Exploring the World: A Travel Bucket List Challenge

A wish list is essentially a list of things you want to do or achieve in your life. The term “wish list” comes from the phrase “kick the bucket”, which means to die. Therefore, a wish list includes all the different things you want to do before you die, including dreams, goals, and adventures. Visiting all seven continents is a great item on travelers' bucket list for many reasons.

It's a great way to see the world and experience different cultures, and it can also help us to think about other people from other parts of the world, examine the forces of history that have shaped our world and cultures, and be deeply concerned about the fragile environment that makes up this beautiful world. This travel bucket list challenge attempts to do all of that, it just requires a longer-term vision. After all, no one erases their entire wish list in a year. Since we usually talk about spending eighteen summers with our children before they go to college, I thought I would include 18 experiences to strive to achieve with our children. Of course, I love crossing off lists as much as any other type A personality.

But while this travel bucket list challenge takes the form of a list, I encourage you to think about the experiences you want to have with your children. Learning about history in a book is not the same as visiting the place where the historical events occurred or a museum dedicated to that topic. And in other countries of the world, we have struggled and continue to struggle with issues of equality and human rights. The civil rights road trip we took in the south left a lasting impression on our family. By visiting civil rights museums, we understood and appreciated much more the horrors and difficulties faced by civil rights activists. We also hear a lot of words and slogans that are not much different from what is part of current political rhetoric.

This made it clear that the struggle continues and that we cannot be complacent spectators, but that we must be part of the solution. The National Civil Rights Museum at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, site of the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., is one option for exploring this history. Another is the Atlanta Center for Civil and Human Rights, which is new and very well done with interactive exhibits.

Another option is the Canadian Museum of Human Rights in Winnipeg, Canada. Around the world, colonists and conquistadors have left a blood-soaked imprint on native peoples whose effects are long lasting. It is important to understand and appreciate these native cultures and to face the reality of history. There are many ways to learn about native cultures, whether it's visiting museums, attending a tribe meeting, or visiting an active town. I highly recommend visiting the National Museum of American Indians in Washington DC, DC.

And be sure to eat in the cafeteria. Nor do many history books spend much time on other genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, India and other parts of the world. If we want to avoid these horrors in the future, we need our children to understand why these events took place and to have an idea of the absolute atrocities that have been committed. It's clear that this is a topic that needs to be addressed at the right age, as some of the images and stories they'll experience can have a profound impact. Everyone should also treat these places as sacred sites out of respect for those who have lost their lives. We recently visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.

C., and we saw groups of children making their way through the crowd without respect and people taking selfies at the monument in front of the eternal flame. It was very annoying for those around me. Of course, you can also visit concentration camps, Holocaust Museums in Berlin or take a tour of Jewish history in Vienna, Budapest and many other European cities. How can we prevent future wars? Let's hope to learn about the events and actions that have led to previous wars. Visiting a battlefield or war museum might not sound like an ideal family vacation but it's important for children to immerse themselves in this story.

And it's not like a visit to Pearl Harbor is the only thing to do in Hawaii - it would include Gettysburg Battlefield, Museum of American Revolution in Yorktown Virginia (near Williamsburg and Jamestown) and Pearl Harbor as well as 9/11 Museum and Memorial in New York City. I will never forget going to lunch in Seville Spain and seeing my daughter's pride when she ordered her food completely in Spanish - those months of listening to Spanish podcast Coffee Break on our way to school finally paid off! When you go to another country but you always visit restaurants that have tourist menu translated into two or three languages you make two mistakes - firstly you're probably not eating best food secondly you haven't challenged yourself to truly immerse yourself into local culture and leave your comfort zone. I encourage all families to try some language learning with Rosetta Stone or Duolingo before traveling and don't be afraid to use what they've learned! Tropical rainforests are one of our best defenses against climate change because they absorb almost half of all greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels - however deforestation of Earth's rainforests is serious issue so it's important for us all understand why this happening.

Randall Pieroni
Randall Pieroni

Infuriatingly humble tv geek. Subtly charming pop culture aficionado. Proud food lover. General explorer. Evil music aficionado.