For many years, I have travelled around the world, usually for business. This has given me the opportunity to cross a lot of countries of the list – yet without seeing much of them, or feeling and experiencing the local cultures. Business trips are just business trips and industrial tourism isn’t what I was looking for.
In the meantime, I am a dreamer. There are a lot of things that I would like to do, without necessarily executing the dreams. These dreams are organized on this Bucket List. A list of activities that I would like to do and achievements to be accomplished. Many of these demand preparation, effort and training. Some demand mainly deep pockets and a lot of time. Others are just irrealistic. But that doesn’t mean that I can’t dream of it, does it?
Over time, hopefully fast but always too slow, each activity will be expanded. What do I need to do in terms of training and practicing, how to get there, which materials are needed. This is how the site expands. I invite anybody to make a bucketlist, share it and live it.
My bucket list is categorized in different disciplines: multisports, hiking & trailrunning, cycling and climbing.
One of my biggest wishes is to perform a triatlon – or multiple. The full distance and preferably The Triatlon: Ironman on Hawaii. 3800 meter of open ocean swimming, 180 kilometers of cycling and a full marathon. In one event. Ultimate endurance sports.
I’ve done a fair amount of hiking, which allows me to cross off 2 major hikes: the Annapurna Circuit in Nepal and the Tour du Mont Blanc in Europe. But many are still open:
Tour around Jungfrau (Switzerland). It isn’t an official route, but it’s beautiful.
Tour around the Matterhorn. Same story. No official route, yet beautiful.
Haute Route (high road) from Chamonix to Zermatt
Pacific Crest Trail: from Mexico to Canada, along the westcoast (well, through the mountains) in the US
Appalachian Trail: long distance hike through the Appalachian mountains on the east side of the US.
GR5, the expanded version from the Dutch province of Zeeland, through Belgium, Luxemburg and the French east side of the country, through the mountains until Nice.
Great Himalayan Trail: East to West through the Nepalese Himalaya
This list isn’t exhaustive – there is much more…
My first trailrunning idea was to complete the Marathon des Sables. An idea, as I haven’t performed any action towards actually doing it. It’s a multi-day event through the Sahara desert (Sable means sand). So obviously the route takes you through sand and rocks. Each day, the distance exceeds the marathon-mark. I’ve completed a marathon before, and I’ve been trailrunning. Both in training (I live near some hilly woods) and organized competition. Trailrunning is a very different experience compared to normal running. It’s much more intense and varied.
There are many other trailruns that I’d like to do. The Ultra Trail du Mont Blanc. 168km and 10.000 altitude meters – usually done by the top athletes in less then 21 hours. Astonishing. Unfortunately, due to the popularity you need first to qualify yourself by proving experience over the year to make sure that the competition is tough enough and only the best compete in this trail.
Other cool trails: Tour des Géants (Italy), over 300km through the Alps. The Jungfrau Marathon, which is largely over paved roads. The Badwater marathon, the Ledville 100 and many more. As trailrunning has gained popularity, more trail events are being organized.
Being Dutch, cycling is in my blood. I’ve been cycling for as long as I can remember – we typically teach kids to ride a bicycle when they are 2 years old and can ride a bicycle without support wheels at the age of 4. I grew up in a midsize city in the Netherlands and had multiple newspaper rounds. Obviously by bicycle – it gave me a great edge in fitness both in walking and cycling. Newspapers back then were heavy and the routes were long – which meant I got excercise 6 days a week, 2 hours per day without counting any other physical activities.
Summer was always very motivating. It is the time that the Tour de France is on the television. After each stage, I would take my bicycle (a mountainbike) and I would head for the hills and the woods. Nowadays, with a more hectic live of working and family, I have a hybrid/race bicycle. I use it mainly in Zwift, as this allows me to just hop on and off in case there is some assistance needed for the kids. It also allows me to ride in the evening hours, which in winter isn’t the best thing to do on the roads – even when living in The Netherlands.
In the summer time, I usually prefer running over cycling. But cycling is great – it let’s you cover a larger distance in shorter time and you are more autonomous. After all, the penalty for taking luggage with you is much smaller compared with running. Most of my dreams in the cycling category are like: never-ever.
But there is a way to combine this with family life, to a certain extent. After all, we can go on holiday by bicycle (which we’ve done in the past).
1. Malmö – North Cape.
2. Alps – a round trip over the biggest Alp mountain passes. Through France, Italy, Switzerland and Austria.
3. Iceland Circle. Crazy! But cool!
4. North-South from Alaska to the Mexican border
5. East West along the Canadian border, from New York to Seattle or Vancouver
6. Circumreference Australia. Yes, that’s a long trip.
7. Chile, North-south through the Andes, the Atacama and into Patagonia.
Most of these are more expedition-like, but a man can dream…
In my late teens, you could find me in the indoor climbing facilities in Arnhem (Netherlannds). With getting older and bearing more responsibilities, this was very tough to combine with family life. Although this is an excuse – I realize that. I could have done it, if I wanted it more badly. But I couldn’t find the motivation to find climbing partners over and over again. Most people don’t last long and have challenging agenda’s. I climbed 5 days a week, from 7pm till 11 pm. Besides my desire to climb long hours, there is also the need to match with your climbing partner. The last climbing partner I had was a 50kg-woman. When climbing an 8A-route and the inevitability of failing sometimes, this is a mismatch: you will fall when you fail to reach the top. With my weight of about 80kg I felt very unsafe at times.
In current times I consider certain climbing sports to be too dangerous. But still, I would like to reach all 4000 meter -plus peaks in the European Alps, the Kilimanjaro, Mount Vinson, Aconcagua and Mount Denali. Everest isn’t on the list. I’ve been in Nepal before and discovered that I have more fun and satisfaction with making long hikes, rather than taking extremely dangerous endeavours. Not that the other climbs wouldn’t be dangerous at times – but there is a giant risk coming with altitude and certainly above 7000 meters. So I would rather spend my limited resources (money and time) on other things, rather than climbing the highest mountains of Nepal.
This list will be made more specific over time – including a methodology and a point system per activity, to categorize and rank the accomplishments.