During a bike ride to Squaw Valley near Lake Tahoe, California, we took an unscheduled gondola ride up the mountain to a surprise lunch spot.
What's on your list?
How about New Zealand, Italy, Machu Picchu? Or sky dive, bungee jump, climb Half Dome?
If you are having trouble with your bucket list, visit a bookstore or look around online and you will find almost limitless suggestions. Or visit the App Store.
Why do we compile bucket lists of must-sees and must-dos to accomplish before we die?
I have read about many people who are tossing their bucket lists in favor of a more live-in-the-moment approach. If you are a traveler, think about one trip at a time, they advise. Who knows what is next? Does it really matter if you never see Machu Picchu?
Can a bucket list keep a person from some of life's great discoveries?
Last year, Sue suggested that we walk the Camino de Santiago in Spain. “Definitely not on my list,” I thought to myself.
“Why not?” she asked when I questioned why we should walk 500 miles.
It turned out to be the trip of a lifetime. She was right, it was a matter of one step at a time. And this year we are going to Scotland for more long-distance trekking. We will also visit friends we have met from Scotland, England and Denmark during our travels. So much for Machu Picchu.
So, taking a more micro view of travel actually helped me see a more macro view.
There are also bucket lists within bucket lists.
While in Rome, you have to see the Colosseum, the Vatican, the Trevi Fountain, the Spanish Steps…or should the list be your top priority? How about wandering the narrow, meandering streets, pausing for coffee or beer at a sidewalk cafe to watch Italian life go by?
It is not just where you go, but how you see it. Shall we be travelers or tourists?
One traveler advised us that the first thing you should do when you arrive at your destination is sit down and have a cup of coffee. You don't need to rush out to see the world. Relax and watch it go by. As a boss once told me, “Take time.”
Sure, there are times we want to book a place, such as the Vatican Museums, because we know we will wait in line for hours without a reservation.
But, for every iconic place, there are many hidden treasures that will remain that way unless you take risks and explore without a plan, and, perhaps, by leaving the map in your pocket. Or at home, if you dare.
For our trek this May in Scotland, we had to book accommodations because there are few available and they tend to book up. This journey won't be as open-ended as the Camino was.
We have been asked many times about the wisdom of a two-week walk in a country famous for wet weather. It reminds me of what a Scottish friend told me when I asked him how he could play golf year round in such a climate.
“Why, Reg,” he said. “It never rains on the golf course.”