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our bucket list

Huddling in our sleeping bags inside a tiny tent while the rain pounded the slopes of Mt. Kilimanjaro outside, we wouldn’t let the foul weather dampen our mood. We were about to summit Africa’s tallest peak and cross a couple of items off D’s bucket list (S had already climbed Kili the previous summer). Talking about what else we wanted to do the next time we managed to find some time to travel, we wound up drafting the following list:

  1. Travel for a year continuously
  2. Backpack (S backpacked through South America for 8 months with her sister; D did a similar 5-month trip)
  3. Visit each of the seven continents (Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America, South America, Antarctica)
  4. Live abroad
  5. Hike the Appalachian Trail
  6. Hike Israel’s National Trail
  7. Run a marathon (this is more for S; D prefers team sports to running)
  8. Advanced open-water SCUBA certification (also S; the one time D went scuba diving he couldn’t equalize the pressure and had a bad nose bleed/headache for several days afterwards)
  9. Go skydiving
  10. Bungee jump (D’s gone twice – once in Denmark and once in Costa Rica; S has no desire to ever go)
  11. Go paragliding
  12. Take a hot-air balloon ride
  13. Climb a mountain (Once we crossed this one off the list, a whole slew of other things naturally followed:)
  14. Stand atop one of the 7 Summits (we harbor no illusions about doing all seven, but would really like to climb Aconcagua and D also wants to do Denali, in addition to Kili)
  15. Climb above 20,000 feet (the 6,088m Huyna Potosi D climbed in Bolivia is 27ft short of this mark)
  16. Take a mountaineering course and do an ice climb sans guide
  17. See the snows of Kilimanjaro
  18. Hike in the Himalayas
  19. Trek in the Andes (the Huayhuash trek is Peru is consistently ranked as one of the most beautiful high-altitude treks in the world)
  20. Learn to surf (D took one lesson in Brazil, but something got lost in translation because he couldn’t figure out when he was supposed to try to get up on the board)
  21. Go sand-boarding in the desert
  22. Camp in a desert (S spent several nights in Egypt’s Black and White deserts; the closest D has come was spending a night in a mock bedouin camp in Israel)
  23. Attain fluency in more languages than we already speak (D is working on his 4th right now and wants to get to six; S is aiming for three and in particular wants to communicate as well in Spanish as she does in English)
  24. Road-trip across the United States
  25. Learn to sail or go on a long-distance sailing trip
  26. Learn to drive stick
  27. Learn to drive a motorcycle
  28. Raft a world-class river (the Quijos River in Ecuador was the site of the 2005 World Rafting Championship)
  29. Float in the Dead Sea
  30. Swim with sea lions in the Galapagos
  31. Swim with dolphins in open water
  32. Go whale-watching
  33. Raft the Nile
  34. Learn to whitewater kayak
  35. Go on a multi-day canoe trip
  36. Rock climb outdoors (for D; S has this crossed off her list)
  37. Go canyoning/rappel down a waterfall
  38. See Big 5 on African safari
  39. Do a long-distance bike trip (This is S’s impetus; D very rarely gets on a bike)
  40. Explore ancient ruins (We’ve both been to Machu Picchu; S has also been to the Pyramids in Egypt, which remain on D’s list)
  41. Read all the books on the BBC 100 Greatest Book list
  42. Read Don Quixote in Spanish (still on S’s list; D read it twice – once in a college course and again during his year of study abroad in Madrid) and the Russian classics in Russian (D’s only read a handful and is rightly ashamed that he can’t cross this off yet)
  43. Play in a scrabble tournament (only D, and only maybe)
  44. Hike and raft in the Grand Canyon
  45. Sail down the Amazon River
  46. Hike in the world’s deepest canyon (D spent a week in the Cotahuasi canyon in Peru; S visited the nearby Colca canyon, which is about a 100 meters shallower)
  47. Hike an active volcano
  48. Go volcano boarding (down Cerro Negro in Nicaragua)
  49. Visit the world’s largest crater (Ngorongoro in Tanzania; D’s also been to Sierra Negra in the Galapagos, which is the largest active crater)
  50. See aurora borealis
  51. Go dog-sledding
  52. Go to the camel-jumping festival in Yemen
  53. Ride in a camel derby
  54. Visit a salt flat (We’ve both been to Uyuni in Bolivia, on separate trips)
  55. See a playoff game (Pittsburgh Penguins and New York Yankees – needless to say, this and the sports items that follow are D’s additions to the list)
  56. Go to the Olympics
  57. See a World Cup match live
  58. Lists of the world’s best museums vary; we want to visit: Louvre (Paris), Hermitage (St. Petersburg), Prado (Madrid), The Met (NYC), Uffizi Gallery (Florence), National Gallery (DC), Tate Modern (London)
  59. Attend a Carnaval celebration (S has been to the one in Rio; D went to the one in Tenerife in the Canary Islands, which at half a million people is the third-largest in the world)
  60. Go to Mardi Gras in New Orleans
  61. Go to a mutli-day music festival (S has been to the Big Chill at Eastnor Castle in Herefordshire, UK; despite the hundreds of punk and ska concerts that characterized D’s misspent youth, he has never been to one)
  62. Ride the Trans-Siberian railway
  63. No desire to go running with the bulls, however the Tomatina (in Valencia) and the Batalla de Vino (La Rioja) are definitely on our list (D has been to Las Fallas and would love to go again)
  64. Learn to can and can regularly (On S’s list; D tries to set foot in the kitchen as little as possible)
  65. Take a hand-to-hand circus class (also S; D had never even heard of this before)

These were just some ideas that occurred to us that day on Kili and which D jotted down in his journal. Even as we cross some of them off the list, we hope to add many others. If you have a bucket list or have done some amazing things you think would fit on this one, please share! We’re always looking for new ways to expand our horizons.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Winona #

    I love your bucket list! You’ll have a lot of fun completing it :)

    June 16, 2012
  2. Amira #

    I can help w/ #26!

    June 17, 2012
  3. This is so detailed. Wow! And I’m so envious about some of the things you’ve already struck off your list! Great stuff!

    June 19, 2012
  4. great post

    July 5, 2012

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