2016 Adventure Bucket List

Cotopaxi, an outdoor gear company that also funds poverty alleviation, reached out to me recently and asked me to share my upcoming adventurous goals for 2016. As a part of their Year of Adventure initiative, Cotopaxi works hard to encourage people to “do good” and to inspire more adventure in people’s lives. I hope this bucket list offers even more inspiration to all you fellow wayfarers!


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1. Visit my 30th State in the US. 

In March I’m presenting a paper at a convention in Minnesota. While I’ve flown into Minneapolis-St. Paul three or four times, I’ve never really counted them as actual visits. It’ll be quite the adventure to actually leave the airport and explore a new city and state. Also, I can’t believe I only have 20 States left to go– maybe I’ll make it a goal to visit them all before I’m 25!

2. Backpack through England and Scotland.

I’ve been planning for this trip since I was seventeen, and I get more and more excited with each passing day. My trusted Patagonia backpack is sitting under my bed waiting to be tossed into action.  My Pinterest boards are full of “must see” sights and “must visit” places. My functional but fashionable hiking books are begging to be put to the test. Basically, I’m 110% read to spend three weeks romping about the English country side and exploring Scottish castles.

3.Get a picture with the family castle. 

Speaking of castles… As a member of the Irwin clan, I’m fairly determined to reach Aberdeenshire, Scotland so I can make a visit to Drum Castle. It’s an event that I’ll certainly want to document with stereotypical, cliche travel photos; however, it’s not every day that you get to visit the long standing family castle.

4.  Stay at my first hostel.

I’m probably more excited about this particular aspect about my UK backpacking/study abroad tour than anything. Hostels have always intrigued me, and I’m looking forward to experiencing a stay for myself. Perhaps next on the list will be Couchsurfing…? Which would probably require another trip to Europe… hmmmm…

5. Family backpacking  expedition. 

This particular trip has been in the works for a year; though, I think we might be swapping New Mexico for Colorado… Either way, my family of five will be taking off on a 2-3 day backpacking trip after my return from the UK. It’ll be fun to see how long my sisters survive without their phones, and it has been far too long since my family has taken an extensive camping trip. If you ask me, though, the mountains are always calling!

6. Take an off road jeeping trip. 

On New Years, my boyfriend’s family and I went jeeping in the mountains along with several couples from their church. It had been a long time since I had done anything like that, and I had forgotten just how fun it could be. Sadly, when we went, we never got off road because of the 18+ inches of snow. This summer and fall, I’m planning to spend much more time in the mountains.

Ready for adventure but need some gear to get you started? Jump over to Cotopaxi  to order a free, complementary sticker of Cotopaxi’s signature llama emblem and to receive a 15% off code for outdoor gear and apparel!



10 thoughts on “2016 Adventure Bucket List

  1. Thanks for sharing your adventure list! I’m new to hostelling (stayed in 2 in the US so far) and I think my biggest tip would be to bring a flexible cable lock instead of a U-shaped padlock. This way you can put it through pretty much any size loop on lockers, zipper pulls, etc. The first hostel I stayed in would never have fit my padlock so I’m glad I had cable lock instead (The one I use is the Lewis N. Clark TSA Cable Lock). Good luck on your bucket list! 🙂


  2. As a Minneapolis-dweller, I love that this is on your list! Actually, if I’m guessing correctly, the convention you’re going to might even be at my alma mater! If you have any questions about getting around the city or want any ideas for things to do during your stay, let me know! 🙂


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