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Month: April 2016

The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said….

The Time Has Come, The Walrus Said….

(Originally published on 03/09/15)

People keep asking me, Where are you Travelling to Next? What Bucket List are you going to attack Next???

Well, you asked…DRUM ROLL PLEASE!!!

At the End of March, I will Travel for 1 day to Toronto, then off to ICELAND for 6 Nights, and ending my trip on Easter in Washington, DC for Family!

God Willing, I will be Completing the Following Bucket List Items:

#130-7 Eat Poutine in Canada

#134 Swim In Blue Lagoon Geothermal Pool in Iceland

#130-17 Eat Hakarl (Fermented Shark Meat) in Iceland

#95 See the Northern Lights aka Aurora Borealis

#103 MY NEVER ENDING BUCKET LIST ITEM: To Fulfill 1 Bucket List Item for Anyone who helps me do one of mine –  (My Cousin Graziella has always wanted to Run/Walk a Color Run so I will end my trip in Washington DC and help her complete this after she helped me see the Rockettes Christmas Show in New York City)

For anyone who knows me, I truly HATE THE COLD, however, to Ever have a chance to see something as Remarkable as the Aurora Borealis, you have to break out of your comfort zone and do things you thought you would Never, Ever Do to Get Something You would Never Ever Get sitting at home in Comfort!

What Do you think of this Bucket List Adventure?  Have you ever been to Iceland Before?  Leave me Comments below by clicking on the link!!

“It is better to live one day as a Lion than a thousand days as a Lamb.”

2014 Year in Revew & 2015 State of the Union!

2014 Year in Revew & 2015 State of the Union!

(Originally published on 03/02/15)

Wait….What Year is IT??? How Did I miss 2014 already?  Wait, how old am I?  I turned 39 Last Wednesday??  Holy Crap!!!!  Where did those days go?

These are all statements people say all the time when you ask them what they did last year or what they did during the past year of their life on their birthdays.  I know its what people keep asking me.  So what did Eric Gamble, Mr. Bucket List, Mr. World Traveler, Mr. Crazy Adventurer, Mr. Insane Free Living Spirit do last year??  Then they ask, well what is NEXT?  So First, Let me give you my 2014 Year in Review and then Give you a taste of the State of the Bucket List Union for 2015!

 2014 Was a unique year in that it started with me returning to decade of the 80’s!  I got to go to WrestleMania & See Guns N Roses Live in Las Vegas!  The little punk kid in me was totally geeking out for both!

Then the Summer time I got to give back!  I was able to help my mother see Alaska, help honor a long time friend by showing him what I saw in Him and his friendship (A Holy Cross Man), help another friend recover his lost high School Ring, and set another friend on his own insane Adventure to skydive!

I did some unique traveling to different parts of the US but the highlight of my travels was backpacking through Peru to witness Machu Picchu and Lake Titticaca!

 So Everyone ALWAYS wants to know what I am doing next!  I think its sometimes crazy especially when I get home from doing some crazy adventure, that within a few days, they are like, “That Was Awesome, so What are you going to do Now?”  My thoughts are usually like, “What am I going to do now?  I don’t know, like 2 weeks of Laundry?!?!”  But to be honest, I love the question, cause it means that people see me as someone who is Living A Life of Adventure, Travel, and Experiences…Living As A Lion!

So Here is a Little Taste of the Ideas of What the Year 2015, my Last Year in my 30’s, is going to hold!  Here is my 2015 State of the Union!

1) I am starting this year by helping 2 people complete their Bucket List Items, One will go Skydiving and my cousin will do a Color Run as a Catalyst to get healthy

2) 2015 Will be the YEAR OF FINISHING!  I plan on Finishing several Bucket List Items that have been a work in progress like reading all 15 Wizard of Oz Books, Doing my Last Mud Run of the 4 that were my Goal ( Last One? I AM SPARTAN!), Finally cut this last bit of Body Fat to see my 6 pack! and a couple of others!

3) I have been missing one of my more important sections Making Amends.  Therefore, I am going to actively try to work on 2 of them and hopefully do one other bucket list gift for one other person this year!

SO WHAT ABOUT TRAVEL?

4) Geez, fine…I will be travelling to hopefully 3 international sites and 4 new US sites that I have never been to…Think I am going to search for the Aurora Borealis, do Indy 500, Possibly go to China and do the Most Dangerous Climb to a Temple, visit the Galapagos and Ecuador for an EcoTravel, or perhaps go to Thailand.  These are just some of the ideas popping in my mind right now but who knows where I will end up however I will go see the world, eat strange foods, and learn by traveling!  I do know this, it will be crazy, it will be wonderful, and it will be epic!

So those are my Goals. I like to announce them and share them!  It holds me accountable!  You guys hound me and I like and need that.  What if 2015 is our last year of life?  What if we don’t get to see our next Birthday?  Well, then we need to Live now!

What are your goals this year?  Share them with my by clicking on the comments link below!!  Cant wait to see what you are thinking!

I am over 1 year Clean!!

I am over 1 year Clean!!

(Originally published on 03/23/14)

So back on March of 2013, I went cold turkey but it wasn’t drugs, alcohol or my cigars that I quit!  If you know me at all, you know that I will never quit smoking cigars.  No, Back in March, It was credit cards.

In 1994, when I entered college, I had become a credit card user, instructed by my parents that I was only to use it for emergencies.  But that never holds true and thus began my typical American abuse of credit cards.  I would use them for anything and everything and most often nothing of importance.  However, I didn’t see anything wrong with it cause everyone was doing it!  Apparently, everyone was brain washed by Wimpy of the Popeye Cartoons and felt that it was ok to rack up tabs that would never be paid off!

So if this is the American way, why was I deciding to buck the system?  Well for several reasons:

First, I had met two self made men.  These men had come from poverty to become financially quite successful in their own ways.  But what did these two men have in common?  Well, they took advantage situations that came to them to help them get ahead; they both worked hard to get ahead; and they both had little or no debt at all!  It was always amazing when I would go out to dinner with them and their families and they would pay the entire bill with cash.  One even refused to get a debit card cause he said that he didnt want to develop a habit of relying on plastic. These were two self made men who worked for themselves.

There is a thing that Andrew Jackson once said that I think is relevant here: When you get in debt, you become a slave. Therefore I say to you never involve yourself in debt, and become no man’s surety.   These 2 men I had met refused to be slaves to debt.

Second, I would get paid on a Friday and by Saturday most of my paycheck would be gone to the credit card companies but the debt never went down!  Can you believe it?  I mean, I would dump $600 in payments to the various cards and my overall debt would only go down $100.  Ok so that may be a fake example but it definitely felt like that every month and it wasn’t that far off from the truth.

Thirdly, I stopped using 2 of my 4 credit cards entirely in 2006 but didn’t finish paying them off til 2012?  WHAT THE HELL WAS I PAYING EACH MONTH FOR 6 YEARS????  I have no idea?  Can you imagine paying off dinner at PF Changs for 6 years?  Man they make good food but it isn’t that good!  It was like I was being punished for 6 years for a crime!  I didn’t like paying those bills every month at all.

So when I created my Bucket list, I decided that I need to get rid of these pieces of plastic that enslave me to years of debt.  It took a lot of focus & a little bit of sacrifice, but in March of 2013, I paid off my last two credit cards once and for all.  Then I closed all cards but one card that is locked away somewhere and committed myself to be 100% Cash & Carry only!

Getting Rid of All my Credit Card Debt is Definitely on my Bucket List! #Debtfree #NoCreditCards Click To Tweet

Now it’s 1 year later and how has it gone?  Am I living like a poor person only eating Ramen Noodles and smoking 1 Swisher Sweet cigar a month?  Is my credit Score in the dump?  Am I living alone in a cave somewhere never hanging out with my friends and never visiting the world?

HELL NO!  I would never EVER Smoke a Swisher Sweet ever, no matter how desperate..haha, but seriously.  Any of you that knows me and my adventures of last year, know I live life to the fullest!  Since March of 2013, I have taken 2 international trips for nearly 14 days each, Ate like a King, hung out socially with my best of friends and family, taken some crazy active adventures around the US, and smoked some of the best Cigars available on the market today!  Plus according to Credit Kharma, my Fico Score has gone up!  And I do all of this with Cash Only!  Not a single thing has been bought with a credit and I am not deprived!

So why am I sharing this, to prove that it can be done.  I am no financial expert at all…but if I can do it, anyone can!  That is the whole reason for my bucket list, not only to inspire myself to live each day as much as possible, but also to help others be inspired!  I truly believe that if I can do something, then anyone and everyone can!

So join me in taking your freedom back from debt!

~Eric

I have created a Monster!!

I have created a Monster!!

(Originally  published on 09/17/13)

Those of you who have recently had a chance to talk to me in person, know how much I LOVE talking about my Bucket List Project!  It has been a motivating factor in my life for the past year in improving my Mind, Body, & Soul!  But it has brought about a great Side Effect….Inspiration to Others!  There is nothing cooler than getting an email, text, or Facebook message from someone declaring that they have either started working on their own Personal Bucket List or even Better Completed an Item on their list that they have been pushing off for many years!

One of the coolest things to hear is the unusual things on Someone’s Bucket List that is Extremely Important to them!  See, it is very very easy to put “Losing Weight” or some sort of Travel on your Bucket List.  I mean think about it.  When you were 5 years old, you never dreamed really about travelling.  You dreamt of some experience or adventure that would lead to a personal greatness.

If you really take some time to sit down and think about all the things you want to do, experience, and see in your life, then you will discover that you have some very creative and obtainable dreams!

Below, I have listed some of the coolest Bucket List Items that have been recently shared with me.  A couple have even been Completed!

What Cool Thing Inspires You?  Write it Down & then Develop a Plan to Do it!

* Catherine F: “I know 2 things that would go on it……watching boxing match ring side and going to a roller derby.”

* Danielle H:   “choreographing a Musical!”  COMPLETED!!

* Amy L: “Take a Glass Blowing Class!”

* Kristy W.D.:  “Travel to Ireland to Have a Proper Pint at the Guiness Brewery…& Drive Down a Country Road while Getting Blocked by a Herd of Wandering Sheep!”

steve krobert skydiving
Steve Krobert skydiving

* Steve K: Go Sky Diving for my Birthday!  COMPLETED (Jan 18, 2015)

* Margaret W. R.: “when I’m a senior – join a seniors dance troupe and perform at a sporting event and not be embarrassed”

* Craig T: “Get over my fears of snakes by going rattlesnake hunting!”

* Cathy W.: “getting my haircut in London after high school with jet black dye and neon blue tips – Punk Rock Style!”

* Jon A.: “Go to Matador School & wear the cape!”

*Mike P.: “Meet the Dalai Lama”

*Wade T.: “I’ve also wanted to go to one of the many balls in Vienna ”

* Nicole T: “splash in the Fairhope Fountain! I’ve always wanted to, and there’s no time like the present 🙂 Ice cream at my house after 🙂 Bring a towel. No worries if you can’t make it–I’ll be jumping anyway!” COMPLETED!!

 

Meet Amy Larsen & Her Bucket List!!

Meet Amy Larsen & Her Bucket List!!

( This Post was originally published on 09/05/13)

YOU NEVER KNOW YOUR IMPACT ON SOMEONE ELSE!

Amy LarsenBack in February of 2013, I was lucky enough to meet group of great people from Cheyenne, Wyoming.  Amoung this group of people was a young woman named Amy Larsen.  Though she was full of spirit, she seemed to be struggling with her life.  So I shared the story of my Bucket List Project with her.  Then something remarkable happened…SHE ACTED!  Within the next couple of months I would chat with her and she developed her own Bucket List.  She decided to take control of her life and persue all of her dreams of travel, Personal Growth, and overall Living!

Back on August 17th, Amy gave a speech at a Young Adult “Seekers” retreat in Grand Teton National Park.  Below is part of what she shared with the 22 Young adults who were in their mid 20’s to 40’s.

Excerpt from Amy Larsen’s Speech:

“On Jan 21st of this year my whole entire world forever changed. My grandparents had passed away in Sept and October, which has been a struggle as I was extremely close to them, plus my mom had passed way 10 years ago, so all that was left in her family now was her brother and her sister, who is developmentally disabled. On Jan 21st, my uncle passed away suddenly, which just left my aunt Kathy, a 63 year old- 6 year old. I had always been told that at some point I would be the guardian of Kathy, I just didn’t think it would be now and I certainly didn’t think I would be doing it on my own. My life was no longer my own and my decisions are no longer about just me, I have to consider her. Who is going to watch her while I am gone, does she have what she needs, how is she grieving loosing her entire family! Does she really need dog food? For the first time in her life she will be living on her own (in an independent retirement community), making decision about what she wants to do with her organization, and having to rely on me! The rest of her life she is looking to me to take care of her every need, and I am not going to lie it has been a little overwhelming. Both of us have had a steep learning curve! I know I have failed and succeeded, but we are somehow figuring this all out.

Loosing so much family so quickly, and gaining so much responsibility has caused me to re-evaluate what I thought was important in my life, what I truly wanted out of life. I knew something needed to change, life was too short. In Feb I had a chance meeting with what would become a new friend, and a mentor of sort. I met Eric and he had created a bucket list and was living it out! I became obsessed by this idea of a bucket list and have spent hours facebooking with him about it, making my list, trying to come up with 100 things, based on what was of value and importance to me. I no longer wanted to talk about living a life, I was going to do it! I wanted to have a real bucket list, one that I checked things off of, one that were my hopes and dreams, the things that would make me a better person. So with the help of Eric the bucket list was born, the planning began and items started to be checked off. I did my first 5K, I kayaked with the Orca Whales in the San Juan Island, I did an adventure race, I saw Les Miserable. These things are not just something to throw into a conversation, to “talk” about, to be trendy, to prove something to someone! This is me, doing what is important to me, living my life! My #1 item is in the works, The Camino de Santiago.

I made my new favorite quote “You don’t choose a life. You live one.”  my motto! To date I have marked off some significant items. It has been fun to put my dreams on paper, work towards them and to date, have friends share in those bucket list items with me. It gives me purpose, something to work towards, something to accomplish, something to say “Yes! I lived.” Eric introduced me to actually “doing” life. He said to me one time “Its your story, make it worth the read.” How great of a statement is that!

Well, life has been crazy busy between work, play and family and at the beginning of August as my friends and I were driving up to the mountains to watch the meteor shower we got to talking about the “bucket list” and how right now it just feels weird not working towards something. Well, moments later we had what was probably the closest I have ever been to a near death experience. A truck was coming down the hill, in our lane! Mind you we were out in the middle of nowhere, so the only lights were those on our vehicles. As the truck was getting closer we realized he wasn’t moving over, didn’t slow down, just kept going. Thankfully the driver recognized what was going on, and with seconds to spare, was able to pull off the road. We all sat there in silence for a minute, and thanked him for saving our lives! Needless to say when we got to where we were watching the stars, just lying there between two of my close friends, the sky looked different, somehow more clear, that moment with them seemed more important than the things I wasn’t doing, or the work that needed to be done. When I got home, I pulled out my bucket list because to me, what had happened that night, was God reminding me to keep living, keep dreaming, and keep writing my story.

So I went back to my bucket list, started to pick out what my next check would be. It was then that I noticed a few things. I always thought the adventures, hopes and dreams were what was important to me, and they are, but what is more important is that almost all of my items involve someone else, they are all things I want to share with other people. The best part of my bucket list adventures so far has been sharing it with other people! I had put my hopes and dreams down on paper, held myself accountable and in between the lines spelled out how important being in relationship was to me. Not only do I want to write my incredible story, but I am excited to include the amazing characters that I will take and encounter along the way. “

Amy Larsen

~Amy Larsen is the Assistant Director of Pastoral Ministries at the Diocese of Cheyenne & she currently Lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming!