Are you struggling to get started with goal setting? Do you know you want to improve on an area of your life by setting some goals, but you’re just not sure where to start?

This week we look at rest and relaxation – travel. Travel gets its own article because it’s such a fertile area of goal-setting. There are all kinds of trips people set goals around.


One type of travel goal is the bucket list / list ticking goal. This is anything like trying to visit all the countries in the world, or in Europe, or every continent, or every train line in a country, or every county, or every state. You get the idea. The more difficult, expensive and therefore exclusive it is, often the more joy derived. One guy was trying to do all the British overseas territories. With screening lists, boat-schedules and sheer cost, he was relishing it, because the number of people who will have done it is minuscule.

Variations on this are very active holidays which focus on ticking off locations for a purpose such as skiing, mountain climbing, hill walking etc. All the Munroes (a group of hills of a certain height in Scotland), the world’s highest 7 peaks etc. Here the joy is in the physical challenge, and again about joining an exclusive club, except one where the barriers are not just time, money and logistics, but also physical prowess.

A third theme is “places I always dreamed about going to”. This could be one place or many, but the achievement of it can be every bit as fulfilling to the individual as the first two categories. It satisfies a curiosity the mind may have held for a very long time, it proves to the self that dreams can become reality, which is very important proof to most people, and it’s just fun. People need fun, and something to work towards. Travel goals can provide purpose.

More seriously there are duty trips. Usually either around family or spirituality. The person who really “should” go and see their aged Mother in Australia one more time before it is too late. The person who always felt drawn to go on a pilgrimage. These are deeper quests that fulfil a very deep human need for connection.

A lesser version of this is just making the effort to reconnect. Getting a reunion together. Going back to somewhere that you used to live or study. Travel to get to people or places from your past that you want to remember fondly, or get closure on. We should not live in the past, but a clear-eyed review of both the good and the bad from it can reveal a lot to us about how far we have traveled metaphorically since. Physical journeys are not the only limits of travel.

Another version of the bucket list is not a destination exactly, but travel to an event – always wanted to see your favourite band live? Go to a seminar? Go to a writers retreat? It’s good to break routine.

There is also the serendipity trip. Take a random trip anywhere and see what you get out of it. This is for people who “want to feel alive”, but don’t have a particular direction to that – they just want to see where the wind takes them,

And finally there is just the horizon stretching trip. There are still many people who feel they have literally never been anywhere or done anything. If you have never been outside your state, province, been to the Capital, or held a passport, then travel of any kind will feed your need for variety, interest and however it turns out, will throw light on your current life.

What kind of travel goals do you feel moved to set? Leave a comment below.