Life List


Between turning 30 in March, and following the progress that Karen of Chookooloonks is making on her life list, this spring my brain went all kinds of hamster-wheel-y in feeling like I hadn’t done enough with myself to date (untrue) and like there was so much I wanted to do that I didn’t even know where to start (totally true). Putting it down on paper gave me concrete goals, and a place to turn if I was ever feeling bored or unfulfilled or restless. A list gives me a place to start seeking out weekend day trips, to stop doing the same things over and over again and do new things. Or at least do new things in between doing the things I already love.

It turns out that I had a hard time making a list. I wanted to put all sorts of epic trips on here, but you have to have some things that are easy to do along with the dreams — a mix of things, all achievable, but some more easily achievable than others. Struggling to verbalize my goals, dreams, and wishes was good for me, though. Items appeared on this list and I hadn’t realized that I had wanted them. The inside of my mind is apparently keeping secrets even from me.

The list is broken down, in order, in roughly six groups: sports, photography, food, travel in North Carolina, travel elsewhere, and personal life. So: (more than) 100 things I’d like to do before I die.

  1. Go to a minor league all-star game.
  2. Go to the Cape Cod League all-star game.
  3. Go to the Major League Baseball all-star game.
  4. Visit every MLB stadium. In progress!
  5. Visit every NBA arena.
  6. Visit all ten North Carolina minor league baseball stadiums. In progress!
  7. Spend all two weeks in Omaha for the College World Series.
  8. Drink a milkshake from Zesto’s while I’m at the CWS.
  9. Take a ten day California college baseball tour.
  10. Go to Spring Training in Arizona and Florida.
  11. Attend a Yomiuri Giants/Hanshin Tigers baseball game in Japan.
  12. Go to the Frozen Four.
  13. Go to both the men’s and women’s Final Four.
  14. Attend every game of an ACC men’s basketball tournament and an ACC women’s basketball tournament.
  15. Attend every game of an ACC baseball tournament.
  16. Buy a fancy hat and attend all three Triple Crown races. (Not necessarily in the same year.)
  17. Attend the Iron Bowl (when it’s in Auburn) with Ian and Emily.
  18. Go to all 12 SEC football stadiums.
  19. Attend a weekend SEC baseball series at LSU’s Alex Box Stadium.
  20. See a game at Allen Fieldhouse in Lawrence, KS.
  21. See a Tennessee women’s basketball game at Thompson Boling Arena in Knoxville, TN.
  22. See the start of the Iditarod in Anchorage and the finish in Nome.
  23. See the start of the Beargrease Sled Dog Marathon in Duluth.
  24. Take a ballroom dancing class.
  25. Shoot the cover photo for a major music publication.
  26. Take photos of every church cemetery in Charleston, South Carolina.
  27. Spend an entire national tour on the road with a band.
  28. Shoot, show and publish a series of photos of siblings who play in bands together.
  29. Take a photo of sunrise at every individually-named beach in North Carolina. In progress!
  30. Sell a photo to a minor league baseball team for publicity/press purposes.
  31. Become the house photographer for a local venue.
  32. Interview ten musicians who are also photographers for the blog.
  33. Own a Hasselblad (even if it doesn’t work).
  34. Get the Kodak Brownie that Ash gave me for my birthday up and running.
  35. Finish developing all the film I shot in 2008.
  36. Learn how to develop my own black & white film.
  37. Buy a Polaroid, and a Pentax K1000.
  38. Shoot a band recording in the Daytrotter studio.
  39. See my photos used as album art and in liner notes for an album.
  40. See 100 shows in a year, and shoot them all.
  41. See every active band on Bloodshot Records’ roster live. In progress!
  42. Take ten great baseball photos with a Holga.
  43. Curate a photo project that involves at least ten participants.
  44. Take a Miksang workshop.
  45. Attend a Rebirth workshop.
  46. Take a workshop at Penland School of Crafts.
  47. Find and try ten new crock pot soup recipes.
  48. Eat a hot dog in every state in the United States. In progress!
  49. Cook a full Thanksgiving dinner for friends and family (including a turkey in the oven).
  50. Grow my own grape tomatoes, snap peas, and strawberries.
  51. Learn to roll sushi.
  52. Learn to make paneer and mozzarella.
  53. Take an Indian cooking class.
  54. Take an Italian cooking class.
  55. Take a pasta making class.
  56. Go on a tour of five different North Carolina breweries.
  57. Find the best bottles of Pinot Grigio and Merlot available for under $10.
  58. Make my own dill pickles from local cucumbers.
  59. Make ten different varieties of exotic grilled cheese sandwich.
  60. Eat at every restaurant in Our State magazine’s 100 Places To Eat In North Carolina’s 100 Counties. In progress!
  61. Eat every food on this list. In progress!
  62. Drive US 17 from the top of North Carolina to the bottom.
  63. Visit a North Carolina county fair.
  64. Visit Tryon Palace in New Bern, NC and the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC.
  65. Visit the top ten natural wonders in North Carolina.
  66. See a race at the Orange County Speedway.
  67. Visit the Seagrove Potteries and learn to throw a pot on a wheel.
  68. Visit the North Carolina Zoo in Asheboro.
  69. Visit one of the North Carolina aquariums.
  70. Attend 10 North Carolina festivals. In progress!
  71. Own an Airstream.
  72. Eat a pimento cheese sandwich at Augusta National.
  73. Attend and shoot ten specialty food festivals, including Bratfest in Madison, WI; the World Championship Barbeque Cookoff Contest in Memphis, TN; the Maine Lobster Festival; and the National Hamburger Festival in Akron, OH.
  74. Drive Route 66 and visit Elmer Long’s Bottle Tree Forest.
  75. Visit the Desert Botanical Gardens in Phoenix, AZ.
  76. Visit the Las Vegas Neon Sign Graveyard in Las Vegas, NV.
  77. Drive from Washington to San Diego along the coast, visiting minor league baseball stadiums.
  78. Go snorkeling off the Florida Keys, and visit Dry Tortugas National Park while I’m there. (One of the United States’ least-visited national parks!)
  79. Take the Empire Builder from Chicago to Seattle.
  80. Visit the Chihuly museums in Seattle, Tacoma, and St. Petersburg.
  81. Go to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.
  82. Take photos at Artscape and HonFest in Baltimore.
  83. Go to Baltimore and act like a tourist for a weekend: see an Orioles game, visit the National Aquarium, the Science Center, and the Visionary Art Museum, eat at Bertha’s Mussels, wander Fells Point and the Hopkins campus.
  84. And also eat everything on Spoon University’s Baltimore Bucket List.
  85. Attend the American Sandsculpting & Beach Festival.
  86. Attend the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
  87. Drink my way across the Kentucky Bourbon Trail.
  88. Visit Sea Glass Beach in Fort Bragg, California. (More about it here.)
  89. Attend the Santa Barbara Sea Glass Festival.
  90. Eat at Costa’s Coffee Shop in Owatonna, Minnesota.
  91. Visit St Augustine, FL.
  92. Pick shells at Sanibel Island.
  93. Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando.
  94. See the mermaid show in Weeki Wachi, FL.
  95. Go to the Flora-Bama Mullet Toss.
  96. See the Aurora Borealis.
  97. See a moose in the wild in Alaska.
  98. Visit the Louisville Slugger factory.
  99. Visit every place saved on my Atlas Obscura I WANT TO GO HERE list.
  100. Visit every US National Park.
  101. Visit every US National Seashore.
  102. Go tidepooling on the Oregon Coast.
  103. See every Gilbert & Sullivan operetta performed.
  104. Get a passport.
  105. Go to Wales and take a Dark Is Rising tour.
  106. Spend a week revisting my old haunts in London.
  107. Visit Platform 9 3/4.
  108. Visit Lis in Glasgow.
  109. Ride every London Underground line to its terminal stations; get off and have a pint.
  110. Take a tour of the Guinness brewery.
  111. Visit Austria and the Czech Republic again.
  112. Make a movie about punk music in Budapest.
  113. Spend two weeks in Athens and the Greek Islands.
  114. Florence and Rome and Venice and the Amalfi Coast.
  115. Tapas in Barcelona.
  116. Sushi in Japan.
  117. See all the Gaudi in Spain.
  118. Visit South America: Argentina, Brazil, Chile.
  119. Visit Peru with Trav’s cousins.
  120. Visit Thailand.
  121. Visit Egypt and see the Great Pyramids and the Sphinx.
  122. Ride a camel.
  123. Visit Morocco and Algeria.
  124. See the Northern Lights while traveling in Scandinavia.
  125. Take underwater photos at the Great Barrier Reef.
  126. Go on a Lord of the Rings filming locations tour of New Zealand.
  127. Stay at Bird Island in Belize.
  128. Stay in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives.
  129. Collect seashells on every continent.
  130. Buy a house.
  131. Paint every room in that house a different color.
  132. Plant a fruit tree in my backyard.
  133. Pay off my student loans.
  134. Keep a house plant alive for five years. Continuously.
  135. Buy the perfect red and pink lipsticks.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. M. says:

    I can teach you to change your oil. 😉

    (And driving stick shift is on mine too.)

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