14 new year’s quotes to inspire—and more!
With the new year on our horizon, we pause to look back, cherishing what was good, and then pause to look forward, cheerleading what we hope will be great.
When flipping my calendar, I focus most on gratefulness. I am thankful for experiences that fill my heart and thrill my mind and opportunities to gracefully touch others’ lives—particularly when traveling.
Below, some recent moments en route. From my home to yours, wishing you a very happy 2014!
1. “Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us. Cheers to a new year and another chance for us to get it right.” —Oprah Winfrey
Atop the 11,782-foot summit of Jungfrau (photo above)—a Swiss mountain where the highest railway station in Europe perches—I peered through these binoculars, to gaze as far as I could see. And yet, at this heady spot, I discovered an unexpected view as well. Here, amid thinner air and freezing temps, robust black birds still swoop and soar and settle. These new-feathered friends reminded me that often in life, unforeseen delights can alight right under your nose.
2. “I hope that in this year to come, you make mistakes. Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world. You’re doing things you’ve never done before, and more importantly, you’re Doing Something.” —Neil Gaiman
One afternoon in San Diego, California, I hopped on the wrong tour bus and ended up in leafy Balboa Park—with its plethora of attractions, museums, gardens, and performing arts—which turned out to be the right place for me to be that day after all. Sitting beside this sun-lit lily pond (photo above), I spread the city map on my lap. Soon, however, my attention was diverted to a nearby outdoor concert, where I ran into an old friend, now living in Europe, whom I hadn’t seen in decades. It became a day open to possibilities.
3. “Tomorrow is the first blank page of a 365-page book. Write a good one.” —Brad Paisley
In Paris, France, the cozy boutique Hotel Verneuil fashions blank books (photo above) to decorate guest room shelves above beds. Instead of reading tomes on hand before going to sleep, as I have often done at other lodgings, I let my imagination run wild and dreamt up novel ideas.
4. “The journey is the reward.” —Steve Jobs
Albuquerque, New Mexico, is celebrated for its hot air balloon enthusiasts. But on this cold winter day, I hadn’t anticipated spying, above tree branches that shimmered blue against a brilliant sky, ballooning high-riders (photo above)—a sure sign that the journey is just as important as the destination.
5. “For a new year to bring you something new, make a move, like a butterfly tearing its cocoon! Make a move!” —Mehmet Murat Ildan
At New York City‘s American Museum of Natural History, its Butterfly Conservatory (photo above) showcases hundreds of luminous Lepidoptera in an amazing array of sizes and shapes. Eyeing their metamorphosis—from earth-bound caterpillars to fluttering butterflies—never fails to wow me. I am wowed, too, by several friends who have transformed their own cocoons this past year—moving their education, love life, health, or job toward a livelier direction. Aloft!
6. “What the New Year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the New Year.” —Vern McLellan
So much of New Year’s anticipation is like standing on a shore with fishing rod by your side, wondering what the next reel-in will catch, angling for a bounty. Here, at Fort Clinch State Park on Florida‘s Amelia Island, the whoosh of water along the expansive beach (photo above) both soothes and excites.
7. “I have the opportunity, once more to right some wrongs, to pray for peace, to plant some trees, and sing more joyful songs.” —William Arthur Ward
Sumptuous yet simply arranged bouquets of white calla lilies (photo above) festooned the lobby of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Paris and encouraged a peaceful, joyful feeling, as I sat down for a memory-making lunch at chef Thierry Marx‘s Camélia restaurant. Between courses, I caught myself humming a song. It was a day to count blessings and make plans to help others.
8. “Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, magic, and power in it.” —Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Venice (photo above) dazzles, to be sure. But even more than the picturesque centuries-old buildings erected on a labyrinth of 118 small Italian islands, the bold doers who devised this city-scape way back when continue to inspire dreamers today. Genius, magic, and power indeed.
9. “The object of a new year is not that we should have a new year, but rather that we should have a new soul.” —G.K. Chesterton
Traveling to new islands has a way of inspiring passion and serenity. Here, on St. Lucia, near Pigeon Island National Park, the allure of the azure Caribbean Sea (photo above) is palpable. Take time out to tune in.
10. “Maybe this year, we ought to walk through the rooms of our lives not looking for flaws, but looking for potential.” —Ellen Goodman
On Grenada, Mount Cinnamon Resort, set like a jewel on Grand Anse Beach, also boasts the Moorish-style Azzurra Castle, in nearby L’Anse Aux Epines. Topping a cliff overlooking a secluded beach, surrounded by lush gardens, this is a Caribbean escape (photo above) with personality, harboring rooms that unfold in vivid colors and designs and a bit of come-hither mystery.
11. “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” —Mark Twain
I am happiest when on water—hauling ropes, hoisting sails, hanging out on netting as the vessel veers over waves. In Key West (photo above), Florida, boaters understand the flush of pressing off a dock, letting go of land to find yourself again and again. Splash!
12. “All our dreams can come true, if we have the courage to pursue them.” —Walt Disney
13. “Whether you think you can or think you can’t, you’re right.” —Henry Ford
Visiting the home studio (photo above) of artist Franco Mondini-Riuz in San Antonio was eye-opening. This Texan city has a vibrant art scene—with painters, sculptors, print-makers, ceramists, videographers, photographers, and street muralists pushing the artistic envelope.
14. “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.” —Helen Keller
On fun Maho Beach in Dutch St. Maarten, right next to the airline approach route of Princess Juliana International Airport, I—along with dozens of other Caribbean sky-watchers—cheered as jumbo jets flew brow-raisingly low overhead (sand blast alert!) in order to land on the famously short runway. When a littler plane (photo above) approached the strip, we jumped up and down, applauding the pilot and passengers. Welcome!
What inspires you about the new year? Do you have a favorite quote? Where have you most enjoyed traveling? Please tell us in the comments below—we’d love to know!
Frequent globetrotter Laura Manske has visited most U.S. states, explored 70+ countries, and cruised 60+ ships. She loves to wander the world, unearthing travel joy, beauty, adventure, and humor through her camera lens and articles. Now, she’s sharing pictures and memories of her favorite spots on Parade.com.