In the Bucket

A readers perspective of creating THE list

I was stuck on a plane a couple of weekends ago. I wasn’t going anywhere fun or exciting, just needed to get to the East Coast for family which necessitated a five hour flight. I’m not sure how many of you have seen this video (click here) but every time I travel I can’t help but watch and chuckle because it is so true about trying to find that cheap flight. The flight I was taking was sort of last minute so it could definitely qualify as the most expensive plane ticket bought yet! I actually don’t really mind traveling though. My preference is the train by far because, well- it’s the train! You get to see the countryside, you can walk around, they have (almost) affordable snacks, free wifi, and there isn’t a two hour pre-boarding routine that must be suffered through. Flying isn’t awful, I mean this flight was five hours of reading time for sure but the destination was less than desirable and I would much rather go someplace fun and exciting!

Sometimes we just have to suck it up though and go to those not-so-fun places. Hopefully not all trips will be the obligation type trips and thanks to all the wonderful lesfic stories out there, my bucket list is pretty extensive with all the places I want to visit and all the things I want to do in the coming years. Just reading about summiting Mt. Kilimanjaro and doing an African safari in KG MacGregor’s Worth Every Step made me restless for adventure! Of course that was the story I was reading on my five hour flight across country and ending up NOT on top of the highest mountain in Africa, was a pretty big letdown when I did land. But I’ve been fascinated with Africa ever since I read Beryl Markham’s West With the Night in high school. Beryl Markham is a remarkable pioneer for women and overall in the world of aviation but her love for Africa was mesmerizing! So having a lesfic story to remind me of one of my bucket list items was great fun entertainment for my traveling time.

Stories do have that kind of influence though. In Worth Every Step the main character became enthralled with Mount Kilimanjaro after watching a television special. For me it has always been books and stories that have inspired my imagination for bucket list items. Mount Kilimanjaro I think I could actually have a chance of accomplishing, but other mountains like Mount Everest as depicted in Belle Reiley’s High Intensity or Annapurna 1 found in Murphy’s Law by Yolanda Wallace, are way out of my comfort level. It was great to read and fun to imagine one day standing on the top but, wow! Crazy! And cold! I mean I would definitely jump at an offer to visit Antarctica like in Helen MacPherson’s Colder Than Ice, but brrr!!  No I think I would be better off with a whitewater kayaking trip from Kim
Baldwin’s Whitewater Rendezvous or better yet a sailing charter like Cate Swannell’s Heart’s Passage. I mean who wouldn’t want to spend days on a sailboat floating around Australia’s Great Barrier Reef? I mean I would definitely lose the crazy girlfriend and take my wife instead, but the idea just sounds so relaxing. Yes. Those are definitely on my Bucket List!

Or what about exotic locations? Granted everyone’s idea of exotic is different but cities like Venice and Paris seem so romantic and exotic to me with their beautiful languages that I can’t understand, their history, their culture, everything! And when reading about it in Kenna White’s Body Language and Malaurie Barber’s A Year in Paris who wouldn’t add those cities to their bucket list trips? So much history to be explored, the same as in other parts of the world. I mean, I would absolutely love to stand atop the Great Wall of China and Macchu Picchu as Anne Azel’s characters do in Encounters. Awe inspiring and yes, on the Bucket List!

I do have to admit that I am pretty proud of myself for actually marking some items off my bucket list. I was inspired by S.X. Meagher’s I Found My Heart in San Francisco to do the AIDS LifeCycle bike ride between San Francisco and Los Angeles and am signed up to do it again for the fourth time this year. (If this is on your bucket list sign up here and use code LASTCALL to get a discount but hurry because this is the 15th year of the ride and it is filling quick!) I mean how many people want to do something like bike 545 miles and contribute to an amazing cause all at the same time? It is such an amazing experience I would highly recommend it be added to everyone’s Bucket List! And to think I first read about it in a book! I also learned how to SCUBA dive so reading Andrea Bramhall’s Ladyfish not only made me want to break out the snorkel and fins again, but it made me want to book a trip to Key West, Florida! Heck yeah, sunshine, beaches, gay mecca, what more could one want with destination for a Bucket List trip?

But to think, so much of what we want to do and accomplish in this world is through images and ideas we read about. I love that kind of influence in my life. Even if I never end up on top of Mount Kilimanjaro, the stories that led me to dream and imagine doing so are incredibly special. So what about all you other readers out there, what is on your Bucket List? And how did it end up there? Have any of our amazing lesfic authors inspired you to add to that list? Am I missing some Bucket List inspiring stories written by our LesFic community? Share please!

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6 thoughts on “In the Bucket

  1. You named some of my favorites. Macchu Picchu is on my list just because it has fascinated me since I was little. Body Language made me want to go back and see more of Venice. I was lucky enough to go there with my mom a few years ago. I was also inspired by both of the mountain climbing books you mentioned, although I am more likely to go look at the mountains than I am to climb them. When I was twelve my parents took us kids to Europe and when we were in Britain I made them take me to Thursk because I was enamoured of the James Herriot books. I also love books set in settings that are familiar and meaningful to me. I loved Yolanda Wallace’s Love’s Bounty because it is set on the New England sea coast, a place near and dear to my heart. I, too, prefer the train to flying, but sometimes it’s impractical.

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    1. I’ve never been to Europe so that is on my list! I’ll have to check out Love’s Bounty. I enjoyed Murphy’s Law and I’m sure I’ll enjoy one about the Eastern seaboard. And true sometimes train travel is impractical- especially across the country, but it sure is fun! Thanks for reading Ann! I always enjoy your thoughts and comments!

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  2. Thanks to Cari Hunter’s No Good Reason I now have added the Peak District in northern England to my bucket list.
    Great blog. I love being transported to exotic locations by the books we read.

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