For quite a few years now, I’ve had an informal bucket list. Things like, “see the pyramids” and “go to Iceland.” But this year, partly because I’ve gotten more serious about travel and partly because of this blog, I finally created an official bucket list. A handful I’d already done, but the rest are for future travels. Since I was choosy about what went on the list — there are only 25 items and I’ve done 6 of them — I feel lucky to have done three this year! At this rate, I’ll be done with the list and onto another one within six years. (But probably not! I’ve done most of the “easy” ones so far…the rest get more complicated because of location and expense.)
This year, the bucket list items I completed were:
#1. A gondola ride in Venice
Aside seeing the pyramids at Giza or the Eiffel Tower, I can’t think of anything that’s been on my list longer than this one. I’ve wanted to do it since I was young. And that’s the paradox of this bucket list item: long ago when I knew little about travel, a gondola ride through Venice seemed like the most quintessential thing one could possibly do in Italy. Of course, now I know that it’s in no way representative of local Venetian life, and is mostly a way to collect large sums of money from tourists.
Still, we weren’t in Venice longer than an hour before we hailed a gondolier and climbed into a gondola. And I enjoyed every minute of it — particularly the opportunity to chat with our gondolier and get a local perspective on Venice as well as seeing the canal and the buildings that hang over it up close and personal.
#2. Attend Hogwarts and drink butterbeer
Much to my disappointment, my Hogwarts letter never came. (Coincidentally, I’ve never found Narnia in a wardrobe, either.)
But the next best thing happened, and I visited the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.
Aside actually becoming a wizard, Wizarding World peaks the list for Pottehead Nerddom. It was everything I could have imagined, and then some. It’s hard to express adequately in words, but I did so as best I could in the full post (plus a bunch of pictures) on our trip.
The only thing would complete my Potterhead nerd status is visiting King’s Cross and Platform 9 and 3/4 in London like Heather did in the guest post she wrote for this site a few weeks ago.
#3. Espresso in Italy
Ever since I began to appreciate coffee, sampling it in Italy has been high on my list. And it will continue to stay there as something I want to experience again, at least until the U.S. decides to start offering quality espresso on every street corner for the equivalent of a euro!
Every shot of espresso I had while in Italy was smooth and delightful. From the first one I ordered at Princi Cafe in Milan to one I had in a back alley cafe in Venice, to the one in Manarola (first one above) which will probably remain my favorite simply for the views, Italian coffee will stick in my mind forever as an exceptional travel experience.
What about you? Did you check any items off your bucket list this year? Tell me in the comments!
This is day 2 in the 12 Days of Travel on The Globe Turner. Stop by tomorrow for day 3 of #12DaysofTravel, a series of travel memories from 2015. There will be a post every day ’til Christmas!