Recently I wrote a blog that briefly mentioned my backpacking trip across the UK and Europe in 1999. It was the trip where I almost got to be in the presence of the Pope, John Paul II, but missed that opportunity by mere minutes. It got me thinking about things in my life that I have done and things I haven’t done, whether I planned to or not. And so, I have compiled a list of ten things I have never done.
1. Although I have travelled through different parts of the world, and have seen a lot of very cool things – the Swiss Alps, the Roman Baths, and the Tuscan countryside among them – I always wanted to go to Egypt and see the pyramids. I honestly thought I would have been there by now, and I figured I’d be showing pictures of Mommy awkwardly riding a camel to my children. But, safety trumps adventure, especially now that I am older, and so I will have to be satisfied with looking at others’ pictures, and listening to my son’s second grade speech about Egypt. I “sphynx” I won’t be seeing Egypt with my own eyes.
2. I am kind of afraid of heights, and though I have climbed a mountain (I was 11 years old, and it was a very tame mountain hike with family), I have never gone skydiving. I just can’t understand the thrill of jumping out of a plane and plummeting to the earth. Yes, I know there are parachutes to stop one from smacking into the ground, but what, exactly, about that feeling before the parachute opens is good? I think I would either pass out and then not be able to open my parachute, thus smacking into the ground, or I would pee my pants, which would be extremely messy. Either way, it’s never going to happen.
3. I have never been camping. Everyone thinks I am weird when I say that…and I guess it’s not completely true. I did go camping in a tent-trailer once (for a night), when I was 8 or 9 years old, with my cousin, but that’s it. I grew up on a farm, so it’s not that I am afraid of the outdoors. It’s just not something my family ever did. My parents were always working, and on the incredibly rare occasions when we did have vacations they included hotel and motel stays. I’m not good without “modern conveniences”…you know, like flushing toilets. I had to pee in a hole in the ground while backpacking in Italy, and that was traumatic enough.
4. I have never water-skied. Okay, again, it’s not completely true. Once, when I was young (maybe 9), I tried it with some family friends at their cottage. I could not get up on the skis. I swallowed a mouthful of water and that was it for me. I gave up. So, technically I have never water-skied.
5. I have never swam in a river or lake. Aside from the few minutes spent in a lake trying to water-ski, I have never even been in a river or lake. The thought of fish swimming around me makes me queasy. Man, this really makes me sound like a princess, doesn’t it? Again, I grew up on a farm, and I did lots of fishing in our creek, so I am not a princess. I just don’t like fish…unless they’re for dinner.
6. I’ve never gone skinny dipping. I honestly don’t think I have ever had an opportunity. Maybe I would surprise myself if I had the chance???
7. I have never seen the movie “Bambi”. I know. What the heck was I doing as a child? Also, until I had children I had never read a Dr. Seuss story. It sounds like I was a very deprived little girl. I was not. My mom read to me every night, but from books like the Nancy Drew series, the Hardy Boy series, and the Bobsey Twins. I knew nothing of The Cat in the Hat or Green Eggs and Ham. But I was a voracious reader anyway, and was quite entertained by other stories. The “Bambi” thing? I guess I just didn’t see a lot of kids movies. Now I am getting my fill.
8. I have never gone swimming with dolphins. It sounds so romantic to swim with dolphins, doesn’t it? Unfortunately it hasn’t happened for me, but I did get the chance to interact with a dolphin in a small pool of water, on my honeymoon. No, I’m not comparing my husband to a dolphin, though they have the same “cute” factor. Just a day after we got married on a beach in the Caribbean, my hubby and I paid for a dolphin “experience”, which included feeding a dolphin, dancing with said dolphin, and posing for a picture with him/her. To tell you the truth, that experience was probably enough to satisfy my romantic dolphin ideas.
9. Though I have gone to quite a few concerts in my lifetime, I have never crowd-surfed. First, the concerts I’ve been to have not been the kind where crowd-surfing was even a thought. There weren’t many surfing the crowd at the Debbie Gibson concert I went to in grade eight. Second, I guess I don’t trust strangers with my body parts.
10. I have never eaten anything “exotic”. Okay, again, this is not completely true if you count the time I felt obligated to try a bison burger on a grade seven school trip. I thought it would be rude not to at least try it, but, unfortunately, as soon as it hit my lips my body reacted, and the little bitty piece of bison burger went down the toilet. There’s no way my body could handle anything more exotic than sushi or pad thai (two of my favourites). And I don’t think I’ll have to worry about that while I am still living in a small town in rural Ontario, Canada, where the most exotic thing on the menu is sweet potato fries.
I guess if I see the things I have actually done on this list, I should be pretty satisfied: I’ve travelled and seen many countries, I’ve gone mountain hiking, I’ve danced with a dolphin, and I’ve seen some great musical acts live. Yes, that includes America’s sweetheart, Debbie Gibson. Just try to tell me you’re not humming “Shake Your Love” or “Out of the Blue” right now.