This is the first year I've designated a theme for The Essential Man.
You must first pick a destination.
You can choose the familiar. Or decide this is the opportunity to explore the new and unknown. Nobody plans an exotic vacation to their childhood home.
You will do some research. You will plan to the best of your knowledge and take from the experience of others. Nothing spoils a trip more than a rigorous by the minute schedule. You must allow yourself to explore, get lost, be surprised.
You will pack, and at some point realize you're making it difficult for yourself and have overdone it. You can do with far less than you believe.
You will often be the guest. Remember the two golden sayings for guests: Their house, their rules. Leave it better than you found it.
To travel alone can be meditative. The mountains of Switzerland, bolognese in Bologna and the sounds of New York in the morning while drinking coffee, beautiful experiences. But nothing made swinging on the playground more fun as a kid than another kid pushing you higher and higher.
When someone on your trip is having a tough time, it brings down the whole group. A trip is only enjoyable when everyone is enjoying it. Take care of others.
Most importantly, take care of yourself. Travel is only an escape from a physical location. Wherever you go, there you are. On a related note, travel is much easier when you're fit. Eat some veggies. Do some squats. Get some sleep.
**I hope you realize by now this has nothing to do with taking a trip somewhere.
Make 2014 great.