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The Bucket List – Part 1

Updated: Nov 5, 2022

While I am very grateful to have gotten the opportunity to go on as many incredible hikes as I have to this point, I personally believe that one should always have defined goals set for themselves that continue to drive them forward. Although I have many such goals, an admittedly large portion of my bucket list contains either hikes or locations that I still want to see in the hopefully not too distant future. In the hopes of inspiring my readers to create their own bucket lists for themselves; today I would like to share a few items from my bucket list and why I believe they deserve a trip by all those with the means to do so.

Cruise the Inner Passage in Alaska

I will begin my list with one that is closest to home. The Great White North. The Last Frontier. Alaska. One day, I would like to be able to cruise through the inner passage route. This is a common ship route for cruise ships traveling through Alaska and for good reason. This is a gorgeous route that passes through glacial bays surrounded by massive glaciers, snow covered mountains, and an abundance of sea life. Depending on what time of year you go, you may get lucky and experience the humpback whales during their feeding season, spot grizzly bears catching salmon on the shore, or see pods of killer whales hunting for seal. There is a lot more variety of wildlife in this state either underneath the waves or dotting the shorelines. From moose grazing by rivers to narwhale peaking in between the icebergs to bald eagles soaring overhead. Aside from the wildlife, there are other natural wonders to see here. You may the chance to experience mountain sized icebergs breaking off from glaciers and plummeting into the sea below. My personal favorite experience however would be seeing the Aurora Borealis. This mystical sight can be seen as ribbons of dancing colors covering the sky’s as solar radiation becomes excited in the upper reaches of our atmosphere. Although this can happen anytime of year, the chances of seeing it for yourself are higher in the fall and winter months due to longer nights during that time of year creating a higher chance of an Aurora forming during night hours.

Hike the Inca Trail in Peru

The next item on my list takes us to South America, to the country of Peru. The world-famous Inca Trail is among the must-do trails for any hiker. Although train can take you directly to Machu Pichu; the preferred route I would take is a multi-day hike along the Inca Trail as it rises in the Andes Mountains. After 3 days climbing further towards the sky and the Amazon Rain Forest becomes more expansive below you; you reach the fabled lost city in the clouds Machu Pichu. This Inca architectural site includes the remains of an ancient city at the very top of a mountain, high enough to be frequently surrounded by clouds. On a clear day, it is easy to believe that you are on top of the world in this ancient paradise.

Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Our next step takes us across the Pacific Ocean to the country of Australia. More specifically, we will dive beneath the waves of Australia’s northern coast and swim among the largest barrier reef in the world. At over 134,000 square miles, the Great Barrier Reef is larger than the entire state of New Mexico (our 5th largest state). This area is covered in an assortment of colorful reef structures in all manner of shapes and sizes, and this along would be enough to warrant a visit but there is so much more hiding beneath the waves. The Great Barrier Reefs are overflowing with amazing wildlife. Legions of multi-colored fish dart across the reefs that include every color of the neon rainbow. Included among these fish is the Clown Fish, made famous by the movie Finding Nemo. There are also giants lurking these waters such as the 25-foot wingspan Manta Ray, the 400 pounds Giant Clam, or the Humpback Whales that frequent this region during certain times of years. There are days that I think would be spent filled greater adventure than chartering a boat and spending the entire day snorkeling among the reefs.

Visit the Maldives

Our next stop brings us to the continent of Asia, in the tiny island chain known as the Maldives. Although at one point, this was thought of as a resort reserved exclusively for the well-off; it has become increasingly more accessible to travelers. If you are a fan of island paradises filled with palm trees, white sand, and blue water than the Maldives may be your dream destination. Spend your days lounging on the beach enjoying the gentle sound of small waves splashing and retreating from the shore. Enjoy a cocktail or two as you let the rest of the world melt away for however long you choose to stay in this tropical Eden. The island’s seclusion and lack of modernized amenities makes this the perfect destination for anyone who needs a break from the challenges of the modern world and wants to escape to a simpler time.

Travel to Antarctica

Our last stop this week will be a bit more exotic. This time, we are traveling far south to the frozen continent of Antarctica. Although this may not be everyone’s cup of tea, I believe that those willing to adventure here are in for an unforgettable experience. As exotic a winter wonderland as you can find. Board an icebreaker ship and journey through immense icebergs and fields of glaciers. Discover landscapes of snow that sparkle in the light like diamonds. Marvel as icebergs the size of mountains tower over your ship and then gasp as you realize only the top 10% of them is seen above the water. There are more shades of blue in the ice than you believed possible all around you. This is truly a journey where you are on the edge of the world.

A couple of years ago, I sat down and created a 100-item bucket list for myself. These are a few of the items that were on the list but there are clearly many more I have not yet talked about. While a large portion of my personal bucket list involves adventures and travel; there are several items that involve acquiring new skills, career goals, and financial milestones. I would like to encourage all my readers to create such a list for yourself. I truly believe this is an amazing thought process that will help you realize what you truly want to accomplish in life. Once you have a list of what your top goals in life are, it becomes far easier to begin a real game plan for how to begin crossing these items of your list. There is no goal that is out of reach of an individual. Most goals can be broken down into a series of small steps that each person can do to finally reach their targets. Once a goal is broken down into small steps; I can assure you from personal experience that all goals become very attainable.

I am overjoyed to have shared a few items of my bucket list with my readers so far and I hope to be able to share the stories from these locations once I cross them off my personal bucket list in due time. But those are stories for another day…

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