My Big Bucket List
I love reading other people's bucket lists and I started to wonder...why have I never written one? There are so many places I want to visit (basically ALL of the places), and so many things I want to do (nearly ALL of the things), but I also think it's important to have tangible goals and pick a few priorities. The rest can just be bonuses, or part two of the never-ending bucket list ride that we call life (deep, man).
I am breaking these out into two sections - travel and life experiences. Obviously there might be some overlap, but I think it's important to have goals that can be achieved outside of travel as well.
Visit Scotland and twirl around the Scottish highlands while wearing the one-of-a-kind, authentic (bought IN Scotland!), and vintage (from the '70s!) skirt my surrogate grandma gave me. It will be divine. I have been obsessed with Scotland since devouring the entire Outlander series. I strongly suggest you start with the books and get obsessed and inspired, too!
EDIT: I DID IT!
I went to Scotland in 2017 and will now claim it as one of the most beautiful places I've ever been. I want to go back! I want to see more! Guys, it is not over-hyped. I've blogged about it extensively.
Go to Romania and stay in a Transylvanian castle for the night - I'll plan not to sleep and stay up all night reading Dracula instead! I'll explore all of the little, ancient medieval towns of the region and learn about the Romani, or Gypsy, culture and traditions.
Support Liberia's still-new peace and development with my tourist dollars. I studied a lot about Liberia's civil wars and totally admire how the country's women came together to put a stop to the killing, followed by them voting in a female president. There's so much history, culture, and tropical beauty to be found in Liberia and I've been longing to go for many years.
New York City. I mean come on. New York City! It has it all, something for everyone - something for every season, every whim, every fancy. Living in NYC was on my bucket list for a long time but I think every girl had that dream during the era of Sex and the City, didn't we?
EDIT: I DID IT!
It was obviously epic, though a ridiculous heat wave put a slight crimp in the plans to wander extensively. Still, it was a jam-packed week, yet I feel I've barely scratched the surface.
Spend a night in the immense deserts of Namibia, staring up at the stars. It kinda scares me - the idea of being out there in that immensity, far from anything 'known' - but that's exactly why I need and want to do it.
River boat through the Amazon jungle. And not with a tour group. I am determined to one day find a way to do this a little old-fashioned, a little more rough and tumble, and a lot more 'cool' than a group of people with binoculars wearing tilly hats can do it. Surely I can find a way, right?
Float in the Dead Sea. And then get the Dead Sea beauty treatment.
Straddle two continents in Istanbul. That city is everything my travel heart could desire. I want no less than two weeks to explore every nook and cranny of this singular, bustling, incredible city and take hundreds upon hundreds of photos.
Bathe in a Turkish Bathhouse in Turkey. Because, obviously.
Drink my way through the vineyards of France and Spain. In an ideal world, this will involve a road trip and a chauffeur (or a very accommodating friend!).
See a cabaret at the Moulin Rouge in Paris. The costumery, the history, the passion!
Stay in a glass igloo in Finland and watch the Northern Lights. I rarely add in winter travel, but this would be a unique experience AND a cool new place to visit. Plus, the Northern Lights! I wonder why Canada doesn't offer something like this...?
Visit Montreal, Canada. There's so much on offer from architecture, to festivals, beautiful cobblestone streets, great shopping, art and more. I don't know enough of my own country and I would love to see this piece of it soon.
EDIT: I DID IT!
Unfortunately, it was just a couple of rainy days. Fortunately, it was enough to know that I loved the relaxed vibe AND the bagels! I definitely hope to go back for a long weekend soon.
Visit Japan during cherry blossom season. We've all seen the photos - crazy amounts of pink and white cherry blossoms everywhere! I want to be in that magical world, just once.
Attend Oktoberfest. Because no self-respecting, booze-loving traveler can leave this off her list! ;-)
Walk up to any airline's ticket booth and book the next available flight. The ultimate ballsy travel move. Bring only a carry-on and let the adventure just take me away.
See the rainbow mountains of Danxia, China. Rainbow! Mountains! They look unreal, like something out of a children's colouring book.
Life Bucket List
Learn to speak a third language fluently. I am leaning towards French, since it's the other national language of Canada and very similar grammatically to Spanish. As a fourth, I think I'd like to learn sign language. My mom knows a bit of it and I always admired that.
EDIT: DOING IT!
Currently taking French lessons and well on my way. And I'm loving every minute of it!
Go skydiving. I have wanted to do this for so long and age is making me more and more nervous to do it! I better get after it soon.
Get published in some form or another. I don't know whether it will be to write a book, publish something in a journal, or sell a story to National Geographic (hey guys! I'll call you!), but I have always figured one day, somehow, I would see my name in print.
Learn to dance Flamenco. I am enamoured of the gypsy culture, and flamenco is just one more aspect of that culture that I've been longing to know. It's such a passionate, energetic dance - and those skirts! I need them in my life.
EDIT: STARTED IT!
I started learning flamenco and decided to take a break so I could focus on learning French and losing weight. I couldn't do it all at once and something had to give, so I just opted for what was an easier win (and more wallet-friendly) and hope to get back to Flamenco soon.
An epic road trip. It doesn't really matter where, what continent, when, or with whom. Which is why I am putting it here, versus in the travel section. But one day I really want to just climb into a camper van and drive until I run out of road.
Ride the world's biggest, fastest, steepest, oldest, and scariest roller coasters. I love roller coasters so much! In a very perfect world, I might be able to combine some of these with the epic road trip my heart desires. How rad would that be!?
Stay in a five star, super luxurious resort. I just wanna know how the 1% lives, you feel? This would be extra cool to do in the Maldives because that shit cray, guys.
Become self-employed. I don't know in what or exactly how just yet, but I know I am not destined to be an employee forever. One day I want to have something to call my own, and work hard on my own behalf.
Live on every continent. I am undecided whether this should include Antarctica because - uh, what would I even do there other than freeze!? I am only missing Antarctica, Africa, and Europe for this one!
Visit the tallest, highest, longest, and craziest bridges of engineering feats of all types. I love bridges! I am mesmerized by the math, design, and precision that goes into making something so basic, elegant, sturdy, safe, and beautiful as bridges. I am a freak for bridges.
Complete the Rory Gilmore reading challenge. Because I am also a freak for the Gilmore Girls and books.
Take a grand trip by train. The Orient Express would be amazing, for obvious reasons. But so would rolling through Alaska, heading across Canada, or even just riding through the Alps.
Go to the Burning Man festival. The younger me wanted to do this for so many years that the older me can't give up on the dream, even if older me isn't sure she would love it as much as younger me would have. At least being naked in public scares older me less than it did younger me! ;)
Achieve my ideal body. And prove to myself what it's really capable of doing.
Take a hallucinogenic. I'm not big on drugs or frankly, being out of control. But I think on a deeper level it would be good for me to let go just once. And on a personal level, I just think it could be fun and unique. It's something most people try once and I still never have.
Forgive myself for following my heart into bad situations. It's not the worst thing in the world to love quickly and freely, even if it's led to some bad choices. But that's not to say I can't aim to do better in future.
Fly in a helicopter. My rom-com loving heart wouldn't mind if this happened during my trip to NYC. I've just seen too many romantic moments of being whisked away and flying over that amazing Manhattan skyline I guess, that I can't help but envision it with some great song playing in the background. So sue me.
I could go on and on, as I'm sure many of us could. But this is a good place to stop for me - it gives me enough direction and things to dream about without being totally overwhelming. I can start picking away at the lists!
You know I really had a ton of fun writing out my bucket list and I highly recommend the activity to you. It's very satisfying to write down what you want and inspiring to feel that with a plan, some hard work and saving, there's no reason we can't have what we want out of life.
Will you add any of these items to your bucket list?
Link to yours in the comments so I can check them out (if you post them online) or tell me about them! I am excited to hear what you've included.