I wrote my ‘Big Bad To-Do List of Awesomeness’ 6 months ago (which you can find here). At that point I had thought I would be back in Australia by now. I’m not, and somewhere between the ups and downs of ‘holy-shit-I’m-still-here’, and the recent passing of my 20th birthday, I’ve started to think that maybe it’s time to review my to-do list and turn it into more of a Bucket List. As one of my friends said, I’m now in my 30th decade of life, and while I may never live down the title ‘baby’ in my friendship circles (two different groups of friends on two different continents and somehow the baby of both), whether or not I like it, I’m growing up. I mean seriously, show me the Wiggles of today and I can only name one (does it mean they’ll never again sing ‘Wake Up Jeff’? ).
So basically, I’m caught up in the confusing feeling of suddenly realising that I’m 3 years out of high school, my little brother graduates this year and next year I’ll graduate uni. Now that’s scary. Even scarier? My Mum (and a ‘father figure’) took it upon themselves to joke about grandkids on my birthday. Thanks for that guys. Seriously, just what I needed. As if the fact I’m no longer a teen wasn’t freaking me out enough.
And that brings me to the Bucket List. I’ve given it some thought and here it is.
- Continue learning to snowboard and how to play the piano.
- Achieve a reasonable level of fluency in four languages other than English. (Japanese, German, Spanish and Tagalog).
- See the Northern Lights. And the Southern Lights as well.
- Swim with whale sharks.
- Learn to surf (because as I’ve learnt, it’s expected that all Aussies know how to surf).
- Publish a book.
- Go on Safari in Africa.
- Road trip around Australia.
- Ride the Trans-Siberean Railway.
- Attend the Dawn Service at ANZAC cove.
- Travel to Brazil during Carnaval.
- Go to a Lantern Festival.
- Be in Japan for New Years and go to the Snow Festival as well.
- Go back to the Philippines and visit Lola Panning, Lolo and Aunty Linda’s graves.
- Invade a Swiss Chocolate Factory.
Well there it is. It’s a list that will continue to grow and change as I do, but I think that’s the point, don’t you? And there was something else I found when I was looking back over my To-Do list. In all honestly I’d forgotten about this.
Dear future me, six months from now remember these things about Australia. They’re just some of reasons why you’ll have to come back.
- Remember the way that when you’re in your home town you can stand on a hill on one side of the town see across to the farms. Remember how dry they look in summer, the yellow of the canola and the green of the wheat when they’re growing, and the mist that covers them in winter. Remember the leaky roof of your holiday workplace and how we always joke that one day the whole place will fall down. Remember the high school and the friends you made there. Remember your love for your home town and your family who lives there.
- Remember Fremantle. Remember the pizzas, the fish & chips, the cheesecakes and the chai lattes. Remember walking down to the beach at night to watch the blackness of the ocean. Remember how hard you’d try to not get splashed. Remember the weekend trips to the markets and coming back overloaded with fresh fruit and veg. Remember your uni friends, and everything they’ve taught you; the peduncles connect the cerebellum to the brain stem, cipote and chichi mean different things depending on if you’re in Spain or Latin America and the Malaysian food lover stereotype is not misplaced.
- Remember your pets. Your cat won’t have missed you at all, but your dog will have.
…Oops… But now that I’m reading this I realise that there’re two more things I should add to this list.
4. Remember that just because you’ll leave Europe doesn’t mean that you can’t go back. Remember your erasmus family and how your newfound love for Europe sprouts from all the good times you had with them. Remember that you can always see them again, no matter how far away Australia is.
5. Remember that this time, you really do have to go home because your truly amazing family and friends have waited for you long enough. Remember that being this far away for such a long time has taught you just how important Australia is to you, because it’s where they are.
Okay, and I guess there’s one thing left to add to the Bucket List too.
16. Find my ‘One’, get married and have kids.
So that I can terrorise them the way my Mum terrorises me and so they can meet all the amazing (and often strange) people who make my world the wonderful place it is.
Okay, okay and so I can justify reacquainting myself with the Wiggles, before Anthony retires too. But at least the kids won’t be tempted to wake me up by leaping onto the bed screaming, ‘Wake up Jeff!’ 15 years late, but for what it’s worth, sorry Tatay ^^;