For many its a new gym membership. After all, I wasn't able to commit to going last year because *insert invalid excuse*.

Others may quit a bad habit, whether it be smoking or simply biting your nails. Others, like myself, try to look a little bit deeper. Am I really happy? Is there something missing from my life? Am I pursuing my passions and moving forward? 

Depending on your answers to these questions, you may need to make some changes.

It's time we stop devoting our lives to materialistic things and the approval of those around us. Is that new outfit really going to satisfy you? Sure it is - temporarily. But what about a kind of joy that lasts? What about making memories?  The perfect solution - travel.

Whether you're a travel virgin or you've stepped foot on every continent already, traveling is an experience that will change your outlook on life with every new place you visit, and every new friend you make. 

If you've got the time and ability, you're making money, and you've got the passion, then what's stopping you? So many people don't want travel to affect their work, they have too much debt, and the list exceeds. But realistically, there are so many ways around these obstacles.

The twist: sacrifice. Like many great things in life - love, a great career, a roof over your head perhaps - traveling requires sacrifice. And this may not only pertain to time and money, but these two are definitely essential. You just need to be willing to make it a priority.

Make it a goal for yourself this year to travel to a destination you've always wanted to go to. Listen to that voice inside your head - yes, the travel bug. He knows what he's talking about!

Making friendships across the globe, indulging in new cultures, visiting sites your eyes won't even believe to be true, or maybe you'd rather just relax on a beach - there is a place for every type of traveler and these experiences will teach you so much about more than just this area of the world, but more importantly, about yourself.

Take risks, and try something that scares you! One of the greatest feelings in the world is conquering your fears and accomplishing something you would have never imagined yourself doing.

Talking to locals will broaden your perspective on how diverse humans truly are, the different lifestyles we live, and you will come out of this experience with a brand new outlook on how you live your own life. The benefits of travel are truly endless and in the end, you'll create memories that will last you a lifetime. 

So next time you're at the shopping center, just think to yourself: Do I really need that new outfit? Put aside a little cash instead and look at life's big picture. Are you really happy? Is there something missing from your life? Are you pursuing your passions and moving forward? 

Think about this as you ring in next year, and maybe search out flights on that trip you've always been dreaming of in the mean time.

Thinking about booking your next adventure or escape? Search options today:

By Hannah MacDougall