101 Things To Do Before You Die (10/10)

101 Things To Do Before You Die (10/10)

91. Fall in love 


A romantic night out

Me with my then-fiance and now-husband, Ken Soh, in our Scotland engagement shoot.

To get things straight — you don’t need to be in a relationship to be happy. Are You Looking For A Relationship To Complete Yourself? (Why Singlehood is Not a Disease) is an article I wrote in 2009 – when I was still single — talking about how we are complete beings who don’t need relationships to complete ourselves or to be happy. Media often hypes up the notion of “finding your soulmate,” “being in love,” and “happily ever after,” like being in a relationship with someone is the answer to all life’s problems.

However, to meet the right person who shares similar values as you, supports you in your life endeavors, and loves you unconditionally — this is one of probably one of the best things that can ever happen to anyone. I was a complete individual before I met my husband Ken; I thought that I was the happiest I could ever be and this was as good as life gets. After I met him and we got together, my life became several layers richer — layers which I never knew were there before. I have finally experienced for myself the true meaning and value of being in a conscious relationship with someone who is the perfect match for you, and I believe this is something that all of you out there can have for yourself too.

So get out there and date freely! Open your heart and mind and allow yourself to fall in love. Who knows, “the one” for you may well be around the corner.

92. Be in a conscious, fulfilling relationship :)


A quiet moment in the park (Closeup)

Me with my husband in Scotland, Glasgow. This photo hangs in our living room wall today.

The path of true love never does run smooth. Before you meet “your one,” it’s normal to experience a few bumps on the road, where you are in bad relationships that drain your energy, on-again and off-again relationships that don’t go anywhere, or worse case, abusive relationships.

Before I met my husband Ken, I went on many dates and became close to a few guys (at different time periods), all of which didn’t work out. From ambiguous relationships that seem to be heading nowhere, to toxic connections that leave you feeling like a piece of sh*t, to relationships that may have worked out had it been a different time, I experienced them all. 

If you’ve been in bad relationships before, don’t lose hope. Love is everywhere around us, and love is certainly in your cards too, as long as you believe it.

93. Go on a romantic getaway

Romantic getaway

With all our tight schedules, it’s very difficult to set up quality time with our significant other. Bring back the spark in the relationship by going on a romantic getaway! Be it a dreamy Caribbean cruise or a simple staycation, anywhere is romantic as long as you’re spending quality time with the person you love.

Having a getaway every once in a while is also beneficial for the relationship as it allows both of you to spend quality time with each other, as opposed to being weighed down by day-to-day responsibilities.

94. Do a somersault


Have you ever seen stunts in an action movie and stared at the actor (or rather, the stunt person) in awe?

Well, most death-defying stunts (think Jackie Chan movies) shouldn’t be attempted by anyone at all, but with some training and practice, it’s possible for the average person to do a somersault! Doesn’t matter whether you are a kid or adult, fat or thin, ripped with a six pack or terribly unfit, nothing is impossible with perseverance and determination.

While you don’t get any prize for doing a flip, it sure as heck is fun and satisfying to be train and accomplish a seemingly impossible physical feat to many!

If you normally don’t exercise, please consult a professional trainer and get supervision before attempting to practice for any “stunt.” To quote Jim Rohn, “Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” You’re doing this to become more physically versatile and fit, so please don’t hurt yourself in the process! I also recommend phasing in your training: you can start off by training for a forward roll, progressing to a cartwheel, then finally progressing to a somersault.

95. Visit a castle


Castles are an innovation of Europe and originated in the 9th and 10th centuries. The noble people built castles as offensive and defensive military structures, and used them to control the area around them. For the urban castles, they were used to control the local populace and travel routes; as for the rural castles, they were used to control integral areas like mills and fertile land.

Today, many castles have become tourist sites, with the more popular ones being Windsor castle in England (oldest and largest occupied castle in the world and the Official Residence of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II), Edinburgh castle (Edinburgh), The Tower of London (London), and Château de Chambord (France). I’ve been to at least three castles — Windsor, Edinburgh, and Tantallon) — and it’s always fun to take a walk through these medieval structures and marvel at their beauty.


In each other's embrace (Outside Tantallon Castle)

Me and my husband at Tantallon castle in Scotland, as part of our engagement shoot. It was truly a beautiful place — I only wish we got to spend more time there!

I definitely recommend visiting at least a few castles — with hundreds of castles in the world, you’ll be spoiled for choice!

96. Change the world

Globe in hands

Regardless of race, nationality, religion, or social status, we all live in the same place – Planet Earth. The world that we live in is not perfect. Poverty, pollution, conflict plague our society. Solving these problems by changing the world is no easy task but you shouldn’t be discouraged. Everything starts from simple ideas. You can also find other people that will support your causes and ideas. Who knows? You might be the person who can revolutionize the world and make a mark in history.

97. Help someone in need

Volunteer help

Do you know that 50% of the world’s population — over three billion people — lives on less than $2.50 a day? That 80% of the world’s population live on less than $10 a day? That 22,000 children die each day due to poverty? And that a quarter of humanity — that’s 1.6 billion people — live with electricity each day? 

The purpose of sharing these statistics isn’t to guilt trip you, but to help you realize how blessed and lucky we are. By virtue of being able to read this article, I assume that you have a computer and internet access like I do, which will already put us in a better position than billions around the world. Most of us are often engrossed in our own issues every day, but how about lifting our heads every once in a while to lend a helping hand? 

98. Learn sign language

Sign language

Sign language is a language that uses body language (as opposed t0 verbal communication) to convey messages. Did you know there is actually no one universal sign language? One of the greatest misconceptions about the sign language is that there is one common sign language across the world, which isn’t true. While sign languages may share similarities to each other, every country generally has its own native sign language, with some having more than one! In fact, Ethnologue lists 137 sign languages as of 2013!

If you’re not deaf or mute, you’d probably never need to learn the sign language. However, this I ask, “Why not?” Just like learning a new language can be fun and adventurous (bucket list idea #2 is to learn a new language), so is learning a sign language. In fact, I dare say that learning a sign language will be an mind-opening experience as it’ll utilize a totally different facet of your body — non-verbal, body cues — to communicate with others. Pick it up and practice it on people you know. Are you up for the challenge?

99. See the Mona Lisa in Louvre (Paris)

The Mona Lisa (Monna Lisa or La Gioconda in Italian; La Joconde in French) is a female portrait byItalian artist Leonardo da Vinci, which has been acclaimed as “the best known, the most visited, the most written about, the most sung about, the most parodied work of art in the world.” The Mona Lisa is as famous as it is famous for its popularity, and many people flock to the Louvre in Paris each year just to get a glimpse and a chance to photograph with the enigmatic lady.

And that’s me in the photograph below, with the Mona Lisa, when I was touring in Paris in 2011. 

Before the Mona Lisa Painting at Louvre (Paris, France)

Sadly, the hall with the Mona Lisa was so crowded and there were so many people egging to see it that I barely got a chance to study the painting, beyond snapping the quick shot above. I did spend many hours in the Louvre though, which I’d say that the amazing artifacts and sculptures makes this one of the most enchanting museums I’ve been to. They alone are worth the visit to the Louvre.

100. Go to a costume party and dress up as your favorite character

Final Fantasy XIII Cosplay, Serah

Cosplay, short for “costume play,” is a very popular Japanese art where participants dress as their favorite movie, comic book, or video game character, mimicking everything from their clothes, to accessories, to hairstyles, to makeup, right down to their mannerisms and personalities! While the cosplay culture started in Japan, it has since gained popularity around the world, with many joining cosplay events to dress up and pay homage to their favorite characters, as well as to meet like-minded fans.

One of the items in my bucket list was to participate in a cosplay event. So, when I got the chance to formally play dress up at my then-company’s dinner and dance event in 2008, I was more than delighted to masquerade as Danielle, the beautiful modern Cinderella in Ever After (portrayed by Drew Barrymore).


Masquerading as Danielle from Ever After

That’s me on the left cosplaying as Danielle, with one of my then-colleagues!

If you have a character you love, why not pay homage to him/her by cosplaying as him/her? Find out what is the next cosplay event in your country and join it! Who knows, you may even meet new friends there!

101. Gain enlightenment


If the purpose of living is to become more conscious humans, then the ultimate aim of life is to achieve enlightenment. Enlightenment can seem like an abstract concept for those who are new to the idea of “consciousness,” but essentially enlightenment is the highest state of human consciousness.

That said, I don’t think enlightenment is an end goal per se, but rather a state to strive for in our everyday life. For example, say you just argued with your partner, and both of you are having a “cold war.” What is a more enlightened way to handle this situation: to ignore he/she gives in to you, or to be the better man/woman and break the ice first? It’s by undertaking these little actions that may seem to betray our ego but are in line with our highest selves that we evolve as humans and truly live the enlightened way.