2016 was the year I realized I needed a major influx of movement, stat! Life gets hectic when you’re caught up in the day to day responsibilities of life: paying bills and sticking to your to-do list. Control and organization help me to get the job done, but along the way, I’ve forgotten about my own growth.Recently, I saw the trending campaign for Explore More 2017 and something clicked. After staring at those photos of people pledging to travel and expand their horizons, I knew it was time to let go of how tightly I was holding onto to control in my life.I’ve been obsessively reading about the most affordable and best places to travel in 2017 and officially re-diagnosed myself with an extreme case of wanderlust. It’s necessary to invest in myself and lead a truly creative life filled with passion and new people, places and experiences.Kiss my Comfort Zone Goodbye I pledge to step out of my comfort zone in my daily life. You get out of your comfort zone by pushing the envelope beyond what’s possible, little by little. It reminds you that you’re capable of dreaming and manifesting those dreams. That’s hard to do when you’re confined by the limits of daily life with deadlines and obligations.It’s time to shake up the daily routine. I will stay inspired by recording the new things I encounter each day in a journal and taking photos to turn into memorable crafts later! It’ll be exciting to try new trends and sample slices of life I’ve never imagined.I pledge to take a step into a new coffee shop, city or social event, even when I’d prefer to stay at home in my pajamas. I pledge, each day, to take a step a little farther off the well-marked path onto the wayward path, to see at least one new place a week — even if that count remains local. I pledge to explore the mountains, deep sea dive and walk the streets of ancient towns.Travel to Benefit Others I pledge to travel for selfless reasons, to benefit others by making the world a better place. While traveling, why not help others? Where you set foot, you should leave a positive impression in your footprint’s place. Call it the “goodwill footprint,” which is much better than a carbon footprint.Everyone would benefit to learn about mission trips or other services that allow you to assist others in need as you travel around the world, say on a family mission to Haiti to help deliver clean water to the poorest areas of the country. Helping others with life’s basic necessities makes you feel more grateful about the power of community. Ask around in your faith-based community for such opportunities. Let’s leave the world a better place than when we arrived.Fill My Belly To Feed My Soul I pledge to eat my fill and share in the abundance of storytelling. In ages past, much of life happened in the kitchen where families prepared food and shared stories. Food, much like music, is a natural way to connect to the various cultures and people around you.Every dish has a story, whether it’s a recipe passed down from your grandmother or a traditional staple only prepared for special celebrations. I will make the a trip down the road to a neighbor’s dinner party to taste her grandmother’s love in her chicken and dumplings, and I will travel farther to sample traditional world cuisines and learn the importance and love that went into their creation. I will fill my belly to feed my soul.I pledge to give into my wanderlust and rediscover a passion for travel and a life fully lived. I promise to myself that I will invite new people, places and cuisines into my life, learn their stories and share my own. From local digs to world wayfaring, 2017 will be an enriching year filled with inspiration and movement.
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