Friday, April 13, 2012

My Bucket List

Lawrencetown Beach sunrise, March 2012.
"My eyes are an ocean in which my dreams are reflected" ~ author unknown

"To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.
~ Anatole France, writer

Many of us have dreams and goals in life, both big and small, that we wish for ourselves to accomplish before our time here on this beautiful Earth expires. When I was in my late teens and early twenties, I had lots of dreams, but I was missing the main ingredients. I didn't believe my dreams were possible, and so I didn't have a plan to make them come true. At 36 years old (nearing 37), I still feel young, but much wiser than I did in my youth. I also feel more aware that my time will someday expire, whereas once I had felt invincible.

In my life I've been blessed to have travelled to many beautiful places with people I love. When I was a child, my family embarked on many road trips from my hometown in Kapuskasing, Ontario, across the prairies and through the Rockies. We flew to Disney World, and we drove across the United States. We swam in rivers, lakes and oceans, hiked through deserts, and climbed mountains together.

After my 2-year attempt at university, I travelled and worked in BC and Alberta, and in the past 10 years I've travelled through Spain, Morocco, Spain again, Portugal, stopped over in London, then travelled Greece for the Olympics, Italy to visit family, camped through the Northern US, and recently experienced the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.

Our home for 3 weeks last July on the Hawaiian Island, Oahu.
I'm so grateful my dad inspired my interest in photography (he had a darkroom I spend hours in as a kid), because without all my photographs to reminisce over, I think I might have forgotten many of the amazing things I've done in my life so far.

For months now I've been mulling over the idea of a Bucket List. I have a wish list, and am finding myself checking things off as I accomplish them. I have a few BIG dreams coming up, and it seems lately all my small dreams are leading up to achieving my big dreams. I love to work with a solid plan and goals. Here is my list so far as of the past 2 years. It's a long list with a few experiences check off, but I think I can do it all!

✔ Leave my day job and become a full-time artist
✔ Get my art published in a magazine
✔ Travel to Hawaii to exhibit my art
Experience the magic of the Hawaiian islands
✔ Take business classes and write a business plan
✔ Learn to screen-print
Build a small screen-printing studio in my basement
Get better at drawing and designing
Design a new line of tees and totes with new brand ‘Ocean Playground’
Wholesale new screen-print line locally and to coastal shops in NA
Get up early to watch more sunrises
✔ Learn to surf
Lose my inhibitions
Work at battling my insecurities and fears with surfing
Get better at surfing my longboard (noseride someday)
✔ Teach myself encaustic painting
✔ Learn to play the baritone ukulele (take lessons)
✔ Exhibit at the Toronto One of a Kind Show
Win a grant to help support my art
Paint outside plein-air style
Take a weekend plein-air workshop (maybe in France?)
Clean all the unwanted stuff out of my house
Install solar panels on the roof
Learn to shoot and edit a short film
Write and illustrate a children’s book
Build a solid collector fan-base to sustain my career
Build my on-line sales to sustain a year-long travel project
Learn to speak Spanish
Take a year off and travel in a van around North America (surfing, painting, document with film/photo)
Write a travel journal (blog, or possibly to publish)
Create a travelling exhibition of my visual travel journal paintings
Buy a small piece of land on the coast in Central or South America
Travel to Hawaii on an annual pilgrimage for my art and build community there
Build a garage with a home studio attached
Get fit, strong, and healthy so I never feel old and can stay active as I age
Quit coffee and sweets
✔ Go stand-up paddling (I want a SUP board!)
✔ Go zip-lining
Go hang-gliding
✔ Go paragliding
✔ Go snorkelling 
✔ Swim with sharks (in a floating cage)
Swim with wild dolphins
Get my scuba-dive training
Sail on a small boat for 2 weeks or more
Hike through a rain forest
Hike the Big Island of Hawaii
Climb a mountain in Peru
Hike through the Appalachian mountains in Maine
Rehabilitate my knee so I can run again (learn to Chi-Run)
Surf, camp, and play my ukulele by the campfire 
Learn to swim better, stronger, faster
Get corrective eye surgery so I can duck-dive with my eyes open
Get a better camera so I can take more professional photos
Organize a family art exhibition with my mom & dad and sister
Travel to South Africa
Travel to French Polynesia and stay in a hut over the water
Travel to Australia and New Zealand
Participate in an art show in New York
Travel to and surf Long Island
Participate in many art shows in California (annual pilgrimage?)
Climb Gros Morne National Park, Newfoundland
Go on a week-long canoe camping trip
Go on a week-long bike trip (maybe bike across Canada some day?)
Make yoga a daily practice
Invest in more income properties to ensure a comfortable retirement
Meet and stay with all my new contacts who have invited us to visit them along our year-long journey (invitations to Costa Rica, Guatemala, Florida, several though California, Oregon, and more)

Proposed route for our year-long road trip

If you have been adding to and checking off your Bucket List, I would love to see what your dreams and goals are. Please share...
xo Daina


  1. that's quite the bucket list but also quite a lot of accomplishments.

  2. That is some list... methinks you filled the Bucket and then the Well too! and the thing is, you'll be able to check off several more items before the year is out. Time flies; before you know it, you will have completed most of these, and will have added a whole lot more Dreams that Will be fulfilled :) Guess we should start thinking out our own list !!! xo md

  3. I would love to hear your bucket lists, too. Please share! It's nice to dream out loud, and I think in doing so helps you get closer to making those dreams come true... xo


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