Bucket lists. A list of things one has not done before but wants to do before dying. We all have a bucket list, even if we don’t realize it or write one down to make it official. Some experiences come along and are unique enough to make it on your list. Even experiences you did not plan. Recently, I was lucky enough to have such an experience.
I got to hang out with Canadian super-explorer Robin Esrock, author of the newly released The Great Global Bucket List. Robin shared some of his bucket list worthy experiences with our group. Robin’s lust for travel and unique experiences started, oddly enough, after being struck by a car while riding his bicycle. With a new appreciation for life, and a modest $20,000 insurance settlement, Robin sold all of his belongings and set off on an around the world backpacking trip. The thought of “what if that was it?” has inspired his worldly travels.
Robin explained to us we do not have to travel the world to find bucket list worthy experiences. He used our one of a kind meeting as an example. We were guests of Ford Canada at the Ottawa restaurant Coconut Lagoon for the meet and greet with Robin. The owner, Joe Thottungal, was the perfect host for a group of wannabe adventure seekers.
Chef Joe had his sister-in-law on hand to teach us the proper way to drape a sari. We were able to learn about his native Kerala, a province in South India, and take a culinary tour of India.
Chef Joe also taught us how to make sure the spices we use are fresh and gifted us a sample of his own mix of fresh Garam masala spice. Chef Joe encouraged us to try some of his fresh Garam masala spice on the next steak we BBQ at home.
We learned how to properly open a coconut (hint: no drill of hammers required!), how to choose a good coconut and how he prefers powdered coconut milk over canned (HUH! never knew there was such a thing!). Here is the menu we were treated to.
Sweet Potato & Ginger Soup with Pappadum
(Fish baked in a Banana Leaf – a Kerala Backwater Delicacy)
South India Signature Thali:
Pork Vindaloo (Goa)
Shrimp Curry (Kerala)
Mangalorean Chicken (Karnataka)
Tadhka Dal (Andhra Pradesh)
Madras Eggplant Masala (Tamil Nadu)
Taj Mahal Ka Mithai’s
Madras Coffee or Indian Chai
I also fell in love with the Mango Lassi. The mango lassi is a blend of yogurt, water, spices and was the perfect accompaniment to the meal.
And that is how an invitation to a fun event ended up being a bucket list item I did not even know I had! Stay tuned while I try to Escape the every day and put new experiences on my bucket list.