Cumbria Times
A Voice of the North
Sharon Cain
Time for Life Correspondent
3:33 PM 8th April 2021

A Goal Not To Miss - Compile Your Bucket List!

Putting our lives on hold during the Covid-19 pandemic has provided an opportunity to step back and reflect on how we will achieve our dreams, goals and aspirations going forward.

As we emerge from the challenges and traumas of lockdown, our Time for Life correspondent, Sharon Cain, shares her insights on a major lifestyle goal - producing your bucket list.

“To live is the rarest thing in the world.
Most people exist, that is all.”
(Oscar Wilde)

Fjords, France or fishing? Live the dream. All images by Steve Hare
Fjords, France or fishing? Live the dream. All images by Steve Hare
As we emerge from the challenges and traumas of lockdown, many of us aspire to start living the life we’ve long imagined and awaited.

Our re-emergence during spring - which symbolically sparks hope and renewal - may take on a greater sense of urgency for those of us ‘of a certain age’.

Transforming dreams into reality also chimes with our ethos at ‘Time for Life’ to inspire our readers to pursue their passions and enrich their lives.

No Time Like The Present

Living the dream: adventures born of our bucket list
Living the dream: adventures born of our bucket list
The launch of our ‘Time for Life’ column stemmed from us compiling a bucket list and acting on it. Our aim is share our experiences and insights on lifestyle and travel to motivate our readers.

Buying a motor home and exploring Europe in it was high on our bucket list. We achieved the first goal in July 2019 and set off for Europe in October that year.

Caught up in the European pandemic on our roller-coaster motor home travels, our learns and experiences have made us realise that we now struggle with suburbia.
Before we made the transition from being ‘time poor’ to making time to live, we went through some steps which we wanted to share with you.

Map Out Your Vision

We found that mapping out our vision - even though it changed dramatically due to the advent of Covid - was invaluable.

There’s a wonderful word called ‘dreamstorming’ - letting your imagination run wild - which is enormous fun, liberating and energising when compiling your goals.

As your ‘life plan’ is everything you strive to achieve, it’s good to break it down and commit to paper/laptop the first steps - what you will complete this year. This avoids your list becoming overwhelming and impractical.

Before touring Scotland in our motor home, we planned a fabulous itinerary of the area and the islands we would explore along with well-being goals which including scaling Ben Nevis.

Despite it being one of my biggest challenges to date, the sense of achievement at ascending the summit was sensational.

Aim high: heady heights of Ben Nevis
Aim high: heady heights of Ben Nevis
You can divide your plan into sections - travel, hobbies, health and fitness. It’s also good to set timescales to sustain the impetus and motivation.

This year’s plan for our trio of nomads at Time for Life is to head back to Europe in our motor home and, for the third time, attempt to explore Portugal’s captivating coast.

Our previous two attempts were made impossible by border restrictions due to Covid cases rising. After Portugal we have set our sights on Greece and Croatia.
You’re In This Together

Shared goals are important
Shared goals are important
Compromises may need to be made on your bucket list to accommodate your spouse/partner/family.

There will also aspirations you embark on together such as more adventurous travel destinations - and others, such as new hobbies, you will do separately.

Sharing and involving friends and wider family in your plans helps to avoid any ‘surprises’ down the line!

For those about to kiss goodbye to full time working, bear in mind that spending evenings, weekends and holidays with your loved one is a whole different ballgame to being in each other’s pockets 24x7.

This is something we learnt very fast in the confined space of a two berth motor home with a lively golden retriever - especially travelling in France in inclement weather!

Capture Your Experiences

From Russia with love: St Petersberg
From Russia with love: St Petersberg
As you embark on your new ventures, take photographs or start a blog/ Facebook /Instagram page to make magical memories and encapsulate your experiences.

While we’re passionate about sharing our tips, we appreciate you may want to keep yours private. Here’s my top 3 bucket list:

Kayaking on the crystal clear lagoons of the Cook Islands
Striding along Rio’s Ipanema beach singing the famous song
Returning to Cuba to hike in the Viñales National Pak
We hope your bucket list - whatever it includes - will be truly fulfilling and packed with magical memories.

As the late US author Helen Keller famously said: “Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.”