Thursday, April 9, 2015

Things NOT experienced while travelling - and not sure I want to...

The only dolphin swim I'd consider:
snorkeling around  wild ones in the ocean.
It seems everybody has a "bucket list" of travel destinations or experiences these days.

Well, this is my "reverse" bucket list. It's a list of all the things I have NOT done while travelling - and I'm actually quite happy to keep it that way.

Whether for reasons of hygiene, fear, safety, ethics, or concern for the environment, these are experiences I'd not include on a bucket list of things to do, nor would I probably ever add them.

1. Fish foot massage in Thailand. I had the opportunity to experience this, had I really wanted to, when I visited Thailand. But the thought of sticking my feet into waters where countless others had done so, in order to have fish nibble at my feet, chewing any dead skin off, really does not appeal to me. I'll stick to reflexology, Thai, or aromatherapy massages, thank you.

2. Bungee jumping. Had the chance to do this on the bridge that spans the Zambezi River gorge between Zambia and Zimbabwe. I decided to take my chances whitewater rafting (I did almost drown, but that's another story). I hate heights. Terrified of them. Plus, with my history of lower back injuries and issues, bungee jumping anywhere would just not be safe.

3. Dolphin swims. I should clarify this. I have done snorkeling with dolphins - wild spinner dolphins in the Pacific Ocean, off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii. No contact is allowed, and respect is the watchword. This experience is similar to watching gorillas in central Africa. What I will not do is the dolphin swims sponsored by hotels in places like Mexico, Hawaii, etc. These dolphins are captive dolphins, kept safe from human infectious diseases through the use of anti-biotics. You get in a pool and can touch them, play with them, etc. Not for me, thanks.

4. Climbing. Anything. Again, I don't like heights. I don't intend to take up rock-climbing anytime soon. Or ice-climbing. I won't even consider a trip up Mount Kilimanjaro, which does not involve any technical climbing skills. However, it does require a fitness level that is probably beyond my reach at this point in my life. Besides, there are other experiences I'd rather in Africa that involve paddling as opposed to "ped-ling."

5. Zip Lining. See Numbers 2 and 4, above. Don't like heights. Back issues. Safety concerns. 'Nuff said. I have done the TreeTrek in Whistler offered by ZipTrek Ecotours. That was enough of a stretch for me, given my acrophobia.

Treetrek, yes; ziptrek, no thanks.
6. Whitewater kayaking. Whoa - I bet that brought you up, fast. You're probably thinking, "What the hey...?" After all, this blog post is partially about paddling, right?  But while I've done plenty of whitewater rafting (as a guide once said, "all thrill, no skill"), plenty of kayak touring, and lots of canoeing, I have ZERO experience with whitewater kayaking. Complicating the issue is the fact I've had shoulder issues the past several years; although I can paddle flatwater, some moving water and on the ocean, the strong, quick moves necessary to survive Class IV whitewater rapids in a kayak are beyond me. Still love watching it, though.

7. Parasailing. If you'd read the list above, you probably have no trouble figuring this one out.

8. Sky diving. Do I really need to explain?

9. Eating stuff that's TOO weird. I have eaten some weird stuff. But even I draw the line at what I consider to be really gross stuff like balut, sheep's brains, raw seal blubber - and any kind of botanicals (see, ayahuasca) that are going to mess with my brain's synapses. Anything weirder than the stuff described in a previous blog post, I'll leave for Andrew Zimmern.

10. Downhill skiing. Bad knees. Bad back. No experience at all in this activity. Probably not something I want to try to add to my list of travel experiences at this point in my life. I'll go cross-country skiing or hang back at the apres-ski in the hot tub, thank you.

Riding down Thailand's Chao Phraya River on a rice barge: 
one of the items scratched off my travel bucket list.

Now, even though I won't be doing anything list above, I'm still left with lots of things on my to-do bucket list.

So - what's on your anti-bucket list?

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