Thursday, March 21, 2013

Reverse Bucket List



The next year and a half is going to be an amazing adventure for Dave and I.  When I graduated from university (the second time), working and traveling abroad was on my very long list of things to do. I find lately I am constantly reflecting on my life and I am grateful everyday for all the experiences that I've had.  When I saw Sarah's reverse bucket list I knew I had to make my own! Some of ours are very similar... there's a reason why we are good friends! 

1. Fall in love.


Dave and I at Lake Louise August 2009.
Cheesy! I know! I can't say how wonderful it is having Dave in my life.  He is someone I can share my adventures with, be silly with, who encourages me, challenges me and calls me out on my bullshit!

2. Hike the West Coast Trail and live to tell the tale!

 I honestly thought someone was going to die on this trail, but it wasn't actually all that bad... although I would not recommend making it your first backpacking trip.  I would do it again!


We finished! Celebratory fake canoe shot.
Walking across the beach.
In one of the bogs.



3. Study abroad.

 Going to Prague for a semester was the best decision I have ever made for myself. I met the most wonderful people, had a fantastic time and got to see a lot of Europe. I had professors teaching me about European history who were around during WWII and Stalin's era. It absolutely blew my mind.Traveling and living abroad, even if for a few weeks at a time, is the best thing anyone can do for themselves.  It helped me become a better me! 
St. Peter's Square in Rome with Maryam
Christmas in Prague


4. Lead a 5.10 outdoors.

  I've lead three by my count in the past year! Score!

5. Learn to run.

Before I went to Prague, I was fairly inactive. While everyone else gained weight from copious amounts of beer and deep fried cheese balls, I lost weight from the amount of walking we did on a daily basis!  Needless to say, five years ago, I was an inactive slug. I started running a few years ago. It was definitely a steep learning curve for my lungs. Since then, I have run a few 5-6 km races and a 10km. I am currently training for my first half-marathon in Calgary on May 26th, 2013. We'll see how it goes!

If you are looking to start running, I highly recommend going to the Running Room and signing up for a course. The coaches are knowledgeable and you are surrounded by like minded and motivated people.

If you are looking for some beginner friendly races, the Rocky Mountain Soap Run in Canmore is a great place to start for women. It's in a beautiful setting, there is an aromatherapy towel and a bag of all natural RMS products at the finish line! Just be aware: the course is very hilly. The Calgary Marathon is a huge event and is great for beginners (the course is basically flat).

6.  Complete a triathlon.

Enough said!
Coming into the transition zone. Photo Credit: Photography by Dave Cassidy

7. Backcountry camping in the Rocky Mountains

Despite living an hour away from the Rocky Mountains, I only really started hiking over the past five years and backcountry camping over the past two years. I must say it as quite different from the West Coast Trail, mainly because of the elevation gain.  I'm real dangerous hiking through flat terrain, but add some elevation and things tend to slow down a lot. The views are worth it though!


View from Skoki Mountain
Hiking to Baker Lake

8. Visit the Maritimes.

I was lucky enough to recieve a bursary from the Explore program (it's not hard, you just have to be a Canadian citizen and a full-time student) to study French at the Universite de Moncton for six weeks with two of my good friends!  We used this as an opportunity to see Halifax, the Bay of Fundy and PEI. We didn't quite make it out to Newfoundland and Labrador but there is always next time!







One thing I have learned over the past few years, life is what you make it.  You can choose to focus your energy on all the negative events in your life, and wallow in self pity or you can choose to be happy and focus on the positive things in your life. So go ahead and ask yourself: what's on your reverse bucket list?

I can't wait to see what my reverse bucket list will look like in five years!