I’m Dying.

I’m going to die.

One day.

These are my fathers ashes, suspended in crystal.

These are my father’s ashes, suspended in crystal.

Perhaps today.

Perhaps not.

I put together a list of things I want to do ASAP!

Here’s some mood music to listen to while you read, click the play arrow.

Memento Mori, it’s Latin for Remember that you will die. A Memento Mori is an artistic or symbolic reminder of the inevitability of death.  I keep my fathers ashes on display at my house.  My friends’ get a kick out of the jokes I tell about how he died.  A buddy asked and another friend said that he must have fallen into a gum-ball machine!  The ashes are in a crystal sphere. Under the right circumstances, I can see how that story might make sense!

I wrote this list out in order to keep track of things I need to get done before I reach deaths door.  I am glad to give you any info or insight on anything I have done, country I have lived in, or goal that I’ve achieved, if you are planning on doing anything similar.  More importantly, I am asking for info from you to help me achieve my goals.  Do you have any info or experience to share?

What I need to get done:

Right now, I’m considering a move to either Beijing or Shanghai China. Here are a few things that popped up on my radar!

*  Happy Magic Watercube! Beijing, China

* Experience Holi, in India!

* Put together a team for Tough Mudder http://toughmudder.com , the Rugged Maniac http://www.ruggedmaniac.com and/or Spartan Race

* Climb Mountains:

Climbed Mt. Fuji, Honshu Island, Japan.

* Spend time camping. 

No electricity, just a tent, books, and time to spend alone with my thoughts.

I spent 5 weeks on a mountain in San Sebastian, Spain.

* Skydiving

* Cliff Diving

Did that a few times in Hawai’i.  It’s probably the most exhilarating RUSH I’ve ever had!

* Swim in waterfalls:

Swam in: The Niagara Falls, NY and Canada.

Want to visit:

Angel Falls in Venezuela.

Ouzoud Falls in Morocco.

Wli Falls in Ghana.

* Excel at Blacksmithing / Bladesmithing , it’s an ongoing process. I have made several great pieces so far.

RR spike knife and sheath

* Be a paid model.  As in advertise something and be paid to look good doing it.

* Stalk, Kill, and Eat an animal that is at least twice as big as I am.  Once with a rifle, once with a spear or machete.

BONUS: Make some sort of trophy from its bones, antlers, teeth, or claws!

* Live on all seven continents:

Africa: I’m looking at, but not limited to Ghana, Morocco, and Egypt.

Antarctica: I want to fish salmon or perhaps hunt in the tundra.

Asia: I want to go to China.  I am looking at but not limited to Shanghai.  I’ve lived in Malaysia, Japan, Thailand, Fiji, & Singapore.

Australia:  I loved life in Sydney, I may be going back.

Europe: England, Spain, and France are some of my favorite places to enjoy.

North America: Mexico is where I honed my “haggling” skills, bargain hunting in the markets and street stalls.

South America: I have my eye on Brazil!

If you haven’t taken the time to get your Bucket List together and make a plan GET STARTED.  Because what I forgot to tell you in the beginning is that, you’re going to die too!

To read more on Philosophy, click here. To read more on Life Skills, click here.  To read more on World Travel, click here.


  1. Angela

    Did my brief conversation with you the other day spark the move on this? I know you already had your bucket list but just wondering did it push you to write on it..?


    • YusefWateef

      Our conversation prompted me to make my Bucket List something I shared. I try to think about Death (capital “D” intended) daily. Every few years I re-read The Hagakure, a book written by Yamamoto Tsunetomo, who was a Samurai in the early 1700s. He speaks at length about how as well as why a man should view his own death and suffering in his minds-eye, purposefully and daily. Tsunetomo has either given me a fairly complex philosophy that I arrogantly believe that I can grasp, or a simple philosophy that I am overcomplicating. Throughout my life I’ve grappled with both possibilities. The quintessential heart of the book is best summed up in this paragraph:

      “Meditation on inevitable death should be performed daily. Every day when one’s body and mind are at peace, one should meditate upon being ripped apart by arrows, rifles, spears and swords, being carried away by surging waves, being thrown into the midst of a great fire, being struck by lightning, being shaken to death by a great earthquake, falling from thousand-foot cliffs, dying of disease or committing seppuku at the death of one’s master. And every day without fail one should consider himself as dead.”

      You can read it all here -> http://judoinfo.com/pdf/hagakure.pdf


  2. Angela Grant

    Hi Yusef , as I listened to the music, I kept thinking of my college days in a sorority. Each yeay the black sororities and fraternities would put on a benefit performance and many of the Frats would hum this tone…so sweet…yet so haunting. -Angela


  3. ~Carol

    Love it! I have a long list, but refer to it as my Dreams List… They run the gamut of things I’d like to accomplish, experience; places I’d like to see, live, visit; activities I’d like to undertake; and I celebrate the milestones as I accomplish them.They truly make me feel alive, and so I live in gratitude for this beautiful existence I have co-created. I focus more on life, living, AND the living, and share my zest with everyone I encounter. I’ve achieved a few on your list, so feel free to PM about any one of them. Have you considered adding The Amazing Race, Ididarod, Vic Falls, and Iguacu Falls? How about spending time in the Amazon, which you can do when you visit Brazil? I’ve also done two marathons, and would like to do Ironman. Suggestions on that welcomed.


  4. Sonjia "Lioness" Mackey

    Do you have a choice between living in Bejing or Shanghai? What would make you lean more towards one than the other? I’ve been to both. Only in Shanghai for a few days. In Beijing for several weeks (mostly work, but several weekends for sightseeing). Also have gone to Hong Kong, Chengdu, Macau, Zhangjiajie, and Xi’an expressly for sight-seeing.

    In actuality, though you may be the type to steer clear of ‘touristy’ sights, much of Beijing and Shanghai IS touristy sights: the Great Wall, Tiananmen Square, the Forbidden City, all the temples & palaces & museums & famous Buddhas, the Bund, the night markets (make sure you do Wangfujing Snack Street in Beijing – you can eat everything from gecko to spider to dog)! See a martial arts show & a Chinese opera (not at all like American opera; think Kabuki actors). Eat the Peking Duck – Beijing’s specialty. Just seeing China’s most proud possessions will take awhile. So go on & get the touristy things out of the way if you’ve never been to China before.

    After you’ve done that, you can start to explore China’s lesser-known spots. Xi’an is where the Terracotta Warriors are – definitely a site to behold. Macau is a ferry ride from Hong Kong – home to the Guinness-Record holding highest commercial bungee jump I did. Hong Kong is of course, a major cosmpolitan city. So much to see & do there – I can give you suggestions when you decide to visit. Chengdu is famous for spicy ‘hot-pot’ food…and pandas. It’s probably the only place in the world that you can actually hold a live baby panda cub – for a price! But that’s a photo shot you won’t see many Nomads with, unlike the tigers in Thailand which almost everyone (including me) seems to have!

    Zhangjiajie is new on the map, but has been gaining major ground since it’s scenery was featured in the movie “Avatar.” The big draw here is the natural scenery – their version of the Grand Canyon, waterfalls, caves, mountains, etc. The longest cable ride car in the world is here (over a 30 minute ride from street level up into the mountains). Also a sight called the “Gateway to Heaven” – a mountainous structure with a big hole that a plane can & has fit through – but you have to climb 1000 steps to reach it! LOL. The “Walk of Death” is also here – a glass plank walk along the side of the mountains. Lots of exciting things – don’t miss it!

    That’s all the places I’ve been to in China, but I still want to go back to do other things, like a cruise on the Yangtze River. China is huge & you’ll have plenty to keep you busy, but of course, other places surround it that are easily accessible, like Japan and Korea, both of which I have been to as well. Was supposed to be on a Nomadness trip to Tokyo this week, but alas, work demands took precedence!

    I do love spas (just came back yesterday from the Chocolate Spa in Hershey, Pennsylvania). And I probably have at least 10 more spa reviews I need to add to my spa list on my blog site! I need to get back to Thailand – want to do lantern festival, and get a massage at the woman’s correctional institution in Chiang Mai, LOL. So I will definitely put your suggestion to visit the “King and I” spa on my list of spas to visit!

    I envy your move to China…you’ll have a great time! Let me know if you have any questions!


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