Everyone has a list of things they want to do or places they want to go before they die. I am no different. I have to say I am not fond of the term “bucket list” but to avoid a diatribe that does not belong in this post, I will keep it moving. So, my bucket list is more of a, places I want to go rather than things I want to do list. I have no desire to jump from a plane, cliff, building or anything else for that matter. I do not need to go through a military style boot camp. I am an adventurous eater, but have absolutely no need to take a Bizarre Foods road trip. I don’t burn to climb Mt. Everest or swim the English Channel.
I have to say that I have had the opportunity to fulfill many of the items that would be on most people’s lists. If you don’t see the typical visit the Grand Canyon or the observation deck on the Empire State Building, it could be because I was there already. I have been fortunate to have traveled quite a bit, at least through North America. I have quite a few check marks already.
No, my list is much more simple. Most people would probably call it boring. But I like it. Please note that this is my list today. It could, and probably will change in the future. So, without further ado and in no particular order…
Visit Poland. This is the place of my heritage. Growing up I listened to my grandmother speak Polish and a bit of Ukrainian. I listened to the stories of my family and how they made the voyage to America in the early 1900’s. My family has even been fortunate enough to have a few of our relatives living there come for a visit. I would like to do the same. Poland has a rich history and I would like the chance to experience it firsthand.
Visit Ireland and Northern Ireland. This is the place of my wife’s heritage. Her family hails from County Cork, County Down and County Armagh. I would like to see Ireland for all of the same reasons I want to see Poland. I want to take in the history and beauty of the country and the understand the personal connections to this place. Plus, I would have a much easier time communicating in Ireland than I would in Poland.
Visit St. Andrew’s Scotland. While I am in the British Isles, I want to make my pilgrimage to the birthplace of golf. I have been a golfer since the age of five. I have loved my time on the course playing the only game that can simultaneously be the most relaxing and frustrating one on earth. I am not alone having this location on my list. Anyone who has chased a little white ball around with a crooked stick has dreamed of The Old Course and the town itself.
If you have read my past posts, you know that I love golf, but I am obsessed with baseball. To that end, I have a few baseball related places on my list.
Visit two Halls of Fame. I have been to the National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum in Cooperstown, NY, as a child. I want to go back as an adult. I also want to go to the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, MO. The first museum will always have a gap in its history, the second fills that need. I want to experience the entire story. Yes, I love the game, I can’t help it.
I want to experience a baseball game in Japan. The game is as big in Japan as it is in the United States. However, since baseball has been there for close to a century, it has evolved differently. The game is played with the same set of rules, but the traditions are different and unique. The fan experience is also very different there. The same holds true for South Korea and Taiwan. I want to take it all in.
I want to experience a baseball game(s) in the Caribbean. Baseball is one of our sports in the US. In much of the Caribbean, it is the sport. They live baseball. I want to witness this firsthand. I dream of seeing games in Puerto Rico, The Dominican Republic, Cuba, Curacao and while technically not Caribbean, Mexico, Panama, Venezuela, and several other nations as well.
I want to visit all fifty states and a few territories. I have visited forty states to date. I have no particular location in mind, I just want to make it there. I would also like to include a few of our territories like Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands.
I would like to do the same with our neighbor to the north. I want to visit all ten Canadian Provinces and three territories. I am a bit farther behind on this list. I only have three provinces checked so far.
I want to experience the New Orleans Jazz Festival. I have been a lifelong jazz fan dating back to when my grandmother first played her old 78s for me. You can keep Mardi Gras, I will take the Jazz Festival.
I want to experience Philadelphia’s Mummer’s Parade as an adult. I have been there but I want to see it through my adult eyes to better appreciate the spectacle of it all.
I want to look down into the crater of a volcano. As a child, I wanted to become a volcanologist. I am still fascinated by science involved with a volcano. I would like to see one up close and personal. I am not particular. I would be satisfied with an ash spewing giant like Mt. St. Helens or an active cauldron of lava from Mt. Kilauea.
I want to tour every Smithsonian Institution Museum. Just limiting myself to the Washington DC area museums, there are eighteen. I have made it to thirteen. I was almost there but they opened a few more and that gives me a few new ones for the list.
I want to attend the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in New York, NY and the Crufts Dog Show in Birmingham, England. I am an unabashed dog lover. These are the Super Bowl and the Olympics respectively. What else needs to be said here.
Then there is the one that I will never see come to fruition. Space. I, like most every other person on earth, has dreamed of traveling to space. I did try to take it a step further. I applied to Space Camp. I did not make it, but in my mind, I always thought I could become an astronaut. I follow NASA, the European Space Agency, the International Space Station, and several more. I can still dream, can’t I?
Well, there you have it, my list. (For now) Like I said, not that exciting to the masses, but thrilling in my mind. What does your list look like? I would love to hear. You can let me know in the comments or try me on Twitter @TWR_Individual.