[#31 Lesson] Peer Pressure can be a Good Thing

[#31 Lesson] Peer Pressure can be a Good Thing

BUCKET LIST, LESSON
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #31 Eat Blowfish. When we first went into the restaurant, there was no way that Toby, Maria or Claire were going to try fugu. By the end of it, we had all tried it. We were cracking jokes, having fun and taking silly photos. All thanks to peer pressure. Peer pressure is commonly regarded as a bad thing, but it really depends on the outcome. Peer pressure towards a negative outcome, such as doing drugs, is a bad thing. However, peer pressure towards a positive outcome can be a good thing. Maria took a bit of convincing to eat the fugu but admitted that she was glad she tried it when she had the chance. This goes for all of us. We…
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[#72 Lesson] Try, Try and Try Again

[#72 Lesson] Try, Try and Try Again

BUCKET LIST, LESSON
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #72 Walk on a Glacier. I usually try to avoid diving too deep into the world of clichés, but this title was just too perfect. My first attempt was foiled by a lack of money. My second attempt was due to inclement weather. And even the third attempt was affected by the weather, but I managed to cross this one off the list. There are a few items on the list that I have had one crack at, and failed, but this is the only one that has taken me three attempts. It really is true what they say, the harder it is to achieve something, the more rewarding it becomes when you do achieve it. Perhaps I was just being stubborn…
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[#61 Lesson] Marvel at Human Capabilities

[#61 Lesson] Marvel at Human Capabilities

BUCKET LIST, LESSON
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #61 Watch the Tour de France Live. Just as I described how I Marvel at Engineering Capabilities, I marvel at human capabilities in the same way. I have never been a fan of road cycling, but I love the Tour de France. The reason I love the Tour is because of the feat of endurance that all these athletes put on display for us. For a month straight, they bike all over France, through some grueling stages in the French Alps. This is what I truly love to watch. Endurance athletes have always impressed me. Although I am a fit person, I would not be able to complete many of the endurance races that this world has to offer. I have completed…
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[#27 Lesson] You Don’t Know Until You Go

[#27 Lesson] You Don’t Know Until You Go

BUCKET LIST, LESSON
This life lesson relates to my previous blog #27 Watch a Bullfight. The first time that I heard these words, laid out in that exact order, was from my friend Jesse. He was referring to a surf report that we were trying to decipher. Modern surf reports are very accurate and used by every surfer to figure out whether the drive to the beach is worth it or not. However, they are still based on a computer model that is susceptible to inaccuracies. From Halifax, the nearest break is about 40 minutes away. When the reports are marginal, it becomes a gamble to determine the value of the next 80 minutes of your life. If you don’t think the conditions will be surfable, do something else. Or take the chance…
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[#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…
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[#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…
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[#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…
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[#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…
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[#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…
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[#23 Lesson] Keep Your Wits about Yourself When Travelling

[#23 Lesson] Keep Your Wits about Yourself When Travelling

BUCKET LIST, LESSON, TRAVEL
This life lesson relates to my previous blog post #23 Ride in a Gondola Boat in Venice. In my travels throughout the years I have experienced, and have been told about, many schemes where locals will try to hustle unsuspecting tourists. The sad truth is that you never know when it is going to happen until it is already in the process, or worse, it has already happen and you have been deceived. It doesn’t matter whether you have been travelling your whole life or whether you are on your first overseas adventure, everyone is susceptible to being hustled while travelling. One time when I was travelling in Cuba with my family we were on a tour and walked past a beggar. The beggar first asked where we were from…
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