Where are the places you’ve said you’ve always wanted to go? You know, the place, or the places, that you’ve mentioned when talking with friends, co-workers, relatives, even the stranger in line behind you at the grocery store. It’s typically phrased like this, “Someday, I’m going to go to _______.” Where is that place? Or, where are those places? Do you have them written down somewhere, or have you posted photos on your wall? Or are they just on that “Someday-I’ll-go-there” list in your brain?
If you haven’t seen this funny, yet poignant, movie with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, you have to watch it. These two men, each with their own life situations and illnesses, took off around the world to do things that they had written down while sharing a room in a hospital. It has a good story line, and there is also some nice scenery.
Do You Have YOUR List?
If you don’t have a list already, you’ll need to make one. Get out a pad of paper and start writing down places you’d like to go. Sometimes, it’s an event you want to attend (maybe a World Series game or the Westminster Dog Show), or something you want to do, and the “place” is incidental to the activity. Write down those activities also. For now, don’t worry about prioritizing them, or wondering how realistic they might actually be. This is a brainstorming session that you’re doing (or you and a partner are doing).
Once you have your list, you can now put a priority by each one, or write a date beside it. For example, if one of your items is “A week of skiing at Mammoth,” putting a winter month beside it will help you focus when you really do start planning your trips. It doesn’t matter how short or how long, how detailed or how sketchy the list is. The key is to get it written—you can always make changes to it later!
Review Your List
You’ve started a list? CONGRATULATIONS! Now pull out that list and take a look at it. How old is that list, and when was the last time you: (a) added something to the list; (b) scratched one off the list because you weren’t interested in it any longer, or (c) put a line through a place because you DID go there? Take a nice long look at the list, and ask yourself, “Do I still want to go to each of these places?” Be honest in your review of the list because it is your time and money that will be expended if and when you finally do go to each of those places.
Go Alone or With Others?
There might some items on your Bucket List that you don’t feel you don’t want to do on your own/with your partner.
> Maybe you’ve want to sail for a month around the Hawaiian Islands. That could be expensive as well as technically challenging. That would be an item that is likely best to do with a few others, especially if some of those others are experienced in sailing (and you’re not).
> You want to visit some of the [many] Greek Islands as you’ve seen photos of Santorini and Mykonos. Perhaps a Mediterranean cruise would be the best to accomplish that as hopping from island to island isn’t the easiest, and you’re always packing and unpacking. But on a cruise, it’s just UNPACK ONCE!
> Combine it with another trip. Maybe one of your goals is to visit all the Disneyland parks, and the Paris one seems the most elusive. You’re being sent on a business trip to Europe … why not take some extra time to get to Paris and visit the park there?
The key is to not limit your thinking, unless, perhaps your list includes things like “Become the U.S. President”; “Fly to Mars”; Win the Masters Golf Tournament,” and so forth. Once you have your Bucket List, you can then adjust priorities, and check them off.
If you don’t make those priority items an actual priority, they won’t happen!
So . . . Do You Have YOUR List?
I’d love to see it! You can share it with me via email to firstname.lastname@example.org. I’ll keep it confidential. Thanks!
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Happy Travels — Thanks for reading!
Stuart Gustafson, America’s International Travel Expert®