Turning 40 is indeed reaching a milestone! ... and yes, I'm getting older and wiser too, but I have had my fair share of crazy, adrenaline-filled and once-in-a-lifetime experiences.
As a language strategist and an avid traveler, here is my bucket list of the things that I have accomplished thus far. In no particular order, except for #1.
I'm still young and there's much more than meets the eye!
1. Returning the favor and traveling with my parents abroad:
Although the trip was not to a really far away destination, it was simply priceless to experience with them what-it-seemed-like going back in time in Cuba. My father is an avid music fan and dancer, and to be in Cuba where you can listen or dance to the Caribbean rhythm of Cuban bands at almost every other street corner, was fun. Moreover, driving cars from the 50's and 60's and listen to my parents retell stories of their younger years ... wow!
Read more about our experiences here.
2. Welcoming the New Year, not in one but in several foreign cities:
I try to spend Christmas and New Year's with my parents and siblings in Puerto Armuelles, Panamá ... but at times, I have spent these holidays with friends abroad.
Here I'm with my sister in Venice, but I have also been in Zagreb, Phuket, and Aqaba to name a few.
3. Dressing up for a few charity balls but mainly to take out these gorgeous gals to the "Royal Opera House Muscat" in the Sultanate of Oman:
4. Getting my adrenaline pumping by sky diving in Dubai:
5. Reaching new heights at a far-flung destination: Tibet!
You can read more about my experiences flying into Chengdu and then into Lhasa to get acclimatized before making my way to the "Mt. Everest Base Camp" here.
6. Getting back in shape ... as in being fit!
7. Traveling solo
I have traveled solo throughout most of the countries that formed the former Yugoslavia, through northern Spain, Singapore, the Philippines, the East coast of the United States and many Middle Eastern countries.
8. Traveling abroad with friends:
In the same way that I have traveled alone, I have also shared many experiences traveling abroad with a great group of friends, whether we traveled and explored Turkey, Thailand, Indonesia, Nepal, Lebanon, France, the United Kingdom and Scotland, Italy, Germany and Greece ... to name a few ... we ALL returned still being friends!
9. Go wine tasting:
Not only have I gone wine tasting in places like France and Tuscany, I have also had the opportunity to do the same in less known places that could also rival the afore-mentioned. These places were Lebanon, Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia, and in Santorini, Greece.
10. Running with the bulls in Pamplona during the San Fermines:
As I have personally confessed, on my 1st time back in 2009, I only ran a few meters and immediately climbed the nearest fence that I saw. So I had to come back and face my fear, and in 2012 I ran the entire thing all the way into the arena.
11. Sleeping outdoors in the Arabian desert ... glamping at the "1000 Nights Camp":
12. Raising a Stein at the Oktoberfest in Munich:
You can read more about my adventures during the Oktoberfest here.
13. Learning a new skill:
Although I am not a skilled cook, I have taken cooking classes in Chiang Mai, Thailand, but nothing compares to sharing the experience with friends.
14. Pampering oneself, Boracay-style! After all, #itsMoreFunInThePhilippines
Read more about Boracay here while also traveling to Palawan (Puerto Princesa & El Nido).
15. Going back to basics in the San Blas Islands in Panamá:
Living in a deserted island where there's only electricity from 6 - 10pm ... a really good book, the wind caressing your face and that of the abundant palm trees, crystal clear waters, lobster for dinner and coconut milk to replenish your thirst, what more can you ask for!? Read more here.
16. Going on a pilgrimage:
Whether going on a spiritual journey through the "Camino de Santiago" in northern Spain, visiting St. Peter's Square in Vatican City (below), visiting Apparition Hill in Medjugorge, Bosnia & Herzegovina or heading to Jerusalem (soon), these are soul-searching experiences!
17. Go skinny-dipping in the moonlight!
18. Visiting at least one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, if not the 7 Natural Wonders of the World:
In this case, as voted by the public, the Puerto Princesa Underground River in the Philippines. Read more here. #itsmorefuninthephilippines
19. Learning a new language!
20. Running ... or walking the "Happiest 5k on the Planet":
In this case, the "Color Run" in Dubai or in your home country! Read more about Dubai here.
21. Zip-lining or bungee jumping somewhere safe!
I have gone bungee jumping in Costa Rica and the most exhilarating one was a Canyon Swing jump at the Last Resort in Nepal. As to zip-lining, I have done so in Boquete Tree Trek in Panamá, the Flight of the Gibbon in Chiang Mai, Thailand ... and below, zip lining to an island in El Nido, the Philippines.
22. Using a segway!
There's nothing more unique than segway-ing your way through a foreign city! Read more about my adventures in Greece here.
23. Attending the Highland Games in Inverness, Scotland:
Read more about my visit to Scotland here! This was a very special trip with a very special someone.
24. Attending a comedy show:
Although my friends and I have been to a live comedy show of Indian-Canadian Russell Peters, we became very fond of Iranian-American Maz Jobrani.
25. Investing some money on the stock market, 403B and retirement funds!
Early retirement, here I come!
26. Eating rare and exotic meals:
I have had my fair share of exotic meals and I am always open to new experiences (at least once); such as when I tried rice & lamb prepared in the middle of the desert in Oman, Newari food in Kathmandu, Nepal, Loco Moco in Honolulu, crocodile sisig in Palawan, the Philippines, snails in Sevilla, Spain, or ... moon cakes in Singapore:
27. Visiting the "Eagle's Nest" in the Bavarian Alps:
28. Flying Business class on a long journey:
I haven't been upgraded that often but being upgrade to Business class on a flight from Muscat, Oman (MCT) to London Heathrow (LHR) was a very restful and pampered experience!
29. Watching a Broadway show ... in London:
I ended up watching the award-winning: The Book of Mormon in London's Prince of Wales Theatre ... and it was sooo hilariously wrong.
30. Going to the Panamá Canal ... and checking out the newly expanded canal as well.
Learn more about great adventure in Panamá here.
31. Getting SCUBA certified and using it!
I got SCUBA (Open Water) certified by PADI in 2010 and I have gone diving in several locations in Oman, the Red Sea near Aqaba, Jordan as well as in Coiba and Bocas del Toro in my native Panamá, as well as in Boracay in the Philippines.
32. Topping up my Mixology skills while abroad:
As I travel abroad, I have been lucky to try the main drinks that locals would drink when out and about or when at home. This said, I have tried rakija in the Levant region as well as in Turkey and throughout the Balkans. Here, I will share a special drink from Cuba: La Cachánchara
33. Learning how to surf ... and keep trying!
34. Floating in the Dead Sea:
Read more about my adventures while in Jordan and soon ... in Israel.
35. Going to your favorite artist's live concert:
My choices here have been quite limited but that has not stopped me from going to one. Thus far, I have been to the concerts of Cristina Aguilera, Michael Bublé, Ed Sheeran, the Dave Matthew's Band (DMB), Justin Timberlake (JT) and ....
36. Riding an elephant responsibly:
37. Doing a good dead ... on a regular basis.
Don't only do it by yourself but encourage others to do so, too!
38. Savouring the "King of Fruits" - the infamous: Durian
39. Taking an IG photo that is worth reposting by others!
My visit to Hawai'i was greatly captured here and reposted by no other than the "one-stop resource for sophisticated travelers" seeking new travel adventures - Travel + Leisure - "Every day should [really] be a beach day". #el_musafir
As you can see ... this activity took me back through memory lane and I could have added a few more, but I wanted to keep it simple and down to the years that I currently have.
Although I'm turning 40 ... I can foresee many great adventures and experiences to be lived and shared with my family and friends, as well as with those new friends I'll make along the way.
From me to you, live life to the fullest!