Steve over at Nerd Fitness (one of my favorite blogs) has an Epic Quest of Awesome that I’m blatantly copying and I think you should copy too.

How does it work? You turn your life into a game.

Here’s a list of things that I hope to accomplish in the next few years/lifetime. Every item is worth 20% and every 100% I get to level up. I started this a year ago, on paper, but I like putting it on my blog so I can be reminded of all the awesome things there are yet to do. When I accomplish something I’ll update this list.

Completed Levels

Level One

Paid off my student loans – Dec 2013

Try the snack of Taiwan– Winter 2013

Laze on the beach and turn down drugs in Thailand – Winter 2014

Show a close Chinese friend my hometown/and favorite places – Summer 2014

Eat fresh bread on the streets of Xinjiang – Summer 2015

Level Two

Go to the rainbow hills of Gansu Province – Summer 2015

Be interviewed for a local magazine – Spring 2015 (it was a Xiamen travel magazine)

Finally hike to the top of Yellow Mountain – Winter 2016

I didn’t see my friends or sit in a cat cafe (because honestly they aren’t that special now and every major city in the world has them), but I did hike the forests and visit the temples of Japan – Oct 2016

Win a Jimei Badminton Tournament – Third place! Oct 2017

Level Three

Be interviewed for a national radio show – Interviewed on NPR’s Only a Game in December 2017 

Write in cafes all over Paris – Summer 2018

Here’s the rest of the list:


Be shocked by the over development of Tibet, but still awed by its majesty

Eat fresh bread on the streets of Xinjiang

Try the super fast South Korean internet

Have an awkward, overpriced, restricted tour of North Korea

Visit Yumi, Abu, Sarah and Erikou all over Japan. Sit in a cat cafe

Laze on a beach and turn down drugs in Thailand

Find out if Vietnam is really as annoying as many backpackers say

Try the snacks of Taiwan

China specific

Sail down the Yangtze river and mourn the loss of the small villages along the 3 gorges damn, while secretly being impressed by the dam itself.

Freeze my ass off at the Harbin ice festival

Go to the rainbow hills in Gansu province

Finally hike to the top of Yellow Mountain

Visit all UNESCO world heritage sites (22/41 so far!)

Central/South America

See the big jesus statue in Brazil.

Climb the pyramids in Chichen Itza

Think about Darwin at the Galapagos Islands.

Hike up to Macchu Picchu

North America

Visit the redwoods again, one of my favorite places

Drive cross-country using a different route than I did before

Take a development meeting in Los Angeles

Show a close Chinese friend my hometown/and favorite places

Thru-hike the Appalachian Trail


Spend days in Edinburgh writing, nights wandering the streets of the city

Write in cafes all over Paris

Go to the Christmas Markets in Germany

Visit all the Gaudi buildings in Spain

See the northern lights in Scandinavia

Visit Stonehenge on a pagan holiday

Walk the width of England following Hadrian’s wall.


Do that forced perspective picture of me kissing the sphinx in Egypt

Take a picture of the big 5 in Africa

Feels the drops of Victoria Fall on my face

Get to the top of Mt Kilimanjaro

Other Places

Visit Petra, Jordan and say as many Indiana Jones quotes as I can

See the heads at Easter Island

Go back to all my favorite places in New Zealand

Personal Goal

Pay off my student loan

Pass HSK-6

Speak in a national conference

Give a TED talk

Visit all 7 continents (4/7 complete)

Have $100,000 invested

Donate $100,000

Win a Jimei badminton tournament

Win a Xiamen badminton tournament

Win an international badminton tournament

Business Goals

Make video series for blog

Sell a book to a mainstream publisher

Become a NYT bestselling writer

Make a living off writing

Make $1000 a month from my blog

Be interviewed for local magazine

Be interviewed for national magazine

Be interviewed for a national radio show

Be interviewed for a TV show

Write for a major website

I should mention that I’ve already done a lot of traveling in my life. I’ve seen Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, eaten strudel in Germany, walked the halls of Mont St Michel, and gazed upon the faces in Mt Rushmore and nearby crazy horse. Got sea sick while snorkeling at the Great Barrier Reef. picked apples in New Zealand, had a monkey eat bananas from my hand in Indonesia, and played with my BFF at Disney Hong Kong. So maybe some of the more typical bucket list items might appear to be missing, but truth is, I’ve done a lot already.

Also, I’m not a daredevil. It’s not that I’m scared, but actually really have no interest bungee jumping or jumping out of a plane or doing any of those adrenaline type things. Not my jam.

Any other suggestions you have for me? I know this list is far from complete, and I hope to do not only all of them, but many more as well. Let me know.

And if you want to make an epic quest of awesomeness for yourself, I think you should. We all need to be reminded of how many cool things there are in the world for us to explore!


Leonard Ances · February 6, 2014 at 11:46 am

Have enough money so if I can’t find work I can still survive without having to beg my parents (who I still owe money to) for more money. Ha Ha 🙂

Danlee · February 12, 2014 at 8:00 pm

I think you can cross off “Laze on a beach and turn down drugs in Thailand”. haha

Danlee · February 12, 2014 at 8:05 pm

This is really cool and inspiring ! I should have one too!!
PLZ invite me to your Ted talk! haha

Thanapon Tatum Napawan · January 5, 2015 at 10:27 pm

TED talk seems really cool.
Moreover, getting mauled while playing with baby cubs(tigers) should be on the list also, you should do some more daredevil adrenaline rush adventures. Bungy jump, by the way, is on my bucket list.

Laze on e beach and turn down drugs in Thailand! ? Hahaha turn down for what!? With all due respect.

秦始皇 · September 9, 2015 at 5:49 am

Cross off Xinjiang and Gansu!

Cindy Eyler · February 24, 2016 at 6:54 pm

Jordon isn’t in Africa 😉

Becky · February 24, 2016 at 11:47 pm

Fixed. Thanks for noticing my dumb mistake!

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