What’s Missing From Your Bucket?

We’ve heard the term a lot…

That’s on my bucket list. I’m sure I could find a source for this, but one thing points me forward without needing anyone to explain it to me…

homerThere is much I want to see, and many places yet to visit, therefore I must make millions in order to afford to investigate the way I want to, and not just to say I’ve been there! So much to enjoy. So little time to enjoy it!

There. Stated.

My bride and I were talking about this the other night and we both realize that this bucket will not be filled in the few decades we have before us. Just to make this clear… This is my list. Not hers! There are places I want to go that she has absolutely no interest in…what-so-ever!

Like, Antarctica… Cruise down, camp out on the ice, maybe go to McMurdo Station if I’m allowed, interview folks who have been down there for a while, comprehend the isolation and the dependence you have on modern technology to keep you alive!

And then place another flag on my conquered chart!

If you could plan your next 20-40 years of life with excursions that make sense for you, what would you wish to see of this fine planet we live on? Another generation or two down the way someone may even be able to claim off-planet destinations, but reality for me does not include that.

When I travel I am not content with a “tour” just to see all the other “tourist” spots. Albeit, many of these places are where I want to visit, I just want to go there and take my time and investigate the surroundings without being guided to them. Of course, there are places where safety is in numbers, and the tours work to keep you out of potentially dangerous areas.

Back in 2013 I went to Israel and Jordan with a tour group. It was during some potentially awkward political times, but at no time did I feel threatened. I asked our tour guide to let us go to a local grocery store, and he finally gave in, “Gurley want’s to go to a grocery store. Here it is….You’ve got 10 minutes!” When in Scotland I was constantly wanting to visit the grocery and hardware stores – just to experience what the locals have to buy, and rub shoulders with the clientele. In Germany, I actually went into a re-sale shop and wanted to buy something but was worried about getting it home safely. In Iceland we ate at a McDonald’s the last weekend it was going to be a McDonald’s – the franchise was moving out! It was fascinating ordering from a language I could not read and going by the pictures of somewhat familiar fare.

During a working trip to Manhattan, a group of us wandered into a neighborhood looking for a place to eat dinner. We found a little spaghetti place that was popular for local residents and as it was my time to buy for the group my expense was only about $70 for eight people… What a Blast! Of course, the next morning our New York office mates were aghast that we would do such a thing in such a dangerous place! Whoa! We’re Texans!

Take a moment and dream about our planet. If you visit someplace special, and you can, start dreaming of the place and plan for a trip to take you there. Through the years I’ve bought maps, and mostly National Geographic maps from resale shops, and hung them in the office walls and studied them at length. I must have a couple of hundred maps to enjoy. They always pique my curiosity, and make me hungry for travel.

  • Norway, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, and all those other cold weather type places.
  • Bavaria and any place up and down the spine of Europe as it yields to Asia.
  • Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Pompeii, Venice
  • Africa, far from the hot jungles and deserts.
  • South America, mostly in Argentina and down the Pacific Coast.
  • New Zealand and Australia
  • East coast of Asia during the winter months. Mongolia. China. Russia.
  • Himalaya’s and all the other magnificent mountain ranges.
  • Historical rivers and all the commerce and travel that exists up and down their banks.

When I read scripture it seems that the Apostle Paul was the one I most associated with. His travels took him all over his known world, working, teaching and raising up churches in every location. Think about the historical journeys of those like Marco Polo, Columbus, and all those explorers that broke ground around the globe. I love to read historical novels and wish for some of the experiences of intrepid ground breaking explorers – only with my creature comforts, of course.

One of my favorite authors, as a friend and I conversed about just a week or so ago, is James Alexander Thom. My wife got me started on him with Follow The River. I have steadfastly devoured his books, just like James Michener, Bruce Feiler and other travelers and writers of note. I enjoy watching Globe Trekkers, Rick Steves and other travel videos…

Here’s the thing. You can solve your thirst for some sights by experiencing them from the comfort of your easy chair…or you can actually go and experience them first hand…and then, tell your own stories. Here’s one of my favorites stories… Give me a moment to tell you about and I will… Do you know anything about it?

Entrance to Petra
Visited 2013