I’ve never made a bucket list. I think having a list of goals is great, but I never felt the need to officially put together a bucket list because I fear that 95% of it would just be a list of places I want to visit. And let’s face it, that list of places might as well be 95% of the countries on the planet. But recently my friend Gigi wrote a post about her reverse bucket list, the idea of looking back at things she’s already accomplished. Since I usually spend too much time focusing on what I haven’t accomplished, I thought this would be a good way to remind myself that I have actually done some awesome things.
Met and married a wonderful (and goofy) man
Though I had a few boyfriends before I met Andy, most were short-lived and I was perpetually single. I had finally made my peace with being single when suddenly I met Andy through Twitter. I guess all those people were right when they said I’d find someone when I stopped looking. Every single day I look at him and smile because I feel so lucky to have found my partner in life. And it helps that he’s so goofy and makes me laugh all the time.
Traveled by myself
When I realized I hadn’t been out of the US in years, mostly because I was waiting for someone who wanted to travel with me, I decided I had to change things. Who cares if I didn’t have someone to travel with me? So I planned a 10 day solo trip to Greece, which then led to other solo trips over the next few years. I learned that solo travel isn’t so scary, it’s actually pretty great. That trip was probably one of the best decisions I’ve ever made.
Visited all 7 continents before my 30th birthday
My first trip to Europe was at age 14. My only visit to Africa was a day trip to Morocco from Spain when I was 20, but hey, it still counts. I traveled to South America (the first time) and Antarctica when I was 28, and finished up with Asia and Australia three months before my 30th birthday.
When I was a sophomore in college, one of the resident advisers in my dorm organized a group to go skydiving, and he was able to get pretty good student and group discounts, so it was only $60 per person. It turned out to be lots of fun, though I think once is probably enough for a lifetime.
Studied abroad in Spain
Pretty much as soon as I started taking Spanish classes and learned about study abroad programs, I wanted to study abroad in Spain. I went for a summer program between my sophomore and junior years of college. Even though it was short, it was still an amazing experience that I highly recommend for anyone.
Moved to Europe
For years I dreamed about living in Europe. I imagined I’d end up in Spain since I studied Spanish, but I ended up in Germany instead. Living here isn’t really anything like I thought living in Europe would be, and it has its stresses, but I’m glad to be here.
Passed my German exam
For eight months I went to my German language class, four hours a day, five days a week. I struggled through difficult grammar rules, noun genders that don’t have rules, and frustrating teachers, but I finally got through it and passed my exam in January.
Took a round the world trip
With each trip I took I would meet people on long round the world journeys, and it sounded amazing. Just like moving to Europe wasn’t what I expected, this trip looked nothing like I imagined it would. It really sucked to be away from Andy, but I’m glad I fulfilled this dream.
Quit a job I hated
I had to quit to move to Germany to be with Andy, but I’m still so glad I was able to get out of a job that was crushing my soul. Andy and I have decided that it just doesn’t make sense for me to get a traditional job here, and I’m working on ideas for how to make money.
So many of us, I suspect, spend too much time comparing ourselves to other people. At least I do. I often see other people’s successes, then I focus on things I haven’t accomplished (whether I even want to accomplish those things or not) and I feel like I’m somehow failing. Which is ridiculous. Instead I should be focusing on the amazing things I have accomplished and the goals I set for my own future. This look back at my own successes certainly helped, and I’ll keep working on changing my thought patterns so I can continue to succeed.
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