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How to Beat the January Blues

January is a tough month; Christmas is over, our willpower is being tested by those New Year’s resolutions and the weather is, well, terrible. The good news is that there are loads of ways that you can lift your mood and turn January into a month where you can reflect on your travels of 2013 and get excited about upcoming trips. On this Blue Monday (supposedly the most depressing day of 2014), here are a few ways you can beat the January blues:

Try cooking some world cuisine

Learning a new skill is always fun but unlike most other skills, cooking has an added advantage: you can eat your creation at the end. Simply tasting the cuisine of a destination you've visited will always bring back a flood of memories, so actually cooking the food traditional to a place you've travelled to is like taking a trip down memory lane. Whether it’s Pad Thai, a pavlova or a really great curry, your taste buds will transport you to exotic and faraway places.
Or, if cooking is really not your thing, you could always treat yourself to a nice meal out at a restaurant that specialises in cuisine from your favourite destination.

Sort through your photos of 2013 holidays

Let’s face it, digital photos just stay hidden in folders on our computers where we stumble upon them infrequently by accident, at which point we while away hours getting lost in the memories they conjure up. Instead of stumbling upon your 2013 photos one day in the distant future, dig them out today, choose your favourites and print them out to organize into a photo album. A little old school, we admit, but if you’re feeling down you can just reach for your album and flick through your favourite memories from the past year.

Update your bucket list

The start of a new year is the perfect time to update your bucket list, or your list of things you really want to achieve for the year. These things could be simple, such as ‘travel more’, but they can also be complicated or adventurous, like ‘run the New York Marathon in under 3 hours’ (if that’s on your list, we salute you!). Even if you don’t have travel planned for 2014 yet, it’s good to have some goals to focus on, work towards and get excited about. We have a few suggestions on what you could add to your list for 2014 here.

Read a travel book

January is the perfect time to pick up a new book and get lost in its pages; journeying with the characters and being whisked away to a different time and place. We've written about our favourite travel books here, which is a good place to start if you don’t know which book to pick up. Any story about travel and adventure is certain to lift your mood and awaken your wanderlust.

Book a new holiday

If you haven’t booked anything yet, now is a great time to get your travel plans for 2014 sorted. We have an amazing Paint the World Red sale with worldwide airfares starting at £295pp, as well as airline sales, specials on travel to Australia and even exclusive deals when you call one of our consultants. And if you haven’t entered our Paint the World Red competition to win a holiday or flights worth up to £1000 from the sale, what are you waiting for?

Written by Elle Croft

When Elle is not travelling, she's blogging about it over at A Bird in the Hand Travel. She believes that you don't have to look like a backpacker to travel, and writes about the stylish side of wanderlust, from stylish destinations to packing tips.

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