When I talk to people about their bucket list, it’s usually filled with dream vacations and/or once in a lifetime adventures. Stuff like when my 60 year old friend Judy and my 28 year old daughter Rachel recently fulfilled their 15 year old bucket list item, skydiving.
And while Judy and Rachel were thrilled with the outcome of their bucket list check-off, that isn’t necessarily the case with other individuals. Midlifers who are looking forward to spending their retirement years chasing bucket list items might be disappointed.
Dr. Marc E. Agronin, a geriatric psychiatrist and author of the book, How We Age, recently noted in a Wall Street Journal article, “As (retirees) travel the world to soak up experiences, too many seniors inevitably lose track of what really matters – their connections to family, friends and community. They feel like strangers in their own homes. Eventually, the bucket list becomes something of an addiction: The high from an adventure doesn’t last, so seniors find themselves piling on experiences to keep the thrills coming, further alienating them from real life back home.” Dr. Agronin had a suggestion to get out of this trap: “Retirees should think about using all the advantages that make a bucket list possible, such as wealth and vigor, to build something much deeper and more meaningful. Instead of taking a dream vacation to chase fleeting thrills, they should use their time to create something more lasting instead—whether that means building bonds with family or their community or reimagining travel adventures as an opportunity to share experiences and wisdom with grandchildren.”
That is great advice not only for retirees but for anyone with a bucket list.A meaningful #bucketlist is more than thrills & adventures. It can also have opportunities to serve & grow #TravelDeep #ImpactTravel @fathom Click To Tweet
I know personally the joy that comes from looking outward from myself and giving back to others. So that’s why I’m excited to take the opportunity to experience this impact + travel bucket list idea firsthand. I will be boarding a Fathom™ cruise ship in Miami, Florida and sailing to the Dominican Republic where for 3 days, I will be able to give back to the local community before sailing back to the United States.
Three years ago, Fathom™ President Tara Russell shared an idea with Carnival Corporation CEO Arnold Donald around the merging of big business and social impact. The result was travel with a purpose– a new way to travel that merges the best of curiosity, discovery, adventure and connection. Currently, Fathom travels to two destinations, the Dominican Republic and now, beginning in 2016, they are the first cruise ship authorized to go Cuba.
The cruise lasts for one week on the modern 704-passenger Adonia. Of course there will be the leisure moments, creature comforts and time for recreation associated with cruising. Also during the time at sea, I will be learning about building a community with my fellow travelers as I participate in on-board activities designed specifically to prepare me for my on-ground impact experience. The ship will dock in Amber Cove for 3 days. While I am on the ground, I will be working alongside local community members on carefully chosen projects focused on improving educational, environmental, and economic conditions in the Dominican Republic.
When our work – and discovering – in the Dominican Republic is over, the ship will take 2 days to sail back to the Port of Miami.
Dr. Agronin observed, “Some of our dearest pursuits bring the most meaning and joy because they are done for others. Being mindful of our motives and our legacy enables us to see ourselves as part of a bigger picture that extends beyond our own lifetime.” Fathom is providing just the kind of big picture opportunity for a more meaningful midlife bucket list.
While this is a bucket list item was one I didn’t know I wanted to have, I can’t wait to experience it. I am looking really looking forward to this “journey of a different kind,” making an impact as I experience an unfamiliar culture.
If you want to learn more about Fathom™ and their limited time offer for two to cruise for the price of one to the Dominican Republic, visit their website.
What’s on your bucket list?