Traveling Ted is a blog that takes readers along on my adventures hiking, canoeing, skiing, and international backpacking. Many blogs focus on one aspect of backpacking, but I tackle both the outdoor adventure side and international exploration as well.

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Each year at this time as we celebrate the end of a year and begin a new one, we also remember a lost friend with a subject that was dear to Anita’s heart – a bucket list. I thought of Anita a lot this year because my 2015 bucket list item took place in her home town. If not for her tragic loss, I would have been hanging out with her for a couple of days in Ottawa while I was competing in the 2015 Gatineau. I had a close friend from high school tragically take his life in 2015, so naturally it made me also miss Anita and my brother who also passed in the same manner almost 30 years ago. Here is my 2016 travel bucket list item as  well as a list from a few other travel bloggers who also miss Anita.

Jay Strohl

Tragically lost a friend in 2015, so this post is in his memory as well

2016 travel bucket list item

Ted – Traveling Ted (C’est moi)

As I mentioned above, my 2015 bucket list item was to complete a Worldloppet sanctioned cross-country 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 Canada’s capital. It was quite the grind as it took me almost 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.

2016 travel bucket list

2016 travel bucket list – Taking a break from Birkie training to enjoy the scenery at Black River State Forest in Wisconsin

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 has 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. I am off to a good start with some solid December skiing completed in the last couple of weeks in northern Wisconsin. Wish me luck.

Erin – The World Wanderer

Patagonia

2016 travel bucket list – Courtesy of Raul from ilivetotravel – Look forward to seeing Erin’s pictures when she ticks this item off her list

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

Fly fishing Florida Keys

2016 travel bucket list – Craig hopes to reel in the big one or at least have a story to tell from his new home

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.

(Photo via Captain Harp Heffernan of www.alliecatfishingcharters.com )

Lori – Central Coast NSW Australia Cycle Club

NSW Australian Cycle Club

2016 travel bucket list – Lori of the Central Coast NSW Australian Cycle Club

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

(photo is Victorian High Country Murray to the Mountain Rail Trail November 2015)

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.

Adventure on!

The goal of Traveling Ted is to inspire people to outdoor adventure travel and then provide tips on where and how to go. If you liked this post then enter your email in the box to get email notifications for each new entry. Daily travel photos are excluded from your email in order to not flood you with posts. There is no spam and email information will not be shared. Other e-follow options include Facebook (click on the like box to the right) or twitter (click on the pretty bird on the rainbow above).

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