With all the lack of travelling happening lately – and the likelihood that there won’t be a whole lot going on for the rest of this year – I have had a lot of time on my hands to think about the travel I want to do over the next (gulp!) almost-three-years! I’ve had a big trip in mind for my fiftieth birthday for a while now, but what other things do I want to achieve? Here’s my Fifty before 50 bucket list!
While I’ve certainly been aware that life is too short and we need to grab it with both hands, my recent brush with breast cancer has brought about a new focus. We did so much amazing stuff on our gap year throughout Europe, Asia and the Middle East and I am eternally grateful to have had that experience. I’ve seen and done things many people don’t ever get the opportunity to do. But now it’s time to stop saying “I’ll get there one day” and to instead put a deadline on some of the amazing things I still want to do in the hope that I will actually do them!
I’ve always been a list person. I have two lists of travel-related things I have been slowly ticking off over time. One is so old I have it on a printed out list and I have no idea where it came from. The second I at least made a note of where it came from – the Qantas website at some time in the past!
I’ve been lucky enough to tick quite a few things off these lists, but there are some things I know I just won’t do – like running with the bulls in Pamplona, or touring Krak de Chevaliers, a medieval castle in Syria. The lists also don’t have a deadline. So I’ve decided to steal some things from those lists, include some other things not on the list and come up with my own fifty before 50 list.
If I write it down it has to happen right?
With the corona virus situation and since I have only 33 months to get through this list, I have mostly included international destinations I have already got penciled in for 2021 and ones I hope to get to in 2022. Most of the items are those local things I have been saying forever I need to do. Well, now is the time to do them!
Let’s just hope the borders open soon and I can get stuck into ticking some of these things off!
2021 note – so Australian borders don’t look like they are going to be opening anytime soon. All those international things are looking so shaky right now. Fingers crossed I can still get to a few of them.
(NOTE – some of the links below will take you to posts on my other blog, Exploring South Australia)
My Fifty before 50 List
- Trek in the Himalayas
- Go to Dubai Expo 2020 (Expo moved to 2021!)
- Walk the Milford Track
- Visit my last Australian state – Western Australia
- Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef
- Eat an insect
- Walk on the Great Wall of China
- See the Aurora Australis (sort of saw them in Tasmania, but not enough to say “done”!)
- Watch sunrise at Mt Fuji
- Watch a game while doing the Adelaide Oval Roof Climb
- See the Blue Lake in Mount Gambier – when it’s actually blue!
- Visit Coober Pedy
- See the whales at Head of the Bight
- Eat feral food at the Parachilna Hotel (went there, restaurant currently closed for renovations!)
- Do a horse ride (Done in Tasmania!)
- Climb the Sydney Harbour Bridge (Done! Stay tuned)
- Visit the farm I grew up on
- Visit Kangaroo Island (again)
- Kayak with dolphins at Garden Island
- Fly first class
- Do a station stay
- Eat oysters at Coffin Bay (and at Smoky Bay)
- Do the Lion 360 experience at Monarto Safari Park
- Do a wine-blending class at the d’Arenberg Cube
- Stay in a glamping tent
- Do a ghost tour (Done. Post up soon)
- Eat a degustation menu at a fancy restaurant
- Cycle the Riesling Trail
- Swim with sea lions at Baird Bay
- Start walking the Heysen Trail
- Take a ride on Popeye
- Have a cocktail at 2KW (done, twice – but I haven’t written about it anywhere yet)
- Go to Womadelaide
- Visit Darwin (and Kakadu National Park)
- Cruise to Antarctica (BOOKED! OMG! Jan 2023)
- Bush camp for more than one night.
- Go on a paddle steamer on the Murray River
- Do the Bondi to Coogee coastal walk
- Hike Cradle Mountain in Tasmania (Done. Post up soon)
- Swim in an outback waterhole
- Visit Sydney for the Vivid festival
- Drive the Great Ocean Road – without kids this time
- Visit all the silo art locations in South Australia
- Visit my last three South East Asian countries – Brunei, East Timor, Philippines
- Hiking in the Grampians
- Ride in a Helicopter
- Swim with great white sharks (almost done)
- Take a cooking class
- See a Platypus in the wild
- Fly over Lake Eyre
So there’s the list! I’ve had to think hard about the restrictions, both with travel and the time frame I have to do these in. There are a couple I am already worried about, in particular #44. There are also some here that are at the moment not possible. For example #6. At the moment I am vegetarian (for health reasons). I am not sure if this will change or not, but I have always said I could eat an insect at one of those markets in Asia that have all those bugs on sticks. I think it’s time to put my money where my mouth is! I need to have at least one or two items that will be challenging to make the list worthwhile.
I will come back here and update the list once I have completed each item. Since I need to accomplish these at about 1.5 items a month, I should be updating regularly!
EDIT: 1st Jan 2021
Seven months after I wrote this list I have completed eight items – which means I’m already a little behind schedule. I’ve got a few more things planned for the next month or so, so hopefully I get there. Covid-19 has really made this task more difficult than I was expecting at the beginning. I knew travel would be restricted for a while, but it looks like Australia’s borders are going to be closed for much of 2021, making all of those international items impossible to achieve again this year. Within Australia, the state borders are very volatile, opening and closing suddenly when new cases pop up. That means planning travel in advance is tenuous at best. I’ll keep working on my list though, and have as many experiences as I can manage.
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Josie is a forty-something budget traveller. She only discovered travel in her late thirties, but since then has travelled extensively including taking an adult gap year. She is now based in Australia and loves sharing all she has learned about travelling on a budget but with the comforts a Gen Xer requires.