My Travel Bucket List
If a task is not written down on a list for me it will likely not get done, or certainly not get done on time. I am a methodical list maker. With that in mind, I created my first travel bucket list.
The phrase bucket list gained popularity after the 2007 movie of the same name staring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. They were both near death, had unlimited funds and chose some very challenging adventures. Many questions can arise regarding bucket lists. Can they be as simple as ‘Visit the Las Vegas strip at night’ or ‘help a stranger in need and ask for nothing in return’ ? Should items on the list be realistic and very attainable or push the limits of feasibility forcing you outside of your comfort zone?
As with so many other issues today, seems that anything goes. For organizational reasons and to keep the list manageable, it seems setting up categories of lists focusing on your job, social goals, exercise, athletics or in this case, travel would be helpful. While it is not clear to me that all on my travel bucket list will be achieved, three are in the planning stage and may get accomplished within two years.
A good way to feel like progress is being made on your things-to-do-list or bucket list is to include some tasks which you can easily accomplish. That is why my weekend ‘things-to-do-list’ used to start with – #1) Make a ‘things-to-do-list’. That way, one item could immediately get crossed off. Progress!
After thinking about this blog for about week, creating a bucket list seems to be very limiting. Three of the most fun experiences I have had in retirement would not have been on my 2011 bucket list when I retired. Those three adventures were:
Most destinations listed below for my current ever-changing bucket list are geared toward photography.
- Li River China: I’ve learned it is not good to chase a particular photograph or scene, yet I’ll probably continue to do so occasionally…. Along the journey to a photo scene, you will undoubtedly encounter some other great photo opportunities. These scenes and the surrounding areas seems like a highly unusual and unique area to explore with a camera.
2) Great Barrier Reef Marine Park: This would likely involve joining an organized tour group which I generally try to avoid. But that seems to be the means necessary for a good visit. Also, for the best possible experience a scuba diving certification may be necessary. This trip would need to include travel in New Zealand, Tasmania and Australia.
3) Galapagos Islands: This will be the first item checked off from this bucket list since I’ll make a trip here in July 2017. This visit is through an organized photographic group to ensure we are on the islands at sunrise, snorkel and swim during the day and back on the islands at sunset.
4) Bolivia’s salt flats, Uyuni: These are vast level plains of salt. The rain water sits on the surface creating wondrous reflections on this mountain plain. Numerous auto commercials have been filmed here. There is so much salt, one hotel in the area is totally made from salt.
5) Antarctica: Another photography oriented tour will be required for this visit. It’s a long way to go to photograph penguins, but a unique scene like this photo would make it worth while.
6) Moscow: You cannot simply fly into Russia with a USA Passport. Not only is a VISA required, but a letter from the tour company or hotels where you will be staying. Lots of red tape, which is why it is called Red Square. A river cruise from St Petersburg to Moscow would show us more of the country side than just flying to Moscow.
7) India Holi festival: This very colorful Spring festival takes place annually the day after the full moon in March. I would clearly need to take some serious precautions to protect my camera and lens. Apparently anyone walking outside is subject to being accosted by a handful of colorful chalk.
8) Ganges River, India: I offer up this spot with some trepidation. This river is steeped in the Hindu religion and Varansai is the most religious of the cities which dot this holy river. The Ganga or Ganges River is also one of the most polluted in the world. Ghats, the cement steps which lead down to the river, are placed at intervals. Here people submerge and ritually wash themselves. At these ghats the dead are cremated, sometimes incompletely. It seems to be sensory overload for all your senses, especially sight and smell.
9) Travel around the world and take about a year t do it. I’ve worked up several itineraries for an around the world adventure. Such an itinerary would be to cruise to Europe and spend a few months traveling those countries we have not yet visited. Board a ship in Venice, cruise the Suez Canal and end up in Dubai for a month of so. Then board a cruise ship with many stops in India ending up in Singapore. From there, visit Thailand and the area before boarding yet another cruise ship to Sydney or Perth, Australia. Cruise ships can then either take you to Hawaii via Tahiti or to Japan and on to Vancouver, Canada with a several stops including Russia.
10) Visit all 59 USA National Parks: We have been working on this for several years now. When we started there were only 58 National Parks. Forty have been visited by us so far. Seven National Parks lie in Alaska so an extended trip there will be a must. We had the opportunity to visit the Dry Tortuga NP in Florida but backed out when we learned it would cost us around $800 to fly or tolerate a very long boat ride. Also, some of the parks in Alaska can only be reached by small prop planes and only lodging is rustic camping, so this may be a bit elusive but we will continue to visit them as we can.
Buy a (big) motor home and travel to all the cities named in the Johnny Cash song “I’ve Been Everywhere, Man!“. Since I seem to have some time on my hands, I have entered these cities into an Excel Spreadsheet and noted those with multiple state locations. A minimum of one night must be spent in each of these towns or cities. Maybe we could try to meet the mayor in each, or rate a diner in each. How about eating Mexican food in them all? We would ignore the few cities in South America. This would plan our trip for us and keep us from wondering aloud, where should we go next?
It is with pride that I can report I like both kinds music, Country & Western. But for those of you who are not so inclined, here is a link to the Johnny Cash song with lyrics and showing the spirit of the song.
It has always struck me as odd that right at the time when our eyesight is at its worst and our reflexes are at their slowest…. we feel the time is right to get behind the wheel of the largest, heaviest piece of rolling machinery allowed on the highways. What a beautiful ride.
I wish I was on board now… Reading the RV literature tells me it is very bad to confuse the gray water hose with the dreaded black water hose…. more opportunities for future blogs is the way I see it.
you are very entertaining and ambitious and apparently OCD!! It is the most specific bucket list I have ever encountered!
Of them all, a trip to India for the Holi festival and Ganges River would be highest on my list. I hope to get most of them accomplished. Three of them are in the works at this moment…. Where is YOUR list??
RV suggestion; if you are gonna go, do it when the winds are slow.
Got it Lou. I understand you have much more experience in this area than me. We learned from you to minimize the number and size of dogs as well.
I like that Australia is on the list. Hope to see you on that one!
Yes, we will arrive on the opposite side of Australia but we are already looking at flights to Perth and hopefully a cruise out of Perth area to Asia, then home.
What about Africa? One of my favorite vacations was in Kenya, where we did a photo safari and saw amazing animals in the wild, and then visited Mombasa before returning to Saudi Arabia. Kenya is amazing!! I think you have seen some of the pictures I took of animals and birds we saw.
Yes, I agree an African safari would be great. It did not make the list as I already have a great photography tour picked out. It will happen, just need to be home in late January – February when he leads this trip. He goes to the Ngorongoro Crater and the Sarengeti. I look forward to going for sure!
Nice thoughts, Harold. I keep adding to my bucket list. So much to see, so little time. Keep on dreaming!
I could have narrowed my Bucket List to just ONE item …. Follow Dave and Bonnie and somehow acquire their energy levels. For those of you who do not know of this traveling couple, here is a link to their Blog….