As promised, here is what I plan to do before I die. It will be kept current.
If you want to make your own list, here is the comprehensive guide to making one that you will honor.
Cities to tour
To tour a city means to spend at least a few days there exploring.
Montreal - DONE but I will be back
New York – DONE – 2/17/2012 - I spent most of four weeks here and had the time of my life. I heart NY.
Rio de Janeiro
Long-term trips to take
Since my trip to Australasia, I can’t stop thinking about other large-scale trips I want to take. They could last anywhere from a month to a year.
Take a coast-to-cost road trip across the US South, visiting Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona, Utah, Colorado, Nevada and California
Explore South America, particularly Brazil, Peru, Chile, Bolivia and Argentina
Travel in Scandinavia and the Baltic countries — Norway, Sweden, Finland (maybe Denmark) Latvia, Estonia
Eastern Canada — From Ottawa and Quebec city, through the Gaspé, to Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, PEI and Newfoundland
World treasures to visit
The Sagrada Familia
The Statue of Liberty - DONE – 1/23/2012 – I was exhausted from a day of walking around lower Manhattan, and suddenly felt a bit crowded out by the busy streets. So I went walking down by the water around Battery Park City. It was drizzly and suddenly quiet, and then I saw her still figure in the distance. Heart almost stopped. Just like the Sydney Opera House — the best way to see world-famous landmarks is by accident.
The Museum of Modern Art, New York - DONE - 1/17/12 – Wandered the galleries for a few hours and had a transcendent encounter with my favorite painting ever, Des Moiselles d’Avignon. Almost cried, again. Sat and stared at their Kandinskys for I don’t know how long.
Countries/regions to explore
Visiting only one city in these regions doesn’t count. One week minimum, must include overland travel
Thailand - DONE – 11/20/09 – Had a blast, will be back one day.
New Zealand – DONE – Spent six months exploring this wonderful country from Nov ’09 to May ’10. I visited so many beautiful places and am determined to return one day.
Ireland, Scotland, and England
Nepal and India
Skills and knowledge
Learn French to fluency
Learn conversational Spanish
Understand the implications of Plato’s Cave
Learn photography - DONE - 1/2012 - I am proficient with the operation of a DSLR camera, the basics of composition and exposure. I can take pictures that make people go wow. There is an endless amount to learn and I want to learn more, but I’ve achieved enough to impress myself, which is all I ever wanted.
Learn my wines
Learn to boost a car without worrying I might zap myself - DONE – 12/13/10
Learn proper etiquette for a full formal dinner, and use it
Spend a year practicing Buddhism formally (including taking precepts, joining a sangha)
Achieve a comprehensive knowledge of the events of the Second World War – PROGRESS
Learn to surf – DONE - Took a four-day surf camp in May 2010. Learned to stand up and surf right away, and now I am in love with surfing. I want to surf all over the world.
Learn first aid and CPR – DONE - 5/12/11 - This had been on my conscience for a long time. I am now certified in level C first aid and CPR.
Learn to do one-arm pushups
Learn to dance well - PROGRESS - I do dance now — I was afraid to for years — it’s feeling better and more natural, but it’s not quite “well” yet.
Learn to drive a stick
Learn to throw a tight spiral with a football
Learn to swim properly - after all these years I must say I really don’t know what I’m doing
Master a workflow system - PROGRESS - Really getting there, finally. Not quite a master.
Learn to swing a golf club properly
Develop a nice, consistent signature (I’m 30 and haven’t done this yet)
Achieve a general understanding of the philosophies of Plato, Aristotle, Confucius, Marcus Aurelius, Machiavelli, Francis Bacon, René Descartes, Thomas Hobbes, Blaise Pascal, Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Jean-Paul Sartre, Voltaire, Adam Smith, Immanuel Kant, Karl Marx, Thomas Paine, Ralph Waldo Emerson, Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Albert Einstein, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Ayn Rand
Read about the lives of Napoleon Bonaparte, Albert Einstein, Marco Polo, Helen Keller, Benjamin Franklin, Michelangelo, Adolf Hitler, Abraham Lincoln, Leonardo da Vinci, Ernest Hemingway, Augustus Caesar, Jean d’Arc, Ferdinand Magellan, Lewis & Clark, Marie Antoinette, Catherine the Great, Genghis Khan, Henry VIII, Mark Twain, Horatio Nelson, Peter the Great, Louis XIV, Elizabeth I and John Lennon
Become self-employed - PROGRESS - I do officially have my own profitable business. Still need the day job for now though.
Become financially independent - This means I am living off the returns of my assets and do not have to work.
Play guitar in a working band
Get a university degree
Own a house
Speak in front of a large audience (500+)
Become debt-free - DONE
Try a vegan diet for 30 days – DONE – 3/24/11 – This became Experiment No. 10 and it changed my dietary habits forever.
Become a millionaire
Have my own website - DONE – 3/15/09
Own a suit I feel great in
Make my living doing work I love - PROGRESS - I am starting to pay a few bills from the proceeds of work I love.
Get into physical shape I would describe as “outstanding”
Adopt a sustainable lifestyle
Achieve a “location independent” full-time income
Get my Gmail inbox to zero – DONE – 4/16/10 – This is actually super easy, because of Gmail’s brilliant “Archive” function. I just selected them all and archived them. You should do it.
Write my will
Books/films to read/see
NOTE: I reserve the right to put down any book I’m not enjoying. When I’m done, I’m done.
Schindler’s List – DONE – 9/13/09
Dr. Strangelove (or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb) - DONE - 3/19/13 – I appreciate the political significance of this film but I found myself tremendously bored watching it. The same joke went on for hours. I wanted to like it, and I’m not saying it wasn’t good. But I didn’t like it. Felt the same way about Catch-22 when I read it. Everyone else seemed to really like both.
Heart of Darkness – Joseph Conrad - DONE – 11/16/09 – Finished it on the beach in Ko Phi Phi. Fantastic book, everyone who loves the English language should read it.
On the Road – Jack Kerouac
The Stranger – Albert Camus
Walden – Henry David Thoreau
Vagabonding – Rolf Potts DONE – 7/2011
Roughing It – Mark Twain- DONE – I loved the first half of the book, but I found it became very slow in the second half. There really isn’t a discernible plot, so it’s hard to get excited at picking it up again. There are a lot of entertaining tall tales, but some of them are tiresome and irrelevant. Was not compelled to finish it, but I am done with it.
Dune - Frank Hebert
Beyond Good and Evil – Friedrich Nietzsche
Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance – Robert Pirsig - DONE - 3/19/13 – Another book I did not finish. I expected a novel with themes of zen and living in the present moment. There was no subtlety at all to the philosophical aspect. Philosophy can be incredibly boring when it’s discussed in the abstract, and it doesn’t take long to discover that that’s what the author really wants to do. Was turned off very quickly.
The Hierarchy of Heaven and Earth – Douglas Harding
Experiences to have
Plant and harvest a vegetable garden
Snowboard in the European Alps
Explore Yellowstone National Park
Have an article published in The New Yorker
Go to an NFL game
Fly first class
Drive a 300+ horsepower muscle car
Drive a 500+ horsepower sports car
Take a Rocky Mountain snowboarding tour, spending a whole winter visiting different ski resorts in the Canadian and American West
Orbit the earth in a spaceship - I’m serious about this.
Fly in a hot air balloon
Look at the heavens through a huge telescope – DONE – 4/1/11 – I visited the huge observatories on the summit of Mauna Kea in Hawaii and looked at several nebulae and planets with a 11″ reflecting telescope. Now, that’s not quite “huge” — I did not get to view the heavens through the enormous (some 20m-plus) telescopes in the observatories for two very good reasons: a) they are extremely exclusive and you have to have a lot of academic clout to even have a chance of using them, and b) modern telescopes do not have eyepieces — you can’t look through them. They are operated remotely and the heavens are viewed as high-res digital images. They are basically big cameras, and the images are freely available online.
Go rock climbing, on actual rocks
See the Northern Lights - DONE but I want to do it again!
Take an epic multi-day hike in the Alps
See Radiohead live - DONE – 3/9/12 – Saw them in St. Louis. Beautiful, beautiful show. “Reckoner” and “Lucky” were transcendent moments for me.
Go snowboarding somewhere only accessible by helicopter
Travel by train through the mountains – DONE – 2/4/10 – Took the TranzScenic across the New Zealand Southern Alps from Greymouth to Christchurch.
Live in Montréal for at least a few months
Walk the Abel Tasman Coastal Track – DONE – I had planned to walk the entire length of the track on December 23-27, 2009. When I got to the first hut, I found myself to be the only solo traveler at a beach full of vacationing families. I had left friends behind at the beginning of the track, and decided I’d rather spend Christmas with them than do the rest of the track with all of these couples and families. So I went back the next day. I did not walk the whole track as I intended, but I’m calling it done. I saw everything I wanted to see. It was beautiful, I just didn’t need five days of it at that particular time.
Take a round-the-world trip
See Pagliacci in a grand opera house
Dine at a ridiculously expensive restaurant
Stay at a ridiculously expensive hotel
Share a ridiculously expensive bottle of wine with someone
Go to a movie by myself – I attempted to do this in Sydney in June 2010, at the world’s biggest IMAX screen, and unfortunately I ran into a bunch of friends going to the same movie
Participate in the making of a documentary
Fire a pistol
Get a massage from a professional – DONE - 10/14/09 – (There will be many more.)
Have a picnic on a green rolling hill with a checkered blanket
Eat a baguette and drink wine in France
Hike in a rainforest – DONE - 1/24/10 – Hiked through the rainforest at Franz Josef, NZ, up to the top of 1300m Alex Knob. I am so sore. Pictures here.
Order in French at a French restaurant
Hike in the Himalaya
Tour Le Marais in Paris
Tour a region famous for wine, and sample a lot of it
Take an overnight camping trip by canoe
Summit a mountain (10,000+ ft)
Ride a Harley Davidson
Get a quality barrel
See Cirque du Soleil – DONE - 7/24/10 – Saw “Allegria” at the MTS Centre. Incredible show, exceeded my expectations. Want to see more Cirque shows.
Attend South by Southwest
Attend Burning Man
Live in New York City
Watch a sports game from a luxury box
Float in a sensory deprivation tank for an hour or more
Total goals: 135
Total complete: 30
Last updated: May 16, 2013
Photo by Dudu Viana