Ten for the Decade(ish)

I’ve been back at work for just about a month at this point, and the most wonderful thing happened.

I GOT PAID, Y’ALL!

As much as I got quite accustomed to being a thrifty traveller (there’s an upcoming post about that, by the way), my bank account was getting very, very lean. And it was hard to daydream about my next adventure when I was (and still am) eyeballs-deep in budgeting boring everyday stuff such as transit passes and rent deposits.

So I got discouraged. I fell into a bit of a monotonous cycle and kept putting off updating this blog, figuring that no one was reading it anyway. But then another wonderful thing happened. I looked at my stats, and realized that people DO read this blog. Therefore, my broke ass should keep writing and planning.

One of the greatest things that I’ve learned from all the various backpackers I’ve met is that adventures never have to end. Some people are lucky enough to spend large chunks of time travelling, while others may take smaller vacations. It doesn’t matter. Some of my greatest memories stem from a long weekend exploring a city and day trips. It’s only important that you never stop. I may have complained about my senior citizen roommate from South East Asia, but I was really impressed that she was pushing 80 and not slowing down. So to ensure that I keep going, I decided to put my travel wish list to paper. Or a computer screen. I may have completed my first bucket list, but that just means it’s time for a bigger bucket!

And so, my “Ten for the Decade (ish)”, meaning things I hope to complete before I’m 40 (ish):

1. Surfing in Tofino
To those who know me, it may seem strange that I have never surfed. Having travelled to Hawaii, BC, Australia and California (a million times) I should have surfed by now.  I’ve boogie boarded in California and thought I was going to die, while small tots squealed with glee around me. I tried in Byron Bay after a big storm and ended up losing part of my bathing suit and likely knocked several years off my life from fear. I was all set to go surfing in Tofino last summer and chickened out at the last minute. So by telling myself this is on my list of things to accomplish, I have to do it. First up – learning how to swim (aha! Makes more sense now, right?). Second up – growing a pair.

2. Going to a Festival in Europe
Not the renaissance kind. The kind where I sport wellies and camp and don’t sleep for three days. I’ve been to Lollapalooza and will one day do Coachella, but I want to do a festival right, the European way.  This one needs to be done sooner rather than later. I don’t want to be the weird old chick in the corner who tries to convince a 16-year-old that there was a time when Courtney Love was awesome (sidenote – I am already this person, as I had this conversation with an 18-year old who had never listed to Live Through This because they were two when it was released).

3. Run Through Central Park
I’ve never been to NYC. Crazy! I’ll admit that I’m an uber-California snob when it comes to US travel. To be fair I’ve been to Vegas and Arizona twice, but there was a point a few years ago when I went to California at least twice a year. I went through customs once and the agent guessed where I was going before I answered, based on my passport history. Dear California Tourism, I am an excellent candidate for any job postings you may have. ANYWAY, I’ve always wanted to go to NYC. I grew up watching Friends and SATC, loved Breakfast at Tiffany’s, dug the fashion and music scene, and early in my journalism student days fancied moving there for a career. So I want to go and just run like mad through Central Park. Go to Magnolia Bakery. Explore the High Line Park. Wander the streets listening to nothing but Beastie Boys, Ramones and Blondie.

4. Camp in the Wilderness
I’m not meaning I want to pull an Into the Wild here. But my camping has always centred around drive-in campsites with amenities. Which is nice, don’t get me wrong – sometimes you need a nice warm shower after spending three days straight in freezing-cold rain in Algonquin Park. But I’d like to camp in Alaska (again, not pulling an Into the Wild), northern Ontario or BC. I love exploring cities but ultimately I’m a back-to-nature kind of gal at the end of the day.

5. Drink Russian Vodka in Russia
I have this weird love with Russia. Well it’s probably not weird – it’s a beautiful place full of history, what’s not to love? Perhaps more specifically I love Russians.  And the nesting dolls. And vodka (don’t worry gin, you’re still my BAF – best alcoholic friend. Oo. Not a great term. BB? Best booze? ANYWAY). I want to go to Moscow really badly. Whenever I do my trip to Scandinavia (hopefully soon), Russia will be added on.

6. Drive Across Canada
Travelling in Canada is really expensive. And it’s unfortunate, because this country is beautiful and DESERVES attention and exploration. One of my loveliest of friends Krissy (check out her great blog if you love wine) just did the drive and blogged about it as she moved cross-country and made me want to pack up my life and do the same immediately. I feel guilty about the extent of my world travels, and yet I’ve only been to five provinces (counting the one I live in!). Must fix that.

7. Voluntourism in Costa Rica
I love turtles (chocolate kind yes, but animals more specifically). When I went to Hawaii a few years ago I watched a dozen sea turtles drag themselves out of the ocean and sprawl out in the sand, exhausted. I almost cried (I almost cried over a lot of things in Hawaii) and decided that one day I would do a sea turtle conservation project. I don’t know anyone who has done one in Costa Rica but given the experience I had on my first voluntourism project at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand I know I would love it.

8. See the Great Barrier Reef
I had an awful time in Australia. This one will likely occur when I’m closer to the 40-year range, as I think it might take that long for me to get over the experience and be willing to try it again. But I am WILLING to try again. So get ready Australia and start working on the charm.

9. Hike Ireland and Scotland
I’ve done some great walks thanks to my travels, but I’ve always been enchanted by stories from my well-travelled boss who’s hoofed her way through both countries on several occasions. I like the idea of using my legs as my main form of transportation, and love the charm of the people of both of these countries. And the baked goods. Beer. The accents. If my hunt for a Russian husband doesn’t work out, I’m hoping my Irish or Scottish one will be waiting.

10. Iceland
There isn’t one particular thing I’d like to do in Iceland. I’d just like to see it.  I’ve seen the airport tarmac and have it ingrained in my memory from a hellishly long stopover when I was 9. But I’d like to see more. Obviously the sheer physical beauty of the place. I figure it’s got a pretty good kookiness factor which I dig (I mean, there must be more than one person like Bjork there, right? Jackpot!). And I like volcanoes. Win win.

There are a few places which I’ve left off which would seem like obvious must-visits for some. South America, for one. To be honest, I don’t have a ton of interest in it at the moment. Maybe it’s because I’m a pale vegetarian and feel…like I would stand out. I have heard great things about Peru and Argentina and my aunt used to go to Columbia for vacations (this was in the 80s too – badass!). But so far, I’m not psyched about it. More of Asia, such as China, Japan or Taiwan. Again…not so interested. And India. One day, I hope to work up the courage to take India on. But I get overwhelmed just thinking about it, and found the airport in New Delhi to be stressful. That is not a good sign.

I am open to more additions – where have you been that you think should be on my list, or where are you eager to visit?

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16 thoughts on “Ten for the Decade(ish)

  1. OMG I want to do pretty much all of that too especially the turtles!! If you fancy a festival, there is a great one I go to. Been 3 times, its called V Festival and its about 2 hours drive from me – we should try going together in the next couple if years!! xx

    1. We used to have V Fest here – it was great! I was sad when it got cancelled, so I’d love to go to one again. I’ll keep an eye out for future ones!

  2. Oh my darling girl, this is an awesome bucket list!!! I want to do many of these things too! I have never been to NY either! Tofino is conveniently in BC. I dream of Ireland. Camping in the back woods on crown land is one of my favourite memories and I would love to do another 3 day festival, I feel it is in my DNA. All this to say I have no doubt you’ll accomplish this list and more, some solo and some with great pals! Also thanks for the mention and link! Much appreciated. Miss you!

    1. If you ever get a hankering for NYC let me know – I feel you and I would have some grand adventures! Can’t wait to come visit – I’ll start working on my wine tasting skills 🙂

  3. I like making lists. Keeps you focussed. I made up a list of places to see “Now That You Can Travel Anywhere.” (really, that’s the name of the list.) There are currently 48 entries. I’ve checked off 19, with another one to go this month! I think I’m making progress! Places like Madagascar, French Polynesia, and Bhutan might be difficult…

    1. Bhutan! Now that would be an interesting experience. What are some of your other entries? I feel our travelling mentalities are very similar, so I bet there’s places that you’re interested in that I would be too (so therefore, I am just hoping to mooch off of your list).

      1. Still on the to-do list :

        1 – Serengeti – Tanzania
        2 – Trans-Atlantic cruise
        3 – Ireland
        4 – Morocco
        5 – Thailand
        6 – Russia (St. Petersburg & Moscow)
        7 – India
        8 – Scotland
        9 – Victoria Falls – Zambia / Zimbabwe
        10 – South Africa
        11 – Madagascar
        12 – Argentina (Iguazu Falls)
        13 – The Loire Valley, France
        14 – Polynesia (any one of the 9 countries)
        15 – New Zealand
        16 – Jersey / Guernsey
        17 – Egypt
        18 – Rome
        19 – Greece
        20 – Brazil
        21 – Bhutan
        22 – Trans-Africa rail tour
        23 – Mont St-Michel, France
        24 – Neuschwanstein Schlöss, Germany
        25 – Jasper, Alberta
        26 – PEI
        27 – Boston (going there next weekend)
        28 – Drumheller, Alberta
        29 – Saskatchewan boons

        There were an additional 19 destinations which were checked off the list during the past 3 years. My job has served its purpose!

  4. Here are the 10 things I loved about this blog!

    1. You wrote your goals out AND made them public. This makes you more accountable to accomplish them! (not that I think you wouldn’t)

    2. Your love of music festivals! But why stop at Europe? Find one in Russia so you can drink vodka while watching concerts!

    3. You want to go interior camping! I feel like I would be the best partner for this goal 😉 Oh, and I am absolutely desperate to go to Alaska too.

    4.I had NO idea you were so interested in going to Russia!! I want to hear more about this when you visit!

    5. You want to make sure you see some of your own beautiful country along with traveling the world.

    6. Volunteering your time while on vacation! Because of your experience at the elephant sanctuary in Thailand one of my goals is to help at an elephant sanctuary too!!

    7. You’re willing to give a country you didn’t particularly enjoy a second shot. Australia is pretty big with lots to do, I’m sure you’ll find your niche there. Just don’t stay at any weird hippie communes (if that’s where the hippie commune was…)

    8. You’re willing to go to Ireland and Scotland even though all they eat over there is haggis.

    9. I WANT TO GO TO ICELAND SO BAD!!!!! There’s an outdoors show called ‘Angry Planet’, which I love, and one of the episodes goes to Iceland. I’ll try to find the episode and download it so you can watch it when you visit. Before that episode I never even considered going there!

    10. You are a truly wonderful writer so PLEASE don’t stop this blog! I rarely (actually never) read blogs because most people don’t think spell check or grammar applies to them so you’re left deciphering what they’re trying to say. Your blog reads like a well edited book with a beginning, middle, and end with lots of humor AND detailed information on what you’ve been doing! Keep. It. Up.

    :o)

    1. You would be a stellar companion for interior camping! And other places, of course. Thanks for the (very kind!) comments! I will fill you in on my love of Russia! p.s. I definitely plan on blogging about T. Bay!

      So many !!! I’m excited.

  5. Uncle Al has been to Iceland and absolutely loved it – you should talk to him about that – we have incredible slides, photos from there. I’m also glad to see that “getting married” was nowhere on your bucket list. Yeah for you!!!!

    1. Well it is a travel bucket list! I’m sure if I put together a general life bucket list I would probably list grown up things such as buying a house and finding a gentleman friend. 🙂

      I’d love to hear more about Iceland !!

  6. Next time you visit BC, let’s make #1 or #4 happen! And if you ever feel the urge to go to the Sasquatch festival, let me know! I went in 2009 and had an amazing time.

    Speaking of 80-something travellers, I highly recommend picking up any of Dervla Murphy’s books. She’s awesome because she’s Irish, ultra left-wing, has travelled absolutely everywhere, and does crazy things like illegally trek across the mountains in Cuba by herself with only beer and raisins for rations. When she’s pushing 80. She weaves in the history of the places she visits into her travel writing, which makes for an amazing read.

    Thanks for keeping up the blog Sam!

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