“I haven’t been everywhere, but it is on my list.”

— Susan Sontag

As far as I know I will have only one go around on this earth, and my time is limited.

This quote, “I haven’t been everywhere, but it is on my list,” speaks to the fact that all of us need to explore as much as we can in this life!

We should all have a list of events and places that we would love to see! Given our time and money, it would be exciting to cross them off whenever we can.

I have been to the U.S. Open Tennis Championships and the U.S. Open Golf Championships, but Wimbledon and the Masters Golf tournament are still on my list. I have been to an Elton John Concert, but I never got to see Michael Jackson or the Beatles. There are 50 states in the union and there are still 20 states that I have never visited. I have been to Canada and Mexico but never Europe.

One of the great things in life is that we are all different, and we each have different passions! I have this saying, “I will never die on Mount Everest because I will never climb Mount Everest!” But there is someone reading this right now who, unlike me, has Mount Everest on their list of things to do!

I have a friend who has accomplished the goal of playing golf in each of the 50 states! I have a daughter who wants to attend a Major League Baseball game in each of the parks around the country! She still has quite a few left to go! There are a number of people who want to go to every national park in the country! I can tell you that the Grand Canyon was well worth the trip! Seeing it in person will change the way you think about the earth and the importance of our role in preserving it!

William Langewiesche wrote, “So much of who we are is where we have been.” I am not the same person I was in high school. Since then, college, grad school and various career choices have taken me to different parts of the country which allowed me to meet different people and see different places. Those experiences opened my eyes to a world that a high school boy would never understand.

So, here is a challenge: make a list! Decide which events and places you want to see! Mine might include hiking part of the Appalachian Trail, going to a Super Bowl, or seeing a Garth Brooks concert. With the pandemic, a trip to Europe may have to be put on hold, but there are a number of things to do and see that are closer to home and can be done on a limited budget. In Cleveland there is the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, in Michigan you could camp in the Upper Peninsula, and Toledo, Indianapolis and Detroit all have great zoos.

Ultimately, your life will be defined by the events and places that you had a chance to experience. Enjoy!

Bill Maddock is providing this series on the power of words. We are all inspired by what other people have said, whether those words were spoken by a famous athlete, world leader, or possibly your grandma.

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