Ringing in the New Year with travel on the mind

Welcome to 2017! I hope the festive season was kind to everyone. This is the time of year when many of us make resolutions to improve our lives, make us better people or in an attempt to make us happier than we were in the year past.

Many resolve to exercise more, eat healthier food or even save more of their hard-earned dollars. While these are common resolutions for this time of year, perhaps the most exciting resolutions that are made are those around travel and enriching our lives through experiencing the world.

Looking back over the past year, I can’t help but feel that it will be hard to top when it comes to travel. We spent half of the 2016 in South America, we visited South Australia and I even managed to squeeze in a quick trip to Europe at the end of the year. While I learned a lot and grew from these experiences, my mind now turns to 2017 and the adventures that await!

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We floated our way through South America in 2016. Tara in Chile’s Atacama Desert.

Predictably, I think everyone should have a travel-related resolution for this new year. Whether it is a road trip with friends up the coast, or an overseas adventure of a lifetime, there is a lot to gain from getting outside your comfort zone and away from everything that is routine in your life.

For those who have already set yourselves a travel-related resolution, then I encourage you not to lose sight of your dreams. If you find yourself looking for some inspiration, I’ve included my travel-related resolutions for 2017 below. Enjoy daydreaming and happy 2017!!

Tasmania
The southern-most state of Australia has been on my hit list for some time now. Known for its natural beauty, friendly locals and food scene, I find myself wondering how I haven’t made it down there already. The thought of hiring a car/ van and driving around Tasmania is a dream. Having your own vehicle and being on the open road allows you to intimately experience everything your destination has to offer. Being an island, the coastline of Tasmania holds particular interest for me. With notable coastal hikes such as The Three Capes Trek and of course the famous Overland Track, Tasmania is a must for any outdoor adventure enthusiast.

Tonga
While the Pacific island nation of Tonga is on my doorstep, I still haven’t made the trip from Sydney to what seems like a paradise on earth. This is possibly due to the specific time of year that we want to visit. From July to August every year, the warm tropical waters of Tonga are home to Humpback whales and their new calves. Nestling away in the protected atolls and inlets of this tropical paradise, the whales bide their time as the babies grow before making their way back to the plankton-rich waters of the Southern Ocean. Tongan laws allow a small number of visitors to swim amongst these giants of the ocean, so with a lot of breath training and a little more saving, Tonga is looking good for this coming July!

Iceland
If you’re interested in natural beauty, wide open spaces and don’t mind taking spectacular photos, then there is no point in me giving you the rundown on Iceland- you already know about everything this tiny island has to offer! For those who don’t know too much about Iceland, then I urge you to check out this shot from my favourite photographer, Chris Burkard…(trust me, it’s worth the click).

Having the chance to photograph this incredible part of the world is my main purpose in wanting to visit, however I am torn as to whether to wait until the winter to chance my luck at catching a glimpse of the Northern Lights or to visit in the summer when the days are long and the opportunities to capture the beauty of the island are at their best… (I think this is what they refer to as a ‘first world problem’). Either way, driving around Iceland for a couple of weeks in a van with my wife is bound to be a highlight of 2017.

While my wish list is endless, I am realistic. If I don’t happen to make it to all of these places this year then there is always next year. I think the point of making a new years resolution is to reaffirm your focus to do more of the things that make you happy.

Here are a few of my favourite shots from my travels in what was an incredible 2016… Enjoy.

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