You’ve thought long and hard about all of these experiences that you want to have before you die. You’ve so eloquently placed them on paper or your computer, thought about them long and hard. Maybe even erased or added a few over time. Now, how many of them have you done?
Questions often come to mind. Well I am not in the right spot of my life at the moment. I don’t have the money to have the ability to do these things. I don’t feel like I have stability in my job. It’s the wrong time of year.
I’m sure you have even more excuses to add to the above list, but I think that you get the picture. You know what? I get it, I honestly do. I have been through the same scenario and it took me some time, before I honestly started to say screw it. There is never a right time to start checking things off your bucket list! That’s ok, but you’ve got to start somewhere.
I started with one item on my list when I was younger…I wanted to swim with dolphins. Thought this one was going to be easy as we were planning a trip to the Bahamas later that year. What happened? Life happened. We got down to Orlando and sadly got a call that my grandfather had passed away in Michigan. We bounced back to Michigan during this challenging time, and swimming with dolphins continued to reside on the list.
I started to add more to my bucket list after college and I had already taken a huge leap to move away from my comfort zone of Michigan. A much warmer and unfamilar place in Florida was the destination. I couldn’t find a job with my degree so I started out working in retail. As several years passed, I continued to grow that bucket list, but nothing was being checked off. I continued to come up with the excuses. I don’t have the money at the moment, I’m unsure of where my job will take me, and so on.
I moved from Florida out to the Bay Area of San Francisco in 2014 with my company. It was a brand new start and I was refreshed. As I made my way through knowing nobody in the area and having to get out and meet people, my spirits were lifted. I started to get outside of my comfort zone and work on the list. California was one thing on the list. I had always wanted to live in California and I had finally moved towards accomplishing this. Next I started to explore EVERYTHING. I went on hikes all around the bay. I went out to Bodega, Monterey, LA, and all over on my short weekend trips. I was falling in love with the great state of California. I continued…my first hike in Yosemite tackling Half Dome…amazing! I didn’t care anymore, I was outside my comfort zone and loving it!
The thrill continued to heighten after finding my partner and starting to stretch her comfort zone. She was not a traveler at the time, but I will say, she surely is now! We started with our first trip to Europe and it was exhilarating. What can take you more out of your comfort zone than heading somewhere that’s challenging to understand the language? That initial trip I knocked several items off my bucket list. Stonehenge, Amsterdam coffee shops, drinking coffee in front of the Eiffel Tower. What a rush?!
Finally, on my third trip to Hawaii, on the wonderful Big Island, I got a chance to swim with dolphins in the wild. It was beyond my imagination. How I felt while I was in the water with these amazing and highly intelligent animals was more than I ever expected. They would swoop and dive through the ocean like I was watching Cirque du Soleil in Vegas. I was trying to catch my breath at every moment while I watched.
I’m telling you all of this, because maybe you need a jump start on your list. I’ve seen too many times that people continue to push their bucket list further and further into the future. Remember that you only have a certain amount of time in this world and the more of it you spend procrastinating, the less of it is used for actually enjoying the moment. Dave Matthews said it best when he said, “The future is no place, to place your better days.”