Sunday, July 15, 2012

Handbook to the life of Joy and No Regrets: The Bucket List

Just watched the The Bucket List, about two terminally ill strangers decide to create a bucket list together (list of things to do before you die), and work through the list. The billionaire decide to do something crazy and have fun, while the mechanic who regretted the life he had given up decide to seek the missing love for his wife on their new journey. They do some crazy and stupid stuff, travel the world, and chase some ideals and dreams; at the end, the things which they desired the most had always be with them (friendship and love), yet it will require an adventure and travel around in order to get “home”. This movie is a reminder to me: am I living a life which I truly desired? Focusing on the things which really matter to me? No putting any good plans on hold, building up huge pile of regrets along the way?

In order to find out the answer, I would say the best way is to create my own bucket list: so that I know what is not so important, what are the things which I always want to do, and probably how to have fun. Hopefully along the way, I would be able to live everyday as if it is the last.

“You know, the ancient Egyptians had a beautiful belief about death. When their souls got to the entrance to heaven, the guards asked two questions. Their answers determined whether they were able to enter or not.  ‘Have you found joy in your life?’ 'Has your life brought joy to others?’” -- The Bucket List

The Big Travel Plan
I once planned to travel the world for one year before I hit 30, but that didn’t happened, and now I am probably 33. What is holding me back? Partly I sacrifice it for developing a business with a friend which didn’t quite work out, and also the typical worry about sacrificing on financial support for my future family plan, and worry the hell out of my parents for trying to be a bump for a year. There are definitely a psychological barrier and plenty of excuses for not doing it, and at the same time, I still can’t shake the idea of my mind.

I try to satisfy the desire with short adventures, first spending a month in Nepal, then another trip to India and China, which are fun and memorable, yet it still isn’t my ideal travel. I don’t really like short trips (less than a week), as it all seems too rush, trying to cover too many grounds with too little time, it’s more tiring than enjoyable. One month sounds good, yet sometimes we are too greedy as well, trying to get to too many places, and it involved a lot of cumbersome logistic planning. I really like Nepal, India is chaotic but a good experience, and finally I didn’t get the kick out of China. Why? Perhaps we do too much sight-seeing, being more like a tourist than traveler. There is little connection with the people and culture of the place, or we didn’t sink in to really feel the place, or we didn’t found the perfect place.

What is my perfect plan? It should be something along this line: move around places, until we found a place which we really like, and stay there for a week or months, and immerse in the simple daily life in a new place. There is no need to find a tourist-packed monuments and scenic view, as there could be a tasteful back alley and perfect restaurant just waiting around the corner, with no crowd but serenity.

Now I know what I truly desire, and I have my little perfect plan laid out, what should I really do? This is the part where I truly don’t know how to proceed, except to pick a destination, buy the air ticket, start packing and be ready to go. I probably could summon enough courage to do another one month journey, but how do I really let go? Unless, I know I have less than a year to live.

To a certain extent, I don’t mind postponing the plan for a while, but until when? Do I do it by next year? Do I wait until the day my business got acquired for a million dollar, and then I pack my bags? Do I wait until my children (assuming I have them) grow up, and then we go together? Or someday somehow, when the times come, I shall know it.

Opportunities await man who is ready, and I do need a plan to make The Big Travel plan works. Different people work in different way, some could just pack their bags and go, some would never do it, and some do it at a slower pace. I am not a spontaneous person, and I probably won’t force myself to become one, so I need to come up with a plan which works for me. There are probably two show stopper for me: work and children. Since the children are still an uncertain plan, so let’s put that aside first. I think I can’t just bump around while traveling for a year; it should be a way of life where I travel, play and work in new places. I don’t plan to do waitressing as work, though I won’t mind short term work in a farm, but the best sustainable way I could come up with is to build an online empire.

The Online Startup
I always like online business, where I could run it from anywhere. I dislike business which requires physical contact and constant interruption from customers, as this would limit and affect the quality of my life; nor do I want to take the risk of physical stocks and physical business maintenance. It’s priceless to have a morning without phone call interruption, and no constant urgency which require me to attend to something ASAP. Management of a business which doesn’t require anything physical (no physical contact, no stock, no management, no logistic), money will come rolling in without the need to chase for payment. I want to create the ultimate online business, where nothing is physical and everything is self-serviced.

This online business will fuel the Big Travel Plan

Live life as if it was my last day, is something I am still learning to practice.

Let’s fill up the rest of the bucket list on another day :)


Anonymous said...

hey, the no phone call interruption is from me. :P

ian blakeslee said...

Do not wait.
Do not postpone your dream.

Once you get outside the wall, you will realize that money was never the problem.

You cannot prepare for this.
You cannot plan this (much).

It will be a roller-coaster.
You will experience stress.
But the rewards are more than you can imagine.

For anyone who says it is a bad idea, ask them how many of their dreams have they followed. They will be quiet after that.

It is a wise investment. The people you meet and the things that you will see will give you business ideas that will be profitable later.

Enough waiting.
Buy a ticket. One way. You will figure out the rest as you go.

Your skills are your safety net.

Joe said...

Watch out for one way tickets ... many countries will not let you enter without a return ticket as well ...