Blog Archives

My Bucket List

A couple weeks ago, on a road trip to San Francisco, my friend and I started to talk about our bucket lists…

The conversation started when we were reminiscing about how we really need/want to apply to be a team on the next Amazing Race. (Something we have talked about for YEARS). The conversation reminded me about the time I auditioned for the Real World when I was in college because it was “one of those things on my bucket list”. That is when my friend jumped in and said, “we need to write out our buckets lists, see which items match, then go do them together!”

Normally, I am not one for writing down lists. I never write down new years resolutions, usually struggle at the grocery store because I can’t remember what I needed and forgot to write a list, etc. The only lists I am good at are letters to Santa with what I want for Christmas. But the idea of a bucket list intrigued me.

As defined by Urban Dictionary, a bucket list is a list of things you want to do before you die, or more specifically, before you kick the bucket.

So, as I started to day dream about my bucket list, I realized that everything I want to do/accomplish before I die generally ties into travel.

So here it is. My Travel Bucket List. This list is by no means exhaustive. I plan to add to it as inspiration hits.

  1. Audition for the Amazing Race
  2. Go on a hot air balloon ride
  3. Go on a safari in the Serengeti
  4. Go to Yellowstone National Park
  5. Walk on the Great Wall of China
  6. Go to the Galapagos Islands
  7. Attend a music festival in the UK
  8. Attend Coachella
  9. Hike to Machu Picchu
  10. Buy a summer home in the UK
  11. See the Northern Lights
  12. See penguins in their natural habitat
  13. Visit Luang Prabang, Laos
  14. Visit Meteora, Greece
  15. Visit all 7 continents (Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe, and Australia)
  16. Take a cruise to Alaska
  17. Go to Hawaii and hike to a volcano
  18. Learn a 2nd language
  19. Attend the Olympics
  20. Learn to tango… in Argentina
  21. Practice yoga in India
  22. Grow some cojones and go cliff diving

Does your bucket list look similar to mine? Should we go plan a vacation together and check some of these off the list?

Advertisements

Dancing Matt Does It Again

Remember Dancing Matt? The guy who taped himself dancing around in different countries from his travels, posted the video online, and then became an instant viral sensation?

Let me refresh your memory…

7 years later and he is still dancing, traveling, and living life to the fullest. He just posted his most recent “Where the hell is Matt” video.

I dare you not to smile/dance along/love the world you live in while watching this.

Books that make you go….

Ever read a book that was so good at drawing you into it’s magical world, about a boy who lived under the stairs, that you decided to plan your next vacation around it to experience the real thing?

The dining hall at Christ Church college at Oxford, aka what they replicated to creat the Great Hall at Hogwarts.

Ever finish a suspense novel and become convinced that La Pyramide (the inverted pyramid) at the Louvre isn’t just an art installation, but rather a pivotal religious site?

She must have read the Da Vinci Code too. I was a little less obvious about it.

Ever get the urge to Eat, Pray, and Love all over the world because it seemed to work out well for Elizabeth Gilbert?

Eating my way through Portland’s food trucks. Stop #1, the Grilled Cheese Grill.

Ya. Me too.

A good book transports you to another world, another life, a place you can create with your imagination. A great book does everything the good book can do plus it inspires you to get off your couch and travel.

What books have inspired you to travel? Books that made you go…

Beauty In Your Own Backyard

All too often I find myself daydreaming about my next travel adventure. I would say 95% of the time, my mind wanders to international lands where I can find food, culture, and environments vastly different from my regular life.

But, then the financial reality of paying for these exotic trips that I dream of hits and I realize that the only way I can experience them as soon as I would like to is if I a) win a trip or b) win a trip. Seeing as I likely tapped out my trip winning luck for life, it’s time to look for alternatives.

Thankfully, last week I had the pleasure of attending the 2012 International Pow Wow in Los Angeles where Brand USA launched its first official marketing campaign for Discover America. Their ads are based on the four senses and how you can experience America through them.

See it. Hear it. Taste it. Touch it.

I got goosebumps when I saw this ad. Almost immediately my traveling mind started to wander to lands in my own backyard. Exploring the stunning landscapes of Yellowstone National Park. Enjoying the food, music, and culture of New Orleans. Experiencing the autumn glow of Vermont maple trees. I was excited about traveling and exploring the beauty and wonder that my own country as to offer.

Have you been surprised by what travel adventures your own backyard has to offer?

Make It Count – Travel Inspiration

The video is a great reminder of why I love to travel, and why I decided to make tourism my career. Enjoy!

Music and Travel: Jason Mraz, From Grammy Award Winner to Global Traveler

I’m a touring artist who seeks out unique corners of the world to find influences for my music. – Jason Mraz
(Jason Mraz concert, Manchester, UK, 2003)

(Jason Mraz concert, Manchester, UK, 2003)

You may not believe me, but I have traveled around the world multiple times with the Grammy award-winning musical wordsmith, Jason Mraz. Albeit, the majority of the time he was encased in my ipod and communicated with me through my headphones. But a few times he was on stage, in his element, as a traveler just like me.

For me, and I imagine many others, music and travel go hand in hand. Can you really imagine a road trip without the radio on or your favorite “on the road” playlist? For musicians, like Jason Mraz, travel can be a form of inspiration and musical education.

Not only is Jason Mraz an amazing musician and songwriter, he is also a thoughtful, inspired traveler. Below are some excerpts from a recent interview Jason did with National Geographic Traveler, for their One on One feature.  The full interview can be found here: Traveling Troubadour.

What style of traveler are you? A spontaneous one, with little preparation. I pack light. I don’t feel a need to rush through all the major landmarks. Like, if I go to Paris, I might just take a walk, with no map or tourist site in mind, and end up in a neighborhood coffee shop. That’s how I ended up in San Diego. I traveled there and found this great coffee shop that I love to make music in and I ended up staying. I’ve lived there for 12 years now.

Are there places that have moved you to write songs? Many. I wrote several songs during my time in Ghana. I made a return trip to Brazil for a week to absorb the music and culture, and I wrote many songs. New York had a profound effect on me, as well as California. I’m a touring artist who seeks out unique corners of the world to find influences for my music.

What has really surprised you in your travels? I’m constantly surprised that no matter where I go, people are similar, just trying to make it. We’re all quiet and shy in an elevator with other people. Most people hesitate to make eye contact. Before I ever traveled to Japan I thought maybe it would be like another planet. But when I got there I realized, oh, these are just humans over here doing the same human thing, perhaps with different resources. It made me feel less timid about going places and more able to just walk through a village in, say, Ghana, looking like the only white guy alive.

Are there places you haven’t been to yet that you want to visit? I’ve always wanted to take that cruise to Antarctica to see the unspoiled continent. That would be just a brilliant trip for nature, solitude, and for writing in the journal. To really see Earth, you should visit all seven continents, and that is the only one I have not been to.

This interview got me thinking about how much music has influenced my travel experiences. I am curious how it has influenced yours as well.

What are some of your favorite music/travel memories?

I’ll start things off…

  • Always seeing Peruvian Pan Flute bands when I travel outside of the US.
  • Going on a road trip to the Grand Canyon with my family and listening to REM and the 4 Non Blondes on repeat the entire way.
  • Singing so loud at the karaoke club in Kyoto, Japan that my friends took my microphone away from me.
%d bloggers like this: