Five Things I Want to Experience by 2015

Five things I want
Guinness out of a bottle that’s been transported to Australia. Sloppy, but still good

If one doesn’t talk about a thing, it has never happened. It is simply expression that gives reality to things.” ~ Oscar Wilde, The Picture of Dorian Gray

You’ve got things you want to accomplish right? Things in the back of your mind that one day you’d like to achieve? Well, perhaps unsurprisingly, I do too, and one way I follow my dreams is to write them down, as expression “gives reality to things”. I’m also keen to set a date on mine, to check back and see how I went. So without further ado, here’s five things I want to experience by the end of 2015:

Drink a Guinness in Ireland (preferably at the Guinness factory)

Not everyone’s mug of choice, but I’ve been drinking the stuff for about twenty years now and I hear it’s vastly different at the source (go on, smugly tell me how good it is). I’ve had quite a few in England but I’m sure it’s not the same. In fact, I’ve never been to Ireland at all, and while this may sound like a small feat, it’s certainly not to me! I will be smiling and dancing (hopefully not staggering) when I achieve this and I’ll be blogging about it too.

Follow the Way of St James

Ooooo, I said it. Definitely no small feat, particularly when you have a partner that’s not much of a walker and a soon-to-be four-year-old, Olin, who would rather sit on swings and read books than embark on an epic slog across an entire country (can’t blame him there). I’ve been dreaming about this one for years.

I don’t consider myself religious, I just love history, culture and Spain, and I can’t wait to embark on this historic pilgrimage that’s become one of the most popular walks in the world. Friends of ours just did it (well done Rudi and Claps!), which has inspired me even more.

Five things I want
Lake Plimsoll, Western Tasmania

Explore more of Tasmania – the island of off-the-beaten-path adventures

Ahh, what a place this small(ish) island is. If you haven’t yet been there, book a ticket right now. Now! Okay, perhaps when it’s more convenient. Anyway, for me this is a haunting place. Ghost towns, dark history, wild and beautiful, beautiful places, all with fantastic food and some of the best whisky in the world (apparently). I’m not much of a whisky connoisseur, but I’m keen to explore this further. I have an interesting friend who’s based down there and since I’ll be embarking on a lengthy sojourn overseas early/mid next year, I’ll be returning to ‘Tassie’, as it’s colloquially called, very soon. Stay tuned….

Visit the Grave of Eric Arthur Blair

I know this might sound silly, visiting the resting place of someone I’ve never known, but Eric Arthur Blair – best known by his pen name of George Orwell – has been one of the few people in this world that has really inspired me. I thought he talked a lot of sense in his relatively short life and I love his writing style. He really wrote from experience and after reading Down and Out in Paris and London, I’ve never looked at restaurants the same. I’ve also never been to Oxford, England (his final resting place) and from what I hear it’s a wonderful spot to explore.

Have a coffee in a ‘good’ café in Italy

Yeah I know, whatever right? Well for me this will be a wonderful thing, as I’m a barista by night when I’m not writing, I am into my coffee and think I make a pretty decent one. I’ve also never been to Italy (gasp!) and I’ve heard it’s the land of the espresso. I made a cappuccino for someone the other day and they watched me and said “ah, Italian style”. I took this as a compliment.

I also just love people watching and the thought of sipping an espresso in espresso central (preferably by a canal) while gazing upon the bustle of one of the oldest civilised lands, is, at least for me, exciting. Of course I’m going to investigate what exactly is a ‘good’ Italian café beforehand and I’ll blog about this seemingly banal experience too.

Anyway, now that I’ve put my goals out there, what about you? Do you want to step an inch (or two) closer to yours by marking them in print below? Even if it’s just one or two things, no matter how small, I’d love to hear about them.

Disclosure: I drank a bottle of Guinness writing this post for the sake of a photo.

14 thoughts on “Five Things I Want to Experience by 2015”

  1. Good list Andy. I’ve drunk the Guiness in Ireland. All I can say is holy sheet it’s a different drink- heavy with large doses of molasses and the good lord.
    For me I can’t stop dreaming about being in the USA. A land of fantasy – movies,TV, literature and music. Especially New York and California. Also on my list are Tassie (never been), Italy, Greece, Mexico, India and Sri Lanka (which I’ll be ticking off soon). Have fun!

    • Hey Tofu,

      Thought you had! The good lord too hey? I just knew true Guinness had to be a religious experience.
      Yeah, New York would be an amazing spot to visit. So good that you’re going to Sri Lanka soon too. I want to hear all about that! And we’ll have to do a Tassie mission one time!

  2. Inspiring list Andy!!! And, talking about Tassie I have to agree. Everyone should visit this breathtaking island at least once. 1/3 of it is (or at least was when I lived there) protected forest. 1/3!!!! That is an amazing feat!!! I believe you can trek any anger out of any man. And Tassie is a beautiful place for just that. I believe my list begins with having a good think-through on what I want to accomplish. I will be a father to a half-breed Weegie-Beaner in February, so I will have to look at some in-door activities. My list will begin with writing a blog inspired by the Top-Fox Trek-Head himself!

    • Ah, Oyvind, a fellow Tassie evangelist. I wouldn’t have thought anything less. And you’re going to be a pappa to a weegie-beaner! That’s ace news! Wow, you’re going to love it, so good being a dad! Are you guys living in the weegie or the beaner? And I would love to read a blog of yours, you would be great! So good to hear from you old friend. I need some teaching tips off you too for next year.

      Perhaps we can chat about it over a real Guinness, in the Spanish woods, by a Taswegian lake, the grave of Orwell, or in an Italian cafe? Let me know what suits you best…

      • Hi Andy!
        For the moment we live in Weegie. And for the sake of our unborn daughter we will stay here for some time. Looking forward to being a dad like a dog!!!

        And I would love to meet up for a chat old friend! We can sit at the top bar in the guinness tower in Dublin or by the deepest dankiest Taswegian lake. But for some time now it would have to be Europe for me. You let me know if you are heading this way! And I will share from my teaching experiences, and all about what not to do 😉

        • Are you going to work with teaching next year? Best of luck mate! A beautiful profession!! And maybe you can share from your parenting-wisdoms!

          Point is would be awsome to meet up again!

          • My Oyvind! Ah, it all sounds good. I love Europe, and far out brussel sprout you’re going to love being a dad, I reckon you’d be a natural. Certainly some big changes coming, but they’re well worth it.

            And…well…heading to Europe around April next year, for at least a year. Plan is to teach English as a foreign language in Spain and bring my little gang with me. Looks like Seville at the moment, although was tossing up somewhere outside Barcelona and perhaps even Majorca.

            We’ll have to catch up, it’s been ages! I might even get to see papa Oyvind in action!

  3. Great list, Andy. More or less done these, except for Tasmania which I keep telling myself I should do soon. Every traveler experiences things differently, and I think you are doing the right thing by circling back for another look as well as pushing on. Ok if I link to this post in a post I’m putting up tomorrow? I definitely believe you are doing travel right!

    • HI Gary,

      Thanks for the words of encouragement. Yes, you should put Tasmania near the top of your list if you can. I think it’s a very atmospheric place for writers and photographers. It makes me think and feel and reminds me about the wilds things. Sure, feel free to link back here. Great blog you’ve got there too 🙂

      Thanks for stopping in!

  4. A very realistic list (other than the pilgrimage! which is by the way my favourite thing about your travel goals). So, I wanted to recommend this book, being a fellow history lover, William Dalrymple’s From the Holy Mountain, in which he tells the stories of his travels in the footsteps of John Moschos, an early Byzantine saint, who witnessed the decline of Christian empires in the Middle East in the wake of Islam.

    • Hi paper boat sailor,

      Glad you like the list. I think the pilgrimage is realistic too, just requires a little more effort!
      And thank you for the recommendation. I’m interested in early Christianity so I’ll definitely check it out. I’m hoping it’s a good read too 🙂


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