Rishi Sankar: Ah Trini Travelogue

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My Happiness Inventory aka Experience Inventory aka Bucket List

Change log : Started June 26th, 2004 … Updated November 30th, 2011

November 29th, 2011

Added along the list of completed oceans, continents.

April 29th, 2011

As part of the overall redesign of the travelogue, I have to start where it began … in the Experience Inventory. It’s no longer an experience inventory, but rather a happiness inventory!!!

Years ago, I thought I would chronicle my experience/bucket list, like many others before me … nothing special really, just a way for my family and friends to keep track of me and also to answer the questions – since I’m inherently lazy about recapping my daily, weekly, monthly routines (It’s one of the main reasons, I’m not a twitter-holic).

– What are you up to these days?
– What’s the most interesting thing you’ve done lately?
– Where is the most interesting place you’ve been lately?
– How is the food in <Insert random place>?

I also thought that this bucket list would be a static entry, that I could fixate on, achieve and then be on my merry way to some other complete use of my time. Now after 10+ years, I’ve come to realize that I will forever be working on my to do list – the latest list for work, home, travel, friends, and health. Make no mistake – having some type of list is absolutely essential for your happiness … well at least it’s helped in my happiness.

– One cannot be grateful, for which they don’t know they have
– One cannot learn, unless one remembers the mistakes they have made

– The richest people are those, who know that they can live with very little.(Except excellent 30 yr old Scotch!!)

Travelling has helped me to realize that the only thing worthwhile, is trying to live the best life for yourself or at least giving it the best you can! I’ve been blessed with great family, friends and people who have helped me along the way, all of those, one cannot take for granted.

In the end, a major component of my happiness, is the ability to make choices. Any choice I want and make no mistake – we all have choices. Like the sun will rise every morning, one always has a choice about everything – some choices will obviously have higher and longer lasting impact by limiting or creating future choice opportunities.

Choice opportunities for everyone includes

– To live the way you want – being jealous of someone who is living the way you want, is an utter weakness – since you’ve given your choice away to someone who doesn’t even realize the way you feel.
– To be positive or to be negative –
I personally like complaining, but it’s also because I like to hear myself talk for no reason – plain truth!

– To choose to see the glass half empty or half full
– I like being an optimistic, confident pessimist

– To love is a choice
– one which takes a lot of work for most people – since the majority of us are truly selfish at heart

– To give is a choice
– whether of your time, money, effort, energy or thought.

Your life’s goals are achieved on a daily basis … everyday I try, and fail to put in the necessary work on my lists, but the learning is in trying.

My Happiness Inventory : to April 2011 (not all inclusive but remember I’m kinda lazy … I’ll get to it sometime)

1. Play in Trinidad Carnival played J’Ouvert and Mas in Trinidad, gotten drunk on great rum on the streets of Port of Spain to the greatest soca and calypso.
2. Walked where Jesus is said to have walked to his crucifixion, had a falafel the size of my head with two ice cream scoops of hummus on Ben-Yehuda St and watched the Sunrise and Sunset over the Sea of Galilee.
3. Drove a Golf Cart on the airport runway in San Pedro, Belize and then crashed it into a mangrove swamp. Never mind that I’m 30+ years old and I have no drivers’ licence.
4. Kissed under the Eiffel Tower and had wine on the Champs Elysee, because who has watched an romantic comedy and dreamt about doing exactly what you saw in the movies?
5. Was in the stands to witness every match in Trinidad and Tobago’s World Cup campaign in Germany and cried when the National Anthem was played and then went to an impromptu soca concert in the middle of Dortmund after Trinidad tied Sweden 0-0 and acting like had won the World Cup.
6. Painted a “beneficial” brick at 4 am in the middle of Prague – who pays to paint a brick in Prague – a drunk Trinidadian of course.
7. Been in a dancing boat rocking out to Mozart in Salzburg – any river cruise from Salzburg and you get the loveliness.
8. Gotten kicked out a hotel in Milan while being loud and rowdy – World Cup and drunk Trinidadians … need I say more?
9. Was ripped off by having lunch in Ginza but then having raw unagi in Tsukiji Market the following morning kinda made up for this … but only partially!
10. Been laughed at by a crazy sausage guy in Vienna, who made the spiciest dish I have ever had – CurryWurst with raw Capsaicin.
11. Learnt how to make Chapulines in Oaxaca with tons of Limes and Chili and then ate all.
12. Diverted enroute from Trinidad to Canada, to St Kitts, to surprise one of my best friends who lived there, then got trashed drunk, and got the Airport Manager to write me a letter to explain my extra delay to my boss at work. Boss calls Airport Manager, and still doesn’t believe my story to this day.
13. Went to work by taking a ferry from downtown San Francisco to Sausalito and passing Alcatraz every morning.
14. Had Dim Sum in Hong Kong harbour.
15. Whoopie time on the grass in Old Port in Montreal.
16. Gambled with Thai hookers while playing “Hit the nail into a block of wood” in Phuket
17. Had Belgian Chocolates and beer in Brussels and ended up in an impromptu parade with Spaniards, after Spain came back to beat Tunisia on a late Raul goal.
18. Watched cricket in the Antigua Recreation Ground, home of Brian Lara’s two world records and Sir Vivian Richards.
19. Went up the Matterhorn twice! Had a champagne toast the second time with a bunch of Indians, called my parents from the top of Europe and this is what I got….

<Rishi> : “Morning dad, I’m at the top of Europe, overlooking the Matterhorn”
<Dad> : <grumbles> …. “Mahnin, Rish! What?? You’re on top of the Matterhorn…. Hmm that’s nice but I have to open the shop now, talk to you later!!!!!”
<Rishi> : “but …. It’s the Matterhorn”
<Dad> : “It’s a matter of bills”

20. Been in a car going at 270km/h on the Autobahn, while looking and moving to Ethiopian and Eritrean music videos on the dashboard, with three Ethiopians.
21. Had gun pulled on me by soldiers at the Palestinian border, and then upon knowing I was from Trinidad, having them congratulate me on “escaping” Trinidad!
22. Buying my God-son’s first pair of Timberlands for him in the British Virgin Islands and pretending to be a posh millionaire at a resort in Virgin Gorda.
23. Learned about the Torah from an Arab in Montreal, while having strong Moroccan coffee and smoking Green Apple shisha.
24. Took one of my best friends to Pigeon Point, Tobago and circled the entire island in one day with her.
25. Eating a Bake and Shark at Maracas Bay, Trinidad, with lots of pepper, pineapple, cole slaw and coriander.
26. Playing hide and seek with Buddhist monks, watching the sunset from the top of the main temple at Angkor Wat.
27. Getting sunburnt at the top of Masada and then going to cool off in the Dead Sea, then learning why no one actually swims in there. Feeling salt crystallize on your face, lips and in your eyeballs is not the greatest feeling in the world, but a cool story.
28. Watching the sunrise from the top of Tikal and then going for a night cruise with some complete strangers on a riverboat in Lake Aitilan.
29. Feeding the Koi at Kinkakuji
30. Flying kites with some Puerto Ricans children in San Juan.
31. Drinking Scotch on the Royal Mile in Edinburgh and avoiding William Wallace in a blue tartan. My love affair with scotch started here. Fast forward to March 2011 to American Express calling Diane about a $954 USD charge for one bottle of Balvenie 30 yr old and one bottle of Glenmorangie 25 yr old at the duty free shop in Hong Kong Airport.
32. Driving from Las Vegas with some of my friends after losing money on Black Jack to go see the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam and then driving back in the same day to win back the money I lost and then some on a casino tour
33. Gone shopping and snorkeling in Margarita Island. Actually ripped off one of the local bars with my lack of Spanish and kissed a local in a bar there.
34. Met a Mexican Lawyer traveling in Toronto, we fell in love for 3 days and then she was gone to her boyfriend in New York because destiny hates me – fast forward to June 2008, when I met Diane … destiny works in strange but great ways. Destiny is also a stripper in St. Louis and Montreal and Toronto and Panama … you get the idea.
35. Midnight picnic with friends on the edge of the Amalfi jetty, knocking back Raspberry Vodka and Amalfi Limoncello!!
36. Singing “Volare” in the Blue Grotto in Capri
37. Ending up a Papal Mass at Santa Maria Maggiore for Corpus Christi and seeing the Pope, completely by accident, instead of going drinking at some bar.
38. Climbed the Cupola at St Peter’s Basilica.
39. Partying with Drag Queens in the Dominican Republic
40. Extreme 4Wheel driving at the Fontur,the North-Easternmost point of Iceland, 2 km away from the Arctic Circle, dodging huge rocks, battling 100km an hour winds
41. Crossing a residual glacial stream at an Ice Tongue of Vatnajokull and falling into a sinkhole, but thankfully getting out in time before it swallowed me up

42. Kissing while walking over the Brooklyn Bridge – blame Sex in the City : The Movie

43. Went sea kayaking through underground caves to an atoll in Pattaya

44. Been to Kingston Mines in Chicago for good southern cooking and some authentic Blues music,highlighted by an old homeless, “hard on her time” Blues singer coming in for an impromptu performance capped.

45. Sampling the best jerk chicken and pork at Scotchies in Jamaica

46. Stealing into Brazil to see Foz de Iguacu, without a visa and having conversations with a Argentine bus driver only with eyebrows

47. Having 5 choripans in Retiro train station at 4am in Buenos Aires, with a ton of “chimi”, much to the disgust of the local porteno worker without knowing any spanish

48. Watching the sunrise while walking along Ipanema beach.

49. Making friends at the Baldi Hot Springs in Arenal, Costa Rica … then getting to a hotel drunk, waking up the owners for Seafood Paella, who then shipped us off to one of their friend’s house to watch the Arenal Volcano erupt and brighten the night sky

50. Sailing in a hot air balloon watching the sunrise over Cappadocia

My ever changing bucket list

1. Live abroad for at least 1 year … I live in Canada from Trinidad 🙂
2. Have a travel story published in a magazine
…Gadling.com (2006)
3. Attend the FIFA World Cup with Trinidad as a participant
… Germany 2006
4. Attend a Super Bowl
5. See the Champions League Final
6. See a World Cup cricket match in the West Indies
… (Antigua 2008)
7. Have breakfast at Tsukiji Market
… (Tokyo 2007)
8. Climb an active volcano :
Mt Pinatubo, Philippines (2011)
9. Climb a dormant volcano
: Myvatn (Iceland : 2008) (Almost getting blown off Mt Hverfjall by 120km/h winds and falling into the volcano)
10. See an iceberg
: Jokulsarlon, Iceland : 2008
11. Visit all 7 modern Wonders of the World
12. Visit all 5 great waterfalls in the world

1. Niagara
2. Iguazu

3. Kaiteur

4. Angel

5. Victoria

13. Go Ziplining : Costa Rica, Collingwood, and numerous others
14. Show up at the airport with my bag and passport and take the first available international flight
… lost count, but before consulting, this was a dream.
15. Travel solo in a country where I don’t speak the language : Morocco, Spain, Portugal, Argentina
16. Swim or dip my foot in all five oceans

1. Pacific
2. Atlantic

3. Indian

4. Arctic

5. Antarctic/Southern

17. Set foot on all 7 continents

1. North America
2. South America

3. Europe

4. Asia

5. Australia
6. Africa

7. Antarctica

18. Take a hot air balloon ride : Cappadocia (Turkey 2012)
19. Float in the Dead Sea : Israel 2007
20. Go on a coffee tour around the world : 2012
21. Spend the night in the Presidential Suite anywhere in the world
(Done many time over … latest was in Helsinki 2012)
22. Attend an Indian wedding
23. Visit all 13 Canadian provinces (Ontario, Quebec, British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nova Scotia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland & Labrador, Prince Edward Island, Northwest Territories, Yukon, Nunavut)
24. Ride a horse : Philippines 2011
25. Ride an elephant : Israel 2007
26. Throw a dart on a map and travel there : Morocco 2010
27. Stay in a hut over the ocean : Maldives 2011
28. Eat chocolate in Belgium Brussels 2008
29. Eat a taco, drink tequila and mescal with the worm in Mexico : Mexico City 2009
30. Walk on a glacier : Iceland 2009
31. Do nothing in the Seychelles or the Maldives : Maldives 2011
32. Overnight in a Cave Hotel : Cappadocia 2012
33. Overnight in a Ice Hotel : Quebec City 2004
34. Head to Germany for Oktoberfest and drink beer with the locals
35. Run with the bulls in Pamplona
36. Play mas in Trinidad … like duh!!
37. See the city of temples at Angkor Wat : Siam Reap 2009
38. Walk through Athens and climb to the Parthenon : 2012
39. Ride the Vaporetto in Venice : 2008
40. Hear the Pope give mass or an address : Rome 2008
41. Toss a rock at Stonehenge : Exeter 2006
42. See the boats pass through the Panama Canal : Panama 2010
43. See the Eiffel Tower : Paris 2005

January 29th, 2011

An experience inventory has given way to a combined bucket list/experience inventory…

June 26th, 2004 …

So far life has been pretty cool, lived in two countries and two cities in Canada – so that’s kinda mundane and boring. However, I have yet to spend much time in one job. I think there is no one job that interests me so much that it would be my life’s calling. So far, I have slaved away as a bartender, bouncer, security guy, shopkeeper, library page,shelver, stocker, clerk, filing clerk, IT Support rep, Customer Service rep, Sr. HRMS Analyst, Consulting Lead, and now Sr. PeopleSoft HCM Consultant (you can only imagine how that goes), so I guess I’m a restless soul. My life now is taking a turn of some unexpected sort, but some of the cool things I’ve experienced in my past are as follows

Revision History

– 29 January, 2011 @ 13:27 by Rishi
– 29 January, 2011 @ 12:52 by Rishi
– 28 January, 2011 @ 11:38 by Rishi
– 5 July, 2010 @ 21:08 by Rishi
– 5 July, 2010 @ 21:06 by Rishi
– 10 February, 2010 @ 12:17 by Rishi
– 8 January, 2010 @ 17:19 by Rishi
– 1 December, 2009 @ 18:25 by Rishi
– 25 April, 2008 @ 0:03 by Rishi


No Responses Yet to “My Happiness Inventory aka Experience Inventory aka Bucket List”

  1. Adrienne said

    Amazing! Amazing! It almost seems unreal Rishi! I love the Palestinian experience and glad to hear you came out alive. Oh, and the bake and shark sounds yummy. It has been too long since my last trip to TnT or the islands. Let me know if you are ever in Florida. It looks like I just missed you in ATL. I’m driving up there today.

  2. Rory said

    Thank you for sharing your experiences, and for reminding me about what is important in life; things I have forgotten. Best wishes.

  3. kay sankar said

    where’s my comments

  4. Rishi said

    your comments are on the listing mom~~ 🙂

  5. Beth said

    Hey, I just counted 8 things here where I shared the experience with you my crazy friend:-) — Prague, Salzburg(x2), Germany, Italy (x3)… not too bad, eh?:-)

  6. NAPS! Contact me when you have a moment. i looked for an email address for you, but couldn’t find one. BTW, this is Jumbie (socawarriors forum) from WC 2006 Germany (Frankfurt).

  7. Rho said

    Hi RIshi,

    Found your blog – i’m going to Barca on Sept 24 so I’m definitely going to check out the spots you mentioned 🙂 Hoping I can surprise my bf with a Barca match but I’m not sure if anything’ll be on while I’m there. Have book marketed your blog so definitely going to check it out some more.

    Trini in TO

    • rishiray said

      Hi Rhonda
      Well I’ll definitely have more information on Barcelona coming up… I’m currently in Greece but if you have specific questions, feel free to drop a comment question and I’ll answer along.

  8. […] My Happiness Inventory […]

  9. […] My Happiness Inventory […]

  10. Melissa said

    This is an AWESOME list!

  11. Astrid said


    You’re my freakin’ hero.

  12. Vidia said

    Wow I really need to document. This is great reading and I can relate!

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