Yep, that’s me – doing the world’s highest (commercial) skydive in New Zealand. Skydiving wasn’t exactly on my bucket list (with 300 under my belt), but filming a tv show in New Zealand certainly was!
In reflecting on some of my life and travel experiences in the aftermath of my accident and wondering what’s next, I’ve realized I have quite an arsenal of experiences already.
The other night while lying in bed, I found myself constructing a different kind of bucket list – one that reflects back on what I’ve done, reaches to the future, and includes ongoing items I haven’t yet ticked off to my satisfaction.
I lay there flooded with images and memories; reflecting on what I’ve done in turn fuelled my list of unchecked bucket list items, and even experiences I’ve touched on but want to explore more thoroughly. It was a no-holds-barred journey into anything and everything that excites me, with no rules and a very rewarding recap.
I encourage you to try it for yourself.
Here’s what I came up with (if you’re interested).
This post was originally published in 2013. It has since been updated for accuracy of links and content.
Here are some random achievements from bucket lists gone by – “the arsenal” as it were:
Skydiving (I did it 300 or so times just to make sure it got done)
Bungee jumping (I did it in 5 locations spanning 3 countries, including the world’s highest in South Africa)
Ride a motorcycle
Climb the Great Wall of China (I managed that one twice)
White Water Rafting (I managed the world’s highest commercially rafted waterfall – in New Zealand, of course)
Sledging (like white water rafting, but on a boogie board. Sort of.)
Have a “pet” kangaroo
Go on a multi-day backcountry camping trip (In Ukraine no less)
Meditate with Buddhist Lamas and receive their blessing
Hang Gliding (and fixed wing gliding, and I even skydived out of an ultralight powered parachute. I’m bragging, now, aren’t I? I’ll stop.)
Climb a mountain
Race cars (auto-cross with a 1964 Corvette)
Ride in a helicopter
Walk on a volcano
Shoot a travel tv show (I have a former career in tv, but in recent years I joined a couple of shows on the road)
Travel across Canada by train
Travel across Europe by train (That’s in the book I wrote too)
Travel across Asia by train (The book I wrote about my evangelical love of trains? Yep – Asia’s in there too)
Play an instrument (I tackled four)
Conquer local delicacies (even if they’re the smelliest in the world)
Go on safari
Take a cruise
Become fluent in another language
Stay and live in a meditation retreat or ashram (Update October 2017: I did it again in Peru for a couple of years, and Ecuador for about eight months)
Random bucket list items I’ve yet to achieve:
Host a travel tv show (are you amused?)
Ride the “Toy Train” to Darjeeling (Still haven’t done this, but I did ride the Deccan Odyssey, which is the most luxurious train in the world, in India)
Climb Mount Kilimanjaro (since the accident this item has fallen waaaay down on my list of priorities. It’s hanging on to this list by its fingernails)
Trek in Patagonia
Find a friend of mine in Iceland purely through word of mouth (it’s a very small place…how many Canadian gay male nurses live in Iceland? Wait! Don’t tell me – I want to find out for myself)
Attend a Burning Man festival
Explore northern Canada (too bad it’s so cold there)
Hack my way into a Bollywood dance scene in India
Go to circus school (what for? The flying trapeze of course! Also reduced to a pipe dream at this point, but I’m hanging on to the dream)
Swim with a whale shark
See the northern lights (without freezing to death; feasibility is debatable)
This is a list of things I’ve done to some extent, but want to explore further or deepen:
Perform in musical theatre (I’ve grown up on stage and done a few shows; it’s very rewarding)
Climb more mountains (despite going crazy enroute, I have an ongoing pull to the mountains)
Act in a Hollywood film (although I’ve technically ticked this item off, I wouldn’t say no to another chance…)
Sing with a jazz band (I had a few teases at this…but I’d like a repertoire)
Live as a local in foreign places (a thriving and ongoing desire, and I can say I’ve done it in a few places)
…and last but certainly not least…
Make friends with people all over the world
What’s tops on your bucket list…past, present, and ongoing?