Books are great. If I’m not exploring the world, I’m probably at home with a good book. Today was one of those days, as I am currently rereading this:
Melody Carlson has been my favorite author for a long time, ever since I first read Diary of a Teenage Girl in middle school. She’s written over 200 books, and it would be wonderful if I have the opportunity to read all of them throughout my life. Because I get Melody Carlson’s monthly newsletter that features announcements and contests, I won a prize from her last April for sharing a story about an April Fool’s joke that was pulled on me. (I may share that prank with all of you later…) My prize was a box of her books, and A Simple Song was one of them. It’s a story about an Amish girl, Katrina, who lives in Holmes County, which was relevant to me since I only lived an hour’s drive from there!
Now that I’m on the other side of the country, this book has even more meaning as a read it for a second time. Katrina has the opportunity to go to Hollywood and compete on an American Idol style of show. She goes back and forth on this decision, but eventually leaves for the West Coast. Although I’m not Amish, and I would probably only be brought onto a singing competition as the comic relief, I feel like I have a lot in common with this fictional Katrina Yoder. We both left Central Ohio for a more promising west. It was a difficult decision, and while we know it was for the best, it still makes us uneasy even to this day. Being in locations close to Katrina’s journey really brought this story to life. Also, Melody Carlson lives in Oregon, so that makes this book even more relevant to my life. I hope I can run into her someday.
A good book is typically less costly than a trip, but it can take you on an even wilder adventure!
Yesterday, I posted my current Travel Bucket List. However, while I’m looking forward to hopefully accomplishing all those things in the future, I think it’s important to also look back on previous accomplishments. While I don’t plan every single trip around my goals, once I have a trip planned, I try to take advantage of any opportunities available to apply that trip to working towards a goal. I often accomplish several goals in one trip, which is why you’ll see that I have often done several goals at the same time. Here are some things that are no longer on my bucket list, because I actually did them!
1. Go to Chicago. (September 2014)
2. Eat pizza in Chicago. (September 2014)
3. Go up the Willis Tower and stand on the Skydeck. (September 2014- Okay, I’m done with the Chicago goals!)
21. Fly first class. (January 2013, from Denver to Omaha)
22. See Mount Rushmore. (August 2011)
23. Be in the nation’s Capitol. (June 2007 in Washington DC, also in Peru’s capitol of Lima in July 2007 and August 2009)
24. Go to New York, New York. (June 2007)
25. See historic Philadelphia. (June 2007)
26. Travel out-of-state without my parents. (March 2003 to Washington, and many, many, many trips since!)
27. Travel by myself. (This one’s ambiguous: in 2001 I flew by myself but was picked up by family at my destination, in August 2011 I moved to Nebraska for an internship, in September 2012 I went to Tennessee for two weeks but one week was spent with a friend, in August 2013 I took a solo road trip to get to Ohio for my new job… if none of the previous count to you has having traveled by myself, then I definitely took several trips over the past year that would certainly count!)
28. Drive more than an hour. (First time was February 2013 from Twin City area in Minnesota to somewhere in Iowa)
41. Go waterskiing/wakeboarding. (July 2004 was my first waterski attempt, July 2006 proved more successful and was also my wakeboard introduction)
42. Sleep all night in a hammock. (July 2012, at the top of a 60-foot tower overlooking the Platte River)
43. Stay in a hostel. (September 2012, Music City Hostel in Nashville; hostels are now my favorite accommodation!)
44. Attend a Christian music festival. (September 2011, Lifelight South Dakota)
45. See The Phantom of the Opera on Broadway. (June 2007)
46. Visit the three main countries that make up North America. (Started at birth in the U.S., ended in Canada July 2014)
47. Hike from base to summit of a mountain. (The tallest so far was Harney Peak in South Dakota August 2011, but was preceded by Mount Humbug and both Table Rocks in Oregon)
48. Ride a roller coaster that goes upside-down. (May 2003, Disney’s Rock n Roller Coaster, and of course with visits to more “adventurous” theme parks like Six Flags Marine World, Knott’s Berry Farm, and Adventureland, I’ve been on dozens more)
49. Be invited to a movie screening before it comes to theaters. (July 2011 for Courageous; I’ve also gone to Grace Unplugged, Moms’ Night Out, and When the Game Stands Tall)
40. Go to Istanbul or another intercontinental city.Completed October 2015!
41. Become fluent in at least two languages.
42. Become conversational in at least three languages.
43. Go jet skiing.
44. Find a location where Back to the Future was filmed and quote lines that were said in the movie at that location.Completed April 2015!
45. Attend the Olympics.
46. Go to the new World Trade Center.
47. Visit a nation where freedom of religion is limited.Completed October 2015!
48. Eat Mediterranean food by the Mediterranean Sea.Completed August 2015!
49. Adopt children and take them on adventures.
50. Stand on a significant longitudinal or latitudinal line, such as the Equator, Greenwich Meridian or International Date Line.
51. Be inside a zeppelin.
52. See a giant panda.
53. See Northern Lights.
54. Use my travel experience as inspiration to write a professionally-published book.
55. Spend a period of time living in another country.
56. See the real Parthenon. (I already saw the one in Nashville!)Completed September 2015!
58. Tour the Capitol Building of my home state.
59. Tour the Capitol Building of every state I’ve ever lived in. (One down, at least three more to go!) (Added California Capitol in April 2015 after seeing the Ohio one the year before. Now I have to see Oregon’s, Nebraska’s and anywhere else I happen to move to!)
60. Take at least one trip every month for the rest of my life.
61. Work in orphan care or adoption.
62. Go rafting on class five rapids.
63. Rappel off something incredible, such as the Grand Canyon or CN Tower.
64. See the Hoover Dam.
65. Recognize a celebrity on the streets.
66. Go to the North Pole.
67. Go to the South Pole.
68. Be invited to a speaking engagement.
69. Go on a zipline canopy tour.
70. Become capable of cooking authentic ethnic cuisine dishes from around the world.
71. Own a species of South American camelid.
72. Meet a lifelong travel companion.
73. Go somewhere, probably Germany or France, where the last name “Lippe” is more common.
74. If time travel or teleportation are ever invented, do whatever it takes to get onboard with this endeavor!