Bucket lists, v’s checklist.  

When did travelling become a checklist tick off exercise? I remember about ten years ago we were in Koh Samui and we had read all there was to see in the area, so off we went to see all these things. One of the ‘sites’ was a Mama and Papa rock. I think the names speak for themselves but for those who are trying to work out what these might be, they are rocks shaped like the sex organs in each sex! Yep…. That was an attraction. Not something you stumble across either but you had to travel to.

An imaginary country has no information… you would have to explore as the means to understand what is there.

Another was a monkey retrieving coconuts. This poor thing was chained to a tree and had to run up and down on command to retrieve a coconut for a reward. Worse were the elephants that were chained to pegs and swaying back and forth (swaying is a sign of unhappiness in a elephant)

I went back to the hotel wishing I had never left the comforts of my room. It wasn’t a happy experience. Did I learn something? Sure and all these years later it still sits with me how unhappy that day was. I get the world is not all Disneyland  and happiest place on earth moments, but for me, walking along the beach, swimming under a waterfall were all far better travel memories to hold on to.

Anyway I’m digressing. We sit down and try to get some facts on what’s there to see before we create an intinerary and Bol how much time we will need in each place. Time poor travellers are very aware of how much you can try to squish in. We want to return with experiences and memories of activities. We want stories to tell. We start researching all there is to see. We create that list before we set off of all the things we want to tick off.

Months later after the list has been added to and cross referenced between magazines and recommendations, we arrive at our destination and immediately try to get around to ticking off the list.

Do we remember to just wander anymore? We are so busy ticking off all that there is, in an effort not to miss anything. Do we just explore anymore. Remember an afternoon by the pool can be done anywhere, it is true, but sometimes we need just need to be and enjoy.

Guess what? I am still living and I have been to Paris about 6 times. I have never experienced Paris with ANYONE. They say Paris is best shared. I love love love Paris, and yet, I have never shared it.

Guess what? I have never seen the Mona Lisa? Say what? Yep, the Mona Lisa. Never bothered, never wanted to waste hours in a queue to come home and say I have seen it. Sure, one day I hope to be in Paris and the queues aren’t so bad and I will wander past. Sometimes you can save something for another time.

The world is a big place and you may never get back to that part of the world to see that sight, that experience you left for next time. Isn’t that then your destiny? Isn’t it about paths crossing and stuff? I don’t know, but a part of me feels that it may be.

We are currently planning our Hawaii and LA trip for later in the year and we will have checklist ‘days’. We only have 2 days at Disneyland so I have carefully editing the list so we have must haves as first priority. If we wander I’m concerned we will miss Cars Land and that is a first world tragedy right there!

I must remember to not arrange too much and to have time to just go with a local recommendation or change plans around the weather. It will be a struggle as I try to fit everything in but I will have to make changes to ensure we have time to be.

Apart from the days at Disneyland we have no other concrete plans at this stage. But there is a list of researched possibilities that is for sure!

  • I have my husbands dream of driving a Mustang around LA. (ticked and booked for our trip to Ojai)
  • My husband’s desire to go to a water park (tick – there is a Wet n’ Wild in Oahu)
  • The kids to Disneyland – this is more our desire at this stage as the kids don’t really understand what and amazing time they are going to have. (tick, we have booked 3 nights in Anaheim)
  • My dreams of a Magnum PI helicopter tour of Hawaii (get this, the original Magnum PI helicopter is available! and a request has been made)
  • Having a drink/ staying at the Moana Surfrider and the Royal Hawaiian (I’m a tragic Elvis Prestley movie fan, we are staying next door at the Outrigger but there is babysitting available so – tick)
  • A hike through the canyons of LA (easy 0 the concierge has suggested a short one near our hotel in Santa Monica)
  • Hiking in Hawaii (tick – the concierge has suggested several on the North Shore of Oahu)
  • Photograph the sunset at Santa Monica (the concierge assures me this will be no problem)
  • Swim with dolphins (booking request has been made)

All in all these are bucket list items. I haven’t scheduled this morning and that afternoon activities. My husband likes to have a plan and likes to know what is happening. I don’t want any. I want to walk down to the concierge and plan the day around the sun. I’m trying really hard not to research too much in the effort of not creating a list of more things we must do.

Any recommendations for LA? We are staying in Santa Monica for 4 nights and Santa Barabara/ or Ojai for 2. I’d love to hear any suggestions.

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