I made a Life List.
I'm still not entirely certain what sparked the desire to list all of the things I'd like to do before I die. I saw The Bucket List. I read GQ's "75 Things Every Man Should Do" (I know I'm a girl, but why should guys get all the fun!?). Online, I randomly wandered across awesome lists of things that awesome people do and thought to myself "I'd like to do those one day". The thought that immediately followed was: why wait? Why wait until I think I'm going to die? Why leave all the fun things until I'm too old and creaky to appreciate the doing of them?
As I sat down to write my list of Things I Want To Do, drawing inspiration from many people and sites on the internet, I realized something really interesting:
I've actually already done a lot.
It's part of why I write. I have had so many deliciously crazy and delightfully mundane experiences, but because I approach them with joy and wonder they're all HUGE in my memories. I love telling stories, and sometimes I deliberately approach an experience thinking "I'm going to make this day something to tell people about." I seek out the wacky and weird because I love the attention and love making people laugh. It's what makes me happy and gets me up in the morning to face a new day.
I wanted to include some things I saw on other lists, but that I've already done - that way I could already cross something off my Life List already, but that's cheating. So I had to start a list of Things I've Already Done. It's pretty long, too. But, because I didn't cheat by using past experiences on my Life List, I ended up with some really far-fetched things! I'm comfortable with crazy, seemingly unattainable goals. I set my sights high and try my best, and I feel that doing so is a better gauge of character than setting goals and easily meeting them.
This is my Life List.
See Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal.
Visit Patagonia and Tierra del Fuego.
Photograph Easter Island and the mysterious head statues.
Participate in a Vispassana, a silence retreat.
Tour across Australia in a van.
Volunteer on a farm in New Zealand.
Visit all the places filmed in LOTR, preferably on horseback.
Get PADI Scuba Diving Certification.
Hike the Grand Canyon.
Try skydiving, even if its just the indoor version.
Learn how to lead-climb.
Go on a camping/climbing trip that includes multi-pitch routes.
Learn how to sail a boat.
Work with big cats in Africa.
Go on a photo safari to see exotic animals.
Eat sushi and take part in a Japanese Tea Ceremony in Japan.
Wander the night markets in Bangkok.
Sleep on a beach on an Indonesian island.
Spend six months in an ashram, practicing karma yoga.
Fill an entire journal in a year (not including a blog!) for the memories.
Snowboard in Colorado, Utah and Canada (after learning how, of course).
Visit the zoo in Novosibirsk, Siberia.
See the Northern Lights in Alaska.
Participate in a triathlon. Who cares if I dont win, I just want to finish!
Get my pilots license and fly a plane solo.
Go deep sea fishing and catch something all by myself.
Write a book about my experiences.
Sell a screenplay and be involved in the production, somehow.
Be conversational in five or more languages: French, Russian, Spanish, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Dutch, Czech, German, Hindi and Arabic.
Trek through a jungle.
Go through Wilderness Survival Training, and then survive a week in a wilderness.
Learn how to take a punch in boxing training.
Spend a St. Patricks Day each in Dublin and Boston.
Take a culinary class in another country.
Sing along with a guitarist in a lounge setting, for an audience.
Gamble $1000 I can afford to lose for entertainment only.
Donate $1000 I can afford to give to help the underprivileged.
Traverse the desert on camel back, camping in tents.
Drive across both Canada and the United States, including the Pacific Coast Hwy.
Design and get Ohm tattooed on my right wrist, and a thistle surrounded by knotwork on my left shoulder.
Ride a gondola in Venice complete with violin music and a cute guy.
Learn how to tango.
Float in the Dead Sea, slathering my body with the mud for the purification properties.
Run a 5k in 30 minutes or less.
Shower in a waterfall (a warm one!).
Take a ride in a fighter jet.
Walk on the Great Wall of China.
Go white water rafting somewhere beautiful.
Get a degree in Criminal Justice. Or English. Or Physics. Whatever appeals.
Grow an herb garden.
Take a ride in a hot air balloon.
See the Alhambra in Andalusia, Spain. Reading about it was amazing, must see it!
Join the Peace Corps.
Ride an elephant that has been ethically treated.
Take a bicycle tour of another country.
Learn how to ride a motorcycle.
Live with a family as a paying guest in another country for a month.
Climb one of the Seven Summits.
Hit the Bourbon Trail to taste them all.
Develop an appreciation for good beers.
Buy everyone in the bar a drink.
Climb the Eiffel Tower and the Statue of Liberty.
Cliff jumping in Hawaii.
Develop the skill to climb 5.10 or better consistently.
Perform a handbrake turn in a car.
Surfing anywhere in the world, so long as I dont drown.
Go to Burning Man just once.
Teach English in another country for six months to a year.
Go totally naked on a nude beach.
Participate in Love Parade in Germany.
Go to Octoberfest.
Visit all 50 states.
Dress up as a comic-book character and go to a convention.
Have dinner with Daniel Craig.
Learn a martial art.
Learn how to sword fight and joust.
Learn how to play the viola and piano.
Invent a totally unique and delicious cocktail.
Walk a red carpet in a really fabulous dress.
Have a piece of my art hung in a gallery.
Go on a month long European cruise.
Save someones life.
See the North or South Pole.
Become a mummy. A yummy mummy!
Test-drive a Ferrari.
See a symphony performed at a theatre.
View a waterfall from a prop-plane in Guyana and Zimbabwe.
Prepare and serve a six-course meal for myself and friends.
Stomp grapes to make wine.
Teach a community yoga class for free, as often as possible.
Go to the desert. Take long-lasting drugs. Drink water.
Bungee jump. What the hell.
Learn how to swim. Properly.
Visit Machu Picchu.
See Jack Johnson in concert.
Read 50 classic books. Like, The Postman Always Rings Twice and War and Peace.
Send and receive letters and photographs to a person on every continent.
Own an appliance.
See Dubai from the World's Tallest Building.
I'm starting this year. 2009 was an amazing year for me; today and the rest of 2010 is the rest of my life. I'm going to make the most of it. I may never have dinner with Daniel Craig, but I will do my best to make that and everything else on this list happen!
Maigen is simple. is smart. is wholesome. is skeevy. is spicy. is delicate. is better. is purer. is 100% more awesome than yesterday. She';s traveling the world and writing about her experiences with life, love, yoga, food, travel and people. Mostly people. Because they';re funny. hear more of her random thoughts @maigen on twitter.
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IF YOU LIKED THIS COLUMN...
1.13.10 @ 9:00a
I'd really like to see that list of stuff you've already done.
1.13.10 @ 11:30a
"Own an appliance."
You did. You lost it. *snerk*
1.13.10 @ 11:34a
ha! that didn't count as an appliance because it didn't have a plug!
1.13.10 @ 6:37p
I thought the was nothing but plug...
And didn't you mean "Have Daniel Craig for dinner..."
1.14.10 @ 4:00p
I do recommend you not try to do Stonehenge, the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal on the same trip. That's a lot of walking.
1.14.10 @ 10:17p
Actually, I've already seen the Pyramids and the Taj Mahal (I cheated a little by keeping them on the list, but since they were my top three Wonders, I figured it was okay)!
1.15.10 @ 10:51p
maigan, thanks for sharing your optimism! you've reminded me that i need to look at my list again. i've never thought of making a list of things i've done before. thanks for the idea. i'd recommend wolf creek, co for your snowboarding trip. i boarded for the first time there last year and it was INCREDIBLE. its a locals kind of place (quaint, not overrun by commercialism), the people are really nice, they boast the most snow in co, AND it's beautiful! i've never seen so much powder! as for hiking the grand canyon, i'd advise you not to do this during the summer time or during monsoon season. just some words of advise from an az native! best of luck accomplishing that list!