Should I have a bucket list?

An old family friend recently sought my advice about a couple of destinations on his bucket list. It gave me food for thought. He’s younger than me but already has a list of places he wants to visit before he checks out. I said jokingly that I was too young to have a bucket list but it got me thinking. Should I have one? And if so, what places should be on it?

I discussed it with my beloved and we decided to put together a list of places we’d like to visit which included a number we’d like to re-visit. It’s not a lengthy list, very doable and decidedly “vanilla,” no exotic locations. In no particular order:-

1. Vienna and Budapest

I last visited Vienna when I was 17. I spent six weeks there on a German language course at the university. It was such a magical trip that I resolved it would be a while before I returned. While I was there, I took a quick trip down the Danube to visit Budapest. This was in the early 70s when the two cities were in marked contrast to one another. I’ve since re-visited Budapest, on business, and found it much improved. My beloved has visited both places but only on business and has not done any sightseeing. We have a dear friend who’s Hungarian and are hoping that we can combine our new trip with an event such as her wedding or house-warming.

2. California

My beloved has visited LA and San Francisco on business. I had hoped to visit it on the occasion of our 25th wedding anniversary for which I had planned a magnificent trip touring around the state. Sadly, my beloved changed jobs and was unable to take time off in the early months of his new role. It’s been on the back-burner ever since though that hasn’t stopped me from planning a potential trip which would no doubt take place in May so we could catch the Amgen Tour of California.

3. Japan

This would be a revisit. I accompanied by beloved on a business trip to Japan in April 2007 when the cherry blossoms were at their finest. While he worked, the son and future daughter-in-law of a business contact kindly showed me around Tokyo, then we visited Kyoto and Nara. It was love at first sight. I had high expectations of the trip but was blown away by the people, the culture and the cuisine. I’ve been itching to return but this time I want to explore the islands from top to bottom. My preference is to visit in autumn to experience the fall colours. That way I might be able to fit in a trip to see the MotoGP at Montegi.

4. Sicily

Before I met my beloved, I had a very enjoyable holiday in Sicily. Holiday programmes and friends who live there have whetted my appetite for a return trip although it’ll be my beloved’s maiden visit. Of course, it’s always fun to tie a visit to Italy with the Giro d’Italia, like we did this year on our trip to Sardinia. According to the rumour mill, the Giro is visiting Sicily again next year. I imagine that May would be a perfect time to visit and tour around the island.

5. Amalfi Coast

We both love the fact that in 45 minutes we can be living La Dolce Vita in Italy. In recent years, we’ve had numerous trips and vacations to the north but haven’t ventured too far south. In truth, we’d like to travel around southern Italy, visiting Puglia in particular, as we have friends who hail from there. However, numero uno on our list is the magnificent Amalfi coast, a UNESCO World Heritage site.

6. The Hamptons

Back in 2015, we spent a few delightful days chilling in The Hamptons which has a real yesteryear, seaside vibe. I loved pottering around all the small towns making up The Hamptons and how nowhere was very far from the sea. And, don’t get me started on the magnificent property porn which is truly epic. I’m not sure I could spend two weeks here but I could certainly combine another visit with a trip to the Big Apple.

7. Austin

The origins of this blog are in Austin where I took part in the Ride of the Roses for Livestrong, riding and raising funds as part of Team Fatty. I have a girlfriend who lives in Austin who was only too happy to show me around her adopted home. I’d like to go back to see my friend, to show Austin to my beloved and also watch the MotoGP race, usually held in early April, at The Circuit of the Americas. A week in Austin would probably be sufficient so I’d have to combine it with a visit elsewhere in the States, maybe Colorado (see below).

8. New England

This is yet another re-visit for both of us. In the mid to late 90s my beloved and I enjoyed three vacations in New England, one with my parents. During the trips we travelled around Vermont, New Hampshire, Maine and Massachusetts stayed in some beautiful inns, ate plenty of lobster and enjoyed the glorious scenery. Frankly, another visit is long overdue. At the same time, maybe we could pop into Canada to see the GPs of Montreal and Quebec. Late August, early September’s a great time to visit this part of the world.

9. Colorado

This is a part of the US which neither of us have ever visited. The closest was on a trip to Arizona one Christmas. However Colorado’s geographic diversity holds enormous appeal and any trip would naturally have Denver, Boulder and Aspen on its itinerary.  But that’s as far as I’ve gotten to thinking about a trip to Colorado.

10. Majorca

Strange as it may seen, neither my beloved nor I have visited any of the Balearic Islands. I remember my parents visiting the Easter I went to stay with my French penfriend when I was sweet 15. We, of course, would want to visit out of season and with our bikes. We’d want a luxurious sanctuary inland, far away from the typical tourist trail and we’d want to ride up Puig Major.

11. Australia

Last but not least, we’d love to visit Australia again. If you’re a follower if this blog, you’ll know we’ve spent the last two year ends enjoying Sydney, Melbourne and Adelaide. We’ve only scratched the surface and there’s plenty more on my “must see” list Down Under. Ideally, the trip would extend well beyond 5-6 weeks, maybe starting in late October so I could see the MotoGP on Philip Island, just the other side of the Mornington Peninsula. I’ve still to visit Kangaroo Island and Queensland, among many other places.

As you can see it’s quite a modest list and reflects that we’ve already travelled widely both for business and pleasure. At our time of life, we know what we like and, more importantly, what we don’t like. We probably need to get all our long-haul flying completed within the next 15 years thereafter it might be far too tiring, plus more difficult to get insurance cover. Thereafter, we’ll be more than happy to potter around Europe in our self-driving car, or by fast train.

All photos except The Hamptons and Australia courtesy of Wikipedia


8 thoughts on “Should I have a bucket list?

  1. I definitely think thag anyone at any age can put together a bucket list. Just like a vision board it helps motivate you to do the things you want to do in life. Awesome list by the way!! Travel is always up there. My bucket list would probably be consumed by different food and activities.x

    Liked by 1 person

  2. To be honest, I’m not a fan of Greece. I know that’s a bit of a sweeping generalisation. I’ve been to a number of places, though admittedly not Hydra, got the t-shirt and don’t need to return.


  3. Though I’m in Nebraska now (don’t bother with it on bucket list) I lived most of my life in California, but also Texas, Montana and Massachusetts so I’l offer a few tips.

    I’m biased about California having living near San Francisco so forget the crowds and hassles of LA. The only place vaguely like San Sebasti’an is Carmel, which even though it’s quite touristy has some wonderful. The ocean off Northern California is cold which means foggy and cold in summer so fall is the best time to visit. If you try to bike the coast (not easy to find places to spend night without camping, I’ve done about half of it) ride north to south as the prevailing, and often strong, wind is almost always from the south. Napa Valley of course is wonderful but not good anywhere near harvest time (overwhelmed with tourists); Sonoma Valley is not as famous so a bit easier to tour. While the coast south of Monterrey is the famous Big Sur area, in many ways going north, even as far as Eureka is less crowded. The area around Santa Rose, where the Amgen usually goes, is very nice; if you’re driving find tiny local roads through the hills as highways are often jammed and not very scenic; of course biking around Santa Rosa is really nice. And the Sierra Nevada are fantastic but skip Yosemite if in tourist season as all you’ll see is cars, possibly even waiting in line to enter.

    As for Texas even though I was born in the northern Panhandle part the most interesting places are in the south (though not Houston). Austin has its advantages (the best BBQ is there or in surrounding area) and of course its music scene although that is mostly rowdy kids (the very large University of Texas is in Austin). For a more fun town go to San Antonio. Search a bit and find a place to stay on the River Walk. If you like Mexican food and/or Tequila you have abundant choices. I plan to go back as soon as I can to practice my Spanish since that is a very strong influence there. Unlike the rest of Texas San Antonio doesn’t have the arrogant Don’tMessWithTexas attitude. And if you can, the Big Bend National Park (one small lodge there, often full) is fantastic, especially in March, but it is a favorite for bird watchers and SpringBreakers at that time. The drive along the Rio Grande, both inside and west of the park is amazing. Most of the rest of Texas is just flat farm country.

    As for Colorado, yes, it’s wonderful. Boulder, of course, is ground zero for both cycling and beer but Denver is a huge city. The mountains in Colorado are not as accessible as would be nice (more for backcountry, either hiking or 4WD). Personally I prefer Wyoming and Montana. Wyoming is mostly desert but has several mountains ranges. While Yellowstone is spectacular you might as well be visiting Disneyland, way overcrowded and nothing but traffic jams. Jackson Hole, OHOH, being a destination of our rich has some excellent dining and the Tetons are beautiful. The Bighorn Mountains are my favorite, but then I go camping there, but the drive across through Burgess Junction is amazing. And then there is Montana, in places almost impossibly beautiful. I think the best spot there, especially if you can get in the quite rustic but very cool lodge is Many Glacier. I was there just a week before closing for the winter so had a wonderful lakeside room (hard to get in summer) and balcony. It’s so pretty it doesn’t seem real. Missoula is the cool town in Montana.

    As for New England well you know it already but Boston is terrific (I was there eight years as student, even more fun). But fall is the only time to go. Spring, at least in Boston, lasts a week – dreary forever winter and then poof hot muggy summer with one gorgeous week in between (I timed my wedding for that week, and got it). If you haven’t seen it already the Kancamagus Highway in New Hampshire is the spot for autumn even with the inevitable traffic jam. And if you haven’t done Mt. Washington (you can get there by car or cog railroad or VERY arduous and potentially dangerous hike) is almost unreal (also hard to get a clear day). It has, sometimes even in summer, the worst weather conditions in the USA. And Bar Harbor, if you didn’t get that before is great and these days Portland has become a foodie town with some great places.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow, thank you so much. All of this has been duly noted though goodness knows when we’ll be able to travel long haul again. I’ll be staying close to home for quite a while.


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