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Subtracting from the Bucket List

Former math teacher Debra Mui has visited 7 continents and 48 states with more adventures on the way....
Redefining Retirement
Debra Mui Antarctica

Traveling to far off lands to escape and explore is often an item on the bucket list of life.  One former teacher has checked off all her ‘travel’ boxes as she and her husband have visited all seven continents.

Debra Mui spent 25 years teaching math at Morgan Park High School. She loved her job, co-workers, and working with students. She wanted to travel, but making it happen did not always add up. Debra found that the opportunity to get away was often limited to short trips because of the constraints of the school calendar. She also noted that the high cost of travel during the summer months when venturing far away would have been ideal is often cost prohibitive.

While she worked as a teacher, Debra enjoyed family vacations throughout North America. During school breaks, she and her family enjoyed alternating between a camping trip one year and a ‘fly-away trip’ the other. When her husband retired, they expanded their horizons and took their first overseas trip and loved it. Debra’s travel ‘problems’ were solved when she retired in 2010. They quickly left on a trip to Antarctica (pictured above).

“I enjoy all of the places we visit. It is too hard to choose a favorite place as each one is special and offers something new to learn,” Debra says. She appreciates the opportunity to absorb the unique beauty and


culture in places like Machu Picchu, Tanzania, Vietnam, New Zealand, Rome, and more. Highlights of her visits include the chance to learn new things, snorkel, hike, eat at local restaurants, meet new people, and even wander off the beaten path. She suggests that future tourists consider bus tours and cruises, as they make it easy and more economical to experience a variety of places during a single trip.

Even though Debra and her husband have managed to visit all seven continents they have no desire to stop traveling. They have been to 48 states and plan to visit the last two (Idaho and Montana) as well as re-visit Spain in order to spend time at the Alhambra, the Moorish Palace in Granada. She says, “I am intrigued by the Moor's history. We could all learn a little more about how they lived together – it gives us hope that we can too.”

Debra’s words to live by are “if there is something you want to do within reason, go do it. Life is short.”

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