My Bucket List

2011 was a bittersweet year for me.  As I looked for work, I was suddenly faced with something I had never had this much of before: time!  Time to do many things I had been putting off doing but was always too busy to do before, but also time to procrastinate and to keep putting off the things I had been too busy to do before.  Something of a dilemma, huh?

Ever since the Jack Nicholson-Morgan Freeman movie The Bucket List came out, everyone seems to be talking about their bucket list – a list of things you want to do before you “kick the bucket”. Whether you actively think about it or not, chances are you have one, even if it’s only a list you’ve been keeping mentally, in the back of your mind, but have never written down.

And so, towards the end of 2011, I tweeted to my Twitter followers asking how many of them have a bucket list.  A fellow blogger and “Collar”, Christine (you can find her blog at and I agreed we would both publish our respective bucket lists.At first, I thought I would have a big long list akin to my typical “War and Peace” emails.  But as I sat down to try and write this down, I realised that most of the things I had on my list are constrained only by time and/or money.  The other constraint that stops the majority of us from achieving our dreams is, of course, fear.  Yes, it is the mother of all “F” words.

I also came to realise that I have very simple desires – perhaps because I am older now, or perhaps because I have already experienced many of the things that might have appeared on this list had I made one in my 20s like hot air ballooning, climbing the Grand Canyon, visiting the Vatican, or achieving my childhood dream of visiting the Land of Hello Kitty (that’s Japan, in case you’re too mature to know this).

In no particular order, here’s my bucket list, simple as it is:

  1. Get paid for my writing, whatever and wherever that may be
  2. Meet (and hang out with) the cast and writers of White Collar– this is what I have dubbed the “stalkation” (a vacation to Los Angeles and New York to “stalk” in person the people I have already become Twitter friends with over the last couple of years)
  3. See the pyramids in Egypt and visit the tomb of King Tutankhamen
  4. Learn to fence like Scaramouche or at least Inigo Montoya.  Or maybe I should be less ambitious and just aim for The Court Jester? 🙂
  5. Go on a safari
  6. Climb the Great Wall of China (and see if it’s really keeping the rabbits out!*)
  7. Go on the pilgrimage to the Holy Land
  8. Speak fluent French (beyond the high school French I have long-forgotten)
  9. Learn to play the guitar, and not just on the Wii (my first step was achieved five or more years ago when I bought a guitar!)
  10. Read The Complete Sherlock Holmes by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle (I have already started this – let’s see how long it will take for me to finish the very heavy masterpiece – maybe I should invest in a Kindle…)
  11. Read The Complete Works of William Shakespeare
  12. Find out why 42? (this may be impossible since Douglas Adams is dead and the only other person who knows the answer, Stephen Fry, has categorically refused to let the secret out.  I bet it was just the result of a drunken night out in London and they saw the No.42 bus or something :))
  13. Go to all four grand slam tennis tournaments, preferably in the same year, and preferably when I won’t be rained out at Wimbledon again (yes, I was inside those hallowed gates when play was called off for the day due to rain).  I have been to the Australian Open a couple of times, but not the French or the US Opens – and never saw a ball played in London so I suppose that doesn’t count.
That’s all I can think of for now. I have no doubt this list will change over time as I get to cross items off the list and add more.  These are ambitious wishes and likely to take many years, not to mention a small fortune, to achieve.  But I’m hopeful 🙂
So, what’s on your bucket list?  Feel free to share a few of yours with me!

* For those of you who don’t remember or don’t live in Australia, this is what item 6 was referring to. Enjoy!


4 thoughts on “My Bucket List

  1. Damietta

    Years ago I heard the (at the time) coach of the Notre Dame football team talk. He said to write down 100 things you want to do in your life (from small things to big things) and put it away in a drawer. I did (I was in my early 20s then). I would find this list in my many moves (as I had put it in my underwear drawer, LOL) and have been amazed at how many things I have accomplished; even though I didn’t know they were a Bucket List at the time. So, GOOD for you! Hope they all come true.


    1. Valerie Leung Post author

      I wish I had done it when I was younger too but this little exercise has made me think about how lucky I have been that I was able to achieve a lot already. And when I look at what was on Christine’s list, as an example, it also made me realise how much I have taken for granted as a part of my everyday life.


  2. Christine Antonios (@christinelive)

    I REALLY hope you achieve #2 (especially the coming to LA part) =D. Also, I love that “Why 42?” made it on to your list.

    I really should make a point to read all of Shakespeare and all of Doyle, but was never hooked enough on what I read for either to keep going.

    Also, we both have French and guitar on our lists. What are the odds? hahahaha Nous pouvons pratiquer ensemble.


    1. Valerie Leung Post author

      Don’t forget the pilgrimage is another thing we have in common although you mentioned specifically Israel but yay for bucket lists! I wish I had done one earlier in my life but working on this made me assess how lucky I have been 🙂



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