2014 Bucket List

Bucket List Experiences

I didn’t want to count the items on this year’s list until it was complete. I had too many ideas; it would be impossible to do them all. I’m going to find a way to make them all happen though! Life, after all, is worth living, right? Besides, the more unrealistic we are with our dreams and goals the more we are able to achieve. My 2013 Bucket List included visiting Jordan, Curacao, Bermuda, France, various parts of Canada and the US, and several other countries. It also included adventures like snuba, ATV off-roading, snorkeling with manta rays at night, skeet shooting, and windsurfing. After coming up with 50 items, I accomplished all but three of them and they are on this year’s list. Do any of these items appear on your list? I can’t wait to read about your adventures too!

Here’s my 2014 bucket list:

1. An African Safari

2. A couples massage

3. Visit Riga, Latvia (The 2014 European Capital of Culture)

4. Cave snorkeling

5. Try bobsledding

6. See the Panama Canal for its 100 year celebration

7. Kayak a bio bay

8. Hike a tropical rain forest

9. Stay at Atlantis, Bahamas

10. Go on a vacation with just Darren

11. Ride The Current with my sister at Atlantis

12. Take Athena to San Diego Zoo

13. Take Athena to Disney’s Aulani

14. Take Athena on a trip (Just the two of us)

15.  Visit Etosha National Park

16. Visit Innsbruck

17. Take Athena to Windjammer Landing, St. Lucia

18. Take Athena to Europa Park

19. Visit Cabo, Mexico

20. Visit Cayman Islands

21. Try flyboarding

22. Take Athena on a Duffy Boat Tour in Newport Beach

23. Do the Sound of Music tour in Salzburg, Austria

24. Try an underwater glass helmet

25. Visit Austria

26. Visit Bonaire

27. Visit Namibia

28. Visit Vienna

29. Try SNUBA

30. Explore Washington Slagbaai National Park, Bonaire

31. Move back to California

32. Try kiteboarding

33. Visit Panama

34. Visit the Baltic Sea

35. Take Athena to a castle

36. Cage diving

37. Visit Puerto Rico

38. Go to Disneyland

39. Visit the US Virgin Islands

40. Swim with sharks

41. Visit Universal Studios Hollywood

42. Swim with Sea Turtles

43. Stay at another Hard Rock Hotel

44. Help a reader fulfill a bucket list goal

45. Meet a traditional tribe in Africa

46. Take Athena to Kinderhotel, Germany

47. Windsurfing lessons

48. Visit Germany with Athena

49. Go on a trip with my mother

50. Do the best adventure suggested by the readers of Bucket List Publications! (I can’t wait to read your suggestions)

Share via Facebook and Twitter and include the top item on your bucket list. Maybe we’ll help you make your bucket list dream a reality. 

148 thoughts on “2014 Bucket List

    • My husband and I are going on vacation this week and we couldn’t be more excited. We’re heading to Grand Cayman and we both haven’t been there before. It should be an awesome adventure 😉

      Then… my mom and I, as well as Athena and my sister, are going to Bahamas! We’re staying at Atlantis, which is a dream come true.

      I’ll hopefully be able to cross several items off in both locations.

      It’s going to be a busy, but amazing month.

      What is your next bucket list item?


      • I did a stingray thing in Grand Cayman when I was cruising. I think it was the best thing I’ve ever done. Their underside is incredibly soft. You will love it.

        I’m on vacation now. Not doing anything exciting. Just staying with a friend in Tampa. After our -45 windchills last week and 14″ of snow, this is a welcome relief.

        Have fun


      • Grand Cayman is beautiful, the water so crystal clear. You should try scuba diving while you’re there 🙂 And enjoy the rum cake! It’s everywhere and super delicious!


    • What was your favorite part about Curacao? It really is family-friendly, isn’t it? I can’t think of a place that allows children to do absolutely everything with parents, but Curacao is pretty close. 🙂


      • The beaches were fabulous, we had a blast at the ostrich farm and the food was excellent too. We were impressed with the cleanliness of the whole island and felt safe every spot we visited. I’m post my images soon and send you the link.


  1. I envy your life SO much! I’m hoping to save up and go Sweden to see the Northern Lights next year – fingers crossed! Great list – would love to do all of them! Except sky dive… I’ll give that one a miss… xx


  2. Hi Lesley,

    My bucket list suggestion for you is to get your skydiving license so you can jump solo. Skydive Jurien Bay in my hometown is the perfect place to learn. My hubby is an instructor too!!!

    I didn’t see Australia on your list though…?


    • I just realized I left Australia off of the list and I went back and added it in. It’s a huge addition but I think it’s possible this year.

      I’m not 100% certain I want to jump solo so it might make it on a list in a few years but not this year. I do love that feeling though and there is nothing that compares. I can see doing it myself at some point 🙂


      • I am a licensed skydiver though I have very few jumps in my log book (38). I was a novice when I got pregnant in 2005 and since having my son I have only done 3 solo jumps ( just in the past year). I’d love to get back into it someday. With a skydiving husband, life revolves around skydiving!
        If you love tandems, you’d love solo. Search my blog for my post about my first jump in 7.5 years!!


    • I chose St. Thomas because I love working with Marriott Vacation Club and they have a property there. I figured since I haven’t been to that area, I might as well add one this year and add the rest in the up-coming years. I’m sure I will visit St. John too 🙂

      Were you working there? What a great place to live! Did you feel isolated?


      • We worked there and found St. Thomas, while fun and attractive in many ways, to be a very dirty island. Trash is strewn around freely, and the streets when you get beyond the areas frequented by tourists are dangerous. It’s not safe to walk around wearing gold jewelry, etc. There’s a big financial gulf between wealthier tourists and the island natives. That often causes resentment and envy. Use common sense! All in all, working with the locals was pleasant. My husband was captain of a high speed ferry between ST. T. and Tortola, and he was the only white employee in the company. We made many friends while there.


      • Not any more. I left Finland after my BA, which was some years ago 😉 But I go back every summer (we have a summer house by the lake) and about every second Xmas. If you are interested, go to my blog and see tag FINLAND, and you can read about ice swimming etc.


      • ps I am the same person who asked you if you are coming to Paris after Marseille. Remember? Would be happy to meet up (in general like meeting new internationally-minded ppl) so if you have a stop-over in Paris, let me know 🙂


      • Unfortunately not! I have been back in Paris for less than 24hrs and already planning the next trip.. maybe skiing in the Alps or something else.

        PS Every winter I want to return to Finland in winter but then the sun always wins… but if you go to Finland, let me know and I can give some tips (my family lives there).


  3. Lesley you have a fabulous year planned! I too am going on a trip with my Mom. We are headed to Vancouver Island to go storm watching. I have appreciated your encouragement around blogging and growing a following. I don’t expect to hit a 100,000 this year though 🙂 Happy and safe travels.


    • I appreciate your support as well. I’ll continue to follow along and I enjoy your journey.

      Have a great time with your mom. That sounds like a fun adventure. We’re heading to Atlantis, Bahamas next week and I can’t wait to race her down the water slides 😉


  4. Wow! Some of these look like ones you can do together – that’s good! You will not regret the stock car experience! I was the back-up driver for one for an entire summer – amazing. Gives me lots of cred with my high school students when they see the picture on my desk! My big bucket list item this year is to see a play at the Globe theatre while I’m in London in June.


  5. If you make it to Israel, don’t miss Caesarea By The Sea. And if you make it to Caesarea, and if there is a singer in your group, be sure to take a moment to have them sing from the stage of the Roman Theatre ruins located there. Amazing! I’m envious of your bucket list. If I could accomplish all of that in one year, it would go down as the best year ever! Best wishes on this adventure!


  6. Lesley, your blog gives me permission to really dream and dream big. So I will have to think about my list. However, two things on your list really stuck with me; The African Safari has long been a dream for me. Probably the movie “Out of Africa” was part of that. The second was a US Road trip across the country. I did this trip with my Mom and brother when I was going into 9th grade and a summer trip with family seemed like a real downer. Now I would like to impose that same joy with my two sons. 🙂 As always you inspire me. Nikki


  7. Love your list! Have you made it to the Maldives yet? It’s such a magical destination and definitely worth putting on a bucket list 🙂 All the best, Irene


  8. I also have african safari on my list. Im going to Kenya in March/april and my plan is to go to Masai Mara and then try kite surfing when we go to Mombasa:) My long term plan is to make 80% of my clothes my self, so knitting a sweater is on my list:) Love that you want to go to a ballet..


  9. Awesome list for 2014! I’m planning on starting the Via Francigena walk and finishing my ebook on the camino de Santiago. Perhaps design a dress and make it after losing 50 pounds. My list is not quite as long as yours. I have seen the Northern Lights and was enlightened! Good luck!


    • The less you think about what you want in life or the less you dream about the possibilities, the less you accomplish. Life isn’t a race but I only get one shot at this one and I’m going to make every day count. I am capable of greatness and experiencing things that I never thought imaginable. That’s the way I want to spend each day. That is experience to me. When someone says, “I wonder what it’s like to pilot an airplane?” I can explain it to them. When someone says, “I’d love to see Petra” or “France” or “Italy” or Aruba” etc. I can show them through my own photos and explain my experiences. I’ll enter that race any day. Everyone wants something different in life. Please don’t judge me or “just say” because you want something different.


      • The smartest mentors I ever had said, “don’t take the picture, let the picture take you.” You have to actually be some place to do that. And, that takes time to experience the ebb and flow of a place. BTW, I’m not judging anybody or anything. I really don’t care. But, after a long, long time of doing this, I happen to think my opinions are valid. And, my opinions are borne of that experience.


  10. You’ll definitely love going to a turtle farm! I did it one week ago and I loved watching those little turtles hatch, they’re so cute!!! I also hope to re-try scuba diving, I did my first attempt last year and the results were…not that good, I barely made it to 10 meters before panicking haha I hope to conquer my fear of little colorful fish and try it again this year 😀


  11. This list is so inspirational. After finding your blog last year, I have been trying to just live and do things on my own bucket list so thank you for sharing your dreams and the actualization of those dreams! Can’t wait to read how you check off these great items too!


  12. Hi!!! I enjoyed reading all your list, you have great ideas of what it is to enjoy life. I’d love to do number #50 and also sky diving, is there a place you strongly suggest to do this?
    Thanks for sharing.


    • I’ve heard suggestions of Norway and northern Canada for the Northern Lights. Also, I’m sure Alaska would be amazing. I’m not sure where I’ll go yet.

      As for skydiving, I had a great experience with Skydive San Diego and in Fiji as well.

      Where are you located? Most places offer skydiving within driving distance 🙂


      • Thank you Lesley!! I am in Mexico, there are places that offer it, but I’m not sure if this will be something I will do more than one time so I wanted to make sure I got some suggestions, before choosing the place.
        Thank you so much!!!


  13. Since you’re moving back to California you should add – Visit Santa Cruz and take Athena to the Boardwalk. My small town is a perfect stop before you get to Alcatraz. San Fran is about an hour and 45 minutes from Santa Cruz. Sounds like you’ve already surfed but if you need a board and wetsuit I work at O’Neill Surf Shop and can totally help you out!


  14. Hey Lesley, great list! When in Namibia, be sure to visit Spitzkoppe (get a guide and do a multipitch climb there. On a good day you can see to the ocean when you reach the top!) Also recommended is sand boarding in the dunes close to Swakopmund.


  15. Lesley,

    In terms of number 4 “try scuba diving” are you looking to do a full course or just try it out? Both my wife and I are instructors and are local to your area. If you simply want to try it out, it would be easy enough to setup a pool session. Granted a pool session isn’t nearly as cool as going diving in open water but we would easily arrange for that as well.



  16. Fabulous list. I’ll teach you knit if you’ll help me find a guitarist or pianist to accompany me so I can sing one Thursday Night Live Music night at my favorite vegan joint. I’m having no luck so I’m asking my favorite guitarists/pianists. Crazy, I know but what the hell? I want it to be a benefit performance (they do many benefit days for animal advocates organizations, obviously) for mental illness, specifically Grassroots Crisis Center in my town. They saved my life and I want to pay them back in some way. It could happen! It would be a dream come true. You’re truly inspiring.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. ‘Visit Australia’ is a bit vague…..it’s a huge continent and has taken us 8 years to visit all 8 state/territory capitals! How about you narrow it down at least to one or two states – Climb the harbour bridge Sydney, New South Wales, or go to Uluru (previously Ayres Rock), Alice Springs, Northern Territories, OR swim with crocodiles at the crocosorium Darwin, NT, ride a bike around Rottnest Island, Perth, Western Australia, visit Cradle Mountain and explore Hastings Caves, Hobart, Tasmania, ride a tram in Melbourne, Victoria, catch The Ghan, Adelaide, South Australia, visit the Australian parliament, Canberra, ACT, come to Queensland and ride a city cat up Brisbane river, play beach volleyball at Surfers Paradise, hand feed the wild parrots and walk through rainforest at Mount O’Reilly’s, or go up to the Whitsundays and sail a catamaran around Hamilton Island………………….just for starters?! 🙂


    • Some items are extremely specific and some are vague. It helps to have a variety so I have a starting point. Some are easy and some are much more difficult too. “Visit Australia” will be on my list for years to come and each year I will be able to be more and more specific because I will know more, but for now I’d just like to get there. 🙂


  18. Love the list. Its a bit too long for me to think of completing only 1 year but I know you can do it! I think my favorite one is visit Israel; I loved it last summer and know you will too. I suggest trying to spend a night with the Bedouin community and doing a sunrise hike at Masada


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