Someone sent me an email with a list of things they had done on their personal bucket list. Got me thinking that maybe we all have that kind of list, and it does not just include places to stay or hotels.
So, how about a five point list of things you have not done but would like to?
Here is mine:
steppingstones, that's a very ambitious list. I've done two of those. Spent 6 months supervising security of haitian refugees at GITMO in the early 90's. A very long 6 months I should add. Done it...don't need to do it again. Maybe yhour trip will be more like that of Michael and Fredo Corleone pre-Castro. In 1983 as a result of being selected AF NCO of the year in Europe, I got a 1 and half hour ride in the back seat of an F-15 trainer out of Soesterberg while the pilot played against some British aggressors over the North Sea. This episode I found on you tube comes as close to describing my experience as I could even do so myself. This is what you're in for: Steve Are you With Me? - YouTube
Good luck with the list!
Nice! I want to walk the streets of Havana without the glare of the DGI sleuth's or the Committees for the Defense of the Revolution reporting on my moves, where the smell of freedom overcomes decades of Communist rule. Hope that is soon!
I have been a passenger, a back-seater in one USAF jet but that's another story for another time
When I was a Bomb Loader in the Air Force, I got to ride in the back seat of an OV-10 as it dove down over an over and strafed an island in the Philippines, firing rounds with tracer rounds at the island. That was a lot of fun, but I found out later all the pilots had a bet between each other to see who could make their passengers use the air sick bags, or not. I got close, but knew enough to keep my nose close to some air tube that was pumped to the back seat, and that kept me OK. Darn those pilots
tryt -- My pilot, Cannonball, told me that if I "needed to" to just shut off my mike, or go cold mike as he called it. Well, when I started to, let's just say, make some inaudible noises, I remember him telling me in no uncertain terms to go cold mike. Later he told me that the one thing that gets him sick is the sound of someone else. Well, you get the point. I should add, that almost as exciting as the actual ride, was the ejection system training. you go into a training tower, get strapped in, and when you pull the ejection lever, you shoot up along a poll and then slowly descend along the same line, still attached to the poll. Whew!!
tef -- And I wouldn't do it again. But I was much younger and in better physical condition then, and some would say didn't have as much sense. Some would also say I still don't. The best way I can describe it is like going into a long dark tunnel and as you enter it gets completely dark and then gets light as you come out. But when you come out, you don't actually remember going in. But you never forget how tight that g-suit gets! I was more worried about the pilot doing the same thing. Difference was, he had time to prepare for each reckless maneuver since he knew exactly what he was going to do and what to expect. When the flight was over, after being hosed down (soaked) by the fire engines (some kind of tradition when you make your last flight, and this definitely was mine), I just wanted to sleep, while the pilots headed to the club for beers! It was fun, but not again.
That is an amazing U Tube adventure. You should have that experience "Preserved Forever"! That is something, congratulations! Not just for the flight, but the award you deserved to get the flight.
By the way hope to see you soon, and when you get your dates to meet SS in DC, let a few of us know, we might be able to pull off a "Butte" experience!
1) Get back to Egypt and do a Nile cruise to Abu Simbel
2) Jump from a plane (the sport version rather than stealing millions of dollars and ejecting)
3) Visit ancient Mesopotamia and Persia (modern Iraq and Iran) - probably not do-able in my lifetime, and I'm too old to join the military
4) A Rhône river cruise
5) Learn more languages (I might just achieve that one, like #1 and #4).
PS -- I feel extraordinarily lucky esp. considering my background where nothing would have been possible, to have achieved so many things that otherwise would have been on my bucket list. I thank the good ole US of A and my education for that.
I think your jumping from a plane with a million dollars makes more sense than paying someone else to push you our of a plane. Plus if you want to learn Chinese, Lori and can you some tips on a crash course (involves changing your profile) . The Rhone River Cruise is something my wife and I had talked about wanting to do too, and I actually hope we can do that one.
I'm unfortunately totally centered on the things I teach because I love ancient and medieval history so much. I probably should learn Spanish except it is not that useful (except when I was in Spain) because I can read it easily thanks to Latin and Italian. I'd really like to learn Greek (I have a tiny bit of knowledge), Arabic and Farsi (my medieval Islamic history colleague tells me Farsi at least is super easy). The one language I've given up on is Turkish -- it is without any question the hardest language I've ever even learned a few words of -- and can never even remember those few words after asking I'd pronounced them correctly. There is simply no good cognates in Turkish. And even if you know some basic Arabic, most Turks don't speak it.
But I do intend to keep my bucket list going as long as my joints hold up. It's why I am so focused on Egypt. not only because it was the most phenomenal trip of my life,but because I hope to teach a course on ancient Egypt in a year or so. Seeing truly is believing. Since I am also a writer, I cannot imagine writing about a historical place where you have never been.
I'll probably never get to China even though I once taught a comparative course on Medieval European and East Asian history, but because of my budget I have to have reimbursable expenses for business travel and while Europe and the ancient Middle East count, other parts of the world would not.
Alas, I am also a rather honest person, so the million dollars doesn't appeal. But since in my first ever flight when I was 18 I was horrified at the prospect and have since become a bird (almost flapping my wings at takeoff and landing and super relaxed, I could see jumping out of a plane). Alas, what I cannot see if the amount of money it would cost to do so, so maybe those millions might matter.
PS - Just saw Jasper's comment, and alas it has no appeal for me. I'm weird, I'm a historian (and especially of much older history). I've never been to the Caribbean, Hawaii, Bermuda, or Australia/NZ and because I am who I am I don't feel I've lost anything. That is not to say at all that there are wonderful things to see and enjoy in those places. I am certain there are, just probably not for me, both because of my financial situation and my historical specialty.
Fair enough..I kinda figured out you would not be one that would have Australia/New Zealand on your list. I am sure your students have a great respect for you and your enthusiasm as a historian. And I know its not just for the money and living but it is imbred into your person. Your students are lucky to have such a wonderful professor, even though you don't speak fluent turkish yet!!!
Prof, zero surfing..I did a little snorkling in Australia at the Great Barrier Reef and my wife did both snorkling and scuba diving there also. Not much into surfing at all!!!
Overall, New Zealand was one of the most beautiful places I have ever visited. Not a lot of history there but the scenery was incredible.