saying I'll stay away from chicken this time. Maybe, just cut down my poultry intake. Bringing packed lunch should be a good idea because fast food joints barely offer healthy food options.

Traveling, in a way, is a form of exercise already, what with all the walking, running and hiking required to get to a destination. Not to mention the requisite jumpshots that take various takes before achieving the perfect shot. But it's still important to do a regular exercise, like going to the gym. A group buying site has this interesting offer. Really though, I just want to know how it feels like to be buff.

It's the best medicine, period. And it just feels good to laugh. Makes you look younger beyond your years too. But this should be done appropriately, otherwise people can mistake you as someone who's not right in the head. Read a funny book, watch a funny movie, go out with crazy friends.


Smiling, according to some studies, have health benefits, like boosting the immune system and relieving stress. It also helps you win friends. Having a winning smile is beneficial in traveling - can score you a big discount on tours or accommodations.


Because we're too used to getting things in exchange of money, we consider all efforts as part of the job. Thank the cab driver for getting you to your destination safe. Thank the waiter who served you good food. You don't know what a simple thank you can do to someone's morale.


We all have different sets of friends. Some friends we see often, others we only get to meet during reunions, and few of them we've never seen for quite a long time. Saying 'his' and 'hellos' to old friends is a good start to reconnect with them. So my old friends, don't get weirded out if I bombard you with pokes one of these days. Haha!

Reading makes you smart, because it boosts analytical thinking. It improves the memory and the best part and is also beneficial for me is that it helps improve writing skills. Last year, I haven't read as many books as I had in the previous years. This time, I'll try to read one book per month.


High expectations usually ruin things, because more often than not, those expectations are hardly met, so you end up feeling disappointed. The key to enjoying a place is not expecting anything. Surprises are way more fun.


Moping rarely does anything good. Everyone needs drama, but everyday drama is unhealthy. Perhaps keeping a private journal can help avoid pouring your emotions out on Facebook. I mean, my emotions. So no melodramatic outbursts for me this year.


Jeepneys and buses over taxi cabs. Free water as opposed to soda. The list goes on. Bottom line: I need to be wise, which brings us to the next item --


One thing I've been working on really hard is saving. Traveling is an expensive hobby but creating a huge hole in the pocket can be minimized by proper budget management.

In 2012, I tried two things I haven't done before - mountain climbing and traveling solo. Both were fun experiences that taught me a great deal of lessons and realizations about life. This year, I'm in a look-out for something new and exciting. Suggestions are most welcome!


Riding a bike, for instance. I can't remember the last time I rode on a bike. I terribly miss it. Counting stars is also a childhood pastime which I haven't done in a very long time.

You don't know how addicting climbing a mountain is without climbing one. I was only able to climb three (Pico de Loro, Mt. Pinatubo (doesn't count, my mountaineering friends tell me) and Mt. Tarak). This year, I'm going to climb more, but I need to invest on gears needed for hiking first. Tent. Sleeping bag. Hike pants.

The country is rife with destinations that are literally off-the-beaten tracks. For the past two years, I've been attracted to famous destinations and I was afraid to venture to the less-known paths. But that might change now. Hopefully.


I've a tendency to be an introvert. More introverted than I already am. I rarely strike up a conversation because I'm afraid of getting rejected. But my solo trips have somehow taught me to talk to people I don't know and build a meaningful connection.

Okay, well, this list is getting longer and I don't want to bore you so I'm stopping right here. I'll get back to this at the end of the year to check the things I was able to do. These are a few commitments I'm quite serious about.

Happy new year!

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