Life Bucket List – Watch the Sunrise on Another Continent

Remember that time 5 months ago when I said I would share with you some of my Life Bucket List items that I had already completed?  Well, I’m finally being true to my word.  I’m trying to do the ‘R’ from my post Your Life is an Occasion and Recommit myself to some items I have let go during the last few months.  My blog being only a fraction of the aspects of my life that I’ve left unattended.  So, without further ado, I present to you the experience surrounding the completion of #37 on My Life Bucket List – watch the sunrise on another continent.

Eleven years ago, I worked for a subprime mortgage company as an Executive Assistant.  The company held annual trips as a reward for their top sellers.  To be fair to the rest of us peons, they had a drawing that all of the Executive Assistants could be included in for a chance to join the company on the trip.  This particular year the destination was Barcelona, Spain.  I could hardly believe that I even had a small chance of going on this trip.  Sadly, my name was not drawn.  However, the woman whose name was drawn had gone the year prior and she didn’t think it seemed fair that she should attend two years in a row.  She encouraged the executives to draw another name.  I was in utter shock when my name was drawn.  I can still remember how I practically sprinted to my office phone to call my husband and inform him that we needed to get our passports ASAP so that we could go on our virtually free trip to Barcelona.  The trip included our airfare, our hotel accommodations (at Hotel Arts Barcelona, a Ritz Carlton Hotel), transportation to/from the hotel, massages upon our arrival, free breakfast daily, one excursion of our choosing, a city tour, and two nights of lavish dinner parties.  It was a dream come true.

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At the time of our trip, I had already made a Life Bucket List that included my desire to watch the sunrise on another continent.  A trip of this magnitude seemed like the perfect opportunity to make it happen.  Neither my husband nor myself had ever been on another continent so it was a magical experience from beginning to end.  The trip was dripping with so many extravagant experiences that could only have been brought to you by a company that clearly mismanaged their funds, and we soaked up every last bit of it.

On the morning of our second to the last day in Barcelona, we set the alarm so that we could head down to the beach and watch the sunrise.  The last thing I wanted to do was miss it, so I made sure we went down plenty of time in advance.  The problem is, I think we headed down too early.  It felt like that darn sun would never rise.  We were both so tired, as the time change was still messing with us and we were both fighting off colds.  It was a special memory, nonetheless.  Plus, now we can say that we watched the sun rise over the Balearic Sea, which I believe would be considered a portion of the Mediterranean Sea.  I’ll be honest, I’m not savvy with geography.  What I do know for certain though is that we were on a different continent.

Barcelona (1)

The thing about any activity we set out to do, as individuals, is that the outcome may surprise us.  I thought I wanted to watch the sunrise on another continent, but it was really that I wanted to visit another continent.  The sunrise just seemed like a fun way to experience it, but I am not a lover of mornings.  Perhaps I should have chosen to watch a sunset instead.  Sometimes the activities we do turn out better than we anticipated, sometimes worse, and other times different in such a way that it creates a set of unexpected memories.  The latter was the case recently, when my Dad & Step-Mom treated Aaron and I to a magic show at our local stage theater.  It was, well,  I guess I’m not sure what it was.  Amateur?  Impressive?  Corny?  Pathetic?  Delightful?  Can such an event be all those things at once?  By the end of the show, after all the laughing and heckling had subsided between my Step-Mom and myself, I decided that when it wasn’t amazing, it was amusing.  The whole night made for an evening I will never forget nor could I have anticipated.

I enjoy the things I learn about myself when I experience something new.  Whether it be a magic show or another bucket list item, I feel alive when I’m out discovering life for myself.  It reminds me of the Helen Keller quote I shared in Journaling the Journey, “I don’t want to live in a hand-me-down world of others’ experiences.  I want to write about me, my discoveries, my fears, my feelings, about me.”  As for this Life Bucket List item, I learned that sunrises are magnificent, if you’re already awake, and that my heart delights in travel.  As Susan Sontag said, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it’s on my list.”

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