How It All Began

Hello everyone! Thank you so much for visiting Cross It Off. Here, you can collect tips and tricks on how to start making the items on your bucket list a reality, as well as read about my journey to complete my own list.

As I mentioned on the About page, I am very happy with the life I live. However, about six months ago, I realized that aside from my loving fiance, I am not necessarily where I want to be for the rest of my life. I graduated from college last year, but I am not currently using my degree. When I moved off to college, I said that I was not going to move back to my hometown. Guess where I am living now. I understand that life gets in the way of our plans and you can not control everything that happens to you, but I have gotten to a point in my life where I am ready to take over again. What I didn’t know was how exactly I was going to do that since I didn’t even know where to begin. Then one day all the answers seemed to just appear before me.

My mom and I were out for a girls day when I suggested going to Barnes and Noble. I love going there every few weeks just to see what the latest “top books” are. When non of those particularly caught my eye, I remembered that a friend of mine had posted on Facebook a few weeks earlier about a book called What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding and how funny and insightful it was. With a title like that, of course I was intrigued. I asked the man at the help desk if they happened to have it in stock, and guess what? Only one copy left. Now, I’m one of those people who strongly believes in signs from the universe, as you will see much evidence of here, so of course I bought the book.

I went to find my mom to see if she was ready to check out. I found her by the marked down books looking at My Ultimate Bucket List. I thumbed through a few pages and realized that a lot of the things I had always wanted to do were in that book. There were also many items on the list that I had never thought to do, but upon reading them realized that I had to do them. And that’s how my need to start completing my bucket list right now began, with the purchase of two unrelated books.

Over the next few days, I tried to figure out which of them items on the 300+ list I wanted to do first. There are also 100 blank items in the book that I needed to fill in (Still working on that as well). While at work one day, I was searching cheap flights to Ireland (Activity #174: Visit the Birthplace of My Ancestors). I found a relatively inexpensive flight and was telling my coworkers about it. They immediately told me I had to go, but I was dragging my feet, like always. Right after this conversation, a customer came up to us. One of my coworkers asked her if she had any big plans for the weekend. The customer very excitedly replied, “Do you want to know what we are doing this weekend? We are going to Ireland for two weeks.” My coworker and I just stared at each other in stunned silence. This was obviously another sign and we both felt it. That’s when I knew that I had to do everything I could to make this trip happen.

After that, I started thinking about why I had been so hesitant to go to Ireland. I had always wanted to go, I found a cheap flight which I would be able to afford. So why didn’t I want to go? Then I started thinking about my own personal bucket list and how many of the things on there were things I could have easily done by now, but for some reason hadn’t. Once I started really thinking about it, I realized there were several factors at play.

1) Fear. I was afraid of traveling alone. Afraid of being an American in a foreign country, especially with current events. But mostly, I think I was afraid that it wasn’t going to live up to the fantasy I had in my head. Here’s where What I Was Doing While You Were Breeding comes in. The book is a memoir about author Kristin Newman’s travel adventures and really focuses on how it is okay to take trips alone (even if you aren’t single). But more importantly, Kristin talks about how “one scary moment” is worth the friends you make and the adventures you take. This made me realize that my fear was nothing more than a barrier in my way.

2) Money. Travel often takes a lot of it, and as a recent college grad, I don’t have much of it at the moment. But I also knew that I wasn’t doing my best to save any of it. That’s when I started looking on Kayak and Expedia for cheap flights and hotels. Turns out, if I’m just really careful about how I spend my money over the next few months, this trip is totally doable.

3) Time. We think we have plenty of. How often do we say the word “someday”? But the thing is, someday doesn’t always come. We should do the things that will make us happy today because tomorrow isn’t promised. Furthermore, why should we wait to be happy? If we can do something adventurous now we should do it. Period. Waiting leads to regret. Regret leads to unhappiness. I aim to prevent that.

With all of these things in mind, I set out to create this blog. I want to be able to document my adventures, as well as have a little extra something pushing me to get them done. But furthermore, if I can help even one person realize that their dreams are not impossible and help provide them with a way to achieve those dreams, then I will consider this blog a success.

So here we are, my first post on my own website (another item I can cross off my list). I hope that you are able to find something helpful here and start taking the steps to live your own journeys. Feel free to contact me with items from your own list or tales of how you crossed them off. Comments and questions are more than welcome as well. Once again, welcome to Cross It Off. And thank you so much for visiting.

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