May 2012: Monthly Update New Year’s Resolutions 2012

3 Jun

Somehow, I managed to arrange a meet up with some travel lovelies. From left, @MlleTravelista (those legs!), @EpsteinTravels @MelanieHillier (fingers crossed for Tues!) @belizeadventure @thetraveloution and moi at the super fabulous, Thompson Hotel Rooftop in Toronto.

Hello again. Miss me? Here’s the life update.  April’s Resolution post is here

1. Debt Repayment 

I’m being more consistent with my payments. Though because I’m paying less in interest on my second credit card (because there isn’t as much on the balance), I’ve been making some purchases and thus, I’m not totally in the clear with this card. You win some. You lose some. Of course, I haven’t gotten the second lower interest rate credit card. It’s been over two weeks. I find it interesting that when I signed up for my 20% interest rate card, I got it pretty quickly in the mail.

There have also been some big changes in my work life. Suffice to say, I think these changes will be best for me in the long term and help me focus on Goals number 2 and 4! That said, I have a wonderful support network and know I’m not alone. It’s like the Universe was telling me “this is where you need to focus” and it’s a relief.

 2.  Attend Book Passage.

Gettin er done! This is going to be a huge focus for me in June and July. Goal 1: read Don George’s Book of Travel Writing and post all of the exercises I’ve done on the blog by July 15. **I will try! 

I’m changing my date to leave on a Saturday instead of the Monday. If I have a weekend and I have an opportunity to be in another city AND visit a friend then hey, why not?  Plus, I suffered major jet lag when flying to San Francisco the first time so I need to be fresh and peppy for the conference (this sounds obnoxious…).

August 4 YYZ-SFO $394 – Purchased! I decided in the end to reduce the hassle of going to Buffalo and suck up $100 more bucks to fly direct. This means more time in SF and less worry and time commuting.  So now I’ll have a good 5 days in SF! Yay.

August 13 SFO-PDX $117 –Purchased!

August 18 PDX-YYZ: $256.18 –Purchased! $134 (with points).

This means total cost of all of these flights will be $645

I’ve already started my Portland research and killing two birds with one stone by writing about it in my column so stay tuned for that. It looks like a cool city and I’m excited to compare it to Portlandia and also catch up with travel blogging friends. Plus, the food. THE FOOD.

Plan of Attack now: Accommodations in SF and in Portland. I think I’m going to splurge and spend a night at The Ace.

Note: buy business cards.

My life looks a lot like this these days. Photo: Quad Spin Facebook page.

3.  Mini 30 Day Challenge: 

Financially, spending still goes to food for the most part but I’ve cut down the food shopping significantly and need to be on the same focus level. June should be a good month for that because of fresh produce available but also because I may have an possible trip coming up (which I can’t discuss now, especially if I don’t get the trip).

So there will be many zero weeks in June.  So let’s commit to first week of June: no spending for the week!

Where do I fail? I’m good with bringing my lunch to work. I’m not good with declining last minute invites with friends (who, of course, I haven’t seen in a while) or spoiling my friends on birthday dinners. Luckily, I don’t have a lot of friends who have birthdays in June or July so I should be good (sorry Gemini/Cancer!). That said, I am VERY excited to be taking my best friend (a Gemini) for afternoon tea at the Ritz. Whee!

And from the previous month, I did buy the dress! I also brought workout pants (they were much needed).

Speaking of fitness, I was chastised (I kid!) for not addressing my shorts challenge from last month. I decided to take up spinning. There’s a studio close to home, they were having a great special and so I brought 20 classes (hence the increase in credit card usage). I went twice on the weekend and decided to try on the shorts. Well, the pockets don’t stick out anymore! Don’t get me wrong, there’s still work to be done. I’ve got 23 days.  I’m also doing a cross fit challenge this week and will be sure to update you on that (coming soon…).  With some other travel opportunities coming up and having to get ahead on deadlines, I am hoping the stress won’t get to my waistline and I can manage to get some workouts in.

All of these cost money so I’ll have to cut back on eating out at restaurants if I want to get the fitness results I desire. Sigh. If I want it, it will get done. Plain and simple.

4. Get The Blog in Order

Not up yet but SO close!  For me, it’s now a matter of building up that content. I’ve been neglecting the blog this past month and I’m excited to get back to it and start writing some new fresh content. That said, I’d love to know what you all want to read.

Who wants to fill out my survey about my blog? I’d love to hear your thoughts. I can’t even make a joke about my mom reading my blog because she doesn’t. Cue Sad Trombone  (my new favourite thing).

BIG shout-out to my web designer Andy Hayes for being SO patient with me and dealing with my hectic life. I’m grateful. Hire him.

Finally getting Afar! Where to, oh, where to? Photo: #Jetsetter on

5. Go Somewhere Exotic

Right now the focus is on Portland/San Francisco. But I am going somewhere a little exotic and be spending Canada Day abroad.  It’s not Buenos Aires. Take a guess. 🙂 So this goal will be crossed off. And on top of that, I’ll have some awesome “Afar” content for the blog, other outlets and for my social media work for Thomas Cook. Sings: “Wonderrr Wommaaan.”

6.  Write More Handwritten Notes 

I’ve been sucking at this. Now that I have some free time, an afternoon of note writing should do me some good. But I also just want to make other people smile. So yes, I need to be more accountable on this!

7. Get Published With a Travel Related Piece

Preparing properly for Book Passage and pitching are now my two major focuses for June and July. I’ll also be blogging a lot more and hoping that will help with the speed of my pitches and get my portfolio up to date. That said, I just need to get started and pitch anywhere.That said, you will see me writing for more outlets.

It’s just a matter of practice (per se), networking and targeted pitching. This also means research. I know I have a lot of good ideas and they will come. Let’s see who will buy them. I’m feeling more clarity so I’m putting on my metaphorical Wonder Woman Cape. Pow Pow.


2 Responses to “May 2012: Monthly Update New Year’s Resolutions 2012”

  1. Ayngelina June 4, 2012 at 1:18 am #

    You have a lot going on but it sounds like you are getting closer to your goals.

    But what’s up with 20% interest rates? Get a line of credit and pay those suckers off!

    • Natalie T. June 4, 2012 at 1:24 am #

      Actually the line of credit was more expensive than the 11% interest rate because of my credit history. Gotta LOVE Equifax! Slowly but surely the goals are getting crossed off. June is going to be a crazy but fun and productive month. I’m already feeling it.

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