I think I must have been about 12 years old when I first started to seriously dream about traveling. It all started when I went with a friend to an enormous used book store (more like a barn) near my home in New Jersey. It was here that I came acro ...by dcampSaturday, 14 December 2013
Yes, I've been meaning to write a followup to my earlier blog post "Sunsets" – but, you know how things always get in the way... been busy travelling, you see... A personal goal of mine has been to see a sunrise on as many continents as possible, an ...by foamfollowerThursday, 25 July 2013
At one point or another everyone dreams about exploring the world and experiencing all that it has to offer. I first developed the travel bug when I was a young boy and its stuck with me for my whole life (and I'm not exactly a young boy anymore). ...by dcampFriday, 13 December 2013
Zoos are a place that we've all visited at one time or another. Some are good, some not so good. Well, over the weekend I cam across a place that made me look at the keeping of animals in a whole new light. It's called the Pearcedale Moonlit Sanct ...by dcampTuesday, 02 July 2013
When the travel bug first hit me I wrote down all of the places I wanted to visit in a 150 destination Global Bucket List. Who would have ever thought that this wouldn't end up being enough? You can find the list by reading my blog: A Tale of 2 Buck ...by dcampMonday, 14 October 2013
On my travels throughout the world, I've seen many, many great sites, met a lot of interesting people, and tasted lots of food (some good and some not so good.) Although I certainly am not a fruitarian, I do have a keen eye for fruit – and on my tra ...by neytiri12345Wednesday, 02 October 2013
My obsession with traveling around the world came from two primary sources – both books. The first was Around the World in 80 Days by Jules Vern and the second was A Vagabond Journey Around the World by Harry Franck. Both of these books made it abu ...by dcampMonday, 15 July 2013
“A journey of a thousand miles starts with one step” - Lao Tzu. Well, after months of planning I’ve finally taken that first step. Now I find myself in a foreign city on the first day of my Wanderjahr. Thankfully (due to smart planning) ...by dcampSaturday, 20 July 2013
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A Tale of 2 Bucket Lists
I think I must have been about 12 years old when I first started to seriously dream about traveling. It all started when I went with a friend to an enormous used book store (more like a barn) near my home in New Jersey. It was here that I came across a book that would change my life forever – A Vagabond Journey around the World.
Written in 1904 by Henry Franke it chronicled a lone American’s journey around the world – into foreign, exotic lands – on an adventure of a lifetime. Needless to say, from the first word I was hooked.
It’s safe to say that it wasn’t long after reading this book that I started to develop my 1st Bucket List (Global). It included places such as the Great Pyramids of Giza, Angkor Wat and the Taj Mahal, but also lesser known places such as Sasan Gir National Park in India (home to the last of the Asiatic Lions) and Bwindi Impenetrable Forest where the endangered Mountain Gorillas strove to survive in an ever threatening world.
As with most things in life, over time my focus shifted a bit as school, friends and eventually work took their respective places on my priority list. Then, about 5 years into my working career I found myself in New York City and came across a second copy of my favorite tale of adventure. I’ll give you one guess what it was.
My second read of Henry Franke’s epic prompted me to dust off the old Bucket List and seriously consider if I’d missed anything. But perhaps the most important thing was the fact that the wheels started turning on the adventure of a lifetime. Don’t get me wrong – it took a while – but after about 9 months of dreaming I finally worked up the courage to quit my job and hit the road on the journey of a lifetime.
Fast forward 2 long years 56 countries across 6 continents to the day when I once again walked through the portals of my parental home. A bit older, a bit wiser, a little worn, a little weary and fully exposed to all of the good, the bad and the ugly that the world had to offer.
During my journey I saw many amazing things and checked off quite a few items from the bucket list. However, perhaps the most significant thing about the trip was the fact that I met my wife (Kathy) while traveling in Africa. She was an Australian working on one of the overland trucks that ply the tourist circuit from Nairobi to Cape Town. I’m not sure if it was love at first sign, but it sure was close.
It didn’t take long before we collectively decided that we would make Australia our permanent home. Even through I’d been traveling for a long time, moving countries was still something of a culture shock. However, we eventually found jobs and settled down into a fairly normal Aussie existence. It was around this time that my 2nd Bucket List (Australia/US) was born.
Australia is an enormous country with more to experience than you could ever possibly hope to fit into a single lifetime. But this certainly didn’t stop me from developing a list that included everywhere I wanted to visit. In the end, it easily rivalled my original bucket list – just with some “Down Under” flair! Oh, and I also included all of the places I still wanted to visit in the US. I guess I’ll always be part Yank at heart!
Then, once again my focus shifted away from thoughts of travel to married life, work, a mortgage and eventually the introduction of 2 new travellers into the world (Ella & Nathan).
Fast forward 8 years and the kids have moved past being babies and are now in school and I have a corporate job that more than pays the bills (one that I don’t even half mind). But in the back of my mind I always knew there was something missing.
I can remember the exact moment when this hit me like a missile. It was a Saturday morning and I asked my daughter Ella what she wanted to do today. Her answer?
“Go somewhere I’ve never been before. I want to go on an adventure!”
It took me over an hour, but I eventually found my old travel journal, which hadn’t seen the light of day for nearly a decade – since the time I’d filed away 2 very special lists. The first that had changed the course of my life and the second which for some reason I had the feeling was going to change my future.
So, once again I dusted off my bucket lists with the realization that Kathy and I weren’t the only ones now interested in exploring both Australia and the wider world around us.
The future is poised to become very, very interesting… you’re welcome to join us on our adventure…