Out for a drive south of Chisinau, Moldova. Photo taken December 6, 2016.
Where are Kevin and Ruth right now? Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.

Where are they going next? Transnistria. The country that doesn't exist! Arrive December 8th.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Bucket list items

The term "Bucket List" means a list of things that you want to do before you kick the bucket. I'm not even sure this term existed prior to the 2007 Jack Nicholson movie of the same name.

First of all, we don't have an official "bucket list". Because there would be no point. I mean really, we want to do anything different and go anywhere we haven't been before. So to us, there's no point in having an actual list.

Interestingly, there is a website now called Bucketlist, where you can actually have your own bucket list and they track the most popular things on people's lists. Some of the things on the "most popular" list we have no interest in! And many of the things we have already done.

I'm amazed at how many people have never seen the northern lights. But I suppose that there are many Americans on the website, and many Americans have never left the U.S., so other than those in Alaska I guess they wouldn't have had the opportunity to see the northern lights.

Watching the northern lights from Sturgeon Lake Regional Park in Saskatchewan may 2013.

And jumping out of a perfectly good airplane is on many people's list. I suppose its also something that many people have absolutely no interest in doing! But, it was on our "list" at one point in time...and we've already crossed it off...

Yep, that's me back in July of 1987! 

Ruth landed a minute or so later.

Many people have Niagara Falls on their list. We've been to Niagara Falls a couple of times, and although it's something to see once, the area around the falls has become such a tourist trap that we have zero ambition to ever go back.

Bungee jumping?

Yep, done that. Would do it again, but only if it were free. It's over too quickly for what you have to pay. Fun, but not worth the price.

Ruth, about to jump...but with her eyes closed!

Our son Alex had only just jumped. No wonder Ruth had her eyes closed!

One thing that is on many people's list is to go on a hot air balloon ride. We've come close a couple of times, and it just hasn't come together. We were scheduled to go up when we were in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Yes, the hot air balloon capitol of the world where 300 days per year are suitable for ballooning. We chose a couple of the days that were unsuitable and both days the ride was cancelled.

So, that's one thing we still want to do. 

White water rafting?

Done it.

African safari? 

Done it.

Overlook an erupting volcano?

Done it.

What we like to do now is something that isn't on very many other people's bucket list, and we think it should be. We want to explore other cultures and get to know the people who live in different conditions and different societies than what is considered normal over here in Canada and the U.S.. We have found that cultural travel experiences open your mind. Meeting new people and experiencing their way of life teaches you lessons you can't learn any other way. Essentially, cultural travel makes you smarter!

A lot of people our age visit other countries, but it seems that very few our age get to know some of the people who live in these other countries. It's certainly more popular with the younger generation, but most of our age group tend to stay in hotels and do tour groups with people from their own background.

And so we're really looking forward to our fall visit to Romania, Moldova (the least visited country in Europe), and the breakway Soviet Republic of Transnistria. Hoping to make some new friends in that part of the world so that we can better understand their lifestyle. 

So? What's on your bucket list?

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Here's a great travel book. We have the 2009 edition...


And in Canada...





29 comments:

  1. It seems for Shelagh and I that when we were younger we had the physical ability to travel in discomfort but not the money, now it's the reverse! So we travel vicariously through your blog, thanks for that...

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    1. We do travel but it costs us more now.

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    2. We don't find that we travel in discomfort we just choose to travel on less and love the way we do it. That's the nice thing about travel, there is a way to do it and will suit everyone's taste and budget. :-)

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  2. We have different things we have wanted to do and done quite a few of them for more keep popping up here and there. Quite different than yours but that's why there is different strokes for different folks, For the last 10 years we are doing what we love and are able to do.

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    1. That's the great thing about life, everyone has different needs and wants. Not everyone wants to travel but they may have other objectives that they want out of life and will strive to achieve them. For those that do have a "bucket list" they could have make a full course gourmet meal on it rather than sky diving. As long as you are happy with what you are doing than that is all that matters.

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  3. I hate the idea of a bucket list. To me it's too confining and I'd always feel the pressure to try and get everything "checked" off. Too stressful! I like to wander and explore and read about other places. Sometimes making the plan to just get in the car and head a certain direction & see what develops is the most fun I think. Happy travels. I am looking forward to following your blog in the coming months and enjoying your fabulous pictures like the one in your header today. Just amazing is all I can say. Sometimes there aren't words to describe :)

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    1. We can't say we hate the term but we don't like the idea of having a "physical" list. We have an idea of things we would like to accomplish or places we would like to go to but it is not the be all and end all to us. We would rather have things evolve as we are travelling and perhaps opportunities will arise that may help to achieve a goal that we might have wanted to do. That's not to say that we don't have a few items that we would like to accomplish sometime in our lifetime. :-)

      Yes, I loved that header picture too!

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  4. It was hard to top the Goodyear Blimp...but I really want t go in a float plane for a weekend to a remote cabin, am saving up for that for sometime next summer. Mom's done it, hubby's done it but not me so its time. Also would like to visit more countries but that is a no brainer. Eventually I would like to live at least 3 months a year in a foreign country, preferably spanish speaking so I can learn more Spanish. You never know what life holds around the next bend so we tend to live it up each year as much as possible.

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    1. Yep, that one would be a hard one to beat! I bet that wasn't on your "list" before the opportunity came up for came up.

      I have been on a float plane to a remote cabin before but it was just an afternoon jaunt not an overnight stay but it was still enjoyable, I even got to take over the controls for a short while. This sounds like a very achievable goal and I am sure that you will make it happen some day.

      I like you way of thinking! :-)

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  5. One I have been working on the last few years is learning more languages... I now speak pretty decent (well good enough to get by Spanish) and now I am learning Italian...

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    1. I think that is a great goal. We can get by on our Spanish as well and now we will get more practice at it this winter in Spain. We now need to work on our French! I think you will find Italian a bit easier now that you have some Spanish behind you.

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  6. I want to work on a family farm in China.

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    1. And we would like to join you! ;-)

      We can't wait until you do that so that we can read all about it.

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  7. Hi Kevin and Ruth!
    In my whole life, I never joined a Jewish Temple. Then, about a month ago I joined Temple Emanu-El in San Diego. I felt a need to renew my faith and hang-out with Jewish people. It was all of the Jew hatred that I read about all over the world, especially in Europe and Israel that troubled me.

    I guess that belonging to a Jewish Temple was on my bucket list!

    George

    .

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    1. Good for you George! I hope you are enjoying the experience and learning lots from it.

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  8. Pattie and I have been working very hard on our own bucket list. This is an ever growing list of anything from small local trips to extended vacations in other countries. I enjoy reading your blog. Keep up the great work.

    Chris

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    1. Thank you Chris! I hope that you and Pattie are able to reach as many of those items as you can and that you enjoy every moment of it.

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  9. I think my bucket list would be to ,,learn,,how to get on Facebook Twitter and Pinterest

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    1. That should be easy enough! Just find someone young to help you. ;-)

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  10. We don't have a bucket list other than waking each morning and deciding what we would like to do, take a hike or ride our bike, etc. We make out an itinerary that gets changed as we go. Sounds like you are doing great and it is fun to follow you as you go. Meeting people as we go has made for the best memories.

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    1. That sounds like a good way to live, no expectations just enjoy every moment.

      We have an itinerary for the following winter but only to a location after that we just plan as we go and let life surprise us. :-)

      We agree, meeting new people are some of our best experiences.

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  11. Get a motorhome and travel Canada!

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    1. That's a great goal! And, after Canada, who knows where it will lead you. :-)

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  12. We enjoy travelling (as we should - we're full-time travellers!) but don't believe in bucket lists. And I hate the term :) We also don't believe that travel is about checking off boxes, it's more about what interests us at any point in time.

    Frank (bbqboy)

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    1. We are much the same way. As we said we don't have a list per se but there are a few things that we would like achieve someday in our lifetime, otherwise like you we just let things happen and enjoy each new thing that we see or do.

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  13. Would love to see a blog post on your tips and techniques for interacting with people of other cultures and countries. How do you set yourselves up to have those cultural experiences while you travel? Do you do much cultural research about a place before traveling to it?

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    1. Thanks for the idea for another blog post, Sara. I am sure you will see a post up about this in the very near future! :-)

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  14. Good for you'll!
    As Rick Steves says quoting some of Mark Twain- “Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.”
    ― Mark Twain, The Innocents Abroad/Roughing It

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    1. We have seen that quote before and wholeheartedly agree with it! It is so true and yes, I think more people need to travel so they can understand each other better, it just might make the world a better place to live. :-)

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