The 2016 Bucket List

With the time of year being what it is – darkness at 5, miserable temperatures and nature brown and depressing – I can’t do much else but to stay indoors and wait for the whole thing to pass by. There are some who laugh in the face of this late-autumn awfulness, but I’ve found I’m not one of them. I’d much rather take my bike and spent a few hours riding, but I just can’t come to enjoy the cold winds, the barren surroundings and the fast-sinking sun.

So that leaves me plenty of time for daydreaming and making plans for the coming year. And thought I’d make a list highlighting some of them. They say writing things down makes you somehow more commited to actually going through with them, so we’ll see just how true that is.

The things on the list might seem trivial to you and I could have inded done some of them a long time ago. But as it stands, there’s always been something preventing me from doing them, be it time, money, lack of incentive or something else. Not written down in any particular order, let’s see what they are:

Get some bycicle panniers and use them

Having spent a fair chunk of change on a new bike a while back, I intend to put it to good use. In case you haven’t read about it yet, it’s a do-it-all road bike which offers me the ability to install racks and panniers, something I was especially mindful of when choosing the right model. Up to now I’ve only been doing one day trips and I think time has come to take things to another level. Slovenia is such a lovely country to experience from the saddle that it would be a crime not to take it in. I don’t have a special destination set out, but I think the alpine valleys would be a great goal, with some camping thrown in for good measure. I wouldn’t leave out the occasional hop across the border either.

naslovna

Pictured above: the Logarska dolina valley is one of the most beautiful alpine valleys in Europe. It’s inhabitants and tourist workers have been trying long and hard to create and maintain a sustainable, attractive environment and have been Slovenia’s pioneers in this field. Well worth a visit if you prefer an active holiday.

Cycle in an old lead mine

Staying in the cycling circles with this one, and roughly in the same area. A big portion of the hilly northern part of Sloveia was once riddled with mines – coal, lead, zink and other ores were being dug here.  Then most of them started closing down in the 90s and today some of them are tourist attractions, providing insight into the cultural and technical heritage left behind. It’s even possible to take a guided cycling tour through one of them. The company running the mine-turned-museum offers a 5 km guided ride through the tunnels, while train rides and kayaking in the lower ones are also available.

koroska_kultura_po zelezarskih in rudarskih poteh_turisticni rudnik in muzej podzemlje pece_06

Read more about the story of the mine and their offers by clicking here.

Try paragliding

Like to live dangerously, do you? I don’t know where I got the itch to try paragliding. Maybe it was Youtube, or my father always saying how great a feeling it is. Actually he only tried it once with a borrowed wing. It was a short flight, more of a plummet really, but he enjoyed it none the less.  Given my affinity for nature, I think it should be a great thing to try, in tandem with someone who knows what he’s doing of course.

Here’s a video that I like to watch every time I get the itch. Whenever I go hiking I marvel at the views, but that beats every one of them. It’s truly a world of it’s own up there.

Hike more

By now you can probably see why I don’t like the cold, pittyful december weather. 🙂

I’ve spent the last two summers on the coast of the Adriatic sea, working at a different Kempinski hotel each year from the start of June till the end of August. Given that summertime is also the best time to go hiking or climbing in the mountains, I didn’t have much time to do that. So if by then I’m still at home and don’t move again, I’d like to make up for the last two years and spend some time hiking.

I could write a whole separate post about what drives me to the mountains, but I guess it’s their pure simplicity  and freshness. Much like cycling, there is little or no social media there, no commercials or lousy reality shows. You enjoy the company of your friends and the people you meet, and I can assure you that you won’t find bad people up there.

Make things out of clay

Once again I don’t know how this one came to be, but it’s been in my head for a long time. I’ve never considered myself an artist of any kind, but something about pottery seems to call to me. Probably it’s the videos of Simon Leach on YouTube that got me into wanting to try it, but once again, they seem to emit a kind of simplicity, an untainted connection between yourself, your skills and nature itself. It’s a step away from the crazy, fast world we live in. I’ve come to appreciate and value such skills as they seem to be dying, handmade products being replaced by lifeless machine things imported from far away lands at a cost of almost nothing.

For the last couple of months I’ve been working at a bank, sitting in a basement office, doing the same things every day. It’s comfortable enough, but it quickly gets monotonous and if you let it, it will eat your life away day after day, until you’re old enough to retire with nothing to tell your grandkids but how one day was just like every other. So if I could spend my life making clay beer mugs in a converted garage, I’d revel in the thought of people enjoying their favourite brew from a proper mug, instead of drinking generic canned lager.

What about you?

So that’s my short bucket list, such as it is. As I said, it’s not rocket science but neither am I a rocket scientist. Simple things such as these are just what you need in your life if you don’t want to fall asleep. Someone once said that routine is the enemy of time and I’m not keen on the idea of letting it fly by when there’s so much to do in life.

How about yourself ? What are you looking forward to in 2016? I’d love to hear it in the comments below.

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