Completed: 25 of 112
So by now, everyone must have a bucket list right? If you haven’t ever put pen to paper it can be a really fulfilling task and what’s more, the mere act of scoping out these dreams/ideas/goals/aims – call them what you want, I’m going to call them DIGAs from this point on… – can jump-start you towards achieving them.
Or at least that’s what I found.Life is finite. Your imagination and what you can accomplish within that time is infinite. Click To Tweet
I started my bucket list around 2010 when I broke up with my girlfriend, had no solid career plans, no place to call my own and simply no direction in my life.
Fast forward to 2015 and I am happy to say things are better. Orders-of-magnitude better. And I really think having this list and systematically working towards ticking off my DIGAs helped. I am back with my girlfriend (we’re actually engaged), I am a senior digital marketing consultant working in London and have recently put in an offer for a house.When was the last time you did something for the first time? Click To Tweet
This web page exists to keep my DIGAs in one place and document as I tick each one off. Everyone needs something to live for, to aim for, to motivate them.
Ok, so this isn’t the most original list of goals, but I will strive to complete them all and document it all with photos, mementos etc. I know I will never fully complete the list as it continues to grow every time I watch a film, read a book, talk to a friend, or just get sloshed!
In no particular order…
- Rent a campervan in the summer
- Motorbike around Iceland
Run a Marathon (London or New York)
Tens of thousands of people train for and complete marathons each year so it’s no longer recognised as the jaw dropping feat it used to be but none-the-less I want to prove to myself I can do it. I figure I have until my mid-30’s to get it done (I don’t want to keel over on the track) so I need to pull up my socks – so to speak.
Last year I set myself another running challenge to warm me up for the beast that is a marathon – run 874 miles in one year (the distance from Land’s End in the south-west tip of the UK to the very top of Scotland). To date I’ve managed 242 miles which I think we can all agree is a pathetic attempt and doesn’t bode well for my commitment to running a marathon. What’s more, the longest distance I’ve run in one go is around 10 miles which again leaves a lot to be desired.
Writing these few words and doing the calculations has been a wake up call. Time to put in more effort – if you are interested I track my efforts in both Nike+ and Strava apps under the name rickeliason – feel free to give me a cheer…
Everyone knows the best areas to board are the untouched areas of off piste terrain …and the best of these are not often accessible via the cable cars (otherwise everyone would be on them churning up the beautiful fresh powder).
Ergo, I need a helicopter – or at least, I need to borrow one for the day. Most ski resorts have companies offering heliboarding opportunities so that’s what I’ll do on the next trip.
Sky Dive over Las Vegas
[DONE] Ride in a Hot Air Balloon over the African plains
Bet £1000 on a single spin of the roulette wheel
Sounds a little bit hollow when there are millions of homeless and starving people around the world, and let’s get one thing straight; this isn’t about the money – it’s about the thrill and rush (and hopefully joy) of leaving something this massive to chance. (Also I plan to offset this “greed” – and “silliness” as my mum would put it – by raising £1000 for charity as another bucket list task).
So, a while back I read about a young guy in the UK who sold all his worldly possessions, emptied his bank accounts and took every penny over to Las Vegas to bet on one spin of the wheel. His reason for doing so was so eloquent and radical that it made me want to do something similar.
I mentioned this to my friend Carlo a while back and low-and-behold, off to Vegas we went…
Save a life
Learn to make Sushi
Start my own business
I’m currently reading a book called Strengths Finder 2.0 with the purpose of better understanding where my talents lie and what they can be applied to in the working world. That said, I’ve always had a drive to run an e-commerce store of my own – given that I work on so many others’ in my day job (and am getting pretty good at it, even if I do say so myself!)
[DONE] Swim among the Great Barrier Reef
As part of a couple weeks travelling Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney and the Whitsundays we had a stop in Cairns where we boarded a “live aboard” boat and and sailed several miles off the coast to the Corals of the Great Barrier Reef.
Having completed (read: rushed) our PADI course a month prior to the trip and armed with my GoPro we strapped on our gear for 5 sessions across two days including an other worldly night dive where we saw reef sharks, colourful fish, giant clams and petted a friendly Maori Wrasse.
If you are planning a trip to Australia, getting your diving license is a must and can be comfortably achieved in 6-8 weeks with a local dive school.
Go to Snowbombing Festival
Motorbike around Chile
Perhaps I should explain a little more – after all why Chile? I’ve long dreamt of tackling tricky terrain on two wheels, whether just me or as part of a group. This has been further compounded by trips around the US, catching Ewan McGregor’s “Long Way Round” documentary (if you like adventure and escapism I highly recommend watching the 6 episodes), and wunderlusting on Pinterest.
The turquoise lakes, formidable mountains, open & deserted roads and the promise of true adventure – I can’t wait. First things first though, I need a motorbike license…
[DONE] Meet Tom Delonge
They say you should never meet your idols for fear of disappointment. I guess for me this was half true…
By now you may know that my favourite band is Blink 182 consisting of the members Mark Hoppus, Travis Barker and Tom Delonge. I have grown up listening to these guys for I-don’t-know-how-long and was devastated when in 2005 they broke up (as of the 2009 Grammys they have got back together!).
The guys formed other bands – Mark and Travis forming +44 and Tom Delonge forming Angels and Airwaves. On Feb 3rd 2011 I managed to get VIP tickets to see Angels and Airwaves play which included access to the stage during sound-check and the chance to meet them afterwards – this I was not gonna pass up!
The sound check was great. I was literally inches from them the whole time, I got to see what happens during the preparation stage and pinched a guitar plectrum in the process (hehe). Afterwards we we led to the floor area and made to stand in a line whilst posters and cds etc were handed out and we patiently waited for them to come out. Matt Wachter (the bassist) was first out and turned out to be one of the nicest, softest spoken and humbled rock star I have ever come across! A really lovely guy.
Next was David Kennedy (lead guitarist) who was very easy to chat to about their upcoming movie ‘LOVE‘ and various other things and we were stood chatting for about 5mins holding up the line during which Tom caught up and quickly scribbled his autograph on the memorabilia I shoved in front of him. I desparately tried to get a conversation going but he only hung around for about 30secs before he was onto the next set of fans. Quickly after, I got to meet Atom Willard who was nice enough and joked around with us.
The whole thing was quite a blur but I was determined to get as much out of the experience as I could and not shy away from talking to them like I usually do when i’m starstruck! I was great meeting Tom and the rest of the band and I understand they have their own commitments but it would have been nice if he looked like he wanted to be there. Oh well…ya never know, I might meet him again some day!
Drive coast to coast across America
I’ve had a taster. My girlfriend and I, along with several friends rented an SUV and took it around the South West states taking in California’s beaches and cities, Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon among a number of things packed into two weeks. The problem is that because we were so rushed we didn’t get to really absorb the culture and go off the beaten track.
My aim is to take a camper van from somewhere like Boston or Florida, right across the continent to Seattle and driving through as many states and territories as possible along the way. I’m fully expecting a 4 week trip at least but as yet it’s a pipe-dream and something I’ve yet to look into properly.
[DONE] See Blink 182 Live One More Time
I added this to the Bucket List in the wake of the news the band would be reforming after their 4 year hiatus (during which time I had no idea if they’d ever get back together). I’d only seen them live once before this (coincidentally their last ever UK tour date) in London and was gutted this was the only time I’d seen them and as a 15 year-long Blink fan vowed to change that upon news of them reuniting.
When they announced they’d be playing their come-back gig at Reading/Leeds Festivals me and a group of mates anxiously sat by our computers refreshing the screen every few seconds in order to grab the limited tickets on day of release – thankfully we got ’em and in celebration dressed up as bananas on the day (Blink 182 in-joke). Since then I’ve seen them several times in the UK and a couple of times in Vegas, US to boot.
[DONE] Get a Tattoo
I’ve wanted a tattoo since my mid teens but a) didn’t know what, and b) “…I’m shitting it!”
In Feb of 2009 I broke up with my girlfriend (we’re back together! Put those tears away!) and figured I was experiencing as much pain as was ever going to so why not? Two nauseating hours later (I kept having to get him to stop! Nice fella) I was out and on a natural high!
Has anyone ever egged you on to get one? “Oh it doesn’t hurt at all blah blah blah…” yea, they’re lying! haha.
Oh, and if you’re wondering what I got, I got Anberlin lyrics going up the left of my spine saying “Hands, like secrets, are the hardest thing to keep from you”…very me!
I’ve got ideas for my second and third tatts too.
See the Pyramids
The Glass Louvre pyramid doesn’t count.
Who has a bucket list without seeing the Egyptian Pyramids on it? Yeah, yeah I know they’re not all they are cracked up to be and I’m running the risk of sickness from the food (as I’ve heard) but seeing these epic man-made mountains is a must.
Maybe just as a day trip as part of a diving holiday in Egypt.
[DONE] Go to Dubrovnik in Croatia
[DONE] See Stonehenge
Completed: July 2009
It’s only 3 hours away from me and its taken me this long!
Well, I kinda saw it! It was closed by the time we got there (we had been at the beach all day and lost track of time!) but you can still see it from the roadside and that’s good enough for me!
Like New York it is really awe-inspiring seeing it for real (it just looks like a bunch of happy rocks in pictures) so I’m glad I did that one.
See Niagara Falls
Walk the Great Wall of China
[IN PROGRESS] Do 100 Press-Ups in one go
OK, 2016 is the year to complete this (as I write this it is Boxing Day 2015) so lets set some real goals to get me there.
Let’s see how many I can do right now as a benchmark…
…OK, I just did 16 (you’ll have to take my word for it). Now I’m going to aim for the following targets:
- (W/C 28/12/2015) – 18
- (W/C 4/1/2016) – 20
- (W/C 11/1/2016) – 23
- (W/C 18/1/2016) – 25
- (W/C 25/1/2016) – 28
- (W/C 1/2/2016) – 30
- (W/C 8/2/2016) – 33
- (W/C 15/2/2016) – 36
- (W/C 22/2/2016) – 40
- (W/C 29/2/2016) – 43 (leap year)
- (W/C 7/3/2016) – 46
- (W/C 14/3/2016) – 50
- (W/C 21/3/2016) – 53
- (W/C 28/3/2016) – 56
- (W/C 4/4/2016) – 60
- (W/C 11/4/2016) – 62
- (W/C 18/4/2016) – 65
- (W/C 25/4/2016) – 69
- (W/C 2/5/2016) – 73
- (W/C 9/5/2016) – 76
- (W/C 16/5/2016) – 80
- (W/C 23/5/2016) – 82
- (W/C 30/5/2016) – 85
- (W/C 6/6/2016) – 88
- (W/C 13/6/2016) – 92
- (W/C 20/6/2016) – 96
- (W/C 27/6/2016) – 100
So there it is. If I keep on track, I should complete the challenge just after the wedding. (I might adjust the targets to complete before the wedding if things are going well…)
[DONE] See CERN in Switzerland
So this weekend (15-11-2010) I got the chance to go to Switzerland, Geneva to be precise, and as part of it, to see CERN. This is basically (for me at least) the technical ‘Mecca’ of the world. It is where the Tim Berners-Lee invented a little thing called the internet, where Stephen Hawkin rides around in his motorised wheelchair and probably most notably where the end of the world will start *Cough* I mean where the LHC (Large Hardon Collider) is housed. So basically somewhere that really interests me.
My friend ‘Dr Dan’ is currently in the tail-end of his year of study/work there and was able to put us up, show us around & explain everything (to his credit, we couldn’t have asked for a better guide – he really knows his stuff and more importantly made it interesting for those of the group who were less…interested). As with most things on this list it seems, it was nothing as I expected. Gone were the 40ft flat screens, nuclear missile paperweights, and KGB guards et al. With the exception of the main control centre and visitor’s centre, the facility resembled an under-budget school with rows of empty offices (well it was Saturday), and a distinct lack of old bearded men in white coats.
Still, it was well worth the visit and my head was bursting with physics buzzwords and newly acquired knowledge by the end. And Geneva isn’t exactly a dump either! Well worth the trip.
Ride a Gondola in Venice
[DONE] See the Mona Lisa in the Louvre
While in Paris in May I made sure I dragged my poor girlfriend to the Louvre Museum in order to see the Mona Lisa (among other things) – 10 euros for over 25’s and free for under 25’s – What a bargain!
The building itself is spectacular, particularly at night, and in the centre is a massive glass pyramid (incidently is the entrance) flanked by two smaller ones. Unfortunately after being wowed by the exterior, the exhibits and artefacts were an anticlimax.
Don’t get me wrong, some were pretty impressive including the HUGE “The Wedding at Cana” painting by Paolo Veronese (directly opposite the Mona Lisa) which is over 9x6m! That really is a work of art.
The Mona Lisa however, is this tiny little portrait behind thick glass which is behind a big wooden barrier which is behind a big crowd of tourists, all barging, pushing and trying to take photos of something you could just download off the internet. Still, it had to be done!
Fly in a helicopter over New York
[DONE] Bungee Jump
Wowzers that was FUN! I really wanted to do another straight after but I guess there will be plenty more opportunities in the future! So how was it I hear you ask? It was 5pm on a wintery yet sunny Saturday and I was 300ft above a lake on the very edge of a suspended cage with my toes overhanging and I was thinking to myself;
“This could go so wrong and it would have been my decision to jump! How should I do it? Should I pose?”
“This could be the last time I see the world, people …anything!…I hope the photos look good…”
“Its bloody cold up here!”
…and then I did it. I don’t think I made a concious decision to do it, my body just jumped for me. I couldn’t really concentrate on looking around and enjoying the scenery or the experience, I had to make sure I was falling head first so my body doesn’t snap back when I reach the end of the rope. The most bizarre feeling was when you reach the peak height when bouncing back and it all feels like slow-motion, you are suspended mid-air not gaining or losing height, just sitting there as if floating…then you hurtle back to the ground again!
A perfect start to Saturday evening! I didnt have the shakes beforehand but when back on solid ground I felt like I was on vibrate with all the adrenaline coursing through my body! The thing that gave me the most confidence and solace was the fact that a 60+ year old lady did hers without even batting an eyelid!
Swim with Sharks
[DONE] Learn to Scuba Dive
Go rafting in the Grand Canyon
[DONE] Get Married
Watch a performance in the Sydney Opera House
Cruise the Nordic Fjords
[DONE] Learn to Juggle
Completed: December 2009
One day I saw some juggling balls in a shop and picked them up thinking “this juggling lark can’t be that hard…”. 3 balls on the floor, 2 scared customers and 1 not-so-impressed shop keeper later, I figured that it may take more that 30 seconds of practice to master so I bought them and BHAM! Just like that…two and a half months later…I can juggle with two or three balls. Now where did I put those flaming batons…
Be an Extra
Gamble in Monte Carlo
Sip Champagne on a beach at sunset
[DONE] Learn to Surf
So as of May 2010 I had my first couple of goes at surfing. It was amazingly cold and I seemed to have the no-so-water-tight Wet Suit! Frostbitten feet, paralysing cramp and a faceplant into the beach is not enough to keep me from practising so bring on the next surfing trip! I will not give up…
Almost exactly a year later and I can write about my second attempt at surfing and I can gleefully say I can do it! Standing up and everything (as you can see from the cheeky pose!). We went to Newquay in Cornwall for a long weekend and I managed to pick it up in around 4 hours in total.
A couple of tips for you if you are planning to do the same; go in summer months as the British sea is ridiculously cold. Opt for “wetsuit shoes” even if you have to pay that little bit more unless you are not very emotionally attached to your feet. Do not stand in the middle of the board as advised by the instructor, stand a little bit back else you WILL plant yourself face first in the sea bed. Hit the waves just before they are about to break otherwise you will run out of steam and find yourself going nowhere – like riding a bike it is easier to balance if you have some momentum.
Get high in Amsterdam
See the Northern Lights
Land a 360 on my snowboard
Turn up at an airport, book a flight and go somewhere random
[DONE] Build an Igloo
Completed: December 2009
Who knew pack-lunch boxes were so universal?…
It took like 3 hours to build so if I was caught in a blizzard…..well i’d be screwed! But still, I was mega proud of it and it was big enough to swing a small to mid-sized cat. I know the eskimo chaps tend to cut ice blocks from the ground but I had no saw nor thick ice to work with so I did what every self-respecting, albeit rookie, igloo builder does and packed snow into lunch boxes (much like building sand castles) and filled in the gaps to create one air-tight (if you disregard the gaping hole masquerading as a door) shiny igloo. Job done!
Go to Glastonbury Festival
[IN PROGRESS] Get a motorbike & license
I guess I’m massively inspired by my dad in this department. The ability to just jump on and see where you end up. I know you can do this in a car but it’s just not the same. Cars are expensive, you get stuck in traffic jams and I know it sounds cliché but you just don’t feel part of the world around you when encased in a car. Lastly, and most importantly, it’s just not as fun.
My dad has had bikes (a mixture of sports and classics, from Honda’s to Harley’s) since forever – they’ve always featured in his adult life. And up until now my only biking experience is sitting pillion while he rides – be it across country roads in the UK or deserted highways in the US. Now I want to be in the driving seat (so to speak) and step one is getting a licence and some experience.
OK, enough dreaming – time for action.
How do I go about this?
- [DONE] Apply for a provisional licence
- Complete a CBT certificate (Compulsory Basic Training)
- Take a full motorcycle test within 2 years of completing a CBT
There is also an option to take a “Direct Access”
Raise £1000+ for charity
[DONE] Pilot a plane
Climb Mt. Kilamanjaro
[DONE] Climb the 3 Peaks (UK) in 24 hours
[IN PROGRESS] Get into Mensa
I have already taken a MENSA test once before purely because I was curious as to how smart I was. Turns out…not bad actually! Not at a standard to have Carol Vordaman roll out the red carpet for me just yet but who knows? The test is taken in two halves, with each testing certain aspects of your ability. My scores were as follows:
Cattell B scale: 136 (Top 6% of population, 148 needed to gain entry to MENSA)
Culture Fair scale :124 (Top 7% of population, 132 needed to gain entry to MENSA)
To put this in perspective, the UK national average is around 100. On the Cattell B test, an adult cannot score more than 161.
You can take tests online, even MENSA do one but I suspect the scores are inflated to encourage you to pay to take the official test. My score was much better on the home practise test which certainly did the trick in persuading me to fork out and book an official one!
Take photos at hot air balloon festiva
Go to Edinburgh Fringe festival
Learn some Magic tricks
[DONE] Watch Tennis at Wimbledon
Go to Washington DC and visit all the sights
Stay out all night clubbing and go to work the next day without going home
[DONE] Drink beer at Oktoberfest in Munic
Go to the Rio carnival
[DONE] Buy my own house
Completed 28th September 2015 – pictures etc to come…
[DONE] Create my own website
Completed June 2011 (you’re looking at the second)
[DONE] Ride a cable car in San Francisco
[IN PROGRESS] Read “A Brief History of Time” by Stephen Hawkins
Learn about, and visit the 7 Wonders of the Modern World
[DONE] Learn to Wakeboard
Go to an all night rave
Travel through the Bermuda Triangle
Go to a red carpet première
Live in a major city
Peer into “The Door to Hell” in Derweze, Turkmenistan.
[DONE] See Jason Mraz live
Buy a classic VW Campervan and use it to visit random places in the UK
Learn how to solve a Rubik’s Cube
Watch a meteor shower
[DONE] See the Roman Baths in Bath, UK
Before visiting Bath, I thought the Roman Baths would be these beautifully preserved (and probably renovated/updated) clear baths that the general public could jump in and have a little swim in the warm waters. Peering at them through the window of a restaurant situated next door I saw something that resembled the algae-covered pond at the bottom of our garden so I was a bit disappointed at that point. What I was looking at though, was just one of the thermal baths (albeit the Emperor’s private facility) and the site is about much more than just an ancient swimming pool.
You are lead through a museum of artefacts, excavations and ruins with different stories and facts peppering your walk. It culminates at the main Bath where the sick and injured Romans would come to sooth their ailments as the bath was regarded as a magical heeling facility from the gods. More spectacular than my initial sighting and further enhanced by the sun shining brightly on one side of the pool, I left more knowledgeable and with my awe rekindled.
With a need to soothe my own ailments we trotted over to the Thermae Bath Spafor an awesome evening swimming in the rooftop pool, watching the sun set. Aww how romantic…
Break a world record
[IN PROGRESS] Swim in every ocean in the world
Watch a space shuttle launch
[DONE] See a show at the West End
Upon entering the Queen’s Theatre in London, I was hugely underwhelmed at the size of the stage. I had a picture in my head but this looked like something that hosted amateur dramatics! I was flicking through the programme trying to get an understanding of the story I was about to see on stage and suddenly the live orchestra exploded from nowhere (I guess it was a little naive of me to think that the music would be from a recording!!).
I had spoken to so many people about Les Miz who could not help but “big-up” how great this musical was and heard stories of people who had seen the production 50+ times so I guess I was going into it with unbeatably high expectations and by the interval I wasn’t 100% convinced. However, by the end you are so connected and enchanted by the characters and the songs, you can’t help but shed a tear, laugh, and applaud in all the right places. I can’t say I will be singing along to the CD in my car or queueing up for my 50th show but I do highly recommend it to those who have enjoyed musicals before and equally to those that have never given it a go!
Do the highest bungee jumps in the world
Stay in the Burj Al Arab
Afternoon Tea at the Ritz
Appear in a music video
Stand on the Equator
Visit every continent
Learn a martial art
Fly first class
See an active volcano
See the Christ statue in Rio De Janerio
Do that stupid photo that everyone does at the Leaning Tower of Pisa
You know the one I mean right? That one where clever camera positioning makes it look like they are stopping the monument from keeling over. Yeah, that one.
Eat Sushi in Tokyo
It’s only very recently that I tried sushi and found that I liked it more than I thought I would. However, that was at a UK-based sushi chain, and while pretty good, I still feel I haven’t tried “real” sushi and in order to do that, I need to go to the source.
So. Japan here I come. And while I’m at it I’ll see if I can head over to the slopes for a little boarding (well, it would be rude not to)…
Go night-snowboarding in Japan
When I was a kid I used to play a snowboarding game on the Playstation (come to think about it, it was probably what set me off on my obsession) and my favourite level to play was always the tricky illuminated Japanese run.
Now I want to do it in real life.
I want to experience the energy of the neons like Tokyo city as I hit the kickers.
See the Macy’s Day parade in New York
Help someone cross something off THEIR bucketlist
One of the lessons I’ve learnt on my short time on this round rock is that you can achieve much more with the help of others. I sometimes find it really letting go of control of something that means a lot to me or delegating to others as I selfishly and egotistically think I’ll get the best results if I just do it myself.
But i’m starting to understand the value of collective minds and bodies to accomplish more, and while doing so I learn from those others so its win win. On the flip-side sometimes we don’t have a choice but to reach out for help which can be very gratifying for both parties. I hope that one day the small amount of things I’ve learnt will benefit someone else and perhaps lead to them realising a dream or fulfiling a passion – much like I’m doing with this bucket list.
Do it on a Bouncy Castle
Go Surfing / Snowboarding in a suit and tie
Go both surfing and snowboarding in the same day
Live like a celebrity
Stay in a lighthouse
Ride a train in India
Ride in a steam train
Stargaze from a traditional tall ship in the middle of the Atlantic
I saw this in a paper once as one of the best ways to see the stars as true as you can from the surface of our planet (while aboard a frickin’ cool ship too!). A voyage is pretty long (I think it said about 40 days to cross from UK to US in a traditional ship) so chances are we’ll get board of the stars after a while but the expedition itself will be an experience to say the least. Maybe I’ll even learn how to run the ship while aboard, that’d be a cool skill…
Scuba dive in The Great Blue Hole in Belize
- Earn Advanced diving certificate (otherwise diving 18m max into the hole will only quite literally be scratching the surface)
Kayak around The Floating Islands of Phang Na Bay
Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
Go to Burning Man in Nevada
Learn another language (Italian?)
Read the writings and speeches of Martin Luther King
[DONE] Complete Tough Mudder
Kayak in Antarctica
Watch the Lantern Festival in Thailand
[DONE 22/12/2015] Learn how to make Char Siu Bao
A client of mine runs an Asian cookery school in London and ever since I saw a video of his making Char Siu Bao I was intrigued to make my own. The idea of sweet, light bready buns with BBQ pork in the middle just made so much sense and nothing you can buy (that I’ve found) comes close, so the only thing to do was to make my own. And make my own I did! For a first go they were ace!
It’s a shame I can’t really describe them with words so I highly recommend you following this recipe and having a go yourself.
In any case I feel I’ve elevated myself to Dim Sum Master and will be breaking them out in all future house parties and gatherings (starting with New Year’s Eve 2015!)[photos to come…]