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VOL. 132 | NO. 4 | Thursday, January 5, 2017


Lance Wiedower

Bucket List Now Guiding The Way

BY LANCE WIEDOWER, Special to The Daily News

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I found myself earlier this week Googling “travel bucket lists.” I was helping my wife, Stacey, research bucket lists related to her fourth novel that was set to come out the next day. Her book, “This is 35,” follows a character who has become famous in part because of her bucket lists.

I’ve never written a bucket list. I write lots of to-do lists but I’ve never felt the need to write down a list of experiences I want to have before I kick the bucket. It’s just seemed, well, final.

But I got sucked in, reading bucket list after bucket list. I saw experiences I’ve already had – see the Grand Canyon, hike a rainforest and visit the Eiffel Tower. I also saw plenty of items I’d love to experience such as stay in an over-water bungalow in the South Pacific, hike to Machu Picchu and visit all 50 states.

Maybe it was reading other travelers’ lists; or, possibly, it’s the fact I turn 40 this week and realize I’m not getting any younger. If I’m ever going to have more of these experiences, it’s probably time to start organizing the places I want to visit and get to crossing them off the list.

So I sat down and created my own bucket list. It started out simple. Some experiences are attainable. I’ve visited nearly 40 states, so seeing all 50 is within reach.

Visiting all seven continents might be a tad more difficult. I’ve been to North America and Europe. And that ticket to Antarctica won’t be cheap.

I realized something as I created the list. I think one of my hang-ups in not creating one before was that by putting it in writing I would somehow be committed. Kind of crazy to think a list somehow adds pressure.

But as I thought about it I realized putting the destinations and experiences in writing was half the fun. It was admitting what I’d like to do as well as what I realize I probably won’t but it’s pretty cool to say “someday.”

One theme that I uncovered makes it pretty clear I’ve lived my whole life in the South and haven’t experienced many winters. No. 1 on the list is to stay in an ice hotel. Other winter items include Christmas markets in Austria and Germany, learning to snow ski, a white Christmas, walk on a glacier, ride a dog sled in Alaska and go ice fishing. That doesn’t even include seeing the Northern Lights or visiting Iceland.

I’m 20 ballparks into my goal of seeing a game in all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. A few random national parks, a New England road trip and visiting the Kentucky Bourbon Trail are all reasonable list items.

I have more than 200 destinations and experiences on the list, so I better get busy. That career transition back into a workplace from self-employment that I’m contemplating probably won’t make it easy. But that’s even more reason to get it all down on a list and start planning it out.

Lance Wiedower can be reached at tripsbylance.com.

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