Originally published January 2018
A bucket list is all the cool and crazy things you want to do someday… so a reverse bucket list is all the cool and crazy things you have done! I am so blessed that I have been able to have so many exciting adventures so far.
1. Road Trip in Canada
In 2015 my cousin and best friend Arianna graduated from highschool in Manitoba, Canada. I was able to tag along with her and her family from Maple Ridge, BC, where my grandparents live, to Calgary, Alberrta, where my cousins lived, to Manitoba for the graduation. It was so fun and we made tons of great memories! One thing we did was we got to visit the RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police) depot and museum in Regina, Saskatchewan.
Here I am at the RCMP depot museum with my cousins Elli and Arianna.
Go on a missions trip
This one ties in with the next two:
2. Go to Africa/on an African Safari
When I was 15 I got to go with Teen Missions International to Malawi, Africa. It was an amazing two months and probably not your ordinary way to spend a summer! After two weeks of training in Florida- hot, muggy, swarms of mosquitoes, living in tents and bathing and doing laundry by hand in the lake- my team and I flew to Malawi, Africa, where we stayed for just over a month as we drilled a well in a remote village.
I learnt a lot by living in a tent, and walking 1/2 mile each way to get water for drinking, cooking, bathing, and doing our laundry by hand. We got to help teach ‘Sunday School’ every day to the children who would come after school. It gives you a new perspective when you travel to a faraway place where most people you know have never been.
The length of the trip helped us really get to know the local people, and after roughing it for almost 2 months total, I gained a new appreciation for things like running water, electricity, showers, a bed. We worked hard Monday-Saturday and by the time we left, we had just barely finished drilling the well. It took another year or two for the well to be properly installed with a pump, but now those people have running water right there, instead of having to walk 1/2 mile to get it every day.
We also got to go on an African safari, right before we flew back the the USA. Honestly we didn’t see all the animals we hoped and expected to see (although when we returned to the safari camp after, we got to see a herd of elephants up close and personal!), but it was still an incredible experience! Like everyone else, I had learned about Africa, read books and seen pictures… but I never thought I would actually go there one day. It was so surreal to be there.
3. Visit Colombia/See the Andes Mountains
Less than a year before I went to Malawi, I got to visit Colombia with my grandparents who have close friends who are missionaries there. This trip was only 2 weeks, but it really changed me a lot. We taught some Indian women from a refugee camp how to knit and crochet, a skill that would prove useful for them. I don’t know if I’ll ever get to go back but I left a piece of my heart in Colombia. Hearing their testimonies and seeing their faith in the midst of destruction and persecution showed me that God is bigger than any problem we may face, and that he truly loves us and cares for us. And to see God’s beautiful creation… wow! We spent two days driving over the Andes Mountains and they are so breathtakingly beautiful!
4. Visit Australia/Go to the Australia Zoo
I have dreamed of visiting not just Australia, but specifically the Australia Zoo for years! One year ago, my sister Adalia and I were exploring the Australia Zoo and it was truly a dream come true for me. I loved it so much I even went back the next day so I could thoroughly enjoy it, because who knows when I’ll ever be in Australia again? (It’s more likely now, but at the time I didn’t imagine that I would be living so close to it!)
5. Live in another country
Honestly I never imagined myself spending 6 months in another country, much less moving there forever. If I had, I never would’ve guessed it would be New Zealand. But a year and a half ago, I was finished with high school and 2 years of college and I had so many ideas of what I could do in the next few years. Maybe I could go back to Colombia, or visit Adalia in NZ, or just save up for Bible College, or… just anything really. While I was still thinking about what to do, my sister Adalia asked if I wanted to come to New Zealand… for a couple months! I thought about it, and I wasn’t so sure at first about how long I wanted to go for. But I thought hey, why not? So — I hopped on a plane and went to spend almost 6 months living in a country where I had never been before and knew exactly 7 people (my sister, her husband, and most of his family). I still think it was kind of crazy, but it was an amazing adventure, and that’s where I met Jared! So that brings me to my next and final item on this reverse bucket list.
6. Get married
Photo by Kim Gasper Photography
A year ago, Jared and I had known each other for a few weeks and were texting all the time. 8 months ago we got engaged. Almost 6 months ago we got married. It has been a crazy whirlwind of a year but it has been amazing! Our wedding was so special, too. It was everything I could’ve dreamed of and more! From the decorations and the location to the ceremony and each person who was there.
So that’s my reverse bucket list! I am so blessed to have been on so many amazing adventures. I just realized I’ve been to 4 continents… and flown on countless airplanes! I’m so excited to see what God has for my future too.
Head over to my Pinterest board ‘Been there, done that’ if you want to see some more exciting things I’ve done!
What are some things on your bucket list, and your reverse bucket list?