Visited Countries
My Visited Countries

I  totally need to get to Russia to improve my red on the map too. (from the Original Yangpa)

Anyway, on to the whole “Things you need to do before you die” meme:

1. Set foot on each of the seven continents.  Antarctica might be a tough one, but once you’ve reached all seven you can truly call yourself a world traveler.Status: I’m working on this one. See the map.

2. Cross a country on a bicycle. A bicycle  tour takes some planning, but it beats being separated from a country though a passenger-side window. Status: I’d do this, if the Vatican allowed bikes.

3. Ride something bigger than a horse. Trekking through the jungle on the back of a [6] two story tall elephant will surely be something you remember forever. Status: Finished. Thailand. Elephant.

4. Live like a local for a month.  The experience of visiting native peoples will give you way more insight into another way of life than two years hopping from one backpacker ghetto to the next. Status: Depends? Does visiting a Korean relative in the country count?

5. Visit a “real”  blues bar in Chicago. What better way to leave music’s commercialism behind and find the soul of the blues? Status: Don’t care. Blues isn’t all that important to me.

6. Learn another language. This is definitely a weighty and time-consuming proposition, but there are  plenty of resources out there to ease the process. Status: Working on it. It takes a while.

7. Go  heli-skiing. The access to snow and terrain via heli is different (read: better) that anything else you’ll ever experience. Status: Don’t like the snow, never been skiing. Prospect unlikely to change.

8. Travel India by train. With its extensive rail network, this mode of transport is the best way to see one of the world’s most colorful and diverse countries. Status: This sounds like hell on Earth.

9. Climb one of the world’s Seven Summits.  Climbing mountains is not for the faint-hearted, but everyone has had a dream of standing atop one. Status: I’ve hiked a few mountains in Korea. Good enough for me.

10. Dive with a whale shark. Swimming with these gentle giants is among the most powerful wilderness experiences in the world. Status: Yay! Pestering endangered animals! WHEEE! No.

11. Participate in a Carnival parade in Brazil. You haven’t had a good night out until you’ve been to the biggest party  in a nation of big parties. Status: When I get to South America (see 1) I’m up for this.

12.  Dance Tango in Argentina. Status: No.

13. Surf. It’s not about being a ripper but just catching waves. Status: If I lived near a beach, maybe.

14. SCUBA in the Great Barrier Reef. The largest coral reef in the world is a must for dive enthusiasts. It is the world’s  most unique aquatic environment. Status: When I get to Australia (see 1) I’ll do this.

15. Publish an article about your travels. Part of traveling is sharing your experiences with others. Plus, getting published might be [18] easier than you think. Status: See this website. I do it all the time.

16. [20] Volunteer abroad for a month. Status: Is volunteering or the abroad part the important thing?

17. Follow in the footsteps of your favorite travel book. What better guide than a book that inspired you to travel in the first place? Status: Meh. I’ve got a few Lonely Planets. Does that count?

18. Take a bush plane ride into Africa’s interior. These lightly visited regions are filled with unique cultures and diverse wildlife. Status: We drove there. Does that count?

19. Cross a glacier on foot. Traversing these fast-disappearing natural wonders is [23] an adventure that future generations might not be able to experience. Status: Done. In Alaska.

20. Visit the source of one of the world’s great rivers. Great rivers, like [24] the Nile, have humble beginnings. Status: Aren’t Glaciers sources of rivers? (See 19)

21. Climb an active [25] volcano. Status: Maybe? I’m not sure. Active and “HOLY CRAP EXPLODING” are two different things.

22.  Buy a boat and learn to sail. Before the Brothers Wright, everyone traveled by wind power. It’s still the most sustainable way to travel there is. Status: Why not make people buy an airplane too. I DON’T LIVE NEAR A MAJOR BODY OF WATER. THIS IS IMPRACTICAL.

23. Follow your food from field to table. Most people in the world still eat what they have picked with their own hands. [27] Why not get back to these basics? Status: I ate rice from a field it grew in, and worked on a farm. Good enough?

24. Bathe in the [28] Ganges. What better way to experience the spiritual heart of India? Status: If I ever end up in India, maybe. But I’d probably want to take a shower after I did it.

25. Travel around the world. Sure, you could do this without ever setting foot outside of planes and airports, but few people ever truly traverse the entire globe. Round the world tickets are great for budget-minded wanderers. Status: Pretty much the same as 1 isn’t it? Someone was padding out their list.

26. Photograph an endangered species. Aside from an image you can keep for a lifetime, it will remind you, and others, how fragile life can be. Status: Done in Africa.

27. Participate in Burning Man . As they say: “Trying to explain Burning Man to someone who has never been is like trying to explain color to a blind person.” Status: Yeah, whatever. I doubt it.

28. Spend 24 hours alone [33] in the jungle. Status: I’ve been in the jungle. It’s not nice. I’d only do this in an emergency.

29. Learn how to make a national dish. What is the one and only thing that everyone has in common?  Eating. Status: This is a lame thing. Beyond lame. Who HASN’T done this?

30. Teach English in a foreign country. Sure, it’s a way to fund your travels, but also the [35] experience of a lifetime. Status: Hello current occupation!

31. Attend a music festival in another country. Status: Yeah, what’s the big deal about this? Complete? I’m not sure.

32. Cross a country using only  public transportation. See a country the way most of its people do: from the window of a bus, train, or ferry. Status: Done. This is the only way I travel.

33. Spend the night in a storied/historic hotel. [38] You might not even have to leave town to experience a night of classic atmosphere. Status: Done.

34. Attend the Olympics. Whatever you say about the commercialism of the Olympic Games, they are one of the biggest events on the planet. Status: If they ever give Korea the winter Olympics, Done.

35. Meet your favorite (living) travel writer.  They’ve inspired you; now thank them for it. Status: Meh.

36. Travel to Germany to experience Love Parade. It’s one of the  biggest festivals, attendance-wise, on the planet. Status: What? Never heard of it.

37. Partake in a Japanese Tea Ceremony. This timeless tradition is at the heart of Japanese culture. Status: Rather not. Tea good, ceremony is usually a waste of time.

38. Join a caravan in the Sahara. See how people can thrive in one of the world’s  harshest environments. Status: Perhaps, when I get to Egypt.

39. Go to Oktoberfest. The meeting of over 6 million beer afficionados and drinking song singers is one of the biggest parties in Europe. Status: I was in Germany during an Oktoberfest. Just an excuse to drink more than normal. I’d rather have a beer at my own pace.

40. Stand at the North or South Pole. Status: This is so lame to have on the list. Unless you try hard to get to Antartica, this is really hard to do. You can’t stand on the North Pole. The ice is all gone.

41. Be in the stands when two rival South American club teams play each other in soccer.  Soccer (sorry, football) is a passion for most of the world’s population. Status: I’ve done better. I’ve been to multiple World Cup games in a country hosting their own team’s meteoric rise in 2002. You can never top that.

42. Visit the birthplace or gravesite of a cultural icon. Could be Che Guevara or  Picasso or Levi Strauss or the guy who invented widgets; anyone you think is important. Status: Yeah, this is easy to do.

43. Find your version of “The Beach.” One of the best travel books ever inspired a generation of backpackers. Why not find your own version of untouched paradise? Status: Finished, minus all the dudes harvesting pot and stuff.

44. Enjoy a freshly rolled cigar in Cuba. Taste a hand rolled specialty close to its source. Status: I don’t smoke. I don’t care where it is from.

45. Visit every capital city in Europe. The  crowded continent is full of beautiful architecture and diverse cultures. Status: I’ve hit basically all of the countries capitals I’ve seen in Europe. It’s ridiculous to say “All” of them when there are microstates scattered around.

46. Watch an orchestral performance in Vienna. Status: It HAS to be Vienna? Snob.

47. Skydive. It is the ultimate thrill, unless you add a wingsuit, and actually fly. Status: People that say the expression “Ultimate Thrill” deserved to get punched in the face.

48. Bike the Pacific Coast Highway. Status: Why bike? Can’t a top down convertible work? My parents did this. They liked it. I’d do it if I end up in the States again.

49. Shake hands with someone who has truly changed a country. Status: George H. Bush was at the embassy when I got married. Close enough.

50. Participate in the world’s biggest water fight during Thailand’s  New Year’s festivities (Songkran). Status: I’ve been to Thailand. This would be fun if I ever return.