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Is this Paradise or Gilligan’s?

**Please enjoy this guest blog post from my daughter Michelina.**

Hi there! Michelina, here. Last week my mom talked about creating your Ultimate Bucket List. I want to share my experience with you about recently crossing something off of my bucket list. 

 I’ve always wanted to camp on the beach. I did a Google search for “remote beaches” and Cumberland Island National Seashore was on a list somewhere. It’s a 17.5-mile-long island off the coast of Georgia that restricts access to 300 people daily. The only way on or off the island is by boat, no paved roads, beautiful wild horses and beaches where you are the only person there. Sounds perfect for a socially-distanced vacation, right? Sign me up! 

I picked a campsite 3.5 miles away from the ferry dock, and we would have to backpack to our campsite. No problem! I’ve done distances farther than that! However, I made a key mistake wearing new shoes to hike in, and they were the *only* shoes I had. I got some pretty bad blisters, and my feet were just wrecked. I came home with 83 mosquito bites minus the two on my forehead that already went away. I didn’t realize how bad mosquito season is this time of year in the Maritime Forest in Georgia. I came home covered in scratches and bruises and bumps. I was really out of my comfort zone on this one, I was physically uncomfortable. 

📷Benjamin Little

But I also saw dolphins frolicking in the waves. I met a herd of wild ponies, alone, in the middle of the night. I ate breakfast at sunrise on the beach with my love. We were the only people for miles. I played in the ocean every single day and went to sleep to the sound of the waves crashing on the beach every night. I learned a couple of things during this experience:

  1. Manage your expectations. Especially when doing something you’ve always wanted to do. You’re going to hype up this thing in your mind so much because you’ve done all the research, and you’re super excited. I got so excited, I forgot to spray bug repellant before we hiked the 3.5 miles through the forest to our campsite. Just remember, adventure ain’t easy. It’s most likely not going to go exactly as you planned. There might not be as many Instagram-worthy moments as you were hoping. You might get a few bumps and bruises along the way. Whether it’s writing a book or surfing or camping on the beach. There’s going to be writer’s block, and sand in your eye and 83 mosquito bites.

  2. Embrace the suck, there is beauty on the other side. To get the things you want, achieve your goals, and cross stuff off your bucket list, you might have to suffer a little bit. To get to the top of the mountain, you’re going to have to do quite a bit of hiking. You might get blisters. You’ll probably think about quitting. If learning a language is on your bucket list, you’re going to get some words wrong. You’re going to get corrected. You’re going to forget to practice, and all of those missteps that come before you’re able to say you’ve done it. When you finally get to the top, when you’re finally speaking and understanding fluently, it will be because you stumbled, that success feels so good.  

📷Benjamin Little

Keep adding to your bucket list. Learn to surf, hang glide, learn a language, bungee jump, rock climb, camp on the beach, write a book, herd cattle. I’m not sure what you have on there, but keep moving through it. Know that you can’t be certain if it’s all going to be worth it in the end, and your feelings about whatever it is may change. But you’ll always have the experience and the journey. You’ll learn so much about yourself, and you’ll find out exactly what you’re capable of. 

📷Benjamin Little

Make today amazing because you are amazing!


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