Life List/Bucket List:

“There is no passion to be found playing small – in settling for a life that is less than the one you are capable of living.” Nelson Mandela

I have always been inspired by the magnificent words of the great Nelson Mandela, and the words of this quote specifically. My mother sent me a birthday card once of etched black and color hearts, inside was this quote, and the birthday gift that year was the wish that I would always let my light shine. I think I was 22 and a little pissed at the time that she didn’t include what I would call an “actual gift”. But that was my mother, always one for larger gestures and less of this physical world.

So with that wish to always live my life with passion and let my light shine, just what does that mean? I have pondered that on many nights, I have felt defeated by that question during storms of the conscience, and I have felt sparks of it with me in the most unthinkable moments. But while in Kenya with plentiful time to talk with my remarkable roommate (miss you Sarah and I hope France is welcoming you with wide arms), I was encouraged to finally write down a few of the ideas that ignite a spark of passion within me; to put a physical name to what so many know is out there – the life or bucket list. That which I feel inspired or compelled or intrigued to do while I LIVE this life. I spent a night on a balcony in Lake Nakuru national park with grazing zebras to my side and contemplated this list and came up with the below.

Travel to Egypt and see the Pyramids by sunset and Valley of the Kings; Live as an expat; Travel to Morocco and taste the spices in the market on my bare tongue; Design and create an environmentally conscious hotel/resort that would be a completely sustainable model for life; Sail on the Nile; Celebrate Carnival in Brazil; Sail on a sailboat for a weekend; Travel to Israel and try to find the Kibbutz my mother worked on in the 1960s (or one like it) and work for a few days; Have a family; Learn to Tango; Be a good mother (ok we could add – be a good daughter, friend, sister); Write a book (if I am honest, in my notebook this says – write a best selling book, but I’m trying to be realistic – read humble here); Make a movie; Drink rum in Jamaica; Purchase a house; Ride in a hot air balloon; Sit in the Blue Lagoon of Iceland; Roll and smoke a cigar in Cuba; Help someone deeply; Hop with the kangaroos in Australia; Bring my mother’s ashes to Hawaii to spread them with my sister; Stop worrying about money; Fall deeply in love; Walk on the great wall of China; Plant my own garden; See Machu Picchu; Ride in a helicopter; Sail to the Galapagos Islands; Sit with Gorillas in Uganda/Rwanda; Commit myself to someone; Give my kids pie for breakfast (Zelda’s mother Ruth did this with me as a kid, and it is one of the sweet memories of my youth); Learn to surf; Complete the full trip to Spain and Portugal that I left when my mother died; Become a really good/great cook; Make a difference; Leap in front of the Taj Mahal; Drive the entire Pan-America Highway (that is Alaska to Chile, one long road trip).

And to be fair, when one says the dreams they have, it is only fair to also say those fabulous things that once graced this list that I have already accomplished. With such gratitude to those who helped me make these memories a reality:

I have gone Sky Diving (twice); Gone parasailing and paragliding; Traveled to New Zealand and seen the glaciers and the Fiordland; Experienced the lights of Paris; Learned to Drive; Traveled to Fiji; Sailed through the Panama Canal; Seen the giant diabatsu of Japan (post Japan I would add – rolled sushi and sat in many onsen);  Learned to ride a bike; Kayaked in the Indian Ocean, off of the coast of Hawaii, in the Caribbean, in New Zealand, and in the Hudson river; held some of my closest friends’ babies and watched my friends become fantastic parents; hiked Mount Lassen ( I love the photo Carole); Gone on Safari; Lived in Africa; Had pie for breakfast; Traveled to Angkor Wat; Met the Dalai Lama; Traveled to Vietnam; Worked on Broadway; Swam with dolphins; Drove to Maine in a convertible; Roasted a really good chicken; Traveled to Germany; Rode on an elephant named Ramona in Bali (no joke); Lived a life I have really loved.

As with anything in life this list continues to evolve and change as things are added and moved from a place of dream to accomplishment. I encourage anyone to revisit this project and write their own list for life, I would love anyone who wanted to share some of their ideas with me. And if anyone can help me make some of these dreams come true…well I am here and ready.

Viva the life filled with life.


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08 2011

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  1. 1

    hahaha my list is like bake a cake from scratch, learn photoshop and go to graceland. I need to step up my game! I’d be down for the israel trip and sailing if its like around the greek islands, my delicate constitution can’t handle much more excitement than that. You are on your own with the pie for breakfast though, ick. I won’t be part of something that sounds so awful. love, me.

  2. Jason #

    that video is genius. i was screaming with you!

  3. Jean Barnett #

    What a bucket list. Mine’s a little more exciting than Bari’s, but not as extensive as yours. And seeing that I have a small child, I don’t think many of the things I want to do will happen anytime soon. I am again in awe of the things you have accomplished in your life so far.

  4. Sarah Machuel ( aka Wambui) #

    I love your bucket list. I remember when we talked about it in Kenya! I wish you the best !

    • ra #

      Merci mon ami. I remember you and I talking about our bucket list and I do believe you are the person joining me for Rum in Jamaica, and rolling and smoking cigars in Cuba!

      Safe travels back to Kenay and I look forward to my feet touching the red dirt again, and to be honest even a going out to the bathroom.

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