What is your real bucket list trip today?

Dreaming of when I can travel again and the first places I want to visit — my first bucket list trip

bucket list tripLike many who work in the travel industry, I love to travel. And I miss it already. I’m writing this on my couch when I was supposed to be on a River Cruise in Provence.  An agency conference in Texas that I’d helped plan for a year has been canceled. And my Mother’s Day visit to see my son back East is almost certainly off as well.

I don’t remember when the last time the idea of travel felt so urgent. It had to be more than a decade ago, to a town most people had never heard of in Maryland: Here’s the story.

My most important bucket list trip

Back in high school, my chemistry teacher hated people chatting in class. To that end, he did his best to pair lab partners with little in common. He put me, the nerd girl, with a popular jock named Steve. It didn’t work. While we were never really friends outside of class, Steve and I discovered we had plenty of things to talk about. (To this day I remember him being the first guy who noticed I switched glasses for contacts, and he approved.)

I never saw him that often at school, but I knew Steve was close friends with Mike, a boy who became my then-best-friend Michele’s husband. Mike and Steve stayed friends as adults.

Michele and I stayed close for a while. Then distance — we lived across the country from each other — took away time together. Our politics evolved differently. We eventually became more of the typical Christmas card friends, often writing “We should get together one of these years.”

Great travel memories — pressed between the pages of my mind
Coronavirus travel snippets: Hilltop town is antivirus fortress, Travel bans worldwide, Is it safe to travel?

“One of these years” came suddenly — too suddenly

distant friendsI learned that Steve died, suddenly, in his early 50s. And then “one of these years” became much more of an imperative. The next spring I booked a trip East, to include a visit to my old friends. I stayed at their house. Went to a baseball game. And, we talked, ate and drank like old times. (So okay, this time it was good wine instead of cheap beer and Boone’s Farm wine.)

Travel to see distant friends are my most important bucket list trips

Now, forced to live a socially distanced life, I have time to dream about all the bucket list trips I want to take. I think about all the new places I want to visit. Important trips that I am planning in my head are not to see sights or big cities.

I find myself thinking, besides visiting my son, how soon can I see distant friends again in person. And how many people have been on my “we should get together” list?

Most of the wonders of the world are always going to be there. Our friends may not be.

Walking photo by Joseph Pearson and
Featured photo of friends by Priscilla Du Preez on Unsplash