UPDATE: Congratulations to the Bucket List Contest winner, Jennifer from Michigan!
A note from Karma Brown, author of COME AWAY WITH ME…
The summer after I turned 17 I boarded a plane for Thunder Bay, and Outward Bound — a wilderness survival school that makes regular camping look like a 5-star hotel stay. Armed with a small backpack into which I stuffed one extra set of clothes and a sleeping bag, we headed into the wilderness for 30 days of canoeing and backpacking. We spent 14 hours each day on the water, reading lake maps and growing our paddling muscles. We bushwhacked trails. Rock climbed. White-water kayaked. We dug latrines, cooked over the fire, ate too many sardines and peanuts (I still can’t eat either). It was like nothing I’d ever done; it’s like nothing I’ve done since.
But it was what we did on our last day at camp that truly changed my life: I wrote myself a letter. In the letter I listed achievements I was proud of, along with what I hoped to accomplish over the 365 days. Then I sealed it, and promptly forgot about it.
A year later it arrived in my mailbox, and I saw how many items on my “hope to achieve” list I’d actually accomplished — without doing anything more than writing them down. That moment changed how I thought about my future: goals don’t happen without planning. Write it down, make it real. So I started my “bucket” list, and have been adding to it and crossing things off ever since.
In COME AWAY WITH ME, Tegan and Gabe have a list of experiences they keep in the “Jar of Spontaneity” — which was inspired by a real life jar my husband and I have. All three of their experiences in the book — Elephants painting in Thailand, Cooking Class in Italy, Learn to surf in Hawaii — came from my actual list, which has now grown to about 120 items. And on August 25th, when my novel hits shelves, I’ll finally get to put a checkmark beside item #34 (Write, and publish, a novel) …
Now it’s your turn. Post your top ten bucket list experiences on your blog for a chance to win one of them! (Up to $5,000 value).