I’m just back from a two-week action-packed trip to America with my four kids. With the triplets in transition year and Emma in second year, this year was the perfect opportunity for us to embark on a bucket list trip.


This blog is nothing but a chance for me to reflect on the trip of a lifetime.


First things first


We headed to San Francisco first and did the usual San Fran things. We cycled over Golden Gate bridge, visited Alcatraz, went shopping (!) and we even squeezed in The Cure in concert in Palo Alto.


Seeing The Cure has been a bucket list item for me for a very long time – yes, I was a Curehead! – and they did not disappoint. It was an amazing three hour set that was even enjoyed by the teenagers with me, although I was asked to sing and dance behind them at one stage owing to the fact that the dad dancing was embarrassing them too much!


Sleeping among giants


Next, we headed to Yosemite National Park. This has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember. Oh my god! What a place! It’s awe inspiring and no picture will ever do it justice.


We spent six days there and stayed in an amazing Airbnb inside the park. We probably stayed a day too long as the kids eventually got bored of the hiking, but I could have spent weeks there.


From Yosemite, we headed to Monterey. We rented another Airbnb on the beach and again, this place was amazing. We were running out of steam a little by the time we got there as we had been so active during our stay in Yosemite.


This culminated in a whale watching trip that was a little dull – we saw one whale about 100 yards away for six seconds in an early morning boat trip that lasted four hours. Whale watching has also been on my bucket list for ages too. And although it’s ticked off the list now, I couldn’t help but reflect that it’s so important to have lots of different things on your bucket list in case some items turn out to be underwhelming. It happens!


I did manage to find an outlet shopping mall not too far from where we were staying, so the kids forgave me for the whale watching trip!


California Dreamin’


California is mega expensive, and my credit card will be weighing me down a bit for a while.


Yes, I know this isn’t in the financial planning rule book.


But I think what was much more important for me and my kids was to do this trip together and create lifelong memories that I will cherish forever. Surely this is what real financial planning is all about – turning dreams and aspirations into something real.


Into memories that will last a lifetime.


Of course, it wouldn’t have been like me to have an incredible trip without a playlist to match. Here’s what we listened to – and yes, The Cure is on there, of course.


Now it’s your turn


What’s in your bucket list? What have you been putting off that you could and should be doing now?


Do yourself and your family a favour. Book the trip. Go do it. Life is short. This is not a dress rehearsal. These are clichés for sure. But so true, nonetheless.


Carl Widger
Managing Director



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