We are all influenced by pop culture. Who didn't want to go out and adopt a homeless football player after seeing The Blind Side? And how many of you got your yellow labs after seeing Marley and Me?
It was no different with the wonderful film, The Bucket List, starring those icons of inspiration, Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. They portray two old guys facing terminal illnesses who goad each other into accomplishing some long held fantasies as they stare down that long tunnel with the white light at the end. It inspired lots of people to do the same, but to not wait till staring down the barrel of termination. There are now scores of books you can read in case you can't figure out how to make your own Bucket List; 1001 places to visit before you die, books to read, foods to eat, movies to see, horror movies to see, etc.
Mass trends inspire me sometimes. But just as easily, I can get contrarily inspired by what I see as the mindlessness of trend following. I was therefore inspired during one of my frequent visits to insomnialand to create my own list. Introducing The Phuket List. 10 incredible things I'll be just as happy to never do before I die.
1. Go to Phuket (Thailand)
Once a typhoon destination, always a risk of being a typhoon destination again. I get that it's exotic, and gorgeous, and the culture is amazing. But whoever said that lightning doesn't strike twice was being naively optimistic. So, I'll have to get my beach on in Hawaii. I know a typhoon could hit there too, but somehow it feels safer.
2. Trek to Nepal
I get altitude sickness. Enough said.
3. Ski Down the Matterhorn
I don't like going down hill fast. I don't like knowing that five-year-olds can snow plough, but I can't. If stopping weren't an issue, I imagine the whooshing and the gliding part would be enjoyable. But stopping is an issue, so the whooshing and the gliding part are more than a little terrifying. Besides that, there's the schlepping of the skis and the poles, and the loading on of layers, and the sweating, and the shedding of those layers, and the nose running, and the crowds. And, does anyone look graceful walking in ski boots? I find the Matterhorn at Disneyland thrilling enough. That snow isn't even cold.
4. Backpack Across Asia
Well for one thing, Asia is a large continent. For another, I'm not a big fan of camping altogether. Truth be told, I'm not so fond of sunshine or being all out in nature. So, carrying your food, your housing, your bathroom, your water, and your creature comforts has a cumulative negative effect on my mood. I think there's a reason we evolved into houses with walls. Separating from the elements is civilizational progress. I would hike between huts if they came with beds, flush toilets and food, but where's that going to happen?
5. Travel Anywhere Without Flush Toilets
I thought about giving an example of why this is so, but it grosses me out so much, I just couldn't.
6. Walk Up The Eiffel Tower
What happened, did the elevators break down?
7. Skydive or Bungee Jump
As much as I like speed, and the wind rushing through my hair and all that, here's what I know: The instant both feet left the platform, I would have a heart attack, and feel myself dying in the slow, long 5 seconds of the plunge. I would however watch others jumping.
8. Have a Drink with the President
As much as I love this President, there's just no way it would turn out well. I would always know that I was nervous, and he was just being polite, and it would be awkward, and I would probably have huge regrets afterwards for all the things I could have said or asked but didn't.
9. Swim with Sharks
I've probably already done this. I think that by doing it without knowing it is all I can hope for. If I'd been aware of it at the time, I'm sure they would have smelled my fear and consumed me immediately. And even though I've read The Worst Case Scenario Handbook, I'm still confused as to whether you are supposed to defend yourself by hitting them in the snout or the eye. So, better I should focus on a dolphin or sea turtle instead.
10. Finish This List
I think you get the idea.
In closing, I wouldn't want you to think I'm against goal setting, or planning challenging adventures. It's just that I know what my parameters of comfort are, and will feel just as accomplished if I honor those while I live my life before I die.