Fill Your Bucket List – Memorable Travels


Since it’s still January, it’s not too late to reflect on 2015, is it?  Maggie Banks at recently posted a provacative post on “bucket lists” and her twist on the idea that she calls her “Fill Your Bucket List”.  The concept is “Instead of making a list of things you would like to see happen in your life, a fill-the-bucket list focuses on the opportunities you have had and the things you’ve taken a chance and done.”

Well, Maggie – Here are a few items we put in our bucket in 2015 … since getting out and seeing the great big world is a big driver for early retirement for us, these are all themed around travel …

  • Florida Sunshine –   We took a couple awesome trips this year, starting with a trip to Florida last winter where we spent a long weekend soaking up some warm sunshine. We stayed in Cape Coral and went to Sanibel, Fort Myers Beach, and Naples.  Taking an extended break somewhere warm is on our early retirement lifestyle plan (starting next winter) and so we also looked at some rental prices and started imagining the possibilities.  My wife went back for another Florida weekend in October.

2015-02-13 19.40.14

  • San Francisco – I had a work trip to the San Francisco last January, and although it was 99% meetings, I did have the chance to sneak out one day at about 4pm and go explore the city.  I’ve been to the Bay Area many many times, but San Francisco is in my top 5 cities in the USA to visit.  I love the city’s unique vibe, the waterfront seafood, and hopping around on cable cars.  Most of the city was still decorated for the holidays with an awesome skating rink set up in Union Square.

2015-01-06 - San Francisco - SFDC Trip (9)

  • Stonehenge – I am always amazed by ancient sites and our limited understanding of the lives of the people who built them.  Stonehenge was an important stop on a day-long excursion out of London that also included Windsor Castle and Oxford.  It was a chilly day in June – just a couple of weeks before the summer solstice when we stopped at “the Rocks”.  They are much bigger in person than you expect which makes them that much more puzzling to understand.  The thing that surprised me most was all of the barrows, rings and cursus that dot the landscape around Stonehenge.

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  • Scandinavian Cruise – This was our travel highlight for the year.  We went on a 11-day cruise to the Scandinavian capital cities & St. Petersburg, Russia.  Cruises are a something-for-everyone way for us to travel as a family. My son loves the ship – the different decks to explore, the other teens to meet & hang out with, and the endless free food. My wife likes to relax – a massage in the spa, an afternoon nap at sea, or a show after dinner. I like the port visits. On this cruise it includes Copenhagen, Tallinn, Helsinki, St. Petersburg, and Stockholm. The excursions provide great history, sites and learning.

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2015-06-17 - Peterhof 19

  • Amazing Danish Kringle – My hometown is Racine, Wisconsin which is known for their Danish Kringle.  It was featured recently in this report on CBS News.  When were on our cruise, we made two stops in Denmark and looked all over to find the best example of this treat.  We found it in Skagen, a small town on the “point” of Denmark.  It was every bit as good as it looks!

2015-06-21 - Skagen 14

  • Reaching All 50 States – I wrote a post quite a while ago about my aim to get to all 50 States and we knocked off #47 on Labor Day weekend when we took a quick road trip to Nebraska.  Just Idaho & Wyoming remain.  I’m thinking about when might be a good time to squeeze a trip to Yellowstone into 2016, but our calendar is already getting quite full.

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Looking Ahead …

As you can see, we like to travel quite a bit and have some great trips planned for 2016 as well.  Here is a link to a POST where I laid out our early retirement travel planning framework and included a downloadable planner in spreadsheet form.  We just reviewed it over the holidays and booked a trip to Florida/Disney World for spring break in March and a big trip to Tokyo/Kyoto in July.  Looking forward to putting these in our bucket in 2016!

What adventures have you put in your “Fill The Bucket List”? – Thanks, Maggie Banks!

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19 thoughts on “Fill Your Bucket List – Memorable Travels

  1. I love it! Thanks for participating! That cruise sounds awesome (and that delicious looking pastry has got me salivating!) We’ll be seeing Stonehenge this year as well! And we have San Francisco tentatively planned for January 2017. I’m excited!

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    1. Stonehenge was part of a trip that included Windsor Castle. That was very interesting too – especially if you like British History. Thx for the great series idea!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve been to both places since I did a study abroad in London in college, but my husband has never been to the UK, so I’m really looking forward to our summer trip.

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    1. Maybe this fall – I should probably start planning/making reservations. I loved your Millionaire Year post – too cool !


  2. Fantastic “Fill The Bucket” list! Maggie’s inspiration has been amazing to see what everyone has to share. Cruises are my absolute favorite, and I am so excited because my fiance & I will be taking one for our Honeymoon (a Disney one, too)! He’s never been on one – it’s going to be amazing to see how he enjoys it! I hope you can get to Idaho & Wyoming soon. 🙂

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    1. Cuba will probably never be the same now that so many tourists are flooding in. You got to see it before all of the inevitable development begins.


  3. Your travel plans plus some other recent retirees plans have kick-started mine! Thanks for that. We are planning New Orleans in May. It’s on my list of fav cities and hubby has never been. Next year, I want to plan African Safari for our 25th anniversary trip. It hits another continent, across the equator, and natural habitat animal sightings…all things on my bucket list. So next few years, I can start a “fill my bucket list”. BTW, we have beach cottage near St. Petersburg FL and love that area. It’s a bit less expensive than Naples/Sanibel.

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    1. Yes – New Orleans is one of the most unique cities in the USA. An African Safari would by awesome! A gentleman on my team who is retiring this week has a place on St. Pete Beach he wants me to say. I wasn’t that keen on Naples (or the cost).

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  4. I love Maggie’s fill-the-bucket list concept. It’s much less morbid than the other one 🙂 Since I didn’t grow up with vacations (due to lack of funds) I have turned into an opportunistic traveler. I take opportunities to travel for work or for a friend’s wedding but I don’t ever sit down and plan a vacation. This needs to change now that I’m an adult with my own family. Thanks for the reminder!

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    1. We never traveled much when I was younger, but caught the travel bug 15 years ago. Love every aspect of it planning, packing & taking trips.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love your list, isn’t Stone Henge amazing? And love Scandinavia too, just so beautiful.
    Look forward to reading about your extended travels now you are going to be financially independent.


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