What’s on YOUR Bucket List?

“When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality.” I love this quote by Dom Helder Camara, a poet, mystic and missionary of Brazil who died in 1999, but inspired many people during his time. This is today’s “Inspirational Quote” on the terrific site known as Famous Quotes and Quotations. You can subscribe to their service and wake up to the quote category of your choosing to help shape and motivate your day.  

Camara’s quote has inspired me to share my Bucket List with you, as many people have been asking me, “Just where and when is all this chocolate research going to end?” Those of you who have been reading my blog know that I have been travelling the world in search of the best chocolate on the planet as research for my upcoming book, Chocolatour. It is a tasty project indeed, and one that allows me to combine my passions for travel and fine chocolate.

As much travel as I have done for this book, there is much more to do, beginning with the UK later this month. Here are the top places I have yet to visit for subsequent editions of Chocolatour:

Big Island of Hawaii

Big Island of Hawaii

1. Madagascar, Africa: As I mentioned in last week’s post on the travel blog, Norman Love makes an amazing chocolate in his BLACK collection from the trinitario cacao beans of Madagascar. I have seen many travelogues on Madagascar and found it to be fascinating because of the topography and natural wildlife. I now have one more reason to visit and get a firsthand look at those mystifying lemurs.    

2. Ecuador and Venezuela, South America: These are both important cocoa producing countries and are important for me to visit. With Ecuador being so close to the Galapagos Islands, there is a chance that I might even get there. But I must include the cacao producers and chocolate makers of South America in my quest and have begun preliminary research to get me there.

3. Australia and New Zealand: I have never heard of anyone who has visited Australia or New Zealand and returned with anything but positive comments. The natural beauty and outdoor activities are limitless. The culture and architecture of Sydney, enticing. And yes, I am being lured by suggestion that there are some amazing chocolate makers to meet. With any luck, I will be greeting them with a friendly “G’day” before too long.

4. The Big Island of Hawaii: I have already enjoyed the wonders of Oahu, Kauai, and Maui, in the Hawaiian Islands, but the island of Hawaii has to date, eluded me. As someone who has spent nearly 30 years living in the country, the ranches and agricultural persona of Hawaii have called out to me. And that’s where all of Hawaii’s macadamia nuts are grown. If you’ve never had the opportunity to try and enjoy chocolate-covered macadamia nuts from Hawaii, you are missing out on a real treat! (CHECK!)

5. Cruise the Mediterranean: I love the countries of the Mediterranean region and have had the pleasure of visiting several of them. I feel at home here, loving the cuisine, the wine, the music and the lucky people who call Greece, Italy, Spain and France home. (Haven’t yet been to Portugal, Egypt or Turkey.) But I’ve rarely had time to just hang out and forget about the clock — other than the magical week we spent on the island of Santorini back in 1996. The island of Crete is calling me. Anyone know of a good chocolate maker there?


6. Appear on the Ellen (DeGeneres) Show and talk about chocolate. I love the enthusiasm Ellen shares on her show: the dancing, the fun, the games. I just hope she loves chocolate. Anyone know for sure? Ellen are you out there?

So how about you folks? What’s on your Bucket List? I’m thankful to Dom Helder Camara whose words inspired me to share mine with you. I hope you’ll share yours with me and our wonderful community.

Doreen Pendgracs

Known throughout the Web as the "Wizard of Words", I've been a freelance writer since 1993. I'm currently researching and writing volume II of "Chocolatour: A Quest for the World's Best Chocolate". Volume I was published in September, 2013.

53 Responses

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  6. Raj says:

    I have to many places in my bucket list…Bora Bora island has very much priority among all places…
    Raj recently posted…Bora Bora Island – Most romantic Island in The WorldMy Profile

  7. Lee says:

    Hi Doreen
    Looks like your bucket list is a travellers one. That really appeals to me. My wife and myself love travel and have a list of places we want to see which include.
    New Zealand
    South Africa.
    Will agree with you on the Mediterranean as we have been lucky enough to do a fair bit of sailing in the med and we have loved it.

    Good luck lee
    Lee recently posted…Bucket List IdeasMy Profile

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Hey, Lee! Thanks for taking the time to have a look around my blog, and for joining the discussion here.

      Yes, NZ, Australia, South Af and Madagascar are definitely atop the list for me. I am a traveller, thru and thru.

      I hope you’ll subscribe to the travel blog. We have some great adventures there.

  8. Mark Smith says:

    I do have listing for my Bucket’s list but I have to work first,. earn much money so that I can travel around the world.

  9. I’ve met many of the things on my bucket list, primarily publishing my first book, about my son’s life (he died at 24 competing in a triathlon), and then trip to Egypt, Peru, China, back to France, Hawaii. Now two more things on my bucket list are to go to Bora Bora and Costa Rica.

    • WizardOfWords says:

      Thanks for stopping by the blog, Rae Ann, and for sharing what is important to you. You’ll love Costa Rica. I hope you get there soon.

  10. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for joining the conversation, Heidi!

    Yes, I've wanted to get to the Big Island, HI fir a very long time. I'm hoping that as there is a strong chocolate connection there that it will get me to the island for research purposes, but you can rest assured that I'll include a good chunk of recreation time in while I'm there. Aloha!

  11. Heidi Turner says:

    I was lucky enough to go to The Big Island last summer and I would do it again in a heartbeat. It was an amazing place to visit; one I highly recommend. If you go, make sure you leave a few days for just relaxing. There's a lot to see and do on The Big Island and it can be overwhelming. I was lucky because a good friend of mine had just moved there, so she and her fiance drove me around and showed me the sights. One of my favourite trips, easily.

  12. wizardofwords says:

    Wow, Larry! That's quite the list, and knowing you … you will achieve it.

    I can see how money equates to freedom for you.

    It's fascinating how everyone's lists are so diverse, and how a list tends to reflect the personality of the individual. I've really enjoyed this exercise and conversation with you all.

    And for anyone who doesn't know … the "coffee shops" of Amsterdam Larry is speaking of … don't serve coffee!

  13. Larry Stefanuik says:

    Hello Doreen. Excellent post, I believe everyone should make a bucket list and more importantly prioritize the items and truly strive to make it a reality. People should also not be afraid to dream big, too many people don't feel they can accomplish too much so they make their list easy or just don't do one.

    It takes just as much energy to dream big as it does to dream small so why not go for it.

    Plus you should always be updating and adding to it, the more you strive to do the longer you stay alive! This is an actual fact, when you are growing by achieving it renews your vigor. If your not growing and changing then you really are dying.

    I will post part of my bucket list, however let me throw some completed items out there first.

    -Became a police officer. Great job, took early retirement at 42.

    – Run a successful business.

    – Have a great family

    – Move to England to start new adventures, (Ok that's September.)

    -Creating multiple streams of Revenue that are passive in nature.

    Current List.

    -Become an internet millionaire by 50 with multiple stream of revenue that are automated and passive (eg. google adsense) that allow me to travel at my leisure and not have to rely on a J-O-B.

    -Design and Teach an intensive 2 weekend course to motivated students on how to do the same.

    -Get another motorcycle for touring the UK and Europe the way it should be seen.

    -Find the 6 pack abs hidden under my 24 pack by summer.

    -Own several bed and breakfasts and create custom vacation tours of UK and Europe for tourists.

    -Golf St. Andrews (not Larters) the real one, once a year.

    -Golf in all the famous golf courses overseas.

    -Be making a minimum of $800.00 a day passive income online by 2015.

    – Totally explore the fun offerings of Amsterdam and it's coffee shops.

    -Speak at international seminars about internet income.

    – Give more to worthy ideas and causes.

    Ok that's it for now.

    Remember….a goal is a Dream With A Deadline, so set them because you could kick you bucket at anytime and you don't get a second chance at this game.

    Larry Stefanuik

  14. wizardofwords says:

    What an amazing list, Emma! I always knew you were a complex individual and this list proves it!

    If you ever spend that month in Amalfi, let me know! Would love to come visit. I have so much more of Italy to explore. And yes, Churchill is amazing! I've been there 6x and experience something new every time. You might be inspired by this article that I wrote about it:

    And regarding the TM championships, stick with it and in a few years … I bet you'll be on that international stage!

  15. Em says:

    OK so you asked for my "bucket list". I prefer to think of this as a list of things I would like to do if I could afford it.

    1. Revisit Malta, go back to Mnadra, and get to the Tarxien Temple.
    2. Take an Arctic Cruise
    3. Spend a month in Amalfi (southern Italy)
    4. Start my own business
    5. Go sky diving
    6. Have a beautiful lawn in my yard
    7. See Maggie Smith on stage again
    8. Go to the Dead Sea and walk to Qumran
    9. Change the way people treat the First Nations people in Canada
    10. Make junk food companies pay for and transport, fresh fruit and vegetables, milk and fresh dairy products for people living on the reserves.
    11. Win the world championship of public speaking
    12. Visit Churchill to see the aurora borealis and the bears

    There are probably more, but this will do for now.


  16. wizardofwords says:

    Right on, Elle! Looks like you've got your priorities straight.

    Looking forward to seeing you at the TWUC conference.

  17. Elle Andra-Warner says:

    Though I plan on being around for a number of years, I look at ''priority
    living'' in 10 year segments: 10 summers, 10 falls, 10 winters, 10 springs
    — and what I want to do in those 10 years. (After 10, I'll add another 10
    and do the same thing.) Time to have fun (though I do consider writing books
    ''fun'') , time to follow no rules if I don't want to, time to spend a
    winter someplace warm (never have done that yet), fit in writing 1-2 books a
    year (though at some point I may not want to write any more books — nice
    thing about having choices)…..and the list goes on. Also a time to live
    in the ''present' — I finally get what that really feels like.

  18. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for joining the discussion, Bobbi. Yes, I think we as writers, have an amazing advantage to being able to create the life we want by writing about things that give us passion. (Thus … my book abut chocolate & travel.)

    Hope Spencer was a role model for me. She was well over 80 years old and still looking hot and elegant. She had a sharp mind pretty much to the end of her long life. Too bad the body gave up on her. Would love to have seen HER bucket list! I'm sure it was an ever-evolving work-in-progress.

  19. Barbara Florio Graham says:

    I'm in the same position as Sandra – still working (well past retirement age!) and fortunate to love what I do. I used to have a bucket list, but over time I had to accept that I'd likely never see the Grand Canyon in person (so I bought the video) or play jazz piano (so I'm giving lessons to three little neighbors). Life is a work in progress. Anyone who thinks they can make long-range plans hasn't lived long enough to understand How Things Actually Work.

  20. wizardofwords says:

    Strange. I was certain I had responded to Margaret's comment, but it's not here! So I will do so again …

    Margaret, I love the way you express yourself and can really relate to the concepts of balance (re focusing on the future vs now) and on keeping our lists fluid vs rigid. I'm all for that. Nothing rigid about this girl!

    Yes, having options is a wonderful place to be, and indeed having more options would be even better! Thanks for chiming in and contributing to the conversation.

  21. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for joining the conversation, Alex.

    Yes, it would be great to visit Rio and Buenos Aires. So many amazing places to experience. Now, all we need is the time and $$ to get there!

    Didn't realize your kids were so young. But the pyramids have waited several thousand years already. I'm sure they'll wait another 10 or so for you to get there. Good luck!

  22. Alex Carrick says:

    Like many people, my bucket list includes a high proportion of travel. I've always been interested in the dynastic period in Egypt and so would love to see the pyramids. And other locations along the Nile such as Luxor. Then there's Rio. I have to stand on the mountain some day and look down over the city and shoreline spread out below. Plus walk along Ipanema Beach. Most important, though, I want to see our children grown up and settled. Our youngest will soon be nine.

  23. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for your comments, Deborah, and for pointing me to your wonderful blog. I have now added it to the list of favourites on this blog.

    I envy the peace and meaning you seem to have found through your writing. I've always written about things that are a bit more superficial. Travel and lifestyle – featuring chocolate – tasty, and satisfying, but not in a life altering way.

    I am turning 55 this month and am looking at that as an opportunity to take my thinking to the next realm. Not that I'll ever abandon chocolate and my zest for life. There goes the Gemini in me talking again. Always a dual focus.

    Please join us here again soon.

  24. Deborah Carr says:

    Interesting post and responses. I have to admit I'm with Sandra on this one…I have never made a bucket list. Partly because it has only been in recent months that I've actually sat quietly with myself in an attempt to sort out what it is that I really truly want – deep down. In fact, I wrote a post on it (http://www.natureofwords.com/2011/01/what-do-you-really-want/

    And when I stand back and look at the whole of my life, I sometimes feel a sense of awe at how far I have come and where my writing has brought me. And these were things that I have done spontaneously and without plan. Things that have brought wonderful people into my life.

    I'm living a dream that I could not have imagined for myself once upon a time. So, I guess, I've found bucket lists hard to think about. I don't need or want to know what comes next, I just want to live the moment fully and enjoy what comes my way. That's my feeling now…maybe next year, I'll want a list… 🙂

  25. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for your comments, Margaret and Lyle.

    You're right, Marg! We do have a wealth of knowledge on this blog. I'm so proud of the community we have established. Everyone has a unique take on the topic and is willing to share their distinct perspective. Love it!

    And yes, we are so lucky as freelance writers that we have the freedom to choose & to direct our careers as we see fit. Not many people can say that with the same level of conviction that we, as freelance writers can. It is indeed all about exercising our options.

    And wow, Lyle! If you choose to walk from Stonewall to Winnipeg, please pick a nice day! The weather we've been having lately has been so bad I don't want to walk any further than my car!

    Ciao for now!

  26. lgappleyard says:

    I have been working on a bucket list. Quite a few are big ticket items, like see the pyramids, or hot air balloon over the African plains. One thing I want to do is walk to Winnipeg. Not a major accomplishment, but it wouuld mean something to me.

  27. MAF says:

    I'm intrigued by the wealth of ideas on this blog. I can feel the urgency of doing a lot of them, especially the travel part. Sandra made an interesting point; just luxuriating in the moment and savouring it for what it is; being grateful and not volleying over it to rush into the future. It's the balance between what's going on now as well as the joy of anticipating what's down the road. That's where lists come in, whether you want to call them 'buckets' or 'to-do's'. They keep you on course but needn't be rigid.
    I'm so glad that I made the decision (thinking back now, it WAS a bucket item) nearly 7 years ago to embark on sloughing the 9 to 5 world in favour of the freelance life. It's given me a wonderful sense of freedom, but not a lot of security so I expect to be doing this ad infinitum, which is ok by me.
    Heard something intersting on Oprah a few days ago about what it means to be wealthy. Chris Rock was the guest and he defined wealth as HAVING OPTIONS. That really resonated with me because I feel I have loads of options within the writing life. Anything that I find intriguing, exciting and worthy of exploration is what I can turn into gold, not just in terms of revenue, but in terms of life experience and hopefully greater understanding of humanity and the world we occupy.
    Anyway, my two cents.

  28. wizardofwords says:

    A conversation with a friend has reminded me of a Bucket List I'd literally written on a bucket back in 2009, when a group of us were gathered in friendship.

    I'd better add them here as they are all still true to my heart and aspirations:

    * Live on an Island – I've always been an "Island Girl" in my heart & soul and all of my favourite places are indeed islands.
    * Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef – looks like I've got this one covered in the list above as Australia/NZ are #3.
    * Drink Bordeaux in Bordeaux – Bordeaux has always been one of my favourite wines. Although I've been to wine producing regions of Italy, Spain, Greece, Canada and the US, lovely Bordeaux, France has escaped me to date. Bring it on!

  29. wizardofwords says:

    Love your attitude, Sandra. I live much the same way. My mother died at 55 (the age I will be in just a few days!) and never had a chance to do all the things they'd been saving for, so I've always lived my life as if today might be my last day.

    My Bucket List is an ever-evolving thing, and just a way for me to declare that I WILL do these things, complete the project I'm working on and move forward.

    And yes … I hear you. It would be LOVELY do have "do nothing" time that comes to us in a positive fashion (not as a result of injury of anguish.)

  30. Sandra Phinney says:

    Doreen, at the risk of sounding negative, I don’t have a bucket list and resist making one. Let me explain: I have no burning desire to do XYZ before I die. That's not to say that there aren't things I'd like to do, or places I'd like to go or people I'd like to meet. But I'm actually doing what I want to do in the here and now. I once thought of what I would do if I were given just a few months to live and decided that what I’d like to do is a lot of nothing. Make a fire every day in the fire pit by the river, sit with my feet up and watch the river go by. So I suppose if I DID have a bucket list it would be one thing: have six months to a year to do a lot of nothing. Alas, as I don’t have a pension I still need to work (thank God I love what I do!) so having a big hunk of time to do nuttin’ is a luxury I can’t afford. But I am finding snippets of time here and there … to do a lot of nothing. It’s divine.

  31. wizardofwords says:

    Right on, Simon! Yes, I'd love to spend WAY more time in Italy. A week wasn't nearly enough! Here's hoping we make it to the places on our lists. I really do believe that if you write things down and make them public, the likelihood of making them a reality is significantly magnified. We've put it out to the universe. Let's see who's listening.

  32. Simon C. Larter says:

    Sign me up for Australia/New Zealand. Also, I wouldn't mind having a martini or two at Harry's Bar in Venice. Hey, if it was good enough for Hemingway…. 😉

  33. wizardofwords says:

    I know what you mean, Bill. The term "Bucket List" has a bit of a negative connotation, but I loved the movie (of the same name) so much it brings nothing but positives to mind.

    You've got some great choices on your list. How about starting with the easiest one and phoning an old friend today?

    Good luck with your doctor's appt.

  34. Bill Zuk says:

    I'm not fussy about the term "bucket list" as it connotates "Kickin' it" however, the very first item on my list is an "unobtanium," but here goes:
    1. Taking a trip to Europe by Concorde one way and the Queen Elizabeth coming back but unfortunately these old ladies are in retirement…
    2. Seeing the countries in Europe my wife and I missed on the last two trips: Scandinavia, Greece, Spain, Portugal, Poland, etc., etc.
    3. Seeing a sunset in Tahiti
    4. Trekking the Great Wall
    5. Taking a sub-orbital trip with Rich Branson's Global Space group
    6. Spending some time in the Orient, Austrlaia, New Zealand
    7. Phoning all my old friends
    8. Meeting some of my e-buddies, especially that devilish woman in Switzerland (my wife isn't going to read this, is she?)
    9. Revisiting some of my old haunts as a young man
    10. Relearning the languages I once spoke, German, Russian, Polish, Ukrainian, French…
    (Maybe more to add to this list, but an upcoming doctor's visit is on my mind…)

  35. wizardofwords says:

    Just came across this terrific site on the subject of all things "Bucket List" and had to share: http://www.squidoo.com/whats_on_your_bucket_list.

  36. wizardofwords says:

    By all means, John! Let us know when your post is up. I, too, had gotten the idea of a Bucket List post from another blogger. Just wish I hadn't lost the link to it, as I had intended to post on his and redirect my readers to his list. Oh, well. Maybe he'll find me again and reconnect.

    Looking forward to reading your list. Perhaps it will involve Jimmy Buffett?

  37. ParrotLover says:

    I plan on doing one of these on my own blog, Doreen, when I do, I'll let you know, maybe we can set up reciprocal links. I love reading other people's lists – gives me more ideas to add to my own! 🙂

  38. wizardofwords says:

    Fabulous list, Esther! I love the Argentine Tango & would love to watch you perform it there! As long as a I had a glass of fab Argentine Malbec in my hand (one of my fav wines.)

    Reg has always wanted to get to the Opera House in Vienna & never made it there. As his health is now failing, it will likely never happen. A word of caution to everyone. DON'T WAIT to follow your dreams. You never know when life circumstances may change for the worse and prohibit you from following them. DO IT as soon as you can!

  39. Satinka says:

    🙂 Publish my manuscript
    🙂 Perform a Viennese Waltz in Vienna
    🙂 Perform an Argentine Tango in Argentina
    🙂 Write and publish more books
    🙂 Help people recover from religious cults
    🙂 Earn a certificate in Multi-media and Web Design in which I am now enrolled
    🙂 Work at home in my pjs
    🙂 Paint with watercolor

  40. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks for sharing your list, Dorian.

    Have never heard of the move, Danny Deckchair. I watched the trailer just now & it looks pretty bizarre! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Cx-ltWkUZ4

    If you're interested in epic motorcycle journey;s you might enjoy the movie & book) called the Motorcycle Diaries about Che when he was just "Ernesto."

    Good luck in making progress with your list!

  41. Dorian says:

    After reading your wonderful post, I was reminded of the movie "The Bucket List" (which I love), and started thinking about the list I had started a couple of years ago.

    Here are a few items from my list:

    1. Play in a band – Done (I'm currently a member of the Flin Flon Community Band)

    2. Learn to ride a motorcycle – I'm currently working towards getting my learner's permit

    3. Visit Australia – especially Bellingen NSW (that's where my all time favorite move Danny Deckchair was filmed)

    4. Take the ultimate road trip (in my opinion) from Point Barrow, Alaska to Ushuaia, Argentina by motorcycle

    5. Go skydiving

    I think this is a great exercise that everyone should consider doing. It's a great feeling when you're able to pull out that list and cross an item off and say I've done it!

  42. wizardofwords says:

    Great list, Cathy. Thanks for sharing.

    I hope you achieve what you want in life. Knowing you, and your determination, I'm sure you'll achieve and exceed those goals!

    Just one minor adjustment: Pebble Beach is on the California Coast, not FLA. We were there years ago (before I was golfing!) but it is indeed gorgeous. Here's the link: http://www.pebblebeach.com/

  43. Catherine Marynick says:

    Funny enough I had another Toastmaster encourage me to write my bucket list as well (Larry). Here are 24 items I wish to accomplish.
    1 Travel to Egypt to see the pyramids and tombs at some point in my lifetime
    2 Take a trip to Florida to see Mickey Mouse and enjoy the rides and attractions
    3 Attend a motivational speakers conference somewhere in the World
    4 Attend a sales training seminar
    5 Put my feet in the Atlantic Ocean
    6 Get married by the age of 29 (Feb 2015)
    7 Have only 1 child by the age of 35 (Feb 2021)
    8 Get a hole in one
    9 Have my own business and not be an employee anymore by the age of 40 (Feb 2026)
    10 Swim with dolphins
    11 Play Pebble Beach in Florida
    12 Stand on “the bridge” in Augusta
    13 Own a bright red Dodge Viper
    14 Have a huge swing in my back yard of my own home
    15 Garden a wild flower bed in the yard of my own home
    16 Successfully grow a rose bush in the yard of my own home
    17 Be fit during my lifetime
    18 Travel to Australia and New Zealand at some point in my lifetime
    19 Air on a Discovery Channel show
    20 Help a young child in desperate need of advice and watch them grow
    21 Donate my rare blood type (AB) to a clinic
    22 Walk along the beach somewhere in the world with the love of my life
    23 Hold a monkey
    24 Ride an elephant in India wearing their traditional clothing in the desert

    I made sure some were attainable to give me motivation for the rest!


  44. wizardofwords says:

    Yes, sometimes local activities and attractions can be just as awesome as those on the other side of the globe. We did that last summer, discovering some amazing places right here in MB. If you've never been to the beach at Camp Morton, I'd highly recommend it. Take a look at this earlier post and you'll see what I mean:

    Enjoy, regardless of wherever your adventures take you!

  45. little gray bird says:

    My current bucket list includes flying down a mountain on a zipline near Manitou Manitoba with hi-wire zipline adventures!

    I currently can't afford to cross off all the large items on my master bucket list (lots of worldwide travelling) so now I focus on small local fun adventures.

  46. wizardofwords says:

    Thanks, Suzanne.

    Yes, doesn't it feel great when we cross something off the Bucket List? Just as our lives and priorities keep changing and evolving, so do out Bucket Lists. Keeps life interesting!

  47. Suzanne says:

    I recall we did a bucket list (on an actual bucket) with several other writers. We each put down 5 things we wanted to do (maybe 4 – I don't have the bucket with me). I don't recall what was on your list then, Doreen, but I know that you will make this list happen. Top of my list was to go to Israel. DONE! Best thing I've every done in my life. I would do it again in a heartbeat. Looking forward to accompanying you on your next trip to England and following the footsteps (literally) of the author of Chocolatour.

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