Most people that I know have a bucket list. Especially the people I know in the travel community. The things they aspire to see and do are admirable, and many succeed in fulfilling their dreams. That’s not to say that people only do things on their lists. “A sunrise hike to Haleakalā? Hmmm, not on the list, you go on ahead.” But I do admire the intrepid who dream of a place and make it happen.
I, however, do not have a bucket list. I’ve always wanted to go most anywhere, and if a destination or an activity comes up as a viable possibility, I’ll do it. It’s in this manner that many of my bucket items are realized after the fact.
However, I’ve also come to dream a little bigger, and be a little more focused, so I thought I’d start a list of my own. Part what I want to do, part what I have done, I present to you The Alphabet List, in, of course, alphabetical order.
Damn, what a horrible place to start, the beginning that is. I’ve been to several “A” places. the continent of Africa, the US state of Arizona, the Chinese Special Economic Zone known as Ao Men (Macau). Andorra sounds cool just because people would be like, “Andorra? What?” And, of course, Australia, but that’s a little too easy. Plus I have some stiff competition on this little old letter.
It’s got to be Antarctica.
My husband spent several seasons working in Antarctica before we met, and I look at photos of those moments when he had absolutely no idea that I existed, and he was having a good time! He said that his times at the end of the world was some of the best of his life, and I can see that simply by looking at the incredible photos and videos.
I must go to Antarctica too. And it can’t be on a tour either, especially since those tours are expensive and I can’t afford it. I have to be hired and go there to work. Suffer through the cold, ice, snow and wind. Earn my stripes, so to speak.
So I can see things like this.
I can choose this place in both its former and present names, as they both began with the letter B. It’s Belize, formerly known as British Honduras. Belize has always intrigued me, with its somewhat turbulent history, combination of jungle and beach, and the second largest coral reef in the world.
When we were living in South America, Belize came up a few times as a visa run possibility, but it never happened. When we recently fantasized about moving to Mexico’s Yucatan Peninsula, I was thrilled because Belize is right next door. I imagined myself skipping over the border and diving the Great Blue Hole to my heart’s content, whenever I felt like it.
Belize WILL happen, folks. It’s just a matter of time. Our hearts will always be drawn to Central and South America, and we’ll be returning there soon.
The C on my bucket list happened last year, although I wasn’t aware of it until after it was over. We visited Chernobyl, outside of Kiev, Ukraine. Touring the reactor area, speeding through the highly radioactive Red Forest, and wandering the modern ghost town of Prypiat was a fantastically eerie experience that will likely always be in my top ten. It was absolutely spectacular. And Kiev is a damn cool city in its own right.
If I had to pick a C place I’ve never been, that one would be Churchill Downs, Louisville, Kentucky, which is home to the Kentucky Derby. I’ve been horse crazy since birth, and daydreamed often of attending what is arguably the most famous horse race in America. At one point, I lived a mere day’s drive from Louisville, but I never made it.
If, by some small chance, I ever live in the USA again, I will go. Additionally, if I am ever fortunate enough to have a large disposable income, I will just fly in, like someone famous might do.
So there you have it, the first three places on my list. Tune in next Friday as I reveal a few more exotic, or maybe not so exotic, destinations that I’d love to visit.