by Lara Gladych –
To kick off the new year, Seaside Magazine is introducing something new for readers. We want to live up to our slogan of being “the voice of the Saanich Peninsula,” so, in every issue, we’ll be asking people to answer a simple question. We’re looking for responses from all ages and across the diverse neighbourhoods that form our community.
This January, as some of us set goals and resolutions, we inevitably ponder what the year ahead holds for us. In keeping with this sentiment, our very first Word On the Street question is: “What’s on your bucket list?”
I admit: I had to think really hard about this one. Although I’m always thinking of things I would love to do, skills I hope to learn, places to see, etc., when put on the spot to answer this question, I had to pause and dig down deep. In my lifetime, I would like to own a guitar and be able to knock off a couple of really great songs at a party. I want to do more exploring of the Four Corners, in the southwestern United States, and travel through the Scandinavian countries. I want to spend a summer sailing around Lake Huron and Lake Michigan with my family. I hope to do another Outward Bound adventure, to measure how I’ve grown and what I’ve learned since I did my first one at age 21. Lastly, I’d really love to get back to dance class. I love being on stage and want more of that experience before I’m old and unable.
So, what do people on the streets of the Peninsula have to say about their bucket lists? Travel is, of course, an enormously popular answer. Diane, 66, wants to travel to Australia and New Zealand. I ask what “bucket list” means to her. “It’s something that you want to do while you’re still able to do it. My mum’s 93, and there are things she wishes she’d done.” Diane’s friend, Kate, 65, says that a bucket list to her is “a wish list with no regrets.”
“My biggie,” she continues, “would be to see the Greek Islands … and Australia and New Zealand, as well … That’s why we’re best friends.” It’s a sweet moment between the two ladies.
Rick, 69, says: “I think I’m still fit enough for Machu Picchu. I think a bucket list to me is … well, of course there’s the movie, and it’s about a couple of retired individuals, and that’s what I am. Money is not plentiful, but I have enough now that I can do some travelling, and do some of the things that I’ve never been able to do while raising a family, working, and so on.”
“A lot of people have a bucket list; a big list of things they should get done, or want to get done. You should let those things go. There’s another expression that rhymes with ‘bucket’ that you can do with these things …” and Richard, age 60, is at this moment cut off by his wife. Maybe he has a point? Maybe we shouldn’t hold ourselves accountable to a list of “wants” and “shoulds” that we believe will round out our lives. Do we worry that we will die with regret for not having seen, experienced and accomplished more?
Not everyone I stop has a bucket list. For some it’s simply happiness, health and family that they feel compelled to nurture and enjoy before they die.
One of the more interesting responses I hear is from a young geologist, Elijah, 30, who would like to experience an earthquake, and get lost – presumably not all at the same time. I then speak with Kim, 37, who says that as a runner she would like to see more of the Island by means of trail running, and then to broaden her terrain and see more of the world on her feet.
I meet a group of flight attendants out of Seattle. Lucas, 35, would like to get back out on the Strait in his kayak come summer. Michelle says her husband would like to visit all the state parks in the U.S., and at 49, she plans to do some rock-hounding alongside him. One of the flight attendants, Corey, hopes to find himself flying a plane one day, and Karen, 59, would like to see Big Ben, in London.
I love the practicality of Kirsten’s answer. She has to think for a minute, but at 24, she looks forward to one day owning a house.
Among my youngest interviewees are a Maja and Sawyer, both eight, who dream of going to Disneyland. And then there’s little Mina, age six, who hopes to go back to Switzerland one day to see her best friend, and revisit the land where she could walk to school from home.
Paul , 44, sums it up when he responds simply: “It depends on the day.”