New Tests Of Travel Awareness

Epiphanies of spontaneous self-insight tend to rule my life at short notice at times. Thus, I was unprepared for the rush of pure emotion that settled over me as I watched an inspiring film,” The Bucket List”, this week. Picture two critically ill, elderly men lying helplessly in a hospital bed facing terminal illness who devise a unique, itinerary to enjoy life while they can in the face of their dire medical prognosis. Imagine that completing their jointly agreed travel agenda in essence helps bond them together as trusting friends in the final days remaining of their lives.

Thankfully, neither my wife or I face such an immediate medical crisis. Nonetheless, I experienced an emotional revelation about “what determines happiness” by watching the featured characters in this movie experience their last days traveling as trusted friends in this film. Such insight thus led me to reassess my own psyche about traveling in greater fulfillment with my wife in our independent travel. Previously , I had blogged about five destinations that aroused my OWN curiosity for future travel:
Do these places reflect my current travel interests? Why have most items on the list remained unfulfilled? Have I caved into the egoistic desires of myself to the exclusion of my wife’s needs for future travel? What places provide an ideal match for meeting our united “wanderlust” desires? What travel goals would sustain continuance of our happy marriage? Such questions give reason to present my new travel bucket list as an expression of our shared values and their logical connection to specific places that we aspire to visit. I thus present my “bucket list” plan for pursuing independent travel as follows:

1. Enhance Spiritual Understanding
a. Practice yoga at monastery or spiritual retreat setting in India or Nepal.
b. Deepen our understanding of our shared Jewish religious heritage with guided tour of Israel
c. Appreciate the meditative silence of nature in day trips to Western U.S. National Parks

2. Downsize Materialistic Travel Needs
a. Turn off all digital devices and pack less on upcoming cruises to and from Europe
b. Work parttime for summer season in Lake District of Yellowstone National Park
c. Share one meal entree in restaurants to save money/reduce calories on upcoming American road trips.
d. Use digital apps for determining location/sightseeing in lieu of bulky travel guides

3. Spend “Quality Time” With Distant Friends
a. Tour Edmonton, Canada with past India trip friend
b. Hike in Boise, Idaho vicinity with past condo neighbor
c. Walk along the seashore in California Bay Area with past Alaska trip friend
d. Read poetry in Lincoln Nebraska with past condo neighbor
e. Attend famous jazz festival in Montreal, Canada with online, animal chat friend
f. Eat a leisurely meal with British friends at a London pub during one week apartment visit

4. Restore Faith In American Democracy
a. Tour National Presidential Centers – Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, and Barack Obama
b. Visit the iconic battlefields of “The Civil War” in Virginia
c. Speak to a political representative of progressive causes in Washington D.C.
d. Feel the strong presence of “playing for one’s country” by attending a football game on our upcoming European vacation.

5. Relive Mellow Spirit Of  The Late 1960s
a. Use online music sources to find locations of classic rock concerts to attend on upcoming road trips
b. Engage in a Beatles history tour during one week apartment stay in London
c. Engage in political demonstrations to support progressive causes before upcoming election in selected American cities.
d. Enjoy a daytime, Major League Baseball game to solidify old friendships

6. Appreciate The Amenities Of Natural Environment
a. Get lost in the jungle along Amazon River cruise in South America
b. Cruise the mountainous coastline of Chile on South America cruise
c. Hike surrounding forests during two-week apartment stay in Seattle, Washington vicinity
d. Safari along the Okavango Delta in Botswana , Africa to observe diversity of wildlife present at dawn

22 thoughts on “New Tests Of Travel Awareness

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  1. Great way to go James .. I’ve done the bucket list or goals for many years, easiest way to live with no regrets but then I don’t have to consider a partner in the equation. Only one I might suggest amendments to is 1a … yoga is not taught in Tibet and under Chinese occupation it is not really worth a visit! Kashmir has been a conflict zone for decades, India and Pakistan wont let go. Best place for yoga is India or come and learn meditation with me in Kathmandu [that location is not public knowledge but doubt many of my followers also follow you:)]


    1. Nicholson and Freeman worked well together in spite of their personality differences portry d in the film. Nicholson has always been kind of a wild man while Morgan is the serious one.

      Liked by 1 person

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