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A lot of people have bucket lists, either mental or written ones, of places they’d like to see and things they want to experience in their life.  Instead of putting off these goals and thinking I’ll do them ‘some day’, I’ve decided I’m going to make a resolution for the next year, and every year after that, to cross at least 5-10 things off my travel bucket list (mine is abnormally huge because it includes at least one or two places in every country; if yours is shorter, 2-3 things or less can work as well).

So to do that, I first decided to set down my list somewhere online so I can see all my goals in one place and decide which ones are feasible for the next year.  Then I found this great site:

Not only does it let you make your list, it gives you suggestions by category, map, distance from you, etc., so you can investigate other places that sound interesting to you.  Then you can plan your trip on the site, check off the places you get around to, and share your trips and lists with friends.

Here is my list of the 5 places I plan to see in the next 6 months (they are all within the US):

1.  Bodie, CA

Bodie is a town east of Yosemite, close to the California-Nevada border.  It’s supposed to be one of the most well-preserved and untouched ghost towns in the entire American West.  Since I have a fascinationg with abandoned places and the Old West, I’ve had my eye on Bodie for quite some time.

bodie california

Bodie, CA

2.  New Orleans, LA

Jazz everywhere, nightlife with no last call, Creole food, enough said.  I’ll gear up my liver, practice sleeping at 6 AM, and hit this town soon.

nightlife new orleans

New Orleans at Night – Photo by Falkue, Wikimedia Commons

3.  Hike Antelope Canyon, AZ

The views within the canyon here look absolutely stunning, with the winding rock formations on either side of the hiking trail glowing red in the sunlight.  And judging from previous visits to Sedona and the Painted Desert, Arizona has yet to disappoint me.

Antelope canyon arizona

Antelope Canyon, AZ – By Meckimac, Wikimedia Commons

4.  Ranch Getaway to Learn Horseback Riding  

I’ve been checking out the V6 Ranch in Parkfield, California, just a four hour drive away from me, and decided I want to check out their cowboy experience (I grew up on Lucky Luke comic books people, it’s an obsession.  If you grew up in the US, chances are you may not know the series, but look it up).  In any case, I’ve always dreamed of spending a few days on a ranch under wide open country skies, and this sounds amazing.  If your bucket list doesn’t include some activities that are basically just living out your childhood fantasies, you’re missing out.

horses on ranch

Horses on Ranch

5.  Drive Across the USA

This is the most ambitious trip I want to complete in the next six months, and it’s been on my bucket list for a long, long time.  Only after moving out to California did I start to appreciate the incomprehensible vastness of the US (things are much more compact in New York), and after taking road trips all across the Southwest, I decided I needed to man up, get in a car, put on my best Americana/folk/rock music, and cross the whole damn country.

So those are the five trips I’ve decided to check off my bucket list in the next six months.  I don’t want to wait for ‘some day’ anymore, I want my goals to seem more immediate, more real.

People talk and talk about dreams, ideas, and projects, without ever getting around to them.  I don’t mean to denounce those people that have serious financial/work/family reasons for not being able to work on their goals.  But I’ve realized that most people don’t have real obstacles holding them back; the only thing keeping them from doing what they want to do is an unwillingness to change their routine, to take a risk, to do something different.

Of course, we all get like that sometimes.  So this is why I’m making this resolution.  To avoid having too many ideas and too little action.

What are you going to do in 2014?  Make your bucket list here.