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What is on your “Life List”, “Your Bucket List”?

What is on your “Life List”, “Your Bucket List”?

I was a first year university student when I heard the famous explorer John Goddard speak in Pasadena, CA and ignite my passion for lifelong learning, adventure, and travel.  His message for life had such an impact on me that I made my first “Life List” that night.  A simple list of things I wanted to see, and experience in my life time;  to climb the statue of Liberty, see the Kentucky Derby, feel the spray of Niagara Falls and travel the Panama Canal.

Mr. Goddard said, “When he was growing up as young boy he often heard older people say with regret that they hadn’t done the things in life they wanted to and life had passed them by and he was determined not to let that happen to him.” At age 15 he made his first “Life List” of 127 goals he wanted to accomplish in his life time, some as simple as learning to type to as adventurous as climbing Mt Everest.  So passionate was Goddard about encouraging each of us to making our own “Life List” that 60 years later I am still keeping and living my “Life List.”  Each time I check something off I add something new.  In 2012 it was a visit to S. Africa and last year the Calgary Stampede.

At the time you read this I will be accomplishing another one of my life goals, that of travelling through the Panama Canal. I will be taking this journey with Wells Gray Tours on the Second Annual President’s Cruise.  I have dreamed of this trip for 48 years when I first listed it on my life list.

I remember studying about the engineering challenges, the high mortality rate due to disease and the years 33 years that it took to build it and connect the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.  At the time I take this trip John Goddard will have been departed from this world for just under a year but it is his gift to dream big, live big and travel far that lives on in my heart as I take this journey.

Goddard was once quoted as saying, “It’s ridiculous to tippy-toe through life.”  For me and I am sure for many others that heard Mr. Goddard speak,  we are not tippy-toeing through life but living it to the fullest and accomplishing those items on our own “Life Lists” or if you prefer the more trendy and popular “Bucket List.”  What a legacy for life this amazing adventure and explorer has left for the world.

The song, “Digging the Panama Canal” is the digger’s song.  The folk song about Panama Canal construction by Jack B. Hood with a performance by The Chiva Bus Bluegrass Band can be heard and viewed by clicking on the

In 2015 I plan to check off another item on my Life List when I take Wells Gray Tours Third Annual President’s Cruise to the Norwegian Fjords and the Artic.  What’s on your “Life List/Bucket List” and when is your next adventure?

Written by: Joan Niemeier

Wally on his way to the Panama Canal!

panama airport

The Wells Gray group in Fort Lauderdale

panama cheers