I've reached my early 50s -- boy, time flies -- and for more than five years, I have been traveling as a living and able to check out some of the most interesting places in the world. This has taken me to spots I never imagined I would see.
As a youngster growing up in Upstate New York, my sense of wanderlust and adventure never took me beyond what I could do in my neighborhood. I was often happy enough to just be playing in the snow in my front yard. The giant snowbanks and tunnels I carved into them might as well have represented Antarctica for all I knew.
And my mother's idea of properly outfitting me for the elements during my adventures? Well, she would slip a pair of old plastic bread bags over my feet before stuffing them into my trusty winter boots. Thatâs called living on a single mom's budget.
As I grew up, I became much more curious about the larger world and all the people to meet and places to see. Colleen and I now pretty much set our calendars based on where we want to go and what we would like to see. But with all the amazing options out there, it can be overwhelming. Best to start a list, we said.
So, here is our attempt at a bucket list. It's a pretty solid working draft of some of our wishes and top priorities as we try to make sure that we get to see as much as possible while we still can.
The travel bug bit me by surprise over a decade ago, and since then, much of my planning for trips involved simply drifting to where the prevailing winds took me in the past several years. Travel became a way to join friends and family on a trip or accept a writing assignment, and I would go where I was needed.
This year, we have decided to make a push to get to at least a couple of our Bucket List spots a year, in the hopes that we can knock off many of our top things before we run out of time.
So, here it is, a living document meant to be adjusted and tweaked as our whims change (and hopefully assisted by your input). Please let us know what to add and why you loved certain places in the world that you have visited (use the comments below).
Our plan is to knock off at least two of these a year. Some classic destinations and experiences might not appear here because we have been fortunate enough to experience them already, such as visiting Egypt's Pyramids and Ancient Sites on a Nile River Cruise.
World Cruise (at least 120 days)
Learn to SCUBA Dive
New Zealand Adventures (Must Include Hobbiton, Colleen says)
African Safari in Rwanda/Botswana/Tanzania/South Africa
Galapagos Islands Adventure
Yachting the Dalmatian Coast Along Croatia
Driving Trip on the Pacific Coast Highway from Seattle to San Diego
Alaska Denali by Hiking and Railroad
Cycling Trip Around Ireland
Walking Portion of Appalachian Trail
Hike to Machu Picchu
Epic Australian Adventure (with Horizontal Falls in the Kimberley Region and Great Barrier Reef)
Visit Glacier National Park
Walking Portion of Camino de Santiago in Spain
Yellowstone National Park Trip
Baseball Stadiums Tour
English Premier League Soccer Game in England
Army-Navy Football Game
Norway Fjords Cruise/Seeing the Northern Lights (Booked and coming this year)
Iceland Waterfalls Tour and Hiking
China Adventures (with the Great Wall and Peking Duck)
Grand Canyon Colorado River Adventures
Oktoberfest in Munich
Visit the WWII Beaches of France
California Zephyr Rail Trip
Trans-Siberian Rail Trip
Overwater Bungalow Resort (Tahiti or Fiji)
Bike the East Coast Greenway
Thailand, Philippines and Palau Adventures (with whale shark encounters, snorkeling in Jellyfish Lake at Palau and food tours)
Cycling Trip in Portugal
Barging Cruise in France
Japan Visit (Cherry Blossoms, Mount Fuji and Highlights)
Oregon Adventures with Craft Brews, Boating and Hiking
San Juan Islands Sailing and Cycling
Patagonia South America Adventure
Driving Trip on Route 66
Amazon River and Rainforest Tour
Canadian Rockies and Lake Louise
Olympic Summer Games
Hiking Utah Zion and Arches
Beach Adventures in Indonesia
Tour of Bhutan (Trek to the Tiger's Nest)
Visit Kathmandu, Nepal
Castle Tour in Denmark
Coastal Road Trip in Italy (Cinque Terre and More)
Dutch Tulip Season Cruise
Again, please tell us which you have done and any others that we should consider.