Whenever someone asks me what I want as a gift for any occasion, my mind always goes directly to flights, travel, and experience gifts. Experience is the greatest gift; I’ll take it over “things” any day. Being able to explore new countries, cultures, and adventures is a dream come true. At 36, I’ve visited more than 100 countries and participated in countless extreme adventures that I thought only existed in movies and dreams. Bucket List Publications isn’t just a blog or a website; it has helped me live in a dream world. It has made my daily life better than my wildest imagination. Sometimes it’s exhausting just trying to think up my next big vacation or adventure. My imagination/dreams, experience gift websites like Great American Days, and Instagram are my go-to sources for travel and adventure inspiration.
My dreams and imagination are always the beginning of an idea, a thought embedded in my subconscious that waits to emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon. Since I was a young girl, I can remember having a reoccurring dream about being able to fly. I don’t have wings or a parachute; I can just fly. It’s never scary or intimidating; it’s always beautiful and I’m more beautiful because of it. It’s this lingering dream that makes me want to test the limits of flight. When I’m riding in an elevator, flying in a plane, or standing at the top of a mountain looking down, my initial thought is, “I want to jump!” “I want to fly!” “I want to feel the wind rushing by me!” (Don’t get me wrong, I want to be attached to something.) I understand a dog’s desire to stick his head out the window. That’s what being in the sky is like for me. I explore my imagination and dreams, put them to paper, and I find ways to make them happen. They are what kick-start “the list” and put ideas into practice.
Experience sites like Great American Days are a goldmine of inspiration and information. Any time I’m traveling to a new location in the United States, I pull up Great American Days for unique ideas. Sometimes I’m limited with my imagination because I don’t know that certain activities are possible. Great American Days takes the guessing out of what’s available. Race car experiences, pampering, flights, lessons, tours, camps… the list goes on. They have hundreds of amazing experience gifts for every budget, taste, and occasion.
Instagram posts have become the travel inspiration of today. When I’m trying to create my yearly bucket list or put my dreams into action, I usually search Instagram before anywhere else. Looking at photos from other travel bloggers or adventure seekers is more inspirational than any commercial or advertisement. First-hand experience and recent pictures make travel/adventure Instagram pages my first stop when exploring a dream. All I need to do is look at #GoPro, #travel, or #bucketlist on Instagram and dozens of ideas for new experiences and destinations invade every crevice of my brain. They’re automatic storyboards for great experiences.
Your ideas and bucket lists extend the reach of my imagination to the far corners of the world. From polar bear expeditions in northern Canada to mingling with penguins in Antarctica, from shark diving in South Africa to heli-skiing in Japan, your stories and ideas have shown me that anything and everything is possible.
Do you have an experience or bucket list item that I haven’t thought of yet? Do you dream about seemingly impossible adventures, yet find ways to make them a reality? I’d love for you to share your adventure and travel dreams with us. Regardless of how big or small, they are worth sharing and making a reality.
Dream. Live. Create. Share. Experience is the greatest gift.
I couldn’t agree with you more about experience being the best gift, and experience comes from so many sources. These days I don’t operate from a bucket list, I just do! Keep on dreaming.
This barns my heart. Thank you for the positive post and posting pictures of that beautiful smile! You have a way with making people feel better about themselves!
Great post Lesley. I agree, experience is the greatest gift. The next big thing I want to do is travel the west coast of OZ on a camp, dive, drive. I’d love to learn to fly a helicopter. Skydive (although this scares me silly when I’m in the UK. When travelling doesn’t bring up the same fear) Dubai. To me the most magnificent of places to skydive. Dive with blue sharks in the Azores and take my husband to South Africa to dive with great white sharks with a gentleman called Mike Rutzen. If I could make them a reality… which is unlikely at the moment 😦 I’d be a happy lady)
Oh and did I mention Christmas Day spent on a catamaran in Thailand. Eating a traditional UK christmas dinner and scuba diving with my husband and children before and after. The perfect christmas treat me thinks!!
I love reading about yours 🙂
Bungie jumping in Nanaimo, fly in a ski plane to Denali base camp, take a train across Canada, Cycle the Oregon coast, River Raft any big river (as long as you get to use oars, not an engine), Sea kayaking, stand up paddle board. Are all the things that pop into my head. You may have done all or some, but never hurts to throw em out there.
Good job lady, you are an inspiration and LOVE the smile
“Sometimes it’s exhausting just trying to think up my next big vacation or adventure.” Lol, first world problems! Leslie you are so inspiring and fun to read! Definitely love experiences over things, though there are some things I love pretty madly too. 😉 Every time I look at your flying photos, I think “Maybe,” but most of them I just can’t get myself to do! Flying dreams… ditto. Have you ever read any interpretive info on that? Very interesting… 😉 Fly!
We opt to get my siblings an “experience gift’ for their birthdays and for Christmas each year–it’s a tradition I cherish!
I couldn’t help from smile and reminisce my own little getaways… cheers!