I wrote this post originally for Christine to guest publish on her website Project Light to Life, but I couldn’t help but share the piece with my own readers. I hope my story inspires you to create a bucket list of your own, add to your current bucket list, and dream new dreams as it’s never too late. -Jessica
I’ve always been interested in the idea of bucket lists since my early twenties, but it wasn’t until I turned thirty that I actively pursued a life of creating yearly bucket lists and checking them off. I took 14 months off from my job to travel the world in 2013; I have already completed my 2013 bucket list and I’m making headway into my 2014 list. A friend of mine, Bucket List Publications, inspired me through her yearly bucket lists to start making my own. I’ve always been in the process of completing things I’ve been passionate about, but never really put pen to paper until I transitioned my life from a full-time teacher and Master’s student to a full-time traveler.
Before 2013, I completed countless items on my bucket list over the years including swimming with whale sharks, rappelling, riding in a helicopter, driving a mustang, and river-boarding among others, yet it wasn’t until 2013 when I made a list of 45 items and checked everything off in one year. I started my sabbatical and 2013 bucket list off with a leap of faith by jumping out of a perfectly good airplane. 2014’s list is even bigger and better with over 80 items on my list. I’ve already almost completed the list and I’m only halfway through the year. I need to start thinking about making my 2014 bucket list longer so that I have more to pursue this year. Do you have any ideas?
Here is a highlight of some of my 2014 bucket accomplishments:
Canada- As much as I want to stay in a turquoise paradise forever, I always make it back to Canada in between trips whether it be Atlantic Canada, central Canada, or northern Canada. There is no place like home. It’s easy to complete bucket list items home and away. As much as I love the sun and sand while being in a hot turquoise destination, I still want to experience everything Canada has to offer from snow shoeing, hiking, wildlife tours, kayaking, and beyond.
Miami & Key West, U.S.A- I made it to another one of my dream beach destinations: Miami and Key West! Miami’s South Beach and Key West are two of the most turquoise USA beaches I have yet to see! I couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw them for the first time. It was more turquoise than I expected and even better than I expected! Can you sense my excitement? Now that I got a taste of Miami and the Keys I want to return. The trip allowed me the opportunity to sample a little bit of what Miami, the Everglades, and the Keys have to offer and to figure out if it’s a place for me. Indeed it is, and I would like to return there again someday to explore more of what they have to offer.
Australia- Australia’s east coast is a place where I completed countless bucket list items and adventure sports. Visiting Australia’s east coast is a dream come true. Exploring the eastern region of Australia for 6 weeks allowed me to complete countless items on my bucket list. From hang-gliding to sand-boarding I tried to do it all. I like to think I am an adventurous person, although not fearless, I am open to experiencing anything unique and out of the ordinary.
New Zealand– My busy three week tour of New Zealand’s south island and north island with Stray Bus allowed me the opportunity to see all of the main sights in the little time I had without any compromises. I met new friends, saw unexpected turquoise destinations, and explored unprecedented national parks. New Zealand is a dream–exactly what I have seen in countless films, and the reason why I wanted to visit in the first place. It’s no wonder why people love New Zealand. I couldn’t help but look around at my magnificent surroundings and be left in awe of the world I roam, especially in Middle-earth.
Cuba– After spending 6 weeks away from a turquoise beach, I started dreaming to be on a white sand turquoise beach again. It wasn’t long before dreaming turned into a reality and landed me on one of the most perfect turquoise beaches I have ever seen: Cayo Santa Maria, Cuba.
My year thus far had me seeing pristine turquoise water, one of a kind landscapes, unique and interesting animals, World Heritage Listed ecosystems, and one of the seven wonders of the world. Where will the rest of the year take me? Next up…Europe!
Keep making your bucket lists and checking them off!