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Posted on Friday, September 24th, 2004

Dave!Years ago while watching a sunset on a Maui beach, I turned to a friend and said "I'm really glad I saw this before I die" to which she replied "well, scratch it off your list then." That's when I became acquainted with the fact that some people make a list of things they wish to do before they die in order to be assured of experiencing everything they want out of life before death comes a calling.

I decided to make my own list in a little notebook I found, and came to this realization: it would be pretty depressing to lay on my deathbed clutching a list that still has a bunch of items left unchecked.

I don't need that kind of failure looming over me, so I figured out an entirely new approach: Don't add anything to the list until you've already done it. Brilliant! That way, no matter when you check out, the list of things to do is certain to be complete and you can die a success!

So, here it is... a transcription of my list of things I want to do before I die (all of them done, of course) in no particular order. A few of the more personal and, ahem, "questionable" items have been removed to prevent offense and embarrassment (yours, not mine)...

UPDATED 12 June, 2012
  1. Get a tattoo.
  2. ✔ Run along The Great Wall of China and visit the Forbidden City in Beijing, China.
  3. ✔ Hike around Uluru (Ayers Rock) in Australia's outback.
  4. ✔ Stand in the middle of Times Square in New York City and shout "I Love New York!"
  5. ✔ Go for a Tuk-Tuk ride in the busy streets of Bangkok, Thailand.
  6. ✔ Take a cruise so you can hike on a glacier, and raft with the eagles, and see the majesty of Glacier Bay, and visit the Black Bears in Alaska.
  7. ✔ Visit the Giza Plateau to see the Great Sphinx and the Pyramids, then climb to the burial chamber at the center of Chephren's tomb in Egypt.
  8. ✔ Bow before Michelangelo's "Pieta" in St. Peters Basilica at the Vatican, and "David" at the Galleria dell'Accademia in Florence, to marvel that such beauty can be created by man.
  9. ✔ Climb to the overlook at Waimea Canyon in Kauai.
  10. ✔ Drive across the Seven Mile Bridge en-route from Miami to Key West in Florida.
  11. ✔ Have a chocolate shake at the original Hard Rock Cafe in London, England.
  12. ✔ Walk through Akihabara Electric Town at night in Tokyo, Japan.
  13. ✔ Run the bases and touch home plate at the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa.
  14. ✔ Watch engines being built at the Harley-Davidson Powertrain Operations factory in Wauwatosa, Wisconsin.
  15. ✔ View the grandeur of Schloss (Castle) Neuschwanstein from Marienbrücke (Mary's Bridge) in Germany.
  16. ✔ Take a Pink Jeep Tour through the Red Rocks of stunning Sedona in Arizona.
  17. ✔ Ascend to the observation deck of Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Maylasia.
  18. ✔ Dive The Great Barrier Reef off the coast of Australia.
  19. ✔ Take a trip through The Panama Canal in Central America.
  20. ✔ Visit the world-famous Keukenhof Gardens in Lisse, Netherlands to see (and smell!) the bulbs in season.
  21. ✔ Have the perfect plate of Patatas Bravas at a tapas bar in Barcelona, Spain.
  22. Touch the stones at Stonehenge in England.
  23. ✔ Visit the beautiful town square and have a warm Trdelník on a chilly evening in Prague, Czech Republic.
  24. ✔ Walk on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah.
  25. ✔ Touch the Vietnam Veteran's Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C..
  26. ✔ Party 'til the cows come home in the arid loveliness of Santa Fe, New Mexico.
  27. ✔ Watch all 15 episodes of the best television show ever to air: Jeremy Piven's Cupid.
  28. Jump out of a perfectly good airplane (preferably with a parachute attached).
  29. ✔ Have a pint of Guinness at the Sky Bar in the Guinness Brewery in Dublin, Ireland.
  30. ✔ Climb the Statue of Liberty in New York and take a picture from the top.
  31. ✔ See the Tuscan countryside in Italy.
  32. ✔ Eat a stracciatella gelato on the Spanish Steps of Rome, Italy.
  33. ✔ Go to the top of The Monument to the Discoveries in Lisbon, Portugal.
  34. Visit Dracula's Castle in Transylvania, Romania.
  35. ✔ Walk up The Acropolis of Athens in Greece and see The Parthenon.
  36. ✔ Experience the beauty and wonder of a drive along the Amalfi Coast in Italy.
  37. Learn a foreign language well enough for simple conversation with a native speaker.
  38. ✔ Have an original Hurricane cocktail at Pat O'Briens after walking down Bourbon Street in New Orleans.
  39. ✔ Visit beautiful York Minster then wander through Old Town in York, England.
  40. ✔ See the Emerald Buddah at Wat Phra Kaeo in Bangkok, Thailand.
  41. ✔ Hike down Bryce Canyon in Utah.
  42. ✔ Get lost in the magic that is the Bonaventure Cemetery in Savannah, Georgia.
  43. ✔ Arrange a layover in Reykjavik, Iceland, just to say you've been there.
  44. ✔ Spend a lazy day exploring the beautiful city of Palma on the island of Mallorca.
  45. ✔ View the world from the top of the World Trade Center in New York City (so sad that so many will never experience this).
  46. ✔ Eat a plate of the original Fettucini Alfredo at Alfredo's Alla Scrofa in Rome, Italy.
  47. ✔ Visit the Lone Pine Koala Sanctuary outside of Brisbane, Australia and hug a koala.
  48. ✔ Walk across the Rialto Bridge in Venice, Italy.
  49. ✔ Watch the cheese runners and eat lots of cheese at the Cheese Museum in Alkmaar, The Netherlands.
  50. ✔ Do something kind for a complete stranger and expect nothing in return.
  51. ✔ Go to Cairo's Egyptian Museum to see the death mask of King Tut.
  52. ✔ Watch the sunrise on top of Mt. Haleakela, then the sunset from a beach in Maui.
  53. ✔ See Depeche Mode live in concert.
  54. ✔ Take a walking tour of the "old city" in Copenhagen, Denmark.
  55. ✔ Have a slice of Pasta Salvi at Salvi's Bistro in Columbus, Ohio.
  56. ✔ Tour Frank Lloyd Wright's amazing Fallingwater house in central Pennsylvania.
  57. Walk on the largest rock on earth at Stone Mountain, Georgia.
  58. ✔ Stand before Wat Arun, (Temple of the Dawn) in Bangkok, Thailand.
  59. Cruise the canals and take a walk through the Red Light District of Amsterdam, The Netherlands.
  60. ✔ Visit The Alamo, have a dish of mango ice cream at the Menger Hotel, then wander down the Riverwalk in San Antonio, Texas.
  61. ✔ Drive through the bayou at sunset in Louisiana.
  62. Photograph the colorful waterfront on a sunny day in Portofino, Italy.
  63. ✔ Buy a motorcycle and ride it whenever you can.
  64. Walk the Brooklyn Bridge in New York City, New York.
  65. ✔ See the Starship Enterprise model used in the Star Trek original series at the Smithsonian in Washington, D.C..
  66. ✔ Pretend you're James Bond in the Casino at Monte Carlo in Monaco.
  67. ✔ Spend an afternoon exploring Gamla Stan in Stockholm, Sweden.
  68. ✔ Cruise through the Mediterranean to the beautiful island of Santorini and visit the incredible village of Oia in Greece.
  69. ✔ Take the tram car to the top of The Peak in Hong Kong.
  70. ✔ Take the Wild Wicklow tour out of Dublin in Ireland.
  71. ✔ Watch a stripper's eyes light up as you tuck a $100 bill into her G-string, then enjoy being the most popular guy at the club.
  72. ✔ Experience the crowded madness of Comic-Con International in San Diego, California.
  73. ✔ Take a ride on Splash Mountain, Space Mountain, and Thunder Mountain at Disneyland California.
  74. ✔ See Venus at the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
  75. ✔ Experience the kindness of the Balinese people in Bali, Indonesia.
  76. ✔ Sail around the Fiji Islands and snorkel their beautiful coral reefs.
  77. ✔ Walk the streets of Madrid to see all the cool street signs, then visit the Plaza Mayor in Spain.
  78. ✔ Visit the Sloth Sanctuary outside of Limon, Costa Rica to see some of the cutest animals on earth.
  79. Hike on a glacier, then cruise through Glacier Bay National Park in Alaska.
  80. ✔ Walk through the Pike Place Market on a rainy day in Seattle, Washington.
  81. ✔ Drive through the Great Smokey Mountains at dusk in Tennessee.
  82. ✔ Have your mind blown by the sheer size of the Palace of the Parliament in Bucharest, Romania.
  83. ✔ See an Elvis impersonator perform in Las Vegas, Nevada.
  84. ✔ Explore Old Town Edinburgh and walk up Princes Street to the castle in Scotland.
  85. ✔ See the tulips of Ottawa, Canada and learn the story of why they are there.
  86. ✔ Try to count the number of deities carved into the gopuram of Sri Mariamman Temple in Singapore.
  87. ✔ Stand before Van Gogh's "Starry Night" at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.
  88. ✔ Gaze up at the grandeur of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel then visit the mindblowing beauty of the dome he designed for St. Peter's Basilica in the Vatican City.
  89. ✔ Take a helicopter ride over the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
  90. ✔ Bet $100 on a hand of Blackjack in Las Vegas.
  91. ✔ Explore the wonders of Istanbul, Turkey to see The Hagia Sophia then shop the 4000 shops in the Grand Bazaar.
  92. ✔ Pay your respects at the Arizona Memorial in Honolulu, Hawaii.
  93. ✔ Have a fresh Belgian waffle from a street vendor at the base of the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France.
  94. ✔ Walk across the Harbour Bridge and see the Opera House in Sydney, Australia.
  95. ✔ Ride the Incredible Hulk Coaster at Universal Studios Florida.
  96. ✔ Look over beautiful Barcelona from the top of Gaudi's Sagrada Familia in Spain.
  97. ✔ Say "we who are about to die salute you" (then salute) at the Colosseum in Rome, Italy.
  98. ✔ Visit Chinatown's tiny Golden Gate Fortune Cookie Co. and buy a fresh bag in San Francisco.
  99. ✔ Ride the Shinkansen bullet train in Japan and the Shanghai Airport Express maglev train in China.
  100. ✔ Visit Khao Phing Kan and stand in the same spot James Bond faced off with Scaramanga in Thailand.
  101. Get high around the world.

Watch this space! If anything new and interesting comes up, I'll add it to the list.

Categories: Memes 2006, Travel 2004Click To It: Permalink


  1. jenny says:

    Werll come on down to San Marcos and we can take care of #15 and #33. Only 10 mins away you can jump out of a plane, and 30 mins away is San Antonio!

  2. Dave2 says:

    Ah, but I’ve already taken care of them, that’s the beauty of my list! Though, I would love to visit San Antonio and Austin again… love those cities. 🙂

  3. jenny says:

    I am right in the middle!

  4. Dave2 says:

    I should get a map… you must be near New Braunfels then? And the only reason I know that is because of Schlitterbahn (hope I spelled that right!). I think that’s about all I remember about my drive from Austin to San Antonio (but you kind of have to forgive me since I had started in Dallas!).

  5. jenny says:

    I hate that drive to Dallas! 30 mins from Austin, 30 from San Antonio, and 15 from New Braunfels. If you ever do make it down here, a friend’s husband is the GM at the Hard Rock in Austin!
    On a side note, I have family that just moved to Camas WA, how far is that from you?

  6. Dave2 says:

    Austin has a great Hard Rock in a very nice old building. Hmmm. There is the city of Camas, which is down south on the Columbia on the way to Portland. And I believe there is a town of Camas Creek north of Spokane somewhere… both are probably around 4 hours from where I live.

  7. jenny says:

    Yep they are far down, well maybe we will actually meet face to face one day. I doubt it will be face to face, maybe my face your chest, or belt, after all I am only 5 ft.

  8. Fintan Gaughan says:

    i will take care of 20
    Visit beautiful York Minster then wander through Old Town in York, England.
    As i live in York and why not visit chester as its very much the same as York

  9. Anthony says:

    What a fantastic post. Makes me want to do more with my life.

  10. Christine says:

    I’ve got a list like this going as well, I loved reading yours. It’s very inspiring and gave me a few ideas :). Thank you!

  11. Will says:

    Dude, this is amazing! You’ve really lived-I’m so freakin’ jealous. I’m gonna start my own list (though I do the San Antonio/Austin stuff all the time as I live in Houston).

  12. Dheeraj says:

    Hi Dave,

    You have been to a lot of places 🙂

    How about a visit to India?


  13. Dave2 says:

    Oh how I would LOVE to visit India!

    I am hopeful that one day I will be able to visit… my friend went last year, and returned with many wonderful photographs of some amazing places!


  14. Amanda says:

    I love your list! And I’m feeling all tingly because I can also check many of those things off my list too. With my 30th birthday just over the horizon, I’m trying to put together a list of things to have done by then. Walking the Great Wall, visiting the pyramids, Hogmanay in Edinburgh, scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef, bungee jumping, elephant trekking etc etc etc… I’ve got a lot I can already put on there. But now I’m trying to fill it in with some more silly, ridiculous items. Dye my hair a crazy colour or stuff like that. Any suggestions at all (big or small) would be welcome! Thanks

  15. Ok, first of all, in your FAQs I see “Central Washington” and, jeepers! I’m from Wenatchee.

    Now on to this awesome list. I’ve done #s 1, 3, 4, 17, 20, 23, 28, 29, 35, 43, (ok, not really 43), 45, 46, 47, 49, 52, 53, 56, 57, and 62. This brought back the best memories. I love this!

  16. iddly (Kazza's cuz) says:

    Come to Australia!

  17. apricoco says:

    2, 7, 12, 16, 18, 19, 25, 34, 38, 43, 46, 56, 67 …all are finished on my list. As for 31, I will never be able to=( and 51, well, um… I’m a chick, but perhaps I could become a stripper and have someone put a $100 bill in my g-string?

    Now I think I should write my own list. Perhaps you would like to compare? =)

  18. dave,

    this was spectacular. terrific idea.

    so much to do, so little time.

  19. Whit says:

    That’s some list. I’ve done 8 of your things and a few more that are close enough. Considering how exotic your items are I don’t feel too shabby about that.

  20. Göran says:

    Wohoo, this was inspirational! Quite often I sit down and feel like nothing´s ever happen. I´m gonna copy this and whenever I feel moody I´ll look at my list of things I´ve done before I die 🙂

  21. Nat says:

    On Ottawa. Really? (I never consider it as a destination. Probably I good thing I don’t work for our dept. of Tourism.)

    Glad I got to do #31. I’d add acting like a tourist at the bottom and looking up…

  22. awytch says:

    Cool, up to #72..

    Very awesome
    Did you do all those things by yourself?

    Because some of them are things I would want to do with a companion, so did you, do them or some of them with a companion?

  23. Dave2 says:

    Oh sure… some of these I was with friends, family, girlfriend, or whatever. But I don’t think that any of the things on this list would be diminished if I was alone… and I was for some of them.

  24. Kynne says:

    Hi Dave,

    You’re very inspiring. How about adding one to the list?

    Visit Treriksröset which is the point where the borders of Sweden, Norway and Finland meet.

    I heard and saw that it’s an amazing sight to see during winter.

    That’s one of the places I would like to go before I die. 🙂

  25. jessica says:

    WOW! some of these i havent even heard about!
    Great list….I’m gonna print it out!

  26. jessica says:

    WOW! some of these i havent even heard about!
    Great list….I’m gonna print it out!

  27. Shy says:

    Awww!! #51 actually happened to me when I was a stripper.

    The guy was disheveled, had a scraggly beard, and was sitting by himself. It looked like $100 was all he had to his name, so when I got my tip after stage dancing and realized it was a hundred dollar bill and not a one, I thought, “oh my god, this guy just accidentally gave me all his money!”

    I didn’t get more than three steps away before I turned back and said, “Hi! Thanks for your tip, but I think you gave me too much. Do you realize you gave me a hundred dollar bill????!!” (yes, I’m a stripper with a conscience) He said, “yes, you were amazing and you deserve it.” My jaw dropped… I didn’t think I was any more special than the other girls that night…

    Of course, I was extremely flattered and had a grin from ear to ear, but I felt like I didn’t deserve it since I didn’t really ‘work’ for it. I told him I’d love to give him a few lap dances in exchange for the generous tip 🙂 Believe it or not, he said no!

    Lesson: you can’t judge how generous a tipper the customer can be by the way he looks. Luckily I learned this lesson early in my career 🙂

    • Dave2 says:

      Is there any more awesome way to start out a comment than …when I was a stripper…?

      This “exotic dancer” totally deserved her $100. She was clearly having fun every time she was on, and it was contagious. It was impossible not to have a good time when she was performing. That’s not entirely uncommon at a club, but she took it to an entirely new level.

  28. I actually did number 67…The waffle was amazing and I really could have died then….it was sooo romantic! It is a must for anyone who wants to enjoy a visual as well as a warm fuzzy feeling of the waffle on a cold day

  29. Suebob says:

    1. Great minds think alike. (Or, more likely, not).
    2. You have had a much more interesting life than me. You win.

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