Even though I live in a country where I have access to television, movies, theaters, and books that those elsewhere can only dream of, I still sometimes get the impression that I have lived a relatively boring and sheltered life. There are many activities I have never done that others I know have. This is my bucket list.
Watch a Meteor Shower: One day I’d like to curl up with someone special and watch a meteor shower. I’ve never had the chance. I used to work the night shift. Every time I heard that one was coming, I was dead tired and had no one willing to go with me. It was almost always cloudy and I would have had to drive far from home to get away from the light pollution of the city. I was also never sure where to park that trees would not obstruct my view and that the police or property owners would not harass me and ask why I was skulking around their fields at night.
Watch an Aurora: I’ve never had a chance to see an aurora either and for a lot of the same reasons. It would also be too long and too expensive a trip to make my way far enough north (or south) to see one. I’d like to maybe watch one during my Alaska trip.
Eat Crickets: Apparently crickets and moths are not only edible, but good for you. I have always wondered what they taste like. Since they are hard to catch and I don’t want to get the wrong kind if there is such a thing, I prefer them professionally prepared in a gourmet dish. I am also curious about the fried sea cucumbers (distant relatives of starfish) they eat in some Mediterranean towns.
Skydiving/Hang-Gliding: This is something I definitely want to do eventually, but I am in no rush. It is also expensive.
Skiing: I’ve never even been skiing. Nobody has ever invited me and I don’t know what to expect. Where do I go? Can I rent skis at the slope? How much will it cost just to practice so that I actually get in one good run that day? Some questions can be learned with Google, but without someone actually guiding me through it the first time, I will still feel kind of lost.
Canoeing: I actually did finally go canoeing once, but only for an hour and it was on a lake. I’d like very much to take someone exploring in a canoe down a long creek all afternoon. I’ve never had the chance.
Hunting: Why on Earth would I spend money and time on a hunting license, guns, and equipment when I don’t yet know what I want to hunt, where to do it, when to do it, how to do it successfully, and whether I will like it? Where do I even go to learn the applicable regulations? This is something virtually impossible to get into alone. I’ve never had anyone invite me.
Fishing: Fishing is much like hunting, only with less walking. I’m sure if I tried it on my own, I would be doing it wrong and never know otherwise.
Language: I have been so busy exploring nature, reading fiction and non-fiction, drawing pictures of aliens, and writing blogs and books that I have never had time to learn a second language. I expect that doing so will show me new ways of thinking, better help me understand others, and expand the pool of literature I could read. I want to learn but I don’t know when I’ll have the time. I still have a list of books I plan on buying when I have the money and several books I want to write. I also don’t know which language to learn first. Since I already know a little Spanish and a little German, it will probably be easiest to learn those. I’ve also thought of learning Braille and sign language. Any suggestions?
Things I've Done
At least I got a few things off my bucket list already.
Alcohol: I know the average person sneaks alcohol even before they turn twenty-one, and Catholics take real wine during Eucharist (I knew it as communion in Baptist churches), but I never had much interest. When I grew up I only encountered two types of people: those who either never drank or at least never talked with me about it, and those who drank very much for the purpose of becoming so drunk that they would throw up, pass out, and forget the good time they had. That never appealed to me. It was only when I turned twenty-five that I met responsible drinkers who actually invited me to bars or over to their houses. Beer and wine are disgusting, but I now like cider and mixed drinks. I like the taste of rum. I have never been drunk, but getting a little buzzed can be intriguing. The greatest benefit of drinking is that it gives other people an excuse to laugh at my jokes and treat me with respect rather than be the uptight characters with no tolerance for silliness that they are normally.
Shooting Range: I have always believed in the second amendment and spoken in favor of our rights, but it wasn’t until I was twenty-seven that I realized I was not doing my part. My family was never into guns and I grew up in a semi-urban area where they weren’t part of the culture. I wasn’t sure what type of gun to buy or where to buy it. Finally, I stopped in a gun shop by myself and bought a used revolver for three hundred dollars. It was very loud. Then I made a friend who liked to go out in the woods with his .22 rifle and do target practice with me. It can be a lot of fun.
Clothing-Optional Beach: Ever since I was a child and was scolded for playing indoors in my underwear, I have always had a fascination with nudity and the inexplicable psychology behind its censorship. That it is so infrequent only makes it more intriguing. Growing up, I never met anyone who expressed any interest in nudity except in the form of pornography, which I have always felt is a type of perversion that cheapens the sacred. Somehow I made it to age twenty-nine without ever seeing another adult naked in person, whether male or female. Finally, I made an internet search for something called nude beaches, which I had heard about on television. That was how I found a clothing-optional beach just two hours from my house. It was a poor excuse for a beach. It was too rocky, steep, overgrown, and crowded. Still, the opportunity to feel the air and wind on my skin without distracting breaks in continuity was almost worth it. I notice that the less I have on, the more that last little bit bothers me. Why aren’t there more of these places?
What is on your bucket list? What normal, common activity have you never tried? Go out and do them!
My name is Dan. I am an author, artist, explorer, and contemplator of subjects large and small.