100 Things To Do Before I Die (with commentary by yours truly)
1. Take a spur of the moment flight
-this is my favorite of all. I seriously just want to go to the airport, pick the next plane out, and go. End of story.
2. Get a teaching job
Call it being lucky, call it being prepared, or call it working my butt off...I ended up getting the teaching job of my dreams.
3. Start my own non-profit
4. Run a marathon
6. Pubcrawl in Ireland
7. Live in Italy for a summer
-had this is mind BEFORE Eat, Pray, Love thank you very much!
8. Get my picture in front of all 50 US state signs
9. Learn Italian
-fell in love with this language the moment I heard it. Ciao Bella. Grazie! Prego!
10. Dive into a glacial lake
11. Go to S. Italy/Greece
12. Spend a month in El Salvador
13. Study in the Galapagos Islands
14. Teach a college Evolution class
15. Go to New York
-I have since done this....so it shall go in italics. Thanks L for being so random and adventurous with me.
16. Bungee jump (2017 update: I literally never want to do this). Must change.
17. Get married to the love of my life
18. Have kids
19. Adopt a kid
- Both my mom and grandma were "adopted" by family members when they were around 12. I'd love to adopt a kid around that age.
20. Take my grandparents to a nice dinner
- My grandparents ALWAYS pay....I asked them when I could pay and they said I could pay once, the first time I get my first paycheck from my career job. I thought I was there once but that didn't stick. Kind of my right of passage to adult hood I guess.
So, here it is- the dinner that Grandma and Grandpa let me pay for (if you know them, you know what a rare occurrence this is). It's weird to be an "adult"- and have a career and have all of these things set in stone and planned out for me. It still doesn't feel real most days.
21. Take my family on a vacation
22. Go white water rafting
23. Take a super random class
- Think basket weaving or can can dancing
24. Cook something out of a new cookbook every day for a month
25. Get thrown out of a bar
- I don't mean nicely asked to leave...I mean *thrown* out
26. Attend the coolest festival I can find
- Thinking something like a bbq, steak, and beer festival in the South?
27. Hang glide
- On a dorito? hahahah
28. Kayak San Juan Islands and see Orcas up close
29. Relax in the Maldives
30. Dedicate my time to a project that's bigger than what I'm doing.
31. Hike the Wonderland Trail, WA
32. Swim under a waterfall
- I have also done this! Butte Creek Falls this summer. I plan on doing this many more times in my life. Its amazing!
33. Do a century bike ride
34. Do a regular triathlon
35. Sail an island chain
36. Take a US pilgrimage
- You should all get the jist of a pilgrimage by now
37. See a tornado
38. Have Thanksgiving at my house
39. Catch a firefly
So...this is obviously *not* a picture of me catching a firefly- but a picture of me in Chicago. And maybe only a picture that means a lot to me. But Chicago (ish) is where I caught said firefly. An amazing trip.
40. Summer in New England
41. Country bar hop in Nashville
I didn't know what to expect from Nashville. I knew I would like it- I didn't know I would completely fall in love with it! A whole street full of live country music at all hours, no cover charge, dancing, laughing, staying out until 6 am. A whole week full of Mara- Spring Break 2014!
42. Be a contestant on the Price is Right
43. Road trip to Mt. Rushmore
- Oh yeah, saw Mt. Rushmore. It was very uneventful and touristy. But the Black Hills of South Dakota were beautiful <3 Spearfish Canyon:
44. See the fall foliage in New England
Not only did I get to see the leaves in New England, I got to do it with one of my bestest friends in the whole wide world. Live free or die! Xoxo- AER :)
45. Teach someone illiterate to read
46. Grow a garden
47. Start a shoe tree
-Its started! Lets see if it sticks! =)
48. Climb the largest staircase in the world
- I believe its the CN tower in Toronto (thats open to the public)
49. Make a hole in one (golf)
50. Make a hole in one (Frisbee golf)
51. Go on a vacation with just my sister
-Yosemite, Summer 2011. Love you BSF.
52. US road trip
- very different from the pilgrimage
53. Become a "regular" somewhere
- I would say I've accomplished this since then. Amy at Grand Vines knows how I like my lattes, what seat I like, and hooks me up with a free truffle now and then. I also shortly considered opening a charge account there, but then realized I would spend way too much money that way.
54. Spend a week by myself
55. "Invent" a popular blog/website
56. Hike the PCT, at least in Oregon
57. Pay off my credit cards
58. Pay off student loans
- This will most likely be the last thing checked off this list. Hah.
59. Summit Mt Hood
- Thanks to the determination and encouragement of Brit Laurenti & Erin Currie!
60. Rent a fire lookout
61. Have "Sex on the beach"
-Not the drink ;)
62. Spend an entire weekend being lazy and in pajamas
63. Tomato fight/festival in Spain
64. Live downtown in a city
- Yes, I'm counting West Seattle as "city". Because what I've learned in my seven years since writing this list is...I'm not a city girl. I can see the city from my rooftop patio here in my apartment that cost too much money and doesn't have a deck or a wood burning fireplace, and thats close enough for me. If I could write this list again (and I could), I would change it to "Own a comfortable house in a small town with at least five acres of land"
65. Win a prestigious award in teaching (or whatever I'm doing)
66. Create a drink that becomes so popular that I hear someone I don't know ordering it
67. Face my fear of the cold and go snow camping
Thank you, Brit Laurenti, for pushing me in ways I never want to be pushed. I love you :)
68. Stay at a bed and breakfast
- Thank you Theresa! I've learned two things from staying at B&B's, 1. They're adorable and cute and cozy. 2. I do not enjoy breakfast conversation with strangers that much.
Pictured, the best B&B: Run of the River, Leavenworth, WA
69. Graffiti, or have someone do it in my honor
-There is this awesome huge rock on my way from Klamath to Salem, and it always has all of this graffiti on it "I love Sally so and so, etc." How cool would it be to have someone love you that much that they would do something that stupid just to make you smile? =)
70. Watch the sun rise and set in the desert
- Since my adventure life with Brit, I've had the opportunity to watch the sun rise and set in so many beautiful, amazing places. Alvord Desert.
71. Write a memoir of some sort, even if it sucks
72. Golf par on 9 holes
73. Give someone something that significantly changes their life
74. Start a scholarship fund
75. Lay in a field for hours
76. Make a list of 1,000 things that make me happy
77. Swim with dolphins or turtles
Hawaii was amazing! Yes, I was in one of the most romantic places on earth with my mom and stepdad....but I couldn't think of a better place to be. And, yes, I swam with turtles AND dolphins (in the wild blue ocean ;)
78. Challenge myself professionally- work for a KIPP or inner-city school
79. Make out in the pouring rain
80. Work a completely random job
-Like....bread maker or gas station attendant
81. Take a bike trip
-Long distance, think bike around Holland, etc
82. Watch someone give birth
Introducing Miss Olive Fladwood
83. Go to a white sand beach
Can't believe I hadn't done this before Hawaii. Incredible!
84. Swim with sharks
-In a cage, duh
85. Bet a ridiculous amount of money on one hand
86. Explore in New Zealand
87. Write something that is published in a journal/magazine
88. Drink an obscene amount of beer at Oktoberfest
89. Make a photo book of my best photography (and have enough good photography to do so)
- After our Trailer-Life trip, we did make a photobook- full of photography I never even dreamed I would be taking in moments I never dreamed I would be in
90. Watch every Academy Award winning movie
91. Get a complete makeover by a famous stylist
92. Start my own family tradition
93. Go ghost hunting
94. Get a moped for a day
95. Read the top 100 books
-In what list? I don't know yet...TBD
96. Find my home
-I hope life will figure this one out for me....
97. Watch the sun rise over the Atlantic Ocean
Not only do I get a little sister that's my best friend in the world- I get a partner in crime. A person who will fly to the East Coast to watch the sun rise over to Atlantic Ocean with me. A person who asks "why not?" instead of "why?" My forever best friend...
98. Donate money, and put my name on something that will always be there
99. Own a vacation home on a lake
100. Visit Charleston, South Carolina
-For an old best friend.
While visiting Charleston I realized a couple things. One, Savannah is, in fact, better. Two, you need to live your life forward. You need to look forward. Only by doing this, do you grow and change the way that you need to. Keep memories in your heart, hold them close, and let them shape you as a better and stronger person. Far better things lay ahead than those you left behind.
So I'm putting this up half to hopefully inspire other people to plan out their road map a little bit and half to hold myself to this. I don't want to be someone who finds out they have x amount of time left and try to live my life to the fullest then. We are all on a time clock, and everyone has x amount of time to live- be it 5 years or 50. So in the words of Henry David Thoreau, "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the you've imagined."