So this term, ‘the bucket list’ I used to think it was just coined after the movie starring Nelson Mandela, but actually it’s like a real ‘THING’.
Top things people want to do before they kick the bucket. You can Imagine my dismay at running into the house as a child slipping on freshly mopped tiles and kicking the bucket RIGHT on over. It resulted in my nanny shouting at me, and I may have hurt my bum. Kicking the bucket is not fun. Also, I cannot make a ‘Bucket list’ because I’ve already kicked it. And once a bucket has been kicked, it cannot be unkicked. Just ask my Nanny, Vicky who had to mop up all the soapy water.
Of course, Kick the Bucket means ‘to die’. Kids, It’s what we call an euphemism. A nice way of saying something that isn’t nice. And the origins of the ‘Kick the Bucket’ term are certainly NOT nice. The two most common theories (because, of course there is no CLEAR answer. That’d be too easy) relate to SUICIDE – standing on a metal bucket with a noose around one’s neck, kicking the bucket ends in death. Or a harrowing description of pigs in slaughter houses being hoisted up in a bucket pulley manner and kicking the wooden panel frantically, before they die, known as the bucket. Suicide and Murder. Right.
Think about both those images next time you try to make death sound ‘nicer’ by saying ‘kicked the bucket.’ Eish.
Definitions not withstanding, every one has their own ‘Bucket List’. Perhaps in Somalia somewhere it’s “Eat a balanced meal” and in Japan it’s “have a house with enough space to swing a cat” whereas in China it could be “eat a cat.” Then you get the rest of us, and I’m going to go ahead and assume that the fact you are reading this means you have the internet and visa vie a computer, so I shall generalise and lump us all together with our ‘Upper-middle class dreams’.
Psychologically speaking, making a bucket list is good for you for 5 reasons.
- We remember the ‘WHY’ in our lives. Not just how to survive, but setting a list of ‘living goals’ helps to remember the point of it all. (Until we die and the aliens inform us that it was all pointless anyway)
- It’s a great way to re-energize. Looking at our bucket lists and things we can acheive and HAVE acheived helps to break us out of the hamster-wheel of our lives and motivate us more. (I’d argue it can also make you more apathetic about how little you’ve done… whilst i look at my tea cup which is HALF EMPTY)
- You’ve set yourself a list of rewards. Instead of procrastinating doing things, you have now created goal oriented rewards. Think of dogs and biscuits.
- The Law of Attraction! (Shhh it’s a Secret) If any of you watched that patronising over stated Secret to life, you may have repressed the gag-reflex (if you have one…. shame) and picked up the key theme. When we set clear goals and visualise them we then become accountable for them. Putting a bucket list out there also helps OTHERS to know about your goals and is them more likely to make them happen.
- BE A LEGEND! Making a bucket list and starting to acheive the things on it will help to build your legacy. A way to be remembered. So will being a mass murderer. Your choice, Manson.
By and large Bucket Lists include meeting famous people, seeing famous things and taking part in pulse raising adventures.
My Bucket by Google List
What is on MY list?
I travelled the world a lot and without having a conscious knowledge of it, I ticked a bunch of Buckets off the list (is that the right analogy? I don’t know, I just can’t stop picturing the screaming pigs. Maybe I should make a bacon sandwich and clear my head?)
One of the most obvious and popular:
I’ve done that, the highest one in the world. And I jumped feet first…. by mistake…. And everyone laughed at me…. A lot… Which is fine…. I win… I’m a comedian.
That was pretty fun. What made it more special was I did it with my whole family (either watching or also jumping) on Christmas eve, 2009. We slammed tequila shots, made a noise and laughed a lot.
The last Christmas with my beloved Grandpa before HE kicked the bucket. Perhaps “Watching my grandkids jump off a bridge” was on HIS list? I doubt it. Although, I’m pretty sure he ticked all his boxes anyway. he was a pilot. Whether or not he ticked boxes, I know he touched a lot of them. (Yes, that’s another euphemism, kids. Box is in fact a word for vagina.)
Another popular ‘Bucket list’ item is
See the 7 wonders of the world.
Now this one is a bit contested as the 7 wonders of the world are pretty fluid and change all the time. Just ask the Swiss who recently awarded our Table Mountain ‘7 natural wonder of the world’ as a result of a popularity sms vote. The Pop Idol of Natural wonders.
I don’t feel any more ready to ‘kick a bucket’ waking up to that sight every day. But. I do love it.
I’ve seen a legit Seven wonder:
The Great Wall of China.
Here’s something they DON’T tell you: The Great Wall is on top of the highest mountains. (That makes sense, no point putting it in a valley.) When you drive out of Beijing, survive the Chinese people staring at you, passing you their babies to pose for photos (true story) and them hacking up disgusting loogies onto the street like it ain’t no thang but a chicken wing (which you won’t find easily… But more likely a foot… “Duck foot web soup” anyone?) You finally catch a glimpse of THE GREAT wall, from the bus. There atop the mountain. It goes on for a while…. a pretty long while, just ask the astronauts who can see it from space. Just not Mr Armstrong, he’s kicked his bucket.
You get excited, “there’s the great wall!” you squeal and look around for affirmation. (The Chinese people look at you, smile and awkwardly nod as they become intimidated by your overly hairy arms, pigment lacking eyes and hair and pointy nose.) You happily smile to yourself as you think you’ve reached one of your goals… But…. here’s the thing. If you (like me) want to go to the “Secret” part of the wall (like they could possibly keep ANY of it a secret) away from the tourist crowds and giant foam fingers. You will have to overcome one final thing before you can tick that bucket off your list.
HIKE UP A FREAKING MOUNTAIN!!!
The “ooh and aaah” factor of being on a piece of broken old stones is subdued somewhat when you can’t catch your breath. Then guess what happens? YOU HIKE ALONG THE FREAKING MOUNTAIN!
I’m talking up stairs and down stairs… constantly for hours. Weeeee! It was also freezing when I did it. My ears were burning from the howling wind. So. If you’re going to do that. Take the right shoes… and be fit.
The one thing that I did enjoy, at the end of a particularly arduous climb. You are sympathising heavily with Samwise and Frodo as you clamber over broken step ledges right up to the top of Mordor. You reach the little ‘guard house – watch tower’ at the top… and guess what’s in there? A little chinese man, patiently waiting to sell you things. Made in China. I enjoyed his initiative and drive. He must hike up there every day. For that reason, and the novelty – I bought a tshirt:
Every other country in the world who has something impressive but that maybe didn’t have the population wealth to vote it into the ‘TOP SEVEN’ just goes ahead and calls it’s thing “The 8th wonder of the world” – which is a little cheeky.
I did a Bucket list by Google.
When I lived in Korea. I had a lot of free time. And when I found myself sober enough to use my computer, I’d find rad places I wanted to see by scanning Google images, and then my goal would be taking a photo with ME in that image.
It was quite surreal everytime I managed to do it. (If only someone had told me about photo-shop, i could have saved a lot of hours of travelling.)
Below in Cambodia is exhibit A.
One thing that ‘Wonders of the world‘ have in common, is HIKING. That image above was one of my carrots at the end of a stick I saw on Google.
I had started my journey to that exact location a few weeks before, as I stared at the photo on my laptop whilst planning my next vacation. A glowing emerald gem. An oasis in my downtown apartment in Korea. Well, apartment isn’t a fair term. Train carriages have more spacious accommodation than my living quarters in Korea had. And i’m NOT being melodramatic.
I left my cereal box in Korea with one mission in mind: Get a photo by those rice terraces. Now cue a Guy Ritchie style movie montage of:
- 5hr plane flight to Manila, Phillippines.
- Side stepping prostitutes and hustlers to find my guest house.
- Watching a fan ineffectively blow hot air from one part of the sticky room to another.
- Sharing a backpackers room full of bunk-beds with 25 other drunk, noisy, foreign boy people.
- Having to tie my backpack to my legs to avoid theft. (and my money in my undies… to remind myself of my stripper days.)
- Navigating the city to find a travel agent that would book me on the bus to Banaue.
- Catching a 12hr overnight bus with extreme air-conditioning and zero warm clothing. Suffering from melo-dramatic hypothermia.
- Arriving in Banaue at sunrise, then organising a ‘jeepney’ to take us up to the hiking point… a treacherous 2 hr journey over a single giant pothole, with 100m cliffs of death to your right.
- Getting dropped at the top of the hiking trail, having to walk for 3 hours through mountains which the Brazilian girl I’d met on the bus said rivaled any she’d seen in South America.
- (Not realising there’d be a hike and having only flip flops)
- Finally arriving at the rice terrace village. Finding 50c beers and $1 accommodation.
- Posing to take this photo
That picture suddenly means more now. Doesn’t it? … SAY YES, DAMMIT.
Buckets of the Obscure:
There are some things I’ve done that I wouldn’t have EVER thought to put on a bucket list, but which was a pretty amazing highlight of my life. So I will list it here for your benefit. – Add it to YOUR lists…
Penis Park, South Korea
Yes, really. That’s a real thing. Before Gangnam style hit the internet 2 months ago, Korea was pretty much only famous for it’s naughty little Northern Half, Samsung and LG. BUT – that conservative of nations has an amazingly naive little secret. Down on the South coast (the Dirty South, if you will) there is a fishing village with an entire MOUNTAIN SIDE filled with phalluses.
The story goes something along the lines of a virgin drowned off the coast 100yrs ago, whilst waiting for her fisherman boyfriend to get to her. The following few years the village was stricken with no fish (that’s NOT an innuendo, kids).
Some elder… came to the VERY OBVIOUS conclusion that she obviously was angry because she craved penis. Not because she was stranded, betrayed and abandoned by her love – like a female might assume – no, no. Korean men clearly have a finer grasp of the needs and wants of ghosts. (Which is of course the most scientific and logical reason for this fish-less spell.)
And voila. Penis park was birthed. An entire Art gallery full of Tottie-Totems. It’s something to see.
Muay Thai fight in Thailand.
I got my nose broken in a muay thai fight in Thailand. Not exactly something I would have voluntarily put on my list. But I kind of feel like the fact that I’ve been punched in the face, once, hard, makes me that little bit more prepared to kick the bucket. If you want a more PG version, Reggae Bar on Koh Phi Phi has ‘friendly fights’ for foreigners. Alternatively, go my route and train on Phuket Island at the oldest (and best) muay thai gym: Suwit Muay Thai. *train like a Thai, Fight like a Thai*
STILL TO DO:
So that’s my little list of things I’ve done – so far. Things that i’m AWARE of that I still want to do:
Swim with Dolphins.
I’d prefer not to do it in a pure touristy sense. I’ve surfed with seals, and whales. Never dolphins. I’d probably have to start surfing for that to happen again. But, one day – something like that.
Dive the Great Barrier Reef.
This is something that was on my dad’s bucket list. He never got to do it. I’ve dived in Thailand and the Philippines but NEVER seen anything as beautiful as what the Great Barrier Reef appears to be like.
Sonkraan in Thailand.
This is their ‘Giant water fight’ every time I go to Thailand it’s either Just been, or about to come. The photos are too epic.
Dear Photos – I wanna be IN YOU…
Much like my Banaue rice-terrace expedition. Here are some more photos that maybe one day I’ll find myself inside of:
Above Photos by Places to see before you die
What are some of YOUR bucket list things?
*bucket carrying high five*