Bucket List: Checking Things off it that weren’t on it

While we sat outside by Lavon Lake about a week ago, we watched a hot air balloon slowly traverse above the countryside.

“I think I want to do that,” I mentioned to Jeremiah. “But not here, and not this time of year. It’s really expensive, so I want it to be worth it.”

A day later, we saw a balloon in the same general area as as I drove home from errands. We brought up the subject again.

“I think it’s like 400 dollars,” I mentioned.

Yep, turns out it is. So we’re adding it to our bucket list, rather than acting on it right away. While we’re not sure where we want to float over the countryside, we’d like it somewhere colorful, and maybe sometime a little warmer.

We’ve accomplished a couple things we put on our “bucket list.” We have a long way to go, though! At three months on the road, there’s a few things we deemed list-worthy: Joshua Tree, Carlsbad Caverns, and parking the HOW on the beach.

But there are things we’ve done that we’re on our bucket list that were just as memorable: Kartchner Caverns, and visiting the Salton Sea for instance.

It’s difficult to pinpoint what should make a bucket list because life is made up of tiny moments, not large experiences. Does getting up early to watch a sunrise make the list? Does sitting outside under the stars make it?

If I were to ask Jeremiah one of his favorite evenings in our Home on Wheels, I think he might have the same answer as me: sitting outside Burns, Oregon watching the stars. We had driven 12 hours that day in September, and it was our first long stretch trying to get back to Portland from Phoenix where we had just bought the coach. I hemmed-and-hawed about making an RV reservation at Crystal Crane because it was $35 a night, but finally committed to it since they had a huge soaking area heated directly from a hot springs. (I thought $35 was really breaking the bank, apparently.)

We were exhausted. We cooked tacos in The HOW that evening and opened two beers. (Ask me about the strange things I flew down with to Phoenix that weekend because yes, it included a frying pan to cook meat for tacos.) Then, we sat outside in five-dollar chairs we had bought at Walmart and watched the sunset, then stared at the sky as it darkened and filled with stars.

Does this sound like a bucket list item to you? Probably not. It was one of the most memorable evenings of my life though, and I know Jeremiah feels similarly. That night was representative of what we had dreamed of by picking up the life we knew and flipping it on it’s head.

RV Life isn’t always made up of bucket list items, because it’s still regular life. Memories aren’t just created on the days that we deem important or monumental. However, between all those little moments are those big experiences. While we aren’t living for all the bucket list items, we thought we’d share ones we can’t wait to experience.

After spending three months on the road, our goals have not significantly shifted, but my expectations have. It took me some time to recognize full-time RVing does not mean every day is filled with a gorgeous hike and food I’ve never heard of. It also makes all those items that much more exciting. This is just a start of the list that we can’t wait to add on to as we continue to travel…

A few of the things on our Southern Bucket List

  • Cafe Du Monde for Beignets in New Orleans (I’ve been avoiding sugar and flour but I am making an exception for New Orleans. Like, all of it.)
  • New Orleans in general because, according to Jeremiah, “Voodoo.” I am thinking we might need to research this a little.
  • Taking an air boat ride through the Everglades, mostly because I love alligators.
  • Visiting Memphis so I can sing Marc Cohn’s “Walking in Memphis,” when we get down to Beale Street. This is a song I’ve loved since I was nine and I’m not apologizing for it. If it starts raining, stand by our motorhome and you’re bound to hear me singing it, annoying Jeremiah all the while. (Maybe it’s the interpretive dance that annoys him, not sure.)
  • I am a reptile, so taking a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas ranks up there pretty high for me.
  • Swimming with the Manatees in Florida
  • As world’s worst amateur spelunkers, we’re itching to get some cave time in Mammoth Caves in Kentucky.

What things are on your bucket list? Suggestions and recommendations are how we’ve planned a lot of our trip so far, and we’re always eager for different perspectives. Let us know where you think we should go, what we should eat, and what we should see!

1 thought on “Bucket List: Checking Things off it that weren’t on it

  1. New Orleans!!! Best food we found was in the french quarter called Coops Place. Order jambalaya with a fried chicken thigh (or piece of your choosing) with a beer (I hate gumbo, but apparently theirs was good, according to other folks). Oh! Also, the Spotted Cat for live jazz, drinks and dancing if you want to (and you probably will). Marie Levau’s for a drink on the awesome tiny bar, the voodoo museum-weird and touristy, but cool anyway. We didn’t do a cemetery tour, we just took ourselves and walked around for a couple of hours and it was fascinating. Also, it will all be more fun if Kelly is with you, so you should def bring her. Also also, it will probably be hot and humid so stock up on the powder and chafing-prevention products of your choice. I’m so excited for you ♡

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