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What I Have Achieved on my Life List in 2018?

6 People white water rafting in a cascading torrent of foam

Updated on March 23rd, 2023

I created my Life List (Bucket List) back in 2016. Since then it has been a roadmap & helped me to grieve & heal after tragically losing my husband. Every year I review the list, so here is what I have achieved on my Life List in 2018. It includes seeing a fortune teller, taking part in a yacht race, exploring Costa Rica, Jamaica & the Cayman Islands & marking a milestone of 60 countries visited.”


Costa Rica, Cuba, Grand Cayman, St.Martin, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Antigua, Panama, Jamaica, Estonia, Finland

A World Map with numerous avatars of a blonde woman denoting these countries Costa Rica, Cuba, Grand Cayman, St.Martin, British Virgin Islands, US Virgin Islands, Antigua, Panama, Jamaica, Estonia, Finland


My Life List 2018 - 3 years in 3 minutes

In 2016 I felt I needed some direction & focus for my future so I created my Life List. It contains a combination of 117 very different tasks, challenges & places to visit. Some have been very straightforward & easy to tick off, others will take a lot longer. Over the next few weeks, I will be revamping my List. As time has progressed, I realise that some of the items no longer hold a great desire for me & others have come into my consciousness. Watch this space over the next few weeks if you’re interested to see how the list has evolved 3 years on & to see what I have achieved, check out my video!

If you would like to create your own Life or Bucket List, then don’t miss my post on Simple Bucket List Ideas for inspiration.

SueWhereWhyWhat sits striking a yoga pose at sunset on a Cuban beachWhat have I done?

So, 2018 was another big year & I can’t quite believe we’re close to the end so soon! This is what I achieved this time…

  1. Visit a Fortune Teller &
  2. Get my Tarot Cards Read
Two pictures of SueWhereWhyWhat One practising Yoga at Sunrise in Viñales, the other walking with a friend along a dirt track with a Yoga mat on their backs

In April I spent a week of self-discovery on a Yoga Retreat in Cuba. On the final day in Havana, I met with a Santeria priestess. She read my palm & tarot cards and gave me a number of predictions:

  • Romantically there was someone coming for me & he would be here soon (very exciting!).
  • I need a spiritual cleanse (still need to get on to this)…and
  • I work too hard!

I learnt that life is good for me but has not been without sacrifice. With this she was spot on – no kidding!”

If you would like to learn more – see About Me.

I learnt so much over my time at the retreat. Did you know you can really improve your balance by living on a yacht? Personally, I also learnt that it’s good to be vulnerable sometimes & how much I owe to my husband for the life I’m living now. Last but not at all least, I learnt again how much I LOVE Cuba!

  1. Skinny Dip

On the last morning of my 5-month Caribbean OdysseyI was in the Dominican Republic. I was staying in a beautiful villa with a private dock & beach, courtesy of a gorgeous family I met in Antigua. It was sunrise, there was nobody around. It was a beautiful moment as I lay on my back & watched the swallows diving & soaring above. No better way to end a life-altering trip!

  1. Visit Costa Rica Costa Rica - Taking the Quest Tour to La Fortuna, Monte Verde & Quepos with G Adventures

In March I spent a month in Costa Rica & fell in love with this gorgeous country & it’s amazing wildlife. In my time I took a week each getting to know the difference between the Pacific & Caribbean Coasts & in between took a Tour. Costa Rica brought gorgeous sunsets, zip-lining, white water rafting, canyoning, sloths, monkeys, dolphins & kayaking with caiman & turtles.

  1. Take part in a Yacht Race
SueWhereWhyWhat in red sunglasses smiling with the crew on a yacht during the St.Thomas' Regatta, USVI in the Caribbean

In the US Virgin Islands, I took part in my first regatta, STIR (St Thomas International Regatta). It was an epic achievement where I found myself living on a yacht for 3 weeks ahead of the race. I spent my time clearing everything out of the boat in preparation for the arrival of the rest of the team. My time in St Thomas was precious & I met some wonderful people who helped me in so many ways.

I was also re-educated in the joy of being part of a community which I miss immensely in this new life. We came last in the regatta, but I loved the racing experience way more than I was expecting to.”

  1. Visit 60 Countries by my 60thBirthday

I adjusted this at the end of last year to aim to get 60 by my 50th birthday. The year started by me clocking up my 53rd country in the Dominican Republic (DR). One year out the count currently stands at 63, so I think you can say this has been well & truly trounced!

From January to June I spent my time exploring the Caribbean & in so doing added Costa Rica, US Virgin Islands, British Virgin Islands, Panama, Antigua, St. Martin, Jamaica & the Cayman Islands to my tally.

The big lesson I learnt was how much more exciting & fulfilling this kind of travelling can be if you trust your guts & don’t over plan.”

I met some amazing people & had some fantastic experiences. I returned to Antigua in January 2019 to finish what I started!

The impressive domes and ornate decoration of the beautiful Alexander Nevsky Cathedral in Tallinn, Estonia
Tallinn Old Town, a guide for a short gettaway - Estonia, Europe

November bought my final tally to 63 after a week spent in Estonia & Finland. Tallinn is like nowhere I have visited before, literally feeling like you turn a corner & arrive in the 16thCentury. With a visit to the Christmas Markets, it really helped me to get into the festive spirit, even if it was VERY COLD! Helsinki is a 2-hour ferry ride from Tallinn so seemed a waste not to visit for 36 hours. This helped develop further  #100 – Explore Scandinavia & certainly made me keen to see more!

  1. Tour the Cayman Islands
A picture of the late afternoon sunset over the sea on 7 mile beach, Grand Cayman

While in Antigua I was mulling over my next move. The choice was to either keep going east to the other islands or head back west & tick off the Caymans. Over lunch with a friend it transpired that she had a potential housesitting opportunity in Grand Cayman & the dates fitted perfectly. We made a plan & the next thing I knew (via 5 flights & 5 other islands in 2 days!), I was in the Cayman Islands.

Housesitting opened up a whole other world in travel to me – looking after pets, in return for free accommodation.”

Grand Cayman was beautiful & again I plan to return. Now my friend has been living there for 9 months & next time she has promised there will be less rain!

  1. Visit Jamaica
SueWhereWhyWhat on the beach with a large Black, yellow & green sign spelling out the word Jamaica

On the way to Cayman, we stopped for 1 night in Kingston. It is not always easy to negotiate flying around the Caribbean islands without lots of stops. As my 5 months wound to a close I decided to take small hops to get back to my final destination, the Dominican Republic. I had a lot of warnings about Jamaica not being so safe for a woman travelling on her own. As a result, I splashed out on my first ever All-Inclusive Resort. I loved it! It won’t be my choice of accommodation often in the future but I can definitely see the appeal, especially when going solo.

  1. Sponsor a Child
An official picture of Mike a young African child sponsored by SueWhereWhyWhat

On my 49thbirthday I wanted to do something that was significant. As usual, I went back to my Life List for inspiration. There I found number 84. I searched on World Vision for a child with the same birthday as me. I had taken my first big world trip to Africa & it holds a very special place in my heart.

Again, fate took a hand & introduced little Mike into my life. He was born in Uganda on my birthday, 5 years ago.

How could anyone resist this adorable face? I am very excited & can’t wait to share the journey with Mike & see how he grows up over the coming years.

What Next?

As well as revamping my Life List, in 2019 I am heading for my 50th birthday. This is a milestone I am keen not to allow to go by without a bang (see #82. Monumentally Celebrate my 50thBirthday!). So, I decided that this is the year to tick off some of the more iconic events on my List. In April I head to the Galapagos Islands (# 90) & I am currently planning to Climb Mount Kilimanjaro (#10) in October.

Stay tuned for the changes I make to the List. Please leave your thoughts below on what you feel I need to add to the list & share your experiences. I’d love to hear from you!

Interested to read more?

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What I Have Achieved on my Life List in 2018?

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  1. I have a “big 0” birthday coming up. Ten years ago, at my last “X0 mile marker” I started a list of lessons learned in “XO” years. I’ve added to it each year with a big lesson learned each year. While I plan to keep up that tradition, I really love the idea of a life list. After all, bucket list is a bit overused (and kind of tragic if you think about it too much). A life list seems way more positive and carpe diem-esque. Love it!

    1. Thank you, Sage! I feel exactly the same which is why calling it a Life List is so much more meaningful for me. I love your idea of lessons learnt too & a great way to summarise your year. Thank you!

  2. Great Life List. You can make this your birthday year–and celebrate the entire year. For my 50th, I planned to go to Antarctica, but did Easter Island instead. Made it to Antarctica last year when I was 56.

    1. Sue, thank you so much! Better late than never! I have Antarctica on my plan & it may happen early next year (does that still count?). But I am planning Galapagos & climbing Kilimanjaro this year so you can look at that as celebrating the entire year! Love to hear your thoughts & advice on Antarctica & Easter Island. I’ll look it up on your blog. Thank you!

  3. It’s impressive and inspiring to see how many countries you’ve visited! You’ve had quite the life! Best of wishes to you in your future adventures to the Galapagos and Kilimanjaro.

    1. Thank you Brooke – I’ve been & still am a woman on a mission! Very excited for the adventures this year too & wish you success with your travels too!

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