Merry Christmas Everyone!
I hope you had a great Christmas with family and friends. This year we stayed home and avoided traveling during the busy Christmas holiday. I really hate flying when it is so busy. Driving is a better option, but I’d like to stay for 4-5 days if we’re going to drive for 12 hours. Unfortunately, Mrs. RB40 is too busy at work to take more time off this year. Maybe next year, we’ll go down to visit our family in California again during Christmas.
As for the bucket list, I like to review it around Christmas time because it is the end of the year and we have a few days off. I can go over the list and remove or add some new ones as needed. I didn’t make much progress on my list this year, but that’s life. The bucket list is slow going. Hopefully, 2017 will be better on this front. Okay, I’ll share some Christmas pictures first and then go over my bucket list.
A Relaxing Christmas
Our Christmas was awesome. We asked RB40Jr what we should cook and he said sushi. That’s one of his favorite foods. So we went to the Japanese grocery store and picked up some yellowtail, salmon, and unagi. Then I spent an hour making sushi rice and putting everything together. What do you think? Looks good, right? It was a delicious lunch. Yumm… This kid is so lucky!
For dinner, Mrs. RB40 made Uzbek plov – a hearty central Asia dish of rice, carrots, onions, lamb, and garlic. I like some Siracha sauce on mine to give it some kick. The plov was really good too. Mrs. RB40 was a Peace Corps volunteer in Uzbekistan for 2 years.
She rounded out the weekend feast with waffles and tamales. The tamales were her best yet. Her tamales have improved over the years and she finally got it right. That’s one nice thing about having Christmas at home. We can cook whatever we want. If we have a big family gathering, we’d probably go with the traditional turkey or lamb. This year, we went with an unconventional mix of ethnic food.
Heh heh, I splurged and got some cool LED light sabers for us. Junior also got another Lego set – the AT-ST walker from Star Wars. It’s a Star Wars Christmas for us this year.
Okay, let’s get to the Christmas Bucket List! I started this Christmas tradition in 2013 when I turned 40. I didn’t want to wake up at 65 and start a bucket list then. Life is short so we need to enjoy the journey. We can’t wait until retirement to enjoy life. Check it out.
My Christmas Bucket List
We love to travel. I have been to over 20 countries and savor every memorable experience. We spent a few nights two blocks away from San Marcos in Venice. I drove around New Zealand’s North Island in a camper van. We even stayed at an old temple in Kyoto. Traveling is a ton of fun and we want to do a lot more. Now that RB40Jr is old enough to travel, we want to visit other countries at least once a year.
- Visit Japan again. Japan is so easy to travel around in and the food is awesome.
- Visit China again. China is a huge country and we only saw a tiny slice of it in 2009. We went to Beijing, Xian, and visited the Great Wall at Simatai.
- Visit the UK. We were in London for a few days in 2003 and loved it. We would love to drive around England, Wales, Scotland, and Ireland.
- Take 6 months and drive around the US. My parents did this in our old van and they had a great time.
- Take the family to New Zealand for an extended visit. I visited New Zealand in 2003 and loved the laid back vibe. I hope it hasn’t changed too much since then.
- Go to space. Hopefully, the price of space tourism will come down before I get too old.
- Visit Eastern Europe. I have to research more, but I’d like to see the Czech Republic, Croatia, Greece, and Turkey. Mrs. RB40 visited Turkey and she really enjoyed it.
- Visit Egypt to see the pyramids.
- Take a year long trip around the world. We’d be able to cross off a bunch of destinations on this list. Target date: 2022…
- Done in 2014! –Take my mom on an “overseas” trip. We went to Hawaii in 2014.
Adventures and Fun Experiences
Let’s see… I already tried skydiving, bungee jumping, snowboarding, surfing, riding an elephant, and white water rafting. These activities were a lot of fun and we’d probably have to get a lot of these things done before we get too old.
- Have a huge 20thwedding anniversary celebration. We just went to the courthouse when we got married 17 years ago so we never had a formal wedding. For our 20th anniversary, we plan to rent out a big place in Santa Barbara and invite all our close friends and family members to celebrate with us. Target date: 2019.
- Done in 2014!– Helicopter ride near an active Volcano. We did this on the Big Island of Hawaii.
- Done in 2016! – Visit Chiang Mai during Loy Kratong festival. It was a ton of fun when I was a kid and it would be great if RB40 Jr. could experience this.
- Be in a movie. Shouldn’t be that hard. They are always looking for extras.
- Done in 2014!Swim with dolphins (already swam with reef sharks in Belize, they are scary…) We lucked out in Hawaii and the dolphins came to play nearby when we went snorkeling.
- Ride in hot air balloon.
- Zip line. So close in 2015… We went to Costa Rica and visited an adventure park. However, we didn’t try the zip line on because our kid was too small. Next time…
- Ride a steam train with the kid. We are a big fan of Thomas.
- Ride in a fighter jet.
- Go to the Olympics.
- Skinny dip in the ocean.
- Ride a Segway.
- Added in 2016 – Experience a total solar eclipse. One will cross the US in 2017!
- Take a photography class.
- Take a writing class.
- Join the Peace Corps.
- Have egg laying hens. This one doesn’t sound appealing anymore…
- Join Toastmasters for a year.
- Become a Buddhist monk for a short time.
- Learn to speak Mandarin with the kid.
- Build an outdoor pizza oven.
- Build a tree house.
- Learn Kung Fu. I might have to go with Tai Chi at my age.
- Volunteer to help recent immigrants.
Long term goals
The long term goal category can be quite difficult. The big one I achieved so far is my goal of leaving the corporate job before 40. The rest of the stuff on this list will probably take a long time to complete.
- The Debt Free operation. We have mortgages on several properties. At some point, we’d like to be done with the debts.
- Live in Thailand for 6 months and travel around South East Asia. This one will probably have to wait until Junior is off to college.
- Live in South/Central America for 6 months and travel around the area.
- Help RB40 Jr. graduate from a 4 year public college with no debt. If he wants to go to Harvard, he’ll have to get some scholarship and/or student loans.
- Invent a cool gadget.
- Live within a 10 minute walk to a nice beach for a year.
- Own a convertible again in a warm climate so I can drive around with the top down.
- Live in Santa Barbara for a while.
- Having enough passive income to cover our cost of living – This is WIP. I will focus on this in 2017 and write about it once a month.
- $3 million in net worth. That seems like a nice round number and it will probably take us a while to reach it.
Food – I removed the food list. We already eat pretty well and we’ll enjoy good food whenever we can. It’d be nice to try sushi at Sukiyabashi Jiro, but it’s not a huge deal to me at this point.
Whew! This turned out to be a huge list, but hopefully I have at least 40 years to accomplish it. What about you? Do you have a bucket list? Please share some of the things on your bucket list here. Don’t wait until you’re 65 to make one because cliff jumping at Rick’s Café in Jamaica (check) won’t be so appealing anymore.
Happy Holidays and safe travels!
For 2018, Joe plans to diversify his passive income by investing in US heartland real estate through RealtyShares. He has 3 rental units in Portland and he believes the local market is getting overpriced.
Joe highly recommends Personal Capital for DIY investors. He logs on to Personal Capital almost daily to check his cash flow and net worth. They have many useful tools that will help every investor analyze their portfolio and plan for retirement.
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