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 wild 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
  • Go island hopping 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 (2018)
  • 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 (2019)
  • Explore Montreal
  • Drive the Icefields Parkway (2015)
  • Go tidal bore rafting in Nova Scotia
  • Spot narwhals in the Canadian Arctic

Things to see

  • Niagara Falls
  • Banff National Park (2014)
  • Jasper National Park
  • Polar bears in Churchill, Manitoba (2018)
  • 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
  • Celebrate the Day of the Dead

Things to see

  • Mexico City
  • 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 (2018)
  • 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

  • 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
  • Island hop in the Azores
  • 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
  • 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)
  • Go on a multi-day horseback riding tour in Iceland
  • 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)
  • Go hunting for gnomes in Wrocław, Poland
  • Take a pletna boat across Lake Bled (2012)
  • Go on a road trip in Slovenia

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)
  • The Bone Church in the Czech Republic (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 (2019)
  • The Douro Valley, Portugal (2019)
  • The Algarve 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 (2018)

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
  • Swim with humpback whales in Tonga

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

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 (2019)
  • Lemurs in Madagascar
  • The deserts of Namibia (2016)
  • Wildlife in the Serengeti (2019)
  • The Okavango Delta in Botswana (2016)
  • The Big 5 (2016)
  • Rock-cut churches in Ethiopia

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 in Thailand (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 (2019)
  • Travertine terraces in Pamukkale, Turkey (2019)
  • Great Wall of China (2007)
  • Forbidden City, Beijing, China (2007)
  • Live pandas in China
  • The teracotta 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, 2011; Ireland 2018)
  • 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 (2019)

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?

 

 

"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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157 Comments on “Presenting: My Bucket List

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  1. Love your bucket list and how extensive it is…and how much of it you have crossed off! I keep my list in my head, but need to right it down. I thought I’d share a few places I have been to on your list that you haven’t crossed off yet. We lived in Germany from 2012-2016 as expats so we traveled as much as we could. Road trip to Slovenia, driving the autobahn (many times…and it is as fun as it sounds), hiked the Dolomites (and skied as well), Gondola in Venice, Skellig Michael (a must), the Vatican, Cinque Terre (we’ve been twice and is one of our favorites. You should put the Amalfi Coast on your list as well), Plitvice Lakes (we loved it), Neuschwanstein Castle (I’ve lost count how many times we visited, but it’s a must along with several other castles in Germany), Lofoten Islands (we spent 21 days in Norway in September 2018, one of my favorite trips I’ve every taken), Hopewell Rocks (we spent 12 days traveling to NB & NS last fall (if the border was open, we would probably head back to Canada this year), Montreal (I was there years ago, but we have visited Quebec City 3 times since 2016 and we love it), Great Smokey Mountains (we lived in North Carolina for 8 years), driving the Pacific Coast Hwy for our Honeymoon and then years later with our 3 kids (of course we stopped and camped in the Redwoods. Fall foliage in New England…we currently live in Massachusetts and it is beautiful. I do have a blog, but it’s more a personal blog. I keep thinking I need to create a travel blog. We would travel non-stop if we could 🙂

      My list just keeps getting longer! Haha. But it is fun to cross things off.

    When you make it to Tasmania you will have to check out Salmon Ponds just near Hobart. Such a lovely, relaxing place, feed the fish, see a platypus and have a great afternoon tea at the Cafe.

    Sad to see that Philippines is not on your list. 🙁

    Hi Amanda, I was just looking for a blog about South Africa to help me plan our next trip when I bumped into yours…I just love the way you describe things and how real and pragmatic you are. It is well structured and really nice to read! So congratulations on that!
    And I can help you with one item on your list. I am a French living in Munich since years, and having some time in October this year, so, if you are interested in the Oktoberfest in Munich, I can help you with that one…maybe visiting Neuschwanstein on your way…This is the Disney Fairy Tale castle and happens to be not far away from Munich. Just let me know if interested this automn 🙂

      Thanks very much for the offer! I won’t be in Europe during Oktoberfest this year, but that’s very kind of you!

    Wow, this is the biggest bucket list I’ve ever seen. What’s bigger than a bucket? A tub? This is a tub list. You’ve got quite the life ahead of you!

    On your 7 days barefoot goal, if you haven’t already listen to the Freakanomics podcast on shoes (here: http://freakonomics.com/podcast/shoes/). It’ll inspire you to get that one crossed off ASAP.

      The scarier thing is that I’m constantly adding things to this list! 😉

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