Another Trip Around the Sun

tlt-sunriseA new year—time to start another trip around the sun.

But wait. Should we be so quick to put the last year behind us?

Opportunity to move forward in a new direction comes from looking back first. Review and analysis helps us make better plans for the future. If you’ve been following this blog you know it includes traveling light through life.

Here are a few questions and fill-in the blanks to jump start your thoughts:
• I’m thankful for_________________________________________________.
• Name something I’m thankful for that begins with each letter of the alphabet
(Ex: “A” I’m thankful for Appaloosa Horses)
• Make a simple list of last year’s main events
• What would I repeat?
• If I could do one thing differently, I would __________________________.
• Last year at this time I planned to ____________________________.
• I’ve spent too much time worrying about __________________________.
• How did I make my relationship with God and my loved ones a priority?

Now that we’ve reviewed, how can we move forward in this New Year?
• Which of last year’s goals are still appropriate for this year?
• What simple step can I take each day toward realizing them?
• How will I change my thinking to make those steps possible?
• What is a realistic expectation of what I can achieve in one day? One week?
• What simple method can I use to track my progress so I stay motivated?
• This year I will ______________________ instead of worrying.
• I will ____________________ so God is a priority in my life.
• I will ____________________ so my loved ones will know they are important to me.
• What is one thing I need to say “no” to, so I can say, “yes” to ___________________.

Just as we make time for what’s important to us, so we also spend our money on what’s important to us. Some people who complain about not having money for travel have no problem spending their money on other things—like new vehicles, boats, and high-end entertainment.

My husband and I are budget travelers. Finding the least expensive way to travel often requires some early planning. I’ve listed a few things below for you to consider as you plan.

Travel Planning Tips:
• I want to travel to _________________________ (place).
• What is the best time of year to travel there?
• What has to happen in order for me to travel to this location?
• What expenses will I have?
Planes/Trains or Automobiles, Lodging, Food, Tour/Entrance Fees, Souvenirs
Total those expenses and . . .
Add 25% for those unexpected and unwanted surprises
(If you don’t need it for the trip you’ll enjoy adding it back to savings for next year.)
• How much can I save toward my travel goal –Daily? –Weekly? –Monthly?
(Be realistic with your goals. What amount will you stick to?)
• For small purchases use cash instead of a credit card.
(Using cash keeps us more aware of how much we’ve spent.)
• Create a Change Jar. Put all spare change in a jar at the end of everyday.
(It’s amazing how quickly it adds up, especially if the whole family contributes.)
• What expenses can I eliminate or moderate to make my goal achievable?

Example: If you’ve calculated you need $1000 for a trip you plan to take in November, you will need to save approximately $100/month; or $25/week; or $5/day of a 5-day week. That is, if you begin saving immediately. If you buy a specialty coffee drink everyday, you may be able to achieve your goal by eliminating that drink.

Everyone has his or her priorities. You decide. You’re in control.

We learn things about ourselves as we evaluate what we’ve done in the past and as we plan realistically for the future. One of my priorities is reading. Whether at home or on the road, I always have something to read. Another priority is writing. My most recently published work appears in the Chicken Soup for the Soul book: Angels and Miracles.

For this New Year of 2017, I have a drawing for a free copy of Angels and Miracles.

To be entered in the giveaway, leave a comment on this post by Monday, January 9, 2016.

Comment suggestions: Tell how you plan to travel this year, or how you plan to save for travel, or tell me about a travel experience you’ve enjoyed this past year, or tell me about your favorite travel post on this site.

You can earn an additional entry in the drawing if you Like my SuZan Klassen, Author Facebook page. Make sure to mention you have done this in your comment here to ensure you earn your extra entry. (Click this link to my Author Facebook page.)

I’ll announce the winner in next week’s blog post. Because of high shipping costs, you must have a U.S. mailing address to be eligible to win.

Until next time…Travel Light,
© 2017 SuZan Klassen

6 thoughts on “Another Trip Around the Sun

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