My Bucket List: Things To Do Before I Go

I like reading the bucket lists that people post. They say a lot about the authors’ personalities, their interests and their dreams, and it’s fun to share our ideas and compare our experiences and expectations. And if I can help them achieve tick off an item or two, that’s a bonus!

It’s only fair that I share mine – what can you learn about me? Some of these goals were drawn up or accomplished long ago, reflecting who I was then. As that changes, I’ll add a few new ones over time. There were a few I never knew I wanted until I actually went out and did them.

(Updated: 3 January 2018)

Travel

  • Go on a road trip
    New Zealand, 2013/14
  • Cross the Arctic Circle
    Crossed at Napapiiri on New Year’s Eve, 2006
  • Estonia
    Visited Tallinn, Kuressaare and Tartu in 2013
  • Neringa, Lithuania
    Watched the sunrise in Nida, 2013
  • Mexico
    Guanajuato and Leon, 2010
  • Iran
    Four cities in 2016
  • Cornwall, England
  • Firenze, Italy
    November 2017
  • Vatican City
    November 2017
  • New York City
  • Portland, OR
    And then I’ll have visited the three West Coast states
  • Norway
    Fjords and Hell should be worth saving up for!
  • Iceland
  • Israel
  • Anywhere in Africa
  • Fly first or business class
    Flew business class on Finnair’s A350 XWB jet from Helsinki to Singapore
Vene
Vana Linn, Tallinn

Adventures

  • Kayaking
    Akaroa harbour, 2014
  • White water rafting
    On the Kaituna in Rotorua, 2013
  • Go skydiving
    Franz Josef, 2014 (because a helicopter landing’s too pricey)
  • Go whale watching
    San Diego, 2010 – we saw a humpback whale
  • Dive with great white sharks
    Stewart Island, 2014
  • Swim with basking or whale sharks
  • Swim with wild beluga whales
  • Encounter manta rays
  • Go cross-country skiing
    Let’s talk about downhill skiing after I master this, alright?
  • Go jet skiing
  • Fly an airplane
  • Climb a mountain
    So far I’ve cheated by taking the gondola
Great White Shark, Stewart Island
Great white shark spotted off Stewart Island

Sights

  • Go somewhere snowy
    It’s an obsession for kids from the tropics; Rovaniemi 2006, Julian, CA and Whistler 2010
  • Scale a glacier
    Fox Glacier, 2014
  • The Great Wall of China
    On a school trip in 2001
  • Summer solstice celebrations
    Ligo 2013 in Latvia
  • Stonehenge
    A sunny day, 2011
  • Spot a wild kiwi
    Stewart Island, 2014
  • See the little penguins
    Oamaru, 2014
  • View the Milky Way on a clear night
    Christchurch and Stewart Island, 2014
  • Spend a night in a castle
    Zamek Ryn in Poland’s lake district, 2009
  • Dive the Poor Knights Islands
    Snorkelled instead, 2013
  • Frolic on nude beach
    There’s one in Nida – 2013
  • Machu Picchu, Peru
  • La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona
    When it’s complete
  • See puffins in the wild
  • Bayon, Angkor Wat, Neak Pean in Cambodia
    Siem Reap, September 2014
  • Aurora borealis/australis
    No luck so far – hope that changes soon!
  • Ningaloo Reef, Australia
    I’ll be very happy if I get to swim here or in the Great Barrier Reef
  • A night in the desert
    Iran – it was very cold.
  • A European Christmas market
    I went to the one in Warsaw that was still going on in February
  • Carnival on Shrove Tuesday
    Cologne, Venice, Brazil, anywhere will do
Ligo Market in Riga
Ligo Market in Riga

Food and drink

  • Black pudding
    As kaszanka, fried on a skewer or with a full English, it’s all good – 2011, 2012 and 2013
  • Haggis
    Something I enjoyed very much in Scotland, 2011
  • Mead
    The drink of Norse legends
  • Orchard fresh fruit
  • Seafood straight from the ocean
    Sea urchin, crayfish and butterfish on the beach where they were caught, 2011
  • Some place that was on Man v. Food
    Hash House, San Diego (the Las Vegas outlet was featured on the show)
  • Kriek and Lambic beer
    Anderlecht’s Cantillon brewery, 2013
  • Bluff oysters
    Some of the biggest and sweetest oysters available
  • Taiwan’s night markets
  • A Michelin-recommended restaurant
    Miod Malina, Krakow (2009) and Kam’s Roast Goose, Hong Kong (2016)
  • Babi guling
    Bali’s iteration of roast pig is next on the list
  • Ranch steak
  • Gelato in Italy
    It was so good, even in autumn
  • Cask strength whisky
    I got my Ardbeg Corryvreckan

Sports and racing

  • Visit Newcastle United Football Club
    Paid tribute at the club I support in 2011. It was followed by the best season in ages.
  • Attend a Formula 1 race
    Malaysia 2000 and 2003, Singapore 2008 – 2017
  • Attend a WRC rally
    Poland 2009, Mexico 2010, Finland 2013
  • Attend Rally Finland
  • Attend a MotoGP race
  • British GP at Silverstone, 2011
  • Attend the Indy Grand Prix of Long Beach
    2010 season. I’d love to see the new cars though
  • Attend the Monaco Grand Prix
    And pay as little as possible for accommodation
  • Be a paddock guest
  • Camp at the 24 Heures du Mans
    The greatest endurance race of them all
  • Take part in a go-kart race
  • Attend the Isle of Man Tourist Trophy
    And the most dangerous road race out there
  • Drive a single-seater Formula car
  • Drive a lap of the old Nordschleiffe
    Nürburgring forever!
Valentino Rossi at Silverstone
Valentino Rossi at Silverstone

Music

  • See Regina Spektor in concert
    Singapore, 2012
  • See the Choir of King’s College in concert
    Singapore, 2009 and 2013
  • See The Police in concert
    Singapore, 2008
  • See Keren Ann in concert
  • Catch Neil Finn (of Crowded House fame) in concert
  • Go to the opera
    Tosca at the Wiener Staatsoper, 2017

Achievements

  • Learn to drive
    Got my license in 2013, and I did it with a manual transmission!
  • Run a blog
    This thing you see before you
  • Live abroad
    USA 2010 and New Zealand 2014
  • Ride a motorcycle
  • Publish a book or get published in one
    I’ve written columns for a local paper as a teen, but I’d like to go one step further
  • Speak 4 languages
    English, Mandarin, and I have a big headstart with German
  • Get scuba diving certification
    I’ve been putting it off for 18 years!
  • Be self-employed
  • Take part in a conservation project
  • Bring change to a wasteful, consumerist culture
    By designing a system that encourages people to share, fix, re-appropriate, recycle and use less.
  • Sell the food that I prepare/cook
    And hopefully not poison anyone…
  • See Halley’s Comet
    It passed Earth when I was born. I hope my eyes will function well enough to see it in 2061.