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Wednesday, January 3, 2024

Happy New Year 2024

Happy New Year! It feels like 2023 just started and now it's a whole new year. Usually, we try to travel during this time, but we've been doing so much local stuff, that it has felt like a mini vacation. Plus, there weren't any flight deals for the places we were thinking of going to, so we just skipped it this year.

We started out 2024 on a high note, working on one of my new resolutions, but here are what I'm looking forward to this next year.

As you know, the majority of my resolutions are travel-related, non-specific, and pretty easy to achieve, because making resolutions like "going to the gym" or "losing 10 lbs" or "calling people more often" are boring and I know I won't do them, even if I want to. Let's look at what I said last year: 

Be kind - this has been a relatively easy one, especially when you surround yourself with like-minded people. I've done a lot of volunteer work with PDXpelliarmus, our local chapter of Fandom Forward, making sure our LGBTQ+ members of the Harry Potter community feel seen and heard and cared for.

Go somewhere new - this year we went to Palm Springs, which neither of us had been to. It was a lovely break and at some point we will go back, because the city may be small, but it's wonderful and full of amazing food and architecture. 

I halfway add that we went to Vancouver, BC. I have previously been to Vancouver island and we had a long layover in Vancouver before, where we went to lunch, explored the conservatory, went to a salt room, and then went back to the airport. We were there for much longer this time, though still not long enough, and did quite a bit in and around the city. This year we plan to hit up Nashville.

Keep masking in crowded areas - We went to several events, rode on planes, and went to multiple theme parks this year. We wore masks in all these places. It's an easy thing to do to keep ourselves from getting sick and spreading it to others, whether it's Covid, the flu, a regular cold, or something else. I probably won't stop masking on planes, as I was trying that out before Covid came along. Not being sick on vacation is wonderful and I highly recommend it.

Encourage people to go to new places - I hope that through my own travels and tips for saving on things, people plan new adventures. I had the opportunity to give a lot of advice for places to friends in real life, from London to Las Vegas, so I know they did fun things once there. I also encouraged a new friend to come check out Portland, and she did!

Revive Destination Potlucks - Okay, we tried this for Mardi Gras and it went over okay, but not well enough for me to keep it up. It's much easier to plan a Destination Date Night for the two of us and I feel like the amount of work I put in is worth it, so we will continue to strive to get some of those in where we can. (Give me suggestions for places you want to see/read about! Hit me in the comments.)

What would I add for this year? 

  • Do more local activities and events - We spent a good chunk of December exploring the city's holiday markets, pop-ups, attractions, and events. It was pretty great and I hope to continue finding things to do the rest of the year. In February, we'll be attending a tea tasting and lantern viewing for Lunar New Year at our Chinese Garden. 
  • Meet up with more friends on my travels - If you're like me, you have a lot of social media friends you've never met in real life, but you know they are awesome. We met up for meals with some last year and I look forward to doing it again. I usually ask for recommendations for places to eat and get coffee before I travel and our trip to Vancouver was no different, except that when people gave me recommendations for their favorite places, I asked if they would be willing to come eat with us, and they did, and it was fantastic.
  • Try something new - I don't know what this will be. Maybe it'll be an activity, maybe it'll be a hobby, it'll definitely be food. The more new things I can try, the better. I'll keep you posted as I'm able to achieve them. 
  • Bring back 48 Hours on a Budget series - I love this series, but it takes a lot of work to do each post, so it often gets put off and then I haven't done any and I am disappointed in myself. 
  • Do more holiday/month-specific posts - I hope to bring you more specific posts like for Women's History Month, and travel for holidays/events. 
  • Create more reels for Instagram - I don't know that I am great at them, but I hope to do more and get more creative now that I know what I'm doing and can do it all within the Instagram app. Let me know if this is something you care about (you can see my latest one at the bottom of this post) or if you just like stories and regular posts.
  • Support more local and small artists - As someone who purchases a lot of Harry Potter and magical things, but doesn't want to buy branded merchandise whenever possible, I have been buying things from artists I love. It helped a lot going to 5 or 6 holiday markets in a month. I plan to continue this into the new year, because without artists, what is life even? 

We started out 2024 on a high note though, working on that last resolution, and I hope my whole year goes the same way. A local(ish) artist opened up her home on the 1st and gave tours of her collection of devil and Krampus pieces. It was truly amazing and then we came away with a new piece of pottery she made. I'm excited to see what things I find for myself and others this year at more things like this.

Here's hoping for a prosperous, adventurous, and delicious 2024. I hope the start of the year is already good for you. Let me know your resolutions for the coming months, no matter what they are. I want to read all your comments!

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