New Years Resolutions present opportunity for measurable change and improvement. They allow you to reflect on the past year and set goals for the one ahead!

If you haven’t set your intentions for the upcoming 12 months, here’s a list that we hope inspires adventure in 2016!

1) Hike more

Hiking is good for your heart, mind and soul! Exercising outside builds up your stamina and takes you to some of the most beautiful, untouched destinations.

Maybe you set a goal measured by time or distance; i.e., I will hike 10 miles each month. Or I will hike 100 miles by the end of the year.

Yosemite has some great trails to make this resolution a reality!

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2) Drink more wine

A glass a day keeps the doctor away… Or at the very least makes dinner more interesting. Do you know about all of the health benefits involved with drinking wine? It has been associated with healthy heart practices when drank in moderation due to antioxidants.  All 13 essential minerals (CA, P, MG, NA, K, Cl , S, Fe, Mn, Zn, I, Co, Cu) and Vitamins A, B and, C can all be found in juice of the vine. Wine also contains compounds known to help with weight loss, cholesterol and controlling diabetes. Now that wine is both good AND good for you – Drink more of it!

Mitch appreciates the color of a delicious glass of Red Wine

3) Learn more about wine

To some, wine is an art. To others, it’s a science or hobby. It’s more than just “I like red” or “I like white,” or a casual glass with dinner.

Maybe in 2016 you take wine drinking to the next level! You don’t have to be studying for your sommelier test to want to become more well versed in the flavors and smells. Knowing more will help you describe what you like and look for when ordering a bottle. With all of the varying regions, grapes, years, etc, this can be a never ending adventure that starts here in 2016!

Pro tip: Consider keeping a spreadsheet with the ones you try and check off the ones you love!

wine pours

4) See more National Parks

There are 59 National Parks in the USA. How many can you say you’ve seen already? As the National Park System (NPS) celebrates their centennial year with their #FindYourPark initiative, there’s no better time to start your National Park Bucketlist.

See Yosemite with us, or Bryce and Zion with our partners – That’s three right there!

Take a hike in Yosemite National Park

5) Learn a new language

Planning on traveling outside of the US? It’s a great reason to familiarize yourself with key words and phrases of the language spoken wherever you are heading. No foreign itineraries as of yet? Still couldn’t hurt! The U.S. Commerce Department anticipates a new volume record of 77.3 million visitors this year.

Have you ever felt completely distressed while abroad only to be saved by a multilingual superhero?  Maybe you help a backpacker with directions or offer to take a tourist’s picture in their native language. They’ll feel a sense of relief and you’ll feel like a total rockstar!

And in today’s crazy technological world with an abundance of apps and internet tutorials, this can be cost effective and fun.

Boa sorte! Viel Glück! and 祝你好運!

Yosemite Tourists Tunnel View

6) Read more books

Ask friends with similar views for book recommendations. Ask family with different views for some too.  

Read about prominent travelers/environmentalists – might we recommend a biography on  John Muir?

Read about a random country on the other side of the world. And then see it for yourself.

Read about and on buses, trains and planes.

You’ll go more places both figuratively and physically so read more to travel more – and vice-a-versa!

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7) Garden

Plant greens and eat clean! Tend to a garden and indulge in the benefits – they could be delicious! We’re talking tomatoes, peppers, lemons, lettuce, turnips, green beans, etc. Even if it’s just herbs – skip the store and know what hard work tastes like and always have the freshest ingredients on hand.  

Trees will bring joy for generations.  Bonsai are thought to bring success. Succulents act as natural air-purifiers and are pretty easy to maintain. Easily discouraged? Start slow with a cactus – they’re almost impossible to kill. With a little loving, you and your plant will look back fondly on the year knowing that 2016 was the year you discovered your green thumb!

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8) Find alternative modes of transportation

Instead of driving so often, try walking or biking to your destination.

Cycling to and from work conveniently fits cardio into your day and you won’t have to feel bad about skipping the gym because, hey! at least you did a little something for the environment.

Walking slows life down for a bit and allows you to appreciate your surroundings. And is free of charge!

Or carpool! Whether on public transit in the city or on one of our biofueled mini-coaches to a collectively desired destination, you’ll help with traffic and avoid road raging frustrations.

IA President, Brian Deninger uses Pedal Power to and from work!

9) Be Green(er)

The US produces over 1.3 billion pounds of garbage daily. Americans waste 33 million tons of food each year. Do your part this year and be more conscious about how you recycle and compost.

You can reuse paper when printing. As an SF Green Business, it’s something that we like to call hippy paper!

Try to buy products without excessive packaging. And always bring reusable bags to buy groceries

What does it mean to be green? Be responsible. Be accountable. If everyone does their part, the world will see results!

Fueling the tour vehicle with biofuel

10) Volunteer

Donating your time instead of money can be just as valuable to charities and even more rewarding! Find causes and organizations that mean something to you. For example, this past year, our company supported Reverb at the Willie Nelson concert. Not only was it fun to spread the word about Dogpatch Biofuels, but the country legend’s performance was an added bonus!

On a more somber note, when catastrophe hits, many of us feel a sense of helplessness; wishing we could help but not knowing where to start. During times like these, the smallest acts of kindness can mean the world to those in need. This year when fires overwhelmed Lake County, our team stepped up by donating sleeping bags and pillows and the community couldn’t have been more grateful. We’ll certainly be looking out for more opportunities like this to have direct impacts on our community in 2016 – and you can too!

Many National Parks also host clean-up days and offer plenty of opportunities to help out year-round. We’re gearing up to volunteer at Muir Woods next month and are always looking for more chances to do our part in the community.

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11) Shop local. Support local businesses.

When you purchase from small, family owned businesses, your money stays in the local community. It’s more likely to support sustainable practices and America’s self sufficiency.

Some tour company’s have world renowned names and people like being able to recognize similar experiences from city to city as they travel. However, we are proud of our family-owned and local operations. As we expand our cross-country offerings, we are excited to take visitors beyond the Bay Area, but our tour-guide-rooted core values will continue to lead the way. Booking with us will always mean experiential immersion and unique, but always Incredible, Adventures.

Denise's Fruit Barn

12) Make new friends

We hope you didn’t need a formal resolution for this one.. but we will say that small group tours are great for meeting new people with common interests! Touring the world means introducing yourself to new cultures and representatives from all over. See what happens when you sincerely open your heart and mind to others. You may find a pen pal, a kindred spirit, your soulmate, or at the very least, your next Facebook friend request!

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