Live your dreams – ten special bucket list stories

We are living ever longer. And with the extra time, the list of things we absolutely need to do is also getting longer. Putting together a so-called “bucket list” of life-long wishes both great and small has become a national sport of a kind in recent years, for young and old alike. The following ten people have pursued their dreams. What’s on your bucket list?

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1 – The man whose list keeps getting longer

His bucket list keeps getting longer: for ten years now, Thibaut Schweppes of Thonon-les-Bains has been travelling the world. The 30-year-old Frenchman has been keeping a record of the journey on his blog, Le Tour du Monde de mes Pieds (Around the World on My Feet). His aim is to “take stock, keep memories alive and, at the same time, carry on dreaming”. Thibaut has been pretty much everywhere: from Argentina to Viet Nam, from the United States to New Zealand. Still missing from his itinerary is a major tour of Africa. His speciality is photographs of tourist sites featuring his feet, about which he writes: “One of my favourite remarks during my travels has become, ‘I need to set foot in that place’!”
(Pic: Thibaut Schweppes / www.letourdumondedemespieds.fr)

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2 – The dog that saw 35 cities

New York DJ Neil Rodriguez drew up a bucket list for his dog, Poh, when his faithful companion was diagnosed with cancer. With a list in his pocket comprising places everyone should see in the US, he took off, with a sidecar and an IV drip for Poh’s daily infusions. They were on the road for almost a whole year, covering over 64 000 km and visiting 35 cities. More than 12 000 people followed their adventures on Instagram. Poh passed away peacefully in February 2016. “I felt like this trip was the least I could do for my dog”, said Rodriguez. (Image: Neil Rodriguez)
Hashtag #pohthedogsbigadventure

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3 – The man who rode the rollercoaster one more time – at age 105

There’s no age limit for bucket lists – just ask Jack Reynolds. The Brit got a tattoo at 104, flew in a biplane and, for his 105th birthday, treated himself to a ride on a rollercoaster, thus also setting a new Guinness world record for the oldest such passenger. “It was an excellent experience from start to finish”, he raved when it was over. And he immediately announced the next item on his bucket list: for his 106th birthday he intends to drive a Formula 1 car. (Pic: Dukas)

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4 – The celebrity who dreamed small

Cameron Diaz, Jane Fonda and Bill Clinton are just a few of the prominent figures who have succumbed to bucket list-fever. But what do you do when you are rich and famous and able to make any wish come true? When the former President of the United States was asked about his list, he mentioned three things he would like to do. “Ride a horse through the Gobi Desert to the place in Mongolia where Genghis Khan is said to be buried.” “Climb Kilimanjaro before global warming melts the snow on its peak.” “Travel to Namibia to see the oldest desert in the world.” Of course, said Bill Clinton, that was just his B list. His A list contains just one wish: “I want to see my grandchildren grow up.” That wish has since come true: in 2015 he became a grandfather. (Pic: Dukas)

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5 – The man who learned to fly

Although the images recall the blockbuster Iron Man, they’re actually real: Richard Browning, aged 38, uses a suit he developed himself to take flight. The suit consists of an exoskeleton equipped with six jet engines. The English inventor had been fascinated by the idea for some time before finally making it a reality last year. “I did this for entirely the same reason that you might look at a mountain and decide to climb it – for the journey and the challenge.” (Pic: Richard Browning)

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6 – The woman who fulfilled the final wish of her organ donor

Mason Mudlin of South Dakota, who succumbed to a fatal autoimmune illness at the young age of 27, had a last wish: he wanted to donate his organs. And Justine Komin, a young woman from Wichita, Kansas, was the beneficiary of that wish when she received both of Mudlin’s lungs. She would have died without them. Now 30 years old, Komin has thought up a special way to thank the man who saved her life, even after his death: she has fulfilled one of the wishes on his bucket list. Mudlin had wanted to “drive a race car one day”, and that’s just what Komin did, on the renowned 81 Speedway in Park City, Kansas. (Pic: Justine Komin)

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7 – The man whose leap inspired others

Peachanan Rojwongsuriya chose a special place for his first-ever bungee jump: the Victoria Falls Bridge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. 128 meters in height. Directly below the world-famous Victoria Falls. “I shouldn’t be doing this”, was Rojwongsuriya’s last thought before he took the plunge. It was terrifying, says the 28-year-old Thai visual designer and entrepreneur on BucketListly, a social media website he himself founded. But the feeling afterwards was so fantastic, it was as if all of his cares had dissolved into thin air. “That’s exactly why I do things like this”, says Pete, as he is called, “because I love to be alive, and I want to encourage people to live life mindfully and to the full.” 
(Pic: Pete Rojwongsuriya / www.bucktelistly.com)

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8 – The woman who met her idol

To take a roadtrip through the US, at least two months long. To see the polar lights. To meet a real bear in Canada. To eat a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Nicole Nobs of Winterthur has drawn up a bucket list that is less surprising when you know what her main passion is: she is the founder and editor-in-chief of the lifestyle blog princess.ch, which is mainly devoted to travel and dining. The blog has been online since 2009 – an age, for the internet. Nicole has already achieved one of her greatest goals: to meet Robbie Williams – “and take a picture with him without screaming.” 
(Pic: Nicole Nobs / www.princess.ch)

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9 – The family that turned its bucket list into a business model

What do you do when you are 25 years old and have just sold your app to Snapchat for 54 million? You sell all the rest of your belongings (apart from two cardboard boxes) and set off on a world tour as the "Bucket List Family”. It’s been nearly two years since Garrett Gee embarked on his journey with his wife and two small children. He is documenting it virtually every step of the way on his blog, and over 600 000 people are following the picture-book family on Instagram, where they can see videos and pictures of them swimming with pigs in the Caribbean, hiking in Switzerland and hanging out with giant tortoises in the Galapagos. It’s a source of income for the Gees, who use their Instagram posts to advertise travel products, while each YouTube clip earns money from advertisers. That way, says the American, he hasn’t had to touch the proceeds of the sale of his app yet. More importantly, though, “We love learning how to live with little”, says his wife, Jessica. “And how to store up memories rather than things.” (Pic: Instagram)
www.thebucketlistfamily.com

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10 – The woman who is leading a better life thanks to her bucket list

Laura Lawson felt fat, lonely and ugly. On New Year’s Day 2013, at the age of 23, she decided to change her life. The Scotswoman drew up a list of 333 things she wanted to do, and has checked off more than half of them to date – including “eat an insect”, “go parachuting” and “get married in Las Vegas”. The list has helped her find out “what I want to do with my life”, she writes in her blog. Her story has gone around the world and has encouraged her fans to draw up bucket lists of their own. Her advice to beginners: “You could start small. Try not watching TV for a week. You’ll see how much time you suddenly have to try new things.” (Image: Laura Lawson)
www.completingmybucketlist.co.uk

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