Tag Archives: itinerary

2017 Bucket List Year in Review

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I’ve never really made New Year’s resolutions, but every year, I do make a list. It has the bucket list items I accomplished during the previous year (2017), and a subset of items to work on for the current year (2018), as a way of both reviewing and looking ahead.

In 2017, I went to Alaska on a cruise, completing two things on my bucket list (I’ll add links as I write the posts).

I also made a little progress on two long-term list items:

And… I did a few more things that were bucket-list worthy but not actually on my bucket list (added to the retrospective list), but for the first time since 2003 (when I started my list) I didn’t add any new items.

I’m kind of disappointed in myself, both in my progress and in how little I made new dreams. I feel like this has been a year where I didn’t really focus a lot on personal goals and I think I felt it. (It’s kind of like a closed-in, stuck feeling.)

Also, I didn’t really spend as much time on the blog as I wanted to, but I think these things were pretty cool (and after writing this list I now see why I didn’t have as much time to blog!):

Most popular post:
This year, the most popular post on the entire blog was “Writing letters to strangers” (in case you want to feel warm fuzzies: based on search terms, it seems a bunch of people suddenly wanted to know how to write encouraging letters to perfect strangers!)

Fewer, but higher quality posts:
Overall, I wanted to write fewer posts, but focus on making them more interesting and/or more useful. I’m particularly proud of the one about me facing my fear of spiders.

Couldn’t do it without help:
I’m so grateful for all the support! Some posts were possible with the help of groups like the Woodland Park Zoo (read: Tarantulas feel like puppies) and the Western Montana tourism board (read: I wrote off an entire area as “not for me” but I was wrong). Other posts, like the interviews and the 4 Steps to Accomplishing Your Goals series were made possible by people willing to share their stories with me (and you). And of course, a blog without readers is really just an online journal. So thank you for reading!

Writing in other places:
This year I had the opportunity to write or be featured in several blogs and online magazines, both for professional and bucket list/travel related writing. Here are some of my favorites:
Learning to Love the Lobster Roll in Boston – Lyf&Spice
What To Expect When Going To A Plant-Based Burger Joint – Seattle Greenlaker
7 Tips for the Best Stargazing – All Mom Does

Facebook group:
I enjoyed seeing the growth and camaraderie in The Goal List Community, a group of people who love travel and goal accomplishment. We had discussions, did the Intentional Life 5-Day Challenge, made a crazy round-the-world itinerary, and even had a virtual coffee date! I’m excited to see where we go in 2018 and beyond. Join us today!

The 2018 Bucket List Subset

In the past, I’ve chosen a subset list of 10 items for goals I want to give myself a little extra pressure to finish before the year’s over. But this year, I want to choose just two, not because those are the only two I’ll do this year, but because they seem doable given all the other (non-bucket list) things I’m planning on doing.

So, here’s the (very short!) subset bucket list for 2018:

  • Plan a plus one event
  • Complete a photo project

What’s on your bucket list this year? Let me know in the comments!


Join The Goal List Community, a free Facebook group for those who love bucket listing, travel, and goal achievement, and want to support and be supported in their goals and adventures. As mentioned, we do lots of cool things throughout the year!

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Our Crazy Round-The-World Itinerary

Thirty places and 148,390 miles – those are the numbers for the new travel itinerary I planned with the help of the members in The Goal List Community.

Okay… it’s not a real trip. But it’s fun to see anyway.

In August, I posted a game in the community (we’re on Facebook, you should join!), asking members to come up with names of places that started with the letter that the previous location ended with. For example, Alabama -> Anchorage -> Eiffel Tower…

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Over the next few days, members replied with locations around the world. As promised, I put them all on a map (I used a site called Tripline, which I hadn’t heard of before but I’ll definitely look into it more in the future).

Here’s the full map, which you can click to go to the interactive one. Use the arrows below the map to see each of the stops one by one (if you can’t see the picture, click here to go to the map).

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I know this kind of thing isn’t really how most of us will plan a trip, but it’s a fun game to play while you’re waiting for the next (real) trip to happen.

Although… some people choose vacation destinations by throwing darts at maps, or by spinning a globe and randomly stopping it. Would you use something like this game to plan your itinerary?

I can also see it working as a group icebreaker, or maybe in a hostel when you’re making friends (no wifi needed: grab a real map of the local area, limit the locations to places on whatever map you have access to, and draw the lines between locations by hand).

And when you do have wifi, check out The Goal List Community, a free Facebook group for those who love bucket listing, travel, and goal achievement, and want to support and be supported in their goals and adventures.


Shoutout to Tina, Carla, Salim, Lara, Aditi, Ashley, and Sara for helping create this itinerary!

Do you prefer fast or slow travel?

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I just got back from a whirlwind bus tour of Hokkaido, Japan. It was called “in depth” but what they meant by it and what I thought that meant were two different things. It got me thinking about the different approaches people have toward travel.

This bus tour was fun, and we got to see a lot (their version of “in depth”) but each place was rushed and there wasn’t time to really let anything soak in (my version of “in depth”). In some ways this was similar to parts of the road trip I went on. We had three weeks but we still rushed through many things because our time in each place was limited.

Spending a limited amount of time in each place isn’t guaranteed to cause fast travel though. I’ve done family trips where we only stay one or two nights in each place, but we don’t try to do as many things in each place. This means we get to spend more time at each museum, national park, and other interesting features (petroglyphs, dinosaur tracks, etc), but can’t see as much during the trip overall.

That’s different from some of my other family trips where we basically live with our grandparents for a month or so, doing daily life and seeing a few things here and there. It’s more relaxing and we get to really go deep into the museums, take our time watching a sunset, or spend all day at the beach or pool. I feel like I have a better appreciation for the places where we’ve done this, but I also recognize that there isn’t the urgency to try to see everything because we know we’re going to come back soon. It’s more like the approach I use where I actually live, spending time doing interesting things on a weekend.

While the whirlwind trips were fun and I saw more in that time than I thought was possible, they left me a little burned out and a bit frustrated that I couldn’t spend the time that I wanted when at the museums or cultural/historic areas. We got to see many things but it was at the expense of really knowing them. At some places, I learned more after I left because there was no time to read the signs or brochures, just enough to run through and take any photos or collect stamps (US national parks stamps and Japan tourist stamps).

Fast travel like this is good for letting me know what I want to come back and see again, so I know where I want to go in-depth the next time. Slower travel is better for feeling like I know a place and its culture. It lets me relax and enjoy the trip as I experience it rather than only in retrospect as my brain and emotions catch up with the rapid itinerary.

Someday, I think it might be fun to experience travelling very slowly, living in a place and working remotely, exploring for several weeks to a few months, and then moving again. If you’ve done this, or know someone who has, I’d be interested to know what your/their experience has been.

Also, I want to know what you think about fast and slow travel. Which do you prefer, and for what kind of trip?

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