The Bucket List

by Just Juan
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As a natural free spirit, I’m of the belief that everybody should have a bucket list. I believe it should consist of overcoming fears, achieving once unattainable goals, realizing childhood dreams, taking risks, and doing things that you wouldn’t do under normal circumstances…kind of like having that Magic School Bus Miss Frizzle “take chances, make mistakes, get messy” mentality. Of course, a lot of people won’t agree with that and I think those people are sissies…but that’s just my opinion. For me, I have 75 unique things I want to do before I kick the proverbial bucket. I’ve already completed a few of the following items. I’ll detail those collectively in a future post and the remaining items as I complete them in this blog as long as I’m writing. That written, here is my bucket list…

  1. Bowl a game of 220 or better. This would be a grand moment considering the best game of my life (166) is more than twice my career average (82.7).
  2. Learn archery. Long before Jennifer Lawrence was picking cats off in The Hunger Games, I’ve always wanted to acquire this skill…for the physical benefits (improved upper body strength, balance, and coordination) and the mental aspects (clear mind and increased focus).
  3. Perform the Argentine Tango with a native Latin American woman in Buenos Aires. Aside from the first dance I’ll have as a married man, this may very well be the defining moment of my life on any dance floor.
  4. Perform the Foxtrot and the Waltz on a date. This is why I secretly took ballroom dance in Tokyo for 3 years…all for that moment to leave a marquee impression. I just hope the lucky lady respects the “lead and follow” rule.
  5. Go sky diving. I’ve always wanted to do it. And considering I know a lot more about parachutes—courtesy of my one of my good friends—I don’t have an uneasiness about it anymore.
  6. Go white water rafting. I just want to see what the craze is all about. It’s high risk with the rocks and the drops but I’m sticking to one of the lower grades. I want to complete a bucket list item, not die.
  7. Zipline through the Cloud Forest in Monteverde, Costa Rica. I’ve never been one to be frightened of heights but after a particular incident in Air Force basic military training, I wasn’t really receptive to covering distances end-to-end hanging on a wire. That changed when I ended up by myself in one of the glass bottom Ngong Ping Cable Cars in Hong Kong a few years back. I’ll do a few runs Stateside before I venture down to journey through the clouds.
  8. Visit Red Square. Let’s break it down. A historic city. Saint Basil’s Cathedral. The Kremlin. Lenin’s Mausoleum. The Iberian Gate. Ummm…yeah, for a history freak like myself (I did have a 5.0 GPA in the history division in high school), this is a must.
  9. Learn to say “Hello, my name is Juan” in the native tongue of every nation in the European Union. I’m sure to impress a few of the locals and maybe a few expatriates in doing so.
  10. Visit Cuba. Hopefully, those cats in DC will stop playing politics and get rid of the embargo so I can go and do my 3-day travel thing. But, if not, I don’t have any issues with going as part of a people-to-people exchange. Either that or I’ll give up the American citizenship and become a Canuck.
  11. Visit Christ the Redeemer. There is absolutely no way I’ll allow myself to leave Rio de Janeiro without a visit. It’ll definitely be one of my more proud moments as a Christian.
  12. Visit the Great Barrier Reef. No doubt about it, the only way I’ll truly get the maximum value out of that Nikon D90 I dropped a 12-spot on a few years back is to get a shot of this marvelous sight.
  13. Visit The Acropolis of Athens. You don’t just pass up a chance to see one of the most universally-recognized attractions in the world.
  14. Visit The Louvre. I love art museums and I actually visited this one as a teenager. But I was so young back then, still in my “tourist phase”. I didn’t appreciate it. A 2nd go around is mandatory.
  15. Visit Niagara Falls. C’mon…who doesn’t want to get a picture of Niagara Falls?
  16. Attend the Toronto International Film Festival. I’m a lover of films so it’s no doubt that I’ll land myself in Toronto to attend one. Hey…why not see the hottest film on the block before 99% of the rest of the world does.
  17. Jog end to end and back on the Golden Gate Bridge. Roughly 3 ½ miles…that’s the equivalent of a normal PT run during my Air Force days.
  18. Buy an apple in Pike Place Market. Pretty simple but it carries a lot of meaning.
  19. Visit Disney World. Every kid should experience the thrill of going to “the happiest place on Earth”. I didn’t get that chance in my youth. I’ll get there but I’m likely saving the moment for the 5th birthday of my first-born child.
  20. Wave a flag at an international sporting event. A true fan waves the flag on the biggest stage.
  21. Take a picture of Hong Kong from Victoria Peak. As a fan of skylines and cityscapes, the Hong Kong skyline from The Peak is the holy grail of skylines.
  22. Experience A Symphony of Lights. Once one is done taking that famed picture at The Peak, get down to the Tsim Sha Tsui Promenade along Victoria Harbour at 8pm local and experience one of the best light shows ever.
  23. Make a stained glass window. It’ll make a cool arts and crafts project. Besides, I could potentially create a family heirloom. What’s cooler than that?
  24. Read every book by Charles Dickens. That’s my favorite all-time author. I’ve read all the majors but I’ll read them again and add the lesser knowns too. Heck, I may even buy them all to add to my library.
  25. Watch every movie that has won the Palme d’Or Award in my lifetime. The Golden Palm. The highest prize at the Cannes Film Festival. I’ve only seen 3 of the films released since 1984—Fahrenheit 9/11, Pulp Fiction, and Sex, Lies & Videotape—but my interest in watching the other 26 and possibly more since it is all the winners in my “lifetime” has reached a fever pitch of sorts since my official film festival debut (Toronto International Film Festival, 2013).
  26. Become a better public speaker by joining Toastmasters International. Something I pride myself on is my ability to write well. My ability to write well has translated into me speaking well. I want to become an even better speaker. Eventually, I want to give an oratory address that will move people. Joining Toastmasters will put me in position. After all, their motto is “Become the Speaker & Leader You Want To Be”.
  27. Become a notary public. It’ll probably be the closest to public office that I’ll get…and I get a cool stamp for being one, too.
  28. Meet a Brit soul singer from my Windows Media Player. That’s definitely not an easy one considering that list consists of the following: Sade, Corinne Bailey Rae, Marsha Ambrosius, Leona Lewis, Joss Stone, Ms. Dynamite and Craig David. Laura Izibor is in there too but technically, she’s Irish.
  29. Meet a MVP or MOP from either of the following: Super Bowl, NBA Finals, World Series, BCS National Championship Game, or Men’s Final Four. It would be extra cool to have an opportunity to converse with the guy about one of the biggest moments in his athletic career.
  30. Make the front page of the newspaper. I’ve been in the newspaper plenty of times…just not on the front. Being on the front page of the newspaper—local or national—is like legendary stuff. Everybody who knows you will probably keep that paper as a keepsake and you’ll have something to tell your grandkids. Hopefully, they won’t get me in under the fold.
  31. Become a CNN Hero. I always said I wanted to make a difference on a global level.
  32. Get an article published in a newspaper or magazine. You think they’re ready for me?
  33. Acquire post-nominal initials. I consider it cool to have initials behind your name…kind of makes you seem like a big deal.
  34. Win NaNoWriMo. 1667 words a day for 30 days in November. That’s it? Well, go ahead and give me my award because 50000 words ain’t nothing to me.
  35. Audition to be an extra in a film. Everybody loves to see their name in the credits. That’s why you see a lot of people stay back at the end of movies.
  36. Drive a Lamborghini or Ferrari. I’m not flashy enough to ever own one of these joints but I’m high-falutin’ enough to rent one for a day.
  37. Leave a valuable contribution in my area of expertise. I left a lot of knowledge, a lot of success secrets, and ideas for future development with those I worked with as I walked away from my military career as a civil engineer. I don’t know if any of that was received and it’s likely that I’ll never know. However, I can use that same drive, that same fire for professional excellence I had as a serviceman in my civilian career and leave a contribution that’ll help advance my industry.
  38. Create a trust fund for my child. I want my kid to have all the things I didn’t get a chance to have. I want my kid to live without the financial struggles I lived with early on.
  39. Find the love of my life. A lifetime of mistakes, bad calls, and heartbreaks undone by a woman whose mere presence holds much significance to my future: how’s that for a love story? Can’t wait to see it in person.
  40. Propose in stunning fashion. The funny thing about this is I already know how it’s going to happen and where it’s going to happen. All that’s left is a lead lady and a period of courtship.
  41. Get married. It’s a prerequisite for a couple of other bucket list items. And I get to kiss somebody’s grown daughter in front of everybody.
  42. Have a child. I want a daughter and we’ll try until I get one. Just kidding…or am I? Seriously, children are a blessing from the Lord and I would love nothing more than to have a healthy, happy child to raise towards being a productive citizen of society. It should be noted that I’m not limiting myself to just one child…just can’t complete this item until I have at least one.
  43. Build a house. Why buy somebody else’s dream home when I can build my own…exactly how I want it.
  44. Catch a wedding garter. I’m willing to bet the moment this happens, the preceding 6 bucket list items will all happen within 3 years.
  45. Go to an Olympic Games. Doesn’t matter if it’s a Summer or Winter Olympiad, I’m going to one in my lifetime. And I’m gonna be there for either the opening ceremony or the closing ceremony.
  46. Attend a national championship game. Being in attendance at college football’s biggest game and seeing the national championship game logo at midfield or feeling the intensity of being in the stands on the biggest Monday in the college basketball season would be a grand moment for me as a sports fan.
  47. Attend a Kansas game at Phog Allen Fieldhouse. 16300 crazy fans rooting for the best team in America. Yep, I’m there. Rock Chalk Jayhawk…Go K-U.
  48. Attend a Packers game at Lambeau Field. It’s like the cathedral for American gridiron football. I need to get an end zone ticket so I can take in the tradition of the players jumping in the stands.
  49. Attend an Ohio State night game at Ohio Stadium. 106000 fans. Script Ohio. A live ESPN Saturday Night Football on ABC broadcast. I’m there.
  50. Attend a match at Wimbledon. It’s like the greatest event in tennis. Hopefully, I’m there when Venus Williams and Rafael Nadal are still good.
  51. Go to Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade. I just want to see the Charlie Brown balloon.
  52. Write a poetry book. I’ve written scores of poems of all kinds in my lifetime and I’ve always thought about releasing them to the public.
  53. Stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora. Can you say honeymoon?
  54. Volunteer in a 3rd world country? Going to a place that’s very much likely to be even worse than the place I grew up in and giving my time to make life just a little bit more comfortable would be a great thing for me in so many facets of life.
  55. Take a picture in front of every Statehouse in America. Completing this one means that I’ll have to step foot into every state capital in the United States. That means I’ll have to one day return to Florida and Louisiana…places I’ve long stayed away from.
  56. Collect a postcard from 100 different cities in 100 different countries. This one is actually going to be easier than I imagined…being that I’m a Postcrosser and all. Oh yeah, I’m not counting the United States of America.
  57. Throw 50 $50 bills from the top of 50-story building in a city of 1 million residents. How many people you know got $2500 to throw off the top of a building in a large city? I just want to see how the people below will react to money falling from the sky. And who knows…maybe it’ll be an on-time blessing for somebody.
  58. Visit every Major League Baseball ballpark. I’m a huge fan of the game and sitting in attendance in every stadium should be a goal of every fan. Heck, I may do it all in one season.
  59. Attend Game 7 of a championship series. I don’t know if there is any more dramatic finish to a sports season than a Game 7. It’s truly winner take all. The intrigue for me is that it’ll be short notice (1 day for World Series, 2 days for NBA Finals and Stanley Cup Finals). Good thing I got a StubHub account, a trusted travel advisor, and a leisure fund.
  60. Kiss at the top of the London Eye. Every London bloke has this on his list…so should every American guy.
  61. Take a date to a Michelin 3-star restaurant. So you got me, a hot chick who’s probably wearing a LBD, and one of the finest dining establishments on the planet…that’ll be a nice evening out all by itself. It would also be the book end of the dating experience for me being that my very first date was at the Arby’s next to my job at Domino’s Pizza.
  62. Solve a Rubik’s Cube. I bought one with my first ever paycheck in November 2000 and I still haven’t mastered it. Heck, I still haven’t gotten 2 solid-colored sides yet.
  63. Milk a cow. It looks creepy on TV and I actually think it hurts the cows, even though experts say it doesn’t. It would be an awesome experience though. I’ll even wear a straw hat and coveralls.
  64. Walk the edge of the CN Tower. Yep…I’m gonna be all up on the top of one of the tallest buildings in the world, walking on the edge. That’ll be 102.3 times better than walking on the glass ledge at the Sears Tower.
  65. Attend a FIFA World Cup Final. This is the marquee spectator sport experience. Being there for the championship of the world’s pastime is unmatched by any other sporting event.
  66. Ride on the front row of every rollercoaster at Cedar Point wearing a blindfold. Two summers ago, it was a trip to Kings Dominion that I rode on the front row of The Dominator and just like that, the thrill-seeker in me that had been long dormant was awakened. Now, my eyes are set for a trip to Sandusky, Ohio to take on the dozen rollercoasters that carry a “high” or “aggressive” thrill rating. Doing so with a blindfold on adds to the intrigue.
  67. Tip 300% on a meal $70 or more. I remember the days where I paid exact change on meals. Now, I pay 10% on bad service and at least 20% on all other service. Dropping a tip 3 times the price of the meal would by far be a sign of the best service I’ve ever had. Crazy thing is it might happen the same night I go to that Michelin 3-star restaurant.
  68. Visit the Auschwitz Concentration Camp or the Kigali Genocide Memorial. Horrible, despicable, unimaginable crimes happened in both places…changed entire ethnic groups forever. A history guy like myself would want to see the damage up close and personal…and to pay respects to the lives lost.
  69. Host a foreign exchange student. Personally, I think it would be cool to play host to a student from a foreign country. It would offer me the opportunity to leave an impression at an international level and I can probably make some kid’s experience in America or wherever I’m at a memorable one.
  70. Attend every race of the Triple Crown in the same year. I’ll get to wear my #1 suit to the Kentucky Derby, drink a virgin Black-Eyed Susan at the Preakness Stakes, and listen to the New York theme song at the Belmont Stakes all in a span of 5 weeks. Who knows…I might even see history too.
  71. Fly First Class on an Emirates A380. Imagine a 5-star luxury hotel 35000 miles in the sky, moving at 580 miles per hour…that’s Emirates First Class. You get a private suite with a sliding door, a personal mini-bar, a wardrobe, a fully flat bed with mattress along with on-demand food specially prepared per request, access to an onboard lounge to mingle with other passengers…and it has a shower spa.
  72. Complete a 365 Photography Project. This is a mere test of discipline. I barely got through a 30-day photo challenge on Instagram. A 365-day challenge would be heartbreaking if I got halfway and missed a day. But that’s the intrigue of it.
  73. Swim with stingrays at Stingray City. This is the only reason I’ve come up with for really wanting to go to the Caribbean.
  74. Take up residence in Vancouver, British Columbia. From the first time I visited in 2006, I’ve always been fascinated with the city, the people, and the culture. Oh, and I can’t forget the awesome views along False Creek. At some point in this life, that’s where I’m going to live…or at least have a space where I pay a utility bill. Completion of this bucket list item includes the entire Greater Vancouver Area so setting up shop in the suburbs of Whistler, Richmond, Surrey, or Burnaby would count.
  75. Complete this bucket list. It’s as simple as that.

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14 comments

readandreviewit July 22, 2021 - 3:55 pm

This is such a great list! I love how much of a selection you have here – it’s so inspiring! Thanks for sharing.

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MELANIE EDJOURIAN July 23, 2021 - 5:05 am

That’s a massive bucket list. I’ve done a few already from the list. I’d love to go to a Michelin star restaurant. That would be amazing!

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Risa Quejada Lopez July 23, 2021 - 11:30 am

I love how you made a bucket list. Makes me wanna make one too!

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Just Juan July 23, 2021 - 11:42 am

Thanks. I considered 10 different concepts when I created the list: (1) being honest with myself, (2) making it adventurous, (3) going somewhere I’ve never been before, (4) learning something new, (5) accomplishing a life goal, (6) adding in a personal development item, (7) giving back, (8) having a once in a lifetime experience, (9) adding something simple and something extravagant, and (10) doing some unusual.

You should absolutely make a bucket list.

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rhea July 23, 2021 - 2:04 pm

I was asked to join toastmaster as a guest once, I had fun.. will join in the future once my schedule is a bit free. My objective is the same with you – I have a fear in public speaking so this would help me build my confidence.

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Cynthia Nicoletti July 24, 2021 - 9:30 am

I am loving your list, so nice and detailed the best bucket list I have read. I hope you accomplish them all !!

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Michele July 24, 2021 - 9:45 am

You got a little bit of everything on your list and I am here for it! I love that you listen to Laura Izibor. I would love to meet her as well or FeFe Dobson. We listen to a lot of the same music. Love it!

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Rochelle July 24, 2021 - 10:40 am

this is a very well thought out and interesting list, I can tell you’ve been putting this together for awhile and a lot of adventure lies here. I’ve never heard anyone say they would want to visit the barrier reef but good one, I need to make one myself !

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Lyosha July 25, 2021 - 9:03 am

such a fun list! I love how eventful and fun you make it!

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aisasami July 25, 2021 - 9:21 am

I am loving a lot of these items on your bucket list because it is amazing! There is a lot of detail in what you want to do!

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Renata Green July 25, 2021 - 3:11 pm

Although I personally do not have a bucket list, it’s so interesting and inspiring reading yours. Best of luck with your achievements!

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Prajaktasfoodlab July 25, 2021 - 11:43 pm

Reading your bucketlist made me realize I should make one for myself too and skydiving and zipline will definitely be on it.

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Aditi July 26, 2021 - 12:36 am

Wow, that is an amazing list..we have so much in common, but must say you have a wide variety in there.. as for travel and adventure is concerned, I too would love to explore all of them.

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Anosa Malanga July 31, 2021 - 1:03 pm

Indeed such a great list! I would love to do the same and ticking it off as completed one at a time. Thanks for reminding me to do the same.

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