The movie, Bucket List, with Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, resonated with me, reminding me that dreams can be deferred for too long. Sharing a hospital room, two strangers talk, and from their conversations, they realize that there are things that they want to experience before the finality of death. They set out to fulfill their bucket list.
My bucket list would include all the places in the world that I have not seen. Other things like ziplining or learning to snorkel or taking a hot-air balloon ride just do not interest me. Travel is my joy, and I always feel better when I return.
First and foremost is my dream of visiting Norway and sailing on a Viking ship down the fjords! I have had an affinity for the Vikings since I first saw a picture of a Viking ship in a book as a child. There was something courageous and brave about building ships and traveling around the world that appealed to a lonely little girl who changed homes every year from ages 9 to 12.
When I mention this dream to people, they always ask if I wouldn’t rather go to Africa? They think that a desire to visit a place must stem from some inner urge fueled by genetics. Maybe I have some Viking blood, considering I love getting on planes and traveling half way around the world.
I once had a conversation with a young hair stylist in a small town in Illinois. She was white, and she looked forward to some day going to Nigeria or Kenya. She and I laughed when I told her of my dream to travel throughout Europe, including Denmark and Finland, but not to Africa so much. She said, “Something is wrong with this picture.”
Second is visiting the all of the major museums in the world, including the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, Russia (Now might not be a good time!) and the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao, Spain. Each museum contains a collection of art that you probably wouldn’t see anywhere else.
I have visited the Prado, the Sofia Reina, and the Thyssen-Bornemizra museums in Madrid, Spain. I also spent time in the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. I still have the ones in Paris, Berlin, London, Barcelona, Rome and other Italian cities, and all of Scandinavia.
Third would be returning to the top of the French Alps. What a view to experience again. I was visiting Geneva, Switzerland and took a day trip to Chamonix. I learned during that solo trip to do your research on the costs of food in the places you plan to visit. Geneva was so expensive that I ended up eating breakfast at the train station, not knowing what I was eating, and dinner at McDonald’s for the eight days I was there.
As I get closer to my seventh decade of life, I hope to cross some places off of my bucket list. Yet, I am reminded of the words of James 4:14-15, “How do you know what your life will be like tomorrow? Your life is like the morning fog—it’s here a little while, then it’s gone. What you ought to say is, “If the Lord wants us to, we will live and do this or that.” So, if it is God’s will!
But, I can’t complain if I don’t get the chance, for I have lived some of my vagrant dreams, and have fond memories and photos to share with others, hoping to spark love of travel in them. Also, I have fulfilled other dreams, raised my children and now have great-grandchildren to spoil, and found love with a great human being named Douglas. Life has been good!