My Fourth January Anniversary

a new year begins...

I started this post on January 5th. I sat down and stared at my decorated Christmas Tree with a cup of coffee reflecting on my 4th anniversary of freedom. Yes, four years ago, on January 5th, I left my cubicle and walked out of the Wall Street world  (thanks to the economic downturn the world still seems to be in) filled with anger and fear, but also optimism and determination. A determination to make a change. I knew I was handed an opportunity and with travel as my passion I completed my career transition.

Rereading Past January Posts and Resolutions

Yes, each anniversary I write an anniversary post, and each year I also reread my prior posts: the January Anniversary (2010); the second January Anniversary (2011); and the third January Anniversary(2012) to remind myself of how far I’ve come.  The day gives me the chance to celebrate my progress, review my outstanding goals, and make plans for the new year.

archery lessons on the island of arran in scotland in the rain

taking aim for goals... (shooting archery in Scotland)

Thankfully I’ve made some strides in 2012.  I accomplished a few things; I cruised through the Panama Canal (goal) visited a few new countries (goal) including Aruba and Curacao, added a new state (goal) with Oklahoma, took a salsa lesson (goal) in Puerto Vallarta (and have more classes for 2013), appeared and was published in print magazines (old goal), improved my photography and sold images to a magazine (goal) and also increased my readership (goal) on the site.

Yes, I accomplished a few things, but there is always more.

2013 Goals and Resolutions

Hmmm. This is what took the extra two plus weeks. I had ideas, but I wanted something bigger. I knew I needed to continue to think bigger if I want to be successful in this space. And although I am not sure if these are the right goals, it was time to put something down. So, these are my goals for the new year.

Stay Traveling

ny times travel show 2013, malaysia booth

I visited Malaysia and many other southeastern Asian countries at the New York Times Travel Show

Of course, this is always a top goal; it is the reason I do what I do. You may have noticed the 5 places to travel in 2013 post late last year already. And now in 2013 I am already adding a new one – a return to southeast Asia ( thanks to winning round trip tickets on Singapore Air) And I spent quite a bit of time at the New York Times Travel Show researching my options there.

Also, it is time to test a Stay Adventurous tour. I am planning to create a trip, a tour, an adventure and offer it to the public.  So if you are interested  let me know as it is never too early to inquire. I can already guarantee you’ll see a sunset.

  • goal: travel to my five highlighted adventures (South America, Puebla, see the northern lights, an new island sunset, and return to Africa)
  • goal: spend my birthday in southeast Asia.
  • goal: organize my first stay adventurous tour

Stay Luxurious

staying rather luxurious at the St Regis in Bali

Staying adventurous doesn’t exclude staying luxurious. Definitely not. I consider “Adventurous” a mindset; it is a way to travel, a way to live and being luxurious is part of that (for me). And it is a part I seem to appreciate more and more each year.

You might have noticed the category on the site and  you can view the eleven stay luxurious stories here. But in the new year you can expect a new site with a new purpose, the “Stay” brand shall grow and add its luxurious component.

goal: start and grow

Stay Creative

writing in a journal at sunset in mexicoI used to fill up 4-5 journals a year with words, stories, doodling and ideas each year. I’ve slowed down this part and my meditation practice has become non-existent.  I can make a case with reasons why, but the truth is, they are excuses and I miss it.

  • goal: complete a full journal every quarter (4 per year)
  • goal: return to the practice of meditation

Stay Inspiring

Few things make a bigger smile then when someone finds inspiration from my site or my adventures. And I plan to keep goals of growing my site, the readership and it’s reach (have you signed up for my newsletter yet?-right column ->). But I also know I need to reach more of an audience and reach them in different ways.  So I plan to speak; to present; to teach

  • goal: to speak at a travel related conference (TBEX, ATTA, NYTravFest, etc… )
  • goal: to experiment with a podcast (12 episodes for the year)
  • goal: showcase my photography and pitch a gallery for a show
Namibia Saolitaire Bakery slice of Apple Pie

photo sold and appeared in magazine

Ok, those are the goals. Too lofty, stretch goals… maybe, but with my optimism and belief I think they match my expectations of a BIG year… or really just staying adventurous.

And also, feel free to share a goal of yours below… We can help each other by keeping ourselves accountable. Good luck in 2013, and if nothing else remember to ….. stay adventurous, Craig



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  • bill

    Craig; thanks for the motivation–make sure I know when you are traveling to Puebla–bill

    • craig zabransky

      Bill, sure will. Do you plan, I mean promise to pick me up on the side of the road with a case of cigars like Veracruz… stay adventurous, Craig

  • Chairman

    Congrats on 4 years Z! Taking the family to Atlantis this Feb break. Abby is pumped to swim with the dolphins — perhaps she can write a little free lance for Stay Adventurous….

    • craig zabransky

      Thanks Maute, have a blast… And definitely have Abby capture a sunset… You know the map needs a few places still… and i need the Bahamas.
      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Mary J. McCoy-Dressel

    Congratulations on your 4th anniversary of joy! Most of my travels these days are via your blog. I’m happy to be aboard. In my dreams, I’m holding out for Italy.

    • craig zabransky

      don’t hold out too long…make it happen. is it lucky 13? (2013) Hey the Italians love the number 13 don’t they? Also, please know i appreciate your support through the years… Merci.
      stay adventurous (and joyous :-) , Craig

  • Emjay

    Is that the “world’s best apple pie” in Namibia, Craig? I’ve always wondered what you did before you became a troubadour! Wise decision, if not financially, but emotionally! We’re off to Oz again in 3 weeks.. I’ll get to my 5th and final state in Perth, then on to Bali. Manila (among others), and finally, Hong Kong! Still have to do my blog on this last trip! For me it’s like pulling teeth! :-)

    • craig zabransky

      Yes, it was the world’s best apple pie in Namibia. And yes, I had a completely different life before I decided to travel as a way of life….

      And kudos to you for all your adventures… definitely inspiring. Hope you are having fun..

      stay adventurous, Craig

  • Maggie Mistal

    Impressive goals Craig – though knowing you, you’ll achieve them. Glad the Northern Lights are already happening next month (saw that in your newsletter). My goal is to get more nature in my daily life and I think my travels are the way to do it! First stop -the FL Keys in Feb. Loved your beach Thursday there!

    • craig zabransky

      Thanks Maggie. Some are stretch goals perhaps, but dream big, right? And as for nature, I always say the way to staying adventurous is taking a step outside…outside into nature. Good Luck.

      stay adventurous, Craig