Since I was little, I have been a big fan of writing lists. It helps me organize myself and calm my thoughts. I started making lists of my homework of the 3rd grade that was due the next day, lists of my upcoming projects, lists of my favourite things, lists of songs I like, and as I grew older these simpler lists turned into bigger lists. Like the list of universities I wanted to get into or the jobs I wanted to apply for, or the most recurrent one the grocery (which, to be honest, is one of my favourites).
However, there is this one list that has been with me since I was 13 years old, and it is definitely the one that has stuck with me the longest and I would even dare to say it is the most important one and that is: my bucket list.
But what exactly is that? Very simple. A bucket list is a list of things to do before you die (or “kick the bucket”). Basically, this list has all the things that you want to and would love to do. That’s all there is to it.
Some say I am a bit young to be thinking about this, but as I grow older I keep adding more and more things to the list too. It’s a vicious (or virtuous) cycle, the more I cross out, the more I add. But isn’t that what life is all about? Finding new things that excite you and working towards them. That’s how it all started. Me writing down on a piece of paper, what I thought were crazy dreams, that somehow have made their way through and are now part of my story.
I got off at the Trocadero metro station, l climbed up the stairs and when I turned around, there it was… the Eiffel Tower! My eyes were full of happy tears rolling down my cheeks because I could not believe that I was there. I was in front of this huge, shiny emblem which to me was even more beautiful than I ever imagined. So majestic and big, it made me feel so tiny next to it. But that’s the magic of the tower and of Paris.
I felt that all of those years learning French, all of those romantic movies I watched that took place there and the many, many pictures of Paris I had hung in my room led me to that exact moment which felt so surreal. That is what this place represents to me; a city that proved to me that dreams come true.
Visit Paris: ✓
I walked in circles for what felt like hours trying to find this place. It was getting colder and colder every time because that winter was one of the coldest in many years. And then, I saw little white spots starting to appear and wetting the paper map that had been misleading me all day. Could it be? Snow falling?
I looked up to the sky and saw all these snowflakes falling that made me the happiest girl on the planet because it was the first time I saw snow in my life. Behind all of those snowflakes, there they were. The hectic crossroads with its razzle-dazzle LED screens in the same way. Standing on the corner of 45th st and 7th Ave is when I felt pure bliss. I had finally made it to Times Square.
Go to Times Square in NYC: ✓
(Bonus – See snow fall: ✓)
I knew that getting on that plane would change my life forever, and it did. Barcelona has been one of the best experiences I’ve had. A milestone in my life. Not only because I get to live in, by far, one of the greatest cities in the world with beautiful architecture, historic sites, great weather, amazing food and the Mediterranean sea right on my doorstep. But for me, moving abroad meant growing up, independence, working towards my dreams and being able to discover a new part of the world and of myself.
At first, I came to study my masters degree, but then I fell in love with the city and decided to stay and settle here, or at least enjoy life here for the next couple of years. I am lucky enough that now I get to call this place “home”.
Move abroad: ✓
Study abroad: ✓
My bucket list has encouraged me to reach higher, achieve my biggest dreams, and go on crazy adventures. All of these memories could be framed on your wall, as they are on mine and they will make you reminisce about these great moments. I look forward to every adventure and dream that I will cross out my list and invite you to start a list of your own. These mementos are a motivation to keep adding and crossing things off my favourite list. And I wonder… which map will come next?
Create your own collection of bucket list maps here.