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A Bucket List? Even A Poor Guy Like Me Can Dream!


A cancer survivor recalls how he never considered a bucket list until his diagnosis in 2014. And although he knows he can’t afford to buy a Ferrari and cruise through the Alps, he’s OK with changing course and going with something much smaller.

Got a bucket list yet? Maybe you have dreams on buying a Ferrari and speeding through the Alps, a bottle of wine cooling back at the chateau. Or maybe snorkeling with the stingrays in the crystal-clear waters of the Caribbean Sea, surely a paradise on earth without parallel.

Or perhaps you are just dying to ride a camel to reach the Great Pyramids or set your Fitbit for an extra workout climbing Kilimanjaro, the tallest freestanding mountain on Mother Earth. If 20,000 hikers can make the ascent every year, you can too, right?

Bucket-Listers Are Ambitious

Truly, I had never thought about a bucket list until my cancer diagnosis in 2014. But then, it became an obsession with my own mortality staring me square in the face. So, I began to fully investigate the limitless possibilities. I went online, fascinated to read how ultimate fantasies were indeed coming true.

One website declared its goal is to “to help you live your best life” through bucket-listing. Indeed, these folks don’t just advocate going bungee-jumping or riding in a hot-air balloon. They swim in each of the earth’s four major oceans and stand on the equator in Africa.

I must admit that these bucket-list adventurers were summoning not only my body, but my spirit as well. Everything sounded so enticing. Cancer survivors must make each day count, so sign me up!

Changing Course

Sadly, I realized that while I’m fully vaccinated and fully ready to travel, my bank account is running on empty. Cancer care is not cheap, especially when it comes at the same time you’re experiencing a whole host of medical problems associated with the elder years. Getting old is expensive!

Doggonit, what’s a guy to do? But wait a sec, I think I can get into the bucket-list scene. I’ll just have to adjust my sights a little.

No, I can’t go see the Northern Lights on a trip to Scandinavia, but I could light up my life with a new colorful nightlight for the bathroom.

And no, I can’t hike to the Mount Everest base camp, but I could Skype with a Sherpa. You know, watch him guide some adventurers up, up, up those steep slopes. Living vicariously is my motto.

A nephew hiked the entire Appalachian Trail (2,184 miles), but I can’t afford to buy all that camping gear. So, why not build a path between my couch and the fridge instead (12 feet)?

Equator Will Have to Wait

The ocean-swimming trip might have to give way to dipping my big toe in a mud puddle. And standing on the equator? Not until I win the lottery to finance the trip to that hot climate. In the meantime, I’ll settle for an extra trip to the tanning salon.

Let those jetsetters have their fun. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with a staycation!

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