I wrote my bucket list when I was 10 years old and a patient in Great Ormond Street Hospital awaiting my first ever surgery. An older patient shared his with me, of all the wonderful things he wanted to see and do when he finally could go home. Of course I copied him, as he was much “older” and cooler than me (I think he was 15!). Unfortunately, I was forced into a harsh reality later learning that he could never go “home” or see any of those things on his list (although I now have great peace he is in a far better place).
My list had some crazy things on it, all of which I can now say I’ve done (apart from climb Sydney Harbour Bridge). Ride a camel. Tick. Ride an Elephant. Tick. Get a tattoo, get married, finish a degree, swim with dolphins – tick, tick, tick, tick. Most of my friends know about my list, and whilst some think its morbid, most know it is just an excuse for me to satisfy my adventure junkie side and see the amazing things this world has to offer. I also add a couple of things each year so it is never ending.
Last year I decided I wanted to see 30 countries before I’m 30. With 23 already done, this is a good target for me, and an excuse to learn more languages and cultures of the world we live in. Before Elliot met me, he’d never left New Zealand, yet in just over a year of him moving to the UK with me, we have been to Scotland, Canada, Wales, Ireland, Hungary, Hong Kong, Fiji, and soon Romania and Morocco. Last year I also went to Germany, and Switzerland, and I have yet to write about these (sorry for my slackness!)
Anyway, I thought it was about time to share some of my highs and lows whilst traveling to these countries, so I’ll start in chronological order! (NB read previous posts for Canada Germany and Scotland)
1. Going to watch NZ play in the RWC at Millenium stadium. If you get a chance, check the stadium out – it is MASSIVE!
2.The Gower Peninsula – Oh my gosh. Absolute beauty. A must see.
1. Wales has the longest place name Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwyll-llantysiliogogogoch (I want to visit here one day!)
2. Although only 21% of the population speak welsh, all road signs and public places have welsh translations on them!
3. A double l in a word makes a “cla” noise. This is particularly important if you are staying in Llanelli and need directions…
1. Getting to travel with two kiwis – Becky and Jimmy
2. Going to visit Joanne at YWAM and staying at the base there
3. CHEESE FONDUE. A definite must have.
1. It is expensive there- a bottle of coke cost over a fiver!
2. You should really know basic French, so you can at least navigate your way around 😉
1. Getting to spend time with Sharon, and the Irish family
2. Feeling at home being surrounded by fellow gingers
3. Randomly getting to go to the big memorial service in a pretty Cathedral
1. Constant rain and grim weather!
2. Realising you need exact change for a bus, when you don’t have any coins!
1. Getting to hang out with our MK besties, Amy and Martell
2. Christmas Markets!
3. FOOD! Market food, a cool technology restaurant, and a brill steak house
4. Széchenyi Thermal Bath – being outside in freezing weather but in a hot bath. AMAZING.
5. The Ruins Bars and midnight cocktails!
1. Thinking you’re getting a good deal and booking a cheap flight, and then realising you have to leave your hotel at 3am and wait in the cold. Pay the extra 20 pounds… its worth it!
2. Forgetting your Husband is not from the UK and not filling out a landing card at Luton.. causing you to miss the bus home and a lot of extra stress (not to mention it was Elliot’s birthday…)
1. Having 9 hours in transit, and being able to leave the airport easily to take good public transport to see the sights
1. Forgetting you have your wedding dress with you so having to haul this around whilst sight seeing with your carry on bags…
1. Staying in a 5 star resort courtesy of my parents as a wedding gift- BEST HONEYMOON EVER!
2. FIRE DANCING. We went on a sunset cruise to Robinson Crusoe Island. Definite highlight!
3. The sheer beauty of this country took my breath away. I’d love to go back and visit the other islands one day! BULA.
4. Treating ourselves to a spa day followed by an afternoon by the pool in 35 degree heat (and yes I am still whiter than snow!)
1. I know I seem to say this a lot, but Fiji was extremely expensive. At the supermarket, we bought cheese and crackers and sunblock, and it came to $60.
2. There are strange gecko things with translucent skins. They are scary even if they’re small.
So there you have it, a very quick rundown of the things that I ticked off my bucket list last year. This year I will be ticking off going to Romania (we are going on a missions trip in May), and going to Morroco! I’m sure there will be a whole load of other things we get up to too, as I am an adventure junkie and want to make the most of this short and precious life we live here on earth!