30 Travel and Photography Intentions

Photo I took of the road in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco.

Photo I took of the road in the Atlas Mountains, Morocco.

If it hasn’t been said enough - happy new year everyone!

This year is a big one for me personally, because I turn 30 in March… Gasp. I have many goals, or rather intentions for this year. My first step in making these intentions happen is to write them down and visualize. So, that’s what I am doing with you. Specifically, I thought I’d share with you 30 of my travel and photography goals, (15 for each category) in honour of my soon-to-be 3 decades on this planet.

I’d also love to hear from you - do you have travel and/or photography resolutions this year? Tell me in the comments below!

  1. Travel Around South America

Top of the list are: Argentina, Chile, Bolivia and Peru. I blame the movie, The Motorcycle Diaries and all the Latin American Poli Sci courses I took in University for wanting to explore this part of the world.

2. Go to places where I don’t speak the language at all.

There is something so humbling and gratifying in experience this. I seriously want to struggle. To me, this means Asia! Specifically: Japan, Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, and Malaysia. I’d also love to go to Singapore, even though they do speak English.

Curtesy of Emirates Airline.

Curtesy of Emirates Airline.

3.Fly business class, then first class.

Can you believe, I’ve never flown anything but Economy?! I’d like to change that and experience the luxury side of travel. Long-haul flights in business and/or first would make me less tired and groggy when I reach my destination.

4. Spend a year entirely away from home traveling to my heart’s content.

I had planned to do this two years ago, but the UK “kidnapped” me. I kid you not, I have a 45-page plus Word document of everywhere I had planned to go in 2016-2017. It needs some updating as I have checked off many places since then. As well, the purpose would not just be vagabonding around the world with no care in the world. It would be focused on creating blogging and photography content AND having fun.

Image curtesy of We are Travel Girls Getaways on Instagram.

Image curtesy of We are Travel Girls Getaways on Instagram.

5. Do a business blogging getaway in Bali.

I am fascinated with Bali, it looks so laid back, bohemian, and beautiful. Plus, I had sourced out a week long business blogging trip by We are Travel Girls. I’d love to go on this trip or something similar where you learn more about the business of blogging and get to meet people in the travel blogging & photography space. It’s also great because you get to tour the island as well.

6. Do a yoga retreat in Aruba.

I have been following Rachel Brathen (@yoga_girl) on Instagram for as long as I have been on the platform. When she opened her yoga studio in Aruba (Island Yoga), I knew that one day I have to make my way to the island and participate in a yoga retreat! Here’s to making that happen!

7. See the northern lights in Iceland and Icelandic ponies.

Horses are straight up my favourite animal (yes, I’m one of those). Seeing these super cute, fluffy ponies just makes me squeal with excitement.

As for the Northern Lights, I have seen so many stunning photos of this phenomenon that I have to see it for myself. And since I’m currently obsessed with night photography, it’s a win-win.

8. Explore Jordan.

After Morocco, Jordan is the next Arabic country that I am fascinated with. There have been so many pictures of Petra on Instagram that I have to check it out for myself. As well, I want to explore Amman (the capital), Wadi Rum, see the Dead Sea and more.

9. Go on an ethical safari and Explore Africa.

Tanzania. Image from Jessica Nabongo.

Tanzania. Image from Jessica Nabongo.

I have always been squeamish about traveling to Africa. I’m not sure why. It could have been a combination of not fully understanding Africa, having unfounded fears, etc… This all changed when I read an article by travel influencer Jessica Nabongo, who wrote the article My Ten Favourite Shithole Countries. Suddenly I really wanted to go to Africa. Some of my top places I want to go are:

  • Tanzania

  • Namibia

  • Rwanda

  • Uganada

  • Tunisia

As for the safari, I’m still researching one I can go on. I will update this section when I find the one.

10. Go skydiving in…

I think the most thrilling and present moment enforcer is to go skydiving. There are so many places in this world to go skydiving, including locally in Abbotsford, BC. But, because this list is travel oriented, I want to go skydiving somewhere else. According to the Travel Channel, some amazing places include:

  • Dubai, UAE

  • Switzerland

  • New Zealand

  • Hawaii

11. Experience the trans-siberian train

I love trains and it seems super adventurous to me to take a really long train trip. This is even better when the train takes you through Russia, Mongolia, and China! It takes 6 nights, covers a distance of 7,621 km and runs all-year round. That’s a trip!

There are also different classes on the train with sleeping arrangements ranging from the economic to the luxurious. You can also pre-book stop overs during the journey so that you can see more of what is around you. This is definitely something I plan on doing.

From Unpsplash, photo by Ian Parker.

From Unpsplash, photo by Ian Parker.

12. See Penguins in CHile, Argentina or Antartica.

I’ve been obsessed with penguins for as long as I can remember. I think it started when I saw those Christmas Coca Cola commercials. To see them in their natural habitat is really exciting to me!

If I don’t make it all the way south to Antartica, there is always Chile and Argentina, specifically Patagonia.

13. Go to the Christmas Markets in Austria and GermanY.

There is nothing that says Christmas more than European Christmas markets. Austria and Germany are the places to go!

14. Live somewhere else in the world for a whole year or more.

Similar to traveling for a whole year, it would be another great adventure to actually live somewhere else other than the UK. Although, I wouldn’t say no to returning to Scotland. New Zealand sounds like a great place, which was my back-up in case the UK didn’t pan out for whatever reason.

15. Go on a trip with other travel bloggers.

I’m a bit embarrassed to say that I don’t know many fellow travel blogger personally. I follow lots of them and they seem super awesome. This is on me to put myself out there and reach out to the people in this space! I’d love to meet up and travel together!

16. Go on a photography expedition with National Geographic or a pro-photographer.

From National Geographic - Tibet & Nepal Photography Tour & Expedition

From National Geographic - Tibet & Nepal Photography Tour & Expedition

When I was a kid, I used to get National Geographic magazines at home. One aspect of the magazine that enthralled me was the quality and variety of the photos. To learn how to do that by going on a photography expedition with one of their photographers would honestly be a dream come true! These trips are on the pricey side and some involve a lot of hiking and high altitude, but it would be a great investment trip. Some notable destinations included:

17. Master drone photography.

To me, this is taking photography to the next level. Taking aerial shots of towns, the sea, the countryside sounds just plain awesome to me!

Next step is to buy a drone and learn how to use it!

18. Shoot 9-12 pictures that will showcase a cohesive Instagram grid with proper transitions.

This is something I have been meaning to make happen every since I started my Instagram account, @away_for_a_spell. It’s really challenging and involves A LOT of planning, as I’m sure many of you already know. I am fully aware that my account currently looks like you can never know what I will post next. So, here’s to changing that by sharing a series of pictures every other day and having gentle transitions to the next series!

19. Shoot marketing/magazine/Online-article photos for awesome travel brands.

This is the sweet spot to be in - be paid for my photography in the travel space. I’m working on making this happen whether I am reaching out to people and learning more on how to be better with this craft.

One such company I’d love to shoot for is the Away luggage brand, because we share part of the same name!

20. Know how and why to use different lenses on the camera.

Vintage cameras from Unsplash, Mario Calvo.

Vintage cameras from Unsplash, Mario Calvo.

Presently, I do not have a full grasp on what different lenses do to your pictures. There are so many from wide angle, macro, fast prime lenses, and more.

Here’s to learning and experimenting!

21. Plan, execute and shoot my bucket photo.

This is inspired by the legend of all photographers, Peter McKinnon. Last year, he took an epic trip to Lake Louise, Alberta to take a picture of Moraine Lake in a winter setting, but with the lake clear, not frozen. There was a lot of trial and error and timing to consider. The point is, I want to take a picture that has some serious intention, planning and challenges involved.

22. Nail down my editing style and pre-sets on Lightroom. Have this in-line with my brand.

I have mentioned before how I have introduced Lightroom to my photography practise. There is still a lot for me to learn on the program. I have dabbled with pre-sets and have experimented with looks that are in line with my brand. But, this still needs to be nailed down. My ultimate goal is for people to see my photos and know that it came from me.

23. Get a photo shared on a popular photography and/or travel Instagram account.

To be featured on a curated Instagram account in this space would be a great accomplishment!

My current photo gear.

My current photo gear.

24. Invest in more photography gear for even better photos

At present, I have a very small amount of photography gear, see picture to the right. It’s just my Canon DSLR camera, tripod, Lightroom, and my laptop. I don’t believe you need to buy a ton of gear to be better at photography. But, I’d like to get a diffuser to block out shadows in product shoots, different lens, and filters.

25. take more pictures featuring myself

Perhaps collab with another photographer?

26. When traveling, take the most unique photos.

I hate taking the typical shots of places while traveling. I like showing the everyday, the unique, and shots that I have to explain where they are from.

27. Take some epic product photos.

I want to do this so that I can work with brands.

28. Update my photography work-flow with back up hard drive.

I never want to loose any content!

29. Reduce my use of stock photos

This is a big one. As a photographer, I rely primarily on the photos I shoot. Every now and then, I don’t have the time to go shoot something for a blog post, so I use unsplash.com. But, that doesn’t showcase what I am capable of doing with my camera. And even more importantly, it doesn’t show my audience or brands my work, which is what they need to see in order to decide to follow me, subscribe to my blog and work with me. So here’s to using only my photos.

30. Print a photo I am really proud of in super high quality.

Once I get my bucket shot (see # 21), I want to print it, frame it and put it on my wall as a testament to what I have achieved in photography.

ReflectionAway for a Spell