You might not believe this, but I’m quite an adventurer. I’ve walked along the Great Wall of China. Or at least I’ve walked into the Great Wall Chinese Restaurant. I once rappelled about 100 feet — maybe it was closer to 15. And I’ve swum with dolphins. Actually, they weren’t dolphins. They were cows, and they weren’t swimming so much as they were drinking out of the same lake I was swimming in. Same difference.
These adventures are all suggestions you’ll find if you do an internet search for bucket list ideas — except for swimming with cows. Nobody mentions that. Ever since the term bucket list was coined by the screenwriter of the 2007 film “The Bucket List,” everyone has a list of things they want to do before they “kick the bucket.” I’m proud to say I’ve accomplished many of the suggested goals you find online — more or less.
For example, one frequent bucket list item is running a marathon. I did that. Kind of. I was in track all four years of high school and I’m sure I ran a mile at least 26 times. Or do you think they mean all at once?
Another common bucket list item is attending a Super Bowl. That would be a waste of time for me because I don’t even like football. But I did attend game five of the 1987 World Series which I think should count for something. Baseball is more my style with its long periods of monotony interrupted by occasional bursts of hysteria—much like life.
A lot of people want to test drive their dream car. I don’t have a dream car, but I often dream in a car. My husband drives; I sleep. If it’s got bun warmers and comfortable seats, it’s a dream car to me.
Learning a second language is also on many internet bucket lists. I’m proud to say I had one semester of French in college. And I still remember how to say a few common greetings and one swear word.
Of course, there are a lot of suggested bucket list goals I have not achieved yet. I’ve never been on an African safari or seen the Great Pyramid of Giza. I’ve never gone bungee jumping or skinny dipping. But if I had skinny dipped, I wouldn’t tell you anyway.
This is all a long way to explain why I was so excited when I heard about Jeff Bezos and Sir Richard Branson’s recent space missions. I was looking for another adventure to add to my bucket list. And thanks to their efforts, space travel is now available to all of us who couldn’t pass the astronaut training program.
I’m sure vacationing in space will now join visiting Stonehenge, climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and trying out for the NBA as common bucket list items. I know it’s on my list. I’m not a bit afraid of going to space like some people are. I’ve never been afraid of flying. I fear losing my luggage more than crashing because it happens more often.
Also, I’ve ridden in a hot air balloon—another common bucket list item, by the way. And it was almost like traveling in space except we used propane instead of rocket fuel. Also, we didn’t leave the earth’s atmosphere, travel faster than the speed of sound, experience weightlessness or wear cool space suits. Other than that, I think it was pretty much the same.
Anyway, I have the courage that comes with knowing it will never happen, not unless I come into a whole lot of money. If you want to travel in space, it’s going to cost you anywhere from $125,000 to a couple of million. Unless you’re a gazillionaire, you’d have nothing left for all your other bucket list goals, except maybe skinny dipping and swimming with cows.