Bucket Lists are Funny Things….
We’ve always been hesitant to create a bucket list for two reasons. First, there are so many places to see and experience in the world that narrowing it down to a top 10 or even a top 100 feels daunting. Not to say we don’t have bucket list items squirrelled away in our brains. We do, good ones too! But this leads to the second problem with bucket lists. The moment these squirrelled away dreams go from fleeting thoughts of “I hope someday we can go to… and do…” to a neatly written and resourced list, they change. They become concrete, set in stone… goals. But aren’t goals a good thing, you might ask? Yes, most of the time, but we’re not sure that they fit into our idea of travel (see our last blog post).
The problem with goals is that they become something to be measured and inherently become something that one can succeed or fail at achieving. Which then leads to a swirling of questions… Will we make it there? Will it be all it was cracked up to be? Does it deserve to be on the list? If we visit a region and, for whatever reason, we don’t do the listed activity, do we keep it on the list? What if we get there only to find out that there’s a bigger and better bucket list item that we didn’t know about? Do we replace it or try to do both? If it’s not as great as we thought it would be, will we be disappointed that it took up a top 10 spot? What if we fail to achieve our bucket list? Will we feel like failures? Is it possible to fail at travelling? …Can you sense the anxiety rising? Yes, we’re neurotic that way. Well no, I (Carol) am neurotic that way. When I expressed my anxiety to Al, his words of wisdom went something like this, “it’s only a list, our list. We can change it”. Simple. Why didn’t I think of that?
Here again you might ask, with so much anxiety about bucket lists, why make one now? Well, we’ve got Elephant Nature Park to thank for that. An amazing elephant sanctuary that we fell in love with when we were in Chiang Mai, Elephant Nature Park is celebrating its 10 year anniversary. So when we learned that, as part of the celebrations, Save Elephant Foundation was hosting a blog carnival, we knew we wanted to participate to support this great cause. But then we learned that the blog topic was “Top 10 Bucket List”… ouch… Now this bucket list thing is really getting real. Not only do we have to come up with a bucket list, but we have to share it with the world? Cue cold sweat…. So as all good procrastinators do, I have avoided working on this blog until the deadline loomed… today.
So here’s the [not in any particular order, subject to change and certainly not set in stone ]…
Travelling Mudskippers’ Top 10 Bucket List:
1. Bring Carol’s 74 year old mother to meet the elephants at Elephant Nature Park (elephants are on her bucket list)
2. Swim with Humpback Whales
3. Participate in Sea Turtle conservation by monitoring egg laying and hatchling survival
4. Snorkel/dive the Great Barrier Reef
5. See the Great Migration on the Serengeti
6. Go to the Galapagos Islands
7. See Orang-utans in Borneo
8. See Gorillas in Uganda/Rwanda
9. See Pandas in China
10. Go to Bali
(11. Change our bucket list as we travel the world indefinitely)
As we compiled this list, one thing was abundantly clear to me – we plan to see a lot of animals on our round the world trip which means I need better camera equipment. Camera store, here we come… Thanks Elephant Nature Park! It also be came abundantly clear that, although no one would be surprised to learn that we are animal and nature lovers after reading this list, our other passions are not reflected here. We could make a lot more bucket lists to incorporate our love of food, art, people and cultures, beer, architecture, ancient ruins, historical sites, volunteering opportunities etc., etc…. Uh, oh getting neurotic again. Better stop there.
As always, thanks for reading, your comments are appreciated and please feel free to share this post.
For a Very Worthy Cause:
Our Top 10 Bucket List post is a part of Save Elephant Foundation’s Blog Carnival to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of Elephant Nature Park. Elephant Nature Park is celebrating 10 years of success protecting the Asian elephant, educating tourists and tour operators alike that there is another way for us to interact with these wonderful animals. Please take a moment to visit their website, visit their Facebook, and connect with them on Twitter.