bucket list

#19 – Live Abroad for a Year

‘Living in a foreign country is one of those things that
everyone should try at least once. My understanding was that it
completed a person, sanding down the rough provincial edges
and transforming you into a citizen of the world’
– David Sedaris

Living abroad. The big one. Tell you what though, I’d have to disagree with Sedaris, I think I’m still a  little rough around the edges. Not quite a “completed” person.

Still, it was definitely something.

All in all I spent thirteen months in Australia, thirteen quite brilliant months I may add. The majority of that time was spent roaming and exploring Melbourne, with the rest split between Sydney and Western Australia (the East Coast I travelled back in 2015 and can be read about in detail here). (more…)

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#113 – Enjoy a “Day at the Races”

‘By a certain time in the afternoon, one ceases to remember details’
– Virgina Gay

It’s a contentious thing these days, the Races. Animal cruelty is high on the agenda of today’s society, with traditional sports such as fox hunting and horse racing their main targets.

Now, I won’t turn this into a political post, however I do want to put it out there that support neither of the aforementioned sports. Saying that I was, at the time, on the fence regarding horse racing. Or rather, my desire to enjoy “A Day at the Races” and all the glamour, mess and fashion statements that come with it. (more…)

#31 – Get a Tattoo

‘Our bodies were printed as blank pages
to be filled with the ink of our hearts’

– 
Michael Biondi

As the saying goes, you wait years for one to come along and two arrive in quick succession. Something like that anyway.

I was in my mid-teens when I first decided I wanted a real tattoo. I’d had plenty of henna tattoos picked up on various summer holidays by the beach before then, but it was really during my GCSE years that I made my mind up about wanting ink permanently etched on my skin. First it was designs in my workbook, then it was me drawing them on my skin, slowly working out and planning what I wanted and where I wanted them.

However, it wasn’t until 30th May 2017 that I actually followed through, an early 24th birthday present to myself. Rather than starting small though, I found a phenomenal artist in Eloise to complete pt.1 – my shoulders. (more…)

#18 – Drive the Great Ocean Road, Australia

They built the road as a war memorial
for their fellow soldiers and servicemen who had died in the war,
a road which took more than 10 years to complete.

Okay so technically I didn’t actually “drive” the Great Ocean Road myself, rather I was part of a tour group that was taken along it as part of a 2-day trip. Even still, I will consider this yet another completed action on my bucket list.

The reputation of the Great Ocean Road is that it is one of beauty. A twisting, winding pathway along the southern coast of Australia. Beautiful hillside landscapes on one side and a never-ending seascape on the other. The “must-see” sights include the 12 Apostles (more…)

#94 – Watch Cirque du Soleil

‘Cirque du Soleil means Circus of the Sun. When I need to take time
to re-energize, I go somewhere by the ocean to sit back
and watch the sunsets. That is where the idea of ‘Soleil’ came from,
on a beach in Hawaii,
and because the sun is the symbol of youth and energy’
– Guy Laliberte

On 12th March 2017, after falling in love with the theatre company Cirque du Soleil many years previously whilst at University, I was finally able to see them live.

Touring Australia with their show KOOZA, I was able to see their performance at Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne. Described the The Independant as “a show that blends, almost to perfection, its subcontinental sounds, its stunning lighting and costumes with theatrical ingenuity and acrobatic wonder”, my expectations were high and my excitement ever-growing. Thankfully, I wasn’t disappointed. (more…)

#95 – Attend a Grand Prix race weekend

‘I’m a sport fan. So, I have always watched everything,
and I used to watch racing. Formula One was always on.
The genius about it is that it’s on at lunchtime on a Sunday’

– Asif Kapadia

Despite growing up a stones throw from Silverstone, it took until I was in Melbourne to actually attend a Grand Prix.

It was alright, the Melbourne circuit is pretty sweet and it is a cool experience. Sure, it involves a lot of head twisting mind, and you only get to see the cars breeze past you for just a second, but (more…)

#67 – Walk on a naturally formed glacier

‘The gem of New Zealand’s West Coast Glaciers’

The west cost of New Zealand’s South Island has several stunning glaciers that provide many a beautiful photo opportunity, but perhaps the best known of all is the Franz Josef Glacier.

Glacier’s themselves are pretty awesome. A body of dense ice centuries old that is constantly moving and shifting due to it’s own weight, influenced by its on-going climate. Unfortunately, due to fluctuating weather conditions (more…)

#68 – Hitchhike

‘One of the more tiring aspects of hitchhiking is a need to be sociable and make conversation with whoever is driving you.
It would be considered poor form to accept a ride, hop into the passenger seat and then simply to crash out until you reached your destination
‘ – Tony Hawks

Unlike Tony Hawks, I am afraid to say that I did indeed crash out during my hitchhiking experience. Now, my hitchhiking experience may not be quite so exotic / painstakingly frustrating / dangerous (delete as appropriate) as other people’s experiences might be, but I believe that it still counts.

The reason I crashed out was the circumstance. For one, it was other backpackers who picked us up. Secondly, the backseat of the VW was a bed. Thirdly we had just walked the Tongariro Crossing, and I (more…)

#50 – Have a bonfire on the beach

‘Insert Quote Here’ – Teo Wolter

This memory will live on in me for as a long as I will live because it was a truly special evening for me, even if it did take me 23years to get there.

The site of my first beach bonfire experience was Hot Water Beach on New Zealand’s North Island. One of the guys that I had met right at the start of my Kiwi Experience trip – Teo – and I had made our minds up quite early on that we would be spending our one evening at Hot Water Beach sat under the stars with a little bonfire, so en route to the location we picked up marshmallows to toast over the open flames.

We made our way down to the beach after sunset, following a path illuminated by (more…)

#110 – Volunteer at the Olympics/Paralympics

‘Long hours, no pay and a mandatory cheery smile…
why do people want to be London 2012 volunteers?’
Jenny Minard

Back in 2010, before I had even celebrated my 16th birthday, my Dad spoke to me one weekend about applying to be a London 2012 Games Maker. He had seen an article in the local newspaper about it and had done all the research for me – obviously he was very aware that 15yo me wouldn’t really have done anything about it – and all that was needed to be done was to fill out the application form.

Fast forward to January 2012 and I was invited to have both a first and second interview at the London 2012 HQ as part of the 100,000+ strong candidacy search that had been whittled down from an initial 200,000+.

A couple of months later the news then came through, I was one of the luck 70,000 volunteers to be selected to be involved at London 2012! (more…)