If I say bungee jumping you’re going to hold me to it aren’t you?
A few years ago I (pretty much randomly) sat down and wrote this great big list of things kids should see, do, learn, etc before they become teenagers. It was just my personal opinion, compiled on a quiet afternoon, and posted to the net. Oddly enough, that silly list has become the most popular (by far) page on this site, gathering regularly dozens (but sometimes even hundreds) of hits every single day. To date, it’s had almost 40,0000 views, many of them from people searching for just that sort of list. Do I know if anyone is following my ideas? I gotta think at least a few people have made use of it in a practical way. But at the very least, I have: I posted a couple more of our check-boxed items (horses and supermarkets) that I’ve been working on during my early morning productive-time, and I’ve got a couple more which should be ready in a day or so… all of them thanks to our Iceland vacation. Someday, maybe I’ll come across someone else who is logging all this stuff from my list (it’s possible, right?) but until then Claire and I have about six more years to work our way through our own.
What posts in June? Oh, thooooose thirty posts in June… again. It seems that for the fourth year in a row I’ve climbed aboard the daily blogging train and continued that monumental, multi-year writing effort to string a topic or idea across the vast reaches of years. Each day a new post on a new topic, but on the same blog-per-day topic as last year, creating another set of Those 30 Posts in June. Today, that post just happens to be:
June 25th // Something You Want to Taste
It probably reads either entirely odd — or entirely cliche, but when I travel somewhere afar what I really like to do is, well, eat.
I guess that’s what tires me out of the standard vacation-destination-type trips we’ve been doing lately. Don’t get me wrong: I enjoyed Disney, I adored New York, and the cruise we took (almost a couple years ago now) was awesome.
Yeah, it was frequently quite good (though more often, meh) but notable only for being either (a) overpriced or simply (b) fine-dining experiences that (yes) were worth writing home about.
Iceland, where we’ll be visiting later this summer, seems to have some very standard fare — hot dogs, coffee, that kind of thing — but also their menus (according to the travel information I’ve glimpsed) are filled with tastes of the more exotic. I expect we’ll be eating some mundane foods too, but there is also the chance that one might try some rare, fermented shark. Or perhaps your plate will be piled with a bit of puffin. And I suppose a culture that is spent a few hundred years on a remote northern island may know a thing or two about fish.
After dipping my toe into the internets and doing a bit of research the seven “Treats” currently on my Icelandic Cuisine Bucket List are:
- Hangikjöt (Smoked Lamb)
- Skyr (Icelandic Yogurt)
- Saltfiskur (Bacalao, salt-fish)
- Harðfiskur (Stockfish, fish jerky)
- Puffin (a’la the bird, pictured)
- Ein með öllu (Icelandic hot dog)
- Hákarl (Cured Shark)
I’ll let you know how it goes.
Here we are in the last weeks of June… Summer has officially arrived, school is out for the season, the days grow a little more lazy and for the second year in a row I continue partaking in my daily blogging exercise, marginally focused along a question-and-answer theme I’ve simply called Those 30 posts in June. Still no planning. Still no writing of these words days in advance. Still just this: each day a meanderingly vague prompt drives a meanderingly vague post… and today that post just happens to be:
June 21st // Something You Want To Experience
I thought about diving into a single topic, a lone epic item, from my dream list here and then attempting to justify it, but instead I thought about it some more and opted to go the bucket list-list route. Some of these are very do-able. Heck, a couple would just require going out at doing them. Others are monuments of effort and skills honed over many years of work. Yes, some of these are fairly prosaic… but in many ways I too am merely the product of my society and generation, so some of my dreams actually are just that commonplace. Deal.
Driving a Coast-to-Coast Road Trip. I live in Canada, so this means — probably — finding my way to Victoria and driving cross-country towards some pre-determined point (in my mind, a rocky, be-lighthoused penninsula) overlooking the Atlantic Ocean.
Publishing a Photo. I’ve upped my chances of this with the quantity of photo’s I’ve taken, but still I think this might rely on either (a) getting discovered, contracted, and subsequently paid, or (b) being in the exact right place at the exact right time and capturing a moment everyone wants to see.
Completing a Marathon. Hey, I’ll be HALF way there in about two months. Again. Other than having a very good idea of the effort I’ve put in so far for THAT half goal, I see no reason I couldn’t strive for this pre-40.
Selling Some Words. Like the photo… effort, chance, or some other bit of coincidence.
Reaching the Summit of a Famous Peak. I’d say Everest, but everyone says that. Honestly, right now, I’d be happy doing Fuji or K2 or some other mountain you’ve heard of.
Speaking at TED. Of course, this means doing something noteworthy in my field of expertise, and having something unique and awesome to say about it. Right now I can barely justify attending as an audience member.
Hiking the West Coast Trail. Maybe when Claire is about ten. Family trip?
Conversing Fluently in a Second Langauge. Something tells me that if we keep Claire in French Immersion, my fatherly duties might lead me to this path whether I want it or not. Luckily, I think I kinda do.
Designing a Board Game. I’ve had ideas. Execution, and wrangling a bunch of friends to help play test it would be the big obstacles.
Giving Away Something Valuable to Someone Not Expecting It. I have this notion that were I to ever get something really valuable, I’d like to experience the complete and utter astonishment of giving it to someone deserving of it that wasn’t expecting it. Weird, I know. It just seems like it would be a cool and memorable moment.
Occasionally I read, watch, or hear about something that makes me think… gee, I\’d really like to see that someday. Then, when it comes time to plan a vacation, I wrack my brain trying to remember where exactly it was that I wanted to see again. This is a ‘voulez aller‘ post… a bucket-list-type post of someday-travel destinations.
The other day I happened to see a nifty little image that was trending on Google+ — the image that happens to be attached to this post — and it made me curious enough to poke around the net learning a little more about this particular locale. The picturesque view is actually, as it would seem from the limited information I could scrape together, a view of a seventh century fort located in western India, called Benteng Chittorgarh.
I’ve never been to India. I’ve eaten my fair share of Indian cuisine, a fare I (probably too often) associate with delicious and savoury buffets packed with the lunchtime crowds in this land-locked Western North American city where I live. And a food fascination that started, no less, with a curiosity that was piqued by watching the curry-obsessed David Lister a’la the BBC’s Red Dwarf in my youth. It is probably nothing short of shameful that my entire basis for a vast and diverse culture is founded upon a low-budget, English, science fiction sitcom from the nineties, but there you have it… you’ve got to start somewhere.
It does not diminish the fact that since those impressionable teenage years I’ve like to think I’ve learned a lot more about the tapestry of cultures that make up that corner of the world and that this has insipred a new desire to put together an itinerary and make my way overseas for an in-depth adventure there.
And so, me hoping that this photo is even a fractional bit representative of this place, Benteng Chittorgarh now seems to have found it’s way onto that growing itinerary. Anyone else have some less-well-known sights in India that would be worth a trek?
Occasionally I read, watch, or hear about something that makes me think… gee, I’d really like to see that someday. Then, when it comes time to plan a vacation, I wrack my brain trying to remember where exactly it was that I wanted to see again. This is a ‘voulez aller‘ post… a bucket-list-type post of someday-travel destinations.
Karin and I have been thinking about a trip to New York for a few years now. Neither of us has ever been. Despite the fact that our last few vacations have been stateside — and we’re thinking somewhere more international for our next trip — New York is definitely on the short list of those vacation locations.While there I imagine we’ll have lots to see, but one of the attractions that has caught my interest and fancy over the last year or so since I learned of its existence has been The High Line.
If you haven’t heard about the High Line, let me explain (as best as a guy who has never been can do): Imagine you’re a modern city with centuries of history. Imagine at one time you relied on the freight rail system to supply your growing population, and that rail system relied on an elevated set of tracks that ran through the city. Now, imagine that as you matured the need for that elevated rail track diminished until it eventually dwindled completely and fell into disuse. Imagine that over a few decades of disuse, the now iconic rail tracks became overgrown and a bit of an eyesore, prompting questions of the future of said tracks. Finally, imagine that a small group rallied to keep the tracks and over a number of years transform them into a unique and meandering elevated urban park system weaving its way through a dense urban jungle as a strip of cultivated green space for public enjoyment thirty feet in the air.
Now wouldn’t you like to have a look at that, too? Check out the TED talk on the same subject.
For the entire month of June I’m planning on writing a series of blog-a-day posts based on a set series of open-ended questions to myself. This is one of those posts.
June 24th // Something You Want To See
It’s Friday evening, and — having just spent the whole day entertaining Claire — I’m pretty tired and am going to keep this short. I had contemplated writing something deeply philosophical or meanderingly touching, something to reflect on the day or my life in some far-off and meaningful way. Instead, I’m going to just say this:
There is one particular thing which is incredibly improbable but has for as long as I can remember — and probably always will — remain on my bucket list of sights to see. That thing is (anything but) simply the vista of the whole of the little blue pebble we call the Earth from somewhere not on it. That’s all: I’d really like to see Earth from space. I’d settle for Earth from a low Earth orbit, but higher would be nice too. Just… you know… if there’s every sometime in the future when this becomes a possibility for common guys like myself and someone… you know… is look for a gift idea. I just thought I’d hang it out there.