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Operation Bucket List 2.0

I’ve been thinking of re-writing my bucket list for a while. It has gone through few iterations, and the very first version was jotted down when I was a teenager.

In the last few months, I have finalized the date of my return to work, and have been looking at daycares for the baby (gah!). I have also registered for a writing class in the fall, ran two trail races – my first two postpartum, registered for a trail half marathon, and have been feeling a little bit more like myself.

With that in mind, I decided to give the bucket list exercise a try. I made a point not to look at my old(er) bucket list for now. Note the new section “Parenting” – whoa!


run the remaining legs of the Great Canadian Death Race (I ran legs 1, 3, and 5 in 2015, and hoping to run much more gnarly legs 2 and 4 in the next few years)

run Reckless Raven Ultra in Yukon – this one is in the summer, unlike the notorious Yukon Arctic Ultra, which takes place in January (no, thanks!). The full distance is 50 miles, but they also have a relay option, so I have not decided how long I want to go. In either case, the pictures of the course are mind blowing, and the only way I am not getting lost in Yukon is if someone marks the course for me.

run a trail race in Italy – I do not have a specific race or distance in mind (so if you have suggestions, holler at me), however, I’d like to shoot for something super pretty – which won’t be difficult – and mid-distance – say, 20-30km.

participate in the Coastal Challenge in Costa Rica – this is a 230km stage race along the coastal line that I’ve had my eye on for a while. My favorite part? You run during the day, and sleep at night – completing the distance over about a week.

do a century ride on a bike – I recall this one from my old bucket list, and it’s still on my mind, so… here it is. I should probably get a bike, and ride for few months before I attempt this, huh?

do an IronMan triathlon – yep, still kind of hung up on this one. This is another one of those someday goals. I’ve always said that IronMan is something I can train for and complete in my forties, or fifties, or sixties.

participate in North American Obstacle Course Racing Championships – this race is taking place in Vermont for the second year in a row. I could have made it this year, if I really really tried, but breastfeeding makes long road trips away from baby difficult for now. The state of my shoulder would only allow 3k course too, so I am not convinced I want to drive for eight hours to race for less than an hour.


write a short story – most of my writing is blog posts, articles, essays, and social media posts, so I find other formats somewhat intimidating. I have recently enrolled in the fall course, focusing on the fictional (!) short story, so this will be doubly challenging. The goal is to finish the course with a completed short story!

write my birth story – my labour and birth experience messed with my head somewhat, and one way I know to process traumatic experiences is storytelling. I have pages on notes, thanks to the writing prompts from my writing coach, but I have not yet started putting it together into anything coherent. I trust that I will when I am ready.

attend a writing retreat on French River – this is a 5-day writing retreat few hours away from where I live, complete with amazing views, yummy breakfast delivered to your door, and workshops and seminars with other writers.

receive 100 rejections – I started a little project sometime last year that I called Operation 100 Rejections. In order for me to receive 100 rejections, I’d have to send in at least 100 pieces of writing to be published somewhere. This one is slow going.

attend a writing program at the Banff Centre for Arts and Creativity – I applied for one of their programs last year, and did not get in. In fact, that rejection kicked off my Operation 100 Rejections. I am hoping to do either a writing program, or a writing retreat there someday.


go back to India – India has been calling ever since I left, and I swore I would not become “that person” who takes one life-changing trip in her twenties, and then spends the rest of her life talking about it.

take Introduction to Buddhism course at the Tushita Centre – this ties in with the previous item, as the Tushita Centre is located in a small town at the foothill of Himalayas. The course is ten days, and would make for a perfect short-ish trip to India. I have already done a ten day Vipassana silent retreat, and this course is a bit less intense – less meditation time, not as severe, and an instruction/learning component which I really enjoy.

visit a winery in Chile – it looks like Chile will be the next winter getaway destination. Costa Rica was amazing, but the family consensus was that it’s way too hot for January/February. Chile is long and skinny, thus, you can “pick your own adventure” when it comes to the climate. The average winter temperature in small coastal towns only few hours away from Santiago ranges from +21-24C – perfect.

go to Iceland for the belated honeymoon with Italian – this one is way overdue, obviously, but we won’t be the first married couple to take their honeymoon years after the actual wedding.

visit Florence and Venice in spring or summer – Italian works, works, works during the summer, so we have seen (and loved) Italy in late fall, and middle of winter. This visit will be short, and require some planning (and will be worth it, I’m sure!).

visit every state in US – I am well on my way with this one, even checking off few states throughout my pregnancy and relatively early postpartum – Texas last year, and Arizona this year.

visit every province in Canada – the East Coast and Northern provinces are still on the list.

take a road trip to the East Coast – another short-ish summer trip that will need to be planned. I am thinking that we’d fly to save time, then rent a car to look around.

go to Napa or Sonoma with Italian – California zinfandel and cabernet sauvignon, here we come! Will have to look into best times to go – thinking November one year would be a perfect little sun boost before the Canadian winter.

take Italian and baby T to Santa Cruz, CA – there is something about that not-so-small town. It is just far away enough to be missing all the craziness of SF, but it also has everything – fantastic coffee and food, a CrossFit box on every block, Whole Foods, and beautiful beach. It’s also super expensive, so… will have to figure out how to swing this one.

live in California – this is new. I have no idea how this one is going to come to pass either. Looking at my life right now, it’s not happening any time soon, but I have learned not to question bucket list items as they come. I might live in Cali for a year, or two months. I might end up there in twenty years, or next winter. Meanwhile, if you know someone who needs a house sitter, let me know.

live in NYC for two or three months in the summer, subscribe to New Yorker and check out various awesome events – this is what happens when you subscribe to New Yorker for few weeks, and let yourself daydream. Another item that is unlikely anytime soon, yet I am putting it out here to marinate/manifest.


introduce baby T to her great grandparents – we are heading to Russia in only a couple of weeks to do just that. I am lucky enough to have three grandparents still living – my maternal grandmother and grandfather, as well as my paternal grandmother.

run a race with baby T – I guess technically I have already done that, as I did run the last leg of Sinister 7 last summer, while in my second trimester. But they did only give me one bib, so…

teach baby T to read in Russian – any book is better in original, and I have an opportunity to allow my kid to read some of the greats as they were written.

take baby T to her great great grandmother’s grave – T was named after my great grandmother, and her great great grandmother, who is buried in my hometown. Technically, I can check this off in about three weeks, however, I’d like to do this when she is old enough to appreciate what’s happening. I am not yet sure how old that is. Ten? Twenty?

I will add to this list as ideas occur to me, and as I peek on my old list, and want to transfer some items over.

Hugs, SOLO


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