We have no plans to go anywhere in 2021. Nothing, nada, zip. It will be our first year without travel since I don’t when.
While it makes me sad to think about that, I’m someone who likes to make lemonade from lemons, so while it may be a year without travel, it will be a year for saving, making plans for the future, and getting ourselves in the best shape possible for traveling in 2022 and beyond.
Here’s how we’re going to spend the coming year:
#1: A Year for Saving
- Next year will be our year of pretty much buying nothing, and saving as much as we possibly can. We’ve set a big goal for ourselves in this regard: adding an additional $8,000 to our 2020 travel savings total by the end of the year. We are going to increase our monthly automatic allotment to the travel account beginning January 1, and then throw everything else we can into the account whenever possible. We spent this last year getting ourselves resettled on Kaua’i, but that’s been accomplished and we now can turn our focus to future travels. We have only two purchases planned for next year: a good recumbent bicycle for cross training, and a new pair of walking shoes for me. I think I can get to the middle of the year before needing the shoes, and they will be a transitional pair until I get trail shoes in 2022 to wear on our big walk in Japan. We’re also planning to do something special for YaYu’s 21st birthday since she’ll be here with us, but have not made any plans for that yet. Not sure exactly when we’ll be getting the bike, but we have one picked out and when we’re ready to segue into training mode we’ll order it. Otherwise, we plan to buy nothing new next year except for food, toiletries, and household supplies, and renewing our passports.
#2: A Year for Planning
- Although our travel plans for 2022 are pretty well set at this point (YaYu’s graduation in May, then Japan in September & October, ending with an 11-day walk on the Nakasendō from Kyoto to Tokyo), we are beginning to flesh out travel plans for 2023 through 2025. In 2023, besides a one-month visit to Japan in the spring, we’d like to return to England for three months, stay in the Cotswolds again, and concentrate on walks in the area including a full-length Cotswolds Way walking tour. Ideas for the two years after that (2024 and 2025): a spring visit to Japan, and then one year we’d either like to take a three-month late-summer, early fall trip again to Europe, with one-month stays in Denmark, the Netherlands, and London (which we didn’t get to see much of last time), or go back to Strasbourg for two months, but for the purpose of studying French, and then follow up that stay with a one-month visit to another city in France where we can use what we’ve learned. We fell in love with France during our 40 days there in 2018, particularly with Strasbourg, and thought this would be an interesting way to not only go back but engage more with the country and people there. We’d also like to do another rail journey in Australia, but that’s way out there for now. These BIG plans for the next few years are just ideas at this point, but we already know it will take lots of planning and saving to make any and all of them happen, and we will definitely have the time this year to start putting things into place to turn dreams into goals and then make them happen. In 2025 Brett will be 75, I will be 73, and at that point we’ll reassess how much and what kind of traveling we want to continue to do at that point.
#3: A Year for Training & Staying Healthy
- It goes without saying that good health is our primary goal in 2021, but beyond that Brett and I will continue to get in shape to successfully complete the long walking tour in Japan we’ve planned for the fall of 2022. We’re off to a good start, but still have a ways to go. This past year we’ve been walking for exercise; that is, we’ve been walking at a fast clip with a primary goal of losing weight. Next year the goal will change over to walking for endurance. Walking tours move at a slower pace than we walk now, but the length of walking time is much greater so we’ll be focusing on walking for longer times, and to that end we will put ourselves on a training schedule to get into top shape. I’ll have more up about that later, but it will involve cross training and strength training as walking. We will continue with our annual doctor’s visits and testing, maintain our current way of eating, and practice other healthy behaviors to ensure we finish 2021 where we want to be.
So, although we won’t be traveling next year, we will have plenty on our plates, and much to do to get ourselves ready for the future. We’re very motivated to make 2021 a great year for both us, all while continuing to enjoy our laid-back life on Kaua’i. We have much to be grateful for, but there’s nothing like a few goals to keep us motivated and looking forward, and we’re ready to get going!