Since it’s still January, it’s not too late to reflect on 2015, is it? Maggie Banks at NorthernExpenditure.com 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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!
- 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.
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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