10 Places to Blow Your New Year’s Resolutions in a Big Way


Bucket List Worthy   Flight Network Foodie  

It’s universal. The year starts with the best of intentions to become a better, more virtuous version of ourselves, but right about now enthusiasm fades, reality sets in, and we accept who we really are. But why go out with a whimper when you can embrace defeat and be spectacular about it? Go big or go home with these inspiring ways to kick the most popular New Year’s resolutions to the curb in style.

eating gelato Lose Weight – It’s nearly impossible to escape the incessant pressures to battle the bulge during the month of January. When the attainment of a six pack seems more likely to occur at the beer store than the gym, give in to temptation and book flights to Italy. Italian food is the most popular cuisine in the world, and you can spend months enjoying all of the delicious regional dishes from Tuscany, to Liguria, to Sicily, and beyond, and still not cover half of the delectable things there are to try. The seemingly endless varieties of sinful gelato and velvety pasta alone mean you’re pretty much guaranteed to pack on the pounds no matter how much walking you do.

Get Organized – It’s all well and good to have your ducks in a row and be the pillar of efficiency, but there’s also something to be said for randomness and flying by the seat of one’s proverbial pants. In fact, some destinations demand this sort of approach and will thwart the rigid, itinerary-driven traveller at every turn – places like Cairo, Bangkok, and Delhi make you go with the flow, force you to make decisions on the fly, and live in the moment.

Help Others – Sure, you could use your hard-won leisure time to build homes with Habitat for Humanity, single-handedly reforest Sumatra, or any other of the infinite number of voluntourism opportunities out there – or you could forget the world’s problems for awhile and live it up. A long weekend in Las Vegas would do the trick, but a place where you can take self-indulgence to the max is Negril, Jamaica where Hedonism resorts live up to their name.

Spend More Time with Family and Friends – It’s a wonder that so many people adopt this resolution so close on the heels of the holiday season with all of its social obligations and intensive family time. If you’d rather have some Me Time than another family dinner with Uncle Bertram and his mesmerizing combover, book some airline tickets to Arizona. In Scottsdale you’ll find solitary activities like golf, spa treatments, and shopping to keep you occupied, or for a more ethereal experience you can take a solitary retreat in the desert and rent a yurt or a cabin at one of Arizona’s many spiritual retreat facilities. To be further out of the reach of your kith and kin, go medieval and live like a hermit in one of Bulgaria’s monasteries.

Drink Less/Stay Sober – Yes, your liver and bank balance may be marginally healthier when you don’t drink, but where’s the fun in that? You could go to Dublin and get three sheets to the wind on pints of Guinness while enjoying energetic Celtic tunes or party hard at all inclusive resorts in the Caribbean, but you can also 86 this resolution in a refined way, with wine tastings in Portugal, brewery tours in Germany or the Czech Republic, or hop a flight to New Zealand and explore some of the many beer and wine routes.

Get Fit – When pumping iron has lost its lustre, and spandex has you feeling like an Oompa-Loompa, shake off the strenuous mantle of exercise and take a cruise. The most effort you will have to make is a stroll from your stateroom to the dining room, bar, casino, or discotheque. Yes, you could also visit the spectacular pools, fitness facilities on board and engage in all kinds of other active pursuits, but that’s so last month.

Be Punctual – Being on time is important when it comes to job interviews and space shuttle launches, but in other circumstances is it really that crucial to have things timed down to the minute? If you march to the beat of a different timekeeper, give yourself a break and take a holiday in the Caribbean where island time translates unto “whenever” and things happen in their own time. Similarly, adopt a “manana” philosophy and flex your siesta-taking muscles with a trip to Mexico.

Eat Better – If you’ve grown tired of the dictates of South Beach or whatever other diet plan has you in its clutches, revitalize yourself with soul food. There’s no better place for it than the American South – places like Atlanta, Charleston, and St. Louis. While you’re there indulge in some tasty barbecue. Scientists may have discovered that delicious charred red meat increases your risk of developing all kinds of health conditions, however numerous other thoroughly unscientific studies have also shown that the sheer joy of eating barbecue can prolong your life immeasurably.

Get Out of Debt/Stick to a Budget – Financial acumen is a valuable life skill, but so is sock-darning and the ability to whip up a perfect souffle. When the need for retail therapy overwhelms your sense of personal responsibility, grab a flight to Dubai or the Bahamas where high style and designer fashions are only exceeded by the astronomical prices. If you feel like lady luck is itching to turn your life around, jet off to Monte Carlo or Monaco and roll the dice.

Spend Less Time Online – The influence electronic gadgets is an irresistibly strong force in our lives. You can turn your smartphone off, or even lock it in a box and its siren song will still echo in your mind, beckoning you to check your messages, or jot off a quick email to stay on top of things. Then there is Facebook, Angry Birds, Twitter and any number of other alluring online distractions. Once you’ve realized that resistance is futile, go for broke and head to Las Vegas for the annual Consumer Electronics Show, or fly to Japan, which might as well be the mothership calling you home.

About the Author: Steph Spencer

Formerly the Editor of Let's Roll, now you're more likely to find Steph prowling the halls of incredible museums, hunting for historic landmarks, discovering mind-blowing science and literary attractions, tracking down the world’s largest whatchamacallit or attending wacky festivals. She is a freelance travel writer who explores the geeky side of travel on her blog A Nerd At Large, and dispenses random quirkiness on Google+ and as @ANerdAtLarge on Twitter.

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