The List

I make lists for everything. I don’t claim to be an overly organized person, or even a very busy one, but I love the feeling of crossing off each item when it’s done. If you were to flip through the pages of my planner, I’ll admit you might find such girly things as “paint nails” and “get a haircut,” as well as important meeting dates and deadlines, but even the menial ones feel like an accomplishment once the pen strikes it.

Naturally, I also have a bucket list. This will probably be an ever-growing list, and each experience I master will surely breed more, but I wouldn’t continue to make lists if I wanted them to end.

“That’s the real trouble with the world, too many people grow up.”         ~Walt Disney

  • Publish an essay in a major magazine
  • Publish an essay in The New York Times
  • Publish anything in National Geographic
  • Write and publish a book
  • Be fluent in Spanish
  • Skydive
  •  Study abroad
  • Learn a third language (Thai? Italian? German?)
  • Raft the Grand Canyon
  • Learn to swing dance properly
  • Make my own wine
  •  Own a dog
  •  Go Parasailing
  • Ride a camel
  •  Swim with dolphins
  • Successfully hike the North Sister
  •  Ride a scooter in Asia
  •  Ride an elephant
  • Touch a zebra
  •  Travel alone
  • Be successful and happy
  • Practice yoga in India
  •  Own a pet monkey (I didn’t actually own one….)
  • Wake up with a view of the mountains every morning.
  •  Sleep on the beach and watch the sunrise
  • Ride a hot air balloon
  •  Dance in the middle of the street
  • Earn a master’s degree…
  • …and then a doctorate (the master’s is making me second guess this one)
  • See a flash mob
  • Go skinny dipping
  •  Get a Thai massage
  • Run with penguins in Antarctica
  • Do a home exchange
  • Host a couchsurfer
  • Honeymoon for a year
  • Create a family of my own
  •  Go scubadiving
  • Take off on a long, unplanned road trip with someone I love
  • Have a meaningful career that benefits others
  • Fall unquestionably in love

“It costs nothing to dream and everything not to.” – A quote I found in a public bathroom.



  1. shaheena82 says:

    a kindred spirit – i’m leaving end of the year to teach english in thailand.

    • jessicajhill says:

      I couldn’t be more excited for you! You are going to have the time of your life. Did yu go through an agency? Do you know where you will be living? Ask away if you have any questions. I’m flattered you found my blog.

  2. shaheena82 says:

    Yes I am going through an agency. Not sure where I will be living yet. But I’m thinking Chiang Mai – unless you would suggest somewhere else. I’m not particularly fussy, I just want an experience of a lifetime. I will definitely send you more question if I have which I am sure I will. really love your blog.

    • jessicajhill says:

      Chiang Mai is wonderful. I could see myself enjoying teaching there, but for a first experience I’m really glad I was sent to the northeast (in hindsight, of course). I’m sure wherever you go, you’ll love it as long as you take time to get to know the locals. They are amazing people. Good luck, or choke dee, as they say here!

  3. “Have a meaningful career that benefits others” Exactly what I’m looking for too 🙂

  4. Karen says:

    Just beginning this process I never thought was possible given my circumstances. Circumstances change though…how wonderful! Congratulations on your surprise blog award.

    I have met several people from South Korea and found them to be wonderful. I am just beginning to think about teaching abroad somewhere. Do you recommend an agency?

    Enjoy your blog (first time) very much!

  5. Laura says:

    Hey, I found your blog yesterday, and just wanted to comment on how inspirational I’ve found it! I really enjoy your writing style and as a fellow esl teacher, travel bee and one who would fight you for Thailands affections, I feel I can really relate to you and your travels! I’ve been planning on beginning my blog since last June when I returned from my first bout of Asian travels, but I have let mental blocks barricade me from doing so and you’ve really inspired me to get it started! So thank you very much, I look forward to reading more of your stories! Best wishes, Laura 🙂

    • jessicajhill says:

      Wow, Laura – I’m so happy to hear I managed to inspire you! I was a little scared when I first started as well, afraid of what people might think/say/do about my writing. It makes it easier if you just tell yourself that nobody will read it at all…and soon enough you’ll be annoyingly addicted to viewing your stats in hopes of breaking records for number of page views 😉 Let me know when it’s up – I’d love to check it out!

  6. Eric says:

    Thank you for sharing that inspiring, if daunting, list.

  7. Hi! Great list! (I left a comment on your old site, because I found the list and commented before taking a look at your last post over there that said you moved.)

    We have many list items in common. It seems like you’re making great progress!

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