A couple days ago I looked at the bucket list that I created back in college. Much to my surprise, I had completed a handful of items without even realizing it. I still have plenty to do, such as: write a book, ride in a hot air balloon, learn a foreign language, visit every continent, visit every U.S. state, and watch every movie on the AFI 100 greatest films list. The list keeps going.
Anyway, I was thrilled to find I was able to cross of the following items from my list: skydiving (three times actually!), driving across the country (which I'd love to do again), go back to Graduate school (so I didn't actually graduate, whatever), and visit Alaska (this one is a big step toward crossing off the "every U.S. state" item).
On a side note, Alaska was incredible and an incredible opportunity. I was there visiting my cousin Anna (shown in the 3rd Alaska picture below) who had recently made the dramatic move from Stamford, Connecticut to Anchorage. Having made my own cross-country move, I understand that it's not just a physical uprooting, but an emotional and even spiritual one as well. As a humans we generally want to feel comfortable and safe, and leaving your friends and family to start a new life somewhere else is the completely opposite of safe. It forces you to open yourself up to new ideas and cultures and it gives you the opportunity to evaluate your world view. Once you leave college, making friends is not easy. It takes work to build a support system in a new city. All these challenges that come from moving to a new city will only make you a better and stronger person. I am supremely proud of my cousin for being the first of her family to get out of Connecticut and try something new.
It's pretty exciting to realize that you are creating a life for yourself that is everything you wanted. It's not that I treat each day like it's my last, but that I am not taking things for granted. I'm trying to learn to appreciate all the good things in my life. I try to seize opportunities to try new things whenever possible.
Enough writing... now it's time for pictures of my adventures. Enjoy!