My Thoughts on Bucket Lists and Travel Wish Lists (Miles to Memories Response)

Good morning everyone, this post is in response to Shawn’s @ Miles to Memories post from yesterday.  I recommend you read that post before reading my response.  I think Shawn and I have very similar thoughts on the topic, namely, travel now when you are young/healthy, rather than waiting until retirement when you have “lots of money and time to travel.”  I’m not a fan of the term bucket list either, since the goal is to cross off everything on your list before you pass away.  Rather than doing things and going places to cross off bucket list items, I subscribe to the notion of creating a travel wish list in my head.  The more often you travel, the longer your travel wish list becomes.  Here are my top 5 travel wish list items:

  • Australia / New Zealand (road trip around both countries)
  • Canada (road trip from coast to coast)
  • Machu Picchu (going there next April)
  • All of Asia (might take me a while to complete this item)
  • Egypt (Great Pyramids and Sphinx of Giza)
  • and a hundred other places…

I’ve already completed a few items on my travel wish list over the last few years, but the list continues to grow faster than I can keep up.  Some of my recent travel wish list successes include my RV road trip from Los Angeles to Denver with my brother

Grant Standing Front RV

Taking the Coast Starlight Amtrak from Seattle to Los Angeles in a bedroom sleeper

Parlour Car Seats

And my trip to the Galapagos Islands to see the giant land tortoises and Blue Footed Booby birds.  I went with my friend when we got a great deal from Miami to Galapagos Islands for under $400 round trip.  I don’t have a trip report for this trip, but it was amazing.

The list could go on and on, but you get the idea.  Travel now, when you can, and as often as you can.  Some of my favorite travel philosophies:

Some people like to spend a long time in one location, but I like to travel fast.  In January, I will be in Europe for 2 weeks and I will be visiting 7 cities (London, Paris, Nice, Munich, Venice, Zurich, and Dublin).  I can get a good feel for a city in 1-2 days and I will know if I want to return.  The great thing about miles and points, is that if I like a place, I will go back.  I am heading to Paris for the 4th time and I am just as excited as the first 3 times.

I was talking to my grandmother a few months ago (she is 92 and her vision is not very good anymore), but she told me she wished she was in better health to visit Italy again.  I never want to say “I wish I had gone to ____, but I am not able to travel anymore.”  That would break my heart.  On your deathbed, would you rather say, “I wish I traveled more” or “I wish I worked more”?  Do not have any regrets for things you did not have a chance to do.

I am so thankful for the miles and points community.  I don’t think I would have done nearly as many fun and amazing things without the knowledge of the miles and points community.  I am very lucky to discover the miles and points community, otherwise I would be like the million of other poor/broke recent college grads yearning to travel, but not have the means to make it happen.  If you know any recent college grads who want to travel, introduce them to the miles and points world, it will truly change their lives.

Do you have any travel wish list things/places?  Let me know in the comments below.  Have a great day everyone!

18 thoughts on “My Thoughts on Bucket Lists and Travel Wish Lists (Miles to Memories Response)

  1. Cj

    The last 28 years every Jan 1st I sit back and say — if I had 1 year to live – where would I go and then write anywhere from 50 to 100 places – then start planning
    My list was only usa till 9 years ago now I’ve been to 75 country’s and 35 this year but many a few times like u.k.,thailand,Indonesia – I was in norway for a week last week and iceland as we speak
    1 on my list was to get to 100 country’s by Jan 1st — I’ll probably fall short and end up with 85 to 90 as I’m in Miami and haven’t been to many country’s in caribbean, central or south America
    Love your posts and kept on kept in on

    1. Grant

      Thanks Cj, I’m not a country counter, even though many people are. Sounds like you have a very exciting travel pattern. One of my New Years resolution was to travel somewhere every month. I end up getting 10-11 months done each time. Great goal to have in mind. Very easy for me since I do many weekend trips.

  2. nate

    I have a lot of travel goals too. I think I need to find a new job that has a better vacation policy. I only get 2 weeks off right now after working there for 4 years and my 3rd week after 10 years.

    I often wonder what these frequent travelers do for work?

    1. Grant

      I’m not sure what other people do, but I’m a weekend warrior living/working near SFO/OAK lets me fly out Friday night and back Monday morning and then I go straight to work. It works well for me.

  3. PSL

    I think the attitude toward travel is generational. I am now officially a senior citizen and while some of my friends backpacked through Europe during their college years, many others like me married young, bought homes, raised our families, and had neither the time nor money to see the world in the era before airline deregulation, frequent flier miles, and travel hacking. But now we’re doing our best to catch up and fulfill our travel wish list. (I cringe anytime I hear the term bucket list, it is way too morbid)

    1. Grant

      Thanks for sharing. Nowadays we are in the great age of travel hacking. It would have been extremely difficult 10+ years ago to do anything remotely similar to what we can do today. Glad you are doing your best to catch up :)


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