New experiences and far away places are probably on most people’s travel hit lists (a.k.a. bucket lists). I know I have a few stored away in the back of my mind. I was reading a really cute article in Verge magazine challenging its readers to create a list of meaningful travel experiences they’d like to have “before it is too late.” The article had me contemplating my own grassroots travel hit list. It also led to a long moment of reflection allowing me to proudly and happily review all of the things I have already done and places I am lucky to have already seen, however incomplete the list actually is. As I am flipping through the pages of the article, I realize I have accomplished Verge’s proposed grassroots travel bucket list! Here it is:
1. Volunteer to make a difference.
2. Eat something your parents wouldn’t.
|Mbuzi nasty bits anyone? (goat, that is) I tried the liver, blood stuffed stomach lining, and sweet goat meat. All followed by very large swigs of an alcoholic beverage. Anthony Bourdain would be proud.|
3. Sleep in a strange spot.
|Being seat belted into the top bunk of a train riding from Nairobi to Mombasa.|
|Why is this strange you ask? It’s not exactly a highly reputable mode of transportation. As seen here and in this list of common derailments. Apparently it is nicknamed the Lunatic Express. I’ve just learned this. My father-in-law has notably pointed out how many of the world’s most dangerous modes of transportation I have travelled on…….and slept on.|
4. Learn a new skill.
|Surfing on the North Shore of Oahu. We were pretty good at it and even ended the afternoon doing tricks on our boards while riding the waves.|
5. Get up close and personal with nature.
|Akumal Bay, Mexico. This organization is doing preservation and development work to sustain the ecosystems marine life depend on. It is quite peaceful swimming around with these beautiful creatures. (Heading back in 10 days!)|
6. Immerse yourself in another culture.
7. Explore your spiritual side.
|In the vastness and strength of the natural world is where I find my spirituality, my peace and sense of being.|
|Also, wine country = my Mecca? It truly felt like it! Photo taken in Napa Valley.|
8. Visit a piece of history.
9. Speak another tongue.
|My broken Swahili (and Spanish) need a lot of work, but I keep trying. Maybe French will stick?|