Thursday, 16 October 2014

Bucket List

I am one of those people who likes to write to-do lists and reminders, they help to motivate me and there's just something about the crossing off afterwards that extremely satisfies me. So it should come as no surprise that I have written a list of things to do before I die. A bucket list if you will. I started this list when I was 12 years old and as I've grown and changed, the list too has developed. There were some things that I used to want to do that I have no interest in doing anymore, which is fine by me. So without further ado, here is my List of Things To Do Before I Die version 4.

  • Travel to Iceland 
  • Travel to Denmark
  • Get straight A's in my exams one year
  • Sail a boat on my own
  • Sing a solo in a concert
  • Audition for a part in a musical/play
  • Act in a musical/play
  • Be part of the backstage crew in a musical/play
  • Play drums in a concert
  • Go on a foreign exchange
  • Travel to Norway
  • Publish a poem
  • Go scuba diving
  • Go jet skiing
  • Go on holiday with friends
  • Travel to Finland
  • Own a diamond
  • Travel to Canada
  • Work with children
  • Run a 5k charity run
  • Run a 10k charity run
  • Meet someone famous
  • Read 1000 books
  • Babysit
  • Have/adopt a baby
  • Get a job
  • Travel to USA
  • Travel to Australia
  • Spend £100 on an item of clothing/shoes
  • Dye my hair
  • Be a bridesmaid
  • Wear a lovely dress
  • Go to Alton Towers
  • Go to Aqualandia
  • Go clubbing
  • Climb a mountain
  • Go paragliding
  • Go white water rafting
  • Win a competition
  • Go skiing
  • Get a tattoo
  • Pass all of my GCSE's
  • Travel to New Zealand
  • Go to a spa
  • Go on a safari
  • Complete Bronze Duke of Edinburgh
  • Have a box of chocolate without sharing
  • Sail round the UK
  • See All Time Low Live
  • See my favourite band live
  • Go to a concert abroad
  • See Phantom of the Opera
  • See Les Miserables
  • See Wicked
  • Travel to the Falklands
  • Travel to Italy
  • Complete Silver Duke of Edinburgh
  • Go skinny dipping
  • Go up the Eiffel Tower
  • Travel to Ireland
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Ride a camel
  • Hold a snake
  • Get a massage
  • Go camping
  • Donate Blood
  • Go meat free for a month
  • Stay out all night until sunrise
  • Run in the rain
  • Watch the sunset
  • Go to Comic Con
  • Get revenge on someone
  • Work in a bar
  • Go on a gondola 
  • Go punting
  • Go paint balling
  • Go clay pigeon shooting
  • Go on a road trip
  • Go abseiling
  • Go rock climbing
  • Pass my driving test
  • Learn first aid
  • Visit every National Park in the UK

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Niagara Falls

The Niagara Falls are a spectacular display of some of the natural wonders the world has to offer. When I was in Canada just under a month ago, I got up at 4:30 in the morning to go and see the Niagara falls for the first time. It was recommended that I see the falls at sunrise as there tends to be less people around, and of course, sunrises are beautiful. I arrived at the perfect time. Awestruck by the scale of the three falls, American, Bridal Veil and Canadian, I stood at a viewing point and stared across, taking in the sights, smells and feel of the waterfalls (It's impossible to stand close to a waterfall without getting drenched!) Walking down the wide pathway to get closer to the Canadian falls, it was also crazy to think that in that spot I stood, it was never dry. The mist and haze from the fall is constant. Even now, as I sit here, at that spot it will be wet as always. It's quite comforting I suppose.

What's not comforting is the uneasiness I felt the whole time I was there. The fact of the matter is, the falls, in my opinion, have been ruined by people. Everywhere you looked you could see buildings, lights, tourist attractions. On the way in we went through an area that looked like Blackpool. Arcades, amusements, big shining lights, Vacancy, No Vacancy, fast food. Anything you wanted, you could find. Except peace and quiet it seemed. I'm glad I went at sunrise because I would have hated it if there had been masses of people hanging around the falls.

 I always tell myself that when you go somewhere or see something with high expectations, you're much more likely to be disappointed. And that's what the Niagara falls were to me: a big blaring disappointment. I left feeling so sad it was unreal. Having been to Iceland just recently and seeing waterfalls that, although cannot compete with the scale of Niagara, are left almost entirely in peace, it was impossible not to feel an overwhelming sense of disappointment. Not in the falls themselves, but in people who could let such a wonderful place go. I doubt I'll ever revisit the falls, but I do not regret going. Visiting them was an experience, just not one that I was necessarily expecting...

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