Breaking Down My Bucket List


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The Milky Way, as seen from an IDA International Dark Sky Place.

Adam Pohl, Staff Writer

Everyone should have a bucket list. About a year ago, I began keeping mine, and it was a fantastic decision: if nothing else, I have simply gotten some enjoyment by writing down the random thoughts that make me think “that seems cool.” And while some of these are certainly more doable than others, they’re all at the very least fun to think about. Here, I break down my bucket list.

Learn how to pick a lock

This seems like a good place to start. When people hear “pick a lock,” the first thing they think of is crime. But honestly, picking a lock just seems like a useful skill to have. And whether it’s helping me get into my car after I locked my keys inside, or helping me start my journey towards becoming a high profile art thief, I don’t think I’ll be sorry to have learned it.

Go skydiving

I know this isn’t exactly original. Everyone seems to have this on their bucket list. But I don’t think that makes it any less thrilling. Unfortunately, the main problem I have with this idea is the cost associated with it. It just doesn’t seem worth it for a thirty second rush of adrenaline. I could be entirely wrong about that–maybe it’s a life-changing experience. But either way, I’m not going to take it off my list just yet.

Tour the Mediterranean countries

There’s a lot of trips I want to go on in my lifetime, but this one takes the cake. I would begin in Morocco to see Casablanca, before travelling north to Gibraltar. I would then cross into Spain and travel northeast, spending a couple days in Barcelona. Next, I would travel east through southern France into Italy. There, I would find my way to Rome, where I would take my time to visit all the sites: the colosseum, the Vatican, and every fountain and plaza on the way. After Rome, I would continue east, and take an overnight ferry to Greece. I would begin my sightseeing in Athens, and then travel north, through Macedonia and into Bulgaria. My next big stop would be Istanbul, which, along with Rome, is one of the main reasons I want to take this trip. From there, I would travel south through Turkey, towards my next destination, Jerusalem. Lastly, I would travel southwest into Egypt, coming to the end of my trip at the Pyramids of Giza. It’s definitely a lot, but I’m not in a rush.

Be a pirate

Now this one is problematic. When I added this to my bucket list, I almost certainly had a Jack Sparrow-esque experience in mind. The problem is, not only does that not exist, I don’t really think it ever existed. There’s still a couple outs to this, but travelling across the world to serve a Somali warlord isn’t exactly what I hoped for, and streaming a baseball game from a third party site to get around MLB TV’s blackout restrictions just isn’t the same thing.

Go to space (just for a little bit)

This one seems pretty self explanatory. I want to go to space, but probably just for a couple hours. My space checklist really only includes two things: I want to experience weightlessness and see the Earth from space. And if I plan it right, I’ll be there and back before I even need to go through the ordeal of eating a meal or using the bathroom in space.

Walk away from an explosion badass style

This is hard to plan for since there’s a lot to consider. How much does the setting matter versus the size of the explosion? How much does context matter? Does the world really need to be in jeopardy for it to count, and could I get away with a smaller explosion if the context was right? I don’t know the answer to any of these questions, and I don’t think I can know for sure until I try it.

Learn how to drift

A lot of these entries seem to fall into the “action movie fantasy” category, and this one is no different. However, unlike some of these other goals, this one actually seems entirely doable. I mean, it doesn’t look that hard. But I should probably learn how to drive a stick shift first…

Get forklift certified

This one is hard to explain. I just think it would be cool. Maybe I can justify this one by saying it could be a good ice breaker.

“Hi, what’s your name?”

“I’m forklift certified.”


Helicopter skiing

When I first heard about this, I thought it was a made-up thing. But when I found out it was real, I couldn’t help but add it to my bucket list. Never mind the fact that I’ve never even put on a pair of skis. I’ll find a way. Just you wait.

Get sponsored by a tire company

Okay, this one is definitely kind of weird. “Why a tire company?” you might ask. I don’t know, it just seems neat. And frankly, I don’t think I need another reason.

See the Milky Way

This seems like a good place to end for now, as it’s one of the more doable entries on my bucket list, and something I’ve wanted to do for a while. I’ve seen pictures and heard stories, and it seems like an almost ethereal experience. The key to seeing the Milky Way is getting to a place with almost zero light pollution, on a moonless, cloudless night in the summer. And while many of these entries will stay on this list forever, I fully intend to meet all of these requirements and cross this off one of these days.