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The essence of any good bucket list consists of overcoming fears, achieving goals, realizing dreams and even simple pleasures. Whether it’s an exotic adventure half-way around the world or something simpler, like spending more time with your family or friends, what matters is that you experience all the good and phenomenal things Earth offers.
Here you’ll find 225 things to do before you die. Sure, a few of them are what some might consider to be cliché, but we made it a priority to think mostly outside the box.
So, without further ado…
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1. Throw Tomatoes at La Tomatina
La Tomatina is an hour-long festival in Bunol, Valencia (Spain) where an estimated 150,000 tomatoes (a whopping 90,000lbs of juicy, pasty awesomeness) are flung everywhere and at everyone. The action begins at 11 a.m. sharp and ends an hour later: a water cannon usually signals both. Afterwards, those who’ve experienced La Tomatina claim that dark red covers the entire town square and that tomato juice abounds more plentiful than air. What better way to kick off your bucket list than participate in one of the world’s largest food fights?!
2. Hang from Toronto’s CN Tower
For acrophobiacs in need of curing their fear, one of the ultimate solutions has to be EdgeWalk—a terrifying “walk” on the I’m-gonna-to-die edge of the ledge of the 1, 800ft-tall CN Tower in Canada. Towering that high (1,168 feet/356m for the EdgeWalk platform) over the grand Toronto harbor, the CN Tower is the world’s fifth-tallest free-standing structure. Take the EdgeWalk challenge and for God’s sake, per the traditional wisdom (especially when you’re dangling at over 1,000ft via only a couple of cables), don’t look down!
3. Eat at One of the World’s Best Restaurants
How do you qualify “one of the best restaurants in the world”? Consider the following Über-fine (and, you guessed it, Über-expensive) eateries, and any and all guesswork will likely be eliminated from the equation: See Restaurant Magazine’s list of the world’s 50 best restaurants. Yours truly’s favorites among the top 50? Alinea, Per Se (U.S.), and Hof van Cleve (Belgium).
4. Visit Area 51
Area 51 is a highly secretive, mysterious military base (which everyone knows is a U.S. Air Force base, despite the U.S. government continually denying its existence even to this day) located in Nevada, on the southern shore of Groom Lake. It’s rumored to have hosted (and could still) anything from alien remains and/or alien spacecraft, to super-top-secret Air Force aircraft and warcraft, to bio- and chemical-warfare laboratories. Locals say that it’s safe to travel up until you see ‘Government/Restricted Area’ signs. Pass those warnings, however, and you’ll be greeted with, well, far less than red carpet hospitality!
5. Set Foot On All Seven Continents
Antarctica/The Arctic, Africa, Europe, Asia, Australia, South America, North America: Visit them all. Be able to gloat to your friends, especially in your older age, about truly having trekked around the world. Okay, so the corners of the Earth—i.e. Antarctica—aren’t very feasible adventures for most folks, but that shouldn’t stop you from pursuing travels to every other one of God’s great land masses!
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6. Help Out a Random Stranger in Distress
Despite the (basically) inherent tendency in humans towards hedonism, life isn’t just about catering exclusively to one’s self-interests: At least it shouldn’t be. Next time you spot a broken-down motorist, pull over and volunteer to help (assuming that you feel safe doing so!). Offer to pay someone else’s bill that he/she can’t quite cover—e.g. they might, for instance, lack enough money to pay for a meal, or can’t quite make this month’s rent payment, or need emergency supplies during a power-outage. Countless other situations apply, too.
7. Go White Water Rafting in the Tatshenshini River
The O.A.R.S. Tatshenshini River Rafting expedition might prove the most exhilarating, most unforgettable adventure you’ll ever experience. The 11-day hiking and rafting trip—set in the behemoth, 27-million acre Tatshenshini-Alsek Wilderness Park in Alaska and western Canada—consists of a majestic trek through the pristine Alaskan wilderness along the St. Elias and Alsek mountain ranges. Adventurists are privy-ed to giant glaciers, numerous frozen waterfalls, white-water rafting through the Tatshenshini Gorge, the famed Walker Glacier (of which you’ll actually get to walk on), the Alsek and Grand Plateau Glaciers, and a huge variety of extraordinary wildlife—including bighorn sheep, bald eagles, moose, grizzly bears, and too many other species to list.
8. Solve a Rubik’s Cube
Master a Rubik’s Cube, that multi-colored, seemingly-innocuous, twisty little block that actually drives most folks crazy (as well as gives ’em that ‘all-the-dumber’ feeling). Invented by Erno Rubik circa 1974, the 3-D puzzle game has held the title of ‘most popular game of its kind’ ever since its debut. The Rubik’s Cube is also known for something else, though–that is, causing untold angst amongst those who’ve failed to even produce two solid-colored sides, Yours Truly included!
9. Assemble a List of Your All-Time Favorite Quotes
It doesn’t matter who said them (Thoreau, Lincoln, Einstein, Marx, and Faulker are a few personal favorites), or where they came from. The only thing that matters are the words that you can most relate to–words that uplift, inspire, amuse, humor, and/or enlighten you. Keep a written journal of them, or even start a Word document that you can consistently save quotations and witty quips to. Quotes from Quotery.com is a good place to start searching for those words of widsom.
10. Skydive Over Mt. Everest in Nepal
What’s a good bucket list without at least one skydiving entry? Skydiving is one of the ultimate adrenaline rushes, something that many folks dream about doing, but never follow through on due to: A) being scared stiff and/or B) lacking the prerequisite funds (it does cost some money, but probably won’t clear out your bank account). To get you started, check out this daunting, even blood-curdling skydiving adventure: Everest Skydive. ‘Everest’, yes—as in, the 29,000-foot Mount Everest. From that altitude, you’ll jump from an expertly piloted and staffed Pilatus PC-6 airplane, and witness many of the most gorgeous and inspirational snow-capped mountains and majestic glacial lakes in the eastern world.
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11. Finish a Jigsaw Puzzle
Who, in their childhood, didn’t love to pass the time piecing a monster puzzle together? Now that you’re all grown (or at least in theory!), tackle another one. Feeling especially ambitious? Conquer the self-proclaimed “world’s largest jigsaw puzzle”–Double Retrospect, a mammoth puzzle board consisting of over 32,000 pieces, weighing just over 42 lbs, and measuring an extremely daunting 17 x 6 feet. Done? Frame, hang, and savor your masterpiece!
12. Learn a New Vocabulary Word Every Day
Do you realize that the average person’s vocabulary is limited to around 7,000 words? Considering that there are over a quarter of a million distinguishable words in the English language (per Oxford English Dictionaries)—and evenexcluding inflections of words, myriad technical jargon, and many regional-specific words—your 7,000-word vocab probably sounds a bit puny now, right? So stop limiting yourself to old, overused words and catchphrases and learn some new ones, already!
13. Watch the Top 100 Best Movies of All-Time
Fire up the HD projector or the big-screen TV and enjoy timeless masterpieces like The Godfather, The Lord of the Rings, A Clockwork Orange, and Schindler’s List. No film enthusiast in the least should forgo seeing at least some of the best movies in cinematic history—as determined by Lifed and Yours Truly, of course!
14. Go Horseback Riding in Swan Valley, Montana
The landscape above looks as if it could’ve been pulled straight from the movie The Sound of Music, right? Well, not quite—it’s the unadulterated, beautiful countryside of of Swan Valley, Montana. Horseback through open ranges swathed in green, lush grass, poppies, snow-capped mountains and magnificent lakes. Try the Lake Upsata Guest Ranch for information on their horseback-guided tours through the gorgeous countryside of Monture Creek and the Bob Marshall Wilderness.
15. Hold an Event in the Sky
Similar to EdgeWalk (albeit held at a more reasonable altitude!), Events In the Skyis a for-rental/for-sale service from a company that caters to parties seeking to, well, get some air time. From a height of 50 meters (165 feet), you can throw just about any kind of shindig for up to 22 guests, including marriage ceremonies, cocktail parties, dinners (comes with a chef, waiters, and even entertainers), poker games (good luck with that poker face while you’re dangling 50 meters up!), live talk shows, speaking engagements, and more. The company will set up shop practically anywhere of your choosing, provided there is adequate space.
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16. Vacation in Igloo Village
Those who love winter (well, that, several feet of snow, and holy-crap-I-can’t-feel-my-legs-anymore! temps) are likely to find the Kakslauttanen, Finland Igloo Village right up their alley. In addition to rows-and-rows of heated, glass-dome igloos (keyword: HEATED) outfitted with beds, restrooms, and kitchens, the Village also boasts authentic igloos (for the most hardcore winter enthusiast) that never reach above freezing inside. Now, I’m as huge a fan of bitterly cold, snow-covered and consumed places as the next guy <smirk>, but I’m still taking the glass-dome-igloo route!
17. Get in the Guinness Book of World Records
Really, it’s not as hard as you may think. The best part? Some (perhaps unsightly) bodily abnormality or superhuman ability isn’t even needed to qualify for many entries! Have the largest collection of troll dolls (yep, it’s in there!), whiskey bottles, or vinyl records. Be the fastest runner on Earth. Pull a CC-177 Globemaster III aircraft (416,000 pounds) more than 28 feet (8.8m). Whatever you choose, make sure it’s the heaviest, lightest, thinnest, farthest, ugliest, biggest, shortest or longest (and so on and so forth) in the world before you bother the good folks at the Guinness World Records.
18. Join the Peace Corps
“X served as a distinguished, honorable member of the U.S. Peace Corps from 2011-xx”: Imagine being designated as such a honorable person—tens-of-thousands of Peace Corps members worldwide already have. And besides the possible ego trip that you’ll get every time you walk by that engraved plaque on the wall, you’ll feel great about contributing to Earth’s less privileged, more disenfranchised peoples. And hey, a Peace Corps tour (or two, or three) could also make a good impression on the ole’ resume and/or autobiography!
19. Learn to Sail
As the late, great Mark Twain put it, “Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” Learn all you can about sailing; learn the lingo—e.g. jib, jibsheet, mainsheet, gunwale—and, most importantly, learn how to sail. When your inner-Jacques Cousteau is ready, make the leap to that first practice run. Oh, and it’s probably a great idea to bring along a compass and satellite-operated phone. Just sayin’!
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25. Bathe in the Ganges River During the Purna Kumbh Mela
The 45-day Purna Kumbh Mela is a holy pilgrimage (among Hindus and non-Hindus alike) that takes place every 12 years. Depending on the position of the planet Jupiter (‘Brhaspati’ in Hindi) in relation to the Sun and Earth, the festivities can take place in different cities, like Prayag, Uijain, Trimbakeshwar, Nashik, or Haridwar. However, beware: You may want to leave the Irish Spring soap at home, as the locals frown upon actual ‘soap’ being used in their holy water. Go figure!
26. Attend the Olympic Games
Thank the ancient Greeks for the idea of the modern-day Olympics, even though these ultimate competitions weren’t really revived (since around 393 A.D.) until the late 19th century. But no matter what your level of interest in sports is—whether ‘fanatic’ or ‘non-enthusiast’—there’s not one person that won’t get a thrill out of attending at least one Olympic game once in their life. As of this writing, London is slated to hold the next Summer Olympic games, with Solchi (Russia) hosting the 2014 Winter Olympics. Mark one on your calendar and make plans accordingly!
27. Visit the Birthplace or Gravesite of a Cultural Icon
Who are your favorite late, great people? Picasso, Abe Lincoln, Mark Twain…Elvis? Whoever they are, what better way to pay your respects to them than by visiting their final resting places (and, of course, getting yourself in that destined-for-Facebook photo next to ’em)? To find such places, websites like FindaGrave and GraveHunter have you covered.
28. Enjoy a Freshly Rolled Cigar in Cuba
Never mind the fact that Cuban cigars are forbidden imports in the U.S. Some rules are just meant to be broken. Besides that, it’s not even illegal if it’s actually being done in Cuba! That said, make sure that your stogie is actually ‘Cuban’, because up to 90% of them in the U.S. and Cuba are suspected counterfeits. A genuine, quality Cuban cigar should be labeled as ‘long-filled’ (never machine-made) and ‘hand-rolled’.
29. Drive Your Dream Car
Live anywhere near or ever plan to travel to Miami or New York City? Always dreamed of driving an ultra-exotic car? Hit the folks at Gotham Dream Cars up. They rent (for a princely sum) such lusty cars as the Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG sportscar and S550 ultra-luxury sedan, Rolls-Royce Phantom, Ferrari 599 GTB and F430 Spider—all of them easily $100k+ automobiles. A word of caution, though: Make certain that you have some damn good insurance!
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30. Drive the Great Ocean Road
If you haven’t heard of Australia’s Great Ocean Road and love winding, seaside drives, you’re sorely missing out. The 151-mile (243km) Great Ocean Road spans the southeastern coast of Australia between Torquay and Warrnambool. Constructed by soldiers as a (huge) memorial to the casualties of World War I, it’s home to the world-famous Twelve Apostles limestone stack formations, the Great Ocean Walk—a walking trail that boasts several areas of historical/cultural significance, exotic wildlife, campgrounds, and other wonders—Blanket Bay, Parks Victoria, The Grotto (another breathtaking limestone and sandstone formation), and countless other natural and manmade wonders of the world.
31. Climb Pacaya
Pacaya is an active volcano in Guatemala (and part of the Central American Volcanic Arc, or CAVA) that towers 8,373ft above sea level. It’s blown its top 23 times over the past few centuries, most recently in May of 2010, so it may be prudent to check with your local geologist/vulcanologist (never any of those around when you need one!) and/or update your will (just kidding!) before ascending Pacaya. It’s well worth the cost and journey, though.
32. Drink Beer at Oktoberfest
Oktoberfest: A 16-day, beer-slammin’, polka music-filled festival that entices over five million people every year from late September through October in Munich, Germany! During this sacred period for beer drinkers the world over, over seven million liters of Oktoberfest Beer are guzzled (that’s enough to quickly intoxicate a small country), and hoards of chicken, roast pork (Schweinebraten), sausage (Würstl), potato pancakes (Reiberdatschi), sauerkraut, wine, and coffee (among other vittles!) are consumed. Can’t make it to Munich? There happens to be other, albeit smaller, Oktoberfest events held in Argentina (as National Beer Festival), Brazil, Canada, Ireland, Vietnam, and in numerous U.S. cities.
33. Become a Fighter Pilot for a Day
Ever dreamed about tearing up the skies in a fighter jet, dog fight-style? Good, because you’re in luck! Air Combat USA was one of the first innovators of civilian air combat training when it commenced operations in 1988, and continues that legacy today by being among the world’s very best fighter pilot experiences for civilian recreation. Guests fly in actual fighter planes (like the SIAI Marchetti SF-260 shown above) with an experienced, licensed pilot. The best part? You need not even have a pilot’s license to fly along! Just try to avoid projectile vomiting when he/she takes the craft upside down!
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34. Go to the Super Bowl
Even if you’ve never cared for footy-football (yeah, I went there), and Yours Truly falls into that category, certainly attend at least one Superbowl game, if for nothing else but the spectacular pre-game events and half-time shows. The next game, at the time of this writing, transpires at the grand Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana on February 5, 2011. Here, the New England Patriots and New York Giants will duke it out (again!) for the most coveted award in football, the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Missed that game? Try again for Super Bowl XLVIII in 2014 at the Metlife Stadium in East Rutherford, NJ. Brace for the weather, though; both the 2012 and 2014 games are held at “cold-weather” stadiums!
35. Go on a Toboggan Run in Grindelwald via Bussalp
Forget sledding down that tiny slope on the other side of town, even if it is nicely packed (with snow). Aspire to what’s considered the longest toboggan run (about 1,600m, or 5,200ft) in the world. Ascending to Faulhorn’s summit via Bussalp, the Big Pintenfritz toboggan run (in the French Bernese Alps) whisks you and party past the majesties of the Eiger, Jungfrau, and Monch mountains to your destination in the quaint village of Grindelwald, Switzerland. After that, you might as well check out its relative neighbor, the Igloo Village in Finland, as described in No. 16.
36. Learn to Make a Dish and Become Known for It
Okay, so this one’s pretty self-explanatory, yes? And the variety of different ethnic, local, regional, or even national favorite foods and delicacies is practically infinite. Take the ‘Luther Burger‘: This calorie-laden burger entails one or two beef patties sandwiched between two doughnuts (yes, doughnut) that serve as “buns” (yum…). It’s an extremely popular item at many T.J. Mulligans. Or Eggs Benedict, which consists of an egg sandwich with ham and Hollandaise sauce and was inspired by Mr. LeGrand Benedict at the famous Delmonico Restaurant in New York City.
37. Visit Redwood National Park
Redwood National Park is actually divided into Redwood State and National Parks, and is home to the world-famous, skyscraper-like Redwood trees. Of the 133,000 acre park system, almost 38,000 acres is dominated by the world’s most massive, tallest tree—the Coastal Redwood—the rest consisting of mile-after-mile of gorgeous fauna, flora, lush prairies, spectacular wildlife, and a 37-mile stretch of awe-inspiring beachfront on the Del Norte Coast.
38. Float Around the Dead Sea
Okay, so admittedly, you’re probably not initially fond of swimming around a place called “The Dead Sea”. Make no mistake, though: That’s more of a misnomer than anything. The lake is actually one of the most placid, magical places you’ll ever visit. The Dead Sea is a salt lake (a landlocked ‘sea’ highly concentrated in salt—this one being even saltier than the ocean itself at over 30% salt content) that borders Jordan to the east and Israel/the West Bank to the west. It spans about 42 miles, has the lowest elevation on Earth (at 1,300ft below sea-level), and—contrary to its name—is renowned for being a sort of Mecca for health research AND treatment.
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39. Watch the Sunset from Oia, Santorini, Greece
When you’re not jumping from planes, sledding down mountains, and bungee jumping from towering bridges, makes plans to stay in the very legendary village of Oia, Santorini, Greece on the islands Thira and Therasia. Situated on an undulating, picturesque cliff near the islands of Fira and Thirassia, it offers stunning views of the Aegean Sea (most notably when the sun sets over it!) and the New Kameni volcano. Caveat emptor, though: Once you get settled in here, you’ll never want to leave!
40. Hang Glide Over Rio de Janeiro
What do’ya know? Another bucket list item that transpires above ground! Attempt (okay, don’t just attempt this one, especially while en-progress, if you get my drift!) hang gliding at least once over the magnificently beautiful (assuming you aren’t scared to look down and around!) Harbor of Rio de Janeiro. It’s the largest bay in the world based, one of the seven natural wonders of the world, and home to one of the most arresting aerial views in the western hemisphere. Oh, and while you’re airborne, don’t forget to look for the iconic Christ the Redeemerstatue!
41. Relax on Poipu Beach
Po’ipu Beach Park (a.k.a. ‘Waiohai Beach’) is considered by many, particularly the staff at the University of Florida, as one of the ‘best beaches’ worldwide, with its lush, tropical surroundings accompanied by miles-and-miles pristine swimming areas—both in the ocean and resort pools. Other seasonal activities held in the region include snorkeling tours, surf breaks (surfing), body-boarding, deep-sea fishing, and paddling.
42. Stargaze at the Atacama Desert in Chile
To foreign tourists, the Atacama Desert of Northern Chile apes something of a foreign world—that is, it’s extremely dry (the driest place on Earth, acquiring less than a millimeter of rain a year) and boasts a very Mars-like appearance, with miles and miles of nothingness surrounded by sparsely-populated mountains. Why go here, then? Star gazing, what else?! Since the Atacama receives very few cloudy days and little interference from pesky city lights, and is high above sea-level, it’s a star-gazer’s paradise. To get an even more extraordinary view of the southern hemisphere sky (the Fornax Cluster and Tarantula Nebula, among other galactic wonders, are oft seen here) from the Desert, there’s the world famous Very Large Telescope (at Paranal Observatory) and the soon-to-be Atacama Large Millimeter Array, the world’s largest radio telescope.
43. Get Passionate About a Cause
There’s no getting past it: We live in a pretty self-centered, narcissistic world. Fortunately, there are still hundreds-of-thousands, even millions, of people who actually want to make this increasingly-troubled place just a little bit better. Become part of this movement and you’ll feel a renewed, rewarding sense of purpose about your life and those that you’ve helped! Do something about it, rather than just thinking about it or putting it off: Donate, volunteer, raise awareness, etc.
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49. Make Your Own Wine in Napa Valley
As for pure quaintness, what on Earth could be more charming (and maybe romantic?) than making your own wine from super-fresh grapes in the capitol of vineyards and wineries in the U.S.? Enter Napa Valley, California: Home to many of the most prestigious, independently-owned wineries, winery boutiques (e.g. Robert Mondavi), and vineyards (Duckhorn Vineyards) in the U.S. At the Brooklyn Urban Winery and Winemaking Center, visitors get to collaborate with a real winemaker, press their own grapes, custom label and and bottle it, and even go on a wine sampling extravaganza. Should you go overboard with the ‘sampling’, though, better have a designated driver!
50. Learn to Juggle
Everyone’s gotta have at least one basically-useless-but entertaining-nonetheless skill! But is juggling really ‘useless’? Nope! Research has shown it to significantly improve essential motor skills in youths and adults, including improved focus, concentration, hand-eye coordination, reflexes and boosted self-confidence. Now, it’s best to use oranges, apples, or other small, spherical objects, rather than the likes of knives (ouch!) or chainsaws (you really wanna die, don’t ya?) that you may have seen idiots on YouTube attempt —lest the completing of your bucket list comes to a very painful (or worse) halt.
51. Scuba Dive on the SS Yongala
The SS Yongala was a passenger ship in 1911 that crashed and sunk (taking 122 unfortunate passengers with her) in 1911 just south of Townsville, Queensland, Australia—suffering the same fate as the Titanic that year, but garnering hardly ANY of the publicity as the latter. Now, the SS Yongala serves as a popular scuba diver destination. Over 10,000 sport and professional divers visit her annually. And considering that the Titanic will likely never be available for sightseeing by the public—due to its extreme depth in the Atlantic—the SS Yongala is definitely the next best option.
52. Get a Deep-Tissue Massage
Just imagine every last one of your achy, ho-hum muscles, joints, ligaments, and tendons getting unparalleled, sinfully-pleasurable attention from a professional masseuse. And taken a step further, with a ‘deep-tissue’ massage, lower-level muscle, connective tissue and/or fascia gets coalesced, sustained pressure to work out all of those pesky aches, knots, and weaknesses. If it’s any indication of its effectiveness, deep-tissue massages are routinely practiced on patients with chronic pain and those with major, sustained injuries. So what are you waiting on? You might as well feel sensationally loose before you kick the bucket, right?
53. Get Through the Longleat Hedge Maze
The Longleat Hedge Maze (of the Longleat Safari Maze near Warminster and Frome in England) is a bewildering maze made up of, you guessed it—vertical hedges. The goal of wondering through them? To get to the observation tower as quickly as you can. Beware, though: It won’t easy, as close to 2 miles of English Yew hedges (all 16,000 of them!) abound, producing twists and turns everywhere. And if the Maze isn’t enough, the gorgeous scenery, stately Longleat Castle, and other attractions here will definitely make it worth your while.
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54. Ride on the Singapore Flyer
Think you’ve ridden a real Ferris Wheel before? Maybe you have, but never like this! At a claustrophobia-inducing height of 165m (541ft–and just for your edification, that’s 42 stories high), it’s the tallest Ferris Wheel in the world, narrowly beating the gigantic Star of Nanchang (525ft) in China. Another extraordinary thing about the Flyer is its very unorthodox, roomy (complete with A/C) ‘capsules‘; and get this, each one of these 28 capsules holds 28 folks. So, if you’re terrified of heights, another person to cling to is just a seat away!
55. Take a Week-Long Technology Hiatus
Technology permeates virtually every facet of our modern lives. We religiously cling to and swear by our iPhones, iPads, laptops, and so forth, but lose sight of just how amazing these [relatively] very new technologies are and how good we have it compared to just a few generations ago. Make plans to partake in a week or two’s hiatus of all your technical goodies: No cell phones, no laptops, no nothing 21st- or even 20th-century.
Fast forward: Once your tech sabbatical is complete, you’ll probably enjoy a renewed gratitude and sense of immense awe towards things that you once probably considered ‘indispensable’.
56. Write Your Last Will and Testament
Okay so at first, this gem’s probably going to strike you as a bit depressing and possibly even morbid. This will pass, though! So why write your own last will and testament? Tons of very good reasons—to leave behind a written legacy for your survivors (children, grandchildren, spouse…) to remember you by, to leave one for future generations, to give them a ‘road map’ as to the direction you’d want them to take their lives, to….
57. Drive on the German Autobahns
Anyone who’s ever been [even] remotely interested in cars and/or auto racing has heard of the legendary Autobahn (Bundesautobahn), a system of highways in Germany where motorists can go as fast as they damn well please. What most people don’t know, though, is that the Autobahn comprises the fifth longest set of national highways in the world at almost 8,000 miles long, just behind the U.S.’s. Here’s a good tip, though: Watch out for cars (usually high-end, luxury marques like Mercedes, BMW, and Ferrari) going in excess of 150mph (241kph by European standards). Or better yet, rent your own!
58. Party at Mardi Gras
New Orleans. Bourbon Street. The French Quarter. Parade floats, funny masks, doubloons, king cake, and beads. LOTS of beads. All ring synonymous with the annual Mardi Gras festival in southern Louisiana. Each January, during the dead of winter for many parts of the U.S., tens-of-thousands of party goers flock to the streets of New Orleans (and several other prominent cities around the world that celebrate the event) to participate in the two week-long festival leading up to Fat Tuesday.
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59. Ride a Gondola in Venice, Italy
There’s probably nothing in the world more charming, more utterly romantic (assuming that your trip here actually entails ‘romance’!) than taking a relaxing voyage through the watery canals and byways of Venice. Gondola ferries are extremely popular here, and they’re surprisingly cheap. What might you see while cruising majestic Venice via its network of pristine canals? The legendary Bridge of Sighs (Ponte dei Sospiri), the Ca’Rezzonico palazzo (museum) along one of the main canals, Doge’s Palace (a famous Gothic-styled museum) and tons of other attractions for starters.
60. Visit Stonehenge During the Summer Solstice
West of Amesbury and to the north of Salisbury (Wiltshire county, England) stands the iconic, prehistoric Stonehenge monument. Erected in a circular fashion with massive stones, archeologists believe it was built in the Neolithic period and Bronze Age (circa 2400-2200B.C.) But why? Some experts claim it served as a burial ground; others claim it served as some tool for studying the heavens or worshiping some deity(s). But one thing that still confounds even experts is just how it was built, considering that many of the boulders weigh in excess of several thousand tons. Nonetheless, before checking this off your list, how about proposing a few hypothesis of your own?
61. Attend the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
The Running of the Bulls is a major event at the annual San Fermin festival, happening every July 7th-14th. It goes down like this: A couple hundred-or-so daring (or plain foolish, one) Spaniards attempt to outrun a herd of a dozen angry, charging bulls down a quartered-off section of Pamplona. The event is certainly a fun spectator sport, save for the possible blood and gore, but if you’re feeling really adventurous (or, more likely, stupid), get out and run with the beasts yourself. Just note that between 200 and 300 folks are injured (mostly due to falls) every year doing so, and a total of 16 have died since 1916. Just try to guess why!
62. See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
No doubt you learned about the Aurora Borealis back in grade school, but ever seen them in person? If not, you’re missing one incredible, memorable show in the sky. Aurora Borealis—a natural display of light in the night sky caused by colliding, charged particles being swept around by solar winds—takes its name from Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn, and Boreas, the Greek name for ‘north wind’. The best places to see these awesome phenomenons include Fairbanks, Alaska; Denmark (in or around the Norwegian Sea Islands, especially Faroe Island); and Reykjavik, Iceland. Just make sure to find an area clear of any city lights and with a great view of the dark sky.
63. Visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Nestled in the remote, mountainous Black Hills region of South Dakota you’ll find one of America’s most famous and instantly identifiable landmarks, Mouth Rushmore. Be one of the lucky, some two-million people (annually) to visit the monument—four 60ft-tall carvings (out of Mt. Rushmore’s southeast granite face) of four of the U.S.’s greatest Presidents. And depending when you go, don’t forget to check out the nearby Crazy Horse Memorial, an in-progress, 563ft Native American statue (also carved out of a mountain) that’s slated to become the world’s tallest statue.
64. Ride All of the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve experienced a scary roller coaster firsthand. What better way to mark this off the ole’ bucket list than with a visit to the Sandusky, Ohio Cedar Point Amusement Park? Situated on some 360 acres near Lake Eerie, Cedar Point offers not only the most roller coasters in the world, but also a few of the fastest and most terrifying. A couple of notables include the second-tallest steel coaster in the world, the Top Thrill Dragster, a steel, hydraulically operated coaster that attains speeds up to 120mph and features a vomit-inducing, 400ft, 90-degree drop. The Millennium Force, on the other hand, is one of the longest steel coasters in the world and delivers folks as high as 310 feet and as fast as 93mph. So, eat your heart out, Six Flags.
65. Go on an African Safari at the Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
Attend the FIFA World Cup
Lions, tigers, and bears (and apparently giraffes and zebras)—oh my! In your quest around the world—remember No. 5, yes?—don’t forget about Africa, the enchanted land of myriad deserts, zebra and gazelle, grassy plains, and local tribes. Specifically, tour the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This national park, which lies in the Tanzanian Serengeti, is a wildlife refuge—consisting of all kinds of wildlife (many endangered species) from wildebeests, zebra, and cheetahs, to buffalo, crocodiles, and baboons. And all of that life thrives off the main river that runs the course of the Reserve, the Mara River. The best time to see the most animals is generally from July to October, the region’s rainy season and when the animals are most active. But don’t forget the camera, change of clothes (as you will sweat), and bug spray!
66. Attend the FIFA World Cup
Maybe American football isn’t your thing? Either way, make sure that at least one trip to the FIFA World Cup—a.k.a The Federation Internationale de Football Association—is on your to-do list. Hosting teams from more nations (208 to be exact) than are even United Nations members, FIFA is also the governing body around professional futsal and beach soccer teams. Wanna get in and up close to the action at the next FIFA World Cup? Brazil, where the locals are as crazy for soccer as Canadians are fanatical about hockey, is hosting (and therefore automatically is the first qualified team of dozens of others) the next one that’s slated for June 12, 2014.
67. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
Similar in ways to the Dead Sea experience, the Blue Lagoon is a huge geothermal (heat that’s naturally produced underground, naturally) spa in a lava field in Grindavik, Iceland. Its steamy waters—rich in the minerals sulphur and silica—hold constant a year-round temp of around 100 degrees F (38 C) and are frequented by tourists and locals alike for their relaxing qualities, as well as for treatment for those suffering from skin ailments and diseases.
68. Learn to Master Chess
Chess: It’s proven to stave off Alzheimer’s and increase memory, as well as increase attention span. While you may never become the next Bobby Fischer, you can always impress your friends, family, and even random strangers with your mean checkmate-ing skills!
69. Spend the Night at the The Myrtles Plantation
If you think the photo is pretty creepy and that “this must be some rural haunted house”, then you’d be correct. The Myrtles Plantation (St. Francisville, Louisiana) is often attributed “one of America’s most haunted houses”, and that’s not surprising considering that it’s almost as old as the U.S. itself and has—claims numerous visitors and patrons—experienced several hauntings. Ironically, though, the Myrtle Plantation is also a beautiful B&B and place to get married. It’s also home of the Carriage House restaurant; tours of the old antebellum place occur regularly.
70. Play Golf on The Old Course at St. Andrews
Assuming that you’re a golfer, or even someone who has a passing interest in golf, make it a point to one day play a round at The Old Course at St. Andrews. Why? First starters, it’s one of the world’s most gorgeous, scenic courses, as well as the oldest. Located in Fife, Scotland, the greens at St. Andrews boast 18 holes—seven greens of which uniquely have TWO holes apiece—and a unique layout that allows players to play the course either clockwise or counterclockwise. And if you’re still in doubt of the Old Course’s prestigious history, know that golf legends like John Daly, Bobby Locke, Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, and Jack Burns have taken the extremely coveted Open Championship prize here.
71. Attend a Blue Man Group Show
So, who isn’t at least a little creeped-out by the ‘Blue Men‘? Yours truly is certainly guilty of fearing the Smurf-like people! But really, the group’s unique shows—a blend of theater and concerts consisting of everything from comedy, to music, to multimedia—are immensely entertaining and very engaging of their audiences. And they put on shows with themes dealing with ideas pertaining to self-consciousness, DNA, the internet, everyday life, and the musings on existence itself. Check out their itinerary to find a show and check this off the list.
72. Spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney, Australia
Not feeling the love for Times Square on News Years Eve? Or perhaps you’ve already done that and need a change of scenery? Check out Sydney on New Years Eve. If there’s anyone who knows how to throw down a helluva fun party, it’s Aussies! You want fireworks? How about good ole’ ‘down unda’ beer? Done. And while you’re at it, don’t just stop at Sydney for New Years. Try another major city (Times Square, New York or Disney World in Orlando are phenomenal spots) every January 1 to bring in the new year!
73. Milk a Cow
If the photo doesn’t make you want to hurl, or the initial feeling of yanking a cow’s utter doesn’t prompt you to feverishly bathe in hand sanitizer, milk a cow. Besides being a great photo opportunity, especially for you Facebookers that never miss an opportunity to show yourselves off to all your ‘boring’ friends, it’s also a lot of fun! Caveat emptor, though: Drinking raw milk from a cow (should you feel so inclined) is typically harmless—that is, if it’s from farm-bred, farm-raised cow. However, if your cow lives in industrial-like pen with other cattle, get it pasteurized first, or risk contracting salmonella or E coli.
74. Chase a Tornado
Ever seen those caveats on TV that read “Professional: Do not try at home”? Well, this one’s kinda like that! Chasing a tornado (with an experienced, veteran professional, mind you)—sometimes dubbed ‘the finger of God’—is one of the most riveting, adrenaline-pumping experiences ever. Ride along with a veteran driver and observe—up close and [possibly too] personal—one of mother nature’s most brutal, yet shockingly beautiful and grandiose shows. But again, only go with an experienced storm chaser.
75. Stand in the Crown of the Statue of Liberty
After September 11th, a LOT changed. That included the closing off of part of the Statue of Liberty. And it wasn’t until very recently that the upper part of the Statue was reopened to the public. Moving forward, though, the neoclassical, colossal Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island (in the New York Harbor) towers 305ft above ground, with Lady Liberty herself standing an impressive 101ft. Where did it come from? France (as a gift to the U.S.), of course. So, if you haven’t climbed your way up into Lady Liberty’s crown yet, it’s time to put it on the ole’ bucket list!
76. Work for Tips
Surely you’ve heard the expression “don’t judge a man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.” Putting aside the reality that some employers can legally, subtly shift most of the burden of employee compensation onto the customer, what better way to understand and appreciate tip earners than to literally do what they do? Take time to work a temporary or part-time gig (whatever your situation warrants) as a waiter or waitress, bellhop, chauffeur, bar tender, or other (mainly) tip-based professional. Only then will you probably feel compelled to leave a better tip for hard workers. You’ll feel great about doing so, and they will likely feel motivated to work even harder for their customers. Everyone wins.
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82. Visit the Colosseum
Did you see the movie Gladiator? How about Ben Herr? Great movies, no doubt—but let’s be honest: You ain’t seen nothing until you’ve actually visited the Colosseum (Rome, Italy), an ancient amphitheater and modern museum, in person. See where ancient Romans—up to 50,000 of them at a time—were entertained with mock sea battles (where the lower Colosseum was actually flooded to make the show even more real), bloody contests between gladiators, dramas (plays), animal (and even human) hunts and slayings, and other public spectacles.
83. Walk on the Great Wall of China
Stretching more than (an almost unfathomable) 3,800 miles (6,200 meters) from Shanhaiguan to Lop Lake, The Great Wall of China lives up to its name in spades. It’s hard to even imagine how so many millions-of-tons of bricks, stones, packed-earth, and wood were painstakingly assembled along an area greater than the length of the U.S. itself! That said, no worthy Bucket List is complete without walking on (at least seeing) a portion of the Great Wall.
84. Drink a Piña Colada in San Juan, Puerto Rico
Ahh, Puerto Rico—one of the first priority stops of many a cruise passenger (most from, you guessed it, the U.S.)! Besides experiencing the lavish, clear beaches, endless string of hotels and bars along the coast, and Ricky Martin (grin), NO trip to the little island is complete without consumption of the country’s national drink. What goes into a genuine pina colada? Coconut cream, pineapple juice, ice, and the all-important rum. After you get your initial dose of the requisite pina colada, go ahead and get your buzz on with one of the drink’s freaking delicious cousins—like the Iguana Colada, Chi Chi (uses vodka in place of rum), and/or Kahlua Colada (orgasmic Kahlua in rum’s place).
85. Fast for Three Days
It’s simple: Drink nothing but water. After the third day of this all-water diet, chow down, but don’t make yourself sick at the same time. If you’re anything like me, you love to eat and couldn’t even fathom going a single day without some red meat and steamed veggies. However consider the often overlooked benefits:
- After three days of being deprived of yummy substinence, foods that once tasted just “okay” will suddenly taste heavenly.
- Fasting, in tandem with moderate water intake, helps cleanse the human body of all sorts of toxins.
- Give the digestive system a (likely) much-needed reprieve.
- Promote mental clarity and well-being.
- Fasting gives you time to reflect on your eating habits and then, to reflect on them. Were they ‘good’ or ‘bad’ in hindsight?
- Your energy level is very likely to surge as well, as you’ll feel lighter (even if no actual weight loss occurs) and more nimble.
86. Visit the Taj Mahal
Located in Agra, India and built from 1632-1653 as a tomb and memorial for some emperor’s deceased wife, the Taj Mahal is a white marble mausoleum and, essentially, the crown jewel of Persian architecture (see ‘Mughal’) and design. To get an idea of the grandiosity of the Taj, consider that its solid marble onion-dome alone stands 115ft high! And the Persian wonder of the world has been around for quite a while—-since 1653. Around three million people (excluding you, so far!) visit the awe-inspiring monument annually.
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87. Learn to Surf
If you don’t suffer from the (perhaps irrational) fear of being eaten by shark or taken down by some rogue, monster wave, learn to surf. Most budding surfers join some sort of surf camp or surf school; there, you’ll learn about all kinds of surfing fundamentals—balancing and positioning, catching waves, Eskimo rolling, tube riding, duck diving (no ducks involved)—equipment, and precautions included.
88. Ride an Elephant
Go on, admit it: You’ve wanted to ride an elephant since you were a kid, right? After all, despite their formidable, Earth-bruising size, elephants are typically gentle giants. The ones seen on the likes of “World’s Most Scariest” shows on TV are usually terribly mistreated; the result is elephants just going berserk because they can’t take the BS anymore. Elephants raised in more responsible, nurturing environments, on the other hand, are very safe just as long as you don’t get inadvertently stepped on!
89. Be Part of a Flash Mob
Flash mobs give (often random) strangers the chance to make new acquaintances and even friends. The idea is very simple: promote a large group of people to do something very random and basically in unison for—according to Wikipedia— “…the purposes of entertainment, satire, and artistic expression” and even, perhaps, putting a smile on the faces of totally unsuspecting bystanders. Prominent examples include the Worldwide Pillowfight Day’s 5,000-person flash mob in New York City in 2008 and the 4,000-person Silent Disco flash mob at the London Victoria station in 2006.
90. Attend a Murder Mystery Dinner
To the excitement of fanboys and fangirls of the crime/mystery genre, Yes, these ‘Who-done-it?’-style events do exist and they’re more popular than many people realize. Was it Colonel Mustard in the library with a wrench? Find out by creating your own or attending one here, here, or here. Just don’t get caught up in homicide yourself; or, if you can’t resist, don’t get caught!
91. Break Plate Glass With a Ball-Pen Hammer
Channel your inner destructive child with this one. Step 1: Acquire ball-pen hammer 2: Acquire plate glass 3: Have camera/camcorder handy Step 4: Puncture glass 5: Enjoy. Feel better?! Other than that, there’s not much else that could be elaborated on with this idea…!
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92. Eat at an Undersea Restaurant
To the surprise of not too many folks, undersea restaurants aren’t exactly as easy to find as a Denny’s. In fact, the Ithaa (Maldivian for ‘pearl’), on the Maldivian island of Rangalifnolhu, is one of the only ones in the world. This charming, domed-glass restaurant lies only about 5m underwater, but the view is truly one of a kind. Visitors dine while surrounded by all sorts of fish including stingrays, turtles, seals, and even sharks. Come to think of it, though, I’m not so sure that chowing down on fish while being watched by other (larger) fish only separated by glass is such a good idea…
93. Collect Your Favorite Recipes
Even for those of you that don’t cook, whether voluntarily or not, you can start collecting recipes (and even alternative ones for, you know, diversity’s sake) of every appetizer, dish, dessert, and midnight snack you enjoy. “Why or how?” you might ask?
- Perhaps your mother, father, grandmother, or someone else makes things; get him/her/them to hand off their recipes to the next generation (You) to keep the legacy going.
- Maybe you’re a bona-fide ‘foodie’ and have always craved something to collect. Voila!
- Or maaaybe you want something yourself to pass down the family or friend grapevine.
High-tech recipe collecting: There are a myriad of recipe collecting, organizing, exchanging and sharing software titles out there. Take your fledgling collection viral!
94. Swim With Dolphins
‘Swimming with dolphins’: Sure it sounds cliché as hell, but who cares? Dolphins are among the most awesome, entertaining, and talented creatures in the entire mammalian world. Did you know that dolphins are considered widely among marine biologists and zoologists in general to be one of the smartest creatures on Earth, their intelligence even rivaling that of humans in some respects? Here’s an interesting place to learn about swimming with these exquisite animals and even reserve a time and “package” to do so.
95. Learn to Sing
Seriously, who hasn’t at some point in their lives sung along to his or her favorite musician or band. Even Yours Truly is guilty on that charge, many times over. And while the odds are definitely stacked against you that you’ll never become the next Dean Martin or Madonna (don’t tell that to all of those comically bad American Idol contestants!), you can drastically improve your singing skills, if only to be applied in the shower!
96. Thrown Down a Large Amount of Money on Roulette
Stroll into a casino—-dressed out in your coolest attire and walking with a serious swagger—and plump down some hard cash on the roulette wheel. Win or lose, be certain you’ll be able to walk away happy—i.e. risk a substantial amount, but don’t by any means clear out the bank. Caveat emptor, though: Do NOT risk losing your car, house, mortgage, marriage or anything else that’s absolutely indispensable. Oh, and guard against this becoming a nasty addiction. After all, you still have other Bucket List items to complete!
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97. Become a Cheese Connoisseur
Cheese, at least in the author’s very humble opinion, is every bit as sinfully heavenly (oxymoron? Absolutely) as chocolate. And because you love it, crave it so much, you should totally become a cheese maker-extraordinaire. The only problem is, what kind of cheese(s) do you or the people you’re feeding lust over? Cheddar? Munster? Brie? One (or more) of the other 400+ varieties? Whatever the craving, get to it! The neighbors, your friends, and others you’re willing to share with will probably be eternally grateful.
98. Stay in an Overwater Bungalow in Bora Bora
Bora Bora’s is one of the Society Islands of French Polynesia (Tahiti). It’s situated in a crystal-clear lagoon, surrounded by a barrier reef, and is a vacationer’s aquatic hotspot. Here, the stunning, emerald-colored water is, hands down, the focal point and the main reason millions of vacationers frequent Bora Bora. Besides its pristine waters and quaint straw bungalows, visitors get Mount Otemanu and gorgeous white beaches as a backdrop, as well as access to a variety of day cruises (typically by catamaran), snorkeling classes, jet skis, panoramic overlooks (on or around Mt. Otemanu), and many native shops. Hotels range from the uber-cheap variety to the swanky Sofitel and Hilton. And yes, most of the hotels do rent individual bungalows in the lagoon!
99. Go Couchsurfing
No, this doesn’t apply to your own couch, either! CouchSurfing is an organization that helps people hook up with other people by sharing their couches (or other spaces in their homes) with one another. Adding to the ‘HEY NEW STRANGER ROOMIE THAT I DON’T KNOW!’ factor, both CouchSurfers and their hosts (brave people, eh?) can leave reviews and provide references for each other. Do your research and take safety precautions, though. Oh, and unless explicitly, initially agreed-to, it’s probably great advice to refrain from sleeping au-naturale!
100. Leave a Hefty Tip for Excellent Service
Most folks recognize that servers generally make their money in tips, earning practically nothing in base salary. Inasmuch, good service always warrants a good tip. Exceptional service, on the other hand, deserves an exceptional tip! Ever encounter a server that went beyond the call of his/her duty to cater to your expectations? Plop down a handsome 50% tip (or more) for it at least once in your life. The same principal can also apply to other kinds of services and professionals like hair stylists, movers, car washers, manicurists, masseuses and so forth.
101. Eat a Six-Course Meal That You Prepared
Right about now you’re probably asking yourself “I’ve heard of a three-, even-four-, course meal, but six!?” Yes, six. Typically, six-course meals (a.k.a full coursemeals) entail an appetizer (like stuff clams or Swedish meatballs), soup, salad, a starch-based food (e.g. potatoes, rice) with one or two vegetables, a protein-rich dish (e.g. lamb chops, fish, chicken), and dessert. Reference sites like this one and even cookbooks to give you plenty of palatable ideas.
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102. Go to Ferrari World
Ferrari represents the pinnacle, the benchmark of a thoroughbred roadster. And fanboys and girls, your ultimate destination for seeing and experiencing everything ‘Ferrari’ is here! Ferrari World is a 2.2m sq.ft, behemoth amusement park in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Just recently opened in 2010, the park lives up to its name in spades, boasting:
- The Formula Rossa, the fastest roller coaster in the world (very fittingly), attaining 150mph!
- The Fiorano GT Challenge, a ‘dual-launch’ coaster
- G-Force, a tower-ride that shoots riders up to 203ft and out of the building.
- Made in Maranello, a cinema that gives visitors a virtual tour of the Ferrari manufacturing plant in Maranello, Italy.
- Too much additional awesomeness to list.
103. Eat Outside Your Comfort Zone
Nothing risked is nothing gained, right? Inasmuch, you’ll never realize that you actually like a food (that you’d otherwise want to hurl over just looking at) unless you try it! For Americans, it’s pretty safe to assume that most people haven’t eaten some or all of the following: Sushi, congee, haggis, tongue, kidneys, brain, testicles, octopus and so forth. And make the experience even more authentic: Chow down in a place where this food (or foods) is traditionally served.
104. Quit a Job That You Really Hate
The regular 9-5 gig, day-in and day-out, gets pretty damn old for most people. We’ve all got bills to pay, though. But imagine discovering a job, one that pays a sustainable (or even lucrative) wage, that you actually look forward to waking up to and ‘punching out’ out of? Granted, there’s many that will never discover such bliss, destined to answer to that grumpy boss until old age. But those who have found meaningful, fulfilling jobs do things like cater at weddings or large, formal parties, produce and sell something they’re passionate about, teach horseback riding, own their own corner bakeries or cafes, and even put together functions like the aforementioned Events in the Sky for a living.
“Choose a job you love, and you’ll never have to work a day in your life.” -Confucius
105. Kayak in the Bioluminescent Bay of Fajardo, Puerto Rico
Similar in a way to the Aurora Borealis natural phenomenon, the Bioluminescent Bay of Fajardo, Puerto Rico boasts more bioluminescent wildlife (creatures that produce certain chemicals that cause emissions of light) than practically anywhere else. Bioluminescent plankton is the chief reason that this particular bay emits a super-cool blue. Make sure to choose one of the darkest nights to go observe the awesomeness. During a new moon phase is typically the best, but don’t expect to see much under a full or even three-quarter moon.
106. Be a Movie Extra
It’s not as easy as it might sound, as casting calls for ‘extras’ for movies or television usually lure hundreds, sometimes thousands, of cinematic hopefuls. Play your cards right, and get the scoop on how casting directors choose their extras, and you could possibly be in the next Terminator movie (for instance) or Two and a Half Men TV show. A quick caveat, though: If successful in becoming a serious actor (statistically extremely unlikely, by the way), don’t let the success go to your head, and realize that you still have a bucket list to complete!
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107. Ride a Cable Car in San Francisco
Like visiting New York and venturing around via the subway, a trip to San Francisco is never complete without at least one cable car ride. Two of the most popular cars among tourists include the ones that run routes between prominent venues such as Union Station, Fishermen’s Wharf, Nob Hill, Chinatown, and California Street. The San Francisco cable car system is the only National Monument a entity on the National Register of Historic Places that actuallymoves. Now, who among you didn’t think of the old San Francisco Treat, Rice-A-Roni, or of the Full House TV show when you first saw this?
108. Learn to Bartend
Bartending is great for either real work or leisure with friends and family. Whether you decide to work it as a part-time (or hell, even full-time) gig or to simply for show off your mad drink-mixin’ skills, there are a few easy tips and tricks to master. Included are the arts of cocktail shaking and (or) stirring, glass-rimming, muddling, using the appropriate glassware (e.g. highball, Collins glass, cocktail, shot glass, margarita, etc.), blend-o-logy, knowing drink terminology and preparation equipment. Your guests will definitely appreciate having tasty drinks made for them!
109. Participate in Geocaching
Probably a foreign term to you, geocaching is a sport that involves participants use of a mobile GPS device and other directional articles (compass, etc.) to hide special containers, called “geocaches” (or simply ‘caches’), anywhere on Earth. Consider it the most sprawling game of hide-and-seek, with the most participants, ever. People, known as ‘geocachers’, place small, of-little-monetary value objects in weatherproof boxes, hide them just about everywhere on Earth, visit certain geocaching fan websites and post the latitude-longitude coordinates (and other clues). Finders then use handheld GPS devices and whatever means of travel to find, log (via the required logbook and pen/pencil inside each cache) their visit, grab the intended item (usually little trinkets or rare coins), leave something in place of it, and share their expeditions online.
110. Get a Ph.D. Degree
There are certain privileges of earning a Ph.D, none of which really (at least in the author’s opinion) usurp the fact that you’ll forever be able to legitimately put a Ph.D behind your name or ‘Dr.’ in front. It’s the educational equivalent of the Heisman Trophy or Stanley Cup. Besides that, a Ph.D will almost guarantee you a great-paying job, perhaps earning the money to pay for the air travel associated with many of these bucket list points.
111. Stand Atop the Eiffel Tower
The Eiffel Tower of Paris, France is perhaps one of the romantic city’s most enduring, most popular and easiest to recognize structures ever built. Commissioned by Gustav Eiffel in 1889 and erected largely of pig iron, the Tower stands an incredible 1,063ft tall, with the highest point accessible by tourists (3rd Level) at just under 900ft high. The first two levels boast restaurants, and the third offers indescribably gorgeous panoramas of the surrounding Champ de Mars green-space and a generous portion of Paris itself.
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112. Swim in the Devil’s Pool
If floating around in the Dead Sea (see No. 38) isn’t your cup of tea, give Devil’s Pool a shot! Right smack on the edge of the 355ft-high Victoria Falls waterfall on the Zambezi River (Zambia), Devil’s Pool is a naturally occurring ‘pool’ that sits perilously close to almost certain death awaiting below. However, from September to December the water level is safe enough for people to wade and even swim just along the towering gorge. What’s stopping ’em from going over the edge, almost certainly fatally? A rock of sufficient size that sits plum on the very edge of the waterfall. Thanks, but I think I’ll stick with wading around in the Dead Sea!
113. Become Financially Literate
Leveraged buy outs, early adopters, penetration pricing strategies, ROTH IRAs, PEST analysis, inventory turns, treasuries, hedging, and so forth. Want to take control of your finances and/or master the Stock Market? Begin by learning said lingo and educating yourself on market principals. And then take action… Get out of debt, build your nest egg, become an entrepreneur, and so forth.
114. Become a Foster Parent
This one, naturally, depends on your current situation—whether you want or don’t want kids, already have them, or just can’t stand ’em, namely. However, note that foster parents generally only keep minors (wards of the state) until suitable adapters are found. Foster parents certainly need to care for this precious cargo as the children were their own, but care must also be taken to avoid becoming too attached.
115. Ride a Segway
For all of you super-lazy folks (just kidding!) there’s the ‘Segway PT’, a two-wheeled, electric vehicle that responds to slight shifts in balance (shifting one’s weight forward, backward, or to the side) for navigation. The transport device employs high-tech wizardry—e.g. gyroscopic sensors, servo-drive motors, center-of-mass principles, etc.—to carry around a person at up to 12mph, and is commonly used by law enforcement, mall security, park rangers, tour guides (along with their pack of tourists), and others.
Or even better than just riding one, buy one for only around $2,000-$2,500.
116. Learn a Martial Art
Learn a martial art (e.g. karate, judo, jujutsu, kendo, etc.) for your before-I-die list. Why? Because there are several possible applications for it, including: self-defense, physical fitness/exercise, meditation, choreography and so forth. Join a local martial arts club or find a personal trainer, but be prepared to shell out the dough for the latter. Who knows, you may be the next Jackie Chan or Jet Li…
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117. Gamble at The Venetian Macao
Contrary to the popular notion that Las Vegas is the world’s gambling mecca, Macao, China is considered by many to actually be the gambling capital of the world. Oh, and now it’s home to the world’s largest casino, The Macao Venetian. This behemoth—that would make most of the joints in Vegas look modest—boasts over 500,000 square-feet of sinful, gamblin’ fun; it has 3,000 slot machines, 870 gambling tables (can you say ‘I’m broke’?!), 24 bars and eateries, and a whopping 3,000 hotel rooms. All of which begs the question—“so, does what happens in Macao, stay in Macao, too?”
118. Pass on a Family Heirloom
Leave an heirloom for future generations. Whether it’s dog tags, grandma’s wedding dress, a car, or an entire house, your kids (or those of another family member) will share in yours and/or your family’s legacy. Don’t have any heirlooms to pass down in the first place? Choose a valuable, meaningful item and begin the tradition yourself.
119. Drink a $1,000+ Bottle of Champagne
Save this one for a very special occasion, naturally. New Years, an anniversary, an important birthday, Groundhog Day (wink wink) are a few ideal ones. However, think that bottle of Krug or Armand de Brignac is gonna be worth it? In all honesty, just admit it, probably not—but hey, you only get to live once. Hence the reason for every single one of these bucket list points!
120. Develop a General Knowledge on Important Topics
Take what you learned (and actually retained) throughout grade school and college and build upon it—if for no other reason than to prove your excellent, random conversational skills. History, economics, geography, politics, religions, etc: In the end, you’ll understand the world a whole lot better and if ever on Who Wants To Be a Millionaire, win a lot of money!
121. Attend the Grand Ole Opry
The Grand Ole Opry is a country music stage-concert—that’s held live and in-person, as well as on WSM-AM radio and internet-radio (XM Satellite radio channel 56 | Siruis, 64)—in Nashville, Tennessee. From its humble beginnings in 1925 as non-stop “barn dance” radio (you just can’t help but chuckle at that), the Opry showcases the best of past and present performers of mainly country music, but occasionally bluegrass, gospel, and folk music and instrumentals. Country legends like Patsy Cline, Ernest Tubb, the Dixie Chicks, Brad Paisley, and Garth Brooks have all graced the stage’s (and airwaves’) presence. So, next time you’re in Nashville…
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122. Visit Hershey’s Chocolate World
Chocolate’s one of the most sinful, blissful little pleasures (don’t you just adore oxymorons?) around. So why wouldn’t you want to tour the place where they actually manufacture these late-night treats en masse? Enter Hershey’s Chocolate World in Hershey, Pennsylvania, where “you can see how the chocolate is made, from the cocoa bean to the melt in your mouth piece of chocolate.” And when you’re not stuffing your face with chocolate goodies, check out the myriad shops, boutiques, eateries, and exhibitions, all located within Chocolate World’s perimeter.
123. Tour the White House
You don’t even have to be into the dog-eat-dog world of politics to enjoy this one! The White House, currently occupied by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama, is home to one of the most powerful men on Earth and one that’s steeped like no other in cultural, social, and political history. And while you’re at it, put these additional must-see spots in D.C. on your list: The U.S. Capitol, The Lincoln and Jefferson Memorials, Mount Vernon, The Smithsonian, and the U.S. Holocaust Museum.
124. Learn CPR
Sure, it’s not as extravagant as vacationing in Bora Bora or as exhilarating as the rides at Cedar Point, but having CPR certification under your belt may very well save another person’s life. CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation), paired (optionally) with AED (automated external defibrillator), certification gives you the required skills to potentially save a life, whether it’s on a plane in the sky, on a soccer field, or at home, you can never be too prepared.
125. Kick Negative Habits
We’ve all had (or still have) them in some form. Whether it’s smoking, overeating, swearing, watching the tube too much or meandering the internet for hours-on-end—make the decision to quit, assign a time and day to quit, and just do it. Try places like this and this for guidance and inspiration.
126. Attend the Midnight Screening of a Blockbuster Movie on Opening Day
They don’t hold midnight screenings for upcoming blockbusters (or so they hope) for nothing, you know. And no, they’re not all Harry Potter- or Lord of the Rings-ish flicks (as much as some folks would love never-ending chapters of those). And forget, temporarily, that many smaller, more independent films almost always boast more Oscar-worthy substance than your generic, Michael Bay-ish, shoot-’em-up type movies: You want the I-saw-it-first-and-it-wasn’t-all-that bragging rights.
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127. Go to a Blues Bar in Chicago
The Windy City is renowned for a smorgasbord of things—pizza, parks, commerce, and museums being a few. But not many people realize that Chicago is also one of the biggest hubs for blues music and blues bars in the world. Here, you’ll find very popular blues lounges such as Rosa’s Lounge, Blue Chicago, and Buddy Guy’s Legends. Naturally, the Chicago blue-style is most prominent, but you’ll also find the likes of Piedmont, jump, and delta blues, depending on the bar and time of day.
128. Visit Death Valley in July
Attention all ‘cold-natured’ folks: A tropical ‘paradise’ awaits you in Death Valley, where the extreme climate often reaches 116 °F (47 °C) in July. The highest temperature ever recorded in the Valley? 134 °F (56.7 °C) at (the very appropriately named) Furnace Creek on July 10, 1913. That’s just short of the world record, currently held by the Libyan region of Aziziya, where a sizzling 136 °F was documented in 1922.
Pro tip: Bring lots and lots of water and, um, a few liters of sunscreen.
129. Watch a Movie at a Drive-In Movie Theater
Unless you spent your adolescent years in the 60’s or 70’s, there’s a pretty good chance you’ve never been to a drive-in theater. “Well, how’s a drive-in any better than an indoor theater?” you might ask. 1. You and your guests are free to talk or do whatever (e.g. smooch, snore, scratch your butt, whatever) from the privacy of your (or their) car, 2. The usual obnoxious people in the back of the theater are absent, allowing you to watch the movie in peace (and avoid a dramatic altercation!), and 3. Seating arrangements are far more versatile—instead of being confined to a narrow, coach-like seat in an indoor theater, sit in the car, on the car, on the tailgate of a truck or SUV, in a lawn chair (if you’ve brought one), or wherever.
130. Have Your Portrait Painted
That one’s really photo-like, eh?! But seriously, before you die, have your portrait—or family’s—painted or drawn by a talented artist. Contrary to what many folks think, professional-grade portraits don’t always cost a fortune. And you get to indulge in a little self-envy, too!
131. Visit Vatican City and All of Its Attractions
The Vatican, located in the smallest sovereign nation in the world (Vatican City), is truly a majestic, magnificent place. It rivals only The Louvre museum in France, and is home to many of the world’s most priceless sculptures and art from the Renaissance period forward. And you need not even be Catholic (or even religious for that matter) to see such worldly treasures as the Sistine Chapel, Saint Peter’s Square, Saint Peter’s Basilica, St. Peter’s Dome, Vatican Museum, Vatican Gardens and a whole lot more. Oh, and don’t forget to say hello to the Pope!
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132. Buy a Round of Drinks for the Whole Bar
This task might require that you be drunk to complete it (unless you’re just naturally charitable and/or sociable!), but nonetheless, it’s worth it. Announce to the bartender “everyone’s drinks are on me!”, shake some hands and pat some backs, tell a funny joke, and watch as you suddenly become the bar’s most popular dude!
133. Party at the Rio Carnival
Largely considered the hugest party in the world, the Rio Carnival lures in over two million people each day of the three-day festival—where samba dancing, samba school floats and parades, and a truly Mardi Gras-esque experience (except on a much larger scale) prevail. The Rio Carnival, also like Mardi Gras, is held just before Lent, the next one firing up on February 18th, 2013 and subsequently on March 1, 2014.
134. Travel on the Beijing–Shanghai High-Speed Railway
The Beijing-Shanghai High-Speed Railway, a.k.a. Jinghu High-Speed Railway, is a 819-mile (1,318 km) long high-speed railway that connects two major economic zones in China—the Bohai Economic Rim and the Yangtze River Delta. It’s the world’s longest high-speed line ever constructed in a single phase and one of the fastest, with a top speed nearing 236mph. And almost a quarter-million folks commute via the rail-line every day. The U.S.’s Amtrak, which seems like a bunch of horse-drawn stage cars strewn-together in comparison, has nothing on this beast!
135. Become a Space Tourist
Contrary to what ‘they’ have been telling us for years, commercial space flight isn’t much longer a fantasy as a reality. And several companies are already lining up to begin cashing out on it, like Orbital Technologies of Russia. The photo above is a cutaway-section of a proposed ‘space hotel‘ by the company, which could accommodate up to seven guests via four cabins and offer sensational views of the Earth, from outer-space! The downside? Until at least a few years after the initial launch of these hotels, guests had better be wealthy, as tickets are projected to total around a million bucks per person.
136. Climb to the Top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
Located in the Italian city of Pisa (Tuscany, Italy) behind a really, really old cathedral, the Leaning Tower of Pisa is a 186ft-for-the-love-of-God-don’t-let-it-fall freestanding bell tower (‘campanile’) that leans an almost uncomfortable 3.99 degrees. In other words, the top of the tower is displaced horizontally some 12-ft from a (normally) perfectly-plumb (vertical) stance. It has two sets of stairs—one with 296, the other with 294 steps—and offers a pretty awesome view of Pisa from the top.
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137. Participate in a Polar Bear Plunge
Yep, those are half-naked folks running into (and of course, promptly retreating out of!) frigid, icy water. Why? It’s called the ‘Polar Bear Plunge’ and transpires every year at numerous locations, for various reasons. As for North America, the United States and Canada participate in the event—with the Long Beach, NY Polar Bears Superbowl Splash one being one of the largest annual events in the U.S. and Vancouver, British Colombia (as the Polar Bear Swim Club) another favorite place for Polar Bear Club ‘members’. The U.S. events are typically held for charity; Canada’s are generally in celebration of New Years Day.
138. Get Married
Granted, tying the ole’ knot isn’t for everybody, and one should never marry someone they weren’t totally committed to (and vice-versa). That said, marriage boasts plenty genuine, lifelong advantages: It helps fill a personal emotional void for many, helps people feel ‘complete’ in their lives and (in the case of having children) about their ongoing legacy, makes them feel less lonely, among many other things.
139. Master a Lawn Sport
Lawn sports: Good for family reunions, defeating in-laws at said reunions, entertaining the kids, and so forth. What are good “lawn sports?” you might ask. It just depends, whether your thing is bocce, horseshoes, bean bag tossing, touch football or whatever, this is the perfect time to show off your mad sports skills! or not…
140. Go Whale Watching
Think swimming with dolphins is cool? Try witnessing Earth’s largest, most awe-inspiring creature up close and personally! And whales don’t come in just one size: They run the gamut between the pygmy sperm whale (the smallest species at only about 11ft) to the humpback whale, which grows up to 52ft-long and weighs up to 72,000 pounds, to the largest of them all, the 200-short ton blue whale—which has been recorded up to a whopping 98ft in length, making it the largest creature to inhabit Earth.
141. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin, Ireland
St. Patrick’s Day (March 17), somewhat similar to Oktoberfest in the way beer is guzzled by the
gallon barrel, is a national holiday in Ireland, and one that’s celebrated in more countries worldwide than any other. From Argentina to Great Britain, to America and New Zealand, this saint’s day holiday abounds with shamrocks, generous consumptions of ‘green’ beer (Guinness stout, anyone?), feasts, and parades. And what better way to celebrate it than in Dublin itself?!
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142. Take a Helicopter Tour Over Kauai
Now this is the type of bucket list item that really makes the whole thing worth it! Fly over Kauai, Hawaii’s lush, indescribably beautiful landscape. Flights generally first fly through the Hanapepe Valley, then on to Mana Waiapuna Falls (a.k.a. ‘Jurassic Park Falls’, where parts of Jurassic Park where actually filmed). Then, you’ll tour the astounding Olokele and Waimea Canyons, the latter famed for its multiple ‘hidden waterfalls’. Afterwards, you’ll likely hover above and through Bali Hai Cliffs, Hanalei Bay and the Princeville Resort. Many tour companies even fly guests over Mt Waialeale, the heart of an ancient volcano and home to breathtaking 3,000+ foot waterfalls. The amazing landscape on the whole is, sincerely, enough to make an adult burst into tears of joy.
143. Take a Submarine Tour in Waikiki
After you’ve flown above Hawaii’s grandiose islands via helicopter, it’s time to subterranean—as in, under the sea. Take the Atlantis XIV submarine (pictured above) for example. It’s basically a state-of-the-art civilian submarine that seats up to 64 and sports super-sized portholes for viewing of marine wildlife, coral reefs, ship wrecks and more. There are also much smaller, more intimate submarines for those who like to avoid the masses while vacationing! Either way, tours usually take place about 100ft-down and last around 30-45 minutes.
Afterwards, while you and party are still in marine-loving mode…
144. Tour the Titanic Wreckage At the Bottom of the Atlantic
Seeing the 1998 movie ‘Titanic’ is one thing; witnessing the real-life remains of the infamous luxury liner (at the bottom of the Atlantic ocean) is quite another altogether. For a relative bargain of $59k per person (oh sure, let me just grab my checkbook), this company will swoosh you and guests 12,500 ft under the sea to observe parts of the late luxury liner laying on the Atlantic seabed. Among the sites include the algae/coral-covered bow, bridge, promenade areas of the ship, one of the gi-normous propellers and one of her boilers.
145. Swim in the World’s Largest Swimming Pool
Think you’ve seen some pretty big, Olympic-sized pools before? You ain’t seen (or experienced) nothing yet! More than 1,000 yards long and encompassing 20 freaking acres, the pool at the San Alfonso del Mar Resort in Algarrobo, Chile is the largest and deepest (sporting a 115-foot deep end) manmade pool on Earth. It also has more than enough water to swim, paddle-boat, party, etc. in—66 million gallons of it to be exact.
Afterwards, grab your heaviest coat and largest portable heater and…
146. Stay at the Icehotel in Sweden
Plan to spend the night in what looks like the bedroom of Mr. Freeze himself. Actually, this is an actual ‘bedroom’ in an actual hotel in JukkasJarvi, Sweden. Guests stay in artfully sculpted (of ice) suites, complete with ice bed (covered in, yes, reindeer fur), gloves, shoes, warm clothes, ‘ice art’, morning sauna access and breakfast buffet. Oh, the temperature in these suites hovers around -5 celcius (23F). And if you decide to go, but can’t fathom trying to sleep while ice-sickles hang from your chin, they also have warm cabins.
Afterwards, travel around the world to somewhere nice and balmy (hint: ‘down unda’) and…
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147. Hold a Koala
Aww, they look so cute and cuddly! Right? The Koala is a furry, herbivorous marsupial that’s closely related to the wombat and kangaroo (both native to Australia as well); most are found in eastern and southeastern Australia. Males generally grow as large as 31 pounds and females rarely grow past 12-15 pounds. And one of the most famous spots to see, and yes—hold—one is the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary in Queensland. Not only do they have koalas, but dozens upon dozens of other species like kangaroos, wallabies, Tasmanian devils, snakes, freshwater and saltwater crocodiles, a few dozens of types of exotic birds, and lot more.
148. Watch Andrea Bocelli Perform Live in Milan
Chances are, you’ve heard him sing, but may not who he is. He’s Andrea Bocelli, one of the most esteemed, most prolific solo artists in classical music history. The fellow commands huge audiences wherever he performs: Major accomplishments include his Sacred Arias album—which has sold more than five million copies—Romanza, netting over 20 million sales worldwide, as well as a Golden Globe and Academy Award for his duet (The Prayer) with Celine Dion for the movie “Prince of Camelot”. And that’s just scratching the surface of this man’s mountain of accomplishments in classical music. Not bad at all, especially considering that Bocelli is completely blind.
149. Visit the Louvre Museum
Visiting it being one of yours truly’s own to-do’s, the Louvre Museum in Paris, France is one of the largest, most famed and celebrated museums in the world. The museum, located on the Seine River in Paris’s 1st arrondissement (district), is home to almost 35,000 absolutely priceless works of art and other artifacts from prehistory until the late 19th-century—spread out over a sprawling 652,300 sq.-ft. (60,600 square-meters). Included is the original Mona Lisa painting, the Nike of Samothrace statue, Michelangelo‘s Dying Slave sculpture, a huge collection of ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern (i.e. ancient Mesopotamia, Persia) artifacts, and way too many other things from antiquity-to-modern times from Greece, the Roman Empire, and so many others.
150. Participate in a Protest
Depending where you live, there’s definitely no lack of protests around to join. In the U.S., they run the gamut among Occupy Wall Street (OWS), Tea Party venues, and pro-choice and pro-life rallies. In Europe, you’ve got a choice among student rebellions in France, anti-austerity protests (usually full-on riots, actually) in the up-to-its-eyeballs-in-debt country of Greece, and anti-police brutality rallies in the U.K. Oh, and don’t forget the mobs of upset Canadians who initiate riots because their hockey team lost. A word of caution, though: In any protest, you might want to avoid the folks hurling the Molotov cocktails and turning police cars over.
151. Fly First Class With Emirates
Most folks know that flying coach/economy-class isn’t exactly a luxurious or pampering experience–particularly when there’s an eternally-whiny baby across the aisle or some weird dude with a seemingly staring problem. That’s why you will, before you die, fly first-class with Emirates Airlines. Why spend what’s likely an astronomical amount of money on one of these Mile High suites? For starters, you get: Complete and utter privacy (on a commercial flight, no way!), an actual lie-down-flat bed, television, wardrobe, personal mini-bar, access to a marble-trimmed shower and other luxuries that you’ve probably never even heard of on-board a commercial airliner.
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152. Drive a Motorcycle
Because cars have become somewhat passe, right? 1. Choose your type of bike: Common ones include street-racing bikes, tourers, dirt bikes, choppers, power scooters, enduros, and ‘supermotos‘. 2. Check out the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for tips and advice on bike riding 3. Get the proper safety equipment: Quality helmet, eye-wear, ear-wear, gloves, elbow-shin-knee pads (mainly for off-road bikes) 4. Most (if not all) states require either a “motorcycle endorsement” (that’s like an extra qualification for motorcyclists who’ve undergone approved courses) on you current license or a separate license altogether. 5. Start riding very slowly and extremely cautiously; the majority of motorcycle accidents occur with newbie and intermediate drivers.
153. Build a Sand Sculpture at Texas SandFest
Who doesn’t remember frolicking in the sand and building those fabulous sand castles—only to be washed away by the tide or, worse, stomped on!—when they were young? At the annual Texas SandFest, no only can you build a sculpture for the fun of it, you can also witness the creations of some of the best master sculptors from around the globe. SandFest is a three day event and it attracts over 100,000 people yearly, and where master sculptors vie one-on-one with their masterpieces for the World Championship of Sand Sculpting
154. Forgive and Let Go of Grudges
Life’s short—really, really short. Inasmuch, what’s the point of hanging onto old grudges and prejudices when, in the end, they’ll do you absolutely no good whilst you’re lain on your death bed, clinging to life. Okay, maybe that’s a bit grim. But hey, learn to let go of wrongs (real or perceived) and forgive. Forgive, but don’t forget. Keeping hostility alive in your mind and heart only A. gives the other party more power over you, and B. deprives you of precious, oh-so-often illusive happiness. After all, I reiterate, it’s ALL petty when all’s said and done.
155. Attend the Monaco Grand Prix
No, this one doesn’t require you to like Nascar. Bummer, I know (sarcasm!). This event is, well, a helluva lot more prestigious and it attracts a much more diverse (if not mainly wealthy) crowd. No offense, Nascar fanboys. Forward, the Monaco Grand Prix, a world-renowned Formula 1 venue, transpires on the exclusive Circuit de Monaco track, amidst large yachts and sailboats of the uber-rich in the adjacent bay. The prestigious race is also considered as, if not more, important than even Le Mans or the Indianapolis 500 themselves. Plus, you get to see Monaco in all of its exclusivity.
156. Spend Christmas in Leavenworth, Washington
Very architecturally reminiscent of Bavaria, Germany, Leavenworth, Washington is most likely one of the best spots to vacation in on of the whole U.S. Pacific Northwest. In addition to its Christmas vacation-hotspot status, Leavenworth also provides numerous other winter (and summer) activities like snowshoeing, snowboarding, Nordic and back-country skiing, fishing, hunting, horseback riding, mountain climbing, and a whole lot more. Oh, it also hosts a rockin’ Oktoberfest every year, should you not make it to Munich!
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157. Write a Book
It can be fiction, science-fiction, non-fiction, informative, and so forth. The genres go on and on and on. However, many people fear that getting books published and printed is above their capabilities/resources. No necessarily so! These days, thanks in large part to the internet, you can make a living by self-publishing your works. Sell them as eBooks at online outlets such as Amazon, Barnes & Nobles or the iBookstore. Smashwords.com is an excellent starting point for the fledgling (or maybe more advanced?) writer in you to get your feet wet.
158. Shake Hands with the President of the United States
Assuming that you can out-maneuver the crowds (and Secret Service!) that inevitably show up everywhere the most powerful man in the world does, you can one day tell your offspring that you actually shook the President’s hand. It’s best—for bragging right’s sake—to capture the moment on film, though.
159. Participate at Burning Man
No, it’s not a LGBT convention (hardy-har-har), but it is one of the largest annual events in the entire western U.S. Every summer, Burning Man kicks off in the Black Rock Desert of Nevada, transforming the landscape into Black Rock City. Here, some truly bizarre, as well fantastic, things transpire, as tens of thousands of people (50,000 in 2011) gather in pursuit of community, art, self-expression, self-reliance, civic responsibility and the rejection of everyday life’s encounters with the likes of commercialism, capitalism, advertising, and so forth. The huge party disappears a week after it sets up shop, and leaves no trace of its activities.
160. Attend a Japanese Tea Ceremony
No, they’re not sporting their fanciest pajamas, they are participating in a centuries-old practice known as a ‘tea ceremony’, aka a ‘chakai’ in Japan and chayiin China. A chakai consists of a relatively basic course of hospitality that may comprise confections, thin tea (‘usucha‘), and a light meal. A chaji tends to be much more formal. But caveat emptor: Just don’t ask for ‘sweet tea’ (I’m looking at you, southerners); or else, prepare to draw less-than-amused stares.
And after the oriental tea party…
161. Learn to Paint
Painting is probably one of the best forms of self-expression there ever was or ever will be. Michelangelo conceived and expressed the priceless works seen in the Sistine Chapel, Rembrandt conjured up legendary portraits and Biblical scenes, and Van Gogh produced masterpieces like Starry Night and The Church at Auvers. Sure, the odds are stacked that you’ll never gain even a fraction of the influence of the former artists. That shouldn’t stop you from grabbing a brush, canvas, and paint and painting your own masterpiece, though.
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162. Go to the World Series
Maybe you’re not a football fan: so skip the Super Bowl and opt for the MLB’s World Series instead. The modern Major League Baseball originated in 1903 under two leagues, the National and American leagues, with eight teams assigned to each. Since then, many other teams have joined the MLB organization as ‘expansion teams’. And no other team has outdone one of the league’s original and most famous teams than the New York Yankees—participating in 40 World Series games and capturing the much-coveted Commissioner’s Trophy (basically, the Heisman Trophy of baseball) 27 times.
163. Buy a Round-the-World Air Ticket
This idea could almost work in perfect concert with bucket list item No.5—although you don’t have to visit every continent to circumnavigate the Earth. For instance, you could take flight in Rio de Janeiro, layover in Paris, skip to Tokyo and then to Argentina. Snap! You’ve just circled the world and came to rest on the same continent you set forth from. Caveat emptor, however: A run-of-the-mill, round-the-world (coach/economy class) ticket (depending on the number of layovers, the airline, and other factors) will run you around $8,000 per person. Better start saving!
164. File Your Own Taxes
You’re probably thinking “okay, I doubt trying to fill out and file my taxes could ever be FUN! Shouldn’t my bucket list only include fun, enlightening, and/or fulfilling things?!” Fair Enough. However, filing your own taxes has its pros, as well as a few (possible) cons. Try it at least once, yes?
165. Attend a Cirque du Soleil Show
Cirque du Soleil—self-billed as a ‘dramatic mix of circus arts and street entertainment’—is one of the largest, most prolific carnival-like shows in the world. Each event is basically a hyper-blend of circus styles from all over, meshed into the show’s own theme and storyline. Cirque draws its audiences into performances through spectacles like live music, acrobatics, sword fighting, dancing, fanciful makeup, magic shows and tons more. Hosted in over 271 cities around the world thus far, it employs around 4,500 people from over 40 countries. It’s Las Vegas shows by themselves lure in more than 9,000 people a night; over 90,000,000 people have attended Cirque de Soleil since its inception in the early 80’s.
166. Visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camp
The Auschwitz concentration camps were a series of concentration camps around the town of Oswiecim of modern-day Poland (then under the Third Reich’s control), where, from 1942-1944, over one-million Jews and other minorities were murdered outright or killed by rampant starvation and/or disease. By 1947, after Nazi Germany had fallen and the camps liberated—as well as former Nazi officials/guards tried and rightfully executed—Poland had designated Auschwitz I and Auschwitz II (Birkenau) as memorial museums. Some 65-years later, over 29-million visitors have passed through the symbolic ‘Arbeit macht frei’ (‘work makes free’) –inscribed iron gates at the Auschwitz entrance, another 1-million+ doing so annually. Next time you’re in or around Poland, make Auschwitz one of your top to-dos.
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167. Hike the Appalachian Trail
The Appalachian Trail is a 2,180-mile marked hiking trail that spans the vast distance between Springer Mountain (Georgia) and Mount Katahdin in Maine. Hikers trek their way through several well-known parks and regions, such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park (TN), Shenandoah National Park (VA), Greenbrier State Park (Maryland), Mount Greylock, and White Mountain Ntl. Forest—encountering an assorted variety of fauna and flora, wildlife, and lush landscapes. And if you’re really wanting a challenge, hike the trail in its entirety in a single season and become a thru-hiker—hiking an entire trail end-to-end, commonly associated with the Appalachian Trail itself.
168. See and Photograph Christ the Redeemer
The colossal Christ the Redeemer statue is probably one of the most iconic features of not only Rio, but of Brazil and South America altogether. The great statue, an Art Deco rendition of soapstone and concrete and erected between 1922 and 1931, sits atop Corcovado mountain (in Tijuca Forest Ntl. Park) and peers down upon Rio de Janeiro—perhaps as a symbolic protector of the land and tribute to Jesus Christ. Only this Jesus is the 5th-largest in the world, weighing over 630 tons and standing some 130ft (39 meters) tall. And if the height (and breathtaking views from Mt. Corcovado) doesn’t quite do it for you, try the The Motherland Calls behemoth in Volgograd, Russia or the 692ft-high (craziness!) Spring Temple Buddha statue in Henan, China.
169. Tour Hagia Sophia
Hagia Sophia was a Orthodox patriarchal basilica (in then-Constantinople) from 360 A.D. to 1453—being a Roman Catholic one for a short period in the 13th-century—and later a mosque after it was captured and converted by the Ottoman Turks under Mehmed II. Considered the finest example of Byzantine architecture in the world, the huge church is now a museum in Istanbul, Turkey. While the architecture and ornamentation inside and out is far too in-depth for merely a short summary as this, one step inside(here’s another photo) the old church will leave you speechless.
Afterwards, not too distant away,…
170. Tour Petra
Looks like some far-off, alien world right? Well, not quite, but it should probably be considered one of the ancient world’s top wonders. Petra is an ancient archaeological city in Ma’an, Jordan that’s famous for its ancient rock cut structure (carved into/out of the slope of Mount Hor in the Arabah Valley) and water conduit system. Established around the 6th century B.C., Petra is world-renowned as a Jordanian symbol, plus the country’s most popular tourist destination.
171. See a Performance at the Sydney Opera House
Opened in 1973 in the Sydney Harbour (Sydney, Australia), the Sydney Opera House is one of the most enduring, most recognizable icons of Australia. Over one million guests attend the some-1,500 annual performances—which include opera (naturally), ballet, symphony, and more—here every year, and the structure itself lures in over seven million tourists just to the Harbour itself. In addition to its 2,679 seat-Concert Hall and slightly smaller Opera and Theatre Houses, it’s also known for it’s Playhouse, Utzon Room, restaurants, cafes, bars, and even recording studio. All that alone makes the trip down unda’ well worth it.
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172. Visit Red Square in Moscow
Red Square is to Russia as Washington D.C. is to the United States—only the former’s history goes several centuries earlier than D.C.’s. Inasmuch, here you’ll get an up-close look at easily recognizable structures like St. Basil’s Cathedral (shown on the left) and The Kremlin, as well as Lenin’s Mausoleum (the resting place of former ruler and founder of the Soviet Union, Vladamir Ilyich Lenin), Karzan Cathedral, the Iberian Gate & Chapel, and the GUM department store (a huge shopping mall).
Now, is it just me, or does the GUM mall seem really, really out of place?
173. Visit Walt Disney World Resort
While I’m not even going to attempt to describe the astronomical number of things to do while you’re at Walt Disney World Resort—take a gander at these fascinating statistics!
- Located near Orlando in Lake Buena Vista, Florida, over 40-million people pass through its gate annually—17-million at the Magic Kingdom park alone.
- It employs over 60,000 people and sprawls over an area of over 30,000 acres (a good deal of it being a wildlife sanctuary).
- Over 75-million cokes, 13-million bottles of water, 10-million hamburgers, and 9-million pounds of French fries are scarfed down annually here.
- Featuring four main theme parks (Magic Kingdom, Epcot, Hollywood Studios, and Animal Kingdom), over 4,000 acres of gardens and manicured landscapes, the total size of DWR equals that of San Francisco!
174. Visit Easter Island
Perhaps even more bizarre than Stonehenge in England are these giant, monolithic figures, dubbed ‘Moai‘, on Easter Island (Polynesian territory claimed by Chile in the south Pacific). Archeologists and geologists generally date the monoliths—all 887 of them, many in scattered about in the Rano Raraku quarry—to around the first century A.D. and claim that the statues were created as deified creations of the ancient locals’ (known as Rapa Nui) ancestors. Other things to see and do on Easter Island include mingle with the 3,700+ inhabitants of the island (most of them Chilean and/or ‘Rapanui’) and dance, sing, listen to local music, see countless artifacts of centuries-past at several museums, and even get hit the dance floor at one of their three discos. Weren’t expecting Easter Island to have discos, now we’re you?!
175. Help Someone Else Fulfill a Goal
When you’re not ambitiously pursing your own dreams and goals, help a family member, friend, or even random stranger achieve his/her own. Doing so proves more hugely beneficial (in a symbolic way) to your own pursuits than you probably think. Help a relative or friend start their own enterprise, for instance. Teach him how to raise capital for the venture, obtain necessary permits/licenses, market a product or service, acquire customers, and keep track of its finances. Or help a stranger (e.g. one in need) get on their feet and begin supporting himself by encouraging and showing him/her things like how to budget their money, land a good job, join a church, participate in the community and so forth. The more this is done, the more you’ll feel inclined to further your own pursuits.
176. Take a Cooking Class
If ever there were two or more activities (from this bucket list) that could be combined, it’s this one + No. 101. No, seriously, what better way of learning to cook a four, five, or six-course meal than from professional chefs themselves? Heck, you can even learn a few things online—from making souffles, crab puffs, and killer marina sauces, to beignets, crepes, and killer gourmet mashed potatoes.
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177. Go to the Airport and Take the Next Random Flight
However, if it turns out that your ‘random’ flight is headed for the likes of Iraq or Somalia, opt for the NEXT random flight instead! And to help you get started in your journey to some unknown place, take a look at the highest rated airports in America (by J.D. Power):
- Southwest Florida International Airport
- Indianapolis International
- Tampa International
- Portland, Oregon International (PDX)
- Kansas City International (MCI)
- Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX)
- Orlando International
- Minneapolis/St.Paul International
- Denver International (DEN)
- Detroit Metropolitan Airport (also one of the coolest-looking!)
178. Buy a House
Yeah, yeah: The U.S. housing market isn’t that great. That’s true. But for buyers, especially first-time ones, it’s actually great. While current home owners see their properties’ values plummet (most unfortunately, of course), consumers can more oft than not get once-price-prohibitive homes for bargain basement prices. And, perhaps more importantly, paying on a mortgage (versus rent), you build equity, essentially meaning that one day—assuming the housing market isn’t terrible and property values are up—you’ll either be able to get it back in one of several forms, and maybe even make a tidy profit.
179. Go on an Amazon Rainforest Expedition
If you never see anything else in all of South America, do not miss the chance to experience the naturally majestic Amazon Rainforest. Spanning over nine countries (chiefly Brazil, Peru, and Colombia) and absolutely sprawling over 1.4-billion acres (5.5-million sq.km) inside the Amazon Basin, the biodiversity-heavy Amazon claims home to over half of the world’s animal and plant species. In fact, it’s the largest and most bio-diverse rainforest in the entire world. Over 2-million species of insects, 40,000 species of plants, and 2,000 species of birds and mammals inhabit the planet-sized forest. And despite years of egregious deforestation by human developers (destroyers, actually), plenty of tour organizations (another here) still offer myriad expeditions through the huge track of wild rainforest that still exists.
180. Take a Cruise on the Allure of the Seas
No, the photo isn’t of some town square or plaza, it’s of one of the main decks of the largest cruise liner on Earth. Dubbed ‘Allure of the Seas‘ (of which it shares very similar proportions with its sister ship, Oasis of the Seas), she carries 5,400 passengers and over 2,300 crew, has 16 passenger decks, and boasts seven distinct “neighborhoods” (e.g. ‘Boardwalk, Central Park, and so forth). And that’s just scratching the surface. In addition, she has a double-deck dance hall, 1,380-seat theater, four pools/10whirlpools, a Starbucks, and more dining rooms, miscellaneous eateries, and shopping venues than you could possibly shake a stick at.
To get some perspective on her enormity, the boat (1,181ft long) is only 69ft shorter than the Empire State Building (1,250ft) is high!
181. Fly a Kite at the Cervia International Kite Festival
The Cervia International Kite festival, held in the spring in Cervia, Italy (a town on the Adriatic coast, about two hours south of Venice) is one of the most prominent, longest-running festivals of its kind in Europe and probably the world. Traditionally held for ten days, things you’ll definitely experience at the event up-close views of hundreds of beautifully-colored kites, loads of pasta, enough vino (wine) to get a French battalion plastered, and absolutely perfect coastal weather.
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182. Tour Kiyomizu-dera
Visit Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple (of the Goddess of Mercy) and integral relic and treasure of ancient Kyoto, Japan. The temple overlooks central-eastern Kyoto (itself on the Japanese island Honshu) from the side of Otowa Mountain and was built in 778. Prominent features in and on the grounds of Kiyomizu-dera include the grand Main Hall (Hondo), Deva Gate, the three-story pagoda, bell tower, Eleven Headed and Thousand Armed Kannon Bodhisattva enshrinement (in the Main Hall) enshrinement, and the Kiyomizu Stage (pictured)—a veranda that spans over Otowa Mountain’s precipice. Depending on the season, you’ll also see the much sought-after, gorgeous cherry blossom trees.
183. Visit Tikal
Don’t let this life pass you by without first seeing, up-close and personal, what is one of the largest archaeological digs of the ancient Maya civilization in all of South America. Situation in the Petén Basin (northern Guatemala, relatively near Flores and Santa Elena) of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and recently dubbed a much-coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site, the site is as old as the 4th-century B.C., even though the civilization that inhabited it reached its ‘golden years’ around 200 to 900 AD. By the 10th-century, years after Teotihuacan conquered it, it laid largely a ghost town. Be one of the millions of tourists that see the priceless, ancient artifacts and monuments of Tikal. You’ll see its famed Great Plaza, many great Acropolises, temples, the Plaza of the Seven Temples, alters, stelae (carved stones with drawings on them), and burial grounds.
184. Visit Jerusalem’s Old City
Jerusalem is perhaps one of the most storied, most symbolic (of Christianity and Judaism) cities in the world—its 0.35 sq-mile Walled-city (a.k.a. ‘Old City‘) within modern Jerusalem the most important by far. Built between 1535 and 1538 and serving as as the entire city of Jerusalem until 1860, the 2.8-miles of walls surrounding the Old City encircle some of the world’s most important places, including: the Christian Holy Sepulchre, the Jewish Western Wall (a.k.a. ‘Wailing Wall’ or ‘Kotel’) and Temple Mount, and Islamic Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque. Oh, and you’ll inevitably visit one (or ALL) of the Old City’s four Quarters (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Armenian Quarter).
185. Walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk
Acrophobiacs, here’s your chance again to conquer your fears! Hovering some 4,000ft above the the Grand Canyon, SkyWalk (built in 1996 via collaboration with the local Hualapai Indian tribe) is a 1.2-million-lb platform that extends 70ft over the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. But what, exactly, stands between tourists and a 4,000ft plummet-of-death? 2.5 inch-thick-glass (really, that’s all?!). Engineers steadfastly ensure that the SkyWalk is completely safe, though. White water rafting, cabins, helicopter rides through the Canyon, and several eateries round out the things to see and do around the West Rim.
186. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
Opened for traffic in 1937 to provide vehicle access from San Francisco to Marin County, the Golden Gate Bridge is an 8,981ft (1.7 mile) suspension bridge that hovers some 600ft above the Golden Gate strait; Golden Gate is also the name of the body of water beneath and around the bridge that links the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific ocean. In addition to being one of the most renowned symbols of San Francisco (that and its iconic cable cars), the Golden Gate bridge was originally the longest suspension bridge in the world–surpassed today by only eight others. Fun facts: The Golden Gate consists of:
- 27,572 strands of wire
- 80,000 miles of wire in its two main cables (over 3ft in diameter themselves!)
- Around 1,200,000 rivets.
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187. Observe from the Burj Khalifa
Those afraid of heights that want a ‘death defying experience something just short of skydiving or mountainous base jumping’, look no further than the Burj Khalifa skyscraper (an unfathomable 2,723ft) in Dubai, UAE. The tallest building in the world, it also offers the world’s second-highest outdoor observation deck (dubbed ‘At the Top’), which sits on the 124th-floor, some 1,483 up.
188. Travel Through the Channel Tunnel
The Channel Tunnel (a.k.a. the ‘Chunnel’) is a 31-mile, under-the-sea rail tunnel. Located 250ft (at its deepest point) underneath the English Channel, the ‘Chunnel’ (hey, that’s fun to say!) links Folkestone, Kent in the U.K. with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in France—making the tunnel one of the longest ones (with an undersea section) in the world. But what passes through the super-cool Channel Tunnel? Mainly passenger and freight trains like Eurostar, Eurotunnel Shuttle(vehicle transport), and Europorte Channel freight. Oh, and many consider the massive tunnel one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
189. Tour the New World Trade Center
9/11 forever altered the lives of millions around the world, with over 3,000 people not just from the U.S. killed or missing and the most powerful nation on Earth experiencing an attack of apocalyptic proportions. Over a decade later, the victims and heroes of that day are commemorated with the 9/11 memorial and future 105-story One World Trade Center, expected to open by 2013 and possibly act as the catalyst for additional towers. Pay your respects to the victims, both living and perished, and experience the soon-to-open museum.
190. Start Your Own Successful Business
Like the dude in the photo implies, liberate yourself from your corporate-designed, generic mold and pursue the “American Dream”. That is, be your own boss. Never take BS again from an apathetic, hard-ass boss; the customer is your only real boss. Draft your own schedule. Most importantly, sell whatever it is you love. Whether it’s a tangible product, like a robotic lawn mower, or in-demand service (e.g. carpet cleaning, financial consulting, bounty hunting…), chances are, there’s a market for it.
191. See a Lunar Eclipse and a Solar Eclipse
For those of you who don’t know the difference, a high school refresher: A lunar eclipse transpires when the Moon orbits behind the Earth, the Earth blocking the Sun’s rays from reaching the moon; this happens only during a full moon and when the three celestial bodies are in perfect alignment. Lunar eclipses are visible from far more places on Earth than solar, and during one, the moon’s color (as it appears to us) can range from dark gray, to rust, to brick-red and even orange-ish. Solar eclipses, on the other hand, are much rarer and hard to find, and occur when the Moon is sandwiched between the Earth and the Moon fully (total eclipse) or partially (partial eclipse) blocks the Sun. Of all the aforementioned, total eclipses, well, aesthetically eclipse any other type of eclipse: Period.
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192. Learn Sign Language
Go ahead and add this one to ‘becoming bi or trilingual. Inasmuch, knowing sign language may be just as handy one day (to you) as does a foreign language or two. Sign language isn’t just for English speakers, either! It’s as diverse a language as practically any verbal one and is taught in all sorts of tongues like French, Spanish, Portugese, German, and Russian. And by the way, the hands in the photo are signing “I love you”.
193. Experience A Symphony of Lights on the Star Ferry
Experience the near-daily Symphony of Lights aboard the famous Star Ferryalong the Victoria Harbour. Located between the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour is famous many things, especially the Symphony. Every day (excluding those of inclement weather), ferry-goers of the Star Ferry are whisked around the Harbour and treated to a synchronized light and laser multimedia show—thanks to the help of 44 skyscrapers, miles of optic lighting, LED lights, searchlights, and laser beam equipment. Even the Guinness World Records organization proclaimed the event the ‘world’s largest permanent light and sound show’. It transpires every night at 8pm (Hong Kong Time and with good weather) and on certain holidays, even pyrotechnic fireworks are employed.
194. Play in the Mud at the Boryeong Mud Festival
No, it ain’t Woodstock, but it’s mighty close. Grab some disposable clothes and an appetite for mud-slinging at the annual Boryeong Mud Festival in Seoul, South Korea on the Daecheon beachfront. It all starts with mineral-rich mud (the same as in many cosmetic products) taken from the Boryeong mud flats. The result is over 2-million partygoers/hooligans descending on the ‘Mud Experience Land’ every July; activities and attractions include a ‘mud prison’ (I’ll take the brick & mortar version, thanks), mud pool, mud skiing, colored mud body-painting, live bands, and fireworks.
195. Connect With Teachers From Your Past
Teachers: you probably didn’t find most of ’em all that great when you were young. Having matured, though, you can, in retrospect, probably think of at least a couple of teachers that stood out from the pack of no-frills ones. Try to locate and make contact with them: Let them know how just how fond an effect they had on your life. Reminisce a bit. Catch up on the latest news relating to your school/college/Alma Mater.
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196. Explore the Paleolithic Cave Art in Altamira
Many folks dub the paleolithic cave art in Altamira, Spain the “Sistine chapel of Paleolithic art”. These ancient caves bear what is thought to be the earliest-known drawings and pictures in recorded history, said to date back to (as far as) 16,000 years ago. And they weren’t even discovered until relatively recently when a tree fell on the boulders that blocked the entrance, causing the rocks to tumble and a centuries-lost cave to reveal itself.
But wouldn’t you know it? The cave is, after being accessible to tourists for years, now off-limits to the public. Officials claim that it’s to preserve the drawings from future degradation (We just can’t have anything nice, can we?!), but also say that it may reopen one day to a limited number of people/tourists. So get on the waiting list!
197. Wander Through the Shops of Akihabara
Akihabara, a.k.a. ‘Akihabara Electric Town’ (‘Akibaa’ locally), is one of the many gadget store-havens and districts of Tokyo; and Tokyo’s metro area is, by the way, the largest on Earth with nearly 35-million residents. Situated adjacent Tokyo Station, Akihabara claims home to an entire smorgasbord of shops—from the back-alley peddlers, to the high-class department stores (e.g. Laox)—which sell everything from PC parts and cell phones, to otaku goods, digital cameras, electrical parts, anime paraphernalia, and the latest in TV tech. In other words, it’s a tech geek’s paradise…
198. Go on a Dinner Sleigh Ride in Frisco, Colorado
Opened in 1983 in Summit County, Colorado, the Frisco, Colorado-based Winter Dinner Sleigh Rides/Two Below Zero offers “traditional, turn-of-the-century sleigh and wagon rides.” Included is a charming sleigh ride through various, pine tree-covered mountains that whisks guests to a remote diner in the woods, where hot, homemade meals await them. Two Below Zero was even dubbed the No.1 event by Samantha Brown on her Great Weekends-Colorado show (via the Travel Channel). Make sure to call ahead, though! They only cater to parties with reservations.
199. Eat at Tom Wahls in Avon, NY
Grab some old fashioned, 100% American grub and experience (or even relive) the mid-1950s restaurant scene at the original Tom Wahls of Avon, NY (upstate New York). The retro diner serves up yummy burgers, crispy fries, an ice cream selection that would rival any Baskin Robins, and its iconic, “handcrafted” rootbeer; completing the retro-fabulous experience is non-stop 50’s music and very era-symbolic decor and furnishings. Among several other recognitions and accalades, USA Today proclaimed it the home of the best burger in the entire state.
200. Acquire Persuasion Skills
Let’s face it: Only people with, at the very least, decent persuasion skills really ever “go anywhere” in life. Everyone else ends up working the same old, monotonous 9-5 grind, being up to their necks in bills, and praying for retirement one day. Don’t be one of the latter. Obtain authentic, powerful persuasion skills by (but defintely not limited to):
- Learning to speak with total confidence and poise to both individuals and (sometimes very large) audiences.
- Learning how to argue effectively and productively.
- Finding rapport between yourself and the person/people you’re trying to convince.
- Knowing when to ‘strike’; ideally, subtly unleash your argument in a charismatic and confident manner, when the other party is most relaxed.
- Maximize the benefits of your argument, but never disparage the other party’s concerns.
- Make little to no reference as to how you, personally, will benefit from winning over the other party.
- Make no demands; wear a genuine, confident, friendly smile; ask for (and always be open to) the other party’s input and opinions, how they feel about about both sides of the issue.
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201. Visit Toys ‘R’ Us Times Square
You won’t wanna miss out on this one, particularly if you have kids. It’s no Disney World, but Toys ‘R’ Us Times Square touts itself ‘one of the largest toy stores worldwide’ and sprawls some 110,000 square feet. Attractions include a 60ft Ferris wheel, a life-sized T-Rex dinosaur (that loudly roars at passersby), Jurassic Park department, Lego Store, and virtually any young girl’s biggest fantasy—a 4,000 sq.-ft. Barbie dollhouse. And that’s just barely scratching the surface. Additionally, the behemoth Times Square T-‘R’-Us boasts large, interactive “play areas”, boutiques that showcase the world’s hottest, most culturally diverse, and cutting-edge toys in the world.
202. Build a Bonfire and Make S’mores
It’s not quite like touring Rome or sunbathing in Bora Bora; it is, however, one of life’s small pleasures, especially done with good friends and family. Choose an especially dark night, establish camp somewhere remote (or even in your backyard), start a fire and hand out the marshmellows for roasting (and too often, burning). Sit back and enjoy the good company, chirping crickets, crackling fire, and freedom from life’s frequent annoyances.
203. Trek on the Perito Moreno Glacier
Experience the Los Glaciares National Park, situated in the Santa Cruz province of southern Argentina. One of the most important attractions in all of the Argentine/Chilean Patagonia (the southern leg of the Andes mountains in southern South America), the a 97 sq.-mi., 19-mile long Perito Moreno glacier stands like a behemoth ice sculpture amongst the Southern Patagonian Ice Field.
Popular tours offered include the ‘mini-trekking’ tour (an around one-to-two hour walk around the perimeter of the glacier), and ‘big ice’, a longer, more in-depth tour of around five hours. Either way, remember that most of the local tour companies provide crampons to customers free of (additional) charge.
204. Read At Least Five Books From Modern Library’s Best Novels List
Possibly to your dismay (or your immense relief at the prospect of some respite, one!), this bucket list item requires of you to find an uber-quiet, comfortable place. Timeless, even legendary pieces of literature from the Modern Library’s“100 Best Novels”—such as To Kill a Mockingbird, Catch-22, Ulysses, As I Lay Dying (Faulkner), Brave New World (Huxley), The Sun Also Rises (Hemingway), Lord of the Flies, and One Lonely Night (to name just a few)—await your curious mind!
205. Go to the World Expo
The World Expo (aka ‘World’s Fair’, ‘World Expos’)—an ongoing series of large, public exhibitions put on by many countries (at one central location)—began in 1928 under the collective body of the International Exhibitions Bureau (IEB) as a multinational exposition, where countries from around the globe came to showcase their cultures, scientific achievements and breakthroughs, and causes. Nation branding and intercultural facilitation were (and still are) the Fair’s main tenets. Towards the 21st-century, countries also started building ‘pavilions’ in their architecturally-rendered image and even permanent monuments (e.g. the Eiffel Tower in Paris, Space Needle in Seattle) as embodiments of their peoples and culture. Don’t miss the next one in 2012 at Expo 2012 in Yeosu, South Korea; if you need wee-bit’s further notice, consider the Expo 2015 in Milan, Italy.
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206. Take a Photography Class
Fact: Most people that fancy themselves ‘good photographers’ are actually, well, amateurs. Capturing great, professional-like photos, regardless of the onslaught of successions in photographic-wizardry on cell phones, still requires an actualcamera and actual training. In a photography class, you’ll learn all sorts of photographic techniques and principles—from low- and high-key exposure, ‘intent’, and the Rule of Thirds, to ‘negative space’, diagonal lines, and ‘S-curves’. You won’t find any of that goodness in an iPhone manual, now will ya?
207. Perfect a Magic Trick
Not only perform a trick, learn one. These sleight-of-hands can include (but certainly aren’t limited to) coins, cards, handkerchiefs, a rabbit, pigeons, illusions and so forth. Explore a virtually never-ending list here. Use it to entertain the kids, the elderly, or even random strangers. You’ll probably never become the next Houdini, but how invaluable are few good tricks up your sleeves, good for instant entertainment or simply cranking up the charm amongst unsuspecting bystanders?
208. Rescue a Dog/Cat From an Animal Shelter
We’ve all been subjected to these late-night, tear-jerking (for animal lovers, anyhow) save-a-pet commercials. Before you kick the bucket, make a point to go down to the local pound/animal shelter and adopt a dog or cat—if not for you and/or your family, perhaps for a good friend who needs a companion.
209. Pay for a Strangers Groceries
Food is expensive. And, like gas, it keeps getting more expensive: Gotta love hyper-out-of-control inflation. Like one of your previous bucket-list tasks (HINT: No. 132, remember?), this one dictates that you choose a random customer—preferably one inundated with groceries and kids and/or looking a bit ‘run-down’—and let ’em know that their grub is totally on you. You’ll feel great afterwards, and might even receive a round of applause from fellow shoppers!
210. Ride the “X” Train
Forget cars and planes. The next time you’re looking to travel between Los Angeles and Las Vegas, hop on the luxury “X” Train. Passengers will ride in style while admiring the decked out interior and taking advantage of the sports bar, food & beverage service, and of course, casino tables… because you can never lose your money too early!
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211. Zip Line in Monteverde, Costa Rica
Zip line above and through the foggy, almost mystical cloud forests of gorgeous Monteverde in Costa Rica. These lines, courtesy of Costa Rica Sky Adventures, span mountain-to-mountain, shooting zip-liners (i.e. you!) over the jungle at up to 330ft and speeds approaching 40mph. The company claims a “superior braking and safety system” (so, you know, you feel much better about not falling to your death and all), and also offers views of the jungle from five different observation towers, a restaurant, bar, and a wealth of other fun things to see in the wild. Patrons ascend the mountain, where their possibly-daunting zip lines await, via the ‘Sky Tram’.
212. Visit Niagra Falls
Visit and take in the Niagara Falls waterfalls in northern New York. Situated between the cities Niagara Falls, NY and Niagara Falls, Ontario, Niagara Falls is actually a collection of waterfalls—the main and most prominent one being Horseshoe Falls. On average, the 2,600ft-wide Horseshoe dumps as much as 5.7-million liters of water in the peak season some 173ft down. It’s sister waterfall, American Falls, drops down around 100ft and measures approximately 1,060ft-wide. As for the photograph above, the source and/or reason for the splendid light show is anyone’s guess…
213. Stay in the Burj Al Arab Hotel
Dubai’s probably among the most unashamedly ritzy places on Earth—the likes of modern skyscrapers (one the tallest in the world), exotic cars, and swanky real estate seen everywhere. Enter the Burg Al Arab. Self-proclaimed “the world’s most luxurious hotel” and even “the only 7-star hotel there is” by many-a-journalist, the 70-floor hotel was designed to mimic the sail of the sailboat. Only this ‘sail’ boasts over 200 double-story suites, a reception desk on every-freakin’ floor, butler service, several high class restaurants, and a water park. The hotel itself, offering indescribable views of the Persian Gulf and Dubai itself, is the fourth tallest in the world.
214. Go Wakeboarding
While we’re talking about doing stuff involving lots of H2O, consider wakeboarding as one of your last bucket list to-dos. Admitedly, your author knows next to nothing about the sport, but thanks to the wonderment known as Wikipedia, here goes nothing! Wakeboarding is a water sport that evolved from various fundamentals of water skiing, surfing, and snow boarding. Riders get momentum from a speedboat and perform maneuvers—check out the whimsical terms like ‘Fashion Air’, Tantrum, Toeside Backroll, and G-Spot—via the boat’s wake. There are even words for certain positions (of the body in relation to the board), like Melon, Slob, Nuclear, Nosegrab and Tailgrab. Sounds hella’ fun, right?
215. Skinny-Dip at Turtle Island, Fiji
What’do’ya know? There’s more watery fun on the list! Turtle Island (a.k.a. ‘Nanuya Levu‘), an exclusive resort island that only accommodates 14 couples at a time, features exotic food, breathtaking oceanic and tropical views, ‘alfresco’ dining beach-side, and uber-luxurious villas. The 1980 flick The Blue Lagoon was even filmed here. But the best part of this apparent utopia? The 14 private—yes, private—beaches that couples can rent all to their romantic selves. Want the entire island for one whole week? No problem, you’ll only need to plop down a cool $275,000 for the rent. Now, abandon all inhibitions with a significant other; strip to your birthday suits and enjoy life as it was in the beginning and truly should be—au naturale!
Bolstering the argument for normally-risque nudism, The Guardian even named the island ‘one of the top ten places to go skinny-dipping’.
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216. Visit Yosemite Valley
A huge, magnificent, beautiful tract of America for sure, Yosemite Valley lies among the western Sierra Nevada mountains in the heart of Yosemite National Park (CA). It’s home to the U.S.’s highest waterfall (sixth-highest in the world), the 2,425ft Yosemite Falls, the world-famous Half Dome granite rock formation, 3,000ft El Capitan granite monolith formation (famed especially among rock climbers), and more species of animals, flora, and trees than you can shake a stick (pun totally intended) at.
217. See Old Faithful
While you’re visiting Yellowstone National Park (Wyoming, U.S.), and while there are plentiful things to do and see there, be sure not to miss the famous Old Faithful geyser. It was discovered by members of the Washburn Expedition of 1870 and was named for the fact that it is faithful in erupting, on average, every 91 minutes, every single day. Many geological experts have even dubbed it “the most predictable natural geographical feature on Earth”. And with every eruption, OF blasts an average of 4,500 gallons of boiling water some 145ft (the record is 185ft) high. Hot shower, anyone?
218. Do Something That Absolutely Terrifies You
Have you experienced the dreadful fear of public speaking (a.k.a. ‘glossophobia’)? How about an irrational (probably not so much to you, the thrill-seeker, though!) fear of even the ‘lowest’ of heights, or of blood (hemophobia)? Confront it—head-on. Think of it this way, if you can successfully conquer your greatest fear in the world, then you can probably achieve anything, including defeating other phobias. And yes, in case you’re wondering, confronting the fear of bats also counts.
219. Learn to Manage Time and be More Productive
Some people, notably the Einsteinian- or Carl Sagan-esque types, assert that ‘time doesn’t exist’, that it’s only some ‘construct of the mind’. You, on the other hand, live in the real world: A world where there’s only 24 hours to eat, sleep, work, exercise, pick up/drop off the kids, answer perpetually-incoming calls and text messages, and Lord-knows-what-else. Start budgeting your time to make it all more meaningful, or at least seem that way. Give priority to the more important things in life, and less attention to all of its trivial nuances.
220. Sleep in a Hammock
Sleep in a hammock anywhere, that is: On the beach, on campgrounds, in the backyard under the oak tree, and so on and so forth. Pay no mind to the fact that sleeping in a hammock is plain terrible for your back, and is probably better suited to short, infrequent naps. If only once, sleep in a hammock in some isolated, serene and peaceful environment. See the dude in the picture? Well, you get the idea.
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221. Master the Scorpion Yoga Pose
You probably just thought, upon seeing the almost absurd position the woman above has managed, “You really expect me to contort my body like that?!”, didn’t you? Yeah, same here. However, this is the product of a couple of little things called ‘exercise’ and ‘staying fit’, alien terms to many of us (guilty…again).
222. Tour Hearst Castle
What looks like some rich playboy’s estate in some exotic location is actually a National Landmark, state historic park, and state-owned mansion. The sprawling Hearst Castle and surrounding estate (a.k.a ‘La Cuesta Encantada‘, or ‘The Enchanted Hill’) lies on a very remote stretch of California’s Central Coast, and was designed by Julia Morgan for newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst(died 1951). It was donated in 1957 to the state as a museum, and abounds in architectural eye-candy (the home blends Spanish Revival and Mexican Colonial styles), beautiful coastal scenery, priceless works of art and antiques. And despite its eerily remote locale, the estate still draws
around one million tourists annually.
223. Write Yourself a Letter and Read it 10 Years Later
Even if your writing skills are practically limited to signing your name and texting (does the latter even qualify as ‘writing’?), you can still write yourself: Your 10-year-older self, that is. Preferably, make a hand-written letter: It’s just more personal than a printed or digitized one. Then, stuff it a appropriately-labeled envelope, find (or create) a safe place (one that’s certain to not be tampered with), kiss it goodbye for now, and stash it away.
224. Compete in a Triathlon
A triathlon, for those unaware, entails a sequence of three sports—swimming, bicycling, and running—competed in tandem and each over a pre-determined distance. You’ll need to be physically and mentally fit to participate in one, though! Most triathletes undergo constant training in each of the sports, as well as engage in perpetual strength conditioning. Take the Ironman Triathlon for instance: This simply grueling event—of which only the fittest-of-the-fit need apply to—takes place over 17 hours. In that window of time, contestants must swim a 2.4-mile stretch, then immediately cycle a 112-mile path, and then transition to a 26.2-mile run. The competition generally begins at 7a.m. (no late night partying for you!) and participants must cross the finish line no later than 17 hours later at midnight.
Feel out-of-shape yet?
225. Create a Bucket List
Okay, admittedly, most of us will probably never possess the time and/or resources (a.k.a. ‘money’) to accomplish all of these ideas; but surely you’ve found more than a few that you can eventually check off. How’s about even adding a few of your own? Though, don’t even think about combining No. 225 with No. 223, you sneaky, sneaky devil. You’re a man/woman of action: You’re meant to experience life in abundance, with practically reckless abandon! Now get off the computer and get busy!