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Posted by on Jan 7, 2013 | 10 comments

So, What Happened with 2012’s Bucket List?

Last January, I published a bucket list for 2012.  Do you remember?

My bucket list was somewhat different from what I have seen published in other websites.  Yes, I included things I have wanted to do in a long time.  However, the emphasis was on local adventures and spots close to where I live (about 100 miles).  I would have like to include my plans for traveling around the globe, a list of 10+ countries to visit or a stay on a location for half a year. But that wasn’t realistic and I am not the kind of person who writes stuff just because.

So, what happened to the list?

I am happy to report that I was able to complete about two thirds of the items on it.  I took the stuff I proposed at the beginning of the year seriously.  Every time, I wanted to do something, I consulted the list.  In that way, I was able to remember new experiences I wanted to do.

Bucket-List-on-beach small


Here is what I accomplished and what I didn’t (with some comments):

What I Accomplished

  • Go whale watching – Saw about 10 sperm whales off the Newport Beach coast
  • Go on a sea fishing trip – Went with my husband on a full day trip around the coast of Catalina Island.  Didn’t catch anything though.  Apparently, we chose the incorrect time of the month (has something to do with the moon)
  • Visit the Museum of Tolerance – Have mixed feelings about this one (I liked it in some ways but not in others)
  • Visit and eat at the Redondo Beach Pier – Finally went here and got some great views of the Palos Verdes Peninsula
  • Eat in Little Saigon (Orange County) – Great experience.  We want to go back and try different types of snails.
  • Explore Los Angeles’ Chinatown – Tasty food and some pretty buildings.
  • Take a culinary tour of downtown Los Angeles – Learned a lot about the food in little Tokyo (which is in the downtown area).  We found out the company we went with is closing.  Bummer!
  • Explore Old Pasadena – We absolutely loved Pasadena. Actually, we went twice and made sure we ate our way thru town.
  • See birds in the Bolsa Chica Ecological Reserve (Huntington Beach) – Saw tons of birds.
  • Take a better look of Abbot Kinney Blvd and the canals in Venice Beach – The canals are prettier than what I was expecting.
  • Explore different areas of San Diego – Went to Coronado Island and the Miramar area.
  • Go to Santa Barbara – What I can say about Santa Barbara?  It is awesome.  This time we walked around downtown, the pier and explored the Santa Ynez Valley for two days.
  • Go to Laguna Beach – This beach town surprised me with its beauty.
  • Visit the Safari Park in Escondido – Lovely place.  You know I am an animal lover.
  • Visit 1 or 2 National Parks – Visited the Channel Islands National Park.  Still can’t believe there is a place like this in California.
  • Go somewhere in California’s Central Coast – went to Morro Bay, Cayucos, Cambria, San Simeon, Carpinteria
  • Day trip to Rosarito and Ensenada in Mexico – Went twice to Ensenada.  The food was great as always.
  • Would like to visit a new state – Went  to Arizona.
  • Las Vegas – Went again! Ate in the buffets, went to the Titanic exhibition at the Luxor, hiked around Red Rock Canyon and did the Skywalk.
  • Not sure yet but at least two international trips – First trip to El Salvador and Honduras. Second trip to Mexico (Tlaxcala, Puebla, Oaxaca).


What Didn’t Happen

  • Hike around Malibu – Malibu has eluded us many times.  Every time we are determined to hike the area, the traffic in the PCH makes us change our minds.
  • Go to El Matador Beach (in Malibu) – Same as above.
  • Hike a trail that ends in a waterfall – We planned to do this around Malibu.  Didn’t work.  Then, we tried around Laguna Beach but the trails were closed after heavy rainfall.
  • Eat in Little Ethiopia – We passed many times around the area but never stopped.
  • Try new ethnic Chinese dishes in the San Gabriel Valley – I guess the distance had something to do with this one.
  • Take the ferry to Balboa Island (Newport Beach)
  • Go on an Architectural Home Tour of the city I live in – The tour I was referring to wasn’t offered last year.
  • See wildflowers in Anza-Borrego Desert or on the Flower Fields in Carlsbad – The flower season last year wasn’t great so the drive to Anza-Borrego wasn’t worth.  Lets see how they do this year.
  • Go to San Juan Capistrano – I already have my tickets for the mission and was going to do it the day after Laguna Beach.  However, the hotels in the area were pretty darn expensive.  We decided to go back home and return another day.
  • Go to the TBEX annual meeting in Keystone, Colorado – I wasn’t sure about this one so I am not “really” counting it as something that didn’t happen
  • Napa – After having confirmed accommodations for October, I received a letter stating there was a problem.  This is one wasn’t our fault.

Lessons Learned

I enjoyed the approach I took with my bucket list last year.  Because of the list, I can say the following:

  • I know better my city and its surroundings
  • I understand better the people who live around me
  • I learned about the culture and history of those surrounding me
  • I got to know people of other countries and discuss with them different ways of making a living
  • I am becoming an expert on what to do and eat around Los Angeles (just kidding but in some way it is true).
  • I am ready to create a new list for 2013

I believe the lessons I expressed above are of incalculable value for my life.  They are good reason to continue working in this exercise.

What about you? What did you accomplished last year?  What would you like to do this year?


    • Well, it doesn’t have to be daunting. Just include some nearby places or activities you have always wanted to do. For me the key, is to have a balance between challenging and feasible things (since it is a bucket list just for the year).
      Ruth recently posted..In Love With OaxacaMy Profile

  1. I love this idea! Once I figure out where I’m going to live this year I’m going to do the same thing. 🙂
    Joy recently posted..Chinese Character ChallengeMy Profile

    • Thanks for stopping by Joy. Hope your 2013 bucket list ends up full of exciting adventures.
      Ruth recently posted..In Love With OaxacaMy Profile

  2. Hi Ruth,
    That is an excellent achievement …
    We usually neglect visiting out own surroundings…
    you now have had the pleasure of knowing your local area.
    Lots of people seem to put off visiting local … maybe one day .. and then move on.
    I am guilty of this in the past.
    Great post … thanks for sharing.
    Bryan McHeyzer recently posted..Wine Making Regions of New ZealandMy Profile

    • Bryan,
      That is why I have decided to do local stuff. Sometimes we complain about not being able to travel but we forget we live in places that may be touristic to other people. So, why not go out and explore our own backyards?
      Ruth recently posted..In Love With OaxacaMy Profile

  3. You had a really good list for 2012. and I’m stealing some of the things you did for my own wish list! I have a short list of things that I want to do this year, but I’m leaving plenty of room for last minute trips. Are you moving some of the things you didn’t do last year to your 2013 list?
    Michaela recently posted..No, Travel Won’t Make You HappyMy Profile

    • Ja ja, feel free to take all the ideas you want. Yes, I am moving some things to this year list. I am going to publish it soon.
      Ruth recently posted..In Love With OaxacaMy Profile

  4. Oh well, I’ve stopped doing bucket list a couple of years now as I know it will never be 100% complete. The worst is not going for that one trip that you really wanted to go. Anyway, 2013 looks promising so all the best to your travels!
    David @ Malaysia Asia recently posted..Nissan Leaf Electric Car in MalaysiaMy Profile

    • Hi David,
      I am doing this bucket, wish or ideas list to remember the places I want to visit. There are high probabilities of not completing all the items. However, I focus on what I was able to accomplish and enjoy the idea of proactively trying to enjoy new opportunities instead of staying home doing the same things. Hope you enjoy your year.
      Ruth recently posted..In Love With OaxacaMy Profile

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