Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Indie Travel Week 1: Resolutions

As I mentioned in my last post. to get myself back in the habit of writing regularly, I'm going to do the 2012 Indie Travel Blog Challenge.   This is an idea from Bootsnall, which is one of my favorite travel websites.  It's been a website to daydream on, as it wasn't blocked at work over the past few months.

The first week's topic is resolutions, surprise surprise.  Although not terribly original, I do appreciate that we have a time each year that we think about where our lives are at and what we'd like to improve.  It's too easy to get so busy living that we don't stop to evaluate and check our direction, and besides, we all need a fresh start sometimes.

My first resolution is, obviously, to write this blog about resolutions.  One down!  Well, really, 1/52 down.  I really want to write, but lack of self-discipline is my worst shortcoming.  The challenge involves writing a blog post  each week, so I'm going to keep you all hanging until December to see if I really keep it or not.  Or at least until next week when I forget to post.  No.  I'm going to do this...I will write a weekly post. I will write a weekly post.  I will write a weekly post.  There.  Leave obnoxious comments if I don't. 

My more difficult resolution is the classic one: I've got to get in better shape.  I've blogged before about my very favorite of all my adventures: mountain hiking.  There was Mt. Etna in 2006, the hike up the mountain on the shore of Lake Como to the lighthouse on Pasquetta (the day after Easter, a public holiday in Italy) in the spring of 2007, Swiss Alps around St. Moritz, and then later around the Matterhorn in summer and winter 2007 (well, I took a train/ski life for most of it on both of those), summer camp in the Sibylline Mountains in central Italy in the summers of 2008 and 2009, looking into the crater of Mt. Vesuvius in May of 2009, hiking in the Tatras in southern Poland in 2009, Hua Shan and Huang Shan in China in the summer of 2010, and, well, Rock City on Lookout Mountain in 2011 (well, it was fun, if not quite so exotic as past years...).  But each year the mountains get a little harder on my knees.  Each year the getting-there gets more miserable.  Hua Shan involved a lot of prayer.  The peaks are always worth it, but the getting-there would be a lot more fun, too, if I kept myself in better shape in the meantime.  And my face wouldn't be so red in all the pictures.

After spending this past year entirely in the U.S., with ubiquitous cars, no sidewalks, and too many creature comforts indoors, I especially need to get into some better habits.  I was going to join some exercise classes offered by my job, but they've schedule them to where everyone from my branch can't attend them (still miffed over that one).  Once I get my new computer, I'll download some of my favorite exercise videos again.  I've thought of catching up on actually watching some of my DVD collection while peddling on the stationary bike upstairs. That doesn't seem to really be much of a workout, but I suppose it would be better than nothing.  I'd go for a walk, but it's dangerous to walk along the highway or in the parking lot at work; we've got the woods behind the house, but the summer I'd get eaten alive by bugs.  In the fall, our neighbors all deer hunt. In winter, it's dark by the time I get home.  That leaves a bit of early spring before the bugs come out too bad.   I also need to forget that Little Debbie Brownies even exist; unfortunately, the rack of them is directly within my line of view all day long at work. :(  Why does it seem  like healthy habits are so inconvenient around here?  When I lived in Italy or in China, or even in college, for that matter, you had to walk to get to public transportation.  You had to walk to the grocery store.  There were sidewalks everywhere and large safe parks to walk in.  There were neighborhoods to meander through and explore; there were towers/belfries/hills/domes to climb for the view.  The lack of walking as a part of everyday life is one of my biggest gripes about life in the U.S.  I get too lazy here.  

Getting in shape may not seem like a travel resolution, but I think it is for me--or at least, that's my biggest motivation for it.  I want to be in better shape to make my travel adventures easier and kinder to my knees. 

Now, the resolution I like to daydream the most about is, as it has been for years, to find my mountain for 2012.  I keep hoping that one of these years it's going to be to Everest base camp, or in the Andes to Machu Picchu, or, my ultimate dream, Kilamanjaro, but I don't think that any of those are going to be right for 2012.  I'm not sure what it will be...but somehow I'll find one.


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