Writing My Way Around the World

Life List


Captain on junk in Halong Bay VietnamBucket list, must-do list, before-I-die list. I’m calling it a Life List, which is inspired by the mighty Maggie Mason. I met Maggie in Jamaica, where she was on the hunt for fruit. You see, one of the things on her Life List is to taste 1,000 different fruits.

I’m not interested in tasting 1,000 fruits, but there are things I want to do, places I want to go and experiences I want to have in my lifetime. My Life List is a fluid, flexible list, a work in progress, spurred on by change and moments of inspiration.

If you’d like to help me cross items off of my list, please get in touch so we can discuss a partnership.

        • Ride in a hot air balloon over the Serengeti.
        • Throw beads in a Mardi Gras parade. (Completed February 2012!)
        • Bike around Ireland.
        • Travel to as many countries as I am years old.
        • Publish a book with a traditional publisher.
        • Learn to speak Spanish.
        • Be part of a flash mob.
        • Complete a triathlon.
        • Write one handwritten note a week for a year. – (Completed December 2012 – read about it at The 52 Letters Project!)
        • Be on The Amazing Race.
        • Visit Iceland. (Completed June 2012!)
        • Hike the John Muir Trail.
        • Visit all 50 states.
        • Touch all seven continents.
        • Redecorate my office so that it is a more inspiring place. (Completed December 2011!)
        • Give a Kiva loan.
        • Read one fiction and one non-fiction book every month for a year.
        • Go spelunking in a cave.
        • Participate in RAGBRAI.
        • Participate in the Urban Adventure Games in South Bend, Indiana. (Completed July 2012!)
        • Attend an event at the Olympics.
        • Ride a horse at a dude ranch.
        • Spend the night in a yurt. (Completed August 2013!)
        • Take the train across Mongolia.
        • Spend the night on a houseboat.
        • Take a road trip on Route 66.
        • See the Northern Lights (and actually remember it).
        • Hike the Grand Canyon from rim to rim.
        • Be paid to speak at a conference.
        • Get crazy colored highlights in my hair.
        • Get an acupuncture treatment.
        • Take a totally spontaneous, last-minute trip.
        • Stomp wine grapes.
        • Feel comfortable swimming.
        • Stop apologizing.
        • Volunteer at a soup kitchen.
        • Take a vacation where I do absolutely nothing. (Completed December 2011!)
        • Attend a production of Wicked. (Completed September 2012!)
        • Go through my clothes and actually get rid of all the worn-out stuff.
        • Shop in the market in Morocco.
        • Be in a food fight.
        • Check out the wildlife in the Galapagos Islands. (Completed November 2013!)
        • Plan a scavenger hunt for my friends.
        • Own colorful luggage. (Received Christmas 2011!)
        • Spend the night in an ice hotel.
        • Participate in a sea turtle rescue effort.
        • Go to a roller derby competition. (Completed November 2011!)
        • Fly first class.
        • Travel around Europe via apartment swaps.
        • Eat Italian food in Italy.
        • Visit Cuba before the embargo is lifted.
        • Attend the Book Passage writing conference. (Completed August 2012!)
        • Read all of my magazines.
        • Buy someone’s first passport.
        • Participate in the Scale the Strat fundraiser.
        • Check out Saturn through a telescope.
        • Visit Japan when the cherry blossoms are in bloom.
        • Visit Ayer’s Rock in Australia.
        • Pay off the mortgage on our house.
        • Go to a sandcastle building competition.
        • Be an extra in a movie.
        • Understand the Tour de France.
        • Journey along the Silk Road.
        • Visit the Christmas markets in Europe.
        • Take an arts or crafts class.
        • Bake something from scratch.
        • Help brew a batch of beer.
        • Make and gift an art journal to someone I love.
        • Help mend a hiking trail.
        • Walk the hallways of Alcatraz.
        • Cut the ribbon at an opening ceremony.
        • Throw a surprise party.
        • Go dog sledding.
Portrait of JoAnna Haugen Freelance writer, globe trotter, former Peace Corps volunteer, avid recycler, creativity connoisseur, idea inventor and planning my next great adventure.