New Year, New Plans

Happy 2013! Now that we’ve all recovered from our New Year’s hangovers, we can plan for the year and make those resolutions. Of course, I’ve never been much for resolutions–every year is more or less the same: travel more, read more, stay healthy, find new experiences…

great wall of china
Look ahead and focus

Reading is high up on that list because I don’t think I read enough last year, and the used bookstore that opened a few months ago keeps getting books I want to buy. I still have too many books on my shelves that I want to read, so I better read faster this year. I’m currently reading Laird Hunt’s Ray of the Star and will move on to his newest work, Kind One. After my next trip I’ll probably begin Haruki Murakami’s 1Q84.

I’ll be starting this year off right with a vacation in Iceland. Even though I’m leaving soon, I still haven’t planned much of my trip. I thought watching Anthony Bourdain’s No Reservations in Iceland would help, but I was wrong. My friend pointed out that PBS had a show on Iceland last night, but it was all about predicting when some volcanoes might erupt again (not I’m thinking they might erupt while I’m visiting). So, I still need to do more research on where to go outside Reykjavik and how to get there.

I also have plans for the spring. My job affords me the luxury of moving wherever I want–the great advantage of not needing to physically be in the office. The downside of this is that I need to have reliable internet, which leaves out a lot of destinations as long-term stopovers. The rough plan is to spend two months in Asia. My options for a base in Asia are narrowed down to Japan, Korea, or Kuala Lumpur. The last option is mostly appealing because it’s an AirAsia hub, which would make it easier to travel on weekends. KL is also a bit cheaper than Japan or Korea.

There’s also the potential for a few weekend trips from home here in New Jersey–possibly to Boston or D.C., or other destinations if I rent a car. There are always museums, restaurants, and bars in New York, which is only a very short train ride away.

I should follow directions
I should follow directions

My final resolution for the year is one that I shouldn’t have to make anyway: buckle down and study Chinese regularly. I’ve been slacking off on this since I moved back to the US. When my friend came to visit over the summer, he told me that my pronunciation now sucks (and I was the one with the better skills when we lived in Shenzhen). I have some new motivation for studying since my job requires me to edit some work that’s translated from Chinese and communicate with Chinese writers. With some lulls in the work throughout my shift, I have spent some time using to better memorize characters. Unfortunately, I have to start at the beginning, which can be boring because I already know most of the characters the site is teaching me. I would prefer enrolling in a class if one fit my schedule (I learn better in a group).

Anyone have their own travel/adventure resolutions for 2013?

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