Last week, I spent some time listing out the things I’ve done in my life. The things that take my breath away. The things I’m so grateful for.
Today I thought I’d continue that reverse bucket list. Continue looking back, fostering gratitude, and enjoying what I’ve accomplished rather than constantly looking forward to the next thing. Attempt to slow down and savor the life I’ve already led while still feeling deliciously excited about things to come.
And, so, here’s the rest of my reverse bucket list, a grateful backward glance:
Have a business meeting at the Louvre
The skinny: This winter, I had the wonderful and unexpected opportunity to meet with a colleague while in Paris. She suggested we meet at the Louvre. I readily agreed.
Volunteer with at-risk kids in the Bronx
Live in New York City
The skinny: After a series of unfortunate events (including my most profound experience with gender discrimination), I decided to pack my bags, leave Pennsylvania (where I was living at the time) behind, and move to New York. I lived there for a little less than a year and a half.
Hike part of the Appalachian Trail
The skinny: My college campus was just a short drive away from the Appalachian Trail, which made it easy to hike chunks of it over the weekends.
Bike from San Francisco to Sausalito
The skinny: When I was living in New York and trying to figure out my next move, I took a short vacation to San Francisco, where I rented a bike and took a ride out to the decidedly pretty town of Sausalito.
Eat real Schnitzel
Attend a local food festival in the Italian countryside
The skinny: On my first trip to Italy, I accidentally stumbled upon a countryside food festival. Every night that week I headed out to the giant white tent on the outskirts of town for local wine and fresh-made pasta, pizza, and tapas. All for just a few euros.
Get kissed on a mountaintop
See the Coliseum
The skinny: On my first day in Rome in 2007, I immediately made a beeline for the Coliseum, where I sat on the lawn as the sun set, enjoying the fact that I was finally in Italy—a place I’d been daydreaming about for months.
Attend an opera in Verona’s well-preserved coliseum
Walk the Cinque Terre trail
The skinny: The Cinque Terre trail stretches between five Italian cliffside towns and it’s pretty darn beautiful.
Make and eat pizza in Italy
The skinny: This winter, I took a food tour in Rome, which included making and eating a pizza in an Italian pizzeria.
Hike and camp in the Swiss Alps
The skinny: My first hiking experience in the Alps was with one of my best friends. My second was with a darling, romantic Swiss man who kissed me on top of the mountain.
Hike in the Black Forest
The skinny: I spent a lot of my time in Germany last summer hiking the lush-yet-spooky Black Forest, one of Luna’s favorite places in the world.
Try real German sausage and pretzels
The skinny: German food is amazing. That’s all there is to say.
Drink Belgian beer in Belgium
The skinny: I managed to try three or four different Belgian brews (recommended by my Belgian friends) last summer in Ghent, Belgium.
Hike the Water of Leith Walkway (Edinburgh)
Attend a traditional Ceilidh
Zip line through the jungle
The skinny: This Spring, I joined a new friend in Mexico for a jungle zip line adventure.
Travel the world with my dog
The skinny: If you count Scotland and England separately (and I do, as the cultures feel quite different), Luna has now been to 10 countries.
So here’s where I’ll pause and express my gratitude. I’ve had a lot of opportunities, wonderful chance encounters, and happy accidents, as well as some hard-fought successes.
Today, I’m grateful.
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