Whenever someone asks me what I want as a gift for any occasion, my mind always goes directly to flights, travel, and experience gifts. Experience is the greatest gift; I’ll take it over “things” any day. Being able to explore new countries, cultures, and adventures is a dream come true. At 34, I’ve visited more than 50 countries and participated in countless extreme adventures that I thought only existed in movies and dreams. Who actually pilots a jet pack or a fighter jet? Who jumps from an airplane, rides in a hot air balloon, performs aerobatics in a biplane, and swims with whale sharks all in the same weekend? Who gets to be part of the sailing crew on an adventure to Antarctica? Who really goes gorilla trekking? Bucket List Publications isn’t just a blog or a website; it has helped me live in a dream world. It has made my daily life better than my wildest imagination. Sometimes it’s exhausting just trying to think up my next big vacation or adventure. My imagination/dreams, experience gift websites, social media, and fellow travel/adventure bloggers are my go-to sources for travel and adventure inspiration.
My dreams and imagination are always the beginning of an idea, a thought embedded in my subconscious that waits to emerge like a butterfly from a cocoon. Since I was a young girl, I can remember having a reoccurring dream about being able to fly. I don’t have wings or a parachute; I can just fly. It’s never scary or intimidating; it’s always beautiful and I’m more beautiful because of it. It’s this lingering dream that makes me want to test the limits of flight. When I’m riding in an elevator, flying in a plane, or standing at the top of a mountain looking down, my initial thought is, “I want to jump!” “I want to fly!” “I want to feel the wind rushing by me!” (Don’t get me wrong, I want to be attached to something.) I understand a dog’s desire to stick his head out the window. That’s what being in the sky is like for me. I explore my imagination and dreams, put them to paper, and I find ways to make them happen. They are what kick-start “the list” and put ideas into practice.
Experience sites like Great American Days and Into the Blue are a goldmine of inspiration and information. Any time I’m traveling to a new location in the United States (Great American Days) or the UK (Into the Blue), I pull up their site for unique ideas. Sometimes I’m limited with my imagination because I don’t know that certain activities are possible; Great American Days and Into the Blue take the guessing out of what’s available. Race car experiences, pampering, flights, lessons, tours, camps… the list goes on. They have thousands of amazing experience gifts for every budget, taste, and occasion.
Into the Blue just launched an exciting initiative to get people stepping outside their usual boundaries: National Experience Week. In conjunction with this, they’re running a competition for a user on their site to win their entire wishlist of experiences. You can read more about it at Into the Blue: National Experience Week.
Fellow travel/adventure bloggers have become the travel agents of today. When I’m trying to create my yearly bucket list or put my dreams into action, I usually search travel blogger sites before anywhere else. Reading articles and looking at photos on Expert Vagabond is more inspirational than any commercial or advertisement. It was under the South Africa category on this site that I first started dreaming about an African Safari. First-hand experience and recent pictures make travel/adventure blogs my first stop when exploring a dream.
Social Media sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest are like an instant shot of adrenaline. All I need to do is look at GoPro on Facebook and dozens of ideas for new experiences and destinations invade every crevice of my brain. They’re automatic storyboards for great experiences.
Your ideas and bucket lists extend the reach of my imagination to the far corners of the world. From polar bear expeditions in northern Canada to mingling with penguins in Antarctica, from shark diving in South Africa to heliskiing in Japan, your stories and ideas have shown me that anything and everything is possible.
Do you have an experience or bucket list item that I haven’t thought of yet? Do you dream about seemingly impossible adventures, yet find ways to make them a reality? I’d love for you to share your adventure and travel dreams with us. Regardless of how big or small, they are worth sharing and making a reality.