Can I Make it Happen?

This year I was completely out of my mind when I posted my 2013 Bucket List. I’m sitting My Jordan Journeyhere shaking my head at the thought of accomplishing all 50 items before the end of the year. While I’m well on my way with half of the items already checked off, I’m starting to worry about a few lingering ones. People ask me, however, if I feel defeated if I don’t accomplish everything on my yearly list, but my answer is always the same – never! Having a yearly list is constant encouragement to live every single day and every last second as a bucket list day. Life, after all, is worth living. So what’s left on the list? Can I make it all a reality? Stick with me over the next few months and lets see how it all unfolds. What’s the plan? Check it out below.

Items left to accomplish:

14. Try Snuba
20. Do an off-road ATV adventure
47. Visit Aruba
48. Do a moonlight hike
49. Windsurfing

I leave for Aruba on Thursday! It’s a quick five day trip but I plan on crossing off 5 items while I’m there. What an adventure it will be to try snuba, off-road ATVing, windsurfing, and a moonlight hike all on the one happy island. My bathing suit and ATC Chameleon video camera are packed and ready to go.

Upcoming trips already in the making-
11. Go on an all-inclusive family vacation
16. Visit St. Kitts
26. Visit Israel

As a family, we head to Hard Rock Hotel Vallarta, Mexico in less than two weeks. It will be the first all-inclusive, family vacation in three years and the first ever for Athena. With golden beaches, cristaline waves, and pools for days, we’re in for an exciting family experience. Israel and St. Kitts are booked as well, making it only a matter of time before adding the accomplishment mark to numbers 11, 16, and 26.

Canada –
8. Be in Ottawa on Canada Day
15. Visit my family in Canada
35. Go to a corn maze / hedge maze

I’m in the process of working with Tourism Ontario and Tourism Ottawa to make these three items a reality. Being Canadian, I always imagined spending Canada Day in the nation’s capital, Ottawa. I remember being a child and watching a show on tv about the festivities in Ottawa on Canada’s birthday. The planes, the fireworks, the happy Canadians all dressed in red and white… it was spectacular! Adding to the excitement of Ottawa, I’ve booked tickets for Saunders Farm, a hundred acres of farm, fresh fun and 10 hedge mazes. I don’t want to stop at two items for the week though so while I’m already in the country, I think I’ll make a quick stop in Nova Scotia to see my family.

On my way-
40. Reach 20 million blog views

Today I’m at 18,603,447 page views. I have 7 months left so I’m extremely hopeful about this one, but I still need your support. Thank you for reading and helping make all of my bucket list dreams come true. I feel like the Cinderella of travel and you are my Prince Charming for constantly reading.

North Carolina-
3. Go to an NFL game
6. Drive a NASCAR
17. Volunteer
22. Milk a cow
23. Visit Lazy 5 Ranch
28. Visit Discovery Place Kids
24. Take Athena ice skating

These items can all be accomplished in North Carolina. I may not have them booked or a set plan, but with a little bit of thought and effort, I’m certain they will be part of my completed section. Does anyone know a farm in North Carolina where I can milk a cow? What should I do… just go to a farm and ask? Maybe.

Now for the more difficult challenges-
1. Go on an African Safari
9. Skydive – again (I’m addicted)
13. Cage dive with great white sharks
31. Surprise my husband with a weekend getaway
36. Go to the airport with a bag packed and pick a random weekend adventure

I’ve been dreaming about an African safari my entire life. I’m surprised it took this long to make it on the list, but in all honesty I was afraid to add it. It seems so unrealistic, like something people only do in the movies. If there is one item that I don’t accomplish this year, this will be it, and cage diving too because they go hand-in-hand. I can picture it; it’s within my reach but I don’t know if it will happen this year. Where to begin? Contact tour companies? Speak with the tourism board? Just book a flight and go, hitting number 36 and possibly 31 as well? Or maybe I should go with my brother, Barry, who’s life-long dream has been to go on a safari as well. Maybe they offer skydiving there too and I can hit all five at once.

I have seven months. Can I make it happen?


101 thoughts on “Can I Make it Happen?

  1. If you get to Indianapolis or Cincinnati, I’m an hour away. My Amish neighbors will let you milk as many cows as you would like! 🙂


    • It’s difficult to pack for something like that but I always feel like if I have my camera, a bathing suit, a sweater, and a dress I’m set for almost everywhere… at least in the summer 😉


  2. I’m sure you’ll check off most of your list items, if not all. You might even need to add a few! In all actuality, it’s been my life-long dream as a photographer to do an African Safari too. I’ve talked to many people who have done it and absolutely loved it so if you’re brother isn’t down for the trip, I’M TOTALLY IN, Leslie! 🙂


  3. People criticize me for having extremely lofty goals. They say I am setting myself up for failure. Even if I don’t reach all my goals I am much more likely to accomplish more with challenging goals than if I had easy to reach goals that I knew I could reach.

    Lofty goals push us to try things we would not have tried otherwise and help us find new and better ways to do the things we already do.


  4. I’ve been following your blog for over a year now, and I LOVE your travels.
    I can help with #1 and #13! I’m a travel agent, and a fellow agent just got back from doing both, so we have the connections to help show you options! She talks about it non-stop, and LOVED every minute of it. Lemme know if you want some pointers or any help! You can totally pull off the rest of your list! (no pressure – I’d be here more as a friend than an agent pushing anything down your throat! I just wanna see you do everything you wanna do!!)


    • I put a lot of thought into creating the list each year so that it’s not only possible but enjoyable. I never feel rushed or like it’s just something to tick off the list. I try to always live in the moment and enjoy each experience I’m blessed to have. 🙂


  5. Guadalupe, Mexico has some Great White cage-diving opps I believe from August-September while there are awesome opportunities at the spooky Farallon islands, just up the road from me, about 17 miles due west of San Francisco. That season is a bit longer (from September through the end of November) and the whites are HUGE near the Farallons. Big as busses, some of the females! While the Mexican expedition is likely to be more temperate and easygoing (I haven’t done that tour), I can attest that the Farallon experience is pretty heavy duty: cold, powerful currents below, rough seas at the surface, intimidating atmosphere. The desolate locale itself makes for a deliciously scary experience. There are a few tours at work. Choose carefully. Great White Adventures is a group with whom it is well worth beginning a dialogue to see how they might best fit your plans for adventure, Lesley. Good luck and keep pressing onward!


  6. I live vicariously through you. But since I’m more USA bound, I can say some of the things on your list are things I have done (like milk a cow and attend an NFL game). My daughter went to South Africa a year ago and did a couple of cage dives with Great Whites. She said it was her best trip ever.


  7. Yes, u can!!! I’m finally doing something on my bucket list – going to Italy! While there I decided I want to visit my birthplace in Germany, Greece, and visit a friend in Sweden. 😀 you can do anything you set your mind to. May the force be with you 😉


  8. Concerning the African adventure, just book a flight and go:). May to October is the best time to see and dive with white sharks in South Africa. There are number of reputable cave diving operators in the Western Cape that can help you fulfill your dream. Good luck and enjoy:)


  9. You are rocking this list! My money’s on you touching all the bases this year. You’ve got the drive and the desire. Go forth and do what you do best – make things happen!


  10. Once managed a 2500 mile East African safari in a VW Beetle. That was a trip. 🙂 Amazing how big elephants appear from the perspective of a VW. And you have to drive around their droppings!


  11. Here’s a pretty extensive list of Farms in NC:


    I recently was at a farmstay in Hudson Valley, NY where they had no problem assisting me in learning to milk a cow. I don’t see why it would be a problem at any of these farms 🙂 Also if you have any of the universities or colleges near you with Animal Vet Science programs or –with farms–they may let you as well. They’ll show you how to clean the utters, properly protect your hands–and the utters–and milk.

    Let me know what you find! Best wishes to you!



  12. Fabulous list and plans! When you go to Africa for your safari, well, if you go to South Africa, check out the zip wire experience where you take 11 separate zip wires to get across the kloof. That was on my list and was ABSOLUTELY BRILLIANT! We went after Volunteering (also on my list) in a village near Pretoria where the two of us (with a small team of local builders) built a classroom!

    Come to Cornwall! Lots of places to learn to milk a cow and go wind-surfing!

    All the best to you all 🙂


  13. I rode the “Diamondback” at King’s Island a couple of weeks ago, and that was about all the adrenaline rush I could handle – of course I am a little older (54). Keep at it girl!


  14. You can go cage diving with sharks in South Africa – where you can also go on Safari – if you plan it right. Safari can be expensive – or not depending on where you go…. If it was me (as I have done this) – I’d choose one in Kruger – it’s expensive but so worth it….. Take a good zoom camera ;0)


    • I create a new list every year so these are just the things I’d like to do for this year. I’m not in a hurry but I have endless dreams and I don’t ever want to wake up one day and say, “I wish I had of…”. I want to take in as much as possible, yet live every minute to its fullest potential. There is no rush and “doing it all” will take my lifetime 🙂


  15. Congrats Lesley, you’re well on your way to accomplishing your list this year. You reminded me that I need to update mine as we’re nearly at the half way mark of 2013. Thanks again for inspiring me to create a list in the first place. Cheers!


  16. Thrilled to hear you’re actually coming to Ottawa this Canada Day, Lesley, When you have an itinerary I’d love to feature you on my blog, which you follow. I’d like your help with something regarding my link to your blog on my main page – I get a message asking me to format the widget, but unfortunately I’m at a loss as to what I should do. Are you familiar with WordPress setup?
    Looking forward to meeting you – IF I SHOULD BE SO LUCKY!!!
    [email protected]


  17. For Aruba and the ATV make sure you wear clothes you don’t like. They will be ruined. The dust that is kicked up is red and orange and stains clothes. I know from experience. Most people ATV to the natural bridge or near that area. I’ve been about 20 times. You should do the Butterfly Farm while there. Your daughter will love it.


  18. I so admire you! You are my inspiration! I left my job to do all the things that I wanted to do and now I am doing them. Hesitantly at first but getting bolder now. Blogs like yours make me bolder. I write about my experiences like riding a scooter in Mykynos, snorkelling in Santorini and skydiving in Toronto Ontario so I am finding courage to get out there. Keep writing because you inspire me to go and do it!


  19. I too am a Canadian who dreams of celebrating in Ottawa on Canada Day! I’ve also always wanted to see giraffes on an African safari!!! When you go 😉 maybe snap some giraffe pics (for me) ❤


  20. You know you don’t have to go all the way to Canada to do a corn maze haha! I’ve done them in the States a few times. They generally happen in the fall. It was pretty fun when I went but I remember the second time we spent a few hours in there and really couldn’t find our way out. So we cut through a few stalks because it was starting to get late. 🙂

    As for African stuff, I suggest checking out the blog 2Summers if you haven’ t already. She is an American expat who has lived in South Africa for the past three years and she has done quite a few tours on African reserves in SA photographing wild animals. I’m sure she’d have plenty of advice of which ones to do do/avoid.


  21. I think you can easily combine two or more of difficult challenges, e.g. 31 & 36 or 36 & 1 (if the flight happens to go in that direction 😀 ) Goodluck

    Now I am going to read your entire bucket list!


  22. Let me know if you need any tips for Israel. I think that you have already gone through my Israel posts in the past, but I have added a few new ones. Plus, I have many more pictures and ideas for posts tucked away. Our tour was pretty comprehensive, we saw most regions of the country.


  23. Seriously amazing!! I love it and I’m so excited for you… I’ve been enjoying golfing lately and realized that some of the golf courses I want to go to – ADD to the Bucket List! Plus now that we are PADI a whole new adventure of vacations opens up. You keep me thinking!


  24. You can do it! Love coming to your blog, so inspiring and makes me just want to say I can do anything too. I have a friend in Raleigh, will ask her if she knows of any farms. Thanks for sharing your adventures with us! 🙂


  25. You sure can! I seriously admire that you go out and do these things. It’s easy enough to say you’ll do it and live everyday to its fullest, it’s a completely different thing to actually do it.
    I truly hope you manage to cross everything off 🙂


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