Creating A Life List

by matt on March 15, 2010

The Life List

I decided to put together my own Life List after reading quite a few others online.  Reading the list of others was inspirational and I thought it would be good to get mine down on paper (or virtual paper).

What is a Life List?

Some call it a Bucket List, which is a list of things you want to do before you die or kick-the-bucket.  I prefer to call it a Life List.  It is basically a list of the things you want to accomplish, achieve or experience throughout your life.   It’s supposed to be a positive list that gives you direction, reminds you of what you deem important in your life.

Making Your List

I figured this exercise could be interesting.  At first I thought it would be easy.  But as I got into it I realized it would be more difficult than I anticipated.  Did I really know what I wanted to do with my life?  I took some time to dig deep within myself and discover whatever might come to the surface.  I think we all have some generalized ideas of what we would like to do should all the perceived obstacles and roadblocks suddenly be lifted.  But when it comes to actually putting them down on paper I think we tend to struggle a bit.  In my case I got a few good ideas down and then just went blank.  To break through this mental block I asked myself a few pointed questions:

  1. If I had a year left to live, what would I do with that year?
  2. If money was unlimited where would I go and what would I do?
  3. What do I really want to be doing?
  4. What can I offer the world that will make a difference?
  5. What do I want to experience?
  6. What will leave me feeling fulfilled?

So I started to really think about the things in this world that I am really passionate about.  Things like preserving the environment and its wonders; working to provide clean drinking water for everyone; eliminating poverty; sharing my vision of the world through photography to hopefully inspire others to live more fully.  I thought about places I wanted to see, events I wanted to experience and people I wanted to meet.  

I removed the limitations I had set on myself.  You might be familiar with a few of them:

“I’ll never be able to do that.”
“I don’t have the money”
“Where would I find the time?”

Without these and other limitations in place we become free to think of the possibilities.  I truly believe that all goals are obtainable in some form or another once we realize that in most cases the only thing holding us back is ourselves.

Making it Public 

 So why am I publishing this list?  I want to make this list public so that there is a level of accountability, because without accountability this list is…well…it’s just a list and nothing more.  But if I put my dreams and intentions out there in a public forum then there is a bit of accountability that pushes me a bit more to strive to obtain these goals.  As I mentioned before, any dream or goal is obtainable if we allow ourselves to be open to the possibilities. 

I’ll continue to review this list and on occasion add further clarity, cross out completed items or add new ones to the list.  Now that I have this list I intend to pursue every single one of these items.  What do I have to lose?  The door is open and the path is now laid out before me.  So without further ado I give you…

My Life List

Places I want to travel to and photograph:

  1. Indonesia
    1. Bali (completed September 2005)
    2. Lombok
    3. Manado
    4. Borobudur (completed September 2005)
    5. Prambanan (completed September 2005)
    6. Mt. Bromo
    7. Lake Toba
    8. Jakarta (completed April 2001 and August 2005)
    9. Bandung (completed April 2001 and August 2005)
    10. Yogyakarta (completed August 2005)
    11. Malaysia
      1. Kuala Lumpur
      2. Perhentian Island
    12. Singapore
    13. Vietnam
      1. Ha Long Bay
      2. Ban Gioc waterfalls
    14. Cambodia
      1. Prasat Angkor Wat
    15. Nepal
      1. Photograph Mt. Everest and Great Himalayan Range
    16. China
      1. Great Wall of China
      2. Photograph rural China
    17. Mongolia
      1. Photograph the landscapes of the Country
    18. New Zealand
    19. Thailand
    20. Costa Rica
    21. El Salvador
    22. Russia (USSR)
    23. South Korea
    24. Lebanon
    25. The Philippines
    26. India
      1. visit my good friend Mark
    27. Bhutan
    28. Cameroon
    29. Italy
    30. Liberia
    31. Iceland
    32. Japan
      1. Experience the Cherry blossoms
    33. United States
      1. Zion National Park (completed 1999)
      2. Arches
      3. Death Valley (completed 1999)
      4. Organ Pipe Cactus National Park (completed 1999)
      5. Alaska
      6. Maine
    34. Climb Mt. Bromo in Central Java, Indonesia to take a sunrise photograph
    35. Take a sunrise photo at Borobudur
    36. Complete a photographic journal of the plight of homeless in America
    37. Produce a photo book with photos from unique perspectives of everyday life
    38. Start a blog on the subjects of photography, travel and lifestyle design
      1. Have 50 RSS blog subscribers
      2. Have 100 RSS blog subscribers
      3. Have 250 RSS blog subscribers
      4. Have 500 RSS blog subscribers
      5. Have 1000+ RSS blog subscribers
    39. Have one of my photos published in a book or magazine (National Geographic)
    40. Teach a photography class to kids
    41. Write a book(s)
    42. Live in Indonesia for 1-2 years
    43. Write a book on living as an expat in Indonesia
    44. Get a photo published in National Geographic
    45. Eat every variety of mango in the world
    46. Travel to every National Park in the US and document it through visual images. Produce a photo book on each park that details some of the “off-the-beaten-path” things to see and inspire people to continue to protect these unique areas. (to start after my Dad retires)
    47. Purchase a house near the beach in Manado Indonesia and live in it for a year.
    48. Travel with missions to Cambodia and Nepal and photograph the trip. (Scheduled for August 2010)
    49. Drive the length of the Western US coastline on motorcycles and document the trip through photographs
    50. $1 a day for 30 days – give a stranger on the street a dollar and take the time to learn a bit about them.  Blog the experience.
    51. Get an article I’ve written published
    52. Travel from London to China via the Trans-Siberian Railway
    53. Travel across China on the Beijing-Lhasa Express
    54. Run The Amazing Race with my sister
    55. Learn and speak fluent Indonesian
    56. Be completely debt free
    57. Climb one of the Three Sisters in Oregon
    58. Photograph 100 strangers
    59. Mountain bike in southern Utah/Arizona
    60. Be self-employed
    61. Walk on a tropical beach at sunset
    62. Learn to surf
    63. Read the entire Bible
    64. Drink a beer with Anthony Bourdain (see people I want to meet below)
    65. Try kite-surfing with my good bro Mark (yo Mark, let’s do it bud!)
    66. Give a speech to a group of 1000+ people
    67. Experience the aurora borealis
    68. Fly in a helicopter
    69. Take a cruise with just my wife
    70. Tour a Guinness facility in Ireland (drink a pint with a local)
    71. Do a photo shoot with a celebrity
    72. Be an extra in a foreign film
    73. Get certified to teach English as a Foreign Language (completed January 2010)
    74. Teach English abroad
    75. Walk the Great Wall of China
    76. Take the train across Indonesia (so far been between Bandung and Yogyakarta)
    77. Ride the Rocky Mountaineer Train in Canada.
    78. Take an African safari
    79. Help drill a clean water well for people that don’t have clean water
    80. Buy a round the world ticket
    81. Ride a motorcycle around Bali
    82. Ride the Venice Simplon-Orient Express
    83. Ride the Sunlander train in Australia from Brisbane to Cairns
    84. Ride the 4500 mile Canadian train between Toronto and Vancouver
    85. Ride the Andean Explorer train in South America to Lake Titicaca
    86. Ride the Eastern & Oriental Express train between Singapore and Thailand
    87. Experience Victoria Falls (Africa)
    88. Produce my own movie
    89. Discover what makes me truly happy
    90. Arrange for my wife to meet Duff Goldman – Ace of Cakes (Duff we are available anytime)
    91. Live peacefully and without worry
    92. Drive 120 mph in a car(completed in 1991 in my 1969 Pontiac Firebird)
    93. Change my relationship with money
    94. Spend much more time with my family
    95. Complete a Project 365 challenge
    96. Help my wife with her dream of owning and operating a bakery
    97. Be kind to everyone I meet
    98. Tell my kids I love them daily
    99. Help raise money for causes I am passionate about
    100. Stop being afraid to live my life in an unconventional way
    101. Race a car
    102. Do a Zipline tour in Maui
    103. Fire walk
    104. Invent something that helps people
    105. Buy less, give more
    106. Meet Chris Guillebeau
    107. Meet Bono of U2
    108. Meet Anthony Bourdain
    109. Meet David duChemin
    110. Meet Chase Jarvis
    111. Meet Yorti – our sponsored child through Compassion International
    112. Meet James Nachtwey
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