Next year is like a new country – and these 5 wise ‘travel tips’ are not to be missed. Posted on January 2, 2019January 8, 2019 by Jeff Lucas Going into a new year is a lot like taking a journey to another country. In both cases you don’t know exactly what’s ahead. And there are some wise things to keep in mind to make the very best of it. So, as you voyage into 2019, here are 5 rather obvious ‘travel tips’ to make the journey as worthwhile as possible. 1.Be realistic about it. When it comes to holidays, the brochures tend to make it all look far better than the real thing. After all, that’s their job. But we too can wrongly imagine the land of New Year will be significantly different to the one that’s gone before. In reality, nothing magical happens when the clock strikes midnight on December 31st. There’s no Cinderella in reverse to be experienced. And this is one of the hard truths to learn about travel. That, wherever we go, we take ourselves with us. If we’re tetchy, ungrateful, easily irritated, and self-centred, that side of us will still be with us as we journey on. A new country won’t fix it and nor will a New Year. Which means the need to take a realistic account of who we are and what we are like – and doing something about it. 2.Check your baggage weight. I hate that awful moment at airports when the unsmiling check-in person tells me with unwelcome glee that I’m a little overweight. Sure, it’s a relief when I realise this is not personal and is about my luggage. But what excess baggage might you be taking into the year ahead? Bitterness, hatred, shame, regret, jealousy? Or some other unhelpful emotions that will way us down when we are across the border of 2019? These are the weights to leave behind – by forgiving others, forgiving yourself, by recognising that God loves us for who we are. 3.Choose the right travel companions. There’s nothing worse than discovering that someone who’s great for an occasional coffee is a nightmare as a full-on travel companion. So who would we best have at our side in the New Year journey? Will they enrich your life – and give you opportunities to enrich theirs? Will they speak the kind of truth you need to hear and be open for you to do the same for them? Will their positive outlook spur you on or their negativity drag you down? Or think of it this way, who are those you can invest time in, celebrate with, and express love and appreciation for? And how can you make sure they are traveling with you and you with them. 4.Check your destination. There’s the classic story of the airline passenger who ended up in Istanbul when they had bought a ticket to Torquay. (Think about it!) You’ll only have one opportunity to explore 2019 so make sure you get have a ticket for the right destination. This is where having a few simple but clear goals come in. Not overwhelming ones that, in your heart of hearts, you know you’ll flunk in the first few weeks. But a fresh commitment or two on how to make the most of one more precious year in your afterwork stage of life. For a little inspiration, here are three possible areas to explore – Your new possibilities Your health and fitness Your service to others 5.Pack wisely. To be honest, what you take with you may be the least of your worries. That’s because, over the years, you’ve accumulated a storehouse of knowledge, skills, know-how, experience and wisdom. As they say, ‘It’s in the bag’. In which case, having packed it, don’t keep it all to yourself. You can make the coming year more rewarding for you and others by making sure what you’ve packed is put to good use. Ahead is a new land waiting to be enjoyed, explored and enriched. Bon voyage. Jeff Lucas Jeff is still some way from his afterwork years. His passion is to equip the Church with practical bible teaching, marked by vulnerability and humour. And he does so as an international author, speaker and broadcaster. Check him out at Jeff Lucas.