Life List

 “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain

I started this list back in the winter of ’05 right before I packed my bags and headed off to Florence, Italy for a semester. Some people have teased me that I have too many dreams, that it is not possible to accomplish them all.  I know my list is quite long, but I am very passionate about life, traveling, and making the most out of it all. After all,  there are just so many wonderful and beautiful places to go and things to do and experiences to be had, that I do not want to waste my opportunities. We are better people by the experiences we have and the cultures we encounter.  I have decided to call this my Life List instead of Bucket List because it is comprised of things I want to do during my life, not just before I kick the bucket. Plus I think Bucket List has a negative connotation to me. 

Some will be easy to accomplish, some are going to take a lot of effort, while others will seem downright impossible. But you never know until you try, and at the very least I want to say that I tried. I will continue to cross things off when the tasks are complete.  Here it goes:


Go on an African safari! 9/28/12-9/30/12 Tarangire and Ngorongoro Crater, Tanzania

Go Skydiving Interlaken Switzerland, Spring 2006

Own an antique car

Sleep under the stars – no tent.

Go deep-sea fishing

Fly a plane

Get something published (other than the magazine articles in college)

Swim with dolphins 2008

Be published as recognized for doing good in the community – Like Chicago’s Best under 30 or something.

Have a full conversation in another language Yellow Bar, Florence, Italy 2006

See a space shuttle launch

Be an extra in a movie Contagion 12.10.10

Ride a camel in the desert Israel, May 2007 & Tanzania Sept. 2012

Learn again to properly ballroom dance with a partner

Learn to play guitar

Spend New Year’s in an exotic location

Ride in a gondola in Venice, Italy with my love

White water rafting Summer 2003

Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it, instead of just thinking about it.

Start a charity/foundation/organization Social Impact Project TUFC in 2012/SiP 2013

Have a (good) song written for me

Go Trekking with Gorillas (In Uganda)

Volunteer abroad for extended period of time – in an impoverished country – Cross Cultural Solutions, Moshi Kilimanjaro- Tanzania, Africa. Sept 22-Oct 13 2012

Go on an Alaskan Cruise

Go on a World Cruise

Cruise the Mediterranean

Make a quilt

Learn to knit or crochet

Learn to bake a perfect challah

Ride an Elephant

Drive route 66

Celebrate my 50th wedding anniversary

Send mom flowers randomly to say I love you Fall 2010

Be happily married

Have a beautiful wedding and marry the man I love

Have a family my parents (and I) would be proud of

Drive across America coast to coast/ Driving Trip preferably in an RV

Go to a film première

Go to Sundance Film Festival

Visit a Blues Bar Chicago, 2010

Go to a flamenco bar Seville, Spain 2006

Ride in a submarine

Learn how to drive stick shift DC, on a date May 2014

Ride a motorcycle

Volunteer for a local cause January 2010-November 2011

Ride in a horse-drawn carriage with my significant other

Help Build a Habitat for Humanity Home Fall 2008

Go whale watching

Pet a tiger

Hold a monkey –St. Kitts, Oct 2015

Hold a koala bear

Milk a cow

Go to a State fair

Ride tandem bike

Go to a drive-in movie

Ride in a helicopter

Hot air balloon ride

Own a summer home/lake house

Spend a weekend with friends at the OBX

Spend a weekend with friends at a lake/beach house (Friendsgiving 2013 at the river house in Virginia with Megan)

Learn to Ski (water and snow)

Go horseback riding on the beach

Learn how to change a tire on my own

Live in a city other than where I grew up in America   DC Feb 1, 2013

Show up at the airport with a suitcase in hand and take the first available flight

Get on Amtrak train and go on a trip to wherever it takes me

Swim in the Indian Ocean (Snorkel) October 2012 (Zanzibar)

Run a 5K Pony Pasture July 27th in Richmond, VA; Run for Hope in memory of Bubbie – 5/4/14; Clarendon Day 5k 9/27/14

Run a 10K

Run a 1/2 marathon – Chicago Half 9/7/14 

Stay at the Atlantis The Palm Hotel in Dubai and stay in the Underwater Supersuite.

Go to Wine Country in California October 2010

Try Archery Lake of the Woods Overnight Camp, ages 9-15

Fire a rifle Lake of the Woods Overnight Camp, ages 9-15

Go to a shooting range/Fire an AK47 Fall 2011 and Fall 2015

Go Fishing (again)

See Bryce Canyon, Utah on horseback Summer 2003

Own a great camera and how to use it

Learn to play golf, well

Make an impact on someone’s life CCS -Karanga Catholic Nursery School Tanzania Sep-Oct 2012

Backpack across Europe May 2006

Attend at least five major sporting events:

  • ** The Super Bowl
  • ** The Olympics Torino, Italy February 2006
  • The U.S. Open
  • NASCAR/Indy 500
  • ** Wimbledon
  • ** Kentucky Derby
  • The World Cup
  • ** Stanley Cup
  • Baseball World Series attended White Sox playoffs in 2009

Wear a big hat to the Kentucky Derby

Drink mint Julep


The Basilica Di San Marco, Venice Spring 2006

St. Peter’s Basilica, The Vatican, Rome Spring 2006

Sistine Chapel, Rome Spring 2006

The Alhambra Palace, Spain– Spring 2006

Visit Sagrada Familia in Barcelona Spring 2006

The Pyramids of Giza, Egypt

Stonehenge, United Kingdom

The Sydney Opera House, Australia

The Big Ben, London, England Spring 2006

The Coliseum, Rome Spring 2006 


El Prado, In Madrid, Spain Spring 2006

The Uffizi Gallery, Florence Italy Spring 2006

The Louvre, in Paris, France Spring 2006

The Van Gogh Museum, Amersterdam Spring 2006


Visit all 50 States:  {24/50} (for the actual list, see bottom of this page)

Visit all 58 U.S. National Parks. {6/58} (for the actual list, see bottom of this page)

Visit all 7 continents : Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Asia, Europe and Australia

Visit 75 Countries: (25/75) 1) Italy (Spring/summer 2006), 2) France, 3) Spain – (Spring/Summer 2006), 4) Ireland (Summer 2006), 5) Northern Ireland (Summer 2006) 6) England (London Spring 2006) 7) Belgium (Summer 2006), 8) Netherlands (Amsterdam Summer 2006), 9) Germany – (Summer 2006), 10) Austria (Summer 2006), 11) Switzerland, 12) Poland, 13) Czech Republic Prague (Spring 2006), 14) Canada, 15) Mexico, 16) Venezuela, 17) Tanzania, 18) Israel (May 2007) 19) St. Kitts, 20) Haiti, 21) Bahamas, 22) Jamaica, 23) St. Lucia, 24) Barbados, 25) Antigua

Canada (return as an adult) Whistler, Niagara falls, Vancouver

Visit Auschwitz Spring 2006

Berlin Wall Spring 2006





The Outback in Australia

Snorkel or Suba dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia

Great Wall of China

Taj Mahal



Sri Lanka





Amazon Rainforest




Bora Bora

Serengeti Migration – Saw the migration at Tarangire Sept 2012

Galápagos Islands

Costa Rica

Canals of Venice Spring 2006

Pompeii Spring 2006

See the Northern Lights

Leaning tower of Pisa Spring 2006

Yellowstone National Park

Yosemite National park

Mount Rushmore

Machu Picchu, Peru

Panama Canal

The Channel Tunnel Spring 2006

Hike Mount Fuji

Mount Kilimanjaro Don’t have to climb just stand at base. CLIMBED & Summited! 19,341 feet to the top! 10/14/12 – 10/20/12!

Mayan Temples

Visit Liverpool and Cavern Club

Joshua Tree


A Tale of Two Cities – Charles Dickens

Catch 22 – Joseph Heller

Catcher in the Rye – JD Salinger 2002

Crime and Punishment – Fyodor Dostoyevsky

Gone With The Wind – Margaret Mitchell

Great Expectations – Charles Dickens

Harry Potter series – JK Rowling Fall 2007

Moby Dick- Herman Melville

Price and Prejudice – Jane Austen

Sense and Sensibility – Jane Austen

The Da Vinci Code – Dan Brown 2008

Tuesday’s With Morrie –Mitch Albom 2006?

The Five People You Meet In Heaven –Mitch Albom

The Great Gatsby – F. Scott Fitzgerald 2002

The Perks of Being A Wallflower 2002

Ulysses – James Joyce Jr. High


See Paul McCartney live Saw with San at Dodger Stadium August 10, 2014!!

See Goo Goo Dolls live Saw with Matchbox Twenty July 3, 2013 at Ravinia

See Matchbox Twenty live Saw with Goo Goo Dolls July 3, 2013 at Ravinia

Concerts I have already been to:

James Taylor

Dave Matthews (2x)



Billy Joel & Elton John together


Good Charlotte

New Found Glory


Don Henley & Stevie Nicks

Stevie Nicks

Tom Petty

Crosby Still & Nash

Michael Franti

John Mayer

Counting Crows

Hootie & the Blowfish

Darius Rucker

Rascal Flatts

Carrie Underwood

Kris Allen

Barenaked Ladies

Chicago Symphony Orchestra

National Symphony Orchestra

Rick Ross

Sister Hazel

Mike & Joe


J.LO & Enrique Inglesias


Howie Day

Ben Folds

Goo Goo Dolls

Matchbox Twenty

The Wombats

Blues Traveler

Alabama Shakes

Hudson Chase

Ringo Starr

Bone Thug N’ Harmony (just one, the rest were in jail)

David Nail – office visit

Straight No Chaser

Visit all 50 states {25/50}

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Visit all 58 National Parks in the USA{6/58}

Bryce National Park (Summer 2003), Grand Canyon, Everglades, Great Smokey Mountains, Virgin Islands,  Zion National Park

11 thoughts on “Life List”

  1. the drive-in movie was a surprise, but i guess since im 20 yrs older than you i take that for granted…they are fun, esp in a hot summer

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