I found myself recently talking about some upcoming trips, and with each one, I mentioned how they check off some “bucket list” items  – climbing the Sydney Harbor Bridge, riding a camel while seeing the pyramids in Cairo, visiting the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul.  And I wondered, when did I start this list, and why?  It’s a list that has been churning in my head unconsciously for years that I only just put down on paper.  It makes me feel good to have something to look forward to, especially in times when travel may not be possible.

Do you have a travel bucket list?  If not, here are some reasons why it is so important to sit down and create one.

Something to dream about

Dreams are good. Big dreams are great! Don’t worry if the places you want to visit may seem unreachable now – maybe you aren’t in a place to hike Machu Picchu now.  That’s ok. Having dreams and goals allows you to look forward and not get stuck in the past or the present.  Sometimes we get so wrapped up in the minutiae of our daily lives that we forget about the wide, wide world out there.  Having your bucket list allows you to see the bigger picture. And having it down on paper puts you just one step closer to make your dreams a reality.  It is a clear and present road map you are destined to follow.

Northern Lights over Iceland

Northern Lights over Iceland

To inspire and be inspired

I always admire people that have dreams and goals.  People who know what they want and work to get it.  Those people inspire me and challenge me to do better.  You can be one of those people  – someone who inspires others to know what they want and reach for those goals.  At the same time, going out into the world and experiencing the different cultures and taking in the beauty that can only be seen to believe is probably one of the most inspiring things you can do.  I will never forget the moment I physically laid eyes on the Grand Canyon for the first time!

Step outside your comfort zone

We all have a comfort zone – a safe place we are happily ensconced, where we know our abilities and limitations and take care not to exceed them.  There is nothing wrong with that.  But there is something to be said about facing your fears and tackling them.  Stepping outside your comfort zone does not have to be big – you don’t have to climb Everest or jump out of a plane.  Maybe it’s visiting a place with a difficult language, or new foods.  If you look at my list down below, it simply says snorkel.  What?  I’m a travel agent who has been to the Caribbean umpteen times.  Shouldn’t I have done that already?  You see, my deep, dark secret is that I am terrified of deep water.  I am terrified of water where I cannot stand and put my head comfortably above.  As a result, I have not been able to either experience or fully enjoy many things.  Next year, I am on a cruise that stops in French Polynesia, and I am determined to get my scared self in those gorgeous blue waters and snorkel.

The Dead Sea, Israel

The Dead Sea, Israel

To educate yourself and your family

Education is not just the classroom.  It is the entire world.  When you create a travel bucket list, you are creating a list of experiences you want to learn about.  You are planning a lifelong curriculum of continuing education where you learn in-depth about geography, religion, food, language, and so much more.

And finally, make memories

Travel tells your story.  One of my favorite treasures is a journal that belonged to my grandmother.  It chronicled her journey in 1927 as a 25-year-old woman who sailed from New York on the S.S. Dresden for a 2-month trip around Europe.  It was her memories that inspired my love of travel.  The memories we make completing our bucket lists are part of the ongoing records of our lives that can be passed down to your children and their children.

So, what’s on your bucket list?  Whatever is there, and whenever you are ready to tackle it, I would be honored to help make it happen.  Just let me know!

 

P.S.  As long as I am talking about bucket lists, here’s mine.

✈ Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge

✈Visit where my great-grandparents were from in Thessaloniki, Greece

✈ View the Northern Lights

✈ Stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora

✈ Pray at the Western Wall in Jerusalem

✈ Shop in the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul

✈ Ride a camel

✈ Visit the pyramids

✈ Float in the Dead Sea

✈ Cross the international dateline

✈ Cross the equator

✈Visit Ephesus

✈Visit Petra

✈See a performance of the Kirov Ballet in St. Petersburg

✈Do a float trip down the Colorado River

✈Visit Alaska

✈Cruise to Antarctica

✈Visit Greenland

✈Take an African safari

✈Snorkel (see above about stepping out of one’s comfort zone).