As I’ve mentioned countless times, I have existential crises all over the place. This month in a desperate bid to reaffirm life, the universe and everything, I spent one productive breakfast time looking up bucket lists.

Generally my view of bucket lists are that they are a load of bollocks, ridiculously unobtainable and are only for pretentious people to brag about their exciting life. But I find myself compelled to do something, because the claustrophobic feeling that life is slipping away from me has suddenly hit home. I don’t want to waste my youth desperately searching for a job, to look back in years to come and realise that while finding a job is very important, living, and enjoying life is also a good thing. A lot of bucket lists seem to consist of going to far flung countries, seeing animals in the wild, or doing dangerous things like jumping out of planes. And whilst all that is fine if you have the money, the sheer bravery to ignore what a few millennia of evolution has told us is a bad idea and the abundance of free time to do this all in, the rest of us have to think quite differently.

I still want to do these things, in a kinda-round-about way. But I am also lazy and impatient. So this is why I’ve decided to do as many of these things in one day as physically possible. For those like me who want to do all the things on these bucket list, but for whatever reason cannot, I present to you, the “close enough” bucket list. I’m going to find these exotic destinations and daring deeds on my door step. The list I am attempting is at the end of the post, and we will  tick them off and see how many I have managed. Are we ready to begin?

A day of the “close enough” bucket list

Start the day really early and watch the sunrise. However, try and do this from your bed. It’s early, it’s been cold and ain’t nobody got time for that. Sunrise Next, get the train to London. Now South Eastern Trains are about as reliable as a chocolate teapot, but they share many similarities with The Orient express. They both take their passengers to beautiful exotic desinations. The Orient Express takes you to Venice and Paris. South Eastern Trains take you to Swanley. Both are the utmost luxury.

People On A Train
I think the term is…cozy.

So we have arrived at our destination, London. Nice and early at 9am. Traverse the tube to Regents Park. Regents Park is beautiful, especially in the sunshine. Every bit as beautiful as a …Rainforest? It is sort of like a forest, and with the amount it is rains in England it could be technically classed as a rainy forest at the very least. It has wild-in-a-well-tended-kind-of-way beauty. Like how hipsters spend hours trying to get the “bed head” look, instead of just getting out of bed and not brushing it.

Once you have braved it across Regents Park you arrive at London Zoo. As I mentioned a lot of these lists include seeing animals in their natural habitat, and I agree that it is very important to see animals this way. But zoos in this country have a good reputation of looking after animals and it’s also really useful how all the animals are in the same place. This saves time and money having to travel to all different corners of the world just to see a lion having a nap, or an elephant having a drink. Cultured, yet pratical.

Whilst we are doing animals, we might as well get the sea creatures covered as well. Onwards and upwards to the Aquarium! We grab the tube to Westminster, snap Big Ben, and enter the London Aquarium. See some sting rays, marvel at the sea life. If you have the time you can snorkle with Sharks! Or if like me you’d rather not risk it for a biscuit (have the sharks been fed that day? Do they crave human flesh? I’ve seen Jaws. I know what happens. Just get out of the sea people!) you can just grab a photo and get out of there.

When you walk out the London Aquarium, have a look at The London Eye. It’s pretty high. If you have time go on it, it’s almost as high as a mountain? With all the snow you’ll be forgiven for mistaking yourself to be in the Alps! The day is getting on now so we’ve got to get back to Westminster. Hang on, wasn’t 28 Days Later filmed here? Pretend you was an extra zombie in the film – it’s close enough.

Next stop, we head to The Science Museum. Flight simulators, moon and space walking and general Science love all await you here in the same place!

Dr Who Experience
It’s like I was on the moon with him

But time is getting on, and we’ve got to get to the Trocadero to have a ride on the bumper cars. You’ll reach such dizzing speeds you’ll be forgiven if you think you’ve just gone around Silverstone with Jenson Button.

Stick Man
It’s dangerous to drive and take pictures. There are laws kids. so we got an artist to re create the moment for you.

It’s getting late. Time for a drink and visit the Antarctic all in one? Just head up the road to the London Ice Bar. London is so cold it’s basically the Antarctic, but with the Ice Bar, you actually feel like you’re going to meet some polar bears in an igloo. Ice Bar Once you’ve had a nice warming cold drink, fall out of the Antarctic and head straight into Las Vegas. There are so many casinos in around London, it’s almost like you’re on the neon Strip. Make as many silly bets as you can in an hour. And I’m done. So how did we do on the list?

  1. Swim with dolphins – Yup, kinda.
  2. Scuba dive on Great Barrier Reef, Australia– Saw/snorkled a shark. They both live in the water. Close enough.
  3. Be an extra in a film – we were a little late for filming but we were there… in spirit.
  4. Go whale-watching – Whales don’t like being watched so really….who is being the better person?
  5. Dive with sharks – Snorkelling is a type of diving? Right?
  6. Skydiving – I saw the sky. I definitely looked up.
  7. Fly in a hot air balloon – Held a balloon
  8. Fly in a fighter jet – We went on a simulator in the Science Museum. It counts.
  9. Go on safari – Or go to a zoo?
  10. See the Northern Lights – If you squint you can see Manchester and that is definitely Northern.
  11. Walk the Inca trail to Machu Picchu, Peru, South America – The Natural History Museum?
  12. Climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, Sydney, Australia – I crossed a bridge. It was great.
  13. Escape to a paradise island  – Regents Park is pretty nice. Possibly someone’s paradise…
  14. Drive a Formula 1 car – I bumped an F1 car
  15. Go white-water rafting – Nope I live in England. Being more wet is over rated.
  16. Walk the Great Wall of China – I didn’t do this. Not enough hours.
  17. Bungee-jumping – Are you kidding me?
  18. Ride the Rocky Mountaineer train, Canada – I was on a train. And I’m from Swanley so “rocky” is a polite way of putting it.
  19. Drive along Route 66, USA – No I can’t drive…yet.
  20. Fly in a helicopter over the Grand Canyon, Nevada, USA – No
  21. Take the Orient Express from Venice to London – South Eastern Trains did a pretty good job
  22. See elephants in the wild – Well we definitely saw elephants and it was wild. 
  23. Explore Antarctica – Not only did we explore it, we did it with vodka. Win.
  24. Ride a motorbike on the open road – A video game counts right?
  25. Have a go at cowboy ranching – I’ve seen Brokeback Mountain, I know how it works.
  26. Climb Mount Everest – I climbed some stairs.
  27. Wonder at a waterfall – There was definitely a fountain on our day trip and that is almost the same.
  28. Travel into space – I did (but seriously, WHO CAN TRAVEL INTO SPACE. IT’S NOT LIKE POPPING TO SPAIN FOR A WEEK IS IT?)
  29. Explore the Galapagos Islands – Regents Park has an island.
  30. Trek through a rainforest – We’ve already discussed the rainy forestness of Regents Park.
  31. Gallop a horse along a beach  – What is this list, a bad rom com? 
  32. Ride a camel to the Pyramids – In Egypt I’ve ridden a camel before. It happened.
  33. Take the Trans-Siberian Railway from Moscow to Vladivostok – No. It sounds cold.
  34. Catch sunset over Uluru (Ayers Rock) , Northern Territories, Australia – We saw a sunrise and it is almost the same but in reverse.
  35. Go wing-walking – I’m not entirely sure what that is to be honest.
  36. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro, Africa – as I said, I climbed stairs.
  37. Fly over a volcano – No
  38. Drive a husky sled  – No
  39. Hike up a glacier – Went to an ice bar.
  40. Ride a rollercoaster – Not today but who hasn’t ridden a rollercoster?
  41. Fish for blue marlin – I saw some fish. In a tank.
  42. Go paragliding – No
  43. Play a round of golf at Augusta, Georgia, USA – I’ve played mini golf so it is basically the same.
  44. Watch mountain gorillas – At the zoo.
  45. See tigers in the wild – I’ve seen wild tigers. Seriously wild.
  46. Do the Cresta Run, Switzerland – No.
  47. Visit Walt Disney World, Florida, USA – I’ve been to the Disney Store. It was ok.
  48. Visit Las Vegas, Nevada, USA – A casino is a casino is a casino. Meh.
  49. See orang-utans in Borneo – Who needs Borneo when you have a zoo?
  50. Go polar bear watching – In the zoo, we are ticking these off like a boss. 

38 out of 50 isn’t bad. The majority done in just one day. Now I can spend the rest of my life not doing these things. I can watch TV all day and waste my life on the internet in the safe knowledge I’ve done something. How would you fare?

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