My Bucket List

I’ve often heard people say, “I’ll add it to my bucket list” and I’ve wondered, do people actually make bucket lists? Full confession: I’m a list person. I crave reminder notes; I live to cross items off my to-do lists; and my entire life is organized on a calendar. This is partly because I have a terrible memory and partly because it helps me to organize and prioritize.

However, one list that I’ve never created (until now) is the infamous bucket list. What my list seeks to do is tangibly outline my goals and dreams to ensure they stay top-of-mind amidst the flurry of day-to-day life. The items on my list need to be things I can cross off and not things like, “continue to learn” or “be a good person.” That kind of work is never done. My list is there to make sure that I can be happy with how I’ve chosen to spend my time, whether it’s because I gave back, strengthened my connection to the most important person in my life, JP, had an experience that fundamentally changed me, or simply enjoyed the wonder of being alive and truly living.

I’ve considered mortality frequently after losing my dad and I’ve already learned that when you look back and reflect on your life, it won’t be about how many hours you put into your day job or how much money is in your bank account. Rather, a successful life is measured by how much happiness you generate, the inspiring memories that you create, and the mark you left on the world. It sounds lofty, but I truly believe that people often don’t realize what’s important or where they should have directed their energies until it’s too late.

Recommendation: If you haven’t already seen it, watch Adam Sandler’s movie, Click. Even if you don’t like Adam Sandler, I promise this movie will move you. It is not his typical comedy and it encompasses what I’ve tried to explain above in a very real way. It examines work-life balance, family dynamics, and intimate relationships.

Now, onto my list, which is in no particular order but is, in fact, categorized:

Travel Experiences

1. Go whale watching. I am flat out amazed by the ocean and the majestic creatures within it. Outside of places like Marine Land, I have never seen a whale and I would love to be awed by them in their natural environment. I told JP that I’d happily go out in a zodiac boat for this adventure but he maintains that we need a solid ship. We’ll see.

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2. Visit Yellowstone National Park. I am an animal person. Some might even say I love animals more than people (and they wouldn’t be wrong, exactly…). Seeing the natural beauty of Yellowstone, plus all of the amazing wildlife, would be a dream trip for me. It would also push me physically because some of those hiking trails are serious business.

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3. Go on an African safari. Similar to my Marine Land experience, I’ve never seen elephants, lions, rhinos, giraffes, leopards, cheetahs, gorillas, hippos, crocodiles, or zebras outside of the Toronto Zoo. I would also love the experience of sleeping in a treetop hotel and exploring Cape Town. My African adventure would have to be several weeks long.

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4. Explore the rainforest. Zip lining through the treetops, experiencing nature like I never have before, and seeing animals that aren’t even at the zoo would be a dream come true.

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5. See an active volcano. Mother Nature is so powerful and I want to experience a natural phenomenon up close (well, not too close).

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6. Go to Europe. Unfortunately, most of my travel thus far has been the all inclusive variety, which doesn’t really count. I want to feel the romance of Paris, immerse myself in the history of Rome and Greece, eat chocolate in Germany, and experience things that are completely outside of the norm for me. Ideally, I’d like to bring Grams along with JP and I, but I’d need a reliable baby-sitter for B. Any volunteers? We’ll bring you back something cool.

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7. Walk behind a waterfall. JP chases waterfalls. He is a hobby photographer and he does his best work when his subjects don’t move (much). He has brought me along on many waterfall journeys (with B, of course). Getting up close and personal with a waterfall would be amazing to experience with my partner in crime.

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8. Swim with dolphins. Outside of an all inclusive resort, I am not really sure where we can do this, but I definitely want to. Perhaps there is one more all inclusive jaunt in our future (and if it was to Jamaica, we could go to Dunn Falls and check off two items from the list at once. I’m all about efficiency).

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9. Go on an Alaskan cruise. I’m actually pretty terrified of going on a cruise in case I get sick and spend the entire vacation vomiting. However, my friend DK tells me that I’m entirely too risk adverse and that I need to push my limits. I have a feeling she didn’t mean taking a cruise, but we all have to start somewhere. I want to experience the wildlife of Alaska and see the glaciers, so I figure a cruise is a good way to get a taste of everything.

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10. Explore California. Wineries, beaches, fantastic vistas…sign me up (just keep me the hell away from La La Land)! This would be my ideal coastal road trip (provided JP and I don’t kill each other in the car).

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11. Go to Bora Bora for our 10 year anniversary. JP would be entirely satisfied living the cottage and country life and never setting foot on a plane again. However, he knows I have wanderlust and so he is my (somewhat reluctant) travel companion. One trip that he actually wants to take is to Bora Bora so he can sleep in an overwater hut.

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12. Go to Thailand. Who doesn’t want to get up close and personal with a tiger cub, ride an elephant, charter a long boat, and be completely blown away by beautiful beaches? I am terrified of such a long flight, but I know that it would be well worth it!

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13. Visit every American state and every Canadian province and territory. Some states and provinces appeal to me a lot more than others (hello, Hawaii and Newfoundland!) but I’d at least like to see something from each, even if we are just passing through. I think there is so much to experience right in my own backyard and I’d like to do exactly that.

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Personal Development

1. Self-publish a novel. This is really important to me and is actually the number one thing I want to do in my life. Seriously. Writing of (almost) all kinds is a passion of mine and I dream of seeing my name in print (please don’t think less of me for being vain in this regard). I’ve researched the self-publishing process and I’m going to try and convince my friend AR to do NaNoWriMo with me. Water for Elephants was a NaNoWriMo novel. Hey, it could happen.

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2. Start my own business. I am not passionate about office work, which is what I currently do. I love to write, but I absolutely despise the politics, gossip, and general bullshit that is office culture. However, this post is not meant to be a work rant (I’d need more than one post).

I want to find my passion and start a meaningful family business that makes an impact on people’s lives. The current pipe dream is some type of accommodation business to contribute to people’s vacation memories and help them create treasured moments with loved ones.

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Lifestyle

1. Live in a log cabin on the lake. JP is a water baby and he has converted me into a woman who craves country living: open spaces, privacy, serenity, and being in touch with nature. Plus, I might finally be allowed to get a pet goat.

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2. Learn to garden. My friend DK says that I fail at nurturing anything without a face. To date, that has been quite true. However, with her guidance, I am going to conquer this challenge and grow a beautiful garden that I can be proud of.

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3. Achieve and maintain a healthy weight. This is an entire section of my blog, so I won’t go into great detail. This will be accomplished through eating healthy food (that is local and sustainable) and being active.

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Make a Difference

1. Rescue a dog. I love puppies. They make my heart melt. I crave the bond between mama (being me, not the dog mama) and new puppy that allows me to raise a happy, healthy, and balanced dog. However, there are so many dogs who need to be rescued and could benefit from an experienced dog owner like myself. One day, we will add a rescue to our pack (even if that means we have three dogs…we will be in a log cabin with lots of property, so the more the merrier, right? JP?).

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2. Participate in the Ride to Conquer Cancer. As I continue to get fitter and stronger, I’d like to participate in this meaningful fundraiser. Unfortunately, I don’t think there are many of us who can say that we haven’t had cancer impact our lives in some way. This cause is especially close to my heart as it’s what took my dad away from me.

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3. Volunteer at a hospice. My dad was on his way to a hospice before he died in the regular hospital. One day, as hard as it would be for me to go to a place like this, I’d like to volunteer and help people who are having the most desperate, devastating, and terrifying experience of their lives.

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4. Volunteer more in general. My cause of choice: animals. This could mean training one of my (future) dogs to do hospital work, volunteering with a rescue organization, fostering dogs, or working with the Lions Foundation.

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Final Thoughts

My list is going to continue to evolve as I do and I am going to document my progress on this blog. You will share in my joy when I accomplish something on the list and (hopefully) empathize with my struggles when I have setbacks. I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait!

I’d love to know, what’s on your bucket list?

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146 thoughts on “My Bucket List

    1. That’s great to hear! I love that about the internet – people who don’t know each other can inspire and motivate each other to do good things. Once something is written down it becomes real to me so I am ready to tackle my list (and add to it as I continue to learn and grow as person).

      Liked by 1 person

    1. And how many items would be crossed off now? Or did your priorities shift entirely? I’m interested to see how my list evolves as I enter into new life phases. The things I thought were important 10 years ago seem trivial now, so I’m sure that 38 year old Scarlet will have something to say about THIS list 🙂

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    1. If only there was a way to avoid office politics! Participating is never the answer but often ignoring them doesn’t make it better either. Just doing your job without all the drama would make for a much less stressful workday. I can dream…

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  1. Great share! Bucket List…lengthy indeed. To name a few…Investigate Iceland, Ireland, and New Zealand. Participate in a triathlon. Build a thriving business. Locate the love of my life. Participate in the hot air balloon extravaganza in Turkey. Attend a Dalai Lama conference. The list goes on and on. I can dream all day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m a dreamer too! I find my dreams only become tangible goals when I actually write them down. Otherwise they just float around in my mind.

      The start of your list sounds great (and makes me want to add to my own!). Perhaps a future blog post is in order? I’d definitely read it! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I absolutely LOVE Disney so I’m sure I’d have a blast even without kids. That sounds like a wonderful and efficient option. Thanks for sharing 🙂

      I am extremely worried about motion sickness from the boat though! That would certainly put a damper on things.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve heard that Disney ships have better stabilizers than some other cruise lines, but they do also sell motion sickness stuff on the ship or you could bring it just in case. They have pills you could take, patches and I think even wristbands that are supposed to help. And Disney leaves from Vancouver as opposed to Seattle which is supposed to mean less rocking as well.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I think travel is a great start and can lead to many life changing experiences. I don’t have any items “checked off” yet but I’m working on it. Writing everything down really solidified it for me and helped me put things in perspective.

      Good luck with your list!

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  2. I loved your bucket list. The pictures are beautiful and the things you want to do are admirable. I need to get on the stick and add more to my bucket list. I can at least say I accomplished on thing on my list which is creating a food blog. Yea! dmariedining.com.

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    1. Thank you! I’m always looking for new recipe ideas, so I will definitely check out your blog. Becoming a healthy, fit person is very important to me and eating “diet food” makes me want to give up every time. I’m all about good food that is also good for you!

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    1. That’s great advice. My dad always told me to “sloooooow down” and take the time to enjoy each moment I’m lucky enough to have. So much joy can be found in life if you just stop and look. I really believe the secret to having it all is realizing that you already do.

      Thank you for the reminder!

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  3. I am so going to reblogg this. Its perfect and I love it. I also have a bucket list and it hasn’t been updated in a while. I’m going to do it with a few from your list. Thanks so much. Very inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I really appreciate your comment. As a writer, my goal is always to connect with people and touch them in some way with my words. I’m looking forward to following your blog 🙂

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    1. It is a long list but I have (hopefully) a long time to do it all 🙂 Goals only become real to me when I write them down, so I’m hoping this post will help me stay on track.

      Thank you for checking out my blog and taking the time to comment. Much appreciated! I’m looking forward to following your blog as well 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. As a list person myself I never even considered a bucket list until I saw your post. Or perhaps the thought crossed my mind and I forgot. Hard as it is to concentrate these days I do try to live in the moment because it only takes a moment for life to change. We get up each day not expecting it to be our last and yet, with the blink of an eye, life can take a sudden fatal turn.

    You’ve got a wonderful list and I saw a few things that even I would like to do. Thank you for this important reminder on enjoying the moments.

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  5. Thank you for your comment. After losing my dad, my outlook on life changed. I may be 28, but life is so fragile at any age. A friend of mine was recently diagnosed with cancer so you really never know what the future holds. Life can change (and even end) in an instant.

    I try to make the most of every day so that if my life does end unexpectedly, I will at least have led a fulfilling one. I want to make lasting memories and make a difference in others’ lives. For me, there is no “journey” to happiness because happiness is the journey 🙂

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  6. Congratulations putting together an interesting and extremely well written blog. That is a talent!!

    I have never considered creating a bucket list, I do like planning . I enjoy the count down. Holiday 100 days away, 1 month, 1 week etc…keeps me focused having an eye on the prize.

    Reflecting back, I could probably say that I have experienced many bucket list type adventures. Maybe I am a deconstructed bucket list type of person….I do it, then create the list from past journeys.

    Thanks again for sharing a wonderful blog!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you so much for your kind and thoughtful comment!

    I love having something to look forward to and work towards as well. Now that I wrote everything down, my bucket list items have become tangible goals and not just dreams 🙂

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  8. At the age of 51, I have travelled near and far, raised a loving family, and worked in the vocation that suits my caring personality (modest aren’t I?). I have been a dreamer all my life and have always tried to make those dreams realities. I don’t per say have a bucket list, I have a wish wall (a la Oprah) that is every changing. Any article that piques my interest is lovingly placed on my wall and removed when completed. This gives the wall life as it is ever changing and always visible.
    May you always live your best life.
    Michelle.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great idea! It’s all fine and well to have an electronic list, but having something real and tangible would be even better. My “to do” lists will always be hard copy because crossing something off is so much more satisfying than hitting backspace over and over.

      Thank you for taking the time to share and comment! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  9. awesome post! loved how you broke your goals down into sections too. I have never created a bucket list but would like to visit as many national parks in the US as I can 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! 🙂

      My husband and I have a list of US national parks that allow dogs! Our little boxer is our constant companion (though I’d never bring him to certain ones, like Yellowstone, because I’d be afraid he’d get eaten!). We have some amazing things to see right in our own backyard.

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    1. I dream about going to Europe! My husband and I are both afraid of flying so it makes traveling lots of fun, lol. It’s always worth it when you get there but it fills us with anxiety.

      He wasn’t impressed when I told him how long the flight to Thailand is 😉

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  10. Really connected with your down-to-earth writing style–and I’m a freelance editor, so I’d love to read any manuscript drafts you might have when you reach the “self-publish a book” item on your bucket list!

    –O

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Feedback from an editor – thank you! I really appreciate that you took the time to leave me a comment. I am currently drafting two manuscripts and now you’ve given me some extra motivation to get them both (or at least one!) done 🙂

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    1. Oh, gosh. I’m pretty risk adverse…and a bit of a wimp…that sounds terrifying to me! I don’t even like commercial flights but I push myself to do it because I love to travel (once we actually safely land).

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      1. A bucket list is meant to push you out of your comfort zone a bit… So… Maybe you should try it as a challenge. Or wateva. I’m nt sure. I’m dizzy from all the jumping I’ve been doing 😉

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  11. I am working an office job as well, so I can relate to your struggles! One big plan on my bucket list is to either move to Costa Rica permanently or start a business here where I could go to Costa Rica for a month out of each year and live and work and SURF!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It’s that damn work always getting in the way of living our lives, lol. In all seriousness though, many office jobs can be done remotely. It wouldn’t only help work-life balance, but it would save the company real estate costs, it would eliminate a lot of gridlock, there would be positive environmental implications…I could go on! I think companies need to update their thinking and give people more autonomy to fit their work into their lives versus the other way around.

      I write for a living and I can do that from home, from Costa Rica, or literally anywhere else with a WiFi connection. In fact, I do my job a lot better at home because I’m not distracted by people constantly talking (who thought open concept was a good idea? Oh, right. Companies to save costs rather than boost productivity) and nonsense office politics. I’d be much happier and more fulfilled person if I could work from my (future) cottage rather than be tied to the city.

      I am constantly searching for work in smaller lakeside communities (even at a pay cut because quality of life is worth it to me) and I hope one day I will be able to make my dream a reality. Maybe I will self-publish my book and people will love it so much that I won’t have to work in an office at all! Writing books from my private dock, now that sounds like a most excellent plan 🙂

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  12. Love this list! I’m probably older than you and have been lucky to see some of the places you listed. I have also rescued a dog – one was a greyhound the current one is a mutt. I have been a hospice volunteer for years and it is indeed rewarding. I like that your list was so varied – hope you get to check some stuff off in the years to come.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I am hoping to tackle one travel item per year and one “personal development” area. Working on my book is ongoing, but I’d love to get it published and start another! There are so many things I want to do in life (as you can see, lol) and I don’t know how much time I have to do them. I don’t want to have regrets, so I need to make sure that I find the time to do the things that matter and are important to me 🙂

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  13. I love your list, especially how you break it into categories! I never thought of walking behind a waterfall, but the idea sounds wonderful and is on my yet-to-be-written bucket list. My favorites were in your personal development category. I wish you the best with those dreams in particular!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I think we are going to cross off walking behind a waterfall and swimming with dolphins next year in Jamaica 🙂

      I also think it’s really important to take some time out of day to day life to actively participate in being a good, well-rounded person. It’s easy to say you’re too busy (and many of us are), but my mom always tells me that you make time for what is important to you and it’s so true.

      If you write a list, you should post it! 🙂

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  14. Love your list! It will take some time to get mine down. However, we share very similar ones. I would like to write a novel some day. Self publishing? To be honest I have no idea what that goes into all that. Love your post! Will visit more!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much for reading 🙂 I just checked out your blog and I love how genuine your writing is! I will definitely be a repeat visitor.

      It’s so hard to find time to write a novel when you have a family and work full time (you even have kids to boot!). I’m determined though 🙂

      I’d love to read your list if you post it!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I find my dog distracting enough, so I can only imagine having small human around, lol. I get my best ideas when I’m asleep and then I wake up and write everything down. Too bad I can’t type and finish my book in my sleep 😀 that would be very efficient!

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      1. Dogs are very distracting. Luckily mind have adapted well to the loud and obnoxious things that have 2 legs. That sounds awesome! I also find that I have the best ideas when I am in bed, or actually busy doing something else.

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    1. Thank you! I’m actually thinking about doing seasonal bucket lists so that I can make sure I slow down and enjoy what each season has to offer 🙂 I think bucket lists are very versatile and you can have 10 of them if you want!

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  15. My bucket list included seeing the ocean and riding a train. I decided to do a short version. I was able to spend a few hours oceanside when I visited my brother in Virginia. I didn’t need to spend a week. We took a scenic dinner trip on a train and I was glad we had not signed up to travel through several states! Sometimes less is more. Next weekend we are headed for a dinner cruise on a steamboat on the Mississippi. I will decided about an ocean cruise after I see how I fare on the river! Thanks for liking my post, “Marriage is not like a Car.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I take the train into work every day and it’s definitely not my favourite way to travel. As for a cruise, I am worried about that too. We have a boat and I’ve been on dinner cruises, but a large ship is a totally different ball game! I think it’s a great way to see Alaska though, so we’ll have to see.

      It’s great that you’re crossing items off your list! I am hoping to do so very soon 🙂

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      1. The food’s really good! If you like seafood. And reindeer burgers! It is pricey but a once in a lifetime trip, so much to see and do. We managed to see the Northern Lights there too, we were very lucky. One for your list if it’s not on there already.

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Wonderful bucket list – I hope you mark everyone off the list. I do not have a bucket list, I decided to just live one day at a time and enjoy the ride. Thanks for stopping by my blog today. Have a great day! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great philosophy too! I love writing and I love lists, so this approach works best for me. I do try and “go with the flow” so I can take advantage of opportunities as they arise. However, there are certain things I really feel I must do…which is how my bucket list came to be born.

      Thank you for reading 🙂

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  17. I loved your ‘bucket list’ post. I’m not much of a traveler (I can’t fly) but I have self-published several books (very fulfilling); rescued many dogs (probably just as helpful to me as to them); and, I’ve been told selflessly, took on the care of my octogenarian parents so they wouldn’t have to go to a home. It has changed all our lives and I started blogging about the experience – to share with others the trials and tribulations of being a stay-at-home-daughter. I’m glad you enjoyed my blog as I did yours. Maybe some of your readers would as well (selfish plug) http://ellengreiss.wordpress.com. I can’t wait to read your next post! 😀

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  18. Hi, I don’t have a ‘bucket’ list but do have things to do be done while I am still able. I have MS, an illness that is progressive but you never know how far it will go or how quickly. My wife and I are building memories to last forever, so there will never come a time when I feel that I wish I had done this or that. A blog post that published on 12 August will give you a fuller insight – here’s the link for you to copy and paste into your address bar:
    http://50shadesofsun.com/2015/08/12/dream-the-impossible-dream-but-sometimes-our-dreams-do-come-true/
    While you are there, you might like to check out the page (not post) titled ‘CAN do’ attitude to life as well as finding out more about me on the homepage Blue Skies Ahead.

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  19. I really really enjoyed reading this post. I like so many people seem to have an ongoing list of things I hope to achieve and see during my lifetime but haven’t put pen to paper. This has definitely inspired me to do so! Thank you x

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    1. Well, I’d certainly like to pick your brain 😉 LOL

      NaNoWriMo is quickly approaching and I’m going to try to do it! If not, I still absolutely want a book published (even self-published) within the next year or so.

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  20. Great bucket list and blog piece! As for the list, one baby step at a time is a good start.

    I remember having connected with you but not quite sure so I looked back and it’s on the married to a tradesman blog 🙂 Now, I know why I feel more connection with your writing.. our tradesmen! I am now following you. 🙂

    If you promise that you and your tradesman are not psycho killers, perhaps my handyman and I can help make your trip to South Africa “easier”. Haha! We live in Johannesburg and we can host you, even go with you to a national game reserve, . And I have friends in Cape Town who might be able to do the same, if we can’t make it to Cape Town at the same time.

    Have a look at the little that I have posted on my travel blog (http://foodtraveltour.com/) so far. I’ll get to the wildlife and Cape Town soon. If you and JP golf, too, then that would be freaky! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for reading and following along! JP and I have golfed together a few times and we really enjoyed it. I think he prefers to go with my brother because I’m not very good! JP is much better at all things athletic than I am, which is unfortunately because I like to win.

      We are not psycho killers…if we were, I wouldn’t have time to write blog posts! LOL

      Liked by 1 person

  21. Love it! Was skimming through your blog and found this post. I would absolutely LOVE the alaskan cruise, thats a huge item on my list as well. Love checkin in and will continue to do so 🙂

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  22. I’ve already managed two of the things on your list. Never made one for myself. Not that I am opposed to lists, but since I have no intention of “kicking the bucket,” ever I figure I’ll have time to get everything done eventually.

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      1. In the past couple of weeks I’ve also managed two of the things on your Winter list (soup and Christmas baking) but probably won’t manage any of the rest. Feed the reindeer? They’re actually very tasty if you eat meat.

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      2. I’ve also completed all of my Christmas baking, but I have some additional treats to make for New Year’s. My brother is nostalgic about a particular dessert and I’ve been reminded repeatedly to make it.

        AH! I can’t eat animals that I am sentimental about or think of as pets. I do eat meat, but I could not eat a reindeer.

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    1. I would LOVE to go to California 🙂 I’d love to drive down the coast, stop in at wineries, and do all of the romantic things that I associate with California that natives probably laugh at, lol.

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  23. Reading this has inspired me to update my own list, and then put that list on my blog, Hot Shot Headlines 🙂 You and I are very much alike, I love all of your goals! I love traveling and writing too.

    -Laura Beth

    hotshotheadlines.wordpress.com

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  24. Love the travel to-do’s! I’ve been to Europe 4x (London, Germany, Sweden, Norway) and I can tell you that it’s amazing but in some parts, similar to the West. I think everyone should experience being a foreigner and be exposed to cultural norms that are not their own. Many people think that their normal is how much of the world must operate; not so. I came back thinking we Americans are prudes after nude photos were in a German newspaper. Overall the Europeans are more open with sex and love, Americans are more coddled and sheepish about it. Love traveling and the frequent flier miles attest to that!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s true that we are quite isolated in our thinking in the West. We think that everyone should live how we do and if they don’t, then they should make a change ASAP. There ARE other ways of doing things and not everyone needs to change to be like us. Experiencing other cultures is definitely one of the most important things to me when choosing travel destinations.

      Liked by 1 person

  25. This is an awesome bucket list! Let me know when you pass by Germany when you’re touring Europe. I hope I’ll be knowledgeable of the area enough by that time so I can give a tour. 🙂 Thank you for dropping by TheBerlinBook! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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