Tag Archives: strangers

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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Week 2 of the 31 Days of Everyday Adventure challenge

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The challenge is now on-demand: 31 Days of Everyday Adventure email challenge.

A healthy community is made of individuals who are better together than apart, and I want to thank you for your feedback and encouragement over the past week. I’m so glad that the challenge is fun for you and helping you to stretch outside of your comfort zones!

I’ve definitely benefited from this challenge too, and part of that is just knowing that you’re there doing this with me. The accountability and camaraderie is nice to have especially in difficult weeks.

A special shout out and thank you to my blogging partners on this challenge: Suz from McVagabonds, Lara Krupicka, and Randi from Life’s Simple Adventures. Their bios are on the challenge page (it’s not too late to join, by the way!), but you should check out their blogs as well. They’re all doing amazing things and are wonderful people to know!

The second week (days 8-14) seemed to go by really quickly! I think some of the activities were a bit more challenging than last week, at least with the schedule I had, so they didn’t all get done on time but I managed to do all eventually (except for the introduction to a neighbor one – I tried, but they weren’t home, so I still need to do that).

Read more about what happened this week

Writing letters to strangers

Strangers are friends

Sending and receiving letters and cards is fun. There’s something special about holding the card instead of viewing an email or text. They make me smile. If I got a random letter from a stranger, I think I’d be happy. It reminds me of pen pals from when I was little.

I love making people happy. So, when Christine Barba from Project Light to Life (who did an interview on this site, check it out) wrote about anonymously mailing letters of encouragement to strangers, I got really excited and added “Send a letter to a stranger” to my own list.

Find out what I did