The astonishingly well-named Mighty Girl.
Some of you may be familiar with Maggie Mason, creative mind behind Mighty Girl, Mighty Goods, and, well, a few other Mighty sites. About a year ago, Maggie came up with something she called her "Mighty Life List: 100 Things to Do Before I Go," listing all the things she'd like to accomplish in her life.
I love this idea. I mean, I've always had several things in the back of my mind that I've always said I'd like to do within my lifetime, but I've never written it down or codified it in any way like Maggie has. As it happens, over the last month or so Maggie and I have had the opportunity to spend time with each other on a few occasions in person, and when I brought up the fact that I loved her list, she said immediately, "You should do one."
"Really?" I said sheepishly. "Because I didn't want to copy..."
"Don't be ridiculous," she countered. "I want everyone to do it. Because you know what? The process of just writing it down, just putting it on paper was ... " she paused, thinking. Then she looked at me directly:
"It was transformative for me. It has truly changed my life."
Since she's given us all permission to transform our lives, the following are 100+ Things I'd Like to Do Before I Go (in no particular order):
1. Witness the launch of a spacecraft
2. See the Great Wall of China
3. See the Grand Canyon
4. Learn Flamenco
5. Play a steelpan in Trinidad Panorama
6. Scuba dive in Bali
7. Scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef
8. Visit Iceland
9. Visit Tokyo
10. Drive an 18-wheeler
11. Hand churn ice cream with Alex -- done, July 3, 2011! You can see it here.
12. Attend a major entertainment awards ceremony (perferably the Oscars, Emmys or Grammys)
13. Attend the opening ceremonies of the summer Olympics
14. Obtain literary recognition for something I wrote
15. Own a little house by the ocean
16. Photograph 1000 adult faces (started on February 18th here -- 180 down, 820 to go!)
17. Learn how to make one of those kiddie friendship bracelets -- done, April 24, 2010! You can read about it here.
18. After #17, teach Alex how to make one of those kiddie friendship bracelets -- done, April 24, 2010! You can read about it here.
19. Visit the very top of the Eiffel Tower
20. Learn how to surf
21. Learn how to sing 10 national anthems
22. Learn how to hand make a lei
23. Climb Mount St. Helen
24. Learn to say "You are beautiful" in 100 languages. (Started March 2010 here!)
25. Walk a marathon
26. Cook a gourmet meal from start to finish
27. Stomp on grapes to make wine
28. Visit an ashram
29. Visit India
30. Grow my hair long enough that I can French braid it into one long plait
31. Ride a parade float
32. Renew my wedding vows to Marcus, with Alex acting as maid of honour
33. Learn to play the drums
34. Visit Victoria Falls
35. Go on safari -- done, July 30, 2011! You can read about it here.
36. Visit the Egyptian pyramids
37. Learn to yodel
38. Host a dressy, adults-only dinner party
39. Learn to belly dance
40. Take a jewelry making class
41. Get a part in a play
42. Sing blues in a bar
43. Visit Machu Picchu
44. Sew myself a garment that I would wear out in public
45. Hand make a ceramic vase that I would display in my home
46. Take a train ride across Europe
47. Learn to tango
48. Learn to play the harmonica
49. Photograph whirling dervishes
50. Photograph the faces of children from 100 countries
51. Learn how to properly twirl a baton
52. Drink a glass of local wine in each of the top 10 winemaking countries of the world. The countries are (a strikeout indicates that I've already had the glass!): Italy, France, Spain, Australia, Chile, United States, Germany, Argentina, Portugal and South Africa
53. Milk a cow -- done, July 29, 2011, in Naivasha, Kenya!
54. Learn how to juggle.
55. Learn how to make pasta from scratch
56. Drink 700 blends of tea
57. Kiss the Blarney stone
58. Have my hands painted in henna -- done, August 7, 2011! You can see it here.
59. Learn how to solve Rubik's Cube -- done, April 23, 2010! You can read about it here.
60. Photograph 100 people blowing bubbles at Discovery Green
61. Visit Nairobi -- done, July 23-30, 2011, thanks to ONE.org! You can read all about it here.
62. Knit myself wristwarmers
63. Learn how to process black & white film
64. Grow a flower in a flowerpot from seed to full bloom -- done, May 9, 2010! View the entire process here!
65. Learn to start a fire without matches or a lighter
66. Visit Rosslyn chapel
67. Ride in a hot air balloon -- done, June 25, 2010! Read about the experience here, and view all the pics here!
68. Swim with the manatee
69. Dive/snorkel with a whale shark
70. Start a scholarship fund for kids who want to be photographers
71. Visit Mallorca
72. Have afternoon tea at the Ritz in London
73. Visit 20 Caribbean islands: Puerto Rico,
74. Visit the top of Corcovado mountain
75. Photograph the Maasai - done, August 2, 2011! You can read about it here.
76. Build an inukshuk in northern North America
77. Photograph the aurora borealis
78. Photograph the Milky Way
79. Have truffles in Paris
80. Taste 50 types of rum (started February 26, 2010, read all about them here)
81. Visit Cuba
82. Photograph an active volcano
83. Attend a seder
84. Attend a Hindu wedding
85. Have hot chocolate at the top of the Alps
86. Build a house with Habitat for Humanity Updated 10.11.06 - okay, I didn't really do it. But what I did do, and the reasons why, here.
87. Take a trapeze lesson
88. Pass through the Panama canal
89. Harvest olives in Greece
90. Visit Tibet
91. Learn how to digitally process video
92. Learn how to make tortillas from scratch
93. Walk the length of Hadrian's Wall
94. Visit Angel Falls
95. Ring in the New Year in either New York City, Sydney or Paris
96. Eat caviar in Red Square
97. Ride a camel
98. Go horseback riding on the beach
99. Dive with manta rays
100. Visit the Maldives before they disappear forever
Updated 10.4.21: 101. Visit Easter Island
Updated 10.5.19: 102. Photograph the Karen people
Updated 10.6.4: 103. Learn to play the ukulele -- In progress. You can see my first attempt here.
Updated 10.7.11: 104. Take a photograph of Amorphophallus titanum ("corpse flower," or literally, "giant misshapen penis flower" -- I couldn't make this up) in full bloom. done, July 23, 2010! Read about the experience here, here and here.
Updated 10.11.04: 105. Eat squeaky cheese in Wisconsin
Updated 11.03.31: 106. Attend a nationally-televised sports championship game. done, April 4, 2011! Read about the experience here.
Updated 11.04.09: 107. See Bobby McFerrin in concert.
Updated 11.06.23: 108. Host a creative retreat at the Kariwak Village Holistic Haven & Hotel in Tobago
Updated 11.06.26: 109. Become an ordained minister. done, June 16, 2011! You can become one too!
Updated 11.08.12: 110. Go snorkeling in the Galapagos.
I think Maggie's right -- we should all have a life list, no matter how long or short. I mean, even if we don't accomplish everything on our lists, just by attempting some, our lives are bound to get a little more interesting, right?
Obviously, as I attempt to do these, I'll photograph and update my progress here on Chookooloonks. In the meantime, though, I'd love to see what would appear on your list.
(Update: My advice on how to create your own life list can be found here.)
Song: Brick house by the Commodores