New Year's Resolutions

Sure, New Year’s resolutions are cliché, but for some reason, I stumbled into a new path of clarity and focus going into 2018; with two very clear goals for the new year that translated into a couple really good, positive and even realistic “resolutions.” So here goes…

New Year's Resolutions
R Dub! makes new friends in a remote village in the nation of Togo.

1. To Travel More…and Reach my 100th Country
I’ve been slowly staring down the “100 country” mark for some time now, and this year, it’s finally in reach. I’ve already got countries like North Korea, Libya and Venezuela out of the way (yes, I went to all of those!)…but there are still so many more. I wanted “#100” to be special, different…and downright bananas! So after much consideration, number 100 will be Iraq, in early April. I’m so stoked! You can see my travel blog HERE.

New Year's Resolutions
R Dub! at Macchu Pichu, Peru.

Other countries I’ll set foot on for the first time this year include: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Nagorno-Karabakh, Iran, Jordan, South Africa, Lesotho, Swaziland, Mozambique, Djibouti, Somaliland, Somalia, Martinique, Guadeloupe, St. Vincent, Cairo, Sudan, Eritrea, Saudi Arabia, Cyrpus, Northern Cyrpus, Lebanon and Syria. In that order. And yes, all this year, I’m not even playing!

I’ve had the travel bug since I was a kid, and it’s only gotten worse. Travel has become a true addiction and has opened my mind in countless ways. I’d like to think I’ve become a better person because of it.

New Year's Resolutions
R Dub! and SDCCU associate Ram, who helped him open his free checking account, at their Mira Mesa branch.

2. Be Better with my Money/Finances
I look at all the “waste” and money I could have and should have saved in 2017, and I get angry with myself. 2018 will be a year of restraint, discipline and just all-around being “smarter” when it comes to my money. I plan to have some substantial savings by the end of 2018.

Here are just a few of the things I am doing to save money this year:

a. Making sure all my credit cards are paid off.
There’s no reason to waste all that money paying interest. If I can’t afford it, I’m just not going to buy it. All my credit card balances will be paid in full each month.

b. Cut down on unnecessary fees.
One of the first things I did was get a free checking account with eStatements at San Diego County Credit Union. I was tired of getting dinged with outrageous fees at my old bank just to hold my money. Forget all that. I went over to SDCCU (there’s one right across the street from my house!) and got signed up for a free checking account. They have a huge network of fee-free ATMs too. Those fees really add up over a year–this will really help!

c. Stop buying stuff! Get rid of unnecessary stuff.
I mean, I really need to stop impulse buying. Amazon really makes it tough though: you want something, you just click on your phone, and it shows up at your door step the next day! I’m going to ask myself “do I really need this” each time I think I want something. I’m also going to clear out my drawers and sell all the stuff I haven’t used in a while.

d. Cut down on travel.
Just kidding!

These are just my two personal new year’s resolutions…wish me luck… and good luck with yours, whatever they are! Sending you good vibes for the new year!

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