Hey! I’m Annette, the author of the book Bucket List Adventures, the co-owner of Sugo Trattoria, a serial adventurer and creator of the award-winning travel blog, Bucket List Journey. Phew! That’s a mouthful. As an obsessed new experience collector, my passion is for checking the world off my bucket list one adventure at a time.
I like puppies, fuzzy socks and jammy red wine too.
About My Anxiety & Fear
Besides all those things listed above, I am also a former anxiety-ridden hypochondriac who let fear completely control my life. Just like so many people, I suffered from severe anxiety and countless fears that put some serious limitations on living the life that I was meant to live. I had all the classic symptoms; tunnel vision, panic attacks, body shakes…you name it, I had it. I had been to the emergency room so many times that I had started going to different hospitals for fear of being recognized as “the crazy regular” by the nurses, which is not embarrassing at all (sarcasm speaking!).
After about 20 years of not believing in the doctor’s anxiety diagnosis and hundreds of missed opportunities there was one morning that I was literally curled up on the floor of my bedroom. I remember it so clearly.
I was tired. So tired of all the restrictions that anxiety had placed on my life.
I was tired of not being able to live the life that my heart wanted and, in that very moment, I was finally ready to do something about it.
If you are interested in how I tackled my anxiety read my 8 Tips to Facing Your Fears.
The Life-Changing Promises
That painful morning, the being fed up with the fear combined with the exhaustion led me to make two life-changing promises to myself. The first was to never let fear make my decisions for me and the second was to start living my bucket list by taking at least one step towards my goals every day. From then on when an opportunity presented itself and I wanted to say no, I would ask myself if that negative is the voice of fear. It almost always was fear speaking. In that case, I vowed to turn that no into a yes.
The two promises, along with a crapload of hard work is what led me to creating a career out of my passion for bucket lists. And because of that I have had some of the best experiences all over the world.
The Bucket List Adventures
Since challenging and pushing through my fear, I have gone piranha fishing in the rainforest rivers of Guyana, swam with thousands of jellyfish in Palau, went on safari in Africa, rappelled down a hundred foot waterfall, fed a stingray, zip-lined through the Costa Rican rain forest, kayaked with beluga whales in Manitoba and even fed some swimming pigs in the Bahamas. Yes, I said swimming!
I have also hiked an active volcano in Guatemala, bathed elephants at a rescue in Chiang Rai, went tidal bore rafting (Google it!) in Nova Scotia and flew through the sky on a trapeze…unfortunately, without the greatest of ease. You can also see the top of my head in a Bollywood movie (don’t be jealous) and I once put on my big girl panties to give blood.
Wherever there is a new adventure, I am surely not too far behind.
The Handsome Hubby
This is my husband Peter (AKA: Petey Chops). He thinks he is just another character in my story. Admittedly, he is the main extra in many articles on this blog and especially in my life. Plus, I find it really amusing to make him do weird things that he absolutely does not want to do, like eating bugs in Thailand, drinking out of a baby bottle at a themed restaurant in Tokyo and zorbing in Spain.
It must not be all that bad, he has stayed married to me for over 22 whopping years! We have no kids or pets, but we do own a restaurant and have lots of employees. They are like having kids sometimes.
When I am not traveling the world and making checks off my bucket list (or finding new items for yours), you can find me creating delicious food at our Italian restaurant, Sugo Trattoria that we have owned for over 10 years. It is a casual restaurant that marries the traditions of the old world with the food culture of Sonoma County, California. Taking inspiration from the artfully hand crafted pastas, sauces and cured meats of Italy and integrating these recipes with local ingredients and California sensibility.
There, I wear many hats: I am a chef, prep cook, part-time psychologist, accountant and sometimes even the dishwasher (not my happy day). If you just so happen to be in Petaluma stop by to say hi and definitely eat our signature dish–the bruschetta trio.
. . .
It is not only important to me to live my very best life, but it’s also important to be able to provide the tools and inspiration for every dreamer to overcome their fears and live their bucket list too.
Dream it. Do it.
Where I’ve Been
Where I've Been
Stay in Touch
c/o Sugo Trattoria
5 Petaluma Blvd. S, Unit B
Petaluma, CA 94952