Bucket List - One year Anniversary
Everyone has a quintessential bucket list. For some, it might include daring things such as skydiving. For others, it may be exotic faraway lands they want to visit. Maybe it could even include things like publishing a novel or winning some sort of prize.
For me, it is all about far off destinations that I have dreamt about since I was young. Fortunately, I have had the pleasure of scratching a few places off my list this past year. This month marks the one year anniversary of quitting my job and setting off to backpack to as many countries as I could. I ended up in some amazing places and met lots of wonderful people from all over the world.
Angkor Wat in Cambodia was one of the top five on my bucket list. Earlier this year, I finally laid eyes on the enormous ruins. It was truly as amazing as I had imagined. It was worth the wait. Earlier this month, I scratched off another Wonder of World off my list: The magnificent ruins of Machu Picchu. The infamous Inca Trail leading to the ancient city is long and treacherous. Once at the top of the city, looking down into the valley, I realized again, it was all worth the effort.
My updated Bucket List is as follows:
Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt
Statue of Christ, Brazil
Taj Mahal, India
Great Wall of China
Bora Bora, French Polynesia
Northern Lights, Iceland
The Louvre, France
Everest Base, Nepal
A few of these being Wonders of the World, I doubt there is much explanation needed as to why I chose these places. Still, I will elaborate a bit in case one it not familiar with the significance of them. Ancient ruins like the Pyramids of Giza are not only impressive for the enormous size and beauty but also because of the skillful human engineering and advanced technology it must have taken to build them in ancient times.
The mystery of how or who built the Great Pyramid and other ruins like Stonehenge are what intrigue me the most. More importantly, why were they built in the first place? Why were so many hundreds of thousands of laboring humans and animals sacrificed to build such edifices? Why devote so many hundreds of years to the task? Why was it really so important? Then comes the how. How were the Pyramids built with such perfection, aligned to the stars of Orion? The gigantic stones used and then put together with unbelievable uniformity, yet with such primitive tools available. It takes a real nerd to appreciate the perfection of the 90 degree angles and other head scratching facts that we, in the 21st Century, with all of our advanced technology, still cannot replicate. How could this be done? Those types of questions and more are the basis of my fascination with such ancient ruins.
Will we ever know the true answers? Probably not with certainty, and not in my lifetime.
The other non ruins on my list are more about culture. I have been to most of Central America, parts of Southeast Asia, and yet there is still so many other cultures I have yet to experience. Europe and its hundreds of museums containing fascinating artifacts and, of course, masterpieces of art housed in the Louvre are but a fraction of the remarkable “must sees”: Mona Lisa, Bacchus and Venus de Milo are just a few examples.
I keep this list in my journal, on my phone, my tablet and any other device I can think of as a constant reminder of how much beauty there is in the world, old and new. Despite the horrors of our ancestors, the killing, the war, etc. there were some amazing things that resulted from it all. So then maybe, just maybe, despite the horrors of today’s society, one day something beautiful may emerge. Let us only hope that the mistakes of today will be lessons taught to our future descendents. And we learn to appreciate the wisdom that was left behind.
Let us not forget. Let us continue to learn and teach.
What does your Bucket List look like?