bucket list 5

Back in 2013, I created a huge bucket list of 101 things to do in 1001 days. It pushed me to really think about what I wanted to accomplish in my life – from new skills I wanted to learn to more meaningful experiences I wanted to have. And I’ve had a lot of fun crossing things off.

But my deadline for finishing the list actually passed several months ago on September 27, and I’ve been meaning to properly write about my experience. Here are the top three lessons I’ve learned in the last three years of keeping a bucket list.

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At the end of every year, I like to reflect on the last 12 months and most importantly give thanks for making it through another year. I don’t take for granted how lucky I am to be alive and to have another opportunity to make life count.

2015 Collage

Moments from 2015

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Yesterday, for Thanksgiving, many of my friends posted notes of gratitude on social media. If you were with your family, you might have shared what you were all thankful for this year.

That was the first thing I did when I woke up, and it’s something I’ve been doing pretty much everyday for almost three years now as part of my bucket list goals.

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Sometimes I insist that I’m not a people person because to be honest, other people can be pretty annoying. But deep down, I’ve always been fascinated by other people’s lives.

It’s one of the reasons I love traveling and why I’m usually drawn to stories from other cultures. While it’s always interesting to discover the ways in which we can be different – like the food we eat or the way we view marriage, for example – the real pleasure is discovering similarities, the things that make us all human no matter where we come from.

This week’s inspiration is all about people and the ways in which they can be beautiful, or vulnerable, or alike or sometimes, completely different from everything we know.

Photo: Jack Garofalo/Paris Match via Getty Images

I love the the colors, and not to mention the sick afros, in this photo of two Harlem women taken in 1970. It was part of a photo series by Jack Garofalo for Paris Match magazine on the neighborhood after residents searching for a better quality of life moved out in droves – you can see the full set in this retrospective on Mashable.

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This week’s photo inspiration is inspired by the natural world, and the ways we find our place in it. Hope you enjoy!

Screen shot 2015-03-27 at 11.27.08 AM

Photo: Emma Y. Young

Though it’s a seemingly simple vignette without much action, this photograph kept pulling me back in – partly because of the abundance of the trees, which seem to envelop the man, and also because of the anonymity. The banana leaves, the worker’s tanned skin, and the slow pace suggested by the photo remind me of being back home in Jamaica, but truly, this could be a scene from any number of places. And that mystery intrigues me.

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