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Bucket List

What do you want this life to include? What have you already done?In Wadi Rum

Writing a “bucket list” should not be only about what we want to do, but reflecting on what we’ve already done. I’ve been blessed with so many experiences that have shaped who I am, created memories, and widened my perspective.

There are some things that are never “finished,” and therefore not on the lists. I hope to be constantly learning, growing in my faith, drawing near to God, improving relationships, etc.

I know there’s a lot more to add to the list, but here is a start!

Done Yet to be done
Continents South America, North America, Asia, Europe, Africa Pacific, Antarctica (optional)
US States 42 ND, ME, VE, NH, WI, MI, WV, HI
Countries Chile, Argentina, USA, Mexico (age 0-9)

Great Britain, Netherlands, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Germany, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan (age 10-16)

Finland, Sweden, Thailand, Myanmar, Costa Rica, Canada (undergrad)

Jamaica, S. Africa (during grad school)

Kenya, Portugal (2012-2013)

Norway, Denmark, France, Lux, Leich., Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates (2014-15)

Spain, Italy, Vatican, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan (2016)

Uganda (2017)

Total so far: 43


New Zealand







Places —–Man-made—–

Mt. Rushmore, Golden Gate Bridge, Gateway Arch, Pike’s Place (& First Starbucks), Las Vegas Strip, Washington DC (Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian, Capitol, etc.)

Red Square (Moscow, Russia)

Mayan ruins (Oaxaca, Mexico)

Castles in Europe

Istanbul (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar), Underground city (Capp.), Ephesus ruins (Turkey)

La Granada (Spain)

Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) in Finland

Wat Phra Kaew (Thailand)

Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica- Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Grand Canal/Rialto Bridge, Florence Cathedral, Ponte Vecchio (Italy)

Diocletian’s Palace (Croatia)

The Triple Bridge (Slovenia)

Place were Jesus was baptized (Jordan River)

Petra, Jerash, Aqaba, Amman Citadel (Jordan)



Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Caspian Sea, Red Sea, Dead Sea, North Sea

Niagara Falls, Grand Canyon, Horseshoe Bend, Waterhole Canyon, Yellowstone, Redwoods

Torres del Paine (but I want to go again… I was too young to remember)

Mt. Everest (okay… not the BIG one)

Pulpit Rock (Norway)

Hell’s Gate, Lake Nakuru, Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Centre, Diani Beach (Kenya)

Highest point in Germany

Cedars of Lebanon

Wadi Rum, Dead Sea, Jordan River, Dana (Jordan)

Plitvice Lakes, Waterfalls (Croatia)

Lake Bled (Slovenia)



Taj Mahal

Holy Land

Eiffel Tower

Great Wall of China

Machu Pichu

Stone Henge


Stand on the equator (though I was close)


Great Barrier Reef


Ayers Rock


Things to do Ride in a plane, ambulance, police car, aero car, funicular, kayak, ferry, cruise ship, raft, metro, train, bus, jet ski, motorcycle, back of a truck, Smart Car, motor boat, convertible, tuk-tuk, subway

-Snorkeling, Parasailing

-Road trip across the US

-Climb a waterfall (Jamaica), boldering (CO), rappel/climb cliffs (K-stan)

-Jump off a cliff (above Palouse Falls)

-Play (at least once): ping pong, tennis, soccer, mini golf, bowling, volleyball, badminton…

-Rollerblade, ride a bike, ride a scooter

-Go sledding, ice skating, skiing, snowshoeing

-Shoot an arrow

-Complete a ropes course

-Pan for gold

-White-water rafting

-Ferry in the fjords (Norway)

-Live in a yurt

-Couch surfing, Air BnB, Hostels (in Europe, Middle East, and US)

-Start a business (WW)

-Party at an ambassador’s house

-Attend a symphony (first row)

-Wine tasting

-Win a lucky draw (gift card)

-Take a dance class

-Take a yoga class

-Sauna (Kazakhstan and Finland)

-Fly a kite

-Jump from a high diving board

-Entertainment parks (Knott’s Berry, Disneyland/world, 6 Flags, Universal Studios), including rollercoasters

-Be part of a Sister Cities’ exchange

-Representative in the Future World Leaders Summit

-Get a policy changed (Good Friday at MHS)

-Start a club (Far-reaching Effective Evangelism Today–FEET in High School)

-Work in an orchard for a day

-Have a picnic

-Rose Parade (camped out all night)

-Skinny dip (Finland)

-Play poker in a pub

-Give up a plane ticket for a free hotel night

-Attend Urbana

-Hike & camp in the Appalachians

-Go to a concert

-Get a pedicure

-Attend a football game (AFA)

-Crash a party

-Try hookah

-Fly first class

-Skydiving!! (Eloy, AZ)


Hot air balloon


Scuba diving



Learn a martial art

Ride in a limo

Learn sign language

Live in a Tiny House



-Start an avalanche (Kazakhstan)

-See a glacier

-Ride a horse

-Ride an elephant

-Plant a tree

-Eat fruit straight from a tree

-Catch fireflies

-Go camping

-Make a bon fire

-Walk in a salt lake (Turkey)

-Sleep in a cave

-Sand “surf” on dune

-Safari in Africa (+ elephant orphanage & giraffe center)

-Float in the Dead Sea (+ mud)

-A lightning storm from above

-Full rainbow, circle of rainbow

-See the Northern Lights

-Feel an Earthquake

-Watch a geyser erupting

-Enjoy Sunrises/Sunsets over water

-Watch lunar & solar eclipses

-Witness shooting stars, meteor shower

-Look up and see the Milky Way

-See dolphins in the wild

-Experience four season & two season climates

Swim with dolphins

Camel ride

An active volcano

A tornado

The release of an animal into its natural habitat



Witnessing People Women with extended necks

Birth of child (x3)


People giving their lives to Christ


Volatile elections (while in Kenya & Nigeria)

Troops heading toward “liberation”

Refugee camps

An aqua-based protest (protesters and police in boats)

Spiritual and emotional healing

Ethnic/political reconciliation

Development of mental health care in war-torn nations

Peace in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Media -Appear on TV (Kazakhstan, CA)

-Be featured in the newspaper (Finland)

-Get aired on radio (MemCare Radio, VOM)

-Speak to medium audience (200-500)

-Act in a play

-Alumni articles written about me

-Mentioned in Wikipedia article

-Referenced in journal articles

-Start a blog

Speak to large audience

Create a YouTube video

Present a TEDtalk

Publishing Books (x3)

Chapters (x2),

Magazine article

Journal article

Edited a Wikipedia article and created a new one (not about me)

Exhibition of artwork

Have a book signing

Education BA, MA, PsyD (but never got HS diploma)
Creativity/Crafts Drawing, painting, sculpture

Make paper

Use a potter’s wheel

Learn guitar (some)

Try knitting, crocheting, friendship bracelets, beads

Finish a quilt

Win a prize for cake decorating contest

Help paint a mural

Build a website

Make candles

Make greeting cards

Write a poem

Take a photography class

Publish artwork

Volunteer VBS

Build houses

Help at an orphanage

Crisis response (mud slide, earthquake, tsunami, etc)

Donate clothes, books

Teach children

Give food to homeless person

Donate hair

Donate blood

Distribute food

Teach graduate courses overseas

Participate in a Charity Walk (Heart Disease & Stroke)

Leave a note for a stranger

Be on staff at a missionary retreat

Start a “Pay it forward” movement

Pets Dog, cat, hedgehog, cockatiel, parakeet, lizard (seen hamster, mouse, axolotls, iguana, bush baby as pets)  Not sure if I need more pets…
Meeting People Chilean ambassador, bishops, Colin Powell, Mr. Rogers, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, authors (e.g. Gary Collins), experts in my field

Reunion with first grade teacher

A president (of a country)

Leaders of different faiths


Food Sheep’s head


Frog’s legs

Liver, Kidney


Formal five course meal

A Belgian waffle in Belgium

Turkish Delights in Turkey

Tea at a tea farm (Kenya)

Gelato in Florence

Kanafeh in Jordan

(Plenty of others, but I can’t even remember them all!)

 Oooh, the possibilities…

What have you done that is not on this list? What would you add?




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