I have a couple international trips coming up to countries that I’ve never visited – England and Peru. This got me thinking about Stonehenge and Machu Picchu. I didn’t seek these destinations in order to complete a bucket list. (One trip is for an international meeting and the other is to meet our son who we haven’t seen in person in 10 months.) But this got me thinking about bucket lists and how I keep hearing people talk about sites they want to see before they die. Of course photos usually follow on Facebook to validate their accomplishments.

This is not bad. In fact Jim and I love to travel, meet new people, and experience different cultures. In fact we’ve been to 49 of the 50 States and at least 25 foreign countries. Many of these trips have been to visit our children who each spent time doing volunteer work after college – often in interesting, if not exotic places. (When I’d tell friends that our daughter was in Peace Corps in Mali, and they responded with “How wonderful!” I knew that they probably thought I had said Bali or Maui. :-?) These have always been enriching experiences (except when our car breaks down in the USA or we get sick in India or Africa). Still it got me to thinking about what I want to accomplish before I die.


Machu Picchu

Should I spend a little extra money, since I’ll be in the country anyway, to go to Stonehenge or Machu Picchu? It would be an experience of communing with history and hopefully understanding ancient cultures and how people lived. It might give me some spiritual insights about life and people. I don’t know yet, whether I will see these places. What I have decided, however, is that if I go, it won’t be to check it off my bucket list. As I disciplined myself to think more deeply about buckets, here’s what I came up with:

7 Items Worth Having on a Bucket List:

  1. Have I made a positive difference in at least one person’s life?
  2. Have I helped someone get an education who might not otherwise be able to?
  3. Have I brought some beauty into someone’s life?
  4. Have I loved my family well?
  5. Have I helped another person live better?
  6. Have I been a good neighbor? (and we all know that our “neighborhood” is the world. This probably extends to being involved in political solutions for the common good.)
  7. Have I loved selflessly and humbly”

In other words, it’s not important what I see or where I go, but have I made a difference. #7 is the most difficult, I think. I’m still working on it.

A question for you – What’s one bucket list action you still want to do? What items might you let go of?