Joan’s Journey: Baltimore Bucket List Begins

Joan’s Journeyers, I’ve been duped by Hollywood! When I viewed my favorite “come-of-age” senior movie, “The Bucket List,” I believed what I saw on screen. Not until researching for this blog did I stumble upon the fact that four of the 11 Bucket List locations are authentic. The rest are Hollywood sets filmed in California.

In 2007, Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson starred in the inspiring story of two elderly men with cancer actively seeking beauty, meaning and fulfillment at the end of their lives. To complete their Bucket List “before they kick the bucket,” they travel to amazing wonders of the world.

Joan London Embarks on Her Bucket List

Journeyers, here’s the scoop (or should I say “dupe?”). Shown on the screen allegedly were:

  • The Pyramids of Giza – Egypt
  • Hong Kong and The Great Wall – China
  • The Taj Mahal – India
  • The Himalayan Mountains – India
  • The Alpes-Maritimes – France
  • The French Rivera – France

According to the Hollywood tell-all website,, some of the locations in the film actually include a skydiving school in Perris, CA, a speedway in Fontana, CA, a City Hall in Beverly Hills, CA, and Whitman Airport in Los Angeles. The magic of Hollywood converted many locations to look-alike, wanna-be sites that certainly fooled me — but not renown film critic Roger Ebert.

Why am I fussing? Why do I feel duped? Why do I care? Because, readers, this movie was my inspiration to embark on an authentic Baltimore Bucket List for Joan’s Journey. According to, the definition of a bucket list is a series of goals you want to achieve, dreams you want to fulfill and life experiences you desire to experience before you die.

As I await my elusive move to senior housing in California, and I decided to explore the 10 most influential and meaningful people, experiences and locations of my life in the Greater Baltimore Metropolitan Area.

Before the next Joan’s Journey, I have much musing to do to form my list. In the meantime, please share your comments below. Do you have a Bucket List? If so, what’s on your list? If not, is a Bucket List a concept you find useful in planning the quality of your senior living years?

Written by Joan London, a freelance medical and social service writer who specializes in topics on aging. London plans to move from Maryland to California to experience life in a senior living community and enjoy living closer to her children and grandchildren. Follow her entire series, Joan’s Journey: The Search for Senior Housing, on

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