Get your Bucket List Checked off

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Sydney Opera House during the annual Vivid lights festival

Wherever I go I meet people who say “Australia {or Thailand or Fiji]. I wish I could go there” or “I want to go there” or “It is my dream“.

Yet they never come. I have friends all over the world and they have never been to  Australia! 🙁

One of my goals is to visit or live in 99 countries in my life. I am up to 78 with the addition of Russia and Estonia in 2019. If I add two more countries per year, then it will take me 10 more years to visit my 99th country! Seems achievable, doesn’t it?

What is on your bucket list and how can you take steps toward getting there?

There are four things that stop people:

Firstly, People do not know their goals. Is it Paris? Hiking through rural New Zealand? Learning French cookery in a French village?  To live in rural Italy? See Mt Rushmore? Sit on a beach? Go to every US state?

Be realistic. Some things I would like to do I won’t ever be able to e.g. fly the Concorde (not possible) or go into space (too expensive).  Rule them out. Write down your travel goals.

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Maldives, I ticked this island nation off my bucket list in 2016. My aim is to visit or live in 99 cuntries. I am up to 78

The  second is Money.  Stop  and work out how  much it will cost for each destination. Include air, rail or bus fares, visa fees, accommodation, entry fees,insurance costs  and spending money. (I also  suggest people double what they  think they will spend on meals and spending). I have a savings account that is my travel account. Into that goes a regular savings amount. If I don’t have the money, I do not go. It is extraordinary what can be sacrificed to go into such a  fund. One  cup of coffee and a snack each day for say $7 diverted to a travel fund becomes two and a half thousand dollars over a year. Suddenly the bucket list can become a little closer.

Thirdly, time. My secret is to maximise my annual travel calendar. People are always amazed at how much time I seem to be  able to travel for. When I was younger, I used  to not take all my annual leave so convinced I was that the company would collapse whilst I was  away!  Now  I am older, I know that the reality is no one will thank you for choosing holidays over work.

I try and squeeze every extra day I can find by  strategically taking my annual leave around national public (or bank) holiday, This massively multiplies potential time  off. Take this example for February 2020, for example:

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You have a Public Holiday on Monday 17 February. By leaving on the evening of 14 February (I have many times  gone  straight from work to train station or airport), and  taking four  annual leave days, you can have nine days for travel from Saturday 15 February to Sunday 23rd by combining in the weekends. Confession: I  have on some occasions  flown in just before work and gone straight to the office but that is my constitution which is able to function effectively)

If I did this set up just twice in a year, I would get 18 days worth of holiday for just eight days of leave.  Do it  three times and you have almost a month of holidays for 12 annual leave days. Of course, this arrangement does not always work in some organisations and it works best for  9-5 office workers but it means I can take devote more days to travel than one might think. It is not quite enough for a trip to Australia but its getting close! Come on friends!

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Check in at Bangkok airport heading off to the UK.

Fourthly, excuses. It is interesting  how many people let excuses stop them. Fear of dirt, needing to learn a foreign language  before they go, worries about getting lost, concern they will  missing home  or  their  dog! People tell me they will travel when they retire or get older or when they have their promotion. Since my sister and a  close school  friend died, I know the time to do things is now.

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Somewhere over NZ. On my bucket list is every great walk in that country: Queen Charlotte, Milford Track, Abel Tasman

What is stopping you from achieving your bucket list? Goal? Time, Money, Excuses?

Go and do it. Happy Travelling.

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