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I have a problem with the term Bucket List and so when I reeived an email today telling me about a competition to win £1000 towards crossing an item off my bucket list my first instinct was “I don’t have a bucket list”. And then I spotted a tweet from the lovely Harrie saying that she had linked back to me on her entry and I was intrigued. Heading over there I read her entry and was pleased to see that, ever inspirational, she had glamour, excitement, adventure and simple, down to earth pleasures covered in her extravagant versus budget entries. And so I got to thinking, I might not have bucket list so to speak but I do have goals and dreams. I try to work on these regularly and  I have made some of those dreams come true. Does this equate to a bucket list? I think so, The difference is simply that I prefer to focus on living rather than the end game.

I have been extremely lucky in  my life to achieve my dreams of seeing Whales and Dolphins in their natural habitat thanks to Discover Pacific Tours. This trip also gave me the opportunity to make a friend for life.  I  swam with stingray and completed a night dive on a submarine in the Cayman Islands and I have climbed Dunnes River Falls in Jamaica. All of these trips were done at a cost and saving for them gave me focus and purpose in my life. I wasn’t rich but I prioritised these things as important to me and found ways to save money to enable me to meet my dreams.

I have also met a couple of my dreams on a budget or in creative ways. Last year I was lucky enough to be able to complete a school girl ambition of working as a Holiday Rep and combined it with my wish to learn to ski by working as a Peak Season Ski Rep with Equity School tours but the most rewarding things I have done from my goals list was having the opportunity to travel to Africa when, as a volunteer with Make a Wish Foundation I was lucky enough to accompany a young lady on her wish granted to allow her to work with chimpanzees. We travelled to Ngamba Island where we lived for one week with no electricy, running water or shelter among lots of rehabilitated chimpanzees. Things have changed since I was there so I feel even more privelaged to have been there at the start.

Not all of my dreams, goals, ambitions, call them what you will are so huge. I have completed smaller goals including, walking large parts of the Welsh Coastal Path (free of charge), seen dolphins off the coast of Wales (free and a long held ambition), rode Oblivion in Alton Towers, heard Paul McGee speak (free thanks to Being Brilliant) attended The Last  night of the Proms (yes, this can be done for £5 and a bit of time queuing) and seen several plays at Shakespeare’s Globe for £5.

What on earth can I do to top any of those things? Well, that is the trick I dont aim to top things I just want to experience things anew.  Not everything I want to achieve is expensive but here are a couple of things that I do still want to achieve.

I  would love to complete the “50 things to do before your 11 3/4″challenge  with the National Trust. OK I know that I am more than 11 3/4 but hey, I am a kid at heart. As I have recently moved to London and I also think it is important to rekindle the child in me then I think that the challenges through Surrey and London could be quite good fun and I might even be able to rope Lula and Robyn in (check out their blogs and you will see that they both love adventures and a bit of frugality never goes amiss). Being new to the South and currently working to a very tight budget the £50 would help to pay for a membership for the National Trust. At just £41.62 I would have a bit left over to buy some tea and cake. Membership would allow me to try out these 50 things to do  and  also to get out and about  to visit places such as the house where Handel lived or Freud’s study. Learning about London could be great fun.

I am not always a cheap date though! Oh no, I have one really big dream, a massive “bucket list” item so to speak. Next year I have a very special birthday coming up. No, I wont share the number with you, suffice to say that my BIG item list would fit the bill nicely to celebrate. I have always dreamed of visiting Japan. I often research tours for Japan but I invariably put it off as there is so many more important things to spend my money on. And then I think that a special birthday would be a perfect excuse to experience all the delights of Japan and its wonderful people. If I were to win £1000 I might be able to realise that dream held since the day I opened a travel brochure aged 11 years old and declared that I would visit that country before I was X years old. Well, I won’t make that target unless I focus and raise the money to do so.  I know that SFT is also planning to visit Japan in 2014 and she is saving hard for that trip too. Maybe this competition could help her out too.

I believe in focusing on goals, setting myself targets and reviewing them. If that is what a bucket list is then I am sure that focusing on this competition is going to help me realise either of those things on my own version of a bucket list should I be lucky enough to win.

And remember everybody, in the words of Kathryn Hepburn

“If you always do what pleases you, at least one person will be happy” 

Check out the competition here. Good luck and if you win, please do let me know what you plan to spend your winnings on.

And check out these blogs too, who knows they may have a budget bucket list themselves

Strings and Wings and Things 

Peppermintpot

Essex Hebridean

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