People always pose the question “What would you do if you only had a year left to live?” Let’s face it… if you only had a year left to live, you’d be in pretty poor shape. You probably wouldn’t be able to do all the things on your bucket list at that point. But what would you do if you knew you had 20 years left to live? Or even 10?
What if I told you you’re not even guaranteed ten years? You know that. Deep in your being, you know tomorrow is not guaranteed. But hearing it… what does that do to you?
Don’t worry. More than likely, you aren’t going to die soon. You’ll probably be around in a year. Probably. You might even be around for another fifty. But let’s pretend you only have twenty years left. You can’t live recklessly because you’re still going to need to pay bills, cover your housing, find some way to get around from place to place, and maybe take care of kids, parents, or a pet.
In this scenario, you’re still going to need to eek out a living somehow. Do you really want to keep doing what you’re doing? If yes, awesome! If not, then what needs to change in order for you to do what you were meant to be doing? Let’s take a look at your living situation. Are you somewhere you want to be or is it the place you’ve always lived so you’ll just keep living there? It’s easy to stay where you are, complaining about the winters and the crowds and the neighbors rather than actually making a move. But think about how much happier you’d be every day if you woke up in your optimal surrounding.
Or what about that motorcycle you always wanted? And that road trip across the country you’ve been wanderlusting over? What about the cooking classes or writing that book or just playing in the sand more?
Last week, I checked an item off my list. It wasn’t a Top 10 item, but it was a combination of a few trips I’ve been wanting to take for years. The planes-trains-and-automobile road trip seemed rather random, but once we planned it, it seemed totally… yeah, it still seemed pretty random. We started off in San Diego, drove a rental car up the coast to San Francisco though the newly reopened stretch of Highway 1 that goes through Big Sur and up through Monterey, spent a full day in the city being complete tourists, then hopped a train in Emeryville across the bay and set out for Chicago. For nearly three days, we rode along rivers and streams, through majestic peaks of the Rockies, across the Mississippi River, and through miles and miles of cornfields and postcard Americana.
After that, we spent three days in Chicago with absolutely no agenda. We did have some tourist to-do’s to check off, including pictures at “the bean” and a trip up to the top of Sears Tower, but we didn’t have a set schedule, so we ended up ambling about the city, enjoying the weather and the sights, letting it all soak in.
Unfortunately, Sears Tower didn’t happen, but drinks at the top of the Hancock Building did! It was a spectacular view and the perfect way to top off our random trip. The picture above was taken from the best spot in the building for a view: the ladies room at the 96th floor lounge.
After parting ways with my travel buddy, I spent another day traipsing around Chicago before boarding my flight home early the next morning. I had a ten hour layover in Denver, so with my backpack strapped to my body, I took a train into the downtown area and enjoyed a bit of lunch at Larimar Square, Denver’s oldest city block. I chatted with more strangers at a deli, which had been the absolute highlight of my trip. The conversations, not the deli. Although, I haven’t stopped thinking about that Chicken Curry Salad Sandwich. But seriously… conversations with strangers are the best part of any trip, in my opinion.
By the time I landed back in San Diego, I was ready to be home. That’s a good feeling. Because as many items I have on my bucket list, it’s being home with the kids and in my beachy neck of the woods that really makes me happy. What was it Dorothy said? There’s no place like home…
But that doesn’t mean I’m not already planning the next adventure. I’m already thinking about all the other places I’ve ever said I wanted to visit or things I always wanted to do but just never really put any effort into doing. I’m listing all those things now, however far fetched they may seem. Like Australia. I’ve always wanted to visit the land down undah. How cool would that be? You never know what could happen in the next twenty years.
What about you? Where have you always wanted to go? You know what I think you should do? I think you should buy the ticket.