Thursday, December 18, 2008

things to do before i go

It started out with a phone call to mom, 'let's do Oktoberfest in Germany'. My grandpa caught wind of the news, and without avail we had three generations singing songs, meeting friends, prosting our beers with people from all over the world.

It got me thinking about just what we might see in our lifetime, and what I’d still like to see in mine. There is so much out there, cities, cultural events, people, traditions, and on the other hand so much less wilderness and wildlife. Sometimes it feels like we’re racing against time to experience something or somewhere before whatever it is that makes it special has been exhausted, used up, or crowded out. And yet the experiences we seek as “once in a lifetime,” have a way of transcending time. Whether single events or processes that take weeks, months, or years, these experiences remind us that the world remains a magical place.

Some activities may be cheap, or would cost a pretty penny to engage in, but what the heck, you can't take it with you anyway and if you should die in pursuit of completing this list, then you'll have died doing what only a handful of other people have done in their lifetime. This list doesn't have to be done independently or solo, but involving family and friends, I would have it no other way. Dreamer-doers is the buzzword for this. The idea is to write down your dream and doit.

2009 being another year of fresh opportunities to see something new, this list is created to put words into action. I expect that the list can and will change. Life has a funny way of throwing unexpected things at us, and flexibility is required to complete anything but the simplest goal, but the simple truth is that we never know what tomorrow will hold. This is an opportunity to think big and make it happen.

Todo Status
1 Running of the bulls
July-09 Pamploma
2 Have your portrait painted.
Jan-09 Paris
3 Attend a huge music festival in another country and spend the nites camping with all the music junkies. Jul-09 - Glastonbury, England
4 Not just skydive, but add a wingsuit, and actually fly.
5 Go skinny-dipping at midnight in the South of France.
6 Donate a piece of art to a local park.
7 Watch the launch of the space shuttle. Experience weightlessness.
8 Submit a picture to National Geographic.
9 Be an extra in a film.
10 Tell someone the story of your life, sparing no details.
11 Throw a huge party and invite every one of your friends.
12 Brew your own beer. (Did it in college, but I would like to give it another try.)
13 Trekking through the jungle on the back of a two story tall elephant will surely be something you remember forever.
14 Live like a local for a month in Africa or the Amazon. The experience of visiting native peoples will give you way more insight into another way of life.
15 Visit a “real” blues bar in Chicago. What better way to leave music’s commercialism behind and find the soul of the blues? (Next time I'm visiting family in Chicago.)
16 Give your mother a dozen red roses and tell her you love her.
17 Be a member of the audience in a TV show. (Daily Show with John Stewart, or Conan O'Brian)
18 Put your name down to be a passenger on the first tourist shuttle to the moon.
19 Ride a camel into the desert.
20 Get to know your neighbors.
21 Plant a tree. (Did this as a kid, need to do again)
22 Learn not to say yes when you really mean no.
23 Write a fan letter to your all-time favorite living idol.
24 Write a letter to someone who can make a change.
25 Lead in making a change and/or protest a cause you believe in Washington DC.
26 Learn to ballroom dance properly.
27 Eat jellied eels from a stall in London.
28 Fall deeply in love -- helplessly and unconditionally.
29 Ride the Trans-Siberian Express across Asia.
30 Sit on a jury to a case that makes everyone cringe.
31 Write the novel you know you have inside you.
32 Go to Walden Pond and read Thoreau while drifting in a canoe.
33 Stay out all night dancing and go to work the next day without having gone home.
34 Follow in the footsteps of a favorite travel book. What better guide than a book that inspired you to travel in the first place?
35 Take a bush plane ride into Africa’s interior. These lightly visited regions are filled with unique cultures and diverse wildlife.
36 Cross a glacier on foot. Traversing these fast-disappearing natural wonders is an adventure that future generations might not be able to experience.
37 Be someone's mentor.
38 Shower in a waterfall.
39 Learn to play a musical instrument with some degree of skill.
40 Teach someone illiterate to read.
41 Spend a night in a haunted house -- by yourself.
42 Write down your personal mission statement, follow it, and revise it from time to time.
43 Attend at least one major sporting event: the Super Bowl, the Olympics, the U.S. Open.
44 Get passionate about a cause and spend time helping it, instead of just thinking about it.
45 Sing a great song in front of an audience.
46 Drive across America from coast to coast.
47 Make a complete and utter fool of yourself.
48 Own one very expensive but absolutely wonderful business suit.
49 Write your will.
50 Sleep under the stars. (Done many times as a kid)
51 Take a ride on the highest roller coaster in the world.
52 Spend a whole day reading a great novel.
53 Forgive your parents.
54 Learn to juggle with three balls.
55 Spend Christmas on the beach drinking pina coladas.
56 Overcome your fear of failure.
57 Raft through the Grand Canyon.
58 Donate money and put your name on something: a college scholarship, a bench in thepark.
59 Buy your own house and then spend time making it into exactly what you want.
60 See a baby being born (hopefully mine)
61 Grow a garden and make a salad.
62 Spend three months getting your body into optimum shape.
63 Drive the autobaun in a car that performs with the top down and music blaring.
64 Accept yourself for who you are.
65 Give a speech in public.
66 Go up in a hot-air balloon and bungee jump from it.
67 Attend one really huge rock concert. Glastonbury 2009
68 Be able to handle: your tax forms, Jehovah's Witnesses, your banker, telephonesolicitors
69 Learn how to take a compliment.
70 Find a job you love/passionate about or find a hobby that pays and not work another day of your life.
71 Change an career entirely twice
72 Give to a charity --anonymously.
73 Play the world series of poker.
74 See the cubbies in the world series.
75 Let someone feed you peeled, seedless grapes.
76 Kiss the Blarney stone and develop the gift of gab.
77 Fart in a crowded space.
78 Make love on the kitchen floor.
79 Go deep sea fishing and eat your catch. Spear fishing would be cool too.
80 Visit the Holy Land and pray.
81 Make yourself spend a half-day at a concentration camp and swear never to forget.
82 Run to the top of the Statue of Liberty.
83 Create your Family Tree.
84 Catch a ball in the stands of a major league baseball stadium. Homerun ofcourse!
85 Golf in Scottland or Ireland. The origin in Scottland is believed that it started with shepherds knocking stones into rabbit holes. Why Birdie?
86 Make a hole-in-one, buy everyone drinks and frame the ball.
87 bartend at a fancy club. create and name a drink
88 Run a marathon.
89 Set foot on each of the seven continents. Antarctica might be a tough one, but once you’ve reached all seven you can truly call yourself a world traveler.
90 Cross a country on a bicycle. A bicycle tour takes some planning, but it beats being separated from a country though a passenger-side window.
91 Learn French. This is definitely a weighty and time-consuming proposition, but there are plenty of resources out there to ease the process. Currently Ongoing
92 Go heli-skiing. The access to snow and terrain via heli is different (read: better) that anything else you’ll ever experience.
93 Travel India by train. With its extensive rail network, this mode of transport is the best way to see one of the world’s most colorful and diverse countries.
94 Climb one of the world’s Seven Summits. Climbing mountains is not for the faint-hearted, but everyone has had a dream of standing atop one.
95 Swim with a dolphin, or even better a whale shark. Swimming with these gentle giants is among the most powerful underwater experiences in the world.
96 Participate in a Carnival parade in Brazil. You haven’t had a good night out until you’ve been to the biggest party in a nation of big parties.
97 Dance Tango in Argentina.
98 Surf off the shores of Austrailia. It’s not about being a ripper but just catching waves.
99 SCUBA in the Great Barrier Reef. The largest coral reef in the world is a must for dive enthusiasts. It is the world’s most unique aquatic environment.
100 Publish an article about your travels. Part of traveling is sharing your experiences with others. Plus, getting published might be easier than you think.
101 Volunteer abroad for a month.
102 Ice climb a frozen waterfall.
103 Visit the source of one of the world’s great rivers. Great rivers, like the Nile, have humble beginnings.
104 Buy a round-the-world air ticket and a rucksack. explore
105 Follow your food from field to table. Most people in the world still eat what they have picked with their own hands. Why not get back to these basics?
106 Photograph an endangered species. Aside from an image you can keep for a lifetime, it will remind you, and others, how fragile life can be.
107 Participate in Burning Man . As they say: “Trying to explain Burning Man to someone who has never been is like trying to explain color to a blind person.”
108 Spend 24 hours alone in the jungle.
109 Learn how to make a national dish. What is the one and only thing that everyone has in common? Eating. (Swedish Meatballs)
110 Spend the night in a storied/historic hotel, haunted would be cool too.
111 Attend the Olympics. Whatever you say about the commercialism of the Olympic Games, they are one of the biggest events on the planet.
112 Meet your favorite (living) travel writer. They’ve inspired you; now thank them for it.
113 Travel to Germany to experience Love Parade. It’s one of the biggest festivals, attendance-wise, on the planet.
114 Partake in a Japanese Tea Ceremony, after a sushi dinner of course . This timeless tradition is at the heart of Japanese culture.
115 Join a caravan in the Sahara. See how people can thrive in one of the world’s harshest environments.
116 Stand at the North or South Pole. While up there, see the northern lights.
117 Be in the stands when two rival South American club teams play each other in Football. A passion for most of the world’s population.
118 Find your own version of untouched paradise.
119 Enjoy a freshly rolled cigar on the beaches of Havana, Cuba. Taste a hand rolled specialty close to its source. Learn to dance salsa there as well.
120 Visit every capital city in Europe. The crowded continent is full of beautiful architecture and diverse cultures.
121 Watch an orchestral performance in Vienna.
122 Bike the Pacific Coast Highway.
123 Shake hands with someone who has truly changed a country.
124 Participate in the world’s biggest water fight during Thailand’s New Year’s festivities (Songkran).
125 Skydive into the Alps Aug-08 Interlaken
126 Own a room with a view. Oct-07 Geneva, Verbier
127 Demand a raise, or better yet be your own boss and start your own company. 2006 Weiland Enterpirses
128 Visit the Senate and the House of Representatives to see how Congress really works. 1994 Washington DC
129 Go to Oktoberfest. The meeting of over 6 million beer afficionados. With 3 Generations - Grandpa, Mom and Me. Oct-08 Munich
130 Grow a beard and leave it for at least a month. 2007 - Current
131 Create your own web site. 2007 -
132 Learn to sail. Summer-08 - Geneva Lake -
Cern Sailing Club
133 Climb an active volcano. The mountain trembled, I thought it was a beast in the jungle, so I ran… Costa Rica- Arenal
134 Spend New Year's in an exotic location. New Orleans 2000, Goa
India 2001, Barcelona 2008, Paris 2009