The End Is Nigh; Full Steam Ahead!

I am the middle of the most ridiculous, outrageous and trying leg of a trip that I have ever had. I am beyond burnt out and in a completely foreign place both mentally and physically. At the same time, I feel at home, loved and at ease. This is why I travel. Even at my most creative moments I couldn’t possibly write something like this. Yet somehow this has become my life story.

Last night I prepared my things in order to get quarantined in a Japanese hospital. A friend of mine had been diagnosed with Avian Flu after we partied together in Hong Kong for New Years. I was feeling flu-like myself and when I googled the symptoms it practically returned a picture of me. My friend Sam was in the exact same sad state. He read a report from the Mayo Clinic, this years strand of Avian Flu has a 50% mortality rate. Neither of us were afraid of actually dying but knowing the seriousness of the virus did convince us to seek treatment.

After visiting two hospitals (the first hospital politely refused us due to the high risk nature of the virus) we were given masks and ordered to return to a specialist first thing in the morning. We went back to our apartment and locked ourselves in our room. We spent the rest of the night getting drunk off of sake and watching the movie Outbreak.

The Avian Flu diagnosis ended up be negative (a good thing) but the forced slow down set an interesting reference point in my bucket list journey. While in the waiting room of the hospital, I counted the items I have left on my life list. 23. It occurred to me that I am almost done. The end is nigh!

Prior to my current trip in Japan, I had spent Christmas in Halong Bay in Vietnam. Before that, I was exploring Cambodia. The week before that I was in Laos. The week before that, the Koreas. Before that, the Full Moon party in Thailand. For the past 6 months, I have averaged a new country (and a newly completed bucket list item) every single week. While I may be the CDC’s worst nightmare, I am living my dream.


Resting Buddha in Cambodia


Doorway to Heaven – Cambodia


Inside temple – Cambodia

2014-01-01 00.07.03

View For New Years – Hong Kong


Sunset in Halong Bay – Vietnam

2013-12-25 11.37.23

Morning View in Halong Bay – Vietnam

I started my bucket list three years ago and never imagined the momentum that would build. The (very) early stages of my TV show are falling into place and I am making progress on my second book. More important than that though, is the community that I have been fortunate enough to be a part of. All of you are the fuel that keeps me going. It is cheesy but it is the absolute truth. Your comments, emails and even silent reading are my secret weapon. You keep me positive and constantly moving forward. :-)

Life has no speed limit. I felt artificially restricted by speed limits with classes in school that dragged on at lowest common denominator pace. I felt it again in my professional life at AT&T as the 300,000 person company moved monotonously forward.

I don’t feel restricted anymore. I now move at my own speed. Sometimes this is no movement at all as I sit silently and reflect. Other times, as in this month, it is as fast as airplanes can take me.

We all have choices about what life story we are going to write. The fun challenge is making choices that result in a story worth reading.

Remaining Bucket List Items (23/150)

The Big Ones

  • Be listed on a patent (This is started but the paperwork is not officially filed yet)
  • Learn to do a standing backflip (I have a plan for this in 2014)
  • Get a six pack (I have failed at this twice now. As such, I have a foolproof but slightly drastic plan for this in 2014)
  • Learn another language (No hablo espanol)
  • Learn an instrument (I am planning on learning the harmonica)
  • Live in the wilderness for a month (This will be my second to last bucket list item. I have a crazy plan for it.)


  • Take a massage class (I am saving this one for when I am in one place for a long time)
  • Learn to play chess well (I’ll be starting this in Q1 of this year)

See the World’s Most Amazing Man Made Things

  • See the Taj Mahal (I am planning a month long India trip that will include this)

See the World’s Most Amazing Natural Things

  • See Mount Everest (I’ll be hiking to basecamp)

Do the World’s Coolest Activities

  • Go to an animal killing and eating ceremony (Spoiler, this is going to be my last item)
  • Go Olympic lugeing
  • Go in the Vomit Comet
  • Go to Air Combat School

Go to the World’s Biggest Events

  • Go to the World Cup (This is mostly locked down and coming up!)
  • Go to the Opening Ceremony at the Winter Olympics (This is mostly locked down and coming up!)
  • Go to the Tour De France

Go to the World’s Greatest Parties

  • Go to Roskilde Festival (This is locked down and coming up!)
  • Go to Pamplona Bull Run
  • Go to La Tomatina
  • Go to Oktoberfest

Go to the World’s Greatest Cities

  • Go to Tokyo, Japan (I’ll be there in a week)
  • Go to Dubai, UAE (Saving this for a rainy day)

P.S. Thank you for all of the positive support lately! I really appreciate having all of you in my life. :-p As requested, I’ll be posting the system I use for organizing and completing all of my Life List items very soon.

P.P.S I am running last survey on whether or not to hold an in-person workshop teaching the ideas discussed on this blog. If this interests you, please consider spending 2 minutes giving me your input.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Markus Allen

    Dude… don’t believe everything you read from the first 5 pages of Google results.

    It’s almost all propaganda.

    Bird flu, chicken flu, etc… all scare mongering. VERY few deaths. The CDC admitted this on their website (before they deleted the page).

    Never forget doctors can’t make their BMW payments unless you are sick.

    I haven’t been to a doctor or dentist in decades.

    Life it good!

    • Yeah Dr. Google can sometimes be more dangerous than helpful. In this case it helped prioritize getting checked out. We didn’t want to be patient 0 who accidentally knocks out California.

      Do you have an version of the CDC page?

      • Markus Allen

        I do have that page, Danny…

        Here’s the direct link – just throw it into and search around 2009 for the highest amount – I think it was 400 deaths worldwide… not hundreds of thousands or millions:

        Life is good… but a lot of life is a whopper of a lie for agenda purposes.

  • Katie Helgesen

    I want to play chess with you.

    • I have a sneaking suspicion that you are actually really good at chess…

      • Katie Helgesen

        I dabble. Oscar is way better than me though.

        • That is exactly what a Chessmaster would say…

  • Craig

    I trust you’ll be releasing a video montage of you’re practicing [and landing] the standing back flip?

    • Yeah but I suspect it will be more of a blooper reel than an inspiring montage :-p

      • craig

        we all need at least one of those lol

  • Truly an inspiration, Danny. Bravo on the crazy run to the finish!

    Like you, I’m supposed to build a six pack (of the muscle variety, although a beer version would be much easier), and I’m a little intimidated by it. What are your drastic plans to get there? Any chance you would want to go at it with friend, albeit a virtual one?

    Also, the living in the wilderness item intrigues me. Would you accept any visitors to your currently undisclosed location?

    • Hey bud!

      I’d be open to a friendly collaboration/competition regarding six pack building. Let me finalize plans and get back to you.

      Regarding the living in the wilderness, stay tuned. That is going to be my most ambitious item on the list. I’ll be doing it solo so no visitors :-)

      Cheers Dude!

  • Derek

    Yeah buddy!

    23 left! I can’t wait for the standing back flip– I’ve got some tips for ya ;)

    Great to connect with you in Vietnam and Hong Kong. Glad you escaped that flu. Keep rocking it man. Huge inspiration. You are a genuine and caring person, our conversations had a big influence on me. So thank you for that.

    • Great connecting with you too bud! :-) Looking forward to seeing your massive progress this year.

      Cheers bud! You’ll be hearing more from me whether you like it or not :-p

  • sam

    Wow thats amazing Progress! I have been one of those “silent readers” you talked about. I’ve read a large amount of your posts, very inspiring. Thanks for chronicling your journey and encouraging others to get out and travel, best of luck with the last 23 items!

    • Hey Sam,

      Thanks for desilencing yourself :-) Let me know if I can help support you with your own journey. Cheers bud :-)

  • LOL…I love how you watched OUTBREAK when you were in quarantine for a virus that has a suspected 50% mortality rate.

    There is no question that you are going to complete the entire list. WAY TO GO!

    • Thanks CeCe, I have appreciated your support the whole way through. You have been here spreading your positive vibe since the early days of this. Thank you for being so supportive and amazing!

  • Why not a standing *double* back?

    • WHAT?! Is that real? I need a new list…. :-)

  • Stelian

    You can learn chess by playing against computer.There are a lot of programs for that.You can check and download some of them:

    • Thanks Stelian! I’ll check those resources out.

  • Gorgeous photos! And I hope you’re feeling 100% soon.

    I highly recommend Spanish as a language to learn. It allows you to speak the language in a huge part of the world and is also a useful common language between travelers. Hispanoblantes are also really patient and hard to offend. So when you go to the bakery and order a bag of testicles, it’s all good.

    • >So when you go to the bakery and order a bag of testicles, it’s all good.

      Link to a blog post about that or it doesn’t count :-p

  • Hey Danny, I am really cheering for you to complete your List. Likely the biggest reason I follow your blog is that you present your findings and experiences with humility. You have allowed us to take part in your list with you. Some travel for unique experiences to set themselves apart, but my read is that you do it to bring people together. Best of luck.

    • Thanks Allen. That is my hope! Thanks for giving me a strong indication that it is working. Best of luck on your own journey :-) Let me know if I can help!

  • Lol @ “CDC’s worst nightmare”. Congrats on almost finishing your list (and having more than 50% chance of living)!

    • Its always a good day when you have those two titles going for you. Cheers Deia!

  • Nancy

    Hey Danny

    HK was special thank you, to everyone who was there!

    Go get em Tiger, and there will always be lots more to do and see……

    Luckily for all-false alarm on the avian flu!

    Catchup soon!

    • Avoided the Avian flu but got a hell of another version of the flu. I am still feeling the effects weeks later. Craziness.

      Happy everyone is safe and sound though. Cheers!

  • That is an absolutely fantastic list and it’s amazing that you’ve come so far!
    Btw, Dubai is in uAe, not uSe :)

    Good luck with everything! Keep discovering and having fun!

  • That photo of the Resting Buddha is so beautiful, love the contrast between the grey and the orange. I’m glad you don’t have the flu, and well done for making so much progress on your list :) Not much left at all!

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