Get To It: The Coolest Daddy Bucket List
New experiences are assets that you really can't put a value on. It's like that first time you get smoked seaside cheddar or the first sip of a New Belgium Brewery Fat Tire. You know your a little closer to something special in life when you are lost for words. That is why I developed The Coolest Daddy Bucket List, but by no means is it restricted to just fathers. Mother's are more than welcome to crush each item on this list as well. There is a huge world out there that needs more explorers. Why not send your kids out there to fill the gaps. Even better why don't you do join them...early on! Here are five.
Trip to Asia or Africa
The Caribbean, that is a nice place...quickly accessible with a litany of English speakers. Europe, flooded with history and geographic diversity similar to the United States. And that is EXACTLY why they should not be on the top of your list for your kids to travel to. They are going to get barraged with the western/European culture all throughout school, you might as well not spoil them with the spoiler they'll be alerted with formally in school. Give your child and yourself a higher level of enrichment that is not so scripted as a Viking Cruise. Take them to Asia and/or Africa.
Africa is the Crown Jewel when it comes to continents. Don't let anybody tell you anything different. Geologically speaking it has some of the oldest rocks (inner geologist coming out...sorry). But wouldn't it be nice to set foot on the land that probably produced your precious metals and gemstones or see the Great Rift Valley?
Anthropologists and human genomic scientist would tell you that we probably owe more appreciation for our existence to the existence of the African continent. So those seeds from our distant African ancestors, what has grown from them? Beautiful cultures that are full of rich customs, communities, and...of course cuisine.
Beautiful cultures that are full of rich customs, communities, and...of course cuisine.
FOOD, ALWAYS ABOUT FOOD
Yes, food! Food is always the must-have for me and what would The Coolest Daddy Bucket List be without something for your palette? It should be for you too. What brings people together more than food or football? After I had some authentic Nigerian Jollof Rice and spicy chicken...my taste buds were changed forever. It doesn't take much to go view a food documentary and realize African cuisine is no joke. Which leads me to the other continent on this list Asia, another place with ridiculously tasty food options.
Again, being bias to geology, Asia is the bee's knees. We're talking the Himalayas; the western extent of the ring of fire; limestone cave systems of Indochina; the Tibetan plateau...I could create a list longer than a child's Christmas list highlighting all the amazing geologic attractions of Asia. I'm not...but trust me when I say, you can throw a rock outside a major city and it will likely land on something interesting. Interesting is great for children.
You're going to want food in Asia. India and China are two extremely tasty powerhouses, delivering culinary uppercuts. Rajistan, Punjab, Gurijat and so much more Indian states have awesome food! The number of flavor profiles you can get in just one dish is mind-blowing. In China, you have Sichuan and Yunnan style food that are so so tasty. Spicy too, which is always good for the sinuses. I may be speaking more for myself than for my kids, so forgive me in advance. However no matter what, seeing components of Asian culture would be awesome for your children. Show them something that will take their breath away and burn wonderful images into their memory banks.
Asia and Africa folks...make it happen
TAKE A DIVE
Wowsers! Am I going a little too far? Before High school? Skydiving? Yeah, that's right. Skydiving, but not in the U.S. Your kid could do it in the U.S. but would have to be 18 years of age. Why, because we are a litigation-happy society and any harm brought to a minor would be met with the Wrath of Khan from the skydiving business. So, to remedy this, go abroad, where they're a little less sue happy. The youngest age I saw available is 12 for a tandem jump. I am pretty sure Ya-Ya would be open to going skydiving, maybe even Chief. If not, perhaps a little cousin or something. Before we actually go, I'd be sure to take them to one of those indoor sky zones. Probably multiple times. Getting them familiar with the technique of skydiving in a low-risk environment sounds reasonable.
A NICE VIEW
I've been itching to get back to Iceland and have realized there are skydiving outfitters there. Can you imagine skydiving and seeing glaciers from the sky like that? Given the popularity of action sports cameras, seeing the footage of that descent would be the other bee's knee. I assured my wife that the statistics are pretty low in terms of danger. A lightning strike is more likely than a major accident occurring during a skydive.
So yes, skydive with your kids. Let them see the world from a higher perspective. Get them prepared way before you actually step on a plane so that they are more eager to do it than you are.
Sail a boat
THE HOMIE, HOBIE
Skill Alert, Skill Alert. Sailing a boat is not an intuitive science. Of course, I found this out the hard way in Mexico one year. I was very successful, surprisingly successful in my initial trials of sailing a Hobie Cat in the Dominican Republic during my Honeymoon. I tried it a couple of years later in Playa Del Carmen, Mexico and was embarrassed. Why because I didn't know how to tack (diagonally sail back and forth in headwinds) properly in the headwind. This meant that I got stuck and the rental attendant had to come via jet ski and sail the boat and me back to shore. Moral of the story, learn how to tack.
THIRD TIME'S A CHARM
Success found me when I traveled to Montego Bay, Jamaica. Headwind tacking was done well. Catching the tailwind, check. It was awesome. I redeemed myself. That is why I feel you and your child should learn to sail a boat. The gratification once learning is priceless. Also, it is a great mechanism to experience the trials of failure without high stakes. How so? Well, you can sail a boat on a lake first or in a bay. I have this nack for going head first into things. I don't recommend you do that with your child. Learn how to sail in a low-risk environment, then teach your kid how to sail. Ultimately you want to give them the steering wheel, well in boat's case the rudder. This failure and achievement cycle will help them tremendously as they matriculate towards high school. They will feel more confident about their abilities to figure things out, rather than lean on their baseline intelligence.
Sail a boat, folks. It will pay dividends in other areas.
Fly a plane
Is that the proper airplane sound as it passes by? I'm not sure.
You may see a theme of mastering the operation of vehicles here. Kids are smart and we shouldn't think that they aren't ready for a challenge, especially under adult supervision. If kids can begin to grasp string theory then they should be able to understand the introductory components that make an aircraft tick. Flying a plane usually takes a significant amount of supervised flight time. Why? Because the FAA doesn't like plane crashes. So like most things in life if you want to learn something adequately you need some training wheels. First thing I suspect we will do is get flight simulator time, specifically on a Red Bird. A simulator will lower the learning curve of the actual plane tremendously, especially since they can mimic actual plane models.
SORRY, NOT SO FAST THOUGH
Here is the kicker though, your child most likely won't be able to obtain their pilot license until they are sixteen, so they should use this time as hands-on learning prior to actually applying for the license. Or at least that is the approach I plan to take. This will definitely make their failures less dramatic aka high stakes. Again this is a skill grab. In case there is a zombie apocalypse, you want your kids to hop in a plane and actually be able to fly it.
So if you have a deep interest in getting your pilot's license, bring your kid along. It may open them up to career interests like aeronautical engineering, astrophysics, or simply being a pilot.
Learn to code
Yeah, I know a little of that too. I've dabbled in coding enough to have a basic level understanding of it. The wild thing for me is seeing how quickly a coding language will evolve due to the inefficiencies of its previous version. I can't keep up with all that so I've stayed on the sidelines, but remember... basic level. I am aware of its ever-growing importance to the future of our kids and their academic curriculum. So if you are a millennial parent or the next generation up... learn to code and do it with your kids so it is fun.
Why should you learn it when your kid will? Why do you take showers? To stay fresh playa. Keep your mind fresh alongside your children and it may open you up to opportunities. Bilingual people usually have an upper hand professionally when its paired with an advanced degree. Just imagine where proficient coding abilities will take you.
Code with your young'n folks, code with them.
Remember, there are many things on this list are things one can fail at. Failure is an important experience for your children growing up. It's natural and it needs to be accepted as a possible outcome on the front end of anything new your child may do. A great failing resource they have is ... well, you. I've failed at many things but determined to ultimately succeed at them. I'm failing at things right now as you're reading this now but I will conquer them soon. Just like that sailboat.
Thanks for reading "The Coolest Daddy Bucket List" Pt. 1. The second part will be coming soon so stay tuned. In the meantime, feel free to subscribe and comment on this post or any others you've enjoyed.