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Before I Kick The Bucket (1-15)

Updated on December 2, 2015
Gina Welds-Hulse profile image

Student of life, lifelong learner, mother, writer, artist, poet, dancer, musician, and martial artist ... passionate about all of these.

Why create a Bucket List?

I created a Bucket List when I had my near-death experience. An NDE can be a eye-opener. My doctor revealed to me that my heart stopped beating, and my lungs collapsed. All of my attending surgeons had gotten to the point of calling time-of-death, when my heart started to beat again.

Ever heard someone say that their life literally flashes before their eyes? It's true. It truly gives you an opportunity to determine what is important and to help you make a list of things you may have wanted to do achieve, but thought you had all the time in the world.

Creating a bucket list of places you want to go or things you want to do can be a very helpful tool towards attaining your life goals. Having it written gives you a visual to work towards. I chose to write some simple ones, and some that I knew I would work towards.

Make your own bucket list! Enhance your life, and make it more meaningful and memorable!

The following list is just the beginning of mine. In each one I reveal whether I have completed it or not. I trust you enjoy this post and may even consider adding some of these ideas to your own list.

1. Live in a Foreign Country

I've had the privilege to travel quite a bit in my younger days. However, at the age of 18 I made the decision to do some volunteer work in Mexico, a stint which kept me there for a year. Experiencing El Dia De Los Muertos, eating freshly made tortillas every morning, volunteering with a 93 year old woman at an orphanage 5 days a week are jut some of my precious memories of living in Mexico.

Go on vacation by yourself.


2. Go on vacation by yourself.

Traveling solo is amazing. You can go where you want, when you want. It can be very therapeutic to take a solo trip. I've had the privilege to travel alone to several countries.

3. Go to a Masquerade Ball.

If you have ever been invited to a masquerade ball; the first thing you will notice is the idea of hiding one's identity behind an elaborate costume and a masquerade facial mask.

Long ago, in the 15th century, a masquerade function was known as a carnival, and this kind of event or celebration took place at weddings and social affairs within medieval societies. The costume extravaganza consisted of parades and pageants for the elite of the medieval era, including the participation of members of the medieval court, who also dressed up in disguise as they partied.

Back in the mid 90s when I was a college student, I was part of the Gamma Beta Phi Honor Society. The Society took a field trip to New Orleans. Part of that field trip included a Masquerade ball, my very first.

Masquerades include lots of music and dancing. They are used for entertainment purposes as well as in celebrating rituals, such as the rites of passage and speaking to the dead as in the African tradition and cultural heritage. These big lavish parties always took place in the evening and the environment was that of gaiety, and the other things that made it so gay were the eating, drinking and gambling.

4. Ride an elephant in India.

I have always been intrigued with the idea of riding an elephant. However, I want to do this in India, most preferably during some kind of religious ceremony, through a historic part of the country. Considering that elephants are revered, I am not sure if riding one during the festival would be allowed. If not, I will gladly behold their beauty, and find another part of India, and another time period, in which riding one would be allowed, maybe during a jungle excursion.

Riding elephants in India

5. Become a Professional Photographer.

One of the things I have always wanted to do is be able to make money from my hobbies. I pursued a workshop in photography. I also became a member of the prestigious International Travel Writers and Photographers Alliance. With every photograph you take, your skills improve.

6. Send a message in a balloon.

When I was very young I was intrigued by a book that I read where red balloons were released with messages inside. I decided to do the same thing. I have no idea were the balloon ended up, but I do hope that whoever received the message had an little bit of joy added to their day.

7. Send a Message in a Bottle.

Why would someone send a message in a bottle? I believe it's the intrigue of where it would end up. Who would find it? Would it be someone on a ship passing by? Would it be someone on a remote island? Would it be someone on another part of the island from which it was sent?

Wouldn't you want to receive a message in a bottle? I have not sent one yet, but it is definitely something I would do, and plan to do.

8. Act in a play.

I have acted in, or taken part (played in a band, created the stagecraft) in several plays throughout my life. These included Grease and Sweeney Todd. However, when I hit my 40s I wanted to be on the stage again. I set my goal in November, auditioned, received a call back, and the rest is history. The play was The Vagina Monologues. It was the most fun I had. The cast was great!

9. Take a photo every day for 365 days.

I started doing a photo-shoot for my birthday every year since I hit 40. I have also undertaken the challenge of taking a photo everyday for a year a couple times since then.

It's a huge undertaking, but imagine being able to look back at any day of your year and recall what you did, who you met, what you learned. It is also an amazing way to document your travels and accomplishments. If you're a photographer like myself, you will also see your skills improve with the more photos you take.

Having had a near-death-experience, and now living with chronic illness, this is certainly a way to document one's life and be able to look back years later to see the progression and changes.

10. Shower under a waterfall.

When I lived in Mexico I had the chance to visit what I believe to be one of the most beautiful places on the planet, Uruapan, Michoacán, and to bathe in the waterfalls.

Having lived in Jamaica for over ten years, I also had the opportunity to visit Dunn's River Falls on many occasions. YS Falls is next on my list.

Waterfalls in Uruapan, Michoacán, Mexico

YS Falls, Jamaica

Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palae


11. Watch the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace

Changing of the Guard is the ceremony where the Old Guard hands over responsibility for protecting Buckingham Palace and St. James Palace to the New Guard.

Immaculately turned out guards, precision drill and bands playing stirring music all combine to make Changing of the Guard one of London's most popular attractions that epitomises the pomp and military ceremony for which Britain is famous.

It is the most amazing sight to witness the Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace. For the most amazing display of pomp and circumstance, this is a must see. I was 16 when I saw this event for the first time.

Changing of the Guard at Buckingham Palace


12. Walk down Bourbon Street, New Orleans.

I certainly would not advise a walk down this street at night time, due to the various bars, and doors that could come flying open at any moment. A stroll during the day is recommended, however. The shops vary from restaurant, bars to the occasional voodoo and spice shops that pop up.

A Walk down Bourbon Street, New Orleans

13. Watch a shuttle or rocket launch.

Having lived on the Space Coast for over 10 years now, I have had the chance to see this spectacular event many times, before the Shuttle Program ended, and even now with the numerous rockets that have been launched. Night time launches are most breath-taking!

Shuttle launch from an amazing perspective.

14. Have your portrait drawn or painted.

I have had the opportunity to have my portrait painted by at least 10 different artists, one of whom reminded me of Vincent Van Gogh. A photo of that is posted here. The photo does not give justice to the painting. Recently I also sat to have my portrait drawn in a caricature style. What do you think?

15. Become a Black Belt.

As a child I was always intrigued by the martial arts through movies, and the legend of Bruce Lee and the like. When my two older kids were younger I signed them up for martial arts training, and for several months I watched as they trained.

On one occasion their instructor approached me with a uniform, uttered the words, "Put this on, now" and I have never looked back. Three years later, after intense training, I earned my Black Belt.

After a long period of illness, and being unable to train, I was given the go-ahead to train once again, and am now on my way to becoming a Second Degree Black Belt.

I am now 46 years old. You are never too old.

Watch for part 2 of My Bucket List.

Have you created a Bucket List? What was your why? Have you done any of the ones I listed here? Please, share with me. I love to hear from you.

© 2015 Gina Welds


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