Monday, 11 March 2013

Listmania 8: Reverse Bucket List

I have to admit I was not entirely sure how to go about this post. I have not had the most exciting life ever. I am quite widely travelled I guess and have lived in a few interesting places but I still feel there is just so much more I would like to achieve.

Post image for Listmania eight: Reverse bucket list 

Overseas Experiences

  • My parents, who had never been further than Australia, moved our family to Singapore when I was 8. What was supposed to be a 2 year  experience turned into a nearly 20 year love affair with Singapore for my parents and an enduring second home for all members of my family.
  • Travelling all around South East Asia on dodgy buses, no name airlines and cockroachy trains in the 80s. One trip we went on consisted of 24 hours on a bus to reach a city in Southern Thailand that turned out to be the red light capital of the region. Eek! Did I mention we had our 80 something year old Nana on this trip too?
  • Travelling to the UK and France as a 15 year old on my own. I had a great 5 week trip visiting York, Bath, London, Derbyshire and Paris. I spent some of the time staying with friends but much of it I was on my own staying in B and Bs and hostels. 
  • Finding a great travel companion in a work colleague when I lived in Singapore as a teacher at an international school. We went all over the place and it was great to go with someone who was happy to do their own thing and not bothered if you had a pool day or went off to a market without them while they had a massage. I have especially fond memories of a trip to Vietnam with her.
  • Our babymoon to the US. It was just supposed to be a holiday but we found out we were expecting shortly after we booked the trip (to take our minds off nearly 4 years of trying for baby). I was 18 - 20 weeks pregnant and we drove from LA up to San Fran through Yosemite National Park and Death Valley down to Vegas and back across to LA. Amazing trip that I would do again in a heartbeat although I am not so sure that Miss Three would cope with all the driving. Oh and we did a day trip to the Grand Canyon (self driven) too. We saw a lot of the country and got to see the Killer live in Vegas. It was magic.
  • Family holidays to Phuket around Christmas with my family on the years we didn't go back to NZ. We have introduced the same thing with my family now and I love seeing Miss Three enjoying the same food, clear water and amazing hospitality that was part of my childhood.
  • Living in Singapore for the third time with my family (ie hubby, daughter and me) and experiencing a very different Singapore from that I had experienced in the past. Singapore as a SAHM is a very different kettle of fish from Singapore as a single woman or a child/teen. It was always the dream for my imaginary children to get to have a similar childhood to myself and circumstances have conspired to make it a reality. I am very blessed.
  • Visiting Japan - a country I had no interest in (in spite of having a Japanese husband) and falling in love with it.


  •  Getting to attend an international school for a big chunk of my education. The best part is the acceptance of different cultures it gave my siblings and I from a young age. I am still in touch with lots of friends from this period of my life and see someone from my old school at least once a year either on our travels or theirs.
  • Going to boarding school. I loathed every second of it but I have some amazing friends to this day as a result of the 13 months I lasted there.
  • Being able to discover what I really enjoyed at Uni. Fees were low enough that when I discovered I really did not like law I was able to change and complete a history degree without it being a hugely expensive mistake.
  • Teacher training in spite of having said (as the daughter of two teachers ) that I would never do it. It is a skill that is so useful and transferable and now that I am thinking about working again is something that offers enough flexibility to be able to work and spend time with my family.
  • Insurance qualifications. It sounds like the driest topic ever but I loved getting my quals. I miss insurance way more than teaching but it does not work well with a family.

Real Life

  • Going way out of my comfort zone for one day and meeting my husband.
  • Throwing caution to the wind and getting engaged after having spent less than five weeks in the same place as my husband
  •  Changing careers so we could live together - it seemed like such a huge step but I found a career I loved just as much and we were in the same place!
  • Overcoming significant family traumas including the deaths of three of our parents, being in Japan during the big quake 2 years ago and losing friends in the Christchurch quakes and becoming even stronger as a couple as a result.
  • Thriving after the shock diagnosis of a life threatening chronic health condition when we thought hubby was just a bit run down. It has certainly made us take more chances and live our lives more fully.
  • Giving up on the idea of having children after 4 years of unexplained infertility only to conceive the week before we went back to the specialist to see what else could be done. Miss Three was so worth the wait.
This has been such a great exercise in gratitude. I have had so many extraordinary opportunities in my life and more than a little bit of luck. I would love to see you take part in this week's link up at Home Life Simplified

Have a super week!


  1. Great list! Yep I'm a daughter of 2 teachers too and vowed not to become a teacher, only because I didn't want to do the same thing as my parents. I sometimes wish I did do it - teachers are so necessary and useful!

  2. A great list and such wonderful achievements. I am the daughter of a nurse and I always said I didn't want to be a nurse either but I did. I think teaching might be more versatile though.

  3. Great list Claire. Much more interesting than my life!

  4. I am in awe of your real life experiences. xxx Rae

  5. Love the travel list, but especially love the real life list. Wow, to have met your husband on a day that may not have normally occurred, is amazing. And your baby!? That is so precious. xx

  6. Beautiful list! Your daughter is going to grow up with so many wonderful insights into different cultures, how wonderful. Thank you for giving us this glimpse into your life. When I read your first Listmania, I wondered how you ended up in Singapore and it is an amazing story!

  7. Sounds like you have much to be thankful for and you've had such great experiences so far!

  8. Amazing list Claire - have you written about your hubby and you falling in love etc - i would love to hear all about that! Amazing too about Miss 3 after all that time - what a blessing

  9. Amazing list Claire, what a life (& so much more to come), I've got tears in my eyes from the Miss 3 part.

  10. Wow Claire, you have had such a full life so far. So happy for you that you have Miss 3 :)

  11. Wow what amazing stories and I think I beg to differ, your life sounds very exciting to me!