In 2013, the travel blogging world lost Anita Mac, and many of us lost a friend. Anita inspired each of us in different ways with her huge, welcoming smile, eagerness to help, colorful fashion sense, as well as a shoulder to cry on and a willingness to comfort and listen. For many of us, Anita comes to mind almost daily, but most often during our travels, so each year since her death, our goal has been to honor her in some way. We want to pick up where she left off, as her blog focused on bucket list travel, so we are going to dedicate an item from our own bucket list to her during 2016.
We hope this reminds our readership of the wonderful world we live in, how we can all experience it, and how fragile life can be. For Anita, we pledge this for 2016:
Erin – The World Wanderer (That’s me!)
After two years of putting on my bucket list that I would honor Anita by going to India, it finally happened, and I’m glad it happened the way it did. I was able to spend seven weeks in the country, four of which were spent reflecting and gaining a better connection with my mind, body, and soul. This is something I think Anita would have been proud of, and I know she would have adored Rishikesh, especially as there were plenty of bucket list worthy activities.
This year, I have a ton of to-do’s on my list, especially with my new lifestyle, and I have had a hard time narrowing it down. But, I thought about Anita and what would be the best way to honor her, and suddenly my choice was easy. While in India, a few of my new friends and I decided that next autumn, we want to hike in Patagonia together. What better way to honor Anita than with a trek through natural beauty? I know that she’ll be with me in spirit, as she always is when I travel.
Vanessa – TurnipseedTravel.com
I was always in awe of all the cool and stylish things Anita collected throughout her travels. She had the most amazing clothes and her suitcase was always filled with interesting things. She had such an eye for color and never failed to dress up for a special event.
I usually avoid shopping when I travel. Who am I kidding – I usually avoid it all costs! I always feel like my efforts would pale in comparison to someone who had such a natural knack for it and I’ve never had the kind of confidence Anita did when it came to doing it all over the world. I once saw her stop a woman in the streets of Montreal to ask for directions – in French! – and then continue on the conversation – still in French! – to get information on where the woman found her dress. I’d still be circling the same four streets looking for the bus stop!
Sometimes I approach travel as an ordeal to survive but Anita always approached it as an experience to savor. She found beauty in the smallest things, from a riot of color in an otherwise utilitarian pair of travel sneakers to a short conversation with a stranger. My resolution is to learn from Anita’s example of travel moxie and to put myself out there and summon up a bit more confidence when I travel.
Craig Zabransky – StayAdventurous.com
Last year I accomplished one of my past Anita bucket list travel goals and led my first ever tour – Stay AdvenTours to Mexico City. I also finally did something I always wanted to try as well. On my adventures to the Adirondacks of New York, I waded deep in the Au Sable River and fly fished for the first time. Magical.
Now as I exchanged one island (Manhattan) for another and relocated to the Florida Keys, my goal for 2016 is to not just fly fish, but head to the back country and catch me a fish on a fly rod. Well even if I don’t catch a fish, I know the experience will be amazing and enable me to “dive” deeper into the paradise I now call home.
2015 was a year of island and cycling adventures. As we herald in 2016 we are thinking of Anita and all the fun she had. In her honour we hope to climb Mount Fuji and see Japan, amongst other Asian destinations. Wish us luck with our New Year’s Bucket List! Lori, Greg and Central Coast NSW Australian Cycle friends
Ted – Traveling Ted
My 2015 bucket list item was to complete a Worldloppet sanctioned cross-country ski marathon in a different country as I already have three American Birkebeiners under my belt. I competed in the Canadian Gatineau, which takes place in the town in Quebec with the same name just across the Ottawa River from the Canadian capital city, Ottawa. It was quite the grind as it took me over six hours in sub zero conditions that resulted in a touch of frostbite on my face, but I did finish. I also ticked off visiting the Amazon River in Colombia this past November off my list.
This year I think I may take it a bit easy. In fact, as of the publish time of this post, I have no idea what bucket list item I want to tick off in 2016. I am going to have to stop writing for a moment and think of something.
Thought of something – as noted earlier, I have skied three American Birkebeiner cross-country ski marathons in Hayward, Wisconsin. This February will be my fourth. My times in the race have been 5:54, 5:31, and 5:34. My goal for this year and my 2016 travel bucket list item is to ski a sub five hour Birkie. The odds are not good as not only am I getting older, they increased the distance from 54 kilometers to 55 since the last time I raced two years ago. I am off to a good start with some solid December skiing completed in the last couple of weeks in northern Wisconsin. So much for taking it easy – wish me luck!
Join us and also reach out to people to share some love
We encourage you to join us in this quest and take on at least one Bucket List item in 2016, but more importantly, we also hope you take the opportunity to (re)connect with friends and loved ones during this holiday season and throughout the year.
The purpose for writing this post is not only to inspire others to travel the world and explore, but as a way for us to remind all of you who are reading this post to look around you, see who you can reach out to and possibly help reach their goals and feel supported and loved. Our friend and fellow traveler, Anita took her life because she didn’t see any other options, we don’t want anyone else to feel that way.
Please share the momentum.