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Have you made your bucket list? Now’s the time — write about the things you want to do and see before you become dust in the wind.

I have actually been thinking about my bucket list lately. I think when I turned 66, I realized that time was marching on (quick-time), and I had to get a move on to cover the places and things I want to do. Some may happen, some may not — or may not happen in quite the way I want them.

First, I’d like to go to Italy, Rome or Florence preferably, and spend about weeks living there and going to a language school. That would give my days structure, but with plenty of time to sight-see, and learn to live like an Italian. It takes a while to absorb another culture. Weekend excursions would allow us to see other areas of Italy, too. I stole this idea from my this idea from my daughter who, after high school and before college, went to Rome for two months and studied Italian there. Then she came home, earned more money, and went to Bologna to study some more! She loved Italy and picked up the language pretty well. She even did a stint after college teaching English in Rome. Rome is expensive, and teaching English was not particularly lucrative, so she returned to the states to begin work in earnest here.

I’d like to visit Croatia — can’t give a real good reason for that one, except I know a few people who have gone there and loved it. And I would envision it as being just that much different from Europe to be interesting and a bit adventurous. Budapest is a city I’d like to visit for the same reason.

Spain is another country I’d like to spend some time in; I’d really like to try my Spanish, such as it is, and I think it would be a fascinating country because of the Moorish influence. Also, there are geographical areas that are very different, so I’d like to travel around a bit. Madrid, Barcelona, and Seville are the main cities I’d like to visit, a perhaps after some investigation, find some out-of-the-way places to add to my itinerary.

There are so many places in the United States I haven’t seen either. I think a train trip might be a good way to see different areas, stopping now and then and spending a few days here and there. Any suggestions? The same is true of Canada. I love to see Quebec; it seems to strange to have a French-speaking province in the middle of another country. My daughter married a Canadian and 8 years ago when they were engaged, we made our first trip to Vancouver, Canada. What a change of scenery for someone from the east coast! It’s a beautiful city and we really enjoyed our stay and getting to know our in-laws to be. Another year, after my daughter was married with one child, we met them in Calgary and drove from there to Summerland in British Columbia, an absolutely beautiful area with lakes and mountains, orchards and vineyards, and a great climate.

I have some fears about going to South America, though I know there are some cities and countries that are safer to visit than others. A 22 year-old nephew of mine went with 2 friends a couple of years ago and “knocked around” South America for 6 months and came back safe and sound, so I guess I’m being overly cautious. Recommendations please!

So, that’s my bucket list. At least for travel anyway. I will keep up writing so I can publish that children’s book I’m dreaming about… but I can do that anywhere, and perhaps get more inspiration.