by Rita Nguyen

I was talking to a friend about upcoming NYE plans and mentioned that I’ve not partied on the 31st for years now.  I know that the normal tradition is to ring in the new year with a big countdown and some champagne but January 1st has always been more important to me.

For the past 5 years I’ve been on a plane on the morning of the first which seems to set the right tone for the year ahead. Travel has always been a huge part of my life and starting it by going somewhere makes sense. Also, flying on the first is actually quite pleasant – the airports and planes tend to be quiet and the hassles of holiday travel are greatly reduced.

More importantly for me though,  I’ve always been on the plane alone which allows for me to reset for the year ahead. There’s something about the forced down time with no connectivity right after the craziness of the holidays that is deeply relaxing. While clean slates can be done at any time, there’s something about Jan 1st that is special, giving you some mental distance for the year behind and, good or bad, put it to bed. I’ve never been much for traditions but to my surprise, this has become one and something I don’t think will end anytime soon.