Bucket List

Travel Bucket List (written last December 30, 2010)

On December 30, 2010, I created a travel bucket list. Initially, I was all set on visiting ten countries which have captivated me for as long as I could remember but A few days ago, three years after, I was drawn to a word that my best friend mentioned – ORGANIC. Yes, something that is alive, growing, and constantly evolving into something else. Almost like how my life is most of the time. I discovered during our talk that some of the places I listed back in 2010 where places that I was not too keen in visiting now. My preferences changed as I met new people, learned new lessons (and unlearned some), spoke different languages, and traveled to unlikely places where beauty was not confined in magazines and t.v. shows.

So I’m scrapping And now, three nine years after scrapping some of the items I have listed (mind you, not because these countries were less important) and will probably be throwing my deadline out the window, . I am changing it again. If this was a page in a journal, it will look messier than how it looks like now.

20 years from now, you’ll probably I don’t want to be disappointed with how your my life turned out because you I spent most of it bracing for the storm or waiting for instances that you I have unknowingly allowed to pass you by. My list which has started as a travel list now includes other items (goals and promises to myself) that I should really act on. 

Advice to self and to all those who did not mean to stumble on this blog: So tToday and for the days after, unburden yourself. Start crossing out things in your dog-eared (but neglected) to-do-list and start making things happen. You can start with simple things like planting a tree in the middle of a busy road and pray that it will survive the threats of progress or taking a photo with someone significant (I daresay that movie stars should not be counted). You can also challenge yourself by writing a novel. You can do whatever you want and however you like it. As for me, I have my the 5-year continuously changing travel plans written last December 30, 2010 below to serve as a promise to myself that I will invest on discovering different parts of the world.

 And here they are,

1. I promised to discover France and experience the quaint cafes, the scenic countryside and swoon as some random French guy hits on me by just letting his language roll out of his tongue and into my ears, uttering nonsense I would assume. However, the latter part of this promise may have to be voided for the most obvious reason. 

2. Scrapping out Russia and replacing it with Canada. I promise to finally take that break where my best friend resides and be mesmerized by nature. I will let him take the wheel this time where I will be introduced to green-head ducks, beavers, maple leaves, salmon, and the much-talked-about Whistler. On top of this, I will be reunited with the family that took me in as one of their own.

3. Taking I scrapped out Australia (but ended up visiting the country/continent last January 2015 anyway) for a promise to visit the Peruvian territory, home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization all the way to the Inca Empire. Here, I will see for myself if their claim to multi-ethnicity is similar to my country  which has resulted to the diversity of expressions in different fields such as literature, dance, music, and art. I will climb the sharp peaks of Cusco region so I can finally be mesmerized by the Lost City of the Incas, well-known as Machu Picchu.

4. I Replacinged Mexico so I can shout “Karibu!” in Tanzania and set foot in its prided plain of Serengeti. I will was not able to watch the wildebeest migrate and but I did experience the kind of Safari that I have nurtured ever since I was eight years old. While I discovered this eastern part of the African continent,  I will meet as many members of the tribal community as I can and practiced my limited Swahili without shame (much to my new friends’ headache). However, I am now entertaining the thought of visiting Mexico again. I might just end up there after all.


5. I promised to ready myself to in facing the hustle and bustle that comes with the Indian Railways after a most enlightening visit to the historic Taj Mahal. Sweat and all, I will squeezed myself amidst the murmur of people inside the packed train and even survived the threat of being thrown out after illegally hopping on without a confirmed seat. I had shamefully let a good friend take all the blow (which I will forever feel guilty about).


6. I promised to bring home a piece of China by learning Mandarin and to continuously makde an attempt to converse with locals, even if the extent of the challenge becoames similar to using another sort of World English. Never mind that I was close to pulling my hair out when dealing with the traffic, the local people, and the sanitation. I survived China and that is a badge I will always carry with a smile.

China, February 2011

7. I promise to find solace in the snow-covered mountain tops of the Swiss Alps after the quiet trails cradled the train that will have brought me from Geneva to Berne and all the way to Zurich.

8. I promised to get lost in the so-called survival path of Vietnam; a survival path that wais not made up of just one single route but rather a complex maze running from the north to the south, all throughout Vietnam and its neighboring countries. I think I discovered the best coffee so far and fell in love with the expanse of what my pocket money can do. I learned to see the Vietnam War with a Vietnamese’s eyes and not according to how the Americans projected it to the world.


9. Removing Tibet for Greece. I promised myself to find peace in Tibet but realized that I can find it in every place I visit, if I choose to. Peace is a choice not some treasure that you unearth in a specific place. For this, I will go went on an adventure in Greece and hoped to live a ‘Mama Mia’ portion experience of my life but ended up orchestrating an entirely new plot which does not have a semblance of Mama Mia. If you know me well enough, then you know what Mama Mia means.

10. I promised to fall madly in love again in Tuscany, Italy., but I was already in love when I went to Italy. I have not  gone to Tuscany but got lost in Trieste, Verona, and Venice instead with my silly goose. I will welcomed romance with open arms and with the knowledge that it can both be is a blessing and more a curse. Maybe one day, I will visit Tuscany when time and money permit it. One day (still not marking this green).

11. I promised to have a ‘throw-caution-to-the-wind-love-affair’ somewhere. No rules, no string, no contracts – just the idea of possible love between two people who will agree on not to cheapen the experience with notions of ‘one-night stands’ and ‘mere pleasure thrills’ that always end up badly. Aand finally, to walk away if walking away is best, so to leave the memory as beautiful as how it started. I did, in beautiful Burma.

love affair burma

12.  I promise to include memories of my adventures in the novel that I am currently trying to finish. Oh my Lord, has it been 11 12 years already? Seriously, I really need to work on this faster.

13. I promise to never stop myself from changing my mind on things, people, and places when change is deemed as a fair resolve by helping to create a space where individuals from different cultural backgrounds can have a dialogue of any sort, armed with the objectives of understanding and finding a common ground.

14. I promise to marry for love because love wins all the time.  

My magic carpet has taken me to 41 countries so far…



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