Earn a Living by Pursuing your Bucket List

CONTRIBUTED BY LESLEY CARTER of Bucket List Publications

How would you like to earn a living by pursuing your Bucket List? That’s what Lesley Carter of Bucket List Publications decided she wanted her life to be – and that’s exactly what she’s now doing! She has an inspiring story of quick action and focused dedication to share…

Flying a bi-plane

Flying a bi-plane

My Life Before Designing the Life I WANTED

I was a high school English teacher for eight years. I coached volleyball, basketball, and soccer after school – and taught ESL and tutored on the side to help pay for my holiday travels.

A typical day included going to work, coaching, and then teaching some more. I was busy, but it was all to pay for my travels and the better things in life I wanted to enjoy – so it made me happy.

In short, I was busy and I was also content. For most people, I suppose that’s enough. Most people think that ‘content’ is all they can hope to be and if they’re ‘content’ then they’re doing pretty well.

I decided that life was too short for me to be happy with simply being ‘content.’ I wanted more.

What’s Better Than ‘Content?’

I dreamed about traveling but was limited to the summer and school breaks. Now, I’m still excessively busy but the word ‘content’ is no longer in my vocabulary. My life is better than my wildest expectations!



I’m now not only both a mother and a wife, which I love, but I’ve built the life I’ve wanted. I am no longer just ‘content.’ I’m now a writer and a world traveler. I’m a Bucket List seeker!

Our Transition

Three years ago (I’m now 32), my husband and I were talking about our perfect life and what it would look like. At the time we lived in Eastern Canada.

Within a month of that conversation, we had sold everything we owned, quit our jobs, and moved to California. I stopped teaching and starting blogging about pursuing my Bucket List and Darren, my husband, took a Software Architect position with Panasonic Avionics.

We’ve never looked back!

Most Memorable Moments Since our Transition

There are too many amazing moments since our transition to count, so I’ll share the top ten that come to mind at this particular moment:

  • Giving birth to my daughter
  • Visiting Fiji
  • Swimming with dolphins with my daughter in Curacao
  • Performing aerobatics in a biplane
  • Reaching 1 million views on my blog
  • Piloting a helicopter
  • Skydiving (every time)
  • A surprise weekend in Alaska
  • Swimming with whale sharks at the Georgia Aquarium
  • Visiting Jordan

My Life Now

I’m still busy, but it’s a different busy.  I’m busy living my life now, rather than just going in circles to stay afloat.

A typical day includes writing engaging content for my readers about my bucket list experiences that I’ve been out pursuing, posting to my blog, replying to emails and comments, and spending time with my family.

Ultimately, I set my entire schedule so that if I don’t want to work, I don’t work. Most days, I’m either preparing for a trip – or I’m on a trip. That being said, there is no typical day now. Each day is a new, beautiful adventure!



The Challenges 

I’m on the road a lot because travel is a major part of my life and my ‘job.’ It can be difficult to balance everything else with that, especially since I have a 16 month old daughter. But, with the wonderful support of my husband and amazing neighbours, friends, and family, we manage to make it all come together.

Family and friend responsibilities are part of the life that I want, so I happily find ways to incorporate all aspects of this into a well considered schedule. Living the life you want doesn’t mean you forget about caring for those around you!

How We Balance Home Life and My Travel

My husband and I chat about what is important in our lives in small increments to help keep things in perspective and give us direction:

‘What do we need to do tomorrow?’
‘What would we like to accomplish this week?’

When I’m at home, we find at least an hour a day to do nothing, which can be difficult at times – but very necessary.

When it comes to our daughter, we try to incorporate her needs and likes into our daily schedule. If she’s traveling with me, I spend part of the day doing things she likes – and part of the day doing things that I like.

My daughter and I swimming with dolphins in Curaco

My daughter and I swimming with dolphins in Curaco

In short, we set aside time for each member of our family so that everyone is happy.

Advice About Making a Radical Life Change  

It only takes one minute of extreme courage / dreaming to change your entire life.

I didn’t start out with my dream job or my dream life – and I didn’t have endless money to make it happen. But my drive and determination were enough. I thoroughly believe that the more unrealistic you are with your dreams and goals, the more you are able to achieve.

This quote by Randy Komisar of ‘The Monk and the Riddle‘ really resonates with me:

‘The most dangerous risk of all is the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.’

I don’t ever want to wake up one day and say:

‘I wish I had…’

Life is short; get out there and get it!



2 responses to “Earn a Living by Pursuing your Bucket List

  1. Lesley, thank you for sharing your beautiful story! What you’re doing is something that most people think is impossible. I hope your story will make others realize that they too can transition their life into something that is greater than their wildest dreams!


Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s