Blog

[#54 Lesson] Do Things for Your Own Reasons

[#54 Lesson] Do Things for Your Own Reasons

BUCKET LIST, LESSON
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #54 Run with the Bulls in Spain. The San Fermin Festival in Pamplona is known around the world by millions. Just as a flipped coin has two equally weighted outcomes, it would appear that 50% of people think that the festival is an incredible experience, while the other 50% think it is despicable. Unfortunately, my ex-girlfriend Sarah, her mother and the loud-mouthed English holidaymaker on the airplane were part of the latter 50%. I never tried to impose my beliefs on any of them, but they did their best to bring shame to those very beliefs. I wasn’t doing it for them, and I didn’t need their approval, but their disapproval made it tough on me. It took a lot of resolve…
Read More
#54 Run with the Bulls in Spain: Part 2

#54 Run with the Bulls in Spain: Part 2

BUCKET LIST, TRAVEL
This bucket list item was completed on 8th July 2017 in Pamplona, Spain. This post continues on from the story in #54 Run with the Bulls in Spain: Part 1. I woke up around 6 am and the atmosphere had not changed much, compared to 2 am. There were still thousands of people running around the city, singing, dancing and drinking. In fact, I think there were probably more people as they had woken up early to get to the course. The course is well defined and is either blocked off by wooden fences or has buildings on either side. The run starts at 8 am but people begin to make their way to the course as early as 6 am. It took me a minute to wake up and…
Read More
#54 Run with the Bulls in Spain: Part 1

#54 Run with the Bulls in Spain: Part 1

BUCKET LIST, TRAVEL
In January 2017, my girlfriend at the time, Sarah, and I were living in New Zealand. We were experiencing the worst summer New Zealand had seen for several years and were not looking forward to winter. Our solution to the problem was to spend the winter months in the UK and spend some time travelling around Europe. We quickly decided on dates and booked our plane tickets. Once our dates were confirmed I pulled out my bucket list to see if I would be able to cross off some items while travelling. One of the main things I had been wanting to do for a long time was to experience the San Fermin Festival in Pamplona, Spain and run with the bulls. This event draws thousands of participants and spectators…
Read More
[#63 Lesson] Passion Among Sports Fans

[#63 Lesson] Passion Among Sports Fans

BUCKET LIST, LESSON
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #63 Attend a European Soccer Match. This adventure, to watch Newcastle play, was eye-opening. Nothing serious happened with the fans during the game, but Craig and Jon’s stories about previous games had shocked me. In Canada, hockey is everything, and we are a very passionate nation. If we don’t win the gold medal at the Olympics, the whole country goes into depression for the next month. Fighting is also commonplace in the sport, though it is confined to the ice surface. Players fight all the time in hockey, but it is incredibly rare for the passion among fans to cause them to fight. This is what sets hockey fans and European football fans apart in my opinion. This led me to think…
Read More
#63 Attend a European Soccer Match

#63 Attend a European Soccer Match

BUCKET LIST, TRAVEL
This bucket list item was completed on 15th October 2016 in Newcastle, England, UK. This story continues from where #69 Go to Stonehenge left off. After spending four days in the Scottish Highlands, it was time to start making my way back down to Newcastle. My friend, Craig, offered me a place to stay in his home with his wife, two kids and two dogs. Craig is a Geordie through and through and was excited to show me around his city. He took me by the Tyne Bridge, which out-of-towners says looks like a small version of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. I think this annoys some Geordies, but Craig laughs about it. We spent a bit of time down at the beach in Tynemouth and returned there later one night…
Read More
[#69 Lesson] Marvel at Engineering Capabilities

[#69 Lesson] Marvel at Engineering Capabilities

BUCKET LIST, LESSON
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #69 Go to Stonehenge. As an engineer, I practice this almost daily. I constantly find myself stopping and looking at things to figure out how they were built or how they work. This is common with all of my engineering friends; we can’t help ourselves. I commonly refer to us as an engiNERD because our habits appear nerdy to the rest of our friends. I found the history behind Stonehenge fascinating. For centuries, modern humans could not explain how the site was built. Eventually, we managed to figure it out with our advanced technology. Today, we know when it was built, where the stones came from, how they erected the stones and many more facts about the site. It still remains a…
Read More
#69 Go to Stonehenge

#69 Go to Stonehenge

BUCKET LIST, TRAVEL
This bucket list item was completed on 5th October 2016 in Salisbury, England, UK. This story continues from where #77 Get a Picture with a Buckingham Palace Guard left off. The following day, I rented a car and left London on a 10-day road trip that would have me ending in Newcastle. I began heading west and had Stonehenge in my sights. Ever since I first heard about Stonehenge, when I was a kid, I wanted to visit the site. Even at a young age, I loved engineering marvels, so it is no surprise that I became an engineer. Stonehenge is only a couple of hours from London, so I made it there not long after mid-morning. I was expecting to arrive at a parking lot and then walk up,…
Read More
[#77 Lesson] Sometimes Life Isn’t Like the Movies

[#77 Lesson] Sometimes Life Isn’t Like the Movies

BUCKET LIST, LESSON, TRAVEL
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #77 Get a Picture with a Buckingham Palace Guard. I am embarrassed to admit that I honestly thought that I was going to be able to make faces at a Buckingham Palace guard. I am abundantly aware that Hollywood dramatises almost everything, but I thought this one was different. I had seen it in so many movies that I thought it was actually possible to achieve. While you can get close to the guards, you cannot get close enough to make faces at them. And if you do make faces at them, chances are it will end up with you in the hospital. I was glad that I had Jackie to tell me that this was unrealistic. At least that prepared me…
Read More
#77 Get a Picture with a Buckingham Palace Guard

#77 Get a Picture with a Buckingham Palace Guard

BUCKET LIST, TRAVEL
This bucket list item was completed on 4th October 2016 in London, England, UK. This story continues from where #78 Make a Call form a London Phone Booth left off. Over a few pints, Jackie shared with me the harsh truth, that I was not going to get a photo of me making faces at a Buckingham Palace guard. I heeded Jackie’s advice and made my way to the Tower of London instead. Jackie claimed that the same guards were positioned at the Tower of London and I would probably have more luck getting a photo. I arrived outside the Tower of London at 8:30 am. This gave me time to grab some breakfast and take some photos of the surrounding area in the beautiful morning light. Tower of London…
Read More
[#78 Lesson] Stay in Touch

[#78 Lesson] Stay in Touch

BUCKET LIST, LESSON, TRAVEL
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #78 Make a Call form a London Phone Booth. This was a pretty simple bucket list item to achieve, it was just a phone call to my parents. As I have said before though, there is a life lesson in all of these. No matter whether they are easy or hard. This one taught me how easy it is to stay in touch. And also, the importance of staying in touch. My dad was excited to receive the call and it was good to update him on the next leg of my journey. As I grew up, and began to start travelling on my own, my parents and I developed a rule – No News is Good News. Back then, the only…
Read More