A drop in the bucket (list)

| August 31, 2009 | 13 Comments
BUCKETLIST A drop in the bucket (list)

The Bucket List

“We are all of us resigned to death: it’s life we aren’t resigned to,” novelist Graham Greene once wrote. A growing number of people are embracing that idea by renewing a resolve to live life to its fullest. It’s our firm belief that twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

We’re sure many of you travel-sympathetic folks have seen the Rob Reiner vehicle The Bucket List (starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman). In case you haven’t caught the movie, a ‘bucket list’ is a list of things you would like to do before you ‘kick the bucket.’

Stepcase Lifehack has a good post on creating and managing your bucket list here. Some of their advice:

A bucket should not be full of impulsive stuff that we pick up as we go along through life. It shouldn’t be like grabbing a chocolate bar off the display rack. Nor should it be filled with stuff that other people talk and dream about unless it truly resonates with your aspirations. Chasing other people’s dreams would be like having a hole in your bucket.

Keeping the above advice in mind, Kathryn and I are ready to commit the error of catalogues and lists and have begun to compile a ‘bucket list’ of sorts. This is of course, without forgetting the Lennon maxim that life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.

So here we go, our “bucket list”:

  1. Visit the Great Wall (China) [completed April 22, 2002]
  2. Climb to Everest Base Camp (Nepal)
  3. Climb Mt Kilimanjaro (Tanzania)
  4. Learn to Scuba Dive (Various)
  5. Visit every continent (Various)
  6. Visit the Parthenon (Greece)
  7. See the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador) [completed December 27, 2010]
  8. Drive the Autobahn (Germany)
  9. Sail down the Amazon River (South America) [completed April 22, 2010]
  10. Climb Ayer’s Rock (Australia)
  11. Sail through the Three Gorges (China) [completed April 29, 2002]
  12. Ride the Trans-Siberian Railroad (Russia)
  13. See the sunrise from Mt Fuji (Japan)
  14. Visit Amsterdam and spend a day at the Bull Dog (Amsterdam)
  15. Visit the Pyramids (Egypt)
  16. Safari in East Africa (Tanzania)
  17. See Machu Picchu (Peru) [completed April 26, 2010]
  18. Enjoy a warm cup of English tea with muffin (England)
  19. Learn Spanish (South America)
  20. Visit Antarctica (Antarctica)
  21. See Petra (Jordan)
  22. Visit Tehran (Iran)
  23. Spend an afternoon in the Uffizi Gallery (Italy)
  24. Backpack the Eastern Bloc (Europe)
  25. See Icebergs in Iceberg Alley (Newfoundland) [completed July 2, 2008]
  26. Vegas Baby! Vegas! (USA)
  27. Greek Island hop (Greece)
  28. Visit Easter Island (Polynesia)
  29. Cycle Tuscany (Italy)
  30. Meditate in the Zen Garden of Kyoto (Japan)
  31. Lounge in the Seychelles (the Seychelles)
  32. See Morocco (Morocco)
  33. See the Terracotta Warriors (China) [completed April 18, 2002]
  34. Down a pint at Oktoberfest in Munich (Germany)
  35. Visit the Sahara (Africa)
  36. Visit Tibet (China)
  37. Fly first class (Various)
  38. Go to Israel (Israel)
  39. Party at Anjuna beach (India)
  40. Carnival! (Brazil)
  41. Mardi Gras! (USA)
  42. Go to the Cannes Film Festival (France)
  43. Go to the Sundance Film Festival (USA)
  44. Pacific Island hop (Various)
  45. Visit the Taj Mahal (India) [completed July 16, 2002]
  46. Attend the opera at La Scala in Milan (Italy)
  47. Learn to surf (Various)
  48. Go skydiving (Fergus) [completed March 16, 1993]
  49. Whale watching in Newfoundland (Canada) [completed July 2, 2008]
  50. Visit the Grand Canyon (USA)
  51. Helicopter ride in Hawaii, Magnum PI–style (USA)
  52. Jump the Kawarau Bridge bungee (New Zealand)
  53. Ride a gondola in Venice (Italy)
  54. Spot Brahminy Kites from a beach at Langkawi (Malaysia) [completed September 21, 2004]
  55. Hot air balloon Cappadocia (Turkey)
  56. Overnight in a boat in Halong Bay (Vietnam) [completed July 1, 2002]
  57. Travel the Gold Coast (Australia)
  58. Visit Reykjavik (Iceland)
  59. Party in Ibiza (Spain)
  60. Full moon at Koh Phangan (Thailand) [completed November 1, 2001]
  61. Visit the Louvre (France)
  62. Dinner and drinks at Burj Arab (Dubai)
  63. Hear a mass at the Vatican (Italy)
  64. Cruise the Phraya River (Thailand) [completed August 29, 2004]
  65. Visit Christ Redeemer in Rio (Brazil)
  66. See a performance at Sydney Opera House (Australia)
  67. Visit Kiyomizu Temple in Kyoto (Japan)
  68. Slurp Tom Yum Goong from a Bangkok food stall (Thailand) [completed September 17, 2004]
  69. See Stonehenge (United Kingdom)
  70. Visit Angkor Wat (Cambodia) [completed June 28, 2002]
  71. Visit the Kremlin and Red Square (Russia)
  72. Visit the Hagia Sophia (Turkey)
  73. Bliss out on Koh Phi Phi (Thailand) [completed May 1, 2002]
  74. Climb up the steps of Chichen Itza (Mexico) [completed November 26, 2009]
  75. Visit the Taj Mahal (India) [completed August 18, 2002]

Have anything that you feel should be added? We’d love to hear about it! While ‘bucket lists’ are wholly subjective, as readers and writers of travel blogs, we share a lot of common ground with our peers; hence, if you feel a place deserves to be seen before you ‘kick the bucket’, feel free to suggest it to us and we’ll consider adding it to the list!


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Category: Dan's Blog

About the Author ()

For nearly ten years now, Daniel of Two Go Round-The-World has explored how travel captures our imagination and engages our deepest emotions. One half of the duo that maintains the widely read Two Go Round-The-World blog, Daniel treats his subjects not only as works of art but also as symbols of the cultural and political forces that inspire them. His latest book, The Physics of Flocking, gathers his favourite writing featured over the past two years on Two Go Round-The-World in columns like 'Looking Back' and 'The Whole Picture'—along with new reflections.

Comments (13)

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  1. Dave and Deb says:


    I love a bucket list. Dave and I have had one going for years. It feels so great to check them off as you go, but as soon as you check off one, 5 more are added. But hey, that is what keeps life interesting. If we suddenly didn’t have a list anymore, I wouldn’t know what to do. It is funny how the list becomes more extreme as we add to it:)

    • Daniel says:


      Thanks, Deb—true that the list is seemingly never ending. But that’s the idea, I guess! Travel breeds travel, knowledge begets knowledge and joy brings more joy! Thanks for the comment!

  2. Gourmantic says:


    Bucket list sounds too funny, I haven’t heard it before! :) This post resonated with me as I’ve started one just a couple of days ago. I wonder if we can ever get to achieve everything on the list when we keep adding to it…

    • Daniel says:


      Funnily enough—Dave and Deb mentioned that they had recently returned to tweak their. Also, tonight I just noticed that Brian Petes from ‘No Debt World Travel’ posted one recently, as well. Hopefully, will get to see it soon. By the way, your post “Rubbing It” on your blog had my wife and I in stitches.

  3. Carrie says:


    Hi Dan and Kathryn,

    What a terrific bucket list! It must give you such a sense of satisfaction to strike each one off. Congratulations on a great start to your trip!

    • Daniel says:


      Thanks, Carrie. Some of these goals seem a long way off—but that way I we can guarantee that we’ll live a long and eventful life!

  4. Akila says:


    It’s funny, but Patrick and I have never created a bucket list. We have in our minds some things we would like to do — like seeing all 7 continents and staying in a ryokan in Japan — but the real problem is that we want to do EVERYTHING. I read through your entire list and except for a very few items (like climbing Ayer’s Rock), I wanted to do (or have done) all of them.

    • Daniel says:


      Proof that’s it’s better to live a bucket list than to write one, I think, Akila! Regarding Ayer’s Rock—I had been reading that they might suspend the ability to climb it, so it may have to come off the list without even having been attempted!

  5. Dave says:


    Wow…gotta be disciplined to keep the list for years and constantly check back to it. Are we allowed to retroactively create the list and check stuff off we did in the 2 years? I’m afraid that’d skew what I add to the list!

    • Daniel says:


      Admittedly, some of the activities on here have been retroactively added and simultaneously checked off. But Kathryn and I justified it by telling one another that we’d had the list rolling about in our noggins for some time. We’d never just put it to paper!

  6. Shannon OD says:


    Hey! I love this list. My only recommendation would be some trekking in Laos. It has been one of my favorite countries so far and I thought the people were amazing :-) So just a thought.

    This post has me thinking though that I need to formerly write down my own bucket list!

    • Daniel says:


      Oh trekking in Laos! I’ve had the pleasure of doing some limited trekking around Luang Prabang and spent about a week in Laos—but my wife Kathryn hasn’t. We’re sure to go on “the big trip”, so I think it deserves to be added to the list! I didn’t see much of Laos, however, just Vientiane, Vang Vieng, and Luang Prabang. It’s a beautiful country!

  7. Ni says:


    Hi you two :) love your list! I’m forever adding more to mine as well.

    You should add Visit the Maldives! It’s beautiful here!Dive with mantas and whale sharks :) or just chill on the beach.

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