Life Wish List 2014 – “Make it Happen”

Life Wish List by Urban BackpackerI believe 2014 will be a fruitful, creative, and adventurous year for the “Urban Backpacker” in all of us. It’s your life, and it’s your big beautiful backpack of thoughts, words, and intentions that will gladly fill you up, or deplete you (while sitting there inside your pack) every day, every month, and every year for the rest of your life.

You choose how you fill your own backpack every day. You choose how you unpack it. The following list of questions (below) are helpful reminders and (words used as tools and goal setting ideas), to guide you through your own inner journey of self-exploration, learning, growing, giving (or not giving), receiving, listening, loving (or not loving), choosing, and letting go.

After each question on the (Free Life Wish List Worksheet), I will have written ideas and questions of my own to inspire your creative process for the “packing or unpacking of life stuff.”

Just above my own Life Wish List – my own 2014 examples (scroll down below), I offer you a FREE DOWNLOAD of the “Life Wish List” worksheet for your own yearly backpacking adventures. If you would like a friend to have it, please forward them to my website to click away themselves.

Everyone needs helpful reminders to what heals us, challenges us, and inspires us to do good things for ourselves and for others. I work on this list throughout the year. I re-work it and re-shape it – like hands on clay. I feel better about life when I am putting energy into creating a better me!

What will your Life Wish List say? How will you reinvent, re-imagine, or re-sculpt your own backpack this year? How much will you carry? How much will you unpack? How much will you throw away?

May you travel a well loved, and a well lived life!

~~Rochelle Carr (Urban Backpacker)

“Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.” ~~Henry David Thoreau


****Life Wish List FREE Worksheet Download by Urban Backpacker (click here)****


Life Wish List 2014

The key focus “10 Life Wish List” questions are listed below.

My own “Life Wish List” dreams and ideas for 2014 will be directly below the questions. I will work on this list all year, while checking off things and adding to my pack. Next year I will begin again! Stay Tuned: In the next two weeks I will use this list to create a vision board for the year, and a picture of the new board will be in my “Travel Wish List” post.

Before you begin reading my list this year, I would like to offer a grandstand “THANK YOU” to the incredible and inspirational life coach, speaker and author: Allison Clarke @ Allison Clark Consulting (click here for more info). You inspired greatness in me last year! I’d like to share my excitement with the world!


1. What is the TITLE for your new 2014 restart year?

“Make It Happen”

A year of passion, creativity, discipline, connection, art sales, and travel extravaganza!


2. How will you connect, volunteer or contribute to your COMMUNITY?

****Donating 7 paintings (large and small) to the LymeLight Foundation (click here) for the “Dart for Art” fundraiser – A non profit organization offering grants to cover medical costs for children/teens with Lyme disease here in the Bay Area. (7 Paintings were picked up and donated 1/26/2014).

****Donate some number of paintings to the Children’s Cancer Association (click here) Hero Gala Fundraising event in September.

****Answer an artist call to submit work – A competition to create/donate one of the large 5 foot hearts for the San Francisco General Hospital Foundation “Hearts in San Francisco” fundraising project in August.

****Continue helping folks with inquiries regarding hip replacement surgery, offering my opinion on three local hip replacement surgeons, and responding to email from my website and blog at

****Teach someone something.

****Donate my lucky pennies to a Valentine’s Day fundraiser my daughter started for a homeless friend. (Done Feb 1st 2014!)


3. How will you honor your PHYSICAL BODY AND FUTURE HEALTH?

****In order to try and avoid hip replacement in my right leg, I have recently begun a gluten free, dairy free, double shot latte free, and exercising four times a week (in one way shape or form) – lifestyle. I have decided to lose weight and eat the foods that will not cause me inflammation and pain. I track all calories on my Lose It app (click here), bought the new Jawbone Up (click here), Wireless Withings scale (click here) pairs with the Lose It app, and also tracks my BMI. I track sleep and steps and I absolutely LOVE all the techy tracking stuff. It’s a tad obsessive I know – but for me, my rewards are the declining scale results and muscle strengthening. I tried the Nike Fuelband (click here) and returned it, and I am currently eating an extremely healthy “Paleo like” diet. I found these amazing protein bars: RxBar (click here) and the meaty moist EPIC Bars (click here), for great supplementing and snacking. These bars are perfect for the Paleo Diet (click here) and the Whole 30 lifestyle. I am not interested in a non alcohol diet just yet – I will enjoy a glass of wine or two in the evening a couple times a week (while counting every calorie). Every Sunday I put the trackers down, my diet apps down, and only a walk for exercise. Rest day is Sunday. I sneak in a few organic kettle potato chips if need be. I am a salt freak and I really do miss dark chocolate.

****Exercise – I have just learned about the the Arc Trainer by Cybex at the gym from my daughter. It’s easy on my joints and I can finally get a great sweat without being so sore! In addition, (you can all laugh now), I have added to my sports regimen – a Hula Hoop! I am an avid Hooper with a sports Hula Hoop (click here) for 15 minutes a day – and I’ve lost half an inch on my waist! With all these apps and techy gadgets and my healthy eating I am down 9.6 pounds since Jan 7th (weight loss updated Feb 4th 2014) I feel lighter, happier, and driven! By April 10th I “might” be at my target weight. 

****Wearing my new favorite BEST tennis/trail shoes. They support my joints with the extra thick cushioning. Fits my wider foot, and true to size. Expensive, but worth every penny. No leg and hip pain right now. Hoka One One (click here).


4. How will you nurture your own SPIRITUALITY?

****Yoga, hiking, writing, creating art, going to the beach, travel, lighting a candle or saying a prayer inside European Cathedrals, and enjoying various US church-like establishments preferably during the week when it’s quiet.

****Going slow.


****Being Thankful.

****Writing more poetry.

****Making Art – I find a connection to some sort of God with my hands in paint.


5. How will you connect with FRIENDS AND/OR HAVE FUN?

****Would like to meet six new people this year and create lasting friendships. Have met four new friends already! (Feb 28th, 2014)

****Make date nights and art dates with friends. (art date with girlfriends Feb 4th and Feb 23rd, 2014) and three dinner dates with friends.

****Spend time in nature with friends.

****Take an art class with friends. – CHECK.

****Spa Day with Friends CHECK

****Invite girlfriends to visit me in Europe this year.

****Visit dear friends in Rome.

****DO something special for a friend.

****Travel = FUN.

****Smile-Play-Laugh-Silly = FUN

****Chasing my grandchildren on all fours while they hide and giggle = FUN

****Weekly date with my partner night(or day) with with no cell phone allowed.


6. What are your WORK goals for this year?

****San Francisco neighborhood writings for the Urban Backpacker website. My goal is to spend one week visiting each neighborhood in San Francisco. I will pretend I am a tourist. Eating, having fun, shopping around, finding special places to stay, while meeting extraordinary folks and writing about it. The lists available right now are just too generic for me. I would like to have this entire list done by the end of the year.

****Sell 10 paintings by year end to help cover my travel costs and art supplies. (Sold two so far) one to my daughter. 7/11

****Hire a go-getter,  magnificent, driven, upbeat sales and marketing rep for my art business – commission based.

****Get Mail Chimp new posting updates sent out for Urban Backpacker regularly, which requires my address book to be organized, which requires a lot of typing and updating.

****Paint 20 new black and white (with one added color) body of work. Large and small format.

****Visit the National Museum of Women in the Arts in DC (click here).

****Visit the National Gallery of Art in DC (click here).

****Find the perfect LARGE art studio with big windows and North facing light.

****Hang my art in two new galleries in the Peninsula or SF. (Location changed to Santa Cruz as I have moved)

****Post on Urban Backpacker (once a week at the least) – unless I am sick(or moving).


7. What is important regarding your FINANCIAL GROWTH this year?

****Finish the will and check off list items.

****Add to 401K

****Update family budget


8. What will you learn this year? How will  you inspire your own PERSONAL GROWTH?

****Italian Language Classes online every other day – goal is five days a week until I make it to Italy this year.

****Art and Language classes in Florence, Italy at small private school Accademia del Giglio (click here).

****Art Class of any kind in Santa Cruz – learning encaustic or another medium?

****Create Vision Board for the year.

****Some sort of workshop at The Esalen Institute in Big Sur (click here).

****Juicy Soul Retreat Workshop Feb 23rd 2014 ~~CHECK!


9. How will you connect with FAMILY?

****Visit and care for my grandchildren/children. Send goodies and gifts throughout the year. Check one.

****Take my 24 year old son on a budget backpacking trip through Europe in Sept/Oct.

****Visit daughter in London or Florence. (Didn’t happen we moved.)


10. What will you do this year that TAKES YOUR BREATH AWAY or feels CHALLENGING?

****GO on a backpacking trip with my son, staying in hostels, and packing a heavy backpack around Europe (after my hip replacement surgery this last year) is just plain scary to me. I am training in my lighter backpacks around the city now. Yesterday, the backpack was filled to 10 pounds. 1/23/14 🙂 I am going to search for ultralight packs this month. Every week I will add a bit more weight in hopes my hips/legs don’t throb at night. So far so good. If this experiment fails, I will drag my roller board.

****Go to India – This trip I believe will both take my breath away, and will scare me.

****Lose weight, exercise, and stay on a path to no leg and hip pain by eating healthy and practicing a life of discipline (totally out of my artist/traveler personality style). This new lifestyle change is definitely challenging every part of me.

****In the next two years I would like to take a month pilgrimage walking 500 miles between France and Spain walking the Camino del Santiago (click here).








Definition of Urban Backpacker:

1. Of, relating to, or located in a city.

2. Backpacker redefined: Artful reviews that lead you from hidden budget gems to five-star destinations helping you find palate pleasing adventure, enjoyment, and story collection.

3. Pack bag. Travel there. See city. Eat food. Respect culture. Take picture. Share story. Be thankful. Repeat.