Top 10 Awesome Things I Haven’t Done Yet…

But, plan to…

Now, before I start to get emails or comments like “Why don’t you tell us about it when you’ve done it” or “Anyone can list what they’d like to do” – I’d like to take a moment to explain my motivation.  Over the course of my life I’ve had to make decisions, some big, some small.  I realize we all have to make these decisions, but for me, the follow-through came from announcing it.  From saying it out loud.  So, no, I haven’t yet done a single one of these, but I plan to.  If you’d like to hear about my preliminary “Bucket List”, read on.  These are the Top 10 Awesome Things I Haven’t Done Yet, but plan to do – eventually.  As I cross them off, I shall update the list.

1.  Bungee Jump in Switzerland – I’m not sure how many of you have seen “Goldeneye” (Pierce Brosnan’s first attempt at being James Bond), or how many of you remember the opening scene.  Here’s how it goes:  James Bond races across a dam, clips onto a railing and bungee jumps hundreds of meters towards the ground.  He then uses a ridiculous arrow/cable/gun gadget to secure himself to the rock below and proceed to infiltrate a top secret Russian military facility.  The reason I’m telling you this?  This bungee jump location exists and you, too can be 007 for a moment or two.  The Verzasca Dam in Ticino, Switzerland is 220m and one of the highest bungee jumps in the world.  I have several Swiss friends and, if I’m gonna bungee jump, it might as well be at one of the biggest.   Plus, since childhood, I’ve been about the biggest Bond fan I’ve come across.  Go big or go home…  

2.  Skydive in Australia – This one, I’ve always wanted to try but am terrified to do so.  Granted it will be a tandem jump, even still, it scares the hell outta me.  It will also, most probably, be the first awesome thing I can cross off this list.  I’ve added it, mostly because I’m heading to Australia very soon, but also because I can’t think of a better place to jump out of a perfectly good airplane.  I’m thinking the Australian accent of the gentleman (woman) I’m attached to will help the medecine go down…

3.  Hike to Machu Picchu – Since first learning about Machu Picchu in, wait, this might be embarrassing…Since forever, I’ve wanted to go to Peru and make the trek to Machu Picchu – one of the coolest mountain top locations on earth both historically and visually.  I have friends who’ve been and tell me it is nothing short of incredible.  So, when I finally make it to South America, this will be one of my “I’m not leaving without doing” adventures.  There is apparently a bus that will get you there, but as my father would say “I ain’t dead yet” – I will take the more traditional route.  

4.  Scuba Dive Great Lake Wrecks – Part of the reason I want to scuba dive a wreck or two in the Great Lakes is that I’m terrified of sharks and freshwater lends itself well to this kind of phobia.  Another aspect, of course, is the classic song by Canadian singer/songwriter Gordon Lightfoot.  The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald has long been one of my favourites – I’m big on lyrics and storytelling in my musical preferences, with perhaps a hint of folk.  So, if I’m gonna scuba dive anywhere, I’d like this to be one of my first attempts.  It doesn’t much matter what wreck, I just think it would be kinda neat.  Being Canadian and from the Great Lakes region may also play a part in this particular choice.

5.  Shark Cage it in South Africa – Sharks have always terrified me.  There are not a lot of things in my life that have had me quite so concerned.  I know, in my heart and in my head, that these fears are completely irrational and unfounded.  However, they exist.  I am leaving for Australia soon and quite honestly, I’m worried about the sharks.  Learning to surf at Bondi should be on this list, but I’m not sure it will ever happen.  Perhaps I watched Jaws too young.  Maybe it was just a bit too much Shark Week.  As a young adult I read most of what Peter Benchley wrote as well (sadly, in his final years he tried to dispel the errors of his fictional works, but to no avail).  Either way, Africa is on my list, and I can’t think of a better place to face this fear than in a shark cage with the earths deadliest apex predators in their most dangerous environment – The Great White Shark in South Africa.  They actually jump out of the water there when striking their prey…

6.  Walk the Camino Frances – My motivation here, although I’d heard about the pilgrimage, came most recently from the movie “The Way” starring Martin Sheen and directed by his son Emilio Estevez.  More on my thoughts about the Camino de Santiago here.

7.  Helicopter Tour of Hawaii – I’m almost positive that this stems from the 1993 release of the most incredible cinematic achievement of its time – Jurassic Park.  The sweeping views of the lush, mountainous landscape peppered with waterfalls, rivers and lakes had me from hello.  The following clip will justify my decision…

8.  Spend a Night in an Overwater Bungalow in French Polynesia – These have always captivated me.  It’s somewhere between a cottage, a treefort and a…rowboat?  From pictures and video I am thinking that French Polynesia is the place to do it.  The average cost is about $700 a night, from what I’ve read, but I’m sure you can find places considerably more affordable.  Should I ever settle down, this would be a condition of marriage I think – a honeymoon in an overwater bungalow in French Polynesia…

9.  Cruise from Tierra Del Fuego to Antarctica – Tierra Del Fuego is located at the southern most tip of South America and is divided between Argentina and Chile.  You can take a cruise ship from there to Antarctica.  I may some day look at working on one to subsidize the cost of the voyage, from what I understand, it isn’t cheap.  What an adventure it would be, though.  To boldly go, where not too many people have gone before!  Not only would I love to cross another continent off my list, but the wildlife and scenery would be incredible.

10.  Take the Train to Churchill, Manitoba – Churchill is a town in the north of Manitoba along the shore of Hudson Bay.  It is known as the “Polar Bear Capital of the World”, and personally, I can’t wait to go!  My family now lives in Winnipeg, so I visit several times a year.  However, Churchill can only be accessed by train or by plane.  The train is considerably cheaper and, in my opinion, more of an adventure.  It’s a 40 hour, 1700km journey that leaves 3 times a week between Union Station in The ‘Peg and Churchill.  It is about as far north as I could ever imagine going and has the benefit of having incredible wildlife including Beluga Whales, Polar Bears and Snowy Owls not often seen elsewhere on the planet.

Bonus – Take the Trans-Siberian Railway from England to Japan – haven’t done much research on this yet, and my guess is that I will have to wait a long, long time before I take this trip – I think it’s, for me at the moment, prohibitively expensive.  Apparently, though, you can take a series of trains (stopping for a time in different cities along the way) from London all the way to Tokyo in about two weeks.  I certainly wouldn’t rush this one.  It sounds like one of the coolest train trips you could ever take and train travel is, by far, my favourite mode of transportation.  This may be a retirement sort of trip, but I look forward to it, either way…

Bonus, Bonus – Climb Kilimanjaro – Now, this one is so far from possible, at the moment, that it’s barely worth mentioning.  I am a recent ex-smoker.  I smoked, to my shame, guilt and embarrassment for over 13 years – heavily.  I don’t mean to offend anyone who still smokes.  It’s hard as hell to quit, but well worth the effort.  As a new non-smoker who has made the decision to start moving towards a healthier lifestyle, I think this would be an incredible adventure and choose to believe it is a goal that’s not only possible, but downright achievable.  So, it made the list – almost.

I have had, incidentally, the opening theme to “Jurassic Park” in my head for the remainder of writing this post – Nah, nah, nah, na, na…

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11 Responses to Top 10 Awesome Things I Haven’t Done Yet…

  1. elisaruland says:

    Cheers to a healthier lifestyle!

  2. arnoldthearmadillo says:

    Go for it! On my list would be ride a motorcycle through Asia and Europe, its a plan, not a dream

  3. I agree with you that it makes a goal more of a reality when you say it aloud. When I was in New Zealand I met some people who were Sky diving and landing on the glaciers…..sounded pretty cool, might want to check it out.

  4. Kiwi says:

    Churchill, Manitoba is definitely on my to do list while I’m in Canada… had no idea you can only get there by train or plane. That will be an adventure in itself for sure.

    • jac1981 says:

      I haven’t looked at prices for a while, but the train sounds more interesting and is definitely the cheaper option. I look forward to reading about it when you go!

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