Before I die I want to…

I found my old bucket list from 2009 I wrote before I began teaching in Korea. I remember writing it – feint blue lined paper and bic pen – sitting on a single bed foam, baseless mattress in a room so chaotically organised due to lack of furniture and cupboard space. Cupboard space is an inaccurate description as it implies owning a cupboard which I did not. Instead, a large wooden book shelf housed clothes, jewellery, books, CDs and other sentimentalities – cards, scarfs, seashells. I was working three jobs at that time – waitressing at a busy restaurant serving overpriced pizza and liquor to patrons who favoured cocaine over dessert, the ritual preceding a long night ahead. Another job – working once a week at the door charging admittance at my favourite night club, counting cash and numbers whilst wishing I was upstairs to explore freedom on the dance floor. The third, working as a shop assistant selling Hemp clothing and cosmetics. I was swimming in debt and student loans, using one credit card to pay off the other every month and racking up a food bill on my Woolworths credit card. I felt disillusioned after graduating with few prospects unless I had 2 years experience and my own transport ~ a luxury I couldn’t afford. I was ill prepared and naive; depressed at the debt I was facing and a hopeless as to how I was going to fix it. I had supported myself since I was 18, through jobs, apartments and boyfriends and illness – to the Ivory Tower of University and with it, heaps of tuition, yet at the end of it all, this was where I was at. The opportunity that was Korea – travel, teach children and earn money. I felt a hope growing for the first time in a long while. The ideas become concrete – an exit strategy beguiling me Eastwards. Part of that new found sense of positivity and hope allowed me to start dreaming again – there was life after smelling like pizza, grumpy bosses, incurring debt, student loans and a lack of work experience.

In finding and reviewing this list, it was a radical feeling to realise that I had accomplished things I had not dreamed were possible with a sense of strength and determination which originated from an unknown source. I would like to say it came from the faith of my parents or unwavering strength god bestowed on me, but my folks are not those people, nor do I believe in god in that sense. Perhaps the path was always there, that leap just had to be taken.


I have to write complete my degree here. I never thought it would happen.

buy a camera

take great photos with said camera

go to South Korea,

visit Japan; temples in Cambodia; Shamans in the Amazon, hike the Annapurna, Thailand, Vietnam.

get off medication

stay healthy off medication

pay off my student loans (more than half way)

write a book and write a poetry book

learn to play guitar (started)

read the Tibetan book of living and dying (started)

make mosaics (again)

plant trees; grow herbs and a veg garden

participate in a slam/spoken word poetry event

attend acting classes

make yoga part of my day (started)

inspire someone

study Transpersonal Psychology

truly empathise with someone

make my parents proud

visit monks

help children

build a school

reduce my carbon foot print – vegetarian

learn Japanese – started

get married in Vegas

See Nine Inch Nails live (The band reformed and they PLAYED IN SEOUL)

see as many lives bands as possible

live in solitude for 3 months


teach in Bhutan

visit Burma, Tibet

complete my teaching degree

complete my Celta

Go to AfrikaBurn

sky dive

go Woofing

visit Nepal

study Permaculture/sustainable farming

Visit the USA

leave an incredibly positive mark on my students/teachers!

Further inspired by this amazing art project Before I die… the blog, and here on Ted Talks both of which are beautiful examples of dreaming, connecting and spreading inspiration. The idea was started and spread by Candy Chang.

 “It’s more important than ever to find ways to maintain perspective and remember that life is brief and tender. Death is something that we’re often discouraged to talk about or even think about, but I’ve realized that preparing for death is one of the most empowering things you can do. Thinking about death clarifies your life.”

Let’s not be afraid to dream.


2 thoughts on “Before I die I want to…

  1. I’m quite emotional after reading that. Amazing the accomplishment one gets from lists. Making them, ticking off as you go along. I’m a firm believer in lists!!

    And I’m a firm believer in YOU!

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