Friday, February 4, 2011

This Week's Bucket List Additions 3

-Become a Baron. Difficutly rating: 2 out of 10
     Specifically, I want to become a baron of Sealand, described by some as the world's smallest nation. Sealand is a fascinating story, I think.  Apparently, during World War II, England built several sea forts to defend themselves against German air raids. (Sea Forts!?  This story is already awesome!)  After the war had been won, England abandoned these forts, several of which sat in international waters outside of any nation's borders.  In 1967 Major Paddy Roy Bates began living on one of the forts, broadcasting pirate radio and declared the fort his own nation, the Principality of Sealand.  He created his own constitution, flag, anthem and even minted coins and stamps.  The English courts eventually declared they had no jurisdiction over him after the navy tried to charge him for firing warning shots at them.

Sealand Coat of Arms

     Years later, Sealand even fought a 'war'.  While Major Paddy was away on vacation, a German 'businessman' and some of his Dutch henchmen invaded Sealand and took Prince Michael hostage.  Major Paddy returned to Sealand, subdued and imprisoned the invaders, and even forced Germany to send a diplomat to negotiate for the release of the prisoners!  To this day the German businessman claims to be the rightful king of Sealand in exile.

Picture of Sealand from

     And how do I plan to become a Baron?  Because Sealand is so small, it has very few citizens or businesses to tax. (Their only real business is a high-security internet hosting company that leases space on the fort.)  Therefore Sealand sells nobility deeds online to help raise government funds.  You can become a Lord, Lady, Baron or Baroness of Sealand for only £30!  Maybe for my next birthday, I'll become a Baron!

-Sell a Photograph to Someone I Don't Know. Difficulty Rating: 5 out of 10
     I think that all of us have an artist inside.  We all try to express ourselves through song or dance or blog sometimes.  Everyone tries to share something beautiful or true that they have seen on occasion.  Certainly we all create, whether it's a story or a sweater or a picture.  And with that, we all have some need to be recognized as talented or unique or entertaining.  For some that means we want others to laugh at a joke we have crafted.  Maybe others want people to wear their sweaters or marvel at the Magic: the gathering decks they've built.  I want a stranger to see one of my pictures and find it valuable enough to buy.  I've started asking local libraries and coffee shops if I can get some of my pictures on their walls, and hopefully this will lead me to my goal.

copyright Jeff Howick 2011

-Visit Every Continent. Difficulty Rating: 8 out of 10
     I've always loved to learn, and what is travel if not learning about the world?  I want to learn about other cultures and places and I want to do it firsthand.  I want to experience the great diversity and beauty this world has to offer and share some of my culture with others around the world.  I'm sure it will take awhile to visit every continent, but this is certainly one bucket list entry where the journey is more important than the goal.  My ultimate goal is to learn about the world and share meaningful experiences with people far and near.  Visiting every continent is just a convenient and catchy way to paraphrase this goal.  Which is why I may also make an exception for visiting Antarctica.

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