A whirlwind adventure: 50 for 50


On February 8, 2018, I turned 49. Many people thought I was turning 50 and asked how I planned to celebrate. I knew a party would be a given, but as I thought about it, I realized I wanted something more. Looking at the 40 to 50 years to come if I'm lucky, I want to make sure I will continue living with gusto and not complacency.

A month before, I learned that I wasn't selected to be The New York Times' reporter to travel to 52 places in 2018. This was not a huge shock — they received 13,000 applications! — but the rejection stung. I had wanted this role and knew I would have kicked some serious ass doing it. I wasn't interested in taking a year off to mimic it, but it did inspire me to create my own list: 50 places I've never visited that I will travel to in my 49th and 50th years.

By taking on this commitment I'm saying "yes" again to living big and following my heart and a big "no" to multiple weekends laying on my couch and binging on Netflix. Coming up with my list was surprisingly challenging as I want it be realistic in terms of time and finances and also be sure it will force me to stay on my toes to make it happen.

So here's my list. I plan to meet up with friends along the way — let me know where I'll be meeting you!

Here's to a life well lived now and well into the future. 

  1. Skydive somewhere! (eeek!!!)

  2. Morocco, Marrakesh - October 2018

  3. Morocco, Erg Chebbi dunes - October 2018

  4. Morocco, Chefchaouen - September 2018

  5. Morocco, Fez - October 2018

  6. Iceland, Reykjavik - February 2018

  7. Iceland, Blue Lagoon - February 2018

  8. Iceland, ice cave tour - amazing! - February 2018

  9. Iceland, Northern Lights - alas, they didn’t appear, but we snorkled at Silfra between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates - February 2018

  10. Finland, Helsinki

  11. Finland, Loyly sauna - changed it to Havana, Cuba! - December 2018

  12. Estonia, Tallinn - seeming ambitious. Went with Vinales, Cuba instead - December 2018

  13. Russia, St Petersburg, Hermitage

  14. Russia, St Petersburg, Peterhof or Catherine's Palace

  15. Russia, Moscow, Red Square

  16. Russia, Moscow, the Kremlin

  17. Kauai, kayak the Na Pali coast - July 2018

  18. Kauai, Waimea Canyon - July 2018

  19. Kauai, birding at Kilauea National Wildlife Refuge - boring so changed to Secret Beach - July 2018

  20. Boston, Massachusetts, Freedom Trail

  21. Boston, Massachusetts, Harborwalk

  22. Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts,

  23. Provincetown, Massachusetts,

  24. Horseshoe Bend, near Page, Arizona

  25. Antelope Canyon, Arizona

  26. Vermilion Cliffs National Monument, Arizona

  27. North Rim of Grand Canyon, Arizona

  28. Sedona, Arizona

  29. Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico

  30. White Sands National Monument, New Mexico

  31. Olympic National Park, Washington

  32. Canada, Vancouver Island, Tofino - not easy to get to! Went with Trinidad, Cuba instead - December 2018

  33. Portland, Oregon, WDS stage as attendee story! - June 2018 but as bollywood dancer!

  34. Lassen National Park, California

  35. Pinnacles National Park, California - March 2018

  36. Celebrate my dad's 80th somewhere great!

  37. Sierra Hot Springs, Sierraville, California - looked skanky so switched to the Alhambra in Grenada, Spain - October 2018

  38. Farallon Islands, California - September 2018

  39. Andrew Molera State Park, Big Sur, California

  40. Esalen Insitute workshop, Big Sur, California - June 2018

  41. Alamere Falls, Point Reyes National Seashore, California

  42. Pie Ranch for a barn dance, Pescadero, California

  43. San Francisco tiki bar bar crawl - September 2018

  44. Bike the Bay Bridge

  45. UC Berkeley Botanical Gardens - March 2018

  46. On location TBD to tape my 3rd Amazing Race application! Who’s coming with me? - who am I kidding? too much travel this year! Switched it to Seville, Spain - October 2018

  47. An alternative medicinal center

  48. Go-with-the-flow location - Edna Valley and Paso Robles wine tasting - March 2018

  49. Surprise-the-hell-out-of-me place - helicopter ride in Kauai - July 2018

  50. Last-chance-for-50-for-50!!!