Every year when my birthday arrives, I place certain expectations on the year to come. Love, finances, fitness—I expect all to fall into place with each year that passes. However, as the world turns and February somehow appears out of thing air, I find I am still in the same place I was the year before. Yet, I make the same promises to myself that this year will be different, this year I will find love, save money and lose weight. I hate these expectations. They are naive, shallow and frankly, overrated. (Okay, that’s a lie. Saving money is never overrated. Worrying constantly about money is however).
When I first moved to Calgary, I was full of expectations. Still missing Winnipeg and the friends I made there, I decided to give Calgary a chance anyway. Being 22 at the time, I decided to make a list of 25 things I wanted to do before I turned 25, expecting to still be in Calgary by the time I turned 25. In my old, run down apartment I first moved into back in November 2011, I wrote this list. Recently, I found this list and had a good laugh. I haven’t even come close to crossing everything off. Clearly, I suck at committing to Bucket Lists.
Do you want to know why I never attempted to complete anything on this list? The only answer I can come up with is most of the items are mundane, boring, not even worth doing. Make a gingerbread house? I’ve never had the desire to make a gingerbread house. Memorize a song on the piano? Why would I put myself through that type of torture? I hated piano lessons growing up. Everything about this list is lacking ambition. Nothing on this list is challenging, not even Write a Novel because I didn’t list Complete a Novel, I said, “write”, and that in itself isn’t ambitious at all. Anyone can write a novel, but not everyone can complete it. Finally, I scoffed at the sunday school items I listed, Tell a Stranger About Christ, Go on a Mission’s Trip, Sponsor a Child. I’m sorry if this makes me a bad Christian if I say this, but these items on the list remind me of the obnoxious Christians on the streets who shout at passerbys about Hell, Jesus, and repentance. Let’s just say I am lucky to have an image copy of this list because when I found it this year while moving, I ripped it up and threw it away.
However, I still like lists. I like setting goals, but this time around, the goals I set should be adventurous since this year is centered around adventure. I want to challenge some of my fears. I want to knock some things I really want to do off my bucket list. And especially, I want to dream big.
So, here is my list of 25 things I want to do before I turn 25. My 24th birthday is in a couple weeks here, so I only have one year to cross everything off. Thank goodness I’m going to be free from a 9-5 job with time to complete these things.
25. Cut Someone Else’s Hair/Have Someone Cut Mine
I won’t have my personal hair dresser (my mom) on the road with me, so if I have to recruit someone else to cut my hair, I very much will and I will try not to freak out when it goes horribly wrong. And vice versa. If I cut someone else’s hair, and it turns into a wonderful disaster, if anything, it will be a great story to tell and something to laugh later about.
24. Tour a place via Dirt Bike
My dad is going to cringe when he reads this. Well, he is going to cringe when he reads most of the things on this list, but he should feel a little less worried about this one since he has already taught me how to ride a dirt bike. A couple summers ago, my dad not so willingly watched as I mounted our old dirt bike and attempted to release the clutch slowly. Let’s just say I gave him a couple mini heart attacks, but once I learned, there was no going back. I love dirt biking, even if it’s on a gravel road with no turns, shifting to see how fast I can go. Therefore, I want to tour the island of Koh Tao on a dirt bike, even if I am only the passenger.
23. Get an Ear Tattoo
My dad is really, really going to cringe when he reads this and I expect a phone call from my mom immediately after to tell me how ridiculous of an idea this is, but for a while now, I have wanted an ear tattoo. Not a tattoo behind my ear, but one on the front, on the hard surface underneath the ear flap. I don’t know what I want it to be, whether a word or symbol (since it has to be small and dainty), but I want it to mean something, and I’m hoping I will think of what that can be in this coming year.
22. Eat Pad Thai
Okay, this item isn’t ambitious at all because it will probably be the first meal I try in Thailand, but I wanted to list it anyway to highlight the fact that A. I’ve never tried it and B. I’ve been holding out to try it in Canada, just so my first time can be authentic in Thailand.
21. Spend the Night on a Beach
Countless times growing up, my siblings and I used to sleep in sleeping bags on the trampoline in our back yard. It always made for a great summer night. Therefore, I just want one night where I fall asleep on a beach and wake up with sand in my ears and the ocean to rinse myself off.
20. Have a Roof Top Dinner with New Friends
This is going to be another easy one to complete. I just need to find a roof top and new friends. Easy, right?
19. Celebrate a New Year in a New Land
By this I mean, celebrate another culture’s New Year. And, I wrote this because I know I will complete it come April when I celebrate Songkran, Thailand’s New Year! All I know about it is it involves water, water and more water. I might have to invest in a water gun.
18. Attend a Muay Thai Boxing Match/Learn
You may think it strange, but I love Tae Bo. Billy Blanks is my personal trainer. Haha, well I workout to his videos anyway. So, I’m thinking I would like to have Muay Thai Boxing lessons because honestly, punching/kicking makes me feel pretty BA.
17. Meet up with Old Friends Overseas
I have quite a few friends travelling/living overseas right now, and they all seem to be on the same side of the world. I want to meet up with my old roommate, Zibia in Hong Kong when she goes back home for the summer, and I am hoping to make my way up to South Korea if I am able to afford it to see some old College friends.
16. Have a Conversation with Someone without Talking
I had a good chuckle with my best friend recently when she told me a story of her time in Poland when an old Polish lady was talking to her and all Rachelle could do was reply with sounds and gestures. I think it would be the best thing ever to have a successful full conversation with someone without speaking at all because we don’t know eachother’s language.
15. Keep a Handwritten Journal
Okay, I am scrapping the handwritten part, but I do want to keep a journal. Yes, I know I have this blog to collect my thoughts and experiences but I am very sentimental and I think it would be neat to have a hard copy of my memories in word form.
14. Attempt Stand Up
I see an old friend of mine has been trying his hand at stand up, and I have to admit, I’ve always been tempted to try. I think I am funny (ish) and I am not afraid of public speaking, so whether it be overseas or back at home, might be worth a shot. The worst that can happen is being laughed off stage, but at least the audience is laughing, right?
13. Share an Ice Cream Cone
This seems stupid and silly, but this would be a HUGE feat for me. I am a germ freak, well, let me rephrase that, I hate saliva. I hate when people spit, slurp up their spit from their retainer as they pull it out of their mouth, or drool in their sleep. So, ice cream cones represent saliva mixed with ice cream. I’m vomiting in my mouth just thinking about it. I know this is such a weird thing to post, but it would be such an accomplishment for me if I could do something like this without getting grossed out. I’m just thinking about my future, you know, when I have kids and have to finish their ice cream cones. Might as well get used to it now.
12. Ditch WordPress in my domain name and make an Income Online
It’s possible. I’ve researched it. I’ve seen enough travel bloggers live off it. I want to do it. Please keep reading. Please.
11. Throw a Surprise Party for Someone
I’ve only done this once, and that was for my younger sister when we were on vacation in Arizona. It was her birthday, she left the house to go to a Music Museum for a couple hours, so we bought silly string and sparkling wine and surprised her when she came back. It was great.
10. Cliff Jump
I am finding out how scared of heights I actually am. The cliff jumping I have done has been pathetic. Kids jump from the same height I do. I want to be terrified out of my wits during that split second before I am about to jump.I want to feel that pause in the air because I still have a ways to fall. And most of all, I want to emerge from the water, look up at the cliff I just jumped from and say “never again.”
9. Make an Underwater Documentary
Call me a geek. I don’t care. I want to learn underwater videography and I want to make an educational video about the ocean, even if it is short and only premieres on this blog.
8. Sell a Stock Photo
It would be amazing to have that one photo, even if it is only one, that is outstanding enough to sell.
7. Take Someone Home
Woah, it’s not what you think. If I can convince some other traveller to come back to Canada with me for the last bit of summer and have them fall in love with the prairies, then my mission in life will be complete. That, and I get them to sing along to Keith Urban’s “Days Go By” with their hand out the window in the wind while we drive.
6. Convince Someone from Home to Uproot
Flip 7 around and have it be that someone from home follows me overseas, whether it be a friend or a family member. I feel like I can be pretty persuasive and if I can persuade someone to join me, at least for a couple weeks on my adventure, then I will feel like a winner.
5. Make a Faces Video
I’ve had this idea to make a video of every face that I meet while overseas. Seems a bit overwhelming, but it might not be every face, just people I have experiences with. Might turn out to be a rather lame video, or it could be pretty cool.
4. Take a Pottery Class
This is the one item from my list before that I want to keep.
3. Take a Friend Scuba Diving
This is along the same lines of #6. If any of my friends/family members do come and visit, I want to take them scuba diving. I wish I could teach them, but I am not going to become an instructor (yet, maybe in the future), but I am sure I can tag along while they go on a DSD (Discover Scuba Diving). This will even apply to new friends since I am positive no one from home will make the long flight over just to knock #3 AND #6 off my list.
2. Write an article to be feautred on another Travel Blog.
Since deciding to blog about my big adventure coming up, I started to follow a couple other travel blogs to keep me inspired. One of which has been a go-to read for me, mainly because she has gone through exactly what I am about to go through. She is an underwater videographer who fell in love with the island of Koh Tao in Thailand. Also, she has managed to make her life nomadic and this is precisely the life I want (at least for the years in my twenties). I want adventures to write about, and it would be incredible if my blog gained that much traction to get noticed. If you want to check out my daily read, visit Alex in Wanderland.
1. Swim with Sharks
Sharks terrify me. When I was little, I used to think sharks were going to magically make their way out of the drain and gobble me whole. I’m still scared of them, but I am also intrigued by them. They are fascinating, and after watching the documentary, Shark Water and hearing countless times by people that sharks are nothing to fear, I want to settle this for myself and find out by getting up close and personal.