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Bucket List

What do you want this life to include? What have you already done?In Wadi Rum

Writing a “bucket list” should not be only about what we want to do, but reflecting on what we’ve already done. I’ve been blessed with so many experiences that have shaped who I am, created memories, and widened my perspective.

There are some things that are never “finished,” and therefore not on the lists. I hope to be constantly learning, growing in my faith, drawing near to God, improving relationships, etc.

I know there’s a lot more to add to the list, but here is a start!

Done Yet to be done
Continents South America, North America, Asia, Europe, Africa, Australia Antarctica (optional)
US States 43 ND, ME, VE, NH, WI, MI, WV
Countries Chile, Argentina, USA, Mexico (age 0-9)

Great Britain, Netherlands, Russia, Kazakhstan, Turkey, Germany, Uzbekistan, Azerbaijan (age 10-16)

Finland, Sweden, Thailand, Myanmar, Costa Rica, Canada (during undergrad)

Jamaica, S. Africa (during grad school)

Kenya, Portugal (2012-2013)

Norway, Denmark, France, Lux., Leich., Belgium, Switzerland, Austria, Nigeria, United Arab Emirates (2014-15)

Spain, Italy, Vatican, Croatia, Bosnia, Slovenia, Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan (2016)

Uganda (2017)

Puerto Rico (US territory), Morocco, Colombia, Panama, Ecuador, Peru, French Polynesia (2018)

Australia, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Oman, India, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Singapore (2019)

Bolivia, Egypt, New Zealand (2022)

Fiji, Monaco, Burundi (2023)

Total so far: 65 (+ Territories)





Places —–Man-made—–Mt. Rushmore, Golden Gate Bridge, Gateway Arch, Pike’s Place (& First Starbucks), Las Vegas Strip, Washington DC (Washington Monument, Lincoln Memorial, Kennedy Center, Smithsonian, Capitol, etc.)

Red Square (Moscow, Russia)

Mayan ruins (Oaxaca, Mexico)

Castles in Europe

Istanbul (Hagia Sophia, Blue Mosque, Topkapi Palace, Grand Bazaar), Underground city (Capp.), Ephesus ruins (Turkey)

La Granada, Alhambra, White-washed town (Spain)

Temppeliaukio Church (Rock Church) in Finland

Wat Phra Kaew (Thailand)

Vatican, St. Peter’s Basilica- Sistine Chapel, Colosseum, Grand Canal/Rialto Bridge, Florence Cathedral, Ponte Vecchio (Italy)

Diocletian’s Palace (Croatia)

The Triple Bridge (Slovenia)

Place where Jesus was baptized (Jordan River)

Petra, Jerash, Aqaba, Amman Citadel (Jordan)

Panama Canal (Panama)

Huaca del Sol y la Luna, El Brujo (built by the Moche, Peru)

The Candelabra (Peru)

Moai Statues of Easter Island (Chile)

Sydney Opera House, King’s Park (Australia)

Eiffel Tower (France)

Pyramids/Sphinx (Egypt)

The Rivendell film site (New Zealand)


Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Mediterranean Sea, Caspian Sea, Red Sea, Dead Sea, North Sea, Tasman Sea

US National Parks: Arches, Bryce Canyon, Canyon Lands, Capitol Reef, Carlsbad Caverns, Crater Lake, Death Valley, Denali, Gateway Arch, Glacier Bay, Grand Canyon, Hawaii Volcanoes, Joshua Tree, Lassen Volcanic, Pinnacles, Saguaro, Shenandoah, Wrangell-St. Elias, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion

Niagara Falls, Horseshoe Bend, Waterhole Canyon, Redwoods, Goblin Valley, Dead Horse Point, Old Denali Hwy, glaciers and waterfalls (Bridal Veil) en route to Valdez, a lava tube (USA)

Torres del Paine (but I want to go again… I was too young to remember)

Mt. Everest (okay… not the BIG one)

Pulpit Rock (Norway)

Hell’s Gate, Lake Nakuru, Nairobi National Park, Giraffe Centre, Diani Beach (Kenya)

Highest point in Germany

Cedars of Lebanon

Wadi Rum, Dead Sea, Jordan River, Dana (Jordan)

Plitvice Lakes, Waterfalls (Croatia)

Lake Bled (Slovenia)

Crossing the equator

Manuel Antonio National Park (Costa Rica)

Ballestas Islands– 1500 species of animals! (Peru)

Ayer’s Rock/Uluru, jumping crocodiles, Litchfield National Park, Kakadu Great Barrier Reef, Penguin Island, the Three Sisters/Blue Mountains (Australia)

Fjordland National Park, Tunnel Beach, Castles Hill, Arthur’s Pass, The Devil’s Punch Bowl (waterfall) (New Zealand)

Canadian National Parks: Banff, Jasper, Kootenay, Yoho

Taj Mahal

Holy Land

Great Wall of China

Machu Pichu

Stone Henge



Victoria Falls

Iguazu Falls


Things to do Ride in a plane, ambulance, police car, aero car, funicular, metro, train, taxi, bus, motorcycle, back of a truck, Smart Car,  convertible, tuk-tuk, subway, Uber, Lyft, semi-truck, and Tesla

Go snorkeling, parasailing, Stand-Up Paddle-boarding, kayaking, jet-skiing, scuba diving

Ride on a ferry, cruise ship, raft, motor boat

Take a road trip across the US

Climb a waterfall (Jamaica), go boldering (CO), rappel/climb cliffs (K-stan)

Jump off a cliff (above Palouse Falls)

Play (at least once): ping pong, tennis, soccer, mini golf, bowling, volleyball, badminton, bocci ball…

Rollerblade, ride a bike, attempt to ride a unicycle (only lasted a couple seconds), ride a scooter

Jump on a pogo stick

Go sledding, ice skating, skiing, snowshoeing

Shoot an arrow

Complete a ropes course

Pan for gold

Go white-water rafting

Ferry in the fjords (Norway)

Live in a yurt

Couch surfing, Air BnB, Hostels (in Europe, Middle East, and US)

Start a business (Worldwide Writings)

Party at an ambassador’s house (Chilean ambassador in Kenya)

Attend a symphony (front row seat!)

Go wine tasting (Walla Walla, Napa Valley, and Margaret River)

Win a lucky draw (gift card)

Take a dance class

Take a yoga class

Sit in saunas (Kazakhstan and Finland)

Fly a kite

Jump from a high diving board

Visit entertainment parks (Knott’s Berry, Disneyland/world, 6 Flags, Universal Studios), including roller coasters

Be part of a Sister Cities’ exchange

Go as a representative to the Future World Leaders Summit

Get a policy changed (Good Friday at MHS)

Start a club (Far-reaching Effective Evangelism Today–FEET in High School)

Work in an orchard for a day

Have a picnic

Camp all night to see the Rose Parade

Skinny dip (Finland)

Play poker in a pub (with pirates!)

Give up a plane ticket for a free hotel night

Attend Urbana

Hike & camp in the Appalachians

Go to a concert

Get a pedicure

Attend a football game (AFA)

Attend a hockey game (Vancouver, BC)

Crash a party

Try hookah

Fly first class

Go skydiving!! (Eloy, AZ)

Gamble in Las Vegas ($1)

Help change a flat tire

Float in an air balloon (Turkey)

Get a manicure


Cross the Panama canal

Go snorkeling and scuba diving in French Polynesia

Live in an RV!

Jump on a zip line

Ride in a helicopter over the Hawaii volcanoes/craters

Walk El Camino de Santiago!

Participate in a puppets parade

Preach at a church in the poorest country in the world




Learn a martial art

Ride in a limo

Learn sign language

Live in a Tiny House

Nature/Animals Start an avalanche (Kazakhstan)

See/walk on a glacier

Ride a horse

Ride an elephant

Plant a tree

Eat fruit straight from a tree

Catch fireflies

Go camping

Make a bonfire

Walk in a salt lake (Turkey)

Sleep in a cave

Sand “surf” on dunes

Go on a safari in Africa (+ elephant orphanage & giraffe center)

Float in the Dead Sea (+ mud)

Watch a lightning storm from above

See a full rainbow, and a circular rainbow on top of a cloud (from above)

See the Northern Lights

Feel an earthquake

Watch a geyser erupting

Enjoy sunrises/sunsets over water

Watch lunar & solar eclipses

Witness shooting stars, meteor showers

Look up and see the Milky Way

See dolphins in the wild

Experience four season & two season climates

Go canyoning (hiking, climbing, swimming) through the currents of Wadi Mujib

Swim with sharks, rays, eels, and an incredible variety of other fish

See a whale spout

Eat berries right off the bush

See Jupiter and its moons with binoculars

See bears, caribou, moose, seals, otters, sea lions, eagles, and a variety of other birds in the wild (Alaska)

See an active volcano

Kayak in a glacial lake

Swim with dolphins

Ride a camel

Witness a tornado

See the release of an animal into its natural habitat


Witnessing People Women with extended necks

Birth of child (x3)


People giving their lives to Christ


Volatile elections (while in Kenya & Nigeria)

Troops heading toward “liberation”

Refugee/IDP camps

An aqua-based protest (protesters and police in boats)

Spiritual and emotional healing

Fijian youth practicing football (soccer) on a massive sand dune

Pilgrims arriving in Santiago de Compostela (and every step along the way)

Ethnic/political reconciliation

Development of mental health care in war-torn nations

Peace in Syria, Iraq, and Afghanistan

Media Appear on TV (Kazakhstan, CA)

Be featured in the newspaper (Finland)

Get aired on radio (MemCare Radio, VOM)

Speak to medium audience (200-500)

Act in a play

Alumni articles written about me

Mentioned in Wikipedia article

Referenced in journal articles

Start a blog

Had my photo in a Speedboat magazine

Speak to large audience

Create a YouTube video

Present a TEDtalk

Publishing Books (x7)

Chapters (x2)

Magazine article

Journal articles (x3)

Edited a Wikipedia article and created a new one (not about me)

Exhibition of artwork

Have a book signing

Education Completed BA, MA, PsyD (but never got HS diploma)

Taught MA, PhD courses

Chaired dissertations

Creativity/Crafts Drawing, painting, sculpture

Make paper

Use a potter’s wheel

Learn guitar (some)

Try knitting, crocheting, friendship bracelets, beads

Finish a quilt

Win a prize for cake decorating contest

Help paint a mural

Build a website

Make candles

Make greeting cards

Write a poem

Crochet stuffed animals

Take a photography class

Publish artwork

Volunteer VBS

Build houses

Help at an orphanage

Crisis response (mud slide in WA, earthquake in Chile, tsunami in Thailand, hurricane in Puerto Rico, fires in CA and OR, fire in refugee camp, etc.)

Donate clothes, books, funds

Teach children

Give food to homeless person

Donate hair

Donate blood

Distribute food

Teach graduate courses overseas

Participate in a Charity Walk (Heart Disease & Stroke)

Serve as a counselor for a missionary women’s retreat

Leave a note for a stranger

Start a “Pay it forward” movement

Pets Dog, cat, alligator lizard, hedgehog, cockatiel, parakeet (seen hamster, mouse, axolotls, iguana, bush baby as pets)  Not sure if I need more pets…
Meeting People Chilean ambassador, bishops, Colin Powell, Mr. Rogers, James Dobson, Pat Robertson, authors (e.g. Gary Collins), experts in my field, Ed Asner (set next to him on a flight; very interesting conversation!)Reunion with first grade teacher A president (of a country)

Leaders of different faiths


Food Sheep’s head


Frog’s legs

Liver, Kidney

Moose & caribou in Alaska

Formal five course meal

A Belgian waffle in Belgium

Turkish Delights in Turkey

Tea at a tea farm in Kenya

Gelato in Florence

Kanafeh in Jordan

Kangaroo in Australia

(Plenty of others, but I can’t even remember them all!)

The Ketogenic diet

 Oooh, the possibilities…

What have you done that is not on this list? What would you add?

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