Day 16 – The Top of My Bucket List
The top of my bucket list – How about the only thing on my bucket list! Travel! And I don’t even have a passport! Coincidentally, it is what I am giving myself for Christmas this year – a commitment to myself to live my dream!
You see, I was raised in the mid-west, south of Cleveland and north of Pittsburgh. That upbringing made me excellent wife material – I cook, I clean, I sew, I’m a great mom, but in the deepest part of my soul I am a free spirit. And as soon as I got a chance to escape the mid-west, I was gone! I went as far from there as I could get without swimming! San Francisco!
Or, to be more specific, Marin County and a little tiny college called World College West. I borrowed the money for my $99 People’s Express one way ticket and set off on an adventure. The school peaked at 100 students that year and half of the students were studying abroad. That’s what attracted me – a guaranteed ticket to international exploration! The school was focused on international service and development with home stay programs in China, Mexico and Nepal. When my ride picked me up at the airport he took me to the Marin Headlands. I thought my heart would burst out of my chest with the intense sense of freedom and possibility!
I’ll bet you are wondering how it is that I have no passport. I met a boy! A Jersey boy! And he felt like home. So, I didn’t go abroad, I got married and two years later we transferred back to the mid-west and had our beautiful little girl. He liked being close to family and wanted the house, the dog, the 2.5 children and the white picket fence. I wasn’t opposed to the house, but I wanted to live a bigger life, so I came back to California and fished college at UC Santa Cruz with my daughter in tow 🙂
The life and budget of a single parent doesn’t easily lend itself to world travel. I did manage to save enough to buy a tour package to China. I planned to see the area which is now flooded by the Three Gorges dam. But I was scheduled to travel in April of 2003 – the height of the SARS outbreak. And as a mom, i just couldn’t take that risk, so I cancelled my tour and the refund went to pay for kids braces and other bills.
This year my son graduates from high school and heads off to college. Being the mother of adult children, I have different responsibilities now and self employment allows me the flexibility to travel. So, its time for me to step back into those dreams! I’m 30 years older that that brave young women who crossed the country for adventure, but I’m no less spunky! I won’t be going Peace-Corp this time, more likely a nice hotel, but I’m ready for a little international adventure!
What have you always wanted to do? Why not now!