I am living my dream life. A life I worked hard to get and sacrificed a lot to achieve. I now live in Bangkok in a high-end condo I own. I live with a girl I love. I travel when I want. I eat amazing foods at every meal. I work from home. I speak to family everyday. I have no regrets and few driving ambitions. Things are good. A bucket list is meaningless to me unless tasks are extra special. Life ambitions and life changing experiences. Not bungee jumps or swimming with dolphins. This is my Less Ordinary Bucket List.
1. A Big Year in the US
Starting with the nerdiest of my Less Ordinary Bucket List. ‘A big year is an informal competition among birders to see who can see or hear the largest number of species of birds within a single calendar year’. The competition covers continental U.S states, Canada and a few nearby islands.
Not big into birding but do enjoy getting out the big lens to snap a few (as pictured below). The Big Year gives purpose to my travel and covers the best of America. Along the way – a lengthy road trip, mom and pop motels, small town festivals, competitive eating and chilifests.
2. Japanese Snow
A simple one for number two of my Less Ordinary Bucket List. Easily achieved. Snowboarding in Northern Japan. Nozawa Onsen the stand out destination. Four hours North of Tokyo. Hot springs and Japanese village charm. My ambition comes from a past as a street skater (Bangkok Benjasiri Park Pictured) and an obsession for snow. My love of the orient has forced me from snowy climates so the closest enjoyment to snowboarding is spinning my car on ice during a rare snow fall in Northern Ireland (UK).
3. Scotland Whiskey Tour (Islay)
While friends downed beers and Buckfast I nosed peaty single malts. Whisky gave street cred to my nerd and purpose to my alcoholism. Through years of perusing whisky shelves at Duty Frees I developed an obsession for whiskey. No matter what country I am in the Whiskys are always the same. Being half Scottish (mum Edinburgh born / Campbell) is another reason for this tour. With family along the Islay coast I can explore my Scottish heritage. Supping Talisker on the Isle of Skye, visiting my square foot of land at the Laphroaig Distillery (Friends of Laphroaig), Isles of Jura. Haggis.
4. Living in Japan
Travel bores me. Life interests me. I see travel / tourism as my profession and one that rarely changes or benefits me. Life as a local in Thailand is different. Learning, Immersing and integrating in local life was fascinating. Now life in Bangkok has become ordinary (albeit perfect). To discover a new life in a new country has great appeal to me. Like starting a new life from scratch. A simple life – living, eating, observing. Living the life of others in a country like nowhere I have experienced before. To be realistic about bucket list goals I will say 3 months. Japan tops this list. I am slightly obsessed with Japan. A simple example is suburban Tokyo. Inspired by a friend’s blog – the only blog I actually read. The fascinating Ikimasho: Randomness from Tokyo and Beyond. Just a couple recent images from his daily weirdness.
5. Arabian Nights
Another simple life. Living in a secluded desert compound with Arabic architecture and maybe Moroccan or Moorish design. This I want to do in luxury. Windcatchers, plunge pool, camel enclosure. Short trek to the nearest village and close enough to hear morning prayers. Learn local cuisine, dabble in Islam, live like Lawrence of Arabia. I think 2 months is enough for this Less Ordinary Bucket List pick. Although a bit touristy I was seduced by the deserts of Dubai when visiting a bedouin camp.