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My husband Sean loves fishing. I do too. There’s a difference between my love of fishing and Sean’s, though. My love of fishing comes from fishing with my dad on rivers and lakes in Montana, northern Idaho, Colorado, and Utah growing up. I like the activity of fishing, but I really go for the connection and companionship of people I’m with.
Sean loves fishing. Period. He will go anytime he’s invited, which includes ice fishing in the middle of winter; backpacking into a remote mountain area to fish; sitting in a freezing cold float tube out in a lake, walking the riverbanks fly fishing; in a boat; on shore, or anywhere fish can be found. It could be said that he likes fishing as much for fishing as he does for the companionship.
Three years ago Brad, who is married to Sean’s cousin Cindy, told Sean about an Alaskan fishing trip he wanted to take in August 2018. Fishing in Alaska was a bucket-list destination for Sean. He’d always thought of an Alaskan fishing trip as one that he would take “someday.” Maybe in several years he’d go with his son, sons-in-law and grandkids. Maybe once he retired. It was a far-off-in-the-distance type of trip, not a plan-and-go type of trip. But here Brad was, offering the trip with a definite date, and a price which Sean balked at when he first saw.
He couldn’t go, he told me. It was way too much money for him to go on a trip by himself, without taking anyone else in his family. It was too much commitment: the time off work and away from us, the money he would spend up front and while there…he couldn’t do it. And yet it gnawed at him; he couldn’t stop thinking about it. It was exactly the type of trip he’d wanted to take for his whole life. A week staying in an Alaskan lodge, with meals included, and the chance to captain your own boat with your group, adventuring out into the ocean and catching as much salmon and halibut as you could, for days on end. What a magical experience.
I wanted him to go. I argued that the money wouldn’t even matter. He would remember the experience way more than the cost.
And he went. August 2018 came. He experienced his Alaskan fishing trip. It was real life: the weather didn’t cooperate like they’d hoped, so they had to fish in the rain and some stormy seas. But fish they did. And fished, and fished, and fished. And caught their limit. And brought it home without spending much of anything to get it here (the reason it cost so little is a topic for another day—that’s my subject in about 3 weeks).
He had an amazing, glorious time. Did the money matter, you ask? Yes, it did at the time he was spending it. But now, as he looks back on that trip, he remembers it as the trip of a lifetime. A bucket-list trip that he took. And loved. And yes, would love to go again when he can.
What’s your bucket-list trip? Let’s dream a little bit right now. If you’re like me, you have several of them.
Would you love to sit at a café in Paris?
Sail on a magical Christmas market river cruise?
Take that ocean dip from your overwater bungalow in Bora Bora?
Hike Mount Everest?
Go on an African safari?
Play with penguins in Antarctica?1
Take a long cruise to…(the Panama Canal; around the world; Europe)?
Go ahead. Think about it for a couple of minutes. Put that dream in your mind and heart.
Wanna know one of my bucket list destinations? Iceland.
I want to do a wellness Iceland trip that includes yoga and maybe some meditation every day, healthy culinary dishes, plus be able to experience the otherworldly landscapes of this rugged and tranquil land. I haven’t decided yet whether I’d do a self-drive Iceland trip, or one that includes a guide and small group. I love the freedom and independence of the self-drive option, but I also love the idea of getting all of the information and sweet spot recommendations from a guide.
Here’s an idea of an itinerary I’d do. This one includes a group leader and a small group.
Day 1: Arrive in Reykjavik and meet the group.
Day 2: Hike to Oskjuhlio Hill in the morning, then explore Reykjavik. There’s a geothermal beach and natural pools, a city tour by bike, or whale watching. So many choices!
Day 3: Leave Reykjavik and explore the famous Golden Circle. Practice yoga in Pingvellir National Park. I can snorkel between the tectonic plates if I want!
The geothermal hot spring Strokkur erupts about every ten minutes; nearby Geysir, one of the oldest geysers in the world, is mostly dormant.
Day 4: This morning, I’ll hike around the area. I’ll see stunning landscapes, more natural hot springs, rolling hills, and bright blue water.
Later today, I’ll visit an Icelandic farm where I’ll meet the unique, sturdy, small Icelandic horse. I’ll learn about the farm, and enjoy a farm-to-table fresh dinner.
Day 5: How about a glacier hike? The Solheimajokul Glacier is nearby. Later I’ll visit a
black sand beach with huge rock formations. I may even see some nesting puffins.
I’ll visit the largest and most famous waterfall in Iceland, 200 feet high.
Day 6: I’ll start the day with yoga near the largest lake on the peninsula, and then spend the rest of the day exploring this area. Highlights include Kleifarvatn Lake, which has no visible outlets, colorful geothermal areas, dramatic coastal cliffs, and a footbridge spanning two continents.
Day 7: My final day. I have time for morning yoga, a trip to the Blue Lagoon for a soak or treatment, and then head to the airport for my flight home.
This trip includes all breakfasts, 1 lunch, and 2 dinners. The transportation is by private vehicle, and the group leader is a source of country information, suggestions for things to do and see, introduces us to locals, and recommends great eating venues.
That’s one of my bucket-list destinations. I have a lot, actually, and I hope you do too!
The wrap-up to Sean’s and Brad’s fishing story is that in December of 2019, Brad was hospitalized with pancreatitis. After many months and a long battle with the disease and infection, Brad passed away in May 2020.
That bucket-list fishing trip just became priceless.
Don’t let your bucket-list trip remain just a dream. Do you have vacation money from 2020 that never got used? Combine it with 2021’s trip and make it a great one. Set a date for it, even if it’s one or two years in the future. Make it happen. Better yet, contact me! I'd love to talk to you about your dream and how it can become a travel reality.