Bucket List: 225 Things to Do Before You Die
181. Fly a Kite at the Cervia International Kite Festival
The Cervia International Kite festival, held in the spring in Cervia, Italy (a town on the Adriatic coast, about two hours south of Venice) is one of the most prominent, longest-running festivals of its kind in Europe and probably the world. Traditionally held for ten days, things you’ll definitely experience at the event up-close views of hundreds of beautifully-colored kites, loads of pasta, enough vino (wine) to get a French battalion plastered, and absolutely perfect coastal weather.
182. Tour Kiyomizu-dera
Visit Kiyomizu-dera, a Buddhist temple (of the Goddess of Mercy) and integral relic and treasure of ancient Kyoto, Japan. The temple overlooks central-eastern Kyoto (itself on the Japanese island Honshu) from the side of Otowa Mountain and was built in 778. Prominent features in and on the grounds of Kiyomizu-dera include the grand Main Hall (Hondo), Deva Gate, the three-story pagoda, bell tower, Eleven Headed and Thousand Armed Kannon Bodhisattva enshrinement (in the Main Hall) enshrinement, and the Kiyomizu Stage (pictured)—a veranda that spans over Otowa Mountain’s precipice. Depending on the season, you’ll also see the much sought-after, gorgeous cherry blossom trees.
183. Visit Tikal
Don’t let this life pass you by without first seeing, up-close and personal, what is one of the largest archaeological digs of the ancient Maya civilization in all of South America. Situation in the Petén Basin (northern Guatemala, relatively near Flores and Santa Elena) of Guatemala’s Tikal National Park and recently dubbed a much-coveted UNESCO World Heritage Site, the site is as old as the 4th-century B.C., even though the civilization that inhabited it reached its ‘golden years’ around 200 to 900 AD. By the 10th-century, years after Teotihuacan conquered it, it laid largely a ghost town. Be one of the millions of tourists that see the priceless, ancient artifacts and monuments of Tikal. You’ll see its famed Great Plaza, many great Acropolises, temples, the Plaza of the Seven Temples, alters, stelae (carved stones with drawings on them), and burial grounds.
184. Visit Jerusalem’s Old City
Jerusalem is perhaps one of the most storied, most symbolic (of Christianity and Judaism) cities in the world—its 0.35 sq-mile Walled-city (a.k.a. ‘Old City‘) within modern Jerusalem the most important by far. Built between 1535 and 1538 and serving as as the entire city of Jerusalem until 1860, the 2.8-miles of walls surrounding the Old City encircle some of the world’s most important places, including: the Christian Holy Sepulchre, the Jewish Western Wall (a.k.a. ‘Wailing Wall’ or ‘Kotel’) and Temple Mount, and Islamic Dome of the Rock and al-Aqsa Mosque. Oh, and you’ll inevitably visit one (or ALL) of the Old City’s four Quarters (Christian, Muslim, Jewish, and Armenian Quarter).
185. Walk on the Grand Canyon Skywalk
Acrophobiacs, here’s your chance again to conquer your fears! Hovering some 4,000ft above the the Grand Canyon, SkyWalk (built in 1996 via collaboration with the local Hualapai Indian tribe) is a 1.2-million-lb platform that extends 70ft over the Grand Canyon’s West Rim. But what, exactly, stands between tourists and a 4,000ft plummet-of-death? 2.5 inch-thick-glass (really, that’s all?!). Engineers steadfastly ensure that the SkyWalk is completely safe, though. White water rafting, cabins, helicopter rides through the Canyon, and several eateries round out the things to see and do around the West Rim.
186. Walk the Golden Gate Bridge
Opened for traffic in 1937 to provide vehicle access from San Francisco to Marin County, the Golden Gate Bridge is an 8,981ft (1.7 mile) suspension bridge that hovers some 600ft above the Golden Gate strait; Golden Gate is also the name of the body of water beneath and around the bridge that links the San Francisco Bay to the Pacific ocean. In addition to being one of the most renowned symbols of San Francisco (that and its iconic cable cars), the Golden Gate bridge was originally the longest suspension bridge in the world–surpassed today by only eight others. Fun facts: The Golden Gate consists of:
- 27,572 strands of wire
- 80,000 miles of wire in its two main cables (over 3ft in diameter themselves!)
- Around 1,200,000 rivets.
187. Observe from the Burj Khalifa
Those afraid of heights that want a ‘death defying experience something just short of skydiving or mountainous base jumping’, look no further than the Burj Khalifa skyscraper (an unfathomable 2,723ft) in Dubai, UAE. The tallest building in the world, it also offers the world’s second-highest outdoor observation deck (dubbed ‘At the Top’), which sits on the 124th-floor, some 1,483 up.
188. Travel Through the Channel Tunnel
The Channel Tunnel (a.k.a. the ‘Chunnel’) is a 31-mile, under-the-sea rail tunnel. Located 250ft (at its deepest point) underneath the English Channel, the ‘Chunnel’ (hey, that’s fun to say!) links Folkestone, Kent in the U.K. with Coquelles, Pas-de-Calais in France—making the tunnel one of the longest ones (with an undersea section) in the world. But what passes through the super-cool Channel Tunnel? Mainly passenger and freight trains like Eurostar, Eurotunnel Shuttle (vehicle transport), and Europorte Channel freight. Oh, and many consider the massive tunnel one of the Seven Wonders of the Modern World.
189. Tour the New World Trade Center
9/11 forever altered the lives of millions around the world, with over 3,000 people not just from the U.S. killed or missing and the most powerful nation on Earth experiencing an attack of apocalyptic proportions. Over a decade later, the victims and heroes of that day are commemorated with the 9/11 memorial and future 105-story One World Trade Center, expected to open by 2013 and possibly act as the catalyst for additional towers. Pay your respects to the victims, both living and perished, and experience the soon-to-open museum.
190. Start Your Own Successful Business
Like the dude in the photo implies, liberate yourself from your corporate-designed, generic mold and pursue the “American Dream”. That is, be your own boss. Never take BS again from an apathetic, hard-ass boss; the customer is your only real boss. Draft your own schedule. Most importantly, sell whatever it is you love. Whether it’s a tangible product, like a robotic lawn mower, or in-demand service (e.g. carpet cleaning, financial consulting, bounty hunting…), chances are, there’s a market for it.
191. See a Lunar Eclipse and a Solar Eclipse
For those of you who don’t know the difference, a high school refresher: A lunar eclipse transpires when the Moon orbits behind the Earth, the Earth blocking the Sun’s rays from reaching the moon; this happens only during a full moon and when the three celestial bodies are in perfect alignment. Lunar eclipses are visible from far more places on Earth than solar, and during one, the moon’s color (as it appears to us) can range from dark gray, to rust, to brick-red and even orange-ish. Solar eclipses, on the other hand, are much rarer and hard to find, and occur when the Moon is sandwiched between the Earth and the Moon fully (total eclipse) or partially (partial eclipse) blocks the Sun. Of all the aforementioned, total eclipses, well, aesthetically eclipse any other type of eclipse: Period.
192. Learn Sign Language
Go ahead and add this one to ‘becoming bi or trilingual. Inasmuch, knowing sign language may be just as handy one day (to you) as does a foreign language or two. Sign language isn’t just for English speakers, either! It’s as diverse a language as practically any verbal one and is taught in all sorts of tongues like French, Spanish, Portugese, German, and Russian. And by the way, the hands in the photo are signing “I love you”.
193. Experience A Symphony of Lights on the Star Ferry
Experience the near-daily Symphony of Lights aboard the famous Star Ferry along the Victoria Harbour. Located between the Kowloon Peninsula and Hong Kong Island, Victoria Harbour is famous many things, especially the Symphony. Every day (excluding those of inclement weather), ferry-goers of the Star Ferry are whisked around the Harbour and treated to a synchronized light and laser multimedia show—thanks to the help of 44 skyscrapers, miles of optic lighting, LED lights, searchlights, and laser beam equipment. Even the Guinness World Records organization proclaimed the event the ‘world’s largest permanent light and sound show’. It transpires every night at 8pm (Hong Kong Time and with good weather) and on certain holidays, even pyrotechnic fireworks are employed.
194. Play in the Mud at the Boryeong Mud Festival
No, it ain’t Woodstock, but it’s mighty close. Grab some disposable clothes and an appetite for mud-slinging at the annual Boryeong Mud Festival in Seoul, South Korea on the Daecheon beachfront. It all starts with mineral-rich mud (the same as in many cosmetic products) taken from the Boryeong mud flats. The result is over 2-million partygoers/hooligans descending on the ‘Mud Experience Land’ every July; activities and attractions include a ‘mud prison’ (I’ll take the brick & mortar version, thanks), mud pool, mud skiing, colored mud body-painting, live bands, and fireworks.
195. Connect With Teachers From Your Past
Teachers: you probably didn’t find most of ‘em all that great when you were young. Having matured, though, you can, in retrospect, probably think of at least a couple of teachers that stood out from the pack of no-frills ones. Try to locate and make contact with them: Let them know how just how fond an effect they had on your life. Reminisce a bit. Catch up on the latest news relating to your school/college/Alma Mater.