More of Your Lifelong Ambitions

Real Simple readers share the three things they'd love to accomplish in a lifetime.

Photo by Yunhee Kim
1. Find out how to make the perfect Thai iced tea with that bright orange tint.
2. Go to the winter Olympics and sit in the stands freezing my nose off and chanting, “U-S-A! U-S-A!”
3. Pay my rent and car bills with the same paycheck. I’ll know I’ve made it then.
Gabrielle Lafitte
Oakland, California

1. Swim in every major ocean or sea.
2. Join the Peace Corps with my fiancé, Chris.
3. Open an old-fashioned candy shop.
Elizabeth Budd
St. Louis, Missouri

1. Build a backyard labyrinth.
2. Visit all 50 states.
3. Learn to play the recorder.
Cecelia Burnett
Gorham, Maine

1. Drive on the autobahn in Germany.
2. Visit the Great Barrier Reef, in Australia.
3. See the ruins in Athens.
Carole Donnelly
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

1. See Europe.
2. Live in an ultra-gorgeous loft with tons of natural light in an artsy neighborhood (preferably in Chicago) and be the über-stylish older couple who frequent the neighborhood coffee shop and read the morning paper together while sipping coffee and occasionally touching hands.
3. Have at least one more baby.
Jane Maus
Grand Prairie, Texas

1. Publish my novel.
2. Study Hebrew.
3. Learn to play the violin.
Ruthie Spiero
Raymond, New Hampshire

1. Have a great laugh every day (bonus if it’s with my husband).
2. Get over my body issues once and for all.
3. Make a mistake and learn from it each and every day.
Lisa Mattes
Sussex, Wisconsin

1. Travel.
2. Chocolate.
3. Family.
These are the things that make me happiest and the things I will never get enough of.
Caroline Eskridge
Greenville, South Carolina

1. Get a teaching certificate and teach.
2. Live in Central America for six months.
3. Own a Porsche Carrera, bright red with a black fin.
Nicole Tierheimer
Eugene, Oregon

1. Write a book―and I’m not particular about what kind. I just love the thought of a book sitting on a dusty library shelf that will be there long after I’m gone.
2. Have children someday.
3. Learn to play the piano.
Amanda Allen
Little Rock, Arkansas

1. Visit Italy and experience the place where my great-grandfather was raised.
2. Celebrate 50 years with my husband…in 43 years!
3. Give my two daughters, Seraphim, four, and Lily, one, away at their weddings and hold their babies.
Buffy Davis
Thornton, Colorado

1. Get my Ph.D.
2. Travel to Jerusalem and stand in the Garden Tomb.
3. Swim with a dolphin.
Heather Keele
Lehi, Utah

1. Learn to play the organ.
2. Grow a beautiful garden.
3. And, above everything else, become just like my mom.
Carla Hendengren
Springville, Utah

1. Plant a sugar maple tree on our property.
2. Go to the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade.
3. Finish the children’s book that I started three years ago and get it published.
Rebecca Darrington
Persia, Iowa

1. Travel up the Amazon River.
2. Learn how to juggle and do it well.
3. Make a difference in this world.
Molly Nolan
Bergen, New York

1. Take my kids on a bike trip in Japan.
2. Build an energy-efficient home for my family to live in.
3. Sing in harmony with my two daughters.
Karen Tsang
Vancouver, British Columbia

1. Go on an African safari. I like to imagine myself as Meryl Streep’s character in Out of Africa.
2. Learn to speak fluent French.
3. Learn to play a musical instrument, preferably the cello.
Christiana Roussel
Birmingham, Alabama

1. Publish a book and other things I’ve written.
2. Get hired as a photographer for one event that is not my own.
3. Audition for an NFL cheerleading squad (specifically the Redskinettes).
Emily Howlin
Owings Mills, Maryland

1. Have my artwork featured on a magazine cover.
2. Visit all seven continents. (I have only Antarctica to go!)
3. Attend a state dinner at the White House.
Charlene Anderson
Jackson Hole, Wyoming

1. Travel far.
2. Laugh frequently.
3. Love freely.
Chris Spanier
Ellsworth Air Force Base, South Dakota

1. Dive the Great Barrier Reef, in Australia.
2. Skydive.
3. See whales up close.
Terrae Demmer
Eden Prairie, Minnesota

1. Teach my son always to respect women.
2. Make my son a bookworm.
3. Allow my son to do his own thing and not be the nagging mom.
Pratibha Roy
Toronto, Ontario

1. Marry my best friend.
2. Be someone’s mommy.
3. Sail a Sunfish in Bermuda’s Great Sound.
Christy Davis
Columbus, Ohio

1. Visit the Grand Canyon.
2. Visit Yellowstone National Park.
3. Visit Jamaica.
Leslie Rye
Montezuma, Georgia

Growing up, I was always the really curly-haired girl on the block. Carrot Top, Little Orphan Annie, etc.―I’ve heard it all. One of my lifelong things to do was to have straight hair, so at 51, I finally did it. Yes, it looked beautiful, and everyone loved it, including my husband. Although I had always wanted it, I realized I really loved my curls, and when my husband would leave for work, I would wash my hair and return to my real self, curls and all. It took me 50 years to understand that your lifelong wish list should be something you want, not what you think others want from you. My next wish? To see the world, curls blowing in the wind.
Perrine Hernandez
Wallkill, New York