My 2016 Bucket List Ideas

Selfie with a Penguin in Antarctica

Happy New Year! I hope you had a wonderful holiday season with family and friends.

After a wild 2015 of trekking gorillas and chimpanzees, searching for polar bears, taking selfies with penguins, swimming with whale sharks, and diving with great white sharks, I didn’t know what to focus on for this year’s list. I’ve accomplished so much since I started creating a yearly list. People often ask me if I’m running out of ideas, but my list actually keeps getting longer. It becomes more difficult to focus on yearly ideas because there is so much I want to accomplish, witness, experience, and learn in my life. For the first time in five years, my list isn’t complete and it’s already January 4th. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far but I’m going to continue editing until the end of the week.

Blue Door in Jerusalem
2016 Bucket List:

Destinations: 
Greenland
Maui
Zambia
Brazil
Sweden
Bulgaria
Mauritius
Mall of America (The largest mall in the US)
Joshua Tree National Park
Lake Tahoe
Avenue of the Giants
Mammoth Lakes
Sequoia and Kings Canyon National Parks
Yosemite National Park
Lassen Volcanic National Park
San Francisco
Temecula
Santa Clara
Ride the Skunk Train through redwoods

Adventures: 
Swim with beluga whales in Churchill, Manitoba
PADI certification
Hang gliding
Go off-roading in dune buggies
Follow Route 66
Underwater Scooter Adventure
Seaplane Flight Tour
Canyoning
Take the train across several states with Athena

Family: 
Camp on the beach with Athena and Darren
Teach Athena to use a mask and snorkel
Stay at LEGOLAND hotel
Aquarium of the Pacific
Six Flags Magic Mountain
Take Athena for her first ski lesson
Take Athena to Disneyland on her birthday
Universal Studios Hollywood
Ride the Ferris wheel in Santa Monica
Spend a month in Canada with my family
Take Athena boogie boarding for the first time
Create an outdoor space in our yard that we love

 I’d love for a major focus to be on discovering more of California. We are proud to call this state our home and we look forward to knowing it like the back of our hands.

What additions would you suggest for my 2016 list? Do you know of a wild adventure in California? What about other locations that are just too good to miss? I look forward to your suggestions as I edit my list.
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41 thoughts on “My 2016 Bucket List Ideas

  1. What a great list!

    Embarking on a long train journey across the States has been on my bucket list since I was about 16. I’m in my early twenties now, living in the UK and working hard to make my dreams happen someday. I can’t wait to see more of the world!

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    • Are you from the UK? Have you been to the US before? Train travel in the US is very different from train travel in Europe but I’d love to explore more by train as well. When you visit, be sure to message me and I’ll show you are southern California 🙂

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      • Yes, I’m from England. I’ve never been to the States before, but I’m fascinated by the country and I’ve read a lot about the US. I enjoy listening to American radio – I download NPR podcasts for my commute. 🙂

        That’s very kind of you, thank you. 🙂 California and New England appeal to me in particular. Very different areas, but then that’s part of the appeal of the US. There is so much diversity!

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  2. You should put Romania on your bucket list too! Plenty to see, to do, and it would be great for your whole family, including Athena! 🙂 Have an awesome year, I know you’ll tick every box of your bucket list for 2016! 🙂

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    • I’m going to look into the possibilities of Romania today. You might see it there by the end of the week. I haven’t been before and this is the second time in the last month that someone suggested it. Maybe it’s a sign.

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          • You mustn’t miss Transylvania then – the central region around Brasov (with Peles and Bran Castle), the small city of Sighisoara and the amazing Sibiu! On the way you can explore many old medieval Saxon fortified churches, or even hike in the mountains if you wish to do so! Whatever you do, have fun! 🙂

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  3. I’m from the Island of Hawai’i, the Big Island. Have you had the opportunity to see a lava flow up close and personal (occasionally too close to homes and towns for comfort). It is always awe inspiring and beautiful. Or you could come in the winter, ski down the north face of Mauna Kea in the morning and then go Boogie Boarding in the afternoon.

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    • Happy New Year! I visited the Big Island two years ago but it was without my daughter. I’d love to return with her and my husband. Hawaii is one of our favorite places in the world and we’re trying to visit a new island every year. Are flights expensive between the islands? It would be ideal to island hop.

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  4. If you get up to San Franciso I’d love to meet you and maybe find the very best activity for your daughter and my 3 & 5 year old granddaughters. Of course Disneyland is top of the list for them–they just returned from 4 days there. I’m doing a blog post tomorrow.

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  5. Pingback: My 2016 Bucket List Ideas | quirkywritingcorner

  6. Well, I may be a bit biased, but you’re right about there being so much to see in California, that you should spend some time on that :). I’ve spent most of my life in California, yet I have never been to Yosemite (going to try to correct that this summer).

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  7. I love, love, LOVE that you are committing to exploring more of California! I don’t know if it’s the allure of faraway places, but we forget sometimes that there are magical wonderful things right there in our own backyards! We’re committing to really getting to know Hawaii in depth since we’re probably going to be moving this summer. I’d hate to leave the islands without fully appreciating them.

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  8. Looks like a great list. I’m glad to see those National Parks on the list. This year is the National Park Service’s centennial. I’m hoping to get to Utah with the family and visit the Mighty 5 (Arches, Canyonlands, Capitol Reed, Bryce Canyon and Zion). Happy 2016!

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  9. Sounds amazing! Do you do all of your travel independently or tend to go through companies?

    I am planning travel in Borneo because it’s very diverse – a PADI course and mountain climbing is also on my bucket list for there but it looks like you’ve definitely got that covered! 🙂

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  10. LOVED Lassen! I need to get back there myself! Hey, for dumb fun for the kidlet, Up near Crescent City and the Redwoods are the Trees of Mystery and a life size talking Paul Bunyon, with Babe the Big blue ox! Kids (ok and dads) love it!

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  11. Happy New Year Lesley! Please let me know if you come to SF, and we can meet for coffee! Also let me know if you end up going to Chile. I’ve traveled there once with my fiance, and once with a group of my middle school students. It’s magical! My favorite part is up north in the Atacama desert! : )

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  12. Super great list. I can’t wait to read about your adventures. I have lots of posts on Lake Tahoe, San Francisco, Yosemite, and Maui if you need ideas. Happy Travels.

    You will be up in my next of the woods if you want to connect for a joint adventure!

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  13. For all the things we have done with our kids and the adventures we have taken them on they will still say their favourite was surfing lessons. So much fun that when we asked if they would like to go to Disneyland or return to the camping a surfing spot they both picked surfing, that says a lot.

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  14. Awesome blog, I love what you’re doing! If you make it out to Minnesota to see the Mall of America, you should check out the Northland and specifically Duluth. I’m a California transplant living out in Duluth and it’s an awesome town, especially if you’re interested in the outdoors. We even have the largest lake in the United States, sometimes it feels like the ocean because you can’t see across the entire thing.

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