North Carolina

The “Monthly” Bucket- December 2017/January 2018

Hello from the Outer Banks of North Carolina! I know I’m starting to sound like a broken record, but I blinked and several months went by. Oops? I’m never without a good excuse, though, and this is no exception. I’ve been extremely busy starting another website! My Adventure Bucket isn’t going anywhere, but I’ve been working hard on some more huge life changes that will lend themselves to an entirely new travel niche (and checking off more bucket list items!). Details soon!

(As always, posts on My Adventure Bucket may contain affiliate links. These links cost you nothing to use, but help support the running of this site and my inability to drive past a Starbucks without getting a venti chai latte. I only promote products and companies that I use and believe in myself.)

Collage of Colonial Williamsburg and Outer Banks photos

Where in the world am I? The Outer Banks of North Carolina, searching the beach for wild horses and drinking awesome locally distilled rum. (Not at the same time, FYI.)

Boats in marina Manteo North Carolina

Items checked off the bucket list lately: #374- Visit Colonial Williamsburg during the Christmas Season. And it was beautiful! Unfortunately I was severely delayed in writing a post about it because immediately after my trip, my sweet dog/adventure buddy got extremely sick and had to be hospitalized, and it’s hard to write when you’re sobbing your face off for days at a time. More on that later. 

Colonial Williamsburg window detail

Highlight of the month: Bringing my sweet girl home from the hospital, knowing she was going to make a full recovery. (See lowlight below)

Bonus highlight: going to the grocery store and finding a magazine with my face in it! If you’re local to North Carolina, my interview in Cary Living magazine is on the newsstands now.

Posing with Cary Living magazine


Super extra bonus highlight: Publishing another article on Intrepid Travel.

Lowlight of the month: Sitting in the state veterinary hospital while my precious adventure buddy got an emergency blood transfusion to save her life. The silver lining was the amazing staff at the North Carolina State Veterinary hospital who literally saved my little girl’s life when another emergency veterinarian said there was nothing else they could do. This whole experience was the lowest point of my entire life. 

Murphy Ann the adventure dog getting a blood transfusion
Murphy Ann was such a trooper throughout the whole awful experience.

Cheap Travel Tip of the month: A little something new I’m adding to the monthly bucket. It physically pains me every time I hear someone say they would love to travel but they don’t have a spare $5,000 (or some other supremely inflated amount) to take a vacation. Y’all. You do not need a ton of money to travel, and there are literally thousands of ways to save money on trips. I’ll share at least one tip with you every month to make sure you’re not sitting at home, daydreaming about your bucket list instead of going out there and living it. There are probably thousands of other ways I haven’t thought of, too, so please email me your own tips and I’ll share them in upcoming posts.

This month’s cheap travel tip:

Valentine’s Day is coming up- are you planning a romantic getaway with your sweetie? Hotel deals abound, but don’t forget about Airbnb! They have so many cool and unexpected accommodations; checking around North Carolina I saw hundreds of places I’d like to stay, from tree houses to yachts to trendy tiny homes and container houses. And some of them are remarkably inexpensive. (They get even cheaper if you stay for at least a week!) I’ve used Airbnb all over the world, so it doesn’t matter where you’re traveling. Save money, stay in a cool place that’s not a generic hotel, and have way more privacy? Sounds like a winner to me. Use my affiliate link for a free $40 travel credit.

Gorgeous cabin on a peaceful mountain lake
Photo by Luca Bravo on Unsplash

And a bonus tip, just because I love you. If you haven’t yet, you *must* sign up for the Scott’s Cheap Flights newsletter ASAP. I have booked my last two trips through deals that Scott found and have saved literally thousands of dollars thanks to him. He found the flight deal that I used to book my trip to Melbourne. $525, people. Round trip. With a checked bag. TO AUSTRALIA. 

Best meal: The beer glazed burger with goat cheese at Outer Banks Brewing Station. Absolutely divine. But you have to take my word for it because it was so dark all of my pictures came out horribly and I deleted them. 

New blog posts published:

They Don’t Need More Stuff: Give Adventure Instead

60+ Things to Eat, See, and Do in Sri Lanka

Ultimate Sri Lanka Packing List

10 Things to Do in the Outer Banks in the Winter

What I learned:

  • There is an absolute tick epidemic along the east coast of the US and your dog can become infected with a deadly disease even if you apply tick preventative and never see a tick on them. Monitor your babies for any sign of illness and take them to the vet immediately if you suspect they could have received a tick bite.
  • How to make travel videos for Facebook and YouTube. Apparently video is the hip new thing that all you young whippersnappers are doing on the intertubes nowadays, so I figured I should get on board.
  • Despite growing up in New Hampshire, my body is no longer able to deal with cold weather. The cold, wet North Carolina winter has made my fibromyalgia flare up like crazy. As much as I’ve come to love this state, I’m ready to head south for warmer temperatures for a while.
  • Alllllllll about the awesome Outer Banks for an article I wrote (coming soon to a major travel news outlet near you!)
  • How to level and hook up an RV at a campsite. (Psst, that’s a hint!)
  • I’m not the only funeral director who left the business and became a blogger! Check out Greg and Holly Johnson over at for awesome tips on saving money to travel.

What I read:

  • Lonely Planet Melbourne & Victoria in preparation for my upcoming travels. If you have any Australia travel tips, please send them my way!
  • Travels with Rachel: In Search of South America by the hilarious George Mahood. I read everything this man writes as soon as I can get my hands on it.
  • Chaos by Patricia Cornwell. Unpopular opinion alert: I’ve been reading the Kay Scarpetta novels for so long that they’re starting to feel really formulaic and unoriginal. But for some reason I still feel compelled to add each new one to my Kindle as soon as I see it.

I’m going to be spending a lot of time on airplanes in a few weeks because, in case you didn’t know, Australia is about a zillion hours away. If you have any good book recommendations, please share them in the comments!

What’s next?

SO MUCH. I’m still not ready to spill all the beans on my next venture, but trust me- it’s big and exciting!

In the meantime, I’m packing my bags to head to Australia in three weeks to drive the Great Ocean Road, snuggle some koalas, and try not to get punched in the face while taking a kangaroo selfie.

Got any travel plans for February? Tell me about them in the comments!

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One thought on “The “Monthly” Bucket- December 2017/January 2018”

  1. Great stuff here, Leslie! So glad Murphy Ann is ok, and I completely agree about the Scarpetta books! Here are some book recommendations:
    The Dirty Life by Kristen Kimball
    A Discovery of Witches by Debora Harkness
    The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan
    Blood, Bones, and Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton
    The Rich and the Dead by Liv Spector

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