“Bucket list” — a list of the things we want to do before we kick the bucket.
I never made one, but one day I got to thinking about the things I’ve already done in my life.
(Things outside of the scope of family, formal education, and career.)
Some of these may have been on my bucket list had I ever made one.
Others were simply interesting opportunities that have presented themselves during the adventures of my life so far, mostly during my various travels.
Frankly, I was amazed at all that I have here, and I keep thinking of more.
What would you do if you had unlimited time, money and resources?
What have you already done?
I bet you’ve done something that’s on someone else’s bucket list!
So, just because I made my list, here’s some of my Already-In-My-Bucket List…
(In case you’re wondering, there’s plenty more for my Yet-To-Do-Bucket List.)
I’ve held a piece of the rock, sitting upon the Rock of Gibraltar
I have walked the stairs to the top level of the Eiffel Tower
I have climbed upon an Egyptian pyramid at Giza
I have visited the Sphinx at Giza
I’ve been to the Fortress of Deva in Romania
I have been to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
I have stood inside the Colosseum in Rome (and many others)
I’ve been to Vatican City, into the Vatican, and admired/studied the Sistine Chapel fresco by Michelangelo.
I’ve walked upon the Scala de Tuchi, the Stairs of the Turks, Sicily
I was taken in by Thomas Jefferson’s inventions at Monte Cello, his home in Virginia
I marveled at the inventions of Leonardo da Vinci in Clos Lucé, his one-time home in Amboise, France
I admired da Vinci’s inventions at Neuschwanstein Castle (the model for the Disney Castle) in Bavaria, Germany
I viewed The Last Supper, another work of Leonardo da Vinci
I held a ball of fire at the Las Balos de Fuego (Balls of Fire) festival in Nejapa, El Salvador
I watched NYC life from the Observation Deck of the NYC World Trade Center the year it opened
I rode the Staten Island ferry to take in the view of the Statue of Liberty, NYC many times because she never gets old to me
I have been to and inside the Statue of Liberty, NYC
I have been to the model Statue of Liberty in Paris
I have seen the Statue of Liberty in Las Vegas
I have been to the Liberty Bell in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
I’ve walked and bicycled across the Brooklyn Bridge — many times
I saw the Terracotta Warriors and city in Xian, China, just 13 years after their discovery by 9 farmers.
I’ve walked a good distance on the Great Wall of China arriving not by tour, but on a bus that my friend and I rented so we could see what we wanted in the greater area and stay longer than tours allowed.
I have walked the second longest wall in the world as well (in Ston, Croatia)
I’ve walked on the city walls of Sienna, Italy, the inspiration for the Crayola Crayon color
I’ve walked on the city walls of Conwy Wales, Caernarfon Wales, as well as Chester, England.
I’ve walked Wall Drug too, and even wrote words for a sign; they paid me $5.
I’ve been part of the crowds watching the ball drop on New Year’s Eve in Times Square
I have jumped the NYC Subway turnstile (legally)
I’ve celebrated New Year’s Eve on the Avenue des Champs-Élysées
I have been part of the New Year’s Eve celebration in Hobart, Tasmania
(After helping welcome yachts in the annual Sidney-Hobart Yacht Race)
I’ve enjoyed the spectacle of Independence Day fireworks over the Statue of Liberty in NY Harbor
I have bicycled every borough of NYC in NYC’s 5 Boro Bike Tour
I’ve bicycled across Long Island, NY
I have bicycled half of Germany
I have visited the Musicians of Breman at their home and at their statue
I have bicycled from London to Brighton, England in the London – Brighton bike ride
I have bicycled from London to the Isle of Wight (except the ferry part)
I have bicycled across Holland
I have bicycled across Denmark
I sat in the car while my friend drove the Berlin Corridor through East Germany to West Berlin.
I went through Checkpoint Charlie into East Berlin, shopped, and saw an opera in East Berlin.
I’ve had drinks at the Cheers bar.
I have prayed at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, Israel
I have climbed Mt Sinai and watched the sunrise from the top
I have climbed Masada, Israel, and watched the sunrise from the top
I’ve visited what’s left of Gamla, a lesser-known ancient Jewish city on the Golan Heights
I learned to windsurf on the Sea of Galilee, Israel
I windsurfed in Eilat, Israel
I have windsurfed (badly) in Oslo, Norway
I have rafted white water rapids down the Kern River, CA
I have white water rafted in Costa Rica
I have canoed on the Delaware River, New Jersey
I have sailed off City Island in NYC
I have sailed Long Island Sound, NY
I have sailed at the Isle of Wight, UK
I have sailed on a yacht from Tasmania to Victoria, Australia
I have sailed Marina del Rey, California
I have sailed out of San Diego, California
I’ve boated amongst the caves and grottoes in the Algarve, Portugal
I have kayaked the pristine Channel Islands in California
I have flown with a private pilot in a private plane over Manhattan
I have flown as video crew in a helicopter over Long Island
I have flown as a guest of the pilot in a doorless helicopter over Arizona
I have flown as a guest of a balloonist in a hot air balloon in Albuquerque, New Mexico
I have walked through the Hill of the Crosses in Lithuania
I have seen the Loch Ness Monster (statue) in Loch Ness
I have kissed the Blarney Stone in Cork, Ireland
I’ve stood inside the place of Roman chariot races in Aphrodisias
I’ve seen a full rainbow and both ends of it in Ireland (but not a pot of gold)
I have walked on the pillars of the Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland.
I had real Guinness beer in Ireland
I have downed beers at Munich’s Octoberfest, twice, decades apart
I’ve had a fresh beer at the Heineken brewery in Amsterdam
I’ve had Port Wine in Oporto, Portugal
I have stomped wine grapes in mountain village in Sicily
I’ve enjoyed paired wine and chocolate at the Ritz Carlton in Laguna Nigel, California
I’ve done wine tastings in maybe every major wine region of the world.
I have ridden a camel for two days in the Rajasthan Desert
I actually rode a camel in NYC (before I was 4)
I have ridden on an elephant in India
I have been in the Taj Mahal
I have been to the village on the other side of the Taj Mahal
I have waded in the river beside the Taj Mahal
I’ve viewed the serpent during the spring equinox at Chichen Itza in Yucatán, Mexico
I’ve walked from Menton, France to Monaco
I’ve been to Disney World
I’ve been to Disneyland
I’ve been to Universal Studios
I’ve slid down every waterslide at a waterpark in the Gold Coast of Australia
I came over and rode the coaster at Palisades Amusement Park, after dark
I rode all the roller coasters at Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey
I’ve been scared nearly out of my skin at Six Flags Magic Mountain in California
I’ve biked to, then ridden the rides at, Tivoli Gardens amusement park in Copenhagen, Denmark
I’ve prospected for gold at the original Legoland in Denmark
I’ve visited Legoland California
I have walked on the Arctic Circle
I have camped under the midnight sun in Narvik, Norway
I’ve dined on Danish pastries at the home of a pastry chef in Denmark
I have danced inside a Hindu Temple in India
I’ve watched a funeral at the burning ghats in Varanasi India
I’ve danced with Turkish women outside their homes in Eastern Turkey
I’ve turned Prayer Wheels in Kathmandu, Nepal
I have walked from Europe to Asia in Istanbul
I have hiked the Pennine Way across the UK
I have ridden in my friend’s boat through the Roatan mangroves where pirates once plundered in the Caribbean
I have swum in several Cenotes in the Yucatan, Mexico
I have snorkeled on the Aqaba Coast, Siani, the 2nd best in the world — after being prodded awake by a camel outside of my Bedouin tent
I have snorkeled the Great Barrier Reef (as sharks swam nearby)
I have snorkeled in Eilat, Israel with both Egypt and Jordan in view
I have snorkeled in Coiba, Panama, and quietly glided over a low-swimming Stingray there.
I have transited the Panama Canal — 3 times, first as a catamaran crew and then on tugs
I’ve kayaked the pristine waters of the Channel Islands, California
I have kayaked the coast of Marina del Rey and Santa Monica, CA
I have kayaked (and tried stand-up paddling) in Malibu, California
I have kayaked out of Mango Creek Lodge, Roatan, Honduras, and snorkeled there
I have kayaked out of Santa Catalina, Panama
I have kayaked to forts in Portobelo, Panama
I’ve wakeboarded (attempted it) in Big Bear Lake, California
I’ve taken SCUBA lessons in Townsville, Australia
I’ve taken a SCUBA lesson in French Harbor, Roatan
I have day-cruised cruised on the Danube at Copenhagen
I have walked along the Danube in Bratislava and viewed it from Bratislava Castle
I’ve shucked a coconut with my feet on the beach somewhere north of Cairnes in Australia
I’ve slept in a house in Portsmouth, England that was built by Henry VIII for Anne Boleyn, his ill-fated second wife.
I have produced an event at, and slept aboard, the Queen Mary
I have been to Meteora, Greece — but it wasn’t for my eyes only as it was for James Bond
I’ve walked to the Acropolis in Athens, Greece
I have traveled by private boat from the island of Kos in Greece to Bodrum, Turkey
I’ve stood at the foot of the fairy chimneys in Goreme, Cappadocia, Turkey
I have climbed up, seen, and learned about Nemrut Dağı, Mount Nemrut, an ancient mystery in Turkey
I’ve crawled through abandoned rooms and hallways in Derinkuyu, the underground city in Cappadocia, Turkey.
I’ve watched the Whirling Dervishes dance in Turkey
I’ve relaxed in the hot waters of Pamukkale in Turkey
I have been to Pompei, Italy — twice, 30 years apart
I have been to Al Khazneh, the Treasury, at Petra
I’ve sat in the Ancient Theatre of Taormina (Teatro antico di Taormina), built by the Greeks in Taormina, Sicily
I’ve visited Antoni Gaudí’s Park Güell, and other architecture in Barcelona
I’ve visited and admired the work of Simon Rodia’s somewhat Gaudiesque Nuestro Pueblo, better known as the Watts Towers
I’ve learned history at the Alhambra in Granada, Spain
I’ve been spelunking in the caves of Tasmania, Australia
I’ve done Spring Break in Fort Lauderdale as a college student
I’ve been to the races at Del Mar
I’ve encountered Wyoming’s Devil’s Tower — Close Encounters of the Third Kind — up close
I have been to glaciers in Alaska
I’ve been to the Grand Canyon — twice
I’ve been entertained by the Prarie Dogs in the Badlands of South Dakota
I’ve been awed by Sequoia Trees in California
I’ve wondered at the sights of Death Valley, California
I’ve been to Yellowstone National Park, USA
I’ve ice-skated and tried cross-country skiing in Yosemite National Park, California
I’ve been to the towns of Laura Ingalls’ Little House on the Prarie
I’ve been to Las Vegas multiple times — but never to gamble or see a show
I’ve driven California’s Highway one from San Francisco to LA and from Mexico to LA.
This is what travel is to me.
I have slowly driven across the USA – twice, and have been to all but 5 or 6 states
I’ve visited many a US National Park
I have been to every county in North America
I have been to every county in Central America, staying in most for months each
I have spent time in every county in Europe, enjoying substantial time in most
I have been to 6 of the 7 continents, not just for a few hours or a few days
(I haven’t been to Antarctica yet.)
I’ve been to 5 of the 7 New Wonders of the World and most of the other 21 nominees. I’ve seen marvelous inventions. I’ve learned and been confused by world history and world politics, hearing local accounts wherever I’ve been. I’ve been to so many more historic sites than I can list here.
I’ve gotten to know people from perhaps every country on our amazing planet.
the BIG QUESTIONS…
What is travel to you?
What’s on your own Travel Bucket List?