For the fourth time, I am collaborating with my friends on a #bucketlist travel post and although I don’t have an official bucket list, there are plenty of travel experiences and destinations I plan to appreciate in my lifetime. And now each year I list one, an item that is on my mind and list to start the year as a tribute to a friend and a reminder to others to reach out to their friends.
In 2013, the travel blogging world lost Anita Mac, and many of us lost a friend. Anita inspired each of us in different ways with her huge, welcoming smile, eagerness to help, colorful fashion sense, as well as a shoulder to cry on and a willingness to comfort and listen. For many of us, Anita comes to mind almost daily, but most often during our travels, so each year since her death, our goal has been to honor her in some way. We want to pick up where she left off, as her blog focused on bucket list travel, so we are going to dedicate an item from our own bucket list to her each year.
We hope this reminds our readership of the wonderful world we live in, how we can all experience it, and how fragile life can be.
Craig of Stay Adventurous
So now as I look towards 2017, I am staring at the snow falling in Lake Wallenpaupack and I am debating a winter adventure. Yet my recent trip Belize reminds me how much of the Americas I have still yet to explore. So for 2017, I plan to visit a NEW destination and a NEW place somewhere on one of the American continents. Maybe I’ll return south of the border, find my way to a winter adventure, or both. Wherever it takes me, this year I plan to discover (more of) the Americas.
Erin of The World Wanderer
In 2016, my bucket list plan was to hike Patagonia. At the time, I had only made tentative plans with friends, and those plans eventually fell through. Since I lived most of the year off of my savings, it wasn’t an ideal time to make the trek to South America, so last year’s bucket list item didn’t happen, although I did made it to Colombia in December.
Lola of Lola’s Travels
I am starting off my year headed back to New Orleans and cannot wait. Other than that, I have no firm travel plans as of yet. I think I would like to prioritize traveling with some of my travel buddies somewhere – new or old! Some thoughts I have are Scotland and Vietnam but I’m open to anything so long as it is with people who are near and dear to me. Anita would love this. She loved us all being together as a group. Her last trip was, in fact, a group trip with several travel gals to Montreal. So, I hope you’ll consider planning an adventure together with me (you know who you are!).
Ted of Traveling Ted
In less than two months I will be traveling to Anita’s hometown. This is the second time I have visited since she passed away. When I met her at TBEX in Toronto, and I told her I might be skiing the Gatineau Loppet, she invited me to stay with her. When I finally did make it to Gatineau, which is right across the river from Ottawa, Ontario, Anita had already passed. I sadly spent most of my time alone. This year I will be returning to the region to ski in the Canadian Ski Marathon.
The fact that I am returning to Canada actually has nothing to do with my bucket list item for 2017. I am psyched to return to Anita’s homeland, but that is not my 2017 bucket list item. The Canadian Ski Marathon is an endurance race where participants partake in two days of skiing totaling 100 miles. If the number one travel experience I was looking forward to in 2017 was to ski myself into complete exhaustion, then I would be insane. I just needed a hook to tie in travel and Anita. Now that you are honed in on my bucket list, and wondering what the hell it is, I am going to switch gears from cross-country skiing and Canada, but not too far away.
Since I am quite sane, my 2017 bucket list item is to visit Maine, and I am pretty sure it is going to happen. I have signed up to join Bullmoose Patrol on a wilderness canoe trip in October on the Allagash River. I have never been to Maine, so I hope to see some moose, breathtaking fall colors, catch and eat some fresh fish, canoe a beautiful river, and drink some Allagash beer near its source. I am quite certain Anita would approve of all the above. Adventure on.
Australian Cycling Friends
(Lori, Greg, Stuart, Tamara, Linda, Howard and Suzie)
2016 was another year of healthy adventures – also achieving our Bucket List Dedication to Anita Mac – climbing Mount Fuji in Japan (3725 Metres above sea level). We spent four and half weeks traveling in Japan, finding the Northern Japanese Alps at Kamikochi beautiful with great hiking, as well as walking some of the historic Nakasendo Trail. We also pedaled Japan’s two-day Shimanami-Kaido Cycle Path which spans two of the main Japanese Islands. Honshu and Shikuko Islands are connected by a series of bridges (one over 4 kilometres long!). Six smaller islands are also linked on this bike route crossing the Seto Inland Sea, with various types of bridge infrastructure, amazing clover leafs and specially constructed cycle paths on this epic ride.
We know Anita would have enjoyed all these explorations, and have resolved to do another active trip in her honour in 2017. Europe seems to be calling us – and although we may not be the 2007 Canadian champion (Anita MacKinnon) on the Paris-Brest-Paris cycle race – in 2017 we hope to dedicate a long-distance cycle trip along the Camino de Santiago in Spain to our dearest Anita.
Lori and Greg, Central Coast, New South Wales, Australia
We encourage you to join us in this quest and take on at least one Bucket List item in 2017, but more importantly, we also hope you take the opportunity to (re)connect with friends and loved ones during this holiday season and throughout the year.
The purpose for all of us collaborating and writing this post is not only to inspire others to travel the world and explore, but as a way for us to remind all of you who are reading this post to look around you, see who you can reach out to and possibly help reach their goals and feel supported and loved. Our friend and fellow traveler, Anita took her life because she didn’t see any other options, we don’t want anyone else to feel that way.
Stay Connected and Loved, Happy New Year, Craig