I consider myself very fortunate in that I have already knocked off many of the places from my bucket list (Tibet, Nepal, Bhutan, Mongolia, Angkor Wat in Cambodia, Borubudor on Java in Indonesia, The Great Wall, XinJiang, Mt. Popa in Myanmar, the Taj Mahal, Machu Picchu, Orangutans in Borneo, Komodo Dragons, Dead Sea, Petra, Amazon Basin, Papua New Guinea, Uluru, Egypt, Rome, Athens, Easter Island, the Galapagos, Victoria Falls, Bora Bora, etc.).
Yet, three things have occurred to me through this process: (1) some of my favorite places were not bucket list places, but I am SO happy I had a chance to go (or even live for a while): many places in Japan (lived in Japan for six years), Berchtesgaden in Bavaria (near Munich, where I lived for a few years), Suzhou (near Shanghai, where I lived for three years), Croatia, Romania, Iceland, Laos, Namibia, Lesotho, the Atacama Desert, Guatamala, Costa Rica, the Andes, New Orleans, etc. (2) Some of the best places on Earth are REALLY close to home: Yosemite, San Diego, Death Valley; and (3) the more bucket list items I tick-off, the LONGER my list keeps growing!
So what's left on my bucket list?
(1) Gorillas and Chimpanzees in the wild (should be able to knock this one off later this year in Uganda if all goes according to plan). Wildlife is one of my greatest passions. I've seen the Orangutans in the wild twice now. Once in Sarawak in Malaysia and once in Kalamantan in Indonesia. In Sarawak, a female Orangutan carrying her infant actually reached out and grabbed my ankle (I was on an elevated walkway and she approached me from the forest floor below me). This was a transformational experience for me because I could see just how powerful yet how gentle and intelligent this creature was. So now, it is time to get up close and personal with our other cousins, the Gorillas and Chimpanzees.
(2) Antarctica (the last remaining Continent I have not been to)
(3) Northern Lights (probably Alaska, but Canada or Scandinavia would be ok too)
(4) One or more of the "Stans" - Kazakhstan, Kyrgystan, Tajikistan, etc.. (Why? It's the Silk Road and the Mountains and Desert look like they are pretty amazing)
(5) Tigers in the wild (tried twice now unsucceessfullly, in Nepal and in Rajasthan, India)
(6) Indian Himalayas (last part of the Himalayas I haven't been to yet)
(7) Yellowstone (how crazy is it that I haven't been to Yellowstone yet???)
(8+) Georgia (the Country in the Caucasus), Morocco, Botswana, Madascar, Iguazu Falls, Panama Canal, Mt. Rushmore, Ethiopia, Israel, New England in the Autumn, etc., etc., etc., etc., Ahhhhhhhhh!!!