I start drafting nearly all my posts out with some brainstorming notes.  What should be included? What shouldn’t?  As I brainstormed my first post of 2017, Places I Want to Visit, a second list unexpectedly emerged. The list was quite similar to places I wanted to visit but different enough that the items just didn’t quite fit. It had me humming the Sesame Street ditty about which one doesn’t belong, which one is not like the others. Looking back over the list, I realized the items are more about things I want to do.  So here it is.

  1. I love the idea of this quote. The reality is something entirely different. It’s the “every day” that I struggle with. I feel if I did something each and every day that scared me (assuming you don’t count things like driving on icy roads or navigating the express line at the grocery store with 11 items), I’d have just fallen over dead a long time ago. Fight or flight, and all that. I just can’t see, daily, putting your mind and body in that drastic response mode with the surges of adrenaline it brings. That said, doing things that scare me is at the top of my list of things I want to do on the road. Just not every day! And at the top of the list? The glass bottom walkway that extends out over the Grand Canyon called Skywalk. Other things on the list are scary (to me) in the same way. I’m not including things like driving my travel trailer, spending the night in a Walmart parking lot, backing into a tiny RV space, dumping a gray tank, learning how to use a composting toilet…oh wait, once on the road, maybe I will be doing one thing that scares me every day.
  2. I want to volunteer. Take tickets at book festivals. Crew at the Balloon Festival. Walk and love on dogs, pigs and horses at Best Friends Sanctuary (which I talked about in the places to visit post). Be a camp host. Be a tour guide at a lighthouse.
  3. August 21, 2017, is going to be a big astrological day for the US.  A solar eclipse will cross the country beginning in Oregon and ending in South Carolina.  It’s the first to sweep across the country since 1918. And the first total solar eclipse in the US since 1991. In other words, August 21 is a big deal. I’ve begun seeing RV gatherings forming to watch the event. I am bummed that the timing is such that I won’t be among the thousands who get to experience it. The cosmos intrigue me. Sometimes I have even wondered if it is what I should’ve studied in school. Purchasing a telescope is high on the priority list once I’m on the road, though I do already have the glasses for solar watching. I want to see the night stars, the moon and be able to decide travel spots based on astrological events. I might miss the solar eclipse in August, but I don’t plan on missing any such events in the future.   
  4. Okay, this is going to sound a bit ridiculous. I know. But I’m a wannabe vegetarian. A little bit for health reasons and a lot for humanitarian reasons. I constantly feel like I’m on the verge of being an actual vegetarian. But then some cheeseburger or turkey taco calls my name and I just can’t resist. I tell you this to give context to the next “want to do” on my list. Every year the Farm Sanctuary hosts a Thanksgiving dinner event but instead of eating turkeys, you feed turkeys. The farm turkeys get pumpkin pie, kale salad, cranberries and squash. In addition to feeding turkeys, guests interact with the other rescued animals including pigs, cows, sheep, goats, chickens and more.  Thanksgiving fare, obviously, is animal-product free. And, who knows, looking a turkey in the eye, just might make it a little easier to resist those turkey tacos next time they call my name.
  5. I want to drive down a dirt road with no idea where it leads.  I’ve seen other people do this on vlogs. In many ways this one probably belongs with “do one thing that scares you.” Though, I have to say, it feels more adventurous than scary. And I know there are practical considerations like making sure I don’t get stuck where I can’t turn around and that it’s safe, but in my little fantasy here I’m not thinking practically. I am thinking about adventure and beauty that waits just around the bend.
  6. I am looking forward to the day when I can do something—anything—on a media pass. Like regular journalists, bloggers with decent followings can get credentials for events. It’s not about getting into an event or place for free though that’s a bonus.  It’s not about the possibility of seeing behind the scenes or being privy to information not available to the general public. Though that, too, is a bonus. No, it’s entirely egotistical. It’s about the validation the comes with knowing this blog has risen to the level to be considered media, which by definition, is a source of information for people. I get a little emotional just thinking about the day that might happen.
  7. For those of you who have followed the blog for a while, you know the passion I now have for becoming a fulltime RVer wasn’t as the result of wanting travel or wanting to be a fulltime RVer.  No, fulltime RVing was the answer I found to my life’s challenge of wanting to carve out more time to write.  So how can I make a list like this without boldly and unabashedly saying: I want to write another book. I must and I will.

I love lists.  Lists bring order to my life. I have a list for everything. But it’s equally true that, sometimes, I hate lists. They make me feel like a failure when I scratch one “to do” item off just to add two more. I hate lists that are never completed, never done. Do you ever feel that way?

But a list like this one or the Place I Want to Visit, I am actually filled with joy as I watch them grow and grow.  It’s true.  Even knowing they will never ever be completed.  These lists bring a smile to my face the longer they get. What’s on your “Things I Want to Do” list?