16 June 2021

In Which She Has a Bucket List: UK Edition

When I first drafted this bucket list back in October 2019, there was no murmuring of a pandemic, no inkling of a Mr. B, and definitely no reality of actually immigrating to the UK. Some of these make me laugh now, but in promise to myself, I will continue my quest with the help of my wonderful husband who loves a good list and getting things done. As a little backstory preface, I've been visiting the United Kingdom since 2005, so in those many previous trips, a lot of amazing literary/Britishy/culinary things happened in both Wales and England. I will be writing a "done" addendum for this post soon in hopes of inspiring other travelers once I can piecemeal all the specific dates. Those early adventures were in my pre-smartphone days without photo timestamps to help my brain remember. Wish me godspeed on that task! While I had the luck to explore the Republic of Ireland with my Irish friend/housemate while I was in graduate school, I didn't have the opportunity to cross the northern UK border since there were so many things to see (castles), eat (brown bread and honey), and do (learn calmness while my friend effortlessly drove on those tiny countryside roads engulfed by hedgerows and listen to live Irish music in a pub). Then due to travel logistics, I wasn't able to include Northern Ireland (NI) on this original bucket list. So when I say Great British Bucket List, it's really "Great British Bucket List that I Could Realistically Do in 6 Months." Now that I'm a UK resident, I need to do some NI research so I can add some new bucket list things! Stay tuned!

"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

The Great British Bucket List

1. Find a fossil on the Jurassic Coast. (5.17.21)
2. Gawk at Daphne du Maurier’s house in Cornwall. (5.12.21)
3. Start and follow through with writing a book.
4. Walk to the beach in the rain. (1.28.20)
5. Go on first post-divorce date and not freak out. (2.12.20 // Post Note: So I'd say that went well!)
6. Eat Mexican Mess in Brighton. (No longer available)
7. Volunteer at the local Cats Protection charity shop. (1.9.20)
8. Glimpse the white cliffs of Dover.
9. Visit Jane Austen’s house in Chawton. (7.10.20)
10. Learn how to drive a car with manual transmission. (Tried in 1.2021, and I'm a lost cause!)
11. Bake a Victoria Sponge cake.
12. Find a gluten-free Chelsea bun.
13. Visit the Scottish Highlands. (12.30.19)
14. Get a UK phone number. (11.25.19)
15. Join board game night at a pub. (2.4.20)
16. Find a way to like tea. (1.20.20)
17. Take a gardening workshop. (2.8.20)
18. Have a Turkish bath in Harrogate. (6.28.21)
19. Eat cheddar cheese in Cheddar.
20. See puffins at Bempton Cliffs.
21. Collect sea glass on Seahawks Beach.
22. Wander in the Hundred Acre Wood. (3.7.20)
23. Eat Thai food in a bookshop in Hastings.
24. Visit the only desert in England.
25. Drive on the opposite side of the road and survive. (In progress)
26. Try to learn the various regional accents and from where they come. (Ongoing!)
27. Attend an event that requires wearing a fascinator.
28. Find and pick a local fruit and make something with it. (6.4.20)
29. Love on the “unwanted and abandoned” rescue donkeys on Isle of Wight. (1.21.20)
30. Ride the Hogwarts Express. (Seen 1.4.20)
31. Go horseback riding in Reading.
32. Pretend to be in a storybook in the Cotswolds. (7.25.20)
33. Go star gazing. (1.1.20)
34. Stroll down Mermaid Street in Rye. (11.16.21)
35. Figure out Sunday Roast and have one. (1.7.20)
36. Explore the Yorkshire Moors and Dales. (6.28.21)
37. Visit the free-roaming wild reindeer in the Cairngorms National Park.
38. Do Canterbury, finally.
39. See a Shakespeare play at The Globe.
40. Experience a local cinema. (2.16.20)
41. Have tea with naughty sheep in Scotland. (6.10.22)
42. Do something out of the norm for New Year’s Eve (aka not fall asleep on the couch). (12.31.19)
43. Get a local Brighton library card. (12.5.19)
44. Find a personal local cause and donate. (12.16.19)
45. Stay in an adorable pre-19th century cottage.
46. Go to a flower show.
47. Take Pickles Barrington on a train ride. (12.20.19)
48. Buy a used bicycle for local riding.
49. Keep track of at-home cooking successes. (Ongoing!)
50. Just live in every moment. (Ongoing!)

Non-Original Bucket List Things Equally British and Noteworthy

51. Get married to my Mr. B in a 16th century English walled garden. (5.30.21) 52. See the Cobb in Lyme Regis and pretend to be a Jane Austen character in Persuasion. (5.17.21) 53. Visit Tintagel Castle of Arthurian legend. (5.14.21) 54. Witness the retirement home of Sherlock Holmes in East Dean. (4.7.21) 55. Feed a baby lamb and all the sheeps. (4.8.22) 56. Get a UK driver's license. (In progress) 57. Find and eat a gluten-free Cornish pasty. (5.13.21) 58. Frolic through Brontë Country. (6.27.21)
59. Explore Beatrix Potter's farm. (9.20.22)

This post will be frequently updated with the date as each one gets accomplished. Here’s to adventure and trying new things in 2020 and beyond!