Monday, April 26, 2010

Things to Do, Places to See & Events to Attend Before I Die

So, despite the fact that I have recently been devising and confirming my summer plans, which, I am pleased to report, should keep me sufficiently busy, I have still been feeling slightly bored and a bit on the wistful side recently (maybe because I have been reading so much fiction lately- I always read a lot, but the last couple of months I have been reading A LOT). I find I always feel better when I have something to look forward to. For me, that something typically needs to be a trip or a death defying act to suitably subdue me for any decent amount of time. I have therefore concocted the below list of thing that I wish to do, places I wish to see, and events I wish to attend while there is life still in me. (Okay, so perhaps the fact that I just turned 28 may have prompted this. A bit.) After you see this list you may deem me fairly ambitious or possibly even unrealistic, but I say, it never hurt a girl to have a few aspirations. This list isn't of the practical, day-to-day, New Year's Resolution variety (get in shape, own a home, have babies, blah blah blah...), this is my just-for-the-fun-of-it, travel/adventure, obscure goal list.

-Tour the Holy Land (including a visit to Petra and a dip in the Red Sea)
-Take a Greece/Turkey Trip (I may need a full month for this one. So many ruins & islands, so much culture & history, such a lot of all around amazingness to behold)
-Go to Bora Bora, French Polynesia (Honeymoon?)
-Visit Angel Falls in Venezuela ('Paradise Falls' in the movie 'Up' were based off these)
-Visit the fjords in Norway during the Midnight Sun
-Visit Prince Edward Island to fullfill my Anne of Green Gables Childhood Fantasies (perhaps combine this with a Martha's Vineyard & Nantucket trip? While there, scout for a plot of land to retire as a dog lady)
-Travel a section of the Silk Road (The whole thing is ginormous and would take forever, but it would be fun to caravan a section as part of another trip or two)
-Hike to Machu Picchu, Peru

-Hike Mt Kilimanjaro, Tanzania
-Go Kayaking in New Zealand
-Do the Canopy Tour Zip-Line, Costa Rica (I did a pretty great zip-line in South Africa, but this is the big original one and is supposed to be gorgeous- apparently there is now a bigger one in New Zealand, so maybe I will just do that?)
-Drive at Maximum Speed on the Autobahnen, Germany
-Raft/Hike Through the Grand Canyon
-Walk the Great Wall of China
-Participate in an Anthropological Dig (I still secretly want to be an archaeologist, but I want to be the one crawling through tunnels, not doing paperwork. Blast you Indiana Jones and Amelia Peabody! I didn't mean that. I love you.)
-Purchase a Hand-Painted Dish Set in San Gimignano, Italy (in person)
-Gondola Ride in Venice (Been to Venice, didn't want to ride, uncoupled as I was. What a waste of romance THAT would have been)
-Go Down in a Shark Cage
-Dive the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
-Go On a Real Submarine Ride
-Swim with Dolphins (I did at a hotel once, but I mean NOT in captivity)
-Go on a Hot Air Balloon Ride (I've been up in one anchored to the ground)
-Get up the Guts and Try Out for a Show (I get queasy just thinking about it)
-Attend an Opera at the Paris Opera House (been in the building but not to a performance)
-Attend an Opera at the Sydney Opera House
-Take Lessons: Fencing, Martial Arts or Ballroom Dancing (I took Karate for like 2 months when I was 8 or 9; Doesn't count. I have no skills. Not even nunchuck skills.)
-Sleep in a Tent On a Branch of a Giant Redwood Tree or Hooked to Ropes Along a Cliff Face (Yes, you read that right- might sound crazy but I have seen both in articles in National Geographic. Both are probably better left to the hard core professionals, but, meh)
-Live on the East Coast for a While (NY, Boston, DC…)
-Stay a Night in the Cinderella Suite in Disneyland 
-Read 1,000 novels (I'm currently in the 350's (when I remember them I add them to my Goodreads list to keep track), though I am sure there are some I am forgetting- and I am not counting books like 'Clifford the Big Red Dog' or 'The Berenstain Bears,' (I'm a Belle, not a Gaston) I mean full-length novels
-Learn Italian (even though I know Spanish would be more practical and I know its a travesty that I don't already have a second language)
-Write/Publish Something Truly Timeless & Beautiful (Article? Novel? Memoir? Obituary?)

*The Below 3 Could be Done Simultaneously:
-Stay in the Ice Hotel in Sweden (December-April)
-See the Aurora Borealis, (If via Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, November-April)
-Ride on a Dog Sled

-Attend a Formal Ball/Gala (Political?)
-Attend The Oscars and/or the Cannes Film Festival Once My Brother Parker is a Big, Famous Writer/Director (Alright, so this one requires more effort from him, but I am sure I will still have to put some work in (pleading, groveling, guilt-tripping, blackmailing...) to be his date ;)

-Attend Summer Olympic Festivities
-Be in Boston (or Chicago. Or Ireland, for that matter) for St. Patrick's Day
-Visit DC (and/or East Asia) while the Cherry Blossoms are in Bloom
-Attend a Major Sporting Event (Super Bowl, Wimbledon, a Soccer World Cup...)
-Attend the Kentucky Derby & Wear a Big Hat (May)
-Attend Comic-Con in San Diego, California (July)
-Attend Bonneville Salt Flat Races, near Salt Lake City, Utah (September)
-Attend Marti Gras, New Orleans, Louisiana (February-March)

-Attend the International Kite Festival in Adelaide, Australia (March)
-Attend Carnival in Venice, Italy (February)
-Attend a Palio Race in Siena, Italy (July & August)
- Attend the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
-Find a Way to Survive After LOST Has Ended (I'm not kidding)
-Join the Mile High Club (Haha! I AM kidding! (PS, Mom, I'll explain it to you later))

The following list is items that I have already had the pleasure of doing, but would have been on the To-Do list otherwise. Basically my checked-off section of the list. I hope I don't sound braggy, believe me, I know perfectly well how lucky and blessed I am to have been able to do all of these things by the age of, ahem, 28, and I don't have any idea how they all came to pass or how I will fund all of the above items. I basically wrote this section to make myself feel better about the long way I have to go to accomplish the above section. If anything, you should pity me for having no personal life and compensating by aiming for outrageous things like these.

-Live Abroad: Zimbabwe
-Get Scuba Certified
-Go Bungee Jumping: Victoria Falls (over the Zambezi River, the border between Zimbabwe & Zambia)
-Raft the Zambezi River (saw a dead floating hippo and a couple of live crocodiles. Just little ones ;)
-Ride an Elephant: Zimbabwe
-Go on an African Safari: Kenya
-Go Sky Diving: Oahu, Hawaii
-Go Parasailing: On an Eastern Caribbean Cruise
-Tour Italy, from Lake Como down to Sicily
-See 'The Last Supper' in Milan, Italy
-See 'The David,' in Florence, Italy
-Go to Monte Carlo, Monaco and See Grace Kelly's Tomb
-Go to Angkor Wat in Cambodia
-Rock Climb in Krabi, Thailand
-Visit Stonehenge
-Visit Egypt: Rode a Camel, Saw Old Cairo, Giza, Philae & Karnak, Bought Lotus Flower Perfume and a Papyrus Painting, Sailed the Nile (it was a brief and beautiful week, and there is so much more I would love to go back and see)
-Join a Cause: Tsunami Relief in Thailand
-Go Deep Sea Fishing: Caught a 30 lb Halibut Off the Coast of British Columbia
-Take a True Sailing Trip (where you live on the boat): Belize
-Ride in a Helicopter: Hawaii, Big Island
-Sleep in a Bunk on an Overnight Train ((between Mombasa & Nairobi, Kenya)
-See the Penguins in Cape Town, South Africa
-Visit a Renaissance Fair: Boise, Idaho
-Hike Goblin Valley, Arches, Canyonlands & Zions National/State Parks, Southern Utah
-Attend the Sundance Film Festival, Park City, Utah (seeing movies, not just strolling)
-Attend Winter Olympics Festivities, Salt Lake City 2002 (By accident because I happened to be at College there at the time, but I'm counting it)
-Attend a Wedding in Las Vegas, Nevada (Thanks Tawns!)
-Bike the Haleakala Volcano, Maui, Hawaii (The Sunrise Tour)
-Become a Season Ticket Holder of Something (This year for the first time, Hale Center Theatre)
-Go to Disney Land and Disney World
-Cut Down Our Own Christmas Tree
-Drive Across the United States (Okay, so we didn't go ALL the way, but from Raleigh, North Carolina to Boise, Idaho is pretty good, so I'm counting it since I have been the rest of the way on separate occasions ;)
-Become a Pirate (Okay, it may just be my Halloween default, but in my head its real. I would have been an awesome pirate. I have the Captain Jack Sparrow hat to prove it.)

By City:
New York: Go to an Original Broadway Cast Production, New York City (I have done this on more than one occasion as it is a bit of an obsession of mine); Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty, Metropolitan Museum, American History Museum, Walk the Entirety of Central Park, Eat in China Town, Eat in Little Italy, Dance on the Giant Floor Keyboard at FAO Schwartz, View the Rockafeller Center Christmas Tree and the Windows on Fifth Avenue at Christmas, Watch the Ball Drop in Times Square, Hail a Cab, Eat at Serendipity
London: Go to a Show in The West End (London's equivalent of Broadway); British Museum, Tower of London; Ride a Double Decker Bus; Make a Call in a Red Phone Booth (er, took a pic pretending to make a call, but whatev); Buckingham Palace; Globe Theatre; Tate Museum; Millenium Bridge
Paris: Ride Up the Eiffel Tower; Climp up Notre Dame Cathedral; Go Down Into the Catacombs; See the 'Mona Lisa' at the Louvre; Devour Crepes Galore
Rome: Tour the Vatican; See the Ceiling of the Sistine Chapel; Toss a coin into the Trevi Fountain; Stick My Hand in the Mouth of Truth; Stand on the Spanish Steps; See the Colosseum and the Roman Forum; Devour Gelato Galore

I am sure that I am leaving some things out, possibly in both sections of the list, and I'm also quite certain that I will be coming back and adding things periodically. Can anyone think of other things that I have mentioned or that I am forgetting? Any suggestions for knocking some of these off the list? Anyone want to tag along?


Haylscat said...

So my brother-in-law Chris is always telling me that to meet a guy I just need to get clumsy and bump into strangers to get conversations started. This is what he said after reading this post: "will you add 'Inadvertent physical contact w/an attractive guy' to your list please?"
And I replied: 'Ummmmm...'

George Parker Mann said...

I'll work on the awards shows, also, I would have put Japan for cherry blossoms, not DC, but that's just me.

Brian said...

How is it possible that after "Live on the East Coast for a While" your first choice isn't New York City?? What do Boston or DC have over New York? They didn't even make your list of "By City" at the bottom. Isa and I agree (and I'm sure Alli and Elisabeth will back us up on this) that you should move to New York.

Scooter and Jessica Plowman said...

I absolutely want to be with you for as many of these as possible and am so glad I was with you for some of them. We need to start on Mt. K stat though because, let's be honest, we aren't getting any younger! I also think that something involving the fjords in Norway should be on the list. It's on mine anyway. =)

SisterPresidentMann said...

I love these lists - great memories, fun goals. I would add Stratford-on-Avon, and the walled city of York. Surely the underground Viking ride was one of the highlights of your life!!!
And by the way, I'm going on some of these trips...Does that mean I pay the hotel room?

Haylscat said...

Parker, I most definitely would love to see the cherry blossoms in Japan, I think I was just wrote that one in a moment of wanting to put a goal that seemed easily reachable. Cherry blossoms are indigenous to ‘East Asia’ which included Japan, Korea and parts of China, so that is what I changed it to.

Brian, you are SOOO right! I guess for some reason I have always thought that Boston and DC would be a better fit for me in a long term (as opposed to vacation) capacity, but I suppose the fact that I have never yet prioritized going to Boston and have visited NY far more times than DC… should tell me something ;)

Jess, an excellent suggestion, the Fjords have been added.

Mom, you are certainly invited, and though it is not at all a requirement, it would most definitely be appreciated if hotels were on your dime ;)

dave + kirst said...

Can I be invited to all these places too? I also noticed you didn't have 'Visit Prince Edward Island' {with Kirsten} and I'm a little offended ;( Please add immediately!

Actually my mom is thinking of doing the girl's trip there next year so you might as well add it since you'll be joining us!

Haylscat said...

Kirst, thank you! You are so completely right, we talk about that all the time and I can't believe I left it off! That is exactly why I needed you all to review this list for me. It has been added. I would LOVE to be included on a Briggs trip to PEI next year- I just need to sort out how I will earn the annual leave from work to have the time to go there AND go on a two week Greece trip! Ah well, guess I'll quit my job. Maybe I will just buy a one-way ticket to Greece and see how it goes ;)

Amy said...

Listen, I'm too much of a pansy to actually DO most of those things, but I'd sure like to see/hear about it.

So here's my vote. Get TLC to make your life a reality tv show and sponsor all of these trips. I will then subscribe to you and watch your life on TV. THEN you can win your own award for "only non-lame reality tv show" and you won't have to wait for your brother to invite you to an awards show.

I'm a genius.

Chris said...

Great list! Don't forget to do something cool with today!

Sara said...

Girl. I am leaving the city this summer, but do you know what that means?!?! An amazing space is opening up in a splendid NYC apartment...which a friend of mine is actually moving into. BUT my other roommates are starting grad programs too so there are TWO MORE KILLER SPACES AVAILABLE!

Holy Hannah. Walk the talk sister. Live the dream. If you wanna move to NY, I'll happily help get you out here.

Haylscat said...

1- Kirst, I went back through and checked and I HAD put 'Visit New England & Nova Scotia' (Nova Scotia meaning Prince Edward Island) I deleted that and kept the new one though, to avoid future confusion

2- My friend Dave, (Kirsten's husband), reminded me that I needed to add 'Learn a Language.' So I did. Italian. I actually have it on my iPod, but I am a visual learner, so I really need to just splurge and get the pricey Rosetta Stone Italian.

Haylscat said...

Oh Sara.... oooh, so tempting! I wouldn't feel comfortable if I didn't know what I was going to be doing out there, and I have sort of had it in my head that I will figure out what to do with myself after the summer that my family gets home from the Mission, so if I made a move this year it wouldn't be until the end of the year. Thank you!

Oh yes, and Amy, you ARE a genius. Want to be my sidekick? You wouldn't have to do all of the crazy stuff, but someone has to provided clever commentary while I am otherwise engaged. Think about it ;)

Amy said...

:D Thought about it......I'm in! I'll be the obnoxious narrator.

"And now she'll be participating in this death defying act - wait, oh wait. It appears that something has gone wrong with the tension line. In the most exciting night of the season find out what Hayley does in this life and death predicament."

Chris said...

Okay, Mom and Fred are wondering why your visit to The Big Texan and Caddilac Ranch aren't on your list of cool places you've been ;)

George Parker Mann said...

I'm adding travel the silk road to mine. The great thing is there are LOADS of places that can qualify for such a trip.