Every once in a while I get the urge to write a big list blog post, a list of 50, or 77, or even 100 items on some topic. It may be bucket list ideas, or just ways to start fresh. Whatever the topic, I have to tell you that I really enjoy doing these.
Some of the things in the following list are things that I actually did myself, some of them are things that I would very much like to do and some of them are things that are just to cool not to be done in this lifetime. To make reading a bit easier, I grouped them in a two main categories. I’d be really happy to see your own suggestions in the comments.
1. Run A Marathon
I know very few experiences comparable with finishing a marathon. It starts months before the event, with the training, and it usually lasts for a lifetime. As surprisingly as it may seem, benefits are more on the mental and psychological layers, than at the physical layer. Definitely a thing everybody should try, in my opinion.
2. Learn and Dance Argentine Tango
I’ve been dancing Argentine tango for the last year and a half and it has been a very rewarding journey. Again, don’t let yourself scared by the apparently difficult physical challenges (like “I can’t hear the music” or “I have two left legs”), it’s not about that. Argentine tango is about connection and improvisation, two skills that I consider fundamental if you aim for fulfilling relationships.
3. Forgive The One Who Hurt You
Yes, you can do this. 99.99% of the time you don’t want to do this, but you can. So do it.
4. Fall In Love
And stay there. No matter how hard it gets, at times. It’s much more rewarding than living in a space without love.
5. Write A Book
Or two. Or three. Or more. It’s not that difficult. It is challenging, but it’s also rewarding. Incredibly rewarding. The thing with books is that they may be here, on Earth, longer than you may be.
6. Write A List Of 100 Items
You can start it as an exercise. As a matter of fact, this is how I started my own lists of 100 items, as a way to find solutions to a problem. Then it took off and it became almost a habit. Seriously, now, it’s a great exercise for your brain. Just do it. You can.
7. Believe In A Coincidence
Fact is there are no coincidences. I lied. Just believe that there is some sort of a cosmic order in which we’re all fitting, somehow. Coincidences are just the way the Universe is laughing at us, giving subtle hints that we’re unable to understand.
8. Do Paragliding In New Zealand
Or in any other country. But do try this. It’s the closest experience to flying that I ever had and I can still feel it in my stomach, in my heart and in my mind, years after I did it. If you can make a habit out of this, even better.
9. Enjoy A Summer Evening On Your Own Porch
Which means you have to have a house of your own first. Which, in itself, is a thing you should do in this lifetime. I find it more comfortable to live in rented apartments nowadays, as a digital nomad, but having your own house – and enjoying a nice summer evening on your own porch, is definitely a thing you should try.
10. Shun Away From An Idiot
First of all, all people are ok. Sometimes, their actions may be stupid, and that’s what I understand by an “idiot”. Anyway, you’ll feel so good when you’ll send him out of your own realm. Because you can, you know…
11. Raise A Kid
Maybe you won’t succeed at this from the first time. I know I didn’t. But I persisted and now I can say that I raised my daughter. It’s not easy, but it’s not difficult either. It’s a great thing to do. It may not even be your own child.
12. Cook A Meal For Somebody You Don’t Know
I did this a number of times and it proved to be a very nice experience. Especially when you cook for somebody with whom you can’t communicate in the same language. Then, the meal you’re cooking becomes the only communication channel. Definitely something you should try.
13. Swim With The Dolphins
Never did this, but, boy, I’m so into it. As a matter of fact, I learned to swim properly only a few months ago. But I know I will swim with dolphins one day. And I’m wishing the same for you.
14. Quit Your Job
At least once in your lifetime. Yes it’s risky, yes, it will create major complications in your life. But it will also teach you some stuff about freedom.
This is closely related to the paragliding thing, with only 2 differences. First one is that you will fall, not float. And second, I didn’t do that yet, as opposed to paragliding. But it’s on my list. Because I can, of course.
16. Fly Around The World
In a plane, that is. Or, if you can afford, in a space shuttle. It will give you a much clearer idea about our true dimensions as human beings.
17. Become A Millionaire
It may seem impossible, but it’s a nice experience to have. It may take longer if you’re more pessimistic, but believe me, it can be done.
18. Start A Business
Like in “your own business”. Be your own boss. Work your own hours. It’s one of the most empowering – and challenging, too – things I did in my life. And a thing I know I will do over and over again.
19. Start A Business In A Foreign Country
Apart from adding a significant layer of complexity, this will give you at least one more reason to travel. And traveling is always good.
20. Teach Something To Somebody
It may be a skill you’ve learned and mastered, or it may be a lifestyle. You can teach other people how to dance tango, you may teach them writing skills or even how to set up and achieve meaningful goals.
21. Get Married
It’s an interesting experience, especially the wedding. In my experience, this is also the highlight of the entire thing, but your mileage may vary. Truth is marriage is a modern institution which survived for centuries and I can certainly see how it helped us survive as a species during the last few centuries. Also, I can see how it started to become obsolete, at least in certain circumstances. Still, a thing that I consider it interesting enough to be experimented in this lifetime and it can certainly work out really well for some people.
22. Get A Divorce
Of course, only if you got married first. And only if both of you are agreeing. A good divorce it’s like a good marriage: it’s successful only when both are agreeing. If not, it’s gonna be a lot of hassle and it will certainly embitter your life a great deal. But it will also liberate you, if your decision to enter the marriage wasn’t well thought, or if you, (or both of you), aren’t really cut up for this.
23. Learn A Foreign Language
If English is your first language, then you should definitely do that. English is not my first language for me (as some of you may have guessed) and I can’t imagine my life without a second language. It’s been both enlightening and challenging to learn it. But, in the end, enormously rewarding too.
24. Learn To Code
We live in a world of information. Even more, we live in a digital world. Learning to code (whatever language you may want to use) will be a life changing experience. I code in a few languages and I have apps coded entirely by myself in the AppStore. Definitely something worth trying in this lifetime.
25. Take A 30 Days Challenge
In any area you want. For instance, try for 30 days to follow a specific diet. Or to start running. Or to learn something new. The key is to not feel the pressure of “for ever”. After the 30 days you’re free to continue that challenge, or not. It works. It really does.
26. Do A Random Act Of Kindness
Give something to somebody or just talk to people. Comfort someone. Give advice. Listen. But do that to somebody that doesn’t expect that from you. If it’s a stranger, even better. I’m not gonna tell you what you get as a reward if you do that. You have to try it for yourself.
27. Keep A Journal
It may seem benign, with no much significance or even childish. But it’s not. The time spent in telling the story of your own life – even if you’re the only one who is gonna read it – it’s a very well spent time. Gradually, you will become better at this entire game called “living the life I actually want”.
28. Burn Old Memories
I find this to be one of the most difficult things to do for almost any person I met. Attachments are heavy. They slow you down. Memories are, most of the time, attachments to something that’s no longer alive. But you are. Right here, in this moment.
29. Talk to A Random Stranger On The Street
It works best if you’re the shy type, it will give you a bit of a boost. A word of caution here, though: try to be meaningful. Try to connect, not dominate or scare people away. Genuine interaction is something that we all crave, as human beings, even if it’s random and unexpected. Or especially when it’s like that.
30. Hug A Random Stranger
This goes one level up from the previous one. But it adds up the physical contact. Again, be careful not to overdo it or to scare people out. But if you manage to do it properly, stay in that embrace for at least 20 seconds. That’s how it takes for the hearts to synchronize with each other.
31. Write A Thank You Letter
Not necessary to send it. Confusing? Maybe. But, believe me, you can do it and it will be good for you.
32. Learn How To Meditate
I could go on and on for hours telling you the benefits of meditation but I don’t think that’s necessary. What I could tell you, though, it’s that learning to meditate is much simpler than you think. Yes, even you can do it.
33. Be Silent For An Entire Day
I don’t think I ever did this, maybe when I was so small I didn’t know how to talk at all. But I suspect I was still emitting some sort of sounds, so it doesn’t really counts Talking out loud about something has this side effect of taking out some life of it. If you say it, you kind of “kill it”. So, I expect that, by being silent for an entire day, things will be more alive. Or at least they’ll seem more alive. I may be wrong, but I’m willing to try this someday. Because I can, of course.
34. Plant A Tree
Or some flowers, and take care of them. Or, even better, a vineyard, and take care of it. A few weeks ago I ate grapes from the first time from my own vineyard. I don’t live in the house with that vineyard anymore, so I was kind of a guest to my own planted vineyard, but the taste of the grapes was, nevertheless, divine.
35. Work In A Coffee Shop
I do this for about 3 or 4 years now, and I’m mostly doing it in Starbuckses (and no, I’m not working for them, I’m working in the coffee shop, but for me).. It’s part of my digital nomad lifestyle. But you should try it even if you work a regular job. Just take a day out and enjoy the buzz, the energy and the atmosphere in a coffee shop. It will be good for you.
36. Participate In A Flash Mob
A flash mob is a – more or less – spontaneous public gathering where people will dance together. There are many forms of it, but I’ve been only involved in tango flash mobs and I gotta tell you it was an incredible experience. Once I danced in the subway and second time I danced in a public square. Even if you don’t dance very well, just do it, you’ll thank me later.
37. Start And Maintain A Blog
This is not even remotely something elitist or narcissistic. It’s already a mainstream way to share your experiences, meet new people or provide genuine value. There are a few hundreds of millions of blogs already out there, so that should be enough of a validation for the entire phenomenon. And it’s not difficult at all to set up and maintain one. Yes, even you can do it.
38. Stop Watching TV
Especially news. Mainstream media is quickly becoming obsolete, to say the least, if not downright unreliable. Social media, the internet, instant communication, all of these made such an impact on the ways we use and disseminate information that TV is no longer a necessity, if you want to stay informed. It may be more difficult than you think, to give up watching TV, I know, but it’s doable.
39. Talk In An Invented Language
A made up one, that is. I used to do this almost every day with my daughter when she was younger, and we had a tremendous amount of fun. You just invent words and tell them out loud. As surprising as it may seem, in 80% of the cases we used to understand each other intentions perfectly. By the way, our language was called Chinka-Paah.
40. Get A Part And Play In A Movie
Like, you know, an actor. Ten years ago this would have been perceived as very difficult. But we do live interesting times. Making a movie is not very expensive anymore. Broadcasting it via Internet should be also fairly simple. So, go ahead. The closest thing I did to this one was to play a (very minor) part in a commercial. We stayed an entire day on the set for, like, 30 seconds of finished material.
41. Set Up A Surprise Party For A Friend
One of my favorites. It works better when the friend doesn’t expect it. Meaning you could do it pretty much anytime, not only when there is a birthday or other special event involved.
42. Coach Somebody
Coaching is different from teaching. It needs more involvement and less skill. Also, you may be doing it for a longer amount of time than teaching, as in transferring some skills to somebody could take less time than being there with that person until he or she reaches to a specific goal or set of goals.
43. Do An Iron Man
One level up from the marathon thing, and definitely something I want to do myself in this lifetime. I just learned how to swim properly, though, so I guess the time horizon for this should be 2-4 years from now. If you don’t know what an Iron Man is, well, it’s the ultimate enduring challenge, involving swimming, cycling and running.
44. Do Bungee Jumping
Just because you can, that is.
45. Learn To Fly A Plane
I am so into this. I did paragliding, flew in a wide variety of commercial planes and in a helicopter, but I didn’t flew my own plane. Yet.
46. Volunteer For Something
An event. An organization. your neighborhood association. But try to do something for somebody outside of the boundaries of a payment contract. Just because you can.
47. Join A Protest
This one needs a bit of an explanation. When I say “join a protest” I refer to a street protest for a good cause. I’ve been fortunate enough (irony included) to live for my last 20 years in a very fast changing country, Romania, where protests on the street were quite common, every few years. Leaving aside the root causes of these protests, I can testify that joining a street protest (for a good cause, again) is an incredible human experience. The energy and the power unleashed during those marches are very uncommon, and, to a certain extent, extremely empowering. Please keep in mind that this is also a quite a dangerous thing.
48. Build A Tree House
An live in it for a while. I did a very close thing to this one when I was a kid, a small hut in the woods, but didn’t have the chance to actually live in it. So, I still want to do this sometime.
49. Play The Stock Market Game
I did this for about 6 months and it proved to be one of the most enriching experiences of my life. Mind you, it wasn’t enriching financially, but on the emotional level. I learned how to identify – and, to a certain extent, to manage – my fear and greed. Yes, these are the only 2 emotions that are running the stock market. I don’t think I will ever get rich by playing the stock market, but I think I learned tremendously about myself. Oh, just be sure not to play all your money. Chances to actually win this game are really small.
50. Live With A Room Mate
Many of you already did this (or are doing it as we speak). But many didn’t. It all goes down to living in a shared environment. And I don’t talk about living with your spouse, here, but with a room mate. A colleague. I did this back when I was student and a few more times when I was traveling. It’s good for your social skills, you know.
51. Climb On Top Of The Everest
Yes, you can. Of course you do. Didn’t do that yet, but I will definitely want to experience the feeling of being on the highest place on this planet.
52. Ride The Hong Kong Tram To Victoria Peak
I’m sure you’ve all seen those iconic picture of Hong Kong taken from a high place, with all the sky-scrappers and the Victoria Harbor waters. What you may have not seen is the tram ride up to that spot, which is done by one of the oldest tram lines in the world. Don’t know why it created such a vivid memory for me, but I definitely recommend it.
53. Climb On Petrini Tower Prague
It’s a nice place to see the city. The city of Prague, main town of Czech Republic, that is. An experience not to be missed. It’s the atmosphere, the people, the beer. I’m not kidding.
54. Go On Top Of The Sacre Coeur Cathedral
That’s in Paris, France, by the way. Which, of course, means you should first get to Paris, France. Getting on top of Sacre Coeur is a matter of climbing some of the narrowest stairs I’ve ever seen. You can easily get dizzy. And, once on top, you’d be in for a treat, one of the nicest views of Paris (and Montparnasse).
55. Go On Top Of The Eiffel Tower
That’s the other highest spot you shouldn’t miss in Paris. Enough said. Just go there.
56. Go On Top Of The Auckland Sky Tower
If you’re courageous enough you could try skydiving from there. If not, just go up and enjoy the view. Tauranga gulf, Rangitoto island, the biggest marina in the southern hemisphere. And more than that.
57. Get Lost In Bangkok
Or in any other big city. Just go with the flow, let yourself blend into the crowd and see what happens. Of course it’s dangerous and you may end up in a bad neighborhood. That’s why you have to pay attention while you’re dong this. Yes, you can do it. Of course you can.
58. Drink Wine On Waiheke Island
It’s a well known place for wine tours. Also, it’s at the end of the world, or at the beginning at it, depending on how you’re looking (New Zealand) but that shouldn’t be a problem. I have very nice memories related to Waiheke island (which is only 30 minutes away, by ferry, from Auckland), especially about a place called Little Oneroa Beach, which, in my humble opinion, may have been used as a blueprint for heaven. Or at least heaven in my own vision.
59. Attend To A Tea Ceremony In Japan
I’ve done that in Kyoto, a few years ago. I can still remember the stillness, the peace, the sensation of flowing. Some say “cha-no-yu”, the art of tea ceremony is just another form of meditation. I guess you should try for yourself.
60. Climb To Babele
It’s a place in the Romanian mountains, and the name means something like: “old ladies”. It’s not difficult or particularly spectacular, but the place has a very specific energy. I’ve been in many places, many mountains, but there’s some “being on the top of the world” feeling about this place that I didn’t experience anywhere else.
61. Go To Tibet
The most famous “top of the world” place. Not yet there, but it’s on my list.
62. Ride The Shinkansen In Japan
It’s the fastest train in the world (or so I’ve been told). You make around 2 hours from Tokyo to Kyoto. Inside, it feels more like a plane than like a train.
63. Visit Gion – Geisha’s Neighborhood In Kyoto
It’s like a frozen place in a timeless area. There’s magic and mystery in walking down those narrow streets, in hoping that you will get to see a real Maiko (geisha) if you happen to be there between 5 PM and 6 PM (the only time they’re allowed to get out from their Okyia’s). Been fortunate enough to see one. An unforgettable experience.
64. Go At Least Once In Vama Veche
You may not have heard of Vama Veche so far, but I kinda sense it won’t be long until you will. It’s a place at the Black Sea shore, 1 km away from the border of Romania and Bulgaria. Hyped among hippies, hated by corporate people (but proven to be some kind of Mariana trench for top managers, who very often resign from their well paid jobs just after one week spent there), Vama Veche is definitely a place to visit. It’s rough sometimes and maybe not as clean as you would like it to be. It’s kinda “tainted” by commercial stuff nowadays, but still a unique experience to have.
65. Go On Top Of Fuji Yama
If you didn’t know, Fuji, the iconic Japan’s mountain, is a her. Sometimes she’s upset, and then the weather is foggy or rainy. That’s how it was when I was on top of Fuji Yama. But your mileage may vary. For every Japanese people, being on top of Fuji Yama is a “must have” in this lifetime.
66. Visit A Floating Market In Asia
There may be more than one, given the actual geographic specific of that land, but one of the most famous is in Thailand, namely in Damnon Saeduk. Go visit it, it’s an experience on the verge of disappearing.
67. Visit The Maldive Islands
Again, an experience which you may not have in the next 10 or 20 years, because these islands are actually sinking. Didn’t go there yet, but I know I will, before there will be only ocean in that place.
68. Visit The Grand Canyon
I missed this by a whisker, when I was in Vegas a few years ago, but I won’t miss it again. I think it’s one of the most interesting places in the world. I may be wrong, of course, but that’s just me.
69. Fly In Rio
That’s something I wanna do ever since I first flew in New Zealand. Yes, I want to fly from near that huge Jesus statue and fly all the way down to the beach. Yes, I know it’s dangerous. But so it’s eating, if you don’t do it properly.
70. Visit Dracula’s Castle In Romania
First of all, for all my non-Romanian readers, Dracula is a West myth. Vlad the Impaler, the ruler who served as a model fro Bram Stoker’s novel, was a real guy, a cruel, but effective ruler, bot nothing close to the character in the novel. Vampires do not exists (at least I haven’t seen any of them), but Transylvania does, and it’s a beautiful region in Romania. Over there are a few castles and, believe me, you should go visit them. Just don’t expect vampires or other made up stuff to show up and keep on enjoying their beauty.
71. Sleep At Least One Night Under The Stars
One night every two weeks, if possible. It doesn’t really matter where you’re gonna do this (if you take proper care not to freeze or choke, of course). But your connection with nature will matter. A lot. And if you really think at it, it’s a really simple and affordable thing to do.
72. Circle Around The Collosseum
If you don’t know what the Colosseum is, it’s one of the most interesting buildings in Rome, Italy. Never been there, but I have the feeling that circling around that thing (which, in itself, is oval, if you’re wondering) will be pretty awesome. They had gladiators fighting in there for their lives. Any many other interesting things going on.
73. Visit A French Castle On The Loire Valley
A medieval French castle, that is. I visited a few French architectural icons, like Versailles, but nothing on the Loire Valley, yet. Maybe we’ll met there in the future, who knows?
74. Go To Disneyland
The closest I’ve been to a Disneyland was when I visited Tokyo, a few years ago. I saw some golden fences or something, from a train. I do want to go there. Not because of the playgrounds and stuff. But because I consider Disney to be one of the most brilliant men of the last century. He taught the world to believe in fairy tales again.
75. Cross The Sahara Desert
By camel or by car, your choice. I don’t think it would be extremely pleasant or enjoyable, but I do think it would be a fascinating experience. Really want to do that someday.
76. Sleep A Night In Burj Khalifa
If you can afford, that is. If you can’t afford right now, then get rid of this limiting belief, set a goal specifically for that, make all the money you need to achieve that goal, and go for it.
77. Sail The Amazon
Somehow. Using a boat would be advised. I have this fascination with the Amazonian rainforest ever since I was a child.
Have any suggestions? Go ahead, I’d be happy to hear them.
Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner
The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”
And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.
Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.
If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.