The end of the calendar year is good for reflection. On my long flight on Sunday from Schiphol to Dulles I found myself thinking about some future experiences I want to have. Most of these relate to traveling, writing, and/or endeavors that require a little bit of courage. This isn't exactly a bucket list—a morbid prospect if there ever was one—but it isn't a million miles from that idea; like a bucket list, there are several items here that are tough to accomplish without advance preparation or hard work or careful budgeting.
So here it is: my (sort of) bucket list.
1. Publish several books. Start with the current idea I have, which is quite good by the way.
2. Found a destination branding firm. (Anyone seriously into this idea? Email me.)
4. Track down my long-lost relatives in Brazil.
5. Strengthen my German.
6. Formally learn Dutch instead of relying on my ability to recognize 95% of the Dutch words I come across.
7. Vastly improve Spanish to advanced conversational state.
8. Achieve conversational Swedish.
9. Learn to cook well.
10. Visit Fish Lake.
11. See the Badlands.
12. Return to the castaway Caribbean island I’ve decided never to write about.
13. Spend a week eating smørrebrød in Copenhagen.
14. Visit Tristan da Cunha.
16. In fact, sample many different mineral hot springs.
17. Fly Qantas first class long haul once.
19. Have meals at the handful of Michelin-starred restaurants I’ve identified as particularly appealing.
20. Get the tattoos I’ve been putting off forever.
21. Skydive at least once.
22. Bungee jump.
23. Go zorbing.
24. Take rockclimbing lessons.
25. Become a minor media figure in a country with a population under 10 million, like, say, this one.