Disclosure: This post is sponsored by Capital One. The opinions expressed herein are those of C&C and are not indicative of the opinions or positions of Capital One.
The concept of a bucket list is one that’s just exploded in the past few years. I’ve long kept one, and I’m sure I’m not the only person who runs in crowds that periodically throw out phrases like “oh, that’s definitely on my bucket list” or “I can’t wait to check that off my bucket list.” In the digital age where it seems anything is possible, people seem to dream bigger than ever.
Of course, all of my items center upon travel to-dos, as I’m sure many of yours do, as well. Which is why I’m partnering with Capital One to talk about the new Capital One Venture Card, which encourages people to create their own travel bucket lists and then start to tick away at these aspirations. With double miles on every purchase and the flexibility to use those miles for any travel expense—a rarity those of you who have tried to use other rewards cards in the past will know—it’s definitely a card worth checking out. Plus, there are no foreign transaction fees and no expiration or blackout dates (and this is so uncommon, as I’ve found trying—unsuccessfully—to use points through hotel loyalty programs lately!).
If you want to participate in the ongoing conversation about bucket lists, simply hop on Twitter and use the hashtag #BucketList and tweet @CapitalOne with your ultimate wish; you might even get chosen to have an illustrator sketch your bucket list item out for you for the Venture Tumblr.
But now onto a recent bucket list item of my own that I checked off while tooling around Europe.
When you hear about the “white nights of Russia,” that’s not really doing the late nights of summer—where sunset fades into dawn sometime after zero dark thirty—justice. It’s not just white you see, but every warm hue Pantone sells: varying shades of pale pinks, deep reds, UT oranges, canary yellows and everything in between. I’ve been to both Alaska and the Arctic Circle during peak summer months, and neither could compare to the myriad of colors we saw in St. Peter.
What you’re also not told is just how difficult it is to find one of these so-called canal cruises. We went to the exact spot the guidebook sent us only to find there was only one publicized canal cruise in English in all of St. Pete. And it was an hour long, on a barge with 40 others. Not exactly how we planned to see the city by boat.
Our relentless friend Nicole—it should be noted that she works as a producer in a male-dominated film industry, so she’s used to kicking butt and taking names—talked to a guy who knew a guy who then called a guy who knew English because none of them did. In no time flat, we had our own guy. And his boat. And a private tour of St. Petersburg with champagne flowing freely.
Meanwhile, the four of us toasted our fortune and Vladimir’s willingness to take out four Americans who only wanted to experience a white night in Russia for the first time with good friends and merriment (and OK, some cheap Russian champagne). It was one of the best nights of my entire eight-week voyage. (And yes, I do see the irony of us leaving our ship home only to hire someone to take us around by boat.)
Of course, the one major thing still on my bucket list for Russia, I’ve yet to do: Ride the Trans-Siberian Express. One item at a time, I suppose.