Things to Do Before I Die

It's a cliche: Life is short. You never know what will happen tomorrow. I realized that I have wasted too much time worrying over the mundane details of everyday life and have nearly forgotten about my hopes and dreams in life. Wait! Keep reading...This is less selfish than it sounds. I woke up one morning thinking: What kind of mom do the kids want to have? The old tired hag who is always yelling at them not to do this or that? Or a mom who can set an example to teach them to dream big and follow their dreams; a mom who can learn to let go and allow them to experience all the excitement life has to offer? I decided to be the latter. Here I compiled a list of things I would like to accomplish before I die to keep me motivated and to keep my dreams alive.

  • Learn to Swim (Really swim and not doggy paddle because I'm already an expert at the doggy paddling)
  • Publish an article for a magazine or website
  • Take more Art History classes
  • Volunteer for a women empowerment organization
  • Volunteer at an orphanage
  • Take a photography class
  • Take a Flamingo class in Seville, Spain
  • Take a belly dancing class in a Middle Eastern country
  • Take cooking classes in the following countries: Italy, Malaysia, China, Thailand, France
  • Journey through the Trans-Siberian Railway
  • Drive through the Pan-American Highway
  • Traipse through the Silk Route (From Xi'an to Istanbul. Might have to wait quite a while for this one or at least when there is some peace in the Middle East.)
  • Learn to speak another language (Spanish or German)
  • Start a business (This one is a little vague and needs more thought)
  • Live and travel in Mexico for 1 year
  • Live and travel in Italy for 1 year
  • Live and travel in South America for 1 year 
  • Live and travel in Eastern Europe for 1 year
  • Take an extended trip (1 year) with the family
  • Take my mom to see the Eiffel tower (It's always been her dream)
  • Camp out in the desert 
  • Stay in a hut in South East Asia Cambodia February 2008
  • Bike through Western Europe (This one might have to take precedence over the others because I can't imagine trying to do this when I'm 50)
There will definitely be more to add to this list later but for now this should be enough to keep me busy busy busy. And in the case that something happens to me before I have accomplished everything on this list, my hubby have kindly volunteered that he would finish it for me.

Why 1 year in the following places: Mexico, Italy, South America, Eastern Europe?
Wanting to live in Mexico must have something to do with growing up in San Jose Flea Market where I experienced the festivities of the Mexican culture and the friendly and kindred spirit of the Mexican people first hand.  

I blame my obsession with living in Italy on Under the Tuscan Sun . Although I most likely won't be purchasing a villa, but having the experience to live in one is a must.

I fell truly madly deeply in love with Eastern Europe when I went to Prague. It was love at first sight.The love for Eastern Europe grew after I visited Budapest and Zagreb. Although Prague has become quite touristy, there is still so much mystery waiting to be unveiled in this region.

South America, for me is undiscovered territory. Many times I have tried to plan a trip to Brazil or Argentina but the thought of staying for a mere 2 weeks after a 30+ hour flight from Taiwan led me to decide that I should probably wait until I have more time to visit. There is just so much to do and see in this region that there is no way anyone can pry me away after just 2 weeks.  

I believe that you can't get to know the place and its people until you have experienced 4 seasons immersed in it's culture and languages. You can't get to know the people until you have befriended a local. And that friendship will only grow deeper as you experienced with them the perilous winters of Eastern Europe or the heat waves in Italy or the humidity of the Amazon rain forest. And the secret to really steep yourself in the culture? Try spending some time in a kitchen with a local because food unites us all!   

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