Yearly Bucket List; I Need Your Ideas!

I’ve had a Bucket List for years, but I’ve never created something with definite times. In the last year, I’ve been to 7 countries, got married, got pregnant, went sky-diving, bungee jumping, paragliding, base jumping, rock climbing, sailing, cruising, canoeing, canopy touring (zipping), jet skiing, windsurfing, dog sledding, helicopter touring, rappelling, trapeze swinging, caving, kayaking, and swimming with beluga whales and dolphins all with a bucket list in mind and an open heart.

My husband and I consciously thought about where we’d like to live in the world, chose southern California, quit our permanent positions, sold everything we owned, packed the car with what was left, and moved across the continent to our dream location. We want to live a life of fairy-tales with attention to every spectacular moment along the way.


I’m not certain, even with a bucket list, that I can top the last year, but I’m in the process of thinking about a list for this year. Since I’m 5 months pregnant, I need to be realistic about my expectations, saving time for my family and enjoying the everyday events that will unfold before me. Being pregnant, however, doesn’t mean that I need to stop my life completely or give up the things that have defined me in the past like travel, teaching, learning, and experiences new adventures.

I’ve created this list with hopes of altering it over the next couple of weeks and creating something definite by the end of the month. I’m sure I’ve left things off and add impossible things as well, but heck… it’s my list.

So here goes…

Bucket List for One Year:

1. See a sunrise

2. Travel to a new country (Or Hawaii)

3. Take surf lessons

4. Deliver my baby girl

5. Finish the nursery of my dreams for my baby

6. See Winter in Venice (Las Vegas)

7. See all of my immediate family

8.  Try stand up paddle boarding

9. Lose the “baby weight”

10. See one Wonder of the World

11. Buy a house in Orange County

12. Ride an elephant

13. Reach 5000 followers on my blog

14. Spend at least 7 hours a week doing planned exercise (I’m 5 months pregnant ;)

15. Visit a new state

16. Sleep on the beach

17. Fly an airplane

18. Learn how to make home-made baby food

19. Go whale-watching

20. Volunteer for a new organization

21. Make a new recipe a month

22. Teach my baby girl how to swim

23. Go on an unplanned road trip

24. Do Downtown Disney

25. Take a new class

26.  Conquer a fear

27. Attend a play, a ballet, a concert, and a musical

28. See LA from a helicopter

29. Take a helicopter flight lesson

30. Take the Catalina Ferry and spend the day in Catalina

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291 thoughts on “Yearly Bucket List; I Need Your Ideas!

    • Thanks! Even during pregnancy and after the baby is born, I’d like to live my life to the fullest. Just today I went on a helicopter tour over Los Angeles with Celebrity Helicopter Tours. Stay tuned for a recap. :)

      Do you have any suggestions to add to this year’s list?

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

      • You should add sleep to your list! Because in a couple of months it’s going to be enough of a feat to qualify as an adventure sport…Hee. Just kidding. It’s an impressive list, and congratulations! Looking forward to hearing more. :)

      • Wow! You have accomplished a lot, and your list & blog are inspiring. If you go to Hawaii, how about hiking the Kalalau trail in Kauai http://kalalautrail.com/. My husband and I tried the long and sometimes scary hike on our honeymoon. It was amazing, although you would have to do it after baby… congratulations!

    • Wow! Now that would be ambitious for me! I may be willing to try a new recipe a month; that sounds more doable. I’ll add it now. :)

      My idea of cooking now includes Mac & Cheese, pre-made dinners from Costco, and a select few pasta dishes, and that’s only since I married my husband. Before that, I loved to eat out regularly.

      Thanks for the suggestion; keep ‘em coming.

      Lesley

        • I’ve been scouring recipes over the last few days and taking notes on my favorites. They will most certainly make up my new food experiences over the next year. I suppose I owe credit to their posts and may find a way to recognize them on my blog.

          Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

          Lesley

    • This is a tamed down list for the year and maybe I’m a bit ambitious, but that’s never stopped me before. :)

      Do you have a list? What are some things you’d like to do this year?

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

  1. Hey Lesley, I love the power of a list. Something I’ve been trying lately is letting people know when I’m grateful for them. I’ve been trying to write a letter or send a ‘just because’ gift at least once a month to someone to show my gratitude. It sounds a bit soppy and vague but I’ve found that it means I am more aware of all the wonderful things and people around me, and people appreciate the thanks. I have a tendency to get busy and often need to slow down and acknowledge the great people around me. Also, I think ‘throw a party’ is on my list every year. There is something so satisfying about gathering the people you love, having a good feed, a drink and a dance.

    • After reading your comment, I called my mother and my sister just to chat. I know how great it feels to receive a thank-you letter or a little gift from someone. Now that I’m pregnant, I cry over commercials so soppy has become my middle name.

      I’m adding it to the list now. :)

      What are some things you’d like to do this year?

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

  2. Downhill biking. You should definitely try downhill biking. It’s a great adrenaline rush and demands your full concentration. You don’t have to go for the most extreme parts, but just ride according to your own confidience. Cycling fast down a hill in a medium dense forest can be challenging enough.

  3. One thing I started before the kids were born was a book of love letters for the kids. It is not only full of my feelings about becoming a mommy and life lessons, but also my hopes and dreams for Jae and Chloe. It gets difficult to write in it consistently after the baby arrives so I was only able to do this for their first year.
    So here are a few other “mommy” related ideas for after the baby arrives.
    1. Journal for baby
    2. Find a moment for yourself each day. Even if it is to just brush your hair or teeth :)
    3. Go on a date with your husband each month. (Keeping a book of love notes for him might be a good idea too.)
    4. Have a dance party to kid’s music.
    5. Go to the zoo. Act like a monkey.
    6. Make a sand castle. The baby can watch this year.

    You are an amazingly ambitious lady! Good luck with the rest of your list.

    • Thank you for the beautiful mommy related ideas. I’ve been keeping a journal and I love the commercial where the father creates an email account for his daughter and sends her little, important emails throughout her life. I’ve been trying to keep the journalism aspect in check before the baby arrives and hopefully after.

      I’m sure you have a beautiful family with children that feel loved.

      Thanks for sharing,

      Lesley

    • I’ve been thinking about creating a “Mommy List” besides. There are some great ideas here. Maybe I’ll start to put something together this week. That seems like a great direction to go in!

      • Regarding the Mommy thing – I am the mother of 3 children (16, 15 & 12) and have found it absolutely wonderful that I decided when they were young to write down most of the funny, sweet, wondrous things the kids did through the years…Because as time goes by, YOU FORGET. I just found some of the old stories not too long ago and so enjoyed reading them because it opened doors to the past that had been long closed. The kids had forgotten much of the things as well so we all enjoyed the remembrance.

  4. Hmmmmm, unless you plan on shipping the baby off somewhere, you need to also include being with her in your plans. *S*. So how about: staying calm with the baby when she cries for no discernible reason, exposing her from Day 1 to art and music, being flexible with your needs and wants in a manner that permits her to grow in an emotionally healthy way, learning to prepare baby food at home instead of using the commercial brands, and doing all that on a lot less sleep than you crave. It will be a great year!!

    • I love the idea of learning to prepare baby food at home instead of using the commercial brands and I recently purchased a Baeba 4 in 1 steam cooker – blender to help with the preparation.

      Although it may seem like a long list of things to accomplish with a baby on the way, I did keep that in mind while I was making the list.

      1. See a sunrise (I can’t imagine this will be too difficult this year since I will be up all hours of the night with my baby girl).
      4. Deliver my baby girl
      5. Finish the nursery of my dreams for my baby
      7. See all of my immediate family, including my grandparents (Most of my family will be traveling here to see the baby when she’s born)
      9. Lose the “baby weight” (I hope to walk with her regularly and even use the baby jogger as time permits)
      21. Make a new recipe a month (This could easily be for the baby or for my husband and I)
      25. Take a new class (I have several pregnancy classes and other parenting classes scheduled for the upcoming months)

      Many of the other things on the list are for upcoming trips like seeing Winter in Venice, seeing a wonder of the world, and doing a helicopter tour over LA will all be accomplished before the baby is born.

      I’ve wanted to start a family for a long time now and substantial preparation has gone into the process, but I’d still like to travel and have new experiences; they’ll just include a beautiful baby girl now.

      • Preparing baby food at home is so ridiculously easy, you’ll be able to cross that one off your list with no problem! I made my own baby food for both my kids. Saves loads of money and is really convenient. I actually did a post on my blog about making solid food. If you’re interested, here it is: http://kansascitykatie.wordpress.com/2011/10/06/solid-food/.

        Love the bucket list. Inspires me to set goals and identify things to accomplish for ME in 2012. I doubt mine will be as ambitious as yours though!

        • I love your Solid Food post and I’m sure it will be a great help! I’ve copied it to my email.

          Any bucket list or list of goals is an inspiration, regardless of length or ideas.

          What’s one thing you’d like to add? I love to hear other ideas.

          Lesley

  5. How about teaching your baby to swim! I think they have to be a few months old but my friend’s done this in a special class and it’s wonderufl to see him swimming underwater!

    • I’ve added it to the list! Great idea! I love the ocean and swimming; it holds most of my favorite childhood memories.

      Keep the great ideas coming; they are appreciated.

      Lesley

    • I love the video idea! I always have pictures but we often forget to take the GoPro with us. I’m definitely going to incorporate that into my list this year.

      Thanks for a great suggestion!

  6. Ok, love, so you are pregnant with bambino number 1. This is the best time of your life. One thing I will add to your list is #4A “Learn to accept a new level of vulnerability.” It is hard to imagine the level of this change as you sit at 5mo, but let me know your perspectives once you have seen the other side. It’s all a beautiful journey – this life. What one can “do” in life and the level to which one can learn to “feel.” Together is a most awesome combination.

    All my best.

    • Thanks for the beautiful comment. I’m already learning a new level of vulnerability just being pregnant and it grows substantially monthly, weekly, and even daily. I can’t imagine the complete change once she’s born.

      Growing up in a family with three brothers and two sisters and a huge age gap has taught me a few things about enjoying the beautiful of children and life. I can only hope that my baby girl will love life and adventure half as much as her mother. She is a precious gift and I want to make the most out of every day that I get to spend with her. I will be a stay-at-home mother, which will give me the opportunity to watch her grow and develop into a young lady. I want to experience it all with her and my husband. :)

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

  7. You are so incredibly lucky.You have done so much, I think you may need to have a rest, make no plans for a while, just see what happens! The new baby will be the boss for a while anyway, and you will probably find yourself spending lots of time, just sitting gazing at her, reflecting on things, and then planning a future with her included. I am inspired now to make a list, and start doing all the things I want to do, and plenty I should have done long before now. Thanks for the inspiration!

    • A lot of the things on the list incorporate a new baby like:
      1. See a sunrise (I can’t imagine this will be too difficult this year since I will be up all hours of the night with my baby girl).
      4. Deliver my baby girl
      5. Finish the nursery of my dreams for my baby
      7. See all of my immediate family, including my grandparents (Most of my family will be traveling here to see the baby when she’s born)
      9. Lose the “baby weight” (I hope to walk with her regularly and even use the baby jogger as time permits)
      21. Make a new recipe a month (This could easily be for the baby or for my husband and I)
      25. Take a new class (I have several pregnancy classes and other parenting classes scheduled for the upcoming months)

      Many of the other things on the list are for upcoming trips like seeing Winter in Venice, seeing a wonder of the world, and doing a helicopter tour over LA will all be accomplished before the baby is born.

      When my baby girl arrives, I plan on spending every second with her and she’ll be the sole focus in my life, but I don’t work and I will be a stay at home mom so there will be lots of time to try a few new things along the way.

      I hope that you make a list; it really can have an impact on your way of seeing life.

      Good luck and let me know what turns up.

    • Zip lining in Costa Rica was spectacular. The views were amazing and there was a good amount of adrenaline involved. It truly is a unique experience.

      Out of the 34 countries that I’ve visited, Italy is in the top 3. I hope you make it there :)

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

  8. If you reach 5000 followers, let me know how you did it lol. If you do Yosemite, keep going and hit Glacier Park in Montana and do the Road to the Sun. Astounding vistas and views. You might consider Waterton Park in Alberta as well (we had an encounter with a grizzly there), just a bit north of the entrance/exit to Glacier Park. 23 is a blast, just did that and it worked out well.

    • I’ve been averaging 80 followers or more a week for the last 4 weeks so I thought 5000 in a year was reasonable. 80 X 52 = 4160 and I already have 470 + 4160 = 4630

      I’ve only been blogging for 2.5 months though so I may be way off. It’s a goal though.

      I’m going to look into Glacier Park in Montana now. That would cover two items on my list and is worth checking out.

      Thanks for the suggestions,

      Lesley

  9. Hmm. I’ve done 9 on your list in the first paragraph.
    I would like to encourage you to definitely try the surfing (I was out again today in NYC in my new wetsuit and loved it) and stand-up paddleboarding – fun even if it’s just laughing when you and your friends fall off the board!.
    Even though you’ve scuba’d and swam with whales, the aquarium at Epcot in Fla lets you dive in their tank. Unbelievably cool.
    Other stuff (I think) you need to do -
    - Snow skiing (alpine, but cross-country too if you feel you must)
    - Dinner at the top of a ski mountain (for us, it was a thrill riding up in the snow cat)
    - Mountain biking (i’ haven’t tried it yet, but would like to)
    - Luge/Toboggan (because it shouldn’t all be easy stuff).

    And keep blogging so I can keep living vicariously through you!

    • What are the 9 that you’ve done? I’d love to hear about them.

      I own a surf board and I’ve tried surfing; I even took a lesson in Costa Rica, but my level of success has been minimal. I’d like to stay on the board regularly! I love being in the water so the learning process has not been too painful :)

      I haven’t tried paddle boarding yet but the more I think about it, I’m going to look into it this week.

      “Dinner at the top of a ski mountain” sounds like a great plan and doable this year. I’m going to look at the availability around here before adding it to the list but it’s a great idea!

      A few of the other suggestions like mountain biking will have to wait until next year’s list because of pregnancy restrictions but many others have suggested it so it must be a great experience.

      Do you have a list of things you’d like to do this year?

      Thanks for reading and commenting and keep the great ideas coming,

      Lesley

      • - got married. Smartest thing I ever did, to the most wonderful woman in the universe.
        - went sky-diving – Static line, then later on, a tandem.
        - rock climbing and rappelling – In the Shawangunks at New Paltz, NY. First “extreme” sport I tried.
        - sailing – Mostly out of Port Washington, NY, but I once crewed on a boat for the Around Long Island Regatta. That will be an upcoming post for me, I’ll ping you when I write it.
        - jet skiing – Last time was in Florida, North Hollywood, but my wife and I did a tour on jet skis in Key West, Fl. Her first time on one, and couldn’t have picked a better introduction!
        - windsurfing – I. Sucked. At it. Moving on…
        - kayaking – this was my wife’s idea, and it was a great one. Storage space is the only reason we don’t have our own.
        - swimming with beluga whales and dolphins – did swimming with sea life at Epcot on my tank dive with them. It really is incredible. And when I learned to dive in Turks and Caicos, a dolphin just showed up to hang out a while. Unbelievable!

        bungee jumping, base jumping, dog sledding, trapeze swinging, caving are all on my list, when I can get the opportunity. Next will probably be a trip to Portland OR for bungee.
        My wife won’t do several of these, but she said she’d hold the camera!

        • Congrats on the wedding! We were married in Jamaica in January where we were able to do the trapeze and rock climbing in our wedding attire. We also went jet skiing and windsurfing while we were there and hoped to try kite boarding but the weather wouldn’t cooperate.

          Although I’ve been swimming with dolphins and whales, one has never just showed up in the ocean before. i think I would have been a little intimidated. What a great experience for you though!

          Good luck with your bungee jump; I’m sure you’ll love it. There is something so liberating about free-falling through the sky, even if it is only for a few seconds.

          Keep me up to date with your adventures. I love hearing about the travels and new experiences of others.

          Thanks for your continued support.

          Lesley

  10. Fantastic list Whew you will have a very busy year ahead (and that’s just with baby) :-) Good for you not giving up your travel goals and dreams with a baby on the way. You should continue doing what you love and modify as necessary to accommodate the newest addition. I wish you luck and look forward to following your blog as you make it through your bucket list.
    I would suggest checking out the following blog (if you haven’t already). http://walkingontravels.wordpress.com She is a mother and has continued to travel with child. I think the experiences gained by the child are priceless.

  11. Without a doubt, children change your life. They intensify experiences, they make you look at everything differently. My children were and continue to be – 22 and 19 years on – the very best part of life. Reading your blog and seeing how much you have done, I have no doubt that you will naturally add in time to just be. Be a mom. Be still. Lay down in the grass and look up at the sky. Stare for long periods at the face of your child. Watch her sleep.Watch her wake up. Watch her. But not hover and stop her from learning about life. Enjoy her scent and her noises and the nuances that are her. Don’t rush through life; just drink in every moment.

    • Beautifully said :)

      I’ve been surrounded by children my entire life and from my brothers and sisters of all ages to the children I taught in school, they’ve filled my life with a joy that can only be described as perfection. Now that I’m going to be a mother, I often reflect on what’s to come and how truly blessed I am. Seeing the precious little clothes, smelling the baby powder and hearing her heart beat on the ultrasound have given me new eyes to life. I look forward to showing her the world and supporting her along the way.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; I look forward to hearing from you again.
      :)

    • I’ll actually be in Vegas in November but I think it’s going to be a busy few days. We’re taking a helicopter tour over the Grand Canyon, staying at The Venetian, going to a few shows, doing the Winter in Venice full experience, and hoping to get the Ferrari driving experience in there as well.

      It would be nice to meet you though so maybe we could figure something out. I’ll send you more details when the schedule is more concrete.

      I love reading your blog and viewing the pictures. Keep posting :)

      Lesley

      • Thank you so much! I greatly appreciate your feedback. I am also just starting out, so this is a new world for me. I haven’t had nearly the travels that you have, but I am eager to go to as many countries as I can to have unique adventures.

        And yes, I would be happy to meet up, even if it’s brief. Please let me know when you have a better idea of what your schedule is looking like. Hopefully I haven’t missed you. =)

        Best.
        HB

  12. Hi Lesley!

    I’m so glad I found your blog. Congratulations on your baby girl, what an exciting time! I love your outlook on having a baby, it’s simply another little person to share adventures and experiences with and by no means does life have to stop! Best of luck to you and your family, I will look forward to reading more!

    Caitlyn

    • I love your blog and I’m sure will have lots to discuss in the upcoming posts. Your header picture is stunning!

      Your Decorating for Fall! photos and ideas are inspiring.

      Keep posting,

      Lesley

  13. You are going to be an amazing mom. And you WILL keep traveling. Heck, deliver your baby girl than head to Hawaii on your first trip together. It’s easy, laid back and fun. It’s what we did when my son was born. Now we have baby #2 on the way. It’s a little scary facing the unknown and thinking of traveling with two, but heck, if I can head to China with a 20 month old on my own, I can handle 2 of them no problem. At least that’s what I keep telling myself. Enjoy the last few months of your pregnancy. Don’t worry about the baby weight. Kids naturally make you loose weight as you run after them and forget to eat cause of all you are doing (I don’t recommend not eating though!) Plus your travel spirit will keep you fit no problem.

    • It’s encouraging to hear that others are traveling and enjoying new experiences with children by their side. Congratulations on the second child on the way and what I’m sure is a beautiful family already.

      I’m not too worried about the baby weight. I’ve always had a very active life-style and a more active metabolism.

      Do you have any up and coming trips planned?

      Keep that adventurous spirit; you’re an inspiration to other adventurous travelers.

      Lesley

  14. Thanks for “liking” my blog–I’m enjoying the 30 days of travel blogging through bootsnall.com; I’ve connected with a lot of other travel fiends like myself!
    Our son–now 14–has been on the road with us in various ways since he was 3 months old, and we took him up to my in-laws for Thanksgiving! Before that, we took him on a tour of the State Capitol building (we had family in) in a little “kangaroo pouch” (one of those things you wear the baby in front) at the tender age of 6 weeks. He’s been from Missouri to up and down the East Coast, Canada, and parts of Germany, Austria and Switzerland by plane, train, and automobile– he’s always ready for adventure!
    Enjoy the young years with your firstborn–they go by swiftly, and are like nothing else in the world! Parenting is an extreme sport, in many ways….
    Mary

    • I’ve looked into bootsnall.com after reading your comment and I’d love to write for them. I’m going to review their policies and go from there. I’m glad you mentioned it! :)

      Traveling with your family provides hope and inspiration for me and my dreams of continued travel after the birth of my baby girl.

      Keep up the travels and the great posts. Where are you off to next?

      Thanks for taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

  15. First of all, congratulations being pregnant! Secondly, I am so envious of your life!! I love your list, especially the unplanned road trip! I have no doubt you will achieve everything (and more) on your list, (you’ve inspired me to make one) and I wish you all the best for the future!
    You’ll be the coolest mum ever and everyone here knows you’ll do fantastically well in everything you do. xx

    • Thank you for the encouraging words. Being a new mother is the most important aspect of my life. On ultrasound days, like today, I wake up at 5 or 6am without any hope of going back to sleep. I’m so excited to see my precious baby girl’s little fingers and toes and her beautiful little nose that is so defined already. I can’t wait to show her world and have more new experiences with her than I ever thought possible.

      Do you have any goals that you’d like to meet for this year? You should create a list! I’d love to hear some of your ideas.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s greatly appreciated.

      Lesley

  16. p.s I forgot to include my suggestion of abseiling down a waterfall… it’s exhilarating! of course that’s a suggestion for after the bubs is born. Best of luck to you and your family :)

    • I can’t believe I haven’t done that yet but it will make next year’s list for sure. It may be a bit ambitious for this year but it sounds right up my ally.

      Where did you get to do this?

      Thanks for a great suggestion,

      Lesley

    • I’ve copied this list to my email and I’m going to create a similar post-pregnancy list. It’s beautiful and perfect, and quite funny to me right now at 5 months pregnant.

      Thanks for the best suggestion of the week!

      Lesley

    • I did see the Northern Lights and they are beyond words. I lived in northern Manitoba for two years so they became my evening backdrop while I was there.

      I’d love to hear what you come up with for a list! Other ideas are inspirational!

      Let me know what you come up with.

      Lesley

  17. I LOVE Stand-Up Paddleboarding! I love that it’s so chill, but still requires your attention. I’ve taken my dogs out on the board and my friends have taken their kids who were as young as 1 year at the time.

    If you haven’t been to Lake Superior yet, I recommend heading to Bayfield and sailing around the Apostle Islands. My family adores it and it’s a great way to spend time together. It’s not too tough, either, if you have someone along who knows what they’re doing. The last time I went, I got on the boat 1 hour after getting 11 stitches in my knee. It made it difficult to get around the boat, but it was a good excuse to soak up the sun and the views.

    Good luck with your bucket list!

    • Do you think I could try SUP while pregnant? I’ve asked a few others, my doctor included, and they don’t see a problem with it, but it’s helpful to hear it from someone with experience.

      Lesley

      • You could definitely do it while pregnant! I would recommend first trying it on a smooth lake before the ocean, but if it’s a smooth day on the ocean you should be fine. As you develop more of a baby belly I would start on your knees before you work up to standing. The nice thing about SUP is that you’re not going too fast and the water makes for a cushy landing. Have fun and enjoy!

  18. Ah! This is really cool. These are ideas that are totally cool and yet completely doable, even for me, a high school student. Stand-Up Paddleboarding is soso fun (and apparently a great ab workout). Find somewhere beautiful, rent a board, and enjoy the beautiful world you live in! Keep up the good work, and keep us posted as you cross these things off your bucket list!

    • I figured since I’m living in southern California, stand-up paddleboarding and surfing needed to be on the top of my list. I’ve been meaning to try SUP for months now but it just always seemed like something else came up. I have a wet suit and it still fits so I’m hoping to cross that one off of my list within the next few weeks.

      Do you have a list for this year or in general? I’d love to hear some of your ideas.

      And by the way, anything is doable for a high school student. I taught high school for 8 years and I learned that the first week.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

  19. Wow, that was some year you had! Amazing. Congratulations on the baby, also. No doubt you will have lots of exciting adventures with her. I can’t of much to add to your list that doesn’t require you to be, well, not pregnant (ha!) but how about something like trying a new food every week? Different cultures, different foods. Might even be some inspiration for your next trip.

    • my husband suggested a new food each week or at least each month and I was a little too quick to dismiss it. Others have suggested this as well; maybe it’s time I give it more consideration.

      Thanks for the great suggestion,

      Lesley

  20. Fun list! You’ve got me thinking now that I should also really come up with a solid list of plans. I have plenty of voices in my head that tell me what I’d love to do or see, but maybe I should get it in writing!

    • Let me know what you come up with! Others ideas are always the best inspiration, even if I add my own little twist.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

  21. Thanks for liking my blog! I came to see you, and found I am enthralled by all that you are doing/have done/want to do! If you would like to do the sunset on the top of a mountain in Santa Barbara, I have a spectacular view from my patio. We can sit on clouds [down patio furniture] and see it set over the ocean. I also have a friend that owns an adventure company, and does Stand Up Paddleboarding with groups all the time. If you are in Santa Barbara, let’s do one or both of those things! I think she also does Yoga on Stand Up Paddleboards, but I do not have the coordination for that! :)

    • Wow! Thank-you and I’m going to talk to my husband tonight about visiting Santa Barbara again. We went paragliding there a few months ago, before I was pregnant, and we regretting not spending more time there. I love to meet new people and I’m going to try to make it happen :) I’ve added your email and I’d love to stay in touch.

      If you’re in the south before then, please let me know!

      Lesley

    • Simply put, I have a husband who is an crazy as I am ;)

      We love to travel and experience new things so we make it a priority, starting with a list.

      Do you have any suggestions? It’s always the ideas of others that inspire me as long as I add a few twists of my own.

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s greatly appreciated.

      Lesley

  22. Congratulations on your pregnancy. I’ve been catching up on your blog and really enjoying reading about your zest for life.
    On a similar line to Elizabeth’s comment I would add:
    1) Plan ‘x’ number of days/evenings out with your hubby. Once your baby has arrived it’s nice to be able to schedule some husband and wife time every now and then.
    2) Organise a network group for new mummies in your area to enjoy some pamper time together on a regular basis (the husband’s can take charge of the babies).
    3) Read Hypnobirthing: the Mongan method : a natural approach to a safe, easier, more comfortable birthing. Regardless of how you plan to have your baby this book is brilliant. It puts your mind into a really great place and has a relaxation CD with it too.
    4) Plan a timeline to see the other great wonders of the world with your baby.

    Good luck and keep writing :)

    • I’ve started to find a network of new mommies and I think it will help with all aspects of life. Not only do I hope to spend time with them but I’d like to spend time with their children, and vise-versa, to create “hubby-date-nights”.

      I didn’t hear of Hypnobirthing: the Mongan method, but I’m going to look into it today!

      Thanks for the great suggestions. Keep up with your blog; you have some great ideas.

      Lesley

  23. Hey Lesley,
    Really enjoyed your post. Have you tried:

    1. Doing absolutely nothing for 5 days. Or 10 days. As in no reading, writing, TV, talking etc, pretty much just lots of staring at the wall. It’s wild. Change your life, oh-crikey-this-is-challenging-but-also-exhilarating kind of wild.

    2. Pilot A Stunt Plane – with UFly extreme in Motueka NZ. Tried it a few months ago and can vouch for it 100%. It’s awesome. Consistently rates as one of the best adventure things to do in NZ. You fly the pane and do stunt rolls, loop-de-loop things. And you’re flying over the Abel Tasman National Part, which is an awesome thing to do even the right way up. Might have to wait post baby for that one:) http://www.uflyextreme.co.nz/

    Best wishes for bubs and things, Lisa:)

    • Doing nothing for 5 days would be totally beyond my capabilities! I have a hard time doing nothing for 5 minutes – or even 5 seconds sometimes. Since being pregnant, I’ve really slowed down from teaching 8 hours a day, coaching several sports, being physically active, tutoring, teaching ESL online, and volunteering. Now, I enjoy writing, reading, walking, and lots of eating :)

      I think a stunt plane would be a great addition for next year’s list. I’m not even allowed in a hot air balloon pregnant so a stunt plane may be beyond my abilities… this year. It’s a great suggestion, though, and I will add it for a future list.

      Do you have a bucket list? Do you have things that you’d like to accomplish this year. I’d love to hear about them.

      Thanks for commenting and keep them coming,

      Lesley

    • My husband did have a position arranged before we left, although it all came together within less than a month.

      I was on The Price is Right a few months ago but I never made it on stage so I’m hoping for that :)

      I couldn’t be more excited about the baby. I love the process and I can’t wait until I can share the world with her and my husband.

      I love your The Cheat Day post. Sometimes make me sick and my husband asks why I still consciously choose to eat them, but sometimes it’s just worth it. ;)

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated.

      Lesley

    • Thank you! Traveling and adventure have shaped my life as much as family.

      Do you have a list of things you’d like to accomplish this year?

      Thanks for reading and taking the time to comment; it’s appreciated,

      Lesley

  24. Hi Lesley, thanks for dropping by my blog. I’m in the process to make it a dual language blog. Btw, looking at your bucket list.. Quite ambitious. For the “Beach” and “National Park” as per your list,.. try Malaysia. We have one of the 10 most beautiful beach in the world and the oldest Rain Forest National Park as well… How about Scuba Diving?.. Google for Sipadan Island then… :-)
    http://www.hueoflife.wordpress.com

    • I’ve tried to be as realistic in creating my list for this year as possible considering I’m five months pregnant. Both the beach and a national park surround me here in California and are within driving distance. Although I’d love to add Malaysia to my list this year, it seems more realistic for next year’s list. The beauty and mystery of Malaysia has always fascinated me and I hope to visit there within the next two years.

      As for scuba diving, I’d like to feel more comfortable with snorkeling first since sharks are one of my greatest fears.

      Thanks for the great suggestions and they’ll make the top of my next list.

      Lesley

  25. Lesley, if I could learn to do one thing well in a year, it would be the tango. I took a lesson once, and it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever tried. I also think cave diving would be a frightening extreme experience, if you didn’t try it as part of your caving adventures.

    My favorite travel experience is this one. I dreamed of going to Paris from the time I was small. Unfortunately, a smothering mother and my devotion to her caused me to not leave the country until I was 33. (Like you, I made up for lost time with gusto. :) ) It is my husband’s favorite city, and he took me there one November before we married. My first overnight ocean flight. No sleep. I arrived to a gloomy place in a grumpy mood. Why did I ever want to travel? I asked myself.

    MTM had defined plans for me, though. He shuttled me onto a train, and we rode into the city. Train tracks = ugly, especially in the rain. I was miserable. We arrived at Gare du Nord, and MTM was determined to get off there. In the haze of the sleep deprived, I followed him underground from exit to exit to exit. He could never make up his mind which stair to take, and I couldn’t understand why he didn’t just pick one already so that I could go to bed.

    Finally, he started up a stair. When our heads broke the surface, the clouds parted, and I saw blue sky and light. I looked to my left, and there was Notre Dame, dappled by streaking sun. I couldn’t believe I was there, that I was seeing something I’d dreamed about for so long.

    I cried.

    And, then I hit the bakery and had my first pastry. :)

    You don’t need inspiration for your travels, but I hope you see a place that moves you to tears in the coming year.

  26. My Happiness Project:

    Shake hands with Wes Anderson
    Learn to say “no” without feeling guilty
    Skydiving over the Carpathian Mountains
    Taking a road trip without any destination
    Dating Mr. Wrong
    Scuba diving in Tuscany
    Touring the Mediterranean Sea
    Bungee jumping
    Watching the NY Theatre Ballet’s Swan Lake
    Learn Japanese
    Taming a Shrew :))
    Tightrope walking
    Cross my country on a bicycle.
    Dive in a submarine
    Make a difference in at least one person’s life
    To visit Kiyomizu Temple in Japan & The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York
    Fire a pistol
    Live in a foreign country for six months
    Read every novel that has won a Pulitzer Prize, in the Fiction Category.
    Watch the American Film Institute’s (AFI) 100 Funniest Movies
    etc :)
    What can I say…I’m a dreamer!

    Cheers from Bucharest, Lesley :)

    • There’s nothing wrong with being a dreamer; it’s how I got to where I am in life. My family has always said that I was crazy and out of my mind to want so much out of life but it has never stopped me and they’ve loved the journey along the way.

      Let me know when accomplish each of your goals; they will fuel my desire to conquer my own and “Make a difference in at least one person’s life”.

      Lesley

  27. Lesley, thank you for “Liking” my post on my blog. I do have some challenges for you to add for THIS year:

    - Have a natural birth in the water (if you can do so with a dolphin – in Hawaii)
    - Sew a pair of mitten and send them to a random orphanage
    - Plant a tree on the day you birth your daughter
    - Race a car (I professionally race – I got you :)
    - If you celebrate Christmas, give everyone of your gifts to someone in need

    Boom!

    • You have a beautiful outlook on life – “So take too many pictures, laugh too much, forgive freely, and love like you’ve never been hurt.”

      I love the idea of sending something to a random orphanage. I think I’ll do that today!

      Have a great day and thanks for reading,

      Lesley

  28. After your daughter is grown up a little (or maybe before she is born), look into the Acajatuba Lodge on the Rio Negro in Brazil. My wife & I went in 2003 and didn’t want to leave. Thatched huts, pirahnna fishing, wildlife tours, pink dolphins and caipirinhas galore. Accessible only by boat and they turn the generators off at night. Rustic. We didn’t want to leave. Not a place you want to take kids.

    • Hopefully I will be able to experience Brazil with my child and my husband. I haven’t set foot in South America yet and it is, without a doubt, the place I want to visit most.

      Your time at the Acajatuba Lodge sounds magical!

      Thanks for sharing.

      Lesley

  29. Ride up to 18,680ft asl in Great Indian Himalayas battling the cold winds and high altitude with no oxygen for your bike to burn the fuel even.

    I am sure you will love the challenge catching with the breath, since your adventures surely are breath taking, more ideas are full of adrenalin, once you are ready to rock on.

    Best wishes for the baby :)
    M.

  30. I dont know how you did it , but I believe you are living the life I was supposed to have! Which makes it funny I have done one of the things (sort of) on your bucket list- I had the chance to swim with a shark…not nearly as scary as I thought it would be. Thanks for stopping by my blog!

    • Swimming with sharks is not on my list because I’m actually terrified of them! I’ve done some amazing, crazy things in my life but I can’t seem to overcome that fear. Congratulations to you for doing it. :)

      Do you have a bucket list or a list of goals?

      Lesley

  31. Lesley – awesome the things you have done!! And the dreams of great things to come!! Have you taken the Alaskan Ferry – from Seattle to Alaska through the great North Passage? (Inland Passage) I did it years ago and it was most amazing and beautiful. A great journey. I also love the glaciers in Alaska. I lived in the Arctic for a year and that was pretty wild too. I hope you come up with some great adventures for the upcoming year.
    Best Regards
    Jim

    • I didn’t take the Alaskan Ferry but I did visit Alaska a few months ago, before I was pregnant. We flew in a helicopter, landed on a glacier, went dog sledding, and rode the aerial tram all in one day. It was an insane weekend to say the least.

      Although I haven’t lived in the Arctic, I was in Norway House, Manitoba for two years. There were some days that it was so cold the diesel would freeze in the buses, which was the only time school was cancelled. It was intense at times.

      Were you working in the Arctic?

      Lesley

  32. Seeing you list just reminds me how much I still need / want to do in this world! I have a bucket list also (although not as adventerous as yours : ]) and its filled with all of the things that I would love to accomplish. Just know that even through you pregnancy, you inspire me! … *Runs out to do something great tomorrow* ^_^

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