Bucket List: 225 Things to Do Before You Die
61. Attend the Running of the Bulls in Pamplona, Spain
The Running of the Bulls is a major event at the annual San Fermin festival, happening every July 7th-14th. It goes down like this: A couple hundred-or-so daring (or plain foolish, one) Spaniards attempt to outrun a herd of a dozen angry, charging bulls down a quartered-off section of Pamplona. The event is certainly a fun spectator sport, save for the possible blood and gore, but if you’re feeling really adventurous (or, more likely, stupid), get out and run with the beasts yourself. Just note that between 200 and 300 folks are injured (mostly due to falls) every year doing so, and a total of 16 have died since 1916. Just try to guess why!
62. See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)
No doubt you learned about the Aurora Borealis back in grade school, but ever seen them in person? If not, you’re missing one incredible, memorable show in the sky. Aurora Borealis—a natural display of light in the night sky caused by colliding, charged particles being swept around by solar winds—takes its name from Aurora, the Roman goddess of dawn, and Boreas, the Greek name for ‘north wind’. The best places to see these awesome phenomenons include Fairbanks, Alaska; Denmark (in or around the Norwegian Sea Islands, especially Faroe Island); and Reykjavik, Iceland. Just make sure to find an area clear of any city lights and with a great view of the dark sky.
63. Visit Mount Rushmore National Memorial
Nestled in the remote, mountainous Black Hills region of South Dakota you’ll find one of America’s most famous and instantly identifiable landmarks, Mouth Rushmore. Be one of the lucky, some two-million people (annually) to visit the monument—four 60ft-tall carvings (out of Mt. Rushmore’s southeast granite face) of four of the U.S.’s greatest Presidents. And depending when you go, don’t forget to check out the nearby Crazy Horse Memorial, an in-progress, 563ft Native American statue (also carved out of a mountain) that’s slated to become the world’s tallest statue.
64. Ride All of the Roller Coasters at Cedar Point
You haven’t truly lived until you’ve experienced a scary roller coaster firsthand. What better way to mark this off the ole’ bucket list than with a visit to the Sandusky, Ohio Cedar Point Amusement Park? Situated on some 360 acres near Lake Eerie, Cedar Point offers not only the most roller coasters in the world, but also a few of the fastest and most terrifying. A couple of notables include the second-tallest steel coaster in the world, the Top Thrill Dragster, a steel, hydraulically operated coaster that attains speeds up to 120mph and features a vomit-inducing, 400ft, 90-degree drop. The Millennium Force, on the other hand, is one of the longest steel coasters in the world and delivers folks as high as 310 feet and as fast as 93mph. So, eat your heart out, Six Flags.
65. Go on an African Safari at the Masai Mara National Reserve (Kenya)
Lions, tigers, and bears (and apparently giraffes and zebras)—oh my! In your quest around the world—remember No. 5, yes?—don’t forget about Africa, the enchanted land of myriad deserts, zebra and gazelle, grassy plains, and local tribes. Specifically, tour the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. This national park, which lies in the Tanzanian Serengeti, is a wildlife refuge—consisting of all kinds of wildlife (many endangered species) from wildebeests, zebra, and cheetahs, to buffalo, crocodiles, and baboons. And all of that life thrives off the main river that runs the course of the Reserve, the Mara River. The best time to see the most animals is generally from July to October, the region’s rainy season and when the animals are most active. But don’t forget the camera, change of clothes (as you will sweat), and bug spray!
66. Attend the FIFA World Cup
Maybe American football isn’t your thing? Either way, make sure that at least one trip to the FIFA World Cup—a.k.a The Federation Internationale de Football Association—is on your to-do list. Hosting teams from more nations (208 to be exact) than are even United Nations members, FIFA is also the governing body around professional futsal and beach soccer teams. Wanna get in and up close to the action at the next FIFA World Cup? Brazil, where the locals are as crazy for soccer as Canadians are fanatical about hockey, is hosting (and therefore automatically is the first qualified team of dozens of others) the next one that’s slated for June 12, 2014.
67. Bathe in the Blue Lagoon Geothermal Spa
Similar in ways to the Dead Sea experience, the Blue Lagoon is a huge geothermal (heat that’s naturally produced underground, naturally) spa in a lava field in Grindavik, Iceland. Its steamy waters—rich in the minerals sulphur and silica—hold constant a year-round temp of around 100 degrees F (38 C) and are frequented by tourists and locals alike for their relaxing qualities, as well as for treatment for those suffering from skin ailments and diseases.
68. Learn to Master Chess
Chess: It’s proven to stave off Alzheimer’s and increase memory, as well as increase attention span. While you may never become the next Bobby Fischer, you can always impress your friends, family, and even random strangers with your mean checkmate-ing skills!
69. Spend the Night at the The Myrtles Plantation
If you think the photo is pretty creepy and that “this must be some rural haunted house”, then you’d be correct. The Myrtles Plantation (St. Francisville, Louisiana) is often attributed “one of America’s most haunted houses”, and that’s not surprising considering that it’s almost as old as the U.S. itself and has—claims numerous visitors and patrons—experienced several hauntings. Ironically, though, the Myrtle Plantation is also a beautiful B&B and place to get married. It’s also home of the Carriage House restaurant; tours of the old antebellum place occur regularly.
70. Play Golf on The Old Course at St. Andrews
Assuming that you’re a golfer, or even someone who has a passing interest in golf, make it a point to one day play a round at The Old Course at St. Andrews. Why? First starters, it’s one of the world’s most gorgeous, scenic courses, as well as the oldest. Located in Fife, Scotland, the greens at St. Andrews boast 18 holes—seven greens of which uniquely have TWO holes apiece—and a unique layout that allows players to play the course either clockwise or counterclockwise. And if you’re still in doubt of the Old Course’s prestigious history, know that golf legends like John Daly, Bobby Locke, Tiger Woods, Sam Snead, and Jack Burns have taken the extremely coveted Open Championship prize here.
71. Attend a Blue Man Group Show
So, who isn’t at least a little creeped-out by the ‘Blue Men‘? Yours truly is certainly guilty of fearing the Smurf-like people! But really, the group’s unique shows—a blend of theater and concerts consisting of everything from comedy, to music, to multimedia—are immensely entertaining and very engaging of their audiences. And they put on shows with themes dealing with ideas pertaining to self-consciousness, DNA, the internet, everyday life, and the musings on existence itself. Check out their itinerary to find a show and check this off the list.
72. Spend New Year’s Eve in Sydney, Australia
Not feeling the love for Times Square on News Years Eve? Or perhaps you’ve already done that and need a change of scenery? Check out Sydney on New Years Eve. If there’s anyone who knows how to throw down a helluva fun party, it’s Aussies! You want fireworks? How about good ole’ ‘down unda’ beer? Done. And while you’re at it, don’t just stop at Sydney for New Years. Try another major city (Times Square, New York or Disney World in Orlando are phenomenal spots) every January 1 to bring in the new year!
73. Milk a Cow
If the photo doesn’t make you want to hurl, or the initial feeling of yanking a cow’s utter doesn’t prompt you to feverishly bathe in hand sanitizer, milk a cow. Besides being a great photo opportunity, especially for you Facebookers that never miss an opportunity to show yourselves off to all your ‘boring’ friends, it’s also a lot of fun! Caveat emptor, though: Drinking raw milk from a cow (should you feel so inclined) is typically harmless—that is, if it’s from farm-bred, farm-raised cow. However, if your cow lives in industrial-like pen with other cattle, get it pasteurized first, or risk contracting salmonella or E coli.
74. Chase a Tornado
Ever seen those caveats on TV that read “Professional: Do not try at home”? Well, this one’s kinda like that! Chasing a tornado (with an experienced, veteran professional, mind you)—sometimes dubbed ‘the finger of God’—is one of the most riveting, adrenaline-pumping experiences ever. Ride along with a veteran driver and observe—up close and [possibly too] personal—one of mother nature’s most brutal, yet shockingly beautiful and grandiose shows. But again, only go with an experienced storm chaser.
75. Stand in the Crown of the Statue of Liberty
After September 11th, a LOT changed. That included the closing off of part of the Statue of Liberty. And it wasn’t until very recently that the upper part of the Statue was reopened to the public. Moving forward, though, the neoclassical, colossal Statue of Liberty on Liberty Island (in the New York Harbor) towers 305ft above ground, with Lady Liberty herself standing an impressive 101ft. Where did it come from? France (as a gift to the U.S.), of course. So, if you haven’t climbed your way up into Lady Liberty’s crown yet, it’s time to put it on the ole’ bucket list!