I turn 71 in 2023 and consider myself, along with many of my friends and travel companions, still “approaching senior status.” It might be because I surround myself with outdoor-fanatic, health-conscious, earth-friendly, recycling gurus. We don’t wait until January to start downsizing, be friendlier, kinder, or start emotional or physical self-care programs because we work on these issues daily as an essential part of our lifestyle. But there is always room for improvement.

I was extremely proud of myself last year for downsizing into a 1,000-square-foot cabin burrowed in a quiet forest from a much larger and noisier home in the city. But I have since realized after a religious study class that I may not be quite at home plate yet. According to our class discussions, my effort to simplify should have brought me joy. 

Hmmm. Instead, I’m frustrated at my mini kitchen, miss everything sold in the garage sale, and complain about the long drive into town to buy groceries. I’m still working on “letting go,” but more importantly, enjoying what I currently have — a roof over my head, good health, amazing friends, and a reliable fixed income provided by Social Security.

Author feeding a giraffe in the Safari Park at the Columbus Zoo.

Ann feeding a giraffe in the Safari Park at the Columbus Zoo.

Photo credit: Ann Bush

Disappointingly, I changed nada in my travel ritual, and wonder if that is why many of my journeys have become less joyful than when I was younger and working an 8 to 5 job. After much thought, I realized that simplicity was only one aspect necessary. I needed to craft more into my journeys of what gives me personal joy on days between journeys.

Here is how I will achieve this lofty goal to experience more joy during future travel journeys with these 2023 New Year’s resolutions.

1. Forget

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