Reflections on this life…No “bucket list” for us…

On a rainy day in Zarcero at the Senor Scissorhands Topiary Garden.

“Sightings from the Veranda in Costa Rica”

Another of Tom’s wonderful bird photos, in this case, a small Green Parrot.

Often retirees contact us asking questions about traveling the world when they retire; after their house and belongings sell; or subsequent to some other life event that allows them the freedom to travel the world.

Some have a few specific locations in mind that’s they have on their “bucket list,” visiting family and friends in foreign lands, cuisine they’d love to experience and specific sights they long to see. 

Others are on a mission to visit a certain number of countries, all seven continents (we’ll have this accomplished in January) or other goals on a growing list as they contemplate life in the future.

We don’t have a “bucket list.”  We never have.  Nor do we refer to such a list as impacting our goals of travel.  We’ve often been asked, “What are your goals?”

It was fun to walk under the topiary arches.

And, the answer is always clear to us…to experience nature, wildlife, culture, and history.  What else is there?  For us, there’s no timeframe within which we must accomplish a particular feat, with no clock ticking other than that of old age.

We decided early on to maintain a life without constraints, restrictions and unrealistic objectives.  On a larger scale, we wanted to feel a sense of freedom with few obligations other than managing our daily lives, health, and finances with the utmost of care and diligence.  Selfish?  Perhaps.

But after a lifetime of obligation and “must do” items on what seemed to be an hour-by-hour agenda, we finally unentangled our lives in such a way that we have the flexibility to experience exactly what appeals to us without feeling any pressure to perform, achieve or accomplish.

And yet, without conscientiously trying, we’ve performed, we’ve achieved and we’ve accomplished in ways we never imagined possible for either of us.  The sense of fulfillment and joy reaches far beyond that which we ever dreamed possible at these ages. Tom will be 65 years old on December 23rd and me, 70 on February 20th.

The door to Senor Scissorhands Topiary Garden

How had we previously imagined these years of our lives?  From Tom’s perspective:  He imagined spending three months in Washington, DC scouring the Smithsonian, and other facets of American History.  Also, he imagined driving two-lane highways and stopping along the way to read historical markers and visit out-of-the way points of interest.  We’ll do these someday.

He’d envisioned visiting the Suez and Panama Canals both of which we’ve already experienced and soon, in 16 days, we’ll see the new improved Panama Canal for the second time.

He never imagined being a “snowbird” owning two homes and going back and forth during the bitter cold Minnesota winters.  But he did conceive of the concept of having a “loaf of bread and a gallon of milk” on hand during a blizzard. 

A good TV show, reading the daily paper, and visiting with family and old friends could have been satisfying in many ways.  Add a donut and a Bismarck from SuperAmerica and a good cup of freshly brewed coffee and he’d be content.

Basilica Nuestra Senora de las Piedades in Naranjo, Costa Rica.

Throw in our enjoyable time spent together and with family and friends, what more could a person need or want?  We never dreamed of this life until it happened. 

Now, five years later, we can’t wrap our minds around any other type of lifestyle other than that which we currently live, filled with awe, gratefulness and wonder, never feeling a need or desire to “settle down.” 

So, dear readers, we continue on with 11 more nights in Costa Rica, treasuring every last moment here while anticipating the future with boundless enthusiasm and joy.

May your day be filled with enthusiasm and joy.


Photo from one year ago, November 11, 2016:

View to the ceiling and elevators in the Centrum area on Royal Caribbean Radiance of the Seas.  For more details please click here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *