Miranda Richey

With the holidays behind us and a new year before us, now is the time to plan to create awesome memories for 2019. We have months ahead that are full of potential. Potential to experience something you have been curious to try; potential to venture to exciting destinations; potential to do amazing things. So, we cannot waste away the new year doing the same thing. Redundancy leads complacency. It is time to spice up the year and kick it into gear. What better way to do this than with new adventures?

Philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said that “To venture causes anxiety, but not to venture is to lose one's self. Anxiety is the dizziness of freedom.” Let's get a bit dizzy this year. The sense of adventure is intriguing and pursuit exhilarating. Adventure adds abundance to life. We learn, grow, and get outside of ourselves.

Sometimes anxiety and fear of the unknown which surrounds adventure restricts us from embarking on new journeys; but we must press forward in the new year. You will never know what you can do, how something may be, or the answers to the remainder of inquiries unless you go. Adventure doesn't find you. You must chase it.

So, where will you go in 2019? The time to pull that suitcase out of storage or dust off an old backpack is now! Start close to home or trek further into destinations unknown. There are many incredible places to see in 2019. Some places that travel enthusiasts are thrilled to get to include Patagonia, Japan, Tanzania and Matera. Perhaps you may try to see a few of these destinations yourself. I am already stoked to start my own adventures of 2019.

Currently, I live in Shanghai, which is a great central location to travel from. There is the convenience of trains for local travel, planes for domestic and international travel and, of course, the intricate transit system of the city. Last year, I started my adventures a little bit late. I took a getaway to Macau last August and volunteered for a day as a panda keeper in Chengdu in October. Around these months, I made several excursions outside of Shanghai for day trips. Those trips gave me the confidence to travel more this year.

For 2019, I am determined to push my comfort zone and see all that I can—wallet willing. I started the year back home in sunshiny Florida, kicking off my year of adventures on the sandy shores along bay area beaches (Clearwater, Treasure Island, and Safety Harbor). Now, I am back in Shanghai planning the rest of the year.

To give you a small preview of my 2019 travel plans: next month, I will be going on a tour of Zhangjiajie Avatar Mountains. In March, I will be hitting up Seoul. In April, I will be going with my family on a night tour of the Great Wall in Beijing. In May, I will be back stateside in good ole Norfolk Virginia. Between these days, I will also be exploring other areas around Shanghai, and heading to Taipei, Jeju Island, and Thailand. And that is just my first half of the year!

Are you ready to go? I encourage you to take the leap. A taste of travel will give you the drive you need to keep the adventures going. Do you have a destination that you have been dying to go to? Get a pen and write it down. Book the time. Take the leave request and get moving. You'll only regret the trip that you don't take.

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