My bucket list used to be seven pages long. I was obsessed with all those adventurous things you could do to get the most out of life. Since then, I've culled it dramatically. I've shortened it from just a list of cool stuff to do to a list of things without which I couldn't really consider my life complete. The oldest of these is to travel at least once to every continent.
Many people know that this is a goal of mine, as I talk about it a lot. Earlier this year I got to cross Asia off the list with a five-day trip to Singapore. But what no one's ever heard is where this dream came from. It's pretty embarrassing, so you have to promise not to laugh. Promise? I'll assume you promised. When I was very young, I was watching an episode of Sabrina the Teenage Witch (hey, you promised!). Sabrina had graduated high school (or college, I forget) and was applying for a job as a journalist. The sassy black manager of the journalism place turned her down, giving this speech...
"Listen kid. You got a lot of spunk, I'll give you that. But you're missing one very important thing that you can't learn in school - life experience. Rita over there has her own fashion line on the side. Lucy had dinner with the President last week. James has been to every continent..."
I couldn't have been any older than eleven at the time, so I'd never heard this concept of life experience. To me it sounded like something akin to The Force - something magical and mystical that you can only achieve through rigorous effort. I can't really tell how profound an effect that completely innocuous moment had on the rest of my life, but at the very least, something clicked in my brain that made me equate "traveling to every continent" with "experiencing the most of life".
The reason I bring this up is that I now have a very real chance of being able to earn myself a free trip to Rio de Janeiro for the 2016 Olympics. South America - along with Africa and Antarctica - is one of the three continents to which I haven't yet been. So I REALLY want to take this opportunity up.
One of the pub trivia companies I work for (named Quiz Meisters) has entered itself into a competition called the Small Business Olympics. The first prize for this competition is $75 000 and a trip for two to the games. The geniuses at head office, fully aware of the power of networking and viral marketing, has made this offer to all of its hosts around the country - get as many people as you can to vote for Quiz Meisters and if we win, we'll give one of the two spots in the trip to Rio to the host that got us the most votes. Make sure the voter puts the host's name and venue into the section that says "I'm voting for this business because..." so we know it's from you.
So far, Quiz Meisters is looking to be in a very good position. An early count saw them with 25% of all the votes cast in the comp. I had contributed a good deal of those votes. Then I saw this.
Gah, why is he so likeable?! I need your help to combat this evil, wonderful man. Please go to biz.vote/qm (if you're on a phone) or https://www.olympicsforsmallbusiness.com.au/qm/quiz-meisters (if you're on a computer) and put in a vote for the business. When you get to the part that says "I voted for this business because", you can put anything you want as long as it has the name "Michael D" somewhere in it. Also, feel free to put in a fake email address when they ask for it. I wouldn't want to repay your kindness with endless amounts of spam ;)
And lastly, if you're feeling very generous please share this around. Maybe on your own blogs (probably the best) or maybe on your social media (#SendMichaelToRio). This has literally been a lifelong dream and I'd love to be able to cross this off my bucket list.