You might have heard the phenomenally successful travel book, 100 Things To Do Before You Die. The book was an instant bestseller and inspired a publishing industry all of its own with others of “100 Things” spin-offs and and even the movie The Bucket List.
I have been meaning to read it, but there was always something else that distracts my attention in the bookshop (namely chick lit or InStyle magazine), and it has been in my ‘books to read’ list for a long time.
Then I read last Sunday that the co-author, Dave Freeman, after hitting his head in a fall at his home. It was here [Venice, Los Angeles] last Saturday, after a dinner party celebrating a successful business trip to Dubai, that the adventurer said goodbye to three guests. He was probably locking up when he fell, cracked his head on a glass door and died. He was 47.
Such a tragic twist of fate, don’t you think?
Since I haven’t read the book, I was surprised to find out that among the obvious things Freeman and his co-author Neil Teplica list, like attending the Academy Awards and running with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain (where the above picture is stolen borrowed), or the more obscure ones like taking a voodoo pilgrimage in Haiti and “land diving” on the Island of Vanuatu, the list also has some peculiarities. Readers are advised that they must undertake the haj pilgrimage to Mecca. As this is open only to Muslims it involves quite a commitment for nonbelievers who would have to undergo conversion.
Then I begin to wonder if one could ever finish ticking the 100 boxes. Imagine time and money spent just to – as Freeman stated on his opening – “make sure you fill it with the most fun and that you visit all the coolest places on Earth before you pack your bags for the very last time?”
I read that it is estimated we need USD 400,000 to complete the list. Many people never see that much money, let alone spend it! It can vary from the £5 you will need to park your car at the base of Cooper’s Hill, Gloucestershire, for the cheese race, to the £30,000 or so you will pay to enter a quad bike in the next Paris-Dakar rally.
Even though we have 4 billion rupiahs extra to spend, I don’t know if we could handle the time. Freeman of course was not an Indonesian who needed a visa to every single country he went to. But imagine the hassle we have to bear: one visa takes one month, and before we know it we will have spent 3 years just to get the paperwork done. Imagine we are only able to take one holiday every year, and are only able to do 3 things on the list at once. It will take us 30 years to finish the list. Unless you are ready to do a bungee jumping at the age of 70, we might have to start it early, like when we’re 20…
Freeman himself had completed only half of his quest.