I’ll be honest I’m a bit of a busy body and while the idea of 4 months with no work or responsibility sounds like a dream, I know I will likely need some daily/weekly tasks to help keep me grounded. One of the many tools I have gained from my years at VCU is the use of SMART goals. The acronym S.M.A.R.T. stands for Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic , and Timely. In my experience strategies that incorporate these components help ensure the greatest chance for success. Traditionally, I have oriented these principles towards making health or fitness goals but I wanted to try and use them to give direction to my travels. To provide a little more background on these components I will provide a quick definition of each:

SPECIFIC: Goal should be concise and direct in objective
MEASUREABLE: The endpoints of the goal should be quantifiable
ATTAINABLE: is the individual who made the goal going to be motivated to complete the goal
REALISTIC: Is the goal actually achievable/possible
TIMELY: What’s the time frame of the goal

Goal start date: Aug 21 (allowing for a week to get adjusted)
Goal end date: Dec 21


  • I plan to shoot/edit/upload at least 1 video/week revolving around budget travel, over the next 4 months. Videos of budget travel will give you a first person look at how I will be living day to day. I will try to include a given location’s daily cost for accommodation, transportation, food, and fun for a single day.

GOAL 2: 

  • I plan to shoot/edit/upload at least 1 video/week revolving around health and wellness over the next 4 months. Videos for health and wellness will give me a chance to try and utilize my degrees by incorporate exercise routines, investigating local workout culture, mental wellness technqiues, and meal prep/healthy cooking.

GOAL 3: 

  • I plan to write at least 2 blog posts/week on my website over the next 4 months. The blog posts will vary in topic but will revolve around my travels, travel planning/prep., promoting equip/gear, etc. I don’t want to limit myself here and so I have to sacrifice a little specificity to allow for freedom of creativity.


  • I plan to enhance my mental wellness by spending at least 30 min a day practicing mindfulness over the next 4 months. In order to achieve this goal I will be using mediation techniques, tai chi, yoga, etc.  Improvement in mental wellness is not something that is easily quantified. I could use a feeling scale when I wake up and before I go to bed however I will likely be in a very positive state the majority of the trip given the nature of a prolonged vacation so I don’t know how viable it will be.

GOAL 5: 

  • I plan to spend at least 1 hour a day exercising at a RPE** of 12 or higher for at least 5 days a week over the next 4 months. Workouts will be centered around body weight circuit training and city running. Might also try to incorporate biking, swimming, and hiking when applicable.

**RPE: Rating of Perceived Exertion**: Simple metric to quantify effort level in a given bout of physical activity. The RPE is scale that is meant to loosely follow an individual’s heart rate. The scale runs from a low of 6 (resting i.e. 60 BPM) to 20 (max effort i.e. 200 BPM). This scale is particularly useful when there are no external resources to collect biometric data, the obvious faults is that this scale relies in the subjective perception of the individual.This means that the scale ratings are not consistent or even comparable from person to person. However, if an individual uses the scale consistently, and is honest in their subjective assessments, then it is an excellent tool to gauge intensity of a workout.



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