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My 138 item travel bucket list

Every year, I try to update my old bucket list page … and it gets tougher and tougher each year. As I knock things off my bucket list, I add harder and harder things to the list. Years ago, I thought I would chronicle my experience/bucket list just like so many others before me … nothing special really, just a way for my family and friends to keep track of me and also to answer the questions – since I’m inherently lazy about recapping my daily, weekly, monthly routines. It would also answer the questions that people would pose on the travel blog or my facebook …

  •     What are you up to these days?
  •     What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done lately?
  •     Where is the most interesting place you’ve been lately?
  •     How is the food in <Insert random place>?

I also thought that this bucket list would be a static entry, that I could fixate on, achieve and then be on my merry way to some other complete use of my time. Now after 10+ years, I’ve come to realize that I will forever be working on my to do list – the latest list for work, home, travel, friends, and health. Make no mistake – having some type of list is absolutely essential for your happiness … well at least it’s helped in my happiness.

  •     One cannot be grateful, for which they don’t know they have
  •     One cannot learn, unless one remembers the mistakes they have made
  •     The richest people are those, who know that they can live with very little.(Except excellent 30 yr old Scotch!!)

Travelling has helped me to realize that the only thing worthwhile, is trying to live the best life for yourself or at least giving it the best you can! I’ve been blessed with great family, friends and people who have helped me along the way, all of those, one cannot take for granted.

In the end, a major component of my happiness, is the ability to make choices … to make any choice I want and make no mistake – we all have choices. Like the sun will rise every morning, one always has a choice about everything – some choices will obviously have higher and longer lasting impact by limiting or creating future choice opportunities.

Choice opportunities for everyone includes

  • To live the way you want – being jealous of someone who is living the way you want, is an utter weakness – since you’ve given your choice away to someone who doesn’t even realize the way you feel.
  • To be positive or to be negative – I personally like complaining, but it’s also because I like to hear myself talk for no reason – plain truth!
  • To choose to see the glass half empty or half full – I like being an optimistic, confident pessimist
  • To love is a choice – one which takes a lot of work for most people – since the majority of us are truly selfish at heart
  • To give is a choice – whether of your time, money, effort, energy or thought.

Your life’s goals are achieved on a daily basis … everyday I try, and fail to put in the necessary work on my lists, but the learning is in trying. So for today (August 14th 2014), here’s my latest updated bucket list post … the items in RED are still to be completed

  1. Play in Trinidad Carnival played J’Ouvert and Mas in Trinidad, gotten drunk on great rum on the streets of Port of Spain to the greatest soca and calypso.
  2. Walked where Jesus is said to have walked to his crucifixion, had a falafel the size of my head with two ice cream scoops of hummus on Ben-Yehuda St and watched the Sunrise and Sunset over the Sea of Galilee.
  3. Drove a Golf Cart on the airport runway in San Pedro, Belize and then crashed it into a mangrove swamp. Never mind that I’m 30+ years old and I have no drivers’ licence.
  4. Kissed under the Eiffel Tower and had wine on the Champs Elysee, because who has watched an romantic comedy and dreamt about doing exactly what you saw in the movies?
  5. Was in the stands to witness every match in Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup campaign in Germany and cried when the National Anthem was played and then went to an impromptu soca concert in the middle of Dortmund after Trinidad tied Sweden 0-0 and acting like had won the World Cup.
  6. Painted a “beneficial” brick at 4 am in the middle of Prague – who pays to paint a brick in Prague – a drunk Trinidadian of course.
  7. Been in a dancing boat rocking out to Mozart in Salzburg – any river cruise from Salzburg and you get the loveliness.
  8. Gotten kicked out a hotel in Milan while being loud and rowdy – World Cup and drunk Trinidadians … need I say more?
  9. Was ripped off by having lunch in Ginza but then having raw unagi in Tsukiji Market the following morning kinda made up for this … but only partially!
  10. Been laughed at by a crazy sausage guy in Vienna, who made the spiciest dish I have ever had – CurryWurst with raw Capsaicin.
  11. Learnt how to make Chapulines in Oaxaca with tons of Limes and Chili and then ate them all.
  12. Diverted enroute from Trinidad to Canada, to St Kitts, to surprise one of my best friends who lived there, then got trashed drunk, and got the Airport Manager to write me a letter to explain my extra delay to my boss at work. Boss calls Airport Manager, and still doesn’t believe my story to this day.
  13. Went to work by taking a ferry from downtown San Francisco to Sausalito and passing Alcatraz every morning.
  14. Had Dim Sum in Hong Kong harbour.
  15. Whoopie time on the grass in Old Port in Montreal.
  16. Gambled with Thai hookers while playing “Hit the nail into a block of wood” in Phuket
  17. Had Belgian Chocolates and beer in Brussels and ended up in an impromptu parade with Spaniards, after Spain came back to beat Tunisia on a late Raul goal.
  18. Watched cricket in the Antigua Recreation Ground, home of Brian Lara’s two world records and Sir Vivian Richards.
  19. Went up the Matterhorn twice! Had a champagne toast the second time with a bunch of Indians, called my parents from the top of Europe and this is what I got….
    • <Rishi> : “Morning dad, I’m at the top of Europe, overlooking the Matterhorn”
    • <Dad> : <grumbles> …. “Mahnin, Rish! What?? You’re on top of the Matterhorn…. Hmm that’s nice but I have to open the shop now, talk to you later!!!!!”
    • <Rishi> : “but …. It’s the Matterhorn”
    • <Dad> : “It’s a matter of bills”
  20. Been in a car going at 270km/h on the Autobahn, while looking and moving to Ethiopian and Eritrean music videos on the dashboard, with three Ethiopians.
  21. Had gun pulled on me by soldiers at the Palestinian border, and then upon knowing I was from Trinidad, having them congratulate me on “escaping” Trinidad!
  22. Buying my God-son’s first pair of Timberlands for him in the British Virgin Islands and pretending to be a posh millionaire at a resort in Virgin Gorda.
  23. Learned about the Torah from an Arab in Montreal, while having strong Moroccan coffee and smoking Green Apple shisha.
  24. Took one of my best friends to Pigeon Point, Tobago and circled the entire island in one day with her.
  25. Eating a Bake and Shark at Maracas Bay, Trinidad, with lots of pepper, pineapple, cole slaw and coriander.
  26. Playing hide and seek with Buddhist monks, watching the sunset from the top of the main temple at Angkor Wat.
  27. Getting sunburnt at the top of Masada and then going to cool off in the Dead Sea, then learning why no one actually swims in there. Feeling salt crystallize on your face, lips and in your eyeballs is not the greatest feeling in the world, but a cool story.
  28. Watching the sunrise from the top of Tikal and then going for a night cruise with some complete strangers on a riverboat in Lake Aitilan.
  29. Feeding the Koi at Kinkakuji
  30. Flying kites with some Puerto Ricans children in San Juan.
  31. Drinking Scotch on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and avoiding William Wallace in a blue tartan. My love affair with scotch started here. Fast forward to March 2011 to American Express calling D* about a $954 USD charge for one bottle of Balvenie 30 yr old and one bottle of Glenmorangie 25 yr old at the duty free shop in Hong Kong Airport
  32. Driving from Las Vegas with some of my friends after losing money on Black Jack to go see the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam and then driving back in the same day to win back the money I lost and then some on a casino tour
  33. Gone shopping and snorkeling in Margarita Island. Actually ripped off one of the local bars with my lack of Spanish and kissed a local in a bar there.
  34. Met a Mexican Lawyer traveling in Toronto, we fell in love for 3 days and then she was gone to her boyfriend in New York because destiny hates me – fast forward to June 2008, when I met D* … destiny works in strange but great ways. Destiny is also a stripper in St. Louis and Montreal and Toronto and Panama … you get the idea.
  35. Midnight picnic with friends on the edge of the Amalfi jetty, knocking back Raspberry Vodka and Amalfi Limoncello!!
  36. Singing “Volare” in the Blue Grotto in Capri
  37. Ending up a Papal Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore for Corpus Christi and seeing the Pope, completely by accident, instead of going drinking at some bar.
  38. Climbed the Cupola at St Peter’s Basilica.
  39. Partying with Drag Queens in the Dominican Republic
  40. Extreme 4Wheel driving at the Fontur,the North-Easternmost point of Iceland, 2 km away from the Arctic Circle, dodging huge rocks, battling 100km an hour winds
  41. Crossing a residual glacial stream at an Ice Tongue of Vatnajokull and falling into a sinkhole, but thankfully getting out in time before it swallowed me up
  42. Kissing while walking over the Brooklyn Bridge – blame Sex in the City : The Movie
  43. Went sea kayaking through underground caves to an atoll in Pattaya
  44. Been to Kingston Mines in Chicago for good southern cooking and some authentic Blues music,highlighted by an old homeless, “hard on her time” Blues singer coming in for an impromptu performance capped.
  45. Sampling the best jerk chicken and pork at Scotchies in Jamaica
  46. Stealing into Brazil to see Foz de Iguacu, without a visa and having conversations with a Argentine bus driver only with eyebrows
  47. Having 5 choripans in Retiro train station at 4am in Buenos Aires, with a ton of “chimi”, much to the disgust of the local porteno worker without knowing any spanish
  48. Watching the sunrise while walking along Ipanema beach.
  49. Making friends at the Baldi Hot Springs in Arenal, Costa Rica … then getting to a hotel drunk, waking up the owners for Seafood Paella, who then shipped us off to one of their friend’s house to watch the Arenal Volcano erupt and brighten the night sky
  50. Sailing in a hot air balloon watching the sunrise over Cappadocia
  51. Live abroad for at least 1 year … I live in Canada from Trinidad 🙂
  52. Have a travel story published in a magazine …Gadling.com (2006)
  53. Attend the FIFA World Cup with Trinidad as a participant … Germany 2006
  54. Attend a Super Bowl
  55. See the Champions League Final
  56. See a World Cup cricket match in the West Indies … (Antigua 2008)
  57. Have breakfast at Tsukiji Market … (Tokyo 2007)
  58. Climb an active volcano : Mt Pinatubo, Philippines (2011)
  59. Climb a dormant volcano : Myvatn (Iceland : 2008) (Almost getting blown off Mt Hverfjall by 120km/h winds and falling into the volcano)
  60. See an iceberg : Jokulsarlon, Iceland : 2008
  61. Visit all 7 modern Wonders of the World : Completed 2011
    1. Empire State Building.
      Finished in 1931, it towers 1,250 ft over New York City. Until the first tower of the World Trade Center was finished in 1972, it was the world’s tallest building.
    2. Itaipu Dam.
      Built by Brazil and Paraguay on the Paraná River, the dam is the world’s largest hydroelectric power plant. Completed in 1991, it took 16 years to build this series of dams whose length totals 7,744 m. It used 15 times more concrete than the Channel Tunnel.
    3. CN Tower.
      In 1976, the tower became the world’s tallest freestanding structure. It looms about one-third of a mile high (1,815 ft) above Toronto, Canada. A glass floor on the observation deck lets you look 342 m down to the ground.
    4. Panama Canal.
      It took 34 years to create this 50-mile-long canal across the Isthmus of Panama. The amount of digging required and the size of its locks helped make it the most expensive project in American history at that time—and the most deadly: About 80,000 people died during construction (most from disease).
    5. Channel Tunnel.
      Known as the Chunnel, it links France and England. It is 31 mi long, and 23 of those miles are 150 ft beneath the seabed of the English Channel. High-speed trains whiz through its side-by-side tubes.
    6. Netherlands North Sea Protection Works.
      Because the Netherlands is below sea level, a series of dams, floodgates, and surge barriers have been built to keep the sea from flooding the country during storms. The biggest part of the project was a two-mile-long moveable surge barrier across an estuary finished in 1986. It is made of 65 concrete piers each weighing 18,000 tons. It has been said that the project is nearly equal in scale to the Great Wall of China.
    7. The Golden Gate Bridge
      Connecting San Francisco and Marin County in 1937, for many years this was the longest suspension bridge in world. Experts thought that winds, ocean currents, and fog would make it impossible to build. It took about four years to complete the beautiful 1.2-mile-long bridge. It is held by 80,000 mi worth of steel wire, and the cables that link the two towers are 36.5 inches in diameter—the biggest ever made.
  62. Visit all 5 great waterfalls in the world
    1. Niagara
    2. Iguazu
    3. Kaiteur
    4. Angel
    5. Victoria
  63. Go Ziplining : Costa Rica, Collingwood, and numerous others
  64. Show up at the airport with my bag and passport and take the first available international flight … lost count, but before consulting, this was a dream.
  65. Travel solo in a country where I don’t speak the language : Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Argentina
  66. Swim or dip my foot in all five oceans : Completed December 2013
    1. Pacific
    2. Atlantic
    3. Indian
    4. Arctic
    5. Antarctic/Southern
  67. Set foot on all 7 continents
    1. North America
    2. South America
    3. Europe
    4. Asia
    5. Australia
    6. Africa
    7. Antarctica
  68. Take a hot air balloon ride : Cappadocia (Turkey 2012)
  69. Float in the Dead Sea : Israel 2007
  70. Go on a coffee tour around the world : 2012
  71. Spend the night in the Presidential Suite anywhere in the world (Done many time over … latest was in Helsinki 2012)
  72. Attend an Indian wedding … too many times.
  73. Visit all 13 Canadian provinces (Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut)
  74. Ride a horse : Philippines 2011
  75. Ride an elephant : Israel 2007
  76. Throw a dart on a map and travel there : Morocco 2010
  77. Stay in a hut over the ocean : Maldives 2011
  78. Eat chocolate in Belgium: Brussels 2008
  79. Eat a taco, drink tequila and mescal with the worm in Mexico : Mexico City 2009
  80. Walk on a glacier : Iceland 2009
  81. Do nothing in the Seychelles or the Maldives : Maldives 2011
  82. Overnight in a Cave Hotel : Cappadocia 2012
  83. Overnight in a Ice Hotel : Quebec City 2004
  84. Head to Germany for Oktoberfest and drink beer with the locals
  85. Run with the bulls in Pamplona
  86. Play mas in Trinidad … like duh!!
  87. See the city of temples at Angkor Wat : Siam Reap 2009
  88. Walk through Athens and climb to the Parthenon : 2012
  89. Ride the Vaporetto in Venice : 2008
  90. Hear the Pope give mass or an address : Rome 2008
  91. Toss a rock at Stonehenge : Exeter 2006
  92. See the boats pass through the Panama Canal : Panama 2010
  93. See the Eiffel Tower : Paris 2005
  94. Slide down a volcano : Leon, Nicaragua 2011
  95. Visit Herculaneum in the shadow of Mt Vesuvius : Italy 2012
  96. Walk on a glacier : Iceland 2008 and Argentina 2013
  97. Eat steak in Buenos Aires : Buenos Aires 2009, 2011, 2013
  98. Tour the bodegas of Mendoza, Argentina : 2013
  99. Hunt for Icebergs : Iceland, Argentina and Antarctica
  100. Sleep in the Sahara desert : Morocco 2009
  101. See Christ the Redeemer : Rio de Janiero 2010
  102. Visit Bhutan
  103. See the Moati in Easter Island
  104. Walk out of a coke can in Salar de Uyuni
  105. Climb the rice terraces of Banaue and Batad : Philippines 2012
  106. Ride a donkey up a volcano : Philippines 2012
  107. Ride into Space on Virgin Galactic
  108. Use the Internet in North Korea
  109. Go Clam Digging in the Canadian Maritimes : Prince Edward Island 2013
  110. Hold a Tarantula : Mexico 2008
  111. Party like a rock star in Vegas : Las Vegas
  112. Sing on stage … anywhere : High School Bass Trio : 1993
  113. Swim with jellyfish in Palau
  114. Attend all these world festivals
    1. Battle of the Oranges | Italy
    2. Burning Man | USA
    3. Carnival of Rio de Janeiro | Brazil
    4. Carnival of Venice | Italy
    5. Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead) | Mexico
    6. Electric Run | Utah
    7. Holi Festival | India
    8. Human Tower Competition | Spain
    9. La Tomatina | Spain
    10. Mardi Gras | New Orleans
    11. Obon Festival | Japan
    12. Olympic Games | Random Locations
    13. Oktoberfest | Germany
    14. Pingxi Lantern Festival | Taiwan
    15. Sandfest | USA
    16. Songkran Water Festival | Thailand
    17. Sundance Film Festival | USA
    18. Up Helly Aa Fire Festival | Scotland
  115. Swim with jellyfish in Palau
  116. Boat Hotel in Cocoa Island | Maldives
  117. Cappadocia’s Fairy Chimneys | Turkey
  118. Chocolate Hills | Philippines
  119. Church of Ice & Snow | Germany
  120. Dean’s Blue Hole | Bahamas
  121. Floating Market | Vietnam
  122. Franz Josef Glacier | New Zealand
  123. Gullfoss Falls | Iceland
  124. Komodo National Park | Indonesia
  125. Monjuic Magic Fountain | Spain
  126. Outdoor Jacuzzi at Iglu-Dorf Hotel | Switzerland
  127. Pamukkale Hot Springs | Turkey
  128. Plitvice Lakes National Park | Croatia
  129. Rio Tinto River | Spain
  130. Rock Islands Southern Lagoon | Palau
  131. Tam Ting Caves | Laos
  132. Tessellated Pavement | Tasmania
  133. The Giant’s Causeway | Ireland
  134. Tibetan Bridge in Claviere | Italy
  135. Underwater Museum | Mexico
  136. Waitomo Glowworm Cave | New Zealand
  137. World’s Largest Pool | Chile
  138. Walk the Hollywood Walk of Fame

About Rishiray

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on “Ah Trini Travelogue” with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at “Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn’t like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn’t like cheese and kittens … and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at [email protected]

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  • What a bucket list you’ve got!!! Really really great items. It reminds me of why I love to travel, as there’s an infinite amount of incredible experiences out there. You’ve inspired me to create a list of my own! There’s probably something rewarding in itself just going through all your experiences. Kinda makes you appreciates things more when you see it on a list. – Stephanie | http://www.thepassportlifestyle.com