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A List of Things to do Before I Die (That I’ve Already Done)

Last Updated on Wednesday, October 1st, 2014

Dave!Years ago while watching a sunset on a Maui beach, I turned to a friend and said "I'm really glad I saw this before I die" to which she replied "well, scratch it off your list then." That's when I became acquainted with the fact that some people make a list of things they wish to do before they die in order to be assured of experiencing everything they want out of life before death comes a calling. Now-a-days people call it a "bucket list."

I decided to make my own list in a little notebook I found, and came to this realization: it would be pretty depressing to lay on my deathbed clutching a list that still has a bunch of items left unchecked.

I don't need that kind of failure looming over me, so I figured out an entirely new approach: Don't add anything to the list until you've already done it. Brilliant! That way, no matter when you check out, the list of things to do is certain to be complete and you can die a success!

So, here it is... a transcription of my list of things I want to do before I die (all of them done, of course) in no particular order. A few of the more personal and, ahem, "questionable" items have been removed to prevent offense and embarrassment (yours, not mine)...

  1. Get a tattoo Or two. Or three. Or six.
  2. ✔ Run along The Great Wall of China and visit the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
  3. ✔ Go on safari in Africa and see lions in the wild.
  4. ✔ Hike around Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia's outback.
  5. ✔ Stand in the middle of Times Square in New York City and shout "I Love New York!"
  6. ✔ Go for a Tuk-Tuk ride in the busy streets of Bangkok, Thailand.
  7. ✔ Take a cruise so you can hike on a glacier, and raft with the eagles, and see the majesty of Glacier Bay, and visit the Black Bears in Alaska.
  8. ✔ Visit the Giza Plateau to see the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids, then climb to the burial chamber at the center of Chephren's tomb in Egypt.
  9. ✔ Bow before Michelangelo's "Pieta" in St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican, and "David" at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, to marvel that such beauty can be created by man.
  10. ✔ Climb to the overlook at Waimea Canyon in Kauai.
  11. ✔ Drive across the Seven Mile Bridge en-route from Miami to Key West in Florida.
  12. ✔ Visit the ancient city of temples, Angkor Wat, in Cambodia.
  13. ✔ Have a chocolate shake at the original Hard Rock Cafe in London, England.
  14. ✔ Walk through Akihabara Electric Town at night in Tokyo, Japan.
  15. ✔ Run the bases and touch home plate at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.
  16. ✔ Watch engines being built at the Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations factory in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
  17. ✔ View the grandeur of Schloss (Castle) Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge) in Germany.
  18. ✔ Take a Pink Jeep Tour through the Red Rocks of stunning Sedona in Arizona.
  19. ✔ Ascend to the observation deck of Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Maylasia.
  20. ✔ Dive The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.
  21. ✔ Take a trip through The Panama Canal in Central America.
  22. ✔ Listen to the monks chanting at Vatxiengthongratsavoravihanh Temple in Luang Prabang, Laos at sunset.
  23. ✔ Visit the awesome museums at Bygdøy in Oslo, Norway.
  24. ✔ Visit the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands to see (and smell!) the bulbs in season.
  25. ✔ Have the perfect plate of Patatas Bravas at a tapas bar in Barcelona, Spain.
  26. Touch the stones at Stonehenge in England.
  27. ✔ Visit the beautiful town square and have a warm Trdelník on a chilly evening in Prague, Czech Republic.
  28. ✔ Walk on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
  29. ✔ Touch the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C..
  30. ✔ Party 'til the cows come home in the arid loveliness of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  31. ✔ Attend a live concert by a band I love at Red Rocks Amphitheater.
  32. ✔ Watch all 15 episodes of the best television show ever to air: Jeremy Piven's Cupid.
  33. Jump out of a perfectly good airplane (preferably with a parachute attached).
  34. ✔ Have a pint of Guinness at the Sky Bar in the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.
  35. ✔ Climb the Statue of Liberty in New York and take a picture from the top.
  36. ✔ See the Tuscan countryside in Italy.
  37. ✔ Eat a stracciatella gelato on the Spanish Steps of Rome, Italy.
  38. ✔ Marvel at the Marble Mountains in Hoi An, Vietnam.
  39. ✔ Go to the top of The Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon, Portugal.
  40. ✔ Visit Milan so I can see Michelangelo's The Last Supper in person.
  41. Visit Dracula's Castle in Transylvania, Romania.
  42. ✔ Walk up The Acropolis of Athens in Greece and see The Parthenon.
  43. ✔ Experience the beauty and wonder of a drive along the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
  44. Learn a foreign language well enough for simple conversation with a native speaker.
  45. ✔ Have an original Hurricane cocktail at Pat O'Briens after walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
  46. ✔ Visit beautiful York Minster then wander through Old Town in York, England.
  47. ✔ See the Emerald Buddah at Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok, Thailand.
  48. ✔ Hike down Bryce Canyon in Utah.
  49. ✔ Get lost in the magic that is the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.
  50. ✔ Arrange a layover in Reykjavik, Iceland, just to say you've been there.
  51. ✔ Spend a lazy day exploring the beautiful city of Palma on the island of Mallorca.
  52. ✔ View the world from the top of the World Trade Center in New York City (so sad that so many will never experience this).
  53. ✔ Eat a plate of the original Fettucini Alfredo at Alfredo's Alla Scrofa in Rome, Italy.
  54. ✔ Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary outside of Brisbane, Australia and hug a koala.
  55. ✔ Walk across the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy.
  56. ✔ Watch the cheese runners and eat lots of cheese at the Cheese Museum in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
  57. ✔ Do something kind for a complete stranger and expect nothing in return.
  58. ✔ See the majesty of Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe then have high tea at the Victoria Falls Hotel.
  59. ✔ Go to Cairo's Egyptian Museum to see the death mask of King Tut.
  60. ✔ Watch the sunrise on top of Mt. Haleakela, then the sunset from a beach in Maui.
  61. ✔ See Depeche Mode live in concert.
  62. ✔ Take a walking tour of the "old city" in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  63. ✔ Have a slice of Pasta Salvi at Salvi's Bistro in Columbus, Ohio.
  64. ✔ Tour Frank Lloyd Wright's amazing Fallingwater house in central Pennsylvania.
  65. Walk on the largest rock on earth at Stone Mountain, Georgia.
  66. ✔ Stand before Wat Arun, (Temple of the Dawn) in Bangkok, Thailand.
  67. Cruise the canals and take a walk through the Red Light District of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  68. ✔ Visit The Alamo, have a dish of mango ice cream at the Menger Hotel, then wander down the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.
  69. ✔ Drive through the bayou at sunset in Louisiana.
  70. Photograph the colorful waterfront on a sunny day in Portofino, Italy.
  71. ✔ Buy a motorcycle and ride it whenever you can.
  72. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, New York.
  73. ✔ See the Starship Enterprise model used in the Star Trek original series at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C..
  74. ✔ Pretend you're James Bond in the Casino at Monte Carlo in Monaco.
  75. ✔ Spend an afternoon exploring Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden.
  76. ✔ Cruise through the Mediterranean to the beautiful island of Santorini and visit the incredible village of Oia in Greece.
  77. ✔ Take the tram car to the top of The Peak in Hong Kong.
  78. ✔ Take the Wild Wicklow tour out of Dublin in Ireland.
  79. ✔ Watch a stripper's eyes light up as you tuck a $100 bill into her G-string, then enjoy being the most popular guy at the club.
  80. ✔ Experience the crowded madness of Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.
  81. ✔ Take a ride on Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Thunder Mountain at Disneyland California.
  82. ✔ See Venus at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
  83. ✔ Experience the kindness of the Balinese people in Bali, Indonesia.
  84. ✔ Sail around the Fiji Islands and snorkel their beautiful coral reefs.
  85. ✔ Walk the streets of Madrid to see all the cool street signs, then visit the Plaza Mayor in Spain.
  86. ✔ Visit the Sloth Sanctuary outside of Limon, Costa Rica to see some of the cutest animals on earth.
  87. ✔ Walk through the Pike Place Market on a rainy day in Seattle, Washington.
  88. ✔ Drive through the Great Smokey Mountains at dusk in Tennessee.
  89. ✔ Have your mind blown by the sheer size of the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania.
  90. ✔ See an Elvis impersonator perform in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  91. ✔ Explore Old Town Edinburgh and walk up Princes Street to the castle in Scotland.
  92. ✔ See the tulips of Ottawa, Canada and learn the story of why they are there.
  93. ✔ Try to count the number of deities carved into the gopuram of Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore.
  94. ✔ Stand before Van Gogh's "Starry Night" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
  95. ✔ Gaze up at the grandeur of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel then visit the mindblowing beauty of the dome he designed for St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.
  96. ✔ Take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
  97. ✔ Bet $100 on a hand of Blackjack in Las Vegas.
  98. ✔ Explore the wonders of Istanbul, Turkey to see The Hagia Sophia then shop the 4000 shops in the Grand Bazaar.
  99. ✔ Pay your respects at the Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  100. ✔ Have a fresh Belgian waffle from a street vendor at the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
  101. ✔ Walk across the Harbour Bridge and see the Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
  102. ✔ Ride the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal Studios Florida.
  103. ✔ Look over beautiful Barcelona from the top of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Spain.
  104. ✔ Eat Banana Macadamia French Toast at the Kiehei Caffe in Maui, and Bananas Foster French Toast at Surrey's and Stanley in New Orleans.
  105. ✔ Say "we who are about to die salute you" (then salute) at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
  106. ✔ Visit Chinatown's tiny Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Co. and buy a fresh bag in San Francisco.
  107. ✔ Ride the Shinkansen bullet train in Japan and the Shanghai Airport Express maglev train in China.
  108. ✔ Visit Khao Phing Kan and stand in the same spot James Bond faced off with Scaramanga in Thailand.
  109. Get high around the world.

   

   

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