Can’t believe it’s time to write one of these again.
You know what kind of cracks me up? I never wrote a goals post for 2021. I was probably thinking of the quote, “Man makes plan and God laughs,” and figured it wasn’t worth trying to plan when we still didn’t even have a vaccine at the end of 2020.
But I’m feeling quite hopeful for 2022! Before I dive in to my 22 hopes and goals, I thought I’d do a quick overview of what happened in 2021. (This is mostly for my memory so five years from now I can look back and go, “Oh yeah!”)
- January: NYE, Can Tho
- February: Mui Ne
- March: Alyshia’s leaving Vietnam trip to Hoi An, Quy Nhon, riding the Vietage,
- April: mostly catching up with things in Saigon before going to Ha Long right at the end of the month
- May: Ha Long with Caitlin and crew, Eunsol’s leaving Vietnam trip to Da Nang Intercontinental, little staycation at the Mia Saigon
- June: Isolating at Caitlin’s
- July: Home! Got off at plane and went straight to Walgreens for my first shot of Moderna and then had to way til the end of July to get the second shot, so spent the whole month inside
- August: Freedom! Up to Canada for 2 weeks to see Alyshia and travel around Ontario and Quebec before she had to go back to school
- September: Going to my first Badass Lady Gang meet-up in Philly
- October: Silvia came to NYC!
- November: California road trip, Philly Marathon Weekend fun
- December: Spending loads of time with family
22 Hopes & Goals for 2022
(Lol remember this is hopes and goals. So really leaning on the hope side for this one)
1. Travel to two new US states
I’m definitely making up for lost time with my car and enjoying driving as much as possible. With travel ever changing, it’s nice to know I have my car and don’t mind a long drive. Since I’m in the US for much longer than I would’ve thought last year, I’d like to try visiting two new states this year! Which two? Who knows! I’ve been playing around with the idea of going down to Atlanta in March and doing more sightseeing around Georgia. If we’re going south, I’ve really never been to South Carolina, Mississippi, Tennessee, or Atlanta! West Virginia and Ohio are in driving distance as well. And if we’re going north, I really haven’t seen Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, or Vermont. We’ll see!
2. Return to Spain!
If you read this blog a bunch, you’ll recognize Elissa’s name from our trips together or some of her posts. Well she’s currently in Spain for some postgraduate studies, which is all the motivation I need to make a trip out to see her! Hoping to spent some quality time there in May and maybe even do some road tripping! (I feel strongly that if I can drive in Jeju and drive a motorbike in Vietnam, I can handle driving in Spain).
My Spain bucket list is miles long, so I’m excited to start visiting some places I jotted down ages ago. Plus it’ll be nice to re-visit places like Barcelona and Andalusia. We’re also hoping Elissa has some free weekends for little Euro trips like to southern France so she can put her French to use and I can enjoy the food.
3. Explore the UK & Ireland some more
Maybe popping over to the UK and Ireland for a bit? I guess we’ll see, but it’s really not that far from Spain if I just wanted to stay in Europe for a tiny bit longer!
4. Get back to Korea and Vietnam
Lol hope is the thing with feathers. But you never know! Here’s to hoping at some point in 2022 I’ll be able to get back to Korea and/or Vietnam.
5. Go down to Mexico for a bit
Guys, can you believe my brother is about to go to Mexico before me? The ironies of life, man. He and his girlfriend are headed down for a wedding this spring, and for me it’s still a vague, “Definitely want to try living there for a bit” sentiment. But you know what, I would like to get down to Mexico this year specifically to enroll in some sort of language immersion course. You know something around 4-8 weeks where I spend most of the day studying Spanish and am there long enough to get comfortable with my surroundings while having time to travel on the weekends!
I’ve started researching courses but let me know if you have any recommendations.
6. Finish writing one novel
Ever since middle school, I feel like I’ve been collecting random Google docs and notebooks of brief sketches and scenes! I have all these characters and stories I’ve known for years and think about when I fall asleep at night, but I’ve been absolutely terrible at actually finishing one of those stories on page. I wrote exactly one full length novel in high school and, frankly, it’s not that good.
Here’s to challenging myself to finish one novel this year! Cross fingers next year it’ll be to finish editing that novel after sending it to friends for feedback.
7. Publish 100 blog posts
On a writing spree, aren’t we? I’m giving myself the ambitious goal of writing a hundred blog posts this year. I have, quite literally, 313 drafts of pending posts and it only grows as I do something new. Plus quite a few are the starts of massive updates of very old posts that need it! May I finally finish some posts that have been 50-75% done for years now! (After this post we’re 2/100, wahoo!)
8. Finish all my pending Vietnam content
To build off that, I have a bunch of Vietnam content I started while I was still there. Leaving and watching Saigon go through an even more intense lockdown than the first one kind of took the winds out of my sails, so to speak. I didn’t want to spend time writing about cafes and restaurants that might not make it this time around!
Anyway, it’s time to sit down and get the rest of that content out. Especially as I’m crossing my fingers that travel to Vietnam will start again in 2022.
9. Get a better social media calendar
Lol remember when I just got my Twitter back last year? Whoops! Now that I have it back, I’d really like to become more regular on Facebook and Twitter. Instagram is fun but the way that app hates me can be very frustrating. Plus Tiktok is more fun and loosey goosey.
Anyway, hoping to start posting more regularly all around!
10. Make my goal income amount
I don’t like to get too specific about money and income here because I really don’t think it’s helpful to most of you who find me. Like, most of you are here for travel advice, not advice on how to become a travel blogger or how to make money online. There are also people more qualified to do both.
Anyway, I’ve had this income goal for a few years now, and it took a back seat during COVID. This year though I’d really like to put in effort to get to that goal or at least get closer than I have before! I know what to do; it’s just doing it. You guys will know when it happens because I’m treating myself to these Sarah Flint slingbacks when I do.
Health & Fitness
11. Get my health under control once and for all
So right before the new year, I had a follow up appointment with my dermatologist and I asked her about the skin on the back of neck. It’s always felt kind of rough and the skin seemed to peel there more than normal no matter what I did. She told me there were two things going on – one probably some eczema which she prescribed a cream for and some evidence of insulin resistance which was probably tied to weight gain (I did gain 27 lbs in the first half of this year that just hasn’t come off at all). She recommended I talk to my primary care physician, who took some blood tests. Well, the results came in and I’m pre-diabetic!
Anyway, that’s all to say – listen to your body and your doctors on what’s healthy for you. Health comes in all shapes and sizes and you cannot tell someone’s health by looking at them. There are people who probably look both bigger and smaller than me who might be in the exact same boat! I know I could be a lot healthier simply because my skin, my blood, and my more frequent back aches tell me as much.
As for actual actionable steps, so far this has meant:
- stocking up on vegetables so I always have the kind I like on hand
- prepping food ahead of time (like cutting up my peppers when I buy them)
- remembering to write down meals and recipes I find and like (hellooo Tik Tok rabbithole)
12. Run in three races this year
Guys, I’m doing it! This is the year of running, whoo!
After my half marathon and 10k in 2017, I really haven’t been running much at all. Even then I ran/walked both of those races. But ever since I started working for Badass Lady Gang and then going to the BALG Philly meet-ups, I’ve been slowly getting myself more and more into a running mindset. Now I think I’m ready to tackle some races to give me some sort of mile markers this year!
I’m planning on doing a 15k in April, a 10-miler in May, and then the Philly half-marathon in the fall. Maybe a race in between depending on where I am, but mostly it’s just building up and getting myself to being a regular runner. I want 5-6 miles to feel like a nice, normal run!
13. Try 10 new hiking trails
Another thing I want to do more of this year is hiking and to try some new trails in PA, the US, and anywhere else I go. Kind of like I make sure to build it into my future trip itineraries. I just enjoy finding a good audiobook and playing it while I follow a trail and find some beautiful views. Too bad you can’t really go for a hike on a first date in the US like in Norway, according to my friend Silvia!
Maybe not this year but either next year or the year after, I also think it’d be fun to challenge myself to doing a multi-day hike. Complete with tent camping, giant backpacks, and pooping outside! Also at another point, I want to try one of the longer routes on the Camino de Santiago.
14. Go to bed before midnight
*Looks off to the side and up in the sky*
Will this be the year I finally start going to bed like a normal person? Guess we’ll see!
15. Watch one Spanish TV show in full
I’ve been pretty bad about watching Spanish TV regularly. Really any show that requires subtitles I’ve been pretty bad about watching. Mostly because I’ve been busy with work, and when I do watch TV, I like to multitask and do a work project while I go.
Anyway, my goal is to start and finish one season of a Spanish TV show. I have quite a few seasons of “Chicas de Cable” and all of “Valeria” to watch, so I’ll probably do one of them! If you have any recommendations let me know!
16. Read at least 1 Spanish book
I managed it last year, I think I can do it again this year! I’m not sure what I’ll wind up reading, but my Spanish isn’t quite good enough to read a brand new book. I’ll probably do as I did last year, which was read a book in English first and then read it in Spanish. Building back up those Spanish language muscles!
17. Finish one of my Vietnamese workbooks
I brought home four Vietnamese workbooks with me, two of them are Korean-Vietnamese! My goal is to work my way through one of them my the end of the year. I actually really like learning Vietnamese. The tones and pronunciations are hard, but the actual grammar is nice and straightforward! It’s just a matter of practicing and expanding my vocabulary!
18. Get back into Korean language practice
Between Duolingo and Talk to Me in Korean, I want to get back into the habit of practicing Korean. I can definitely feel it slipping a lot since I’m not around someone who speaks it fluently and who the heck knows when I’ll be able to return to Korea.
Grown Up Things
19. Save at least $12k towards a housing deposit
That’s it, that’s my goal. I want to save at least $12k for a housing deposit, though aim for more. At this rate, you need at least $60k to even think of buying somewhere in PA, so I’ve got a while to go lol. I’m still living with my parents, so luckily I don’t pay rent. I’m trying to get myself into the habit of putting away in a housing savings what I’d have to give to a landlord for rent!
20. Start doing the proper investing and retirement saving
I really want to buckle down this year and understand what I’m supposed to be doing for retirement and investing. I vague know but also don’t know where to start really! Probably need to sit down with a financial planner sooner rather than later.
Just for Fun
21. Read 52 books
My challenge every year! Maybe this year my goal will be to not leave half of this challenge for the last three months of the year.
22. Read at least 1 classic book
I did this in 2020 but not 2021, so here’s to reading one classic book this year. I think it’ll probably be Jane Austen, Thomas Hardy, or George Eliot!
What are your hopes and goals for 2022? Let me know!
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