Presenting: My Bucket List

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I've always had a kind of running bucket list in my head — a list of all the things I would ideally like to do before I die. It's a long list. Probably an impossible list to actually complete, especially since my list only seems to get longer the more I travel. But it's always good to have goals and dreams, right?

So here follows my ever-growing bucket list. It may look different next week, but that's the point of a work in progress.

If you can help me out with any of the items on this list, please let me know!

The U.S.

Adventures to have

  • Visit all 50 states
  • Take a U.S. road trip (2011, 2013, 2016)
  • Do a cross-country trip by train
  • See grizzly bears in Alaska
  • See a Broadway play on Broadway (x3 “Phantom of the Opera,” “Wicked,” “Lion King”)
  • Get a behind-the-scenes tour of the White House
  • Climb to the crown in the Statue of Liberty
  • Ride a cable car in San Francisco (2012)
  • Go to Disney World and have fun as an adult (2016)
  • See live improv in Chicago (2011)
  • Be a geek at Harry Potter World
  • Do the hula in Hawaii
  • Visit Roswell, NM
  • Take an air boat tour in the Everglades in Florida (x2)
  • Experience Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  • Have a Voodoo Donut in Portland (2017)
  • See the Kentucky Derby live at Churchill Downs
  • Bike across the Golden Gate Bridge in SF
  • Go to a really weird/random local festival
  • Drive the Pacific Coast Highway through California
  • Swim with manatees in Florida (2015)
  • Eat lobster in Maine
  • Go to the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta (2015)
  • Hike Angel's Landing in Zion National Park (2016)
  • See a sunset at Delicate Arch (2016)
  • Pursue a tornado with a team of storm chasers in Tornado Alley
  • Stay at a dude ranch in Montana
  • Take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon
  • Road trip the Florida Keys

Things to see

Canada

Adventures to have

  • Go to the Tulip Festival in Ottawa (2013)
  • Skate on the Rideau Canal in winter
  • Eat poutine in Quebec
  • Ride trains across the country
  • Hike to the Larch Valley in Banff
  • Swim with Beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba
  • Go on an iceberg quest in Newfoundland
  • Bobsled down an Olympic track in Calgary
  • Go to the Calgary Stampede
  • Explore Montreal
  • Drive the Icefields Parkway (2015)
  • Go tidal bore rafting in Nova Scotia

Things to see

  • Niagara Falls
  • Banff National Park (2014)
  • Polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba
  • Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta
  • Moraine Lake in Banff (2015)
  • Quebec City, Quebec (2018)
  • Niagara-on-the-Lake (2014)
  • Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver (2015)
  • Fogo Island
  • Hopewell Rocks in New Brunswick
  • Gros Morne National Park in Newfoundland

Mexico

Adventures to have

  • Snorkel in cenotes in Tulum
  • Spend time in a beach town in Mexico
  • Swim with whale sharks in Cancun
  • Go on a great white shark dive trip to Guadalupe Island
  • Eat my way through Oaxaca
  • Release baby sea turtles on a beach

Things to see

  • The colorful city of Guanajuato
  • Maya ruins at Tulum
  • The pink lakes
  • Flying manta rays in the Sea of Cortes

Caribbean

Adventures to have

  • Watch planes fly in over Maho Beach in Saint Maarten
  • Rent a scooter in Bermuda
  • Swim with pigs in the Bahamas
  • Hang out with flamingos in Aruba
  • Kayak the bioluminescent bay in Puerto Rico

Things to see

  • Flamenco Beach on Culebra Island in Puerto Rico (2016)
  • Old San Juan (2016)
  • The Pitons in St. Lucia

Europe

Adventures to have

  • Walk around in Verona, Italy, reciting Shakespeare
  • Hike between the villages in the Cinque Terre
  • Eat pizza in Naples, Italy
  • Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy
  • Hike in the Dolomites
  • Climb to the top of the dome of St. Peter’s, The Vatican, Italy (2005, 2013)
  • Visit Calabria, where my Italian grandpa's family is from
  • Watch the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
  • See all the Gaudi architecture in Barcelona (2015)
  • Throw tomatos La Tomatina in Valencia, Spain
  • Hike the Mont-Rebei Gorge in Spain
  • Celebrate New Year's at Hogmanay in Edinburgh, Scotland (2012/13)
  • Go to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (2012)
  • Hunt for Nessie in Scotland (2012)
  • Drive the North Coast 500 in Scotland
  • Land on the beach runway in Barra (Scotland)
  • Ride the Jacobite train through the Scottish Highlands (2015)
  • Cross the Carrick-a-Rede rope bridge in Northern Ireland (2017)
  • Do a Game of Thrones tour in Northern Ireland
  • Take a Black Taxi tour in Belfast (2013)
  • Track my ancestry in Ireland
  • Stay in a castle in Ireland (2018)
  • Sleep in a library in Wales
  • Lay on a beach in Croatia for a day
  • Island hop in Croatia
  • Sail around the Greek islands
  • Sing “Sound of Music” tunes in Salzburg, Austria (2013)
  • Experience the true Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
  • Drive on the Autobahn, Germany
  • Live in London for a while
  • Ride in a hot air balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Hunt vampires in Romania (2012)
  • Soak in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland (2012)
  • Drive the Ring Road in Iceland
  • Snorkel in between tectonic plates in Iceland (2015)
  • Go inside an ice cave in Iceland (2015)
  • Chase the Northern Lights in Norway (2016)
  • Drive the Atlantic Road in Norway (2015)
  • Be in St. Petersburg during White Nights
  • Try a spacecake in Amsterdam (2013)
  • Visit family in Slovakia
  • Go on a river cruise (2015, 2016)

Things to see

  • Stonehenge, England (2012 and 2015)
  • Abbey Road, London, England (2013)
  • Highclere Castle, England (where Downton Abbey was filmed)
  • All the cool sights in London (Big Ben, The Eye, London Bridge) (2012)
  • The Royal Mile in Edinbrugh, Scotland (x3)
  • Isle of Skye, Scotland (x3 – 2012, 2015, 2016)
  • Orkney Islands, Scotland
  • Heather blooming in Scotland
  • The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye (2016)
  • Beaches on Lewis and Harris, Scotland (2016)
  • Cliffs of Moher, Ireland (2013)
  • Harbor in Cobh, Ireland (2018)
  • Skellig Michael in Ireland
  • Dark Hedges in Northern Ireland (2017)
  • Trevi Fountain, Rome, Italy (2005)
  • Colosseum, Rome, Italy (2005)
  • St. Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican, Italy (2005)
  • The Scavi, The Vatican, Italy
  • Ruins in Pompeii, Italy (2005)
  • Leaning Tower of Pisa, Italy (2013)
  • Canals in Venice (2013)
  • The villages of Cinque Terre, Italy
  • The walls of Dubrovnik, Croatia (2012)
  • Plitvice Lakes in Croatia
  • Red Square, Moscow, Russia (2016)
  • The Winter Palace in St. Petersburg (2016)
  • The fountains at Peterhof Palace in Russia
  • Remnants of the Berlin Wall (2013)
  • Auschwitz-Birkenau in Poland (2013)
  • Dracula’s Castle in Romania (or what inspired it, at least) (2012)
  • Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany
  • Flower carpet in Brussels, Belgium
  • The Old Town of Prague (2013)
  • Eiffel Tower, Paris, France (2013)
  • The Mona Lisa, The Louvre, France
  • Normandy beaches, France
  • Lavender fields in France
  • Mont-Saint-Michel in France
  • Notre Dame, Paris, France (2013)
  • Rila Monastery, Bulgaria (2012)
  • La Sagrada Familia in Barcelona, Spain (2015)
  • Plaza de Espana in Seville, Spain (2015)
  • Montserrat, Spain
  • Alhambra palaces in Granada, Spain (2015)
  • Great Mosque in Cordoba, Spain
  • Ronda, Spain
  • Tiled houses in Portugal
  • The fjords of Norway (2015)
  • Pulpit Rock in Norway
  • Lofoten Islands, Norway
  • Santorini, Greece (2013)
  • The Acropolis in Athens (2013)
  • The Faroe Islands (2017)
  • Reykjavik, Iceland (2012)
  • Stari Most bridge in Mostar
  • Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey (2012)
  • Icebergs in Greenland

Central/South America

Adventures to have

  • Dance in a Latin American salsa or tango club
  • Attend Carnival in Brazil
  • Climb some Mayan ruins (2013)
  • Get up close with sloths in Costa Rica (2013)
  • Snorkel the Belize Barrier Reef (2013)
  • Chill out on Caye Caulker, Belize (2013)
  • Go on a sailing trip in Belize
  • Relax on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua (2016)
  • Hike the W in Torres del Paine National Park
  • Relax on Little Corn Island in Nicaragua (2016)
  • Straddle the equator in Ecuador (2016)
  • Swim with marine life in the Galapagos

Things to see

  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
  • Easter Island, Chile
  • Salt flats, Bolivia
  • Glaciers in Patagonia
  • Cartagena, Colombia
  • Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio, Brazil
  • Arenal Volcano in Costa Rica (2013)
  • Bocas del Toro, Panama
  • Tikal ruins in Guatemala (2013)
  • Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
  • Antigua, Guatemala

Oceania

Adventures to have

  • Heli-hike a glacier in New Zealand
  • Go on a “Lord of the Rings” tour in New Zealand (2005)
  • Go zorbing in New Zealand (2008)
  • Hike the Tongariro Crossing, New Zealand
  • Hike Roy's Peak in Wanaka, NZ
  • Surf in Raglan, New Zealand
  • Ride the TranzAlpine train across New Zealand (2011)
  • Go on an epic NZ road trip in a campervan (2018)
  • Swim with seals in Kaikoura, NZ (2014)
  • Kayak near the Tasman Glacier in NZ
  • See a kiwi bird up close in New Zealand (2008)
  • Climb up the world’s steepest road (Baldwin Street, Dunedin, NZ, 2008)
  • Stay overnight in Doubtful Sound, NZ
  • Hike around Uluru in the Australian Outback
  • Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge in Australia
  • Road trip around Tasmania
  • Take a helicopter ride over the Great Barrier Reef
  • Sail in the Whitsundays
  • Take a selfie with a quokka
  • Swim with manta rays at Coral Bay, WA
  • Stay in an over-water bungalow

Things to see

  • The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
  • The beaches in the Whitsundays
  • Uluru, Australia
  • Sydney Opera House and Harbor Bridge, Australia (2008)
  • Rottnest Island in Western Australia
  • Tasmania
  • Hobbiton movie set, New Zealand (x4, 2005, 2008, 2014, and 2018)
  • Castlepoint, New Zealand (2008)
  • Lupins blooming at Lake Taupo, NZ (2014)
  • Milford Sound, New Zealand (2008 and 2014)
  • Abel Tasman National Park, NZ (2018)
  • Queenstown, NZ
  • Aitutaki Lagoon in the Cook Islands

Africa

Adventures to have

  • Go up Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa (2016)
  • Go on a safari (2016)
  • Ride a camel in the Sahara
  • See the wildebeest migration
  • Stay at Giraffe Manor in Kenya
  • Ride a camel in the Sahara
  • Cage dive with great white sharks (2016)
  • Trek to see mountain gorillas in Uganda
  • Climb sand dunes in Namibia (2016)
  • Fly over Victoria Falls (2016)
  • Ride a felucca down the Nile (2017)

Things to see

  • The Pyramids of Giza, Cairo, Egypt (2017)
  • Victoria Falls (2016)
  • Chefchaouen, Morocco (the “Blue City”)
  • Table Mountain in South Africa (2016)
  • Beaches in Zanzibar
  • Lemurs in Madagascar
  • The deserts of Namibia (2016)
  • Wildlife in the Serengeti
  • The Okavango Delta in Botswana (2016)
  • The Big 5 (2016)

Asia

Adventures to have

  • Climb the Great Wall of China (2007)
  • Ride (and survive the ride) in a tuk tuk (2014)
  • Beach/island hop in Thailand (2014)
  • See the Yi Peng lantern festival near Chiang Mai
  • Volunteer at Elephant Nature Park (2014)
  • Go diving around Koh Tao, Thailand
  • Get custom clothes made in Hoi An, Vietnam (2014)
  • Attend the Cherry Blossom festival in Japan
  • Stay in a cave in Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Go hot air ballooning in Cappadocia, Turkey
  • Volunteer with pandas in China

Things to see

  • Ephesus, Turkey
  • Great Wall of China (2007)
  • Forbidden City, Beijing, China (2007)
  • Live pandas in China
  • The terracotta warriors in Xi'an, China
  • Mount Everest up close
  • Angkor Wat, Cambodia (2014)
  • Halong Bay, Vietnam (2014)
  • Sapa, Vietnam
  • Taj Mahal, India
  • Temples in Bangkok, Thailand (2014)
  • Longtail boats on a Thai island (2014)
  • Pai, Thailand
  • The “White Temple” in Chiang Rai, Thailand
  • A geisha in Japan
  • The Peace Memorial in Hiroshima, Japan
  • Hemji Castle in Japan
  • The Tori Path in Kyoto, Japan
  • Snow monkeys in Japan
  • The lights show in Victoria Harbor in Hong Kong
  • Temples in Myanmar

The Middle-East

Adventures to have

  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Pretend I'm Indiana Jones at Petra
  • Go on a desert adventure in Oman

Things to see

  • Petra, Jordan
  • Jerusalem
  • Mosques in Iran

Anywhere

Adventures to have

  • Go skydiving
  • Go bungy jumping (x4 – Taupo (2008) and Queenstown (2005, 2011, 2014), New Zealand)
  • Hike out on a glacier (Franz Josef, NZ, 2011; Alaska, 2012)
  • Ride in a hot air balloon (Monument Valley, 2011)
  • Go white water rafting (Colorado, 2011, Slovenia 2012)
  • Ride in a helicopter (New Zealand, 2008 and 2014; Niagara Falls 2014)
  • Go kayaking (2014)
  • See an active volcano up close (I wanna see the lava!)
  • Climb a mountain
  • Drive in a country where they drive on the opposite side of the road (New Zealand, 2008)
  • Attend a professional sports game (football, baseball, soccer, rugby, hockey)
  • See gymnastics live at the Olympic Games (London, 2012)
  • Go jet boating (New Zealand, 2008 and 2011)
  • Go ziplining (Colorado, 2011)
  • Celebrate Christmas in a different country
  • Celebrate New Year’s in a different country (Ireland, 2007/8; Scotland 2012/13)
  • Go on a cruise (x3 – Gulf of Mexico, Bahamas, Alaska)
  • See the Red Bull Flugtag in person
  • Hang out with someone famous
  • Attend a huge parade and/or rally
  • Take part in a protest (Chicago, 2011)
  • Play in a marching band at a professional sporting game/match (Canada, 2006)
  • See a favorite band in concert
  • Participate in a wacky cultural event/tradition/race (Loony Dook and Color Run, 2013)
  • Eat something that looks/sounds/smells scary (Iceland, 2012)
  • Tour someplace haunted at night (Ottawa, 2012; Edinburgh, 2012)
  • Go horseback riding on a beach (Pakiri Beach, NZ, 2008)
  • Go SCUBA diving
  • Take part in an archaeological dig
  • Stomp grapes to make wine
  • Visit a nude beach (and actually go nude)
  • Dance a Latin dance with a Latin guy
  • Go skinny dipping
  • Jump off a waterfall

Things to see

  • Earth from space
  • The Northern Lights (Manitoba, 2013; Norway 2016)
  • Icebergs up close (2010)
  • A geyser explode (Lady Knox Geyser, NZ, 2008; Strokkur, Iceland, 2012)
  • Sufi Whirling Dervishes in action

Animal Encounters to Have

  • Hug a penguin
  • Ride an ostrich
  • See kangaroos in the wild (Australia, 2008)
  • Volunteer with elephants (Thailand, 2014)
  • Go dolphin watching (x4, NZ, 2008, 2011, 2014)
  • Go whale watching (Hawaii, 2011; Alaska 2014)
  • Swim with dolphins (NZ 2014)
  • Wrap a huge snake around my shoulders
  • Go dogsledding (Manitoba, 2013; Norway 2016)
  • Volunteer with giant pandas
  • Take a selfie with a quokka

Things to Learn

  • Become fluent in a second language
  • Learn how to drive a manual car
  • Learn how to cook really well
  • Take surfing lessons (x2, in New Zealand and Florida)
  • Learn how to swing dance
  • Learn to snowboard

Personal Goals

  • Make a difference in someone’s life
  • Live abroad for at least a year
  • Fill up a passport before it expires (2012)
  • Visit all 7 continents
  • Witness a historical event in person
  • Take Mom to see Paul McCartney in concert (August 2010)
  • Try my hand at being a tour guide
  • Volunteer
  • Host an exchange student
  • Connect with someone from another culture even if we speak different languages
  • Go barefoot for a week
  • Read an entire book in a day
  • Say yes to everything for a week
  • Get a tattoo
  • Have a fling
  • Fall in love
  • Find a job that I love

Professional Goals

  • Have a photo published in a magazine
  • Have a story published in a travel magazine or book
  • Have my own website
  • Make money off said website (working on it!)
  • Write a travel book
  • Be on “The Amazing Race”
  • Be in a movie
  • Steal Samantha Brown’s job on the Travel Channel

Are any of these things on your bucket list? Have you done any/can you recommend any of the things on my list?

 

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"It's a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and, if you don't keep your feet, there's no telling where you might get swept off to." - JRR Tolkien

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