My Reverse Bucket List
I've always been a planner. Lists and schedules, color-coded planners and journaling - these things make me happy. It's no surprise then that every year I set "New Year's resolutions." But this year I did them a little differently.
First of all, I didn't do them until February (because January was a lil cray). Once I did get to them, I focused them a bit more than I normally would. I went through a few prompts to really think through what I valued most and what I wanted to accomplish:
What brings me the most happiness?
If I wasn't worried about time or money, what would I do, be, or have?
What can I do in 2018 to start to achieve this?
This journaling exercise was super helpful and interesting to go through and reflect on my goals and life in general. It's no surprise that among the top things that came out of them was to prioritize travel (and to blog and do more photography along with it). In planning out some of my travel goals for the year, I came across this really neat idea of a "reverse bucket list."
I have an incredibly long bucket list of things that I want to do, but the idea of a reverse bucket list is to reflect back on what I've already done before starting in on planning more. It's an exercise in appreciation and gratitude, and also a fun way to think back on some great memories. So I set off to writing out my reverse bucket list in my travel journal.
As of the end of February of 2018, I had accomplished 74 things on my bucket list, from travel to entertainment, academic to professional, and just general life items. I'm not going to list them all here (they're crossed off on my full bucket list), but I thought I'd pull out a few highlights:
Visit the church of Saint Francis of Assisi, Italy
On my trip to Italy and Spain in 2010, Assisi was my favorite stop. We were only in the city for a few hours, but it was so beautiful it was enchanting. And we got to catch the most amazing sunset over the Italian landscape.
Throw a coin in the Trevi Fountain and Make a wish
The Trevi Fountain was a really cool stop on our tour of Rome. The statues that make up the fountain are beautifully detailed and impressive. Rumor has it if you throw one coin over your left shoulder into the fountain and make a wish, your wish will come true and you will return to Rome someday. If you throw two coins in, your wish will come true and you will get married in Rome. I threw in one coin and can attest that my wish did in fact come true. I haven't been back to Rome yet, but I certainly intend to do so.
Float in the Dead Sea, Israel
Floating in the Dead Sea after spending the morning at Masada was an almost surreal experience. You can't possibly imagine what it feels like to lay completely buoyant in the water. We couldn't help just laughing while we floated around. And the mud from the sea is so incredibly good for your skin; I swear it took away what should have been a very severe sunburn from a morning in the desert.
Go parasailing in the Bahamas
My senior year of college I got to take a spring break trip with friends on a cruise to the Bahamas. The whole trip with Norwegian was amazing, but one thing that was really awesome was getting to go parasailing at Great Stirrup Cay. It couldn't have been more beautiful looking out over the islands and pure blue water as if we were flying.
See the 4th of July fireworks in Washington, DC
I love Washington, DC. It's the place my heart will always long for. So when I lived down there for a summer, I really wanted to get to see the fireworks at the National Mall. I was warned that the crowd would be crazy, but it honestly wasn't all that bad. And the fireworks as a backdrop to the Washington Monument was all I could ever ask for.
See a show on Broadway
A couple of years ago my parents got me an amazing Christmas present: a day trip down to NYC to see the Lion King on Broadway. I had wanted to see if for a while. We always saw promos for it and it had raving reviews, plus I had never seen a show on Broadway before. The show was absolutely magnificent and so beautiful that I found myself close to tears at moments.
Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
This past summer I got to go down to Orlando to visit my sister while she interned down there. That of course meant she was getting dragged to Diagon Alley and Hogwarts (I'm a major Harry Potter nerd, she is significantly less so). The place was absolutely magical! (See what I did there?) And the non-Harry Potter portions of the park were pretty cool, too.
Graduate Summa Cum Laude with my BA in public relations & public policy
So this one doesn't seem quite as "fun," but I'm incredibly proud of it. 4 years. 2 number one degree programs. 159 credits. 3.9 GPA. 2 Final Four appearances. 447.4 inches of snow. Countless memories with the most amazing friends. #BleedOrange
Get a job that I love
And my degree of course led me right into this one. I get to do exactly what I wanted, except better than I ever could have imagined. Being a part of the innovation team for the City of Syracuse has been both inspiring and rewarding. I get to work on important and impactful things with some really amazing people.
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