One of my biggest passions in life is travel. From a young age, I remember fawning over far flung destinations. Dreaming of riding trains through Europe, swimming in crystal clear water off an island somewhere tropical, eating fruit freshly picked from trees whilst getting sun kissed skin somewhere near the equator.
Growing up, it all seemed so distant. I ticked the boxes – graduated high school, went straight onto university and straight into work. I did the whole dead end relationship thing, moved into my own 1 bedroom flat in the city centre, and trudged along through the normal milestones.
In 2012, I realised my relationship needed to end. He had spent years cheating and being a horrible person, but always convinced me to stick around. Finally, when my career was starting to be more important to me and I was taking on more serious responsibilities and getting involved more in various aspects of the business, he started to begrudge me for having a life and for wanting to do things to accelerate myself and my career.
I waved bye on a Friday evening on the phone, ending a 6 year relationship before throwing on some fresh lipstick and mascara and embarking on my own solo journey of, mostly, binge drinking, figuring out who I wanted to be, dating, pushing myself forward in my career, and just saying to fuck it to all the things I didn’t want to do. Flash forward 6 years and I’m living in London, married, with a little (fur) baby.
One of the things I desperately wanted to do when I was in my relationship was travel. I wanted to see and experience things that I had only dreamed of. My ex was a bit of a money miser and didn’t see the value of spending money on experiences (or things). He only travelled when work (the navy) paid for it. There was no way I was going to be able to convince him to go anywhere. We have the Discovery Channel, right? *insert eye roll*
When we broke up, I booked a flight the following weekend (after I binge drank my face off with mates, kicking off summer 2012 perfectly). I began planning my first ever solo adventure. I was off to Scotland and Ireland. On my own.
Planning the holiday itself was a bit daunting, but exciting. I couldn’t wait to get on a plane and go off on this adventure to two places I had only ever imagined.
Before I went on this holiday, I put together a short bucket list of places I desperately wanted to go to, things I wanted to experience, and boundaries I wanted to push. Ending the relationship opened me up to so many possibilities. I was free to do what I wanted, when I wanted, on my own terms. Slowly, I worked my way through my bucket list and began to add things to it. It seemed like, for every experience I ticked off, 3 more were added.
So what is the bucket list? Take a read through. What’s on your list? What isn’t on mine that should be?