50 things to do before you die: take part in a triathlon

triathlonA triathlon is a sports event which involves 3 continuous and sequential disciplines. Modern-day triathlons are swim/bike/run events that are done in that order.

Taking part in a triathlon has been on my bucket list for at least 3 years and so far, I’ve done absolutely nothing to prepare for it. Firstly, I don’t own a bike and secondly, when I jump in the water, I sink like a stone which isn’t conducive for competing in an event like this, neither surviving! chatsworth houseTo add insult to injury, my elder sister has successfully completed two triathlons and my brother is attempting his first in June, with an outdoor swim, in the beautiful location of Chatsworth House in Derbyshire.  As an aside, if you like classic novels, Chatsworth House, is mentioned in Jane Austin’s romantic book, Pride and Prejudice.

So, the O’Carrolls are a competitive family and at the moment I’m at the bottom of the rubbish tip.  So, please give me some advice on how I can prepare for a triathlon and if you would like to train with me, then let me know when we are going to start.

On a final note, a lot of people want to complete a marathon before they die, but I think that running a marathon would definitely kill me! Not to mention an iron man competition!

50 things to do before you die: go on a road trip

Some people spend their life looking for the perfect job, the perfect home, the perfect lover, or even the most amazing pair of Jimmy Choo high-heel shoes, but I say: forget all that stuff, throw some clothes in a backpack, buckle your seat belt, pick up some mates and go out and find the DRIVE OF YOUR LIFE.
By the way, my image of this road trip is in a 1963 Aston Martin convertible. Consequently, this is probably the main reason why I haven’t fulfilled this ambition yet. However, I’m not going to do it in a Renault Clio, neither a Ford Fiesta.
Ok, where are you going to drive?
route 66Perhaps, the well-known Route 66 from Illinois to California, or the Trans-Andean highway from Chile to Argentina, which coincidently, is said to have more thrills than an attraction park! Not sure; need some inspiration?

red hot chilli peppersOr perhaps, you just want to listen to one of my favourite Red Hot Chilli Pepper songs: ‘Road Trippin’. Ok, please don’t write in to tell me that the song isn’t  about a road trip because I know that it is well accepted that the lyrics are about the band ‘getting off their faces’ with illegal drugs and possibly a few mushrooms.

50 things to do before you die: go travelling for 6 months

travellingOne of my great passions in life is travelling, and the truth is, I have spent a lot of time living and travelling in different countries. My first big adventure was when I was 18 when I volunteered on a Kibbutz in Israel for a year. During this adventure, I learnt how to cultivate bananas, pick avocados and that looking after children brought me out in a rash! In addition, I fell in love, broke my leg and developed a ‘thing’ for men in uniforms. However, the biggest life lesson I learnt was that tolerance, humility, compassion and hope are by far the most precious of all human inventions. Finally, I also realized that I was always going to have itchy feet.

janette philippinesSo, if you don’t have a passport, get, one and if you don’t have a clue where to go then perhaps Lonely Planet could help you, or throw a dart at a map of the world and go wherever destiny takes you. In deed, my sister and I went to The Philippines as a result of watching a video on YouTube. However, our next backpacking trip is going to be to Sri Lanka and India. However, we are open to suggestions, so if you’ve got a better plan, then let me know.

To have itchy feet

itchy-feetTo have itchy feet means to have a strong desire to travel or move from place to place. For example: Janette has extremely itchy feet because she finds it very difficult to stay in one place for a long time. Having said that, I reckon she must be in love because she has been in Málaga for years!

50 things to do before you die: go on a silent meditation retreat

meditation retreatAlright, I get the idea that we learn a lot more by listening to other people than we do by flapping our own lips. I also get that deep breathing and meditating is bound to be relaxing. But, and this is a big but, if you are like me and you have trust issues, coupled with the annoying habit of telling people that they are a raving lunatic if they say something which is logically absurd, then it’s almost impossible to keep your gob shut. In fact, I was once kicked out of a Buddhist retreat because I couldn’t stop asking questions.

chakrasOne of the disadvantages of being an ex-philosophy student is that you find it difficult to believe anything on face value and you have to analyse everything. So, as an example, when this Buddhist monk told me to look for my chakras, I asked him, in all seriousness, why they might be hiding from me? He obviously thought I was being facetious and reported me to the Chief of chief monks. This was not my first, nor my last offence!

50 things to do before you die: go scuba diving

scuba divingYes, yes and could I be anymore direct, yes!

It’s a fact that approximately 71% of the earth’s surface is ocean, so why not strap on an oxygen tank and get exploring a whole new universe? Speaking from experience, getting close and personal to the secrets of marine life is one of the most awe-inspiring things I have ever done. Furthermore, it seems to me that if learning how to scuba dive were a compulsory part of a nation’s curriculum, we would all develop a profounder respect for our planet and consequently reduce some of our environmental atrocities.

octopusHowever, if you are still not convinced; how about the idea of learning more effective communication, interpersonal and survival skills from our friendly fish, molluscs, water mammals and water life. For example, you can learn from an octopus how to have sex, how to murder your partner and then how to become a cannibal in less than 15 minutes. Seriously brilliant; imagine one of your one-night stands is going all wrong, no problem, you have the answer!

sea turtleOr, you can learn how to seduce someone you fancy by following the communication lines of a turtle; first start bobbing your head up and down, up and down, and if that doesn’t work, try and bite their leg. So, perhaps this isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but I must admit, it’s always worked for me.

Finally, if you’ve got some different reasons for going scuba diving, don’t be shy, let us know.

50 things to do before you die: volunteer for a charity

volunteer your timeThank goodness, an ethical must-do! Yes, I think everyone should volunteer for a charity. There are 1000s of international, national and local charities that you can get involved in. Furthermore, whatever your skills, experience or interests, there will be a charity out there desperately waiting for you. In addition, there are 1000s of advantages for volunteering, but it seems to me that the three most common pros are as follows: it’s deeply rewarding, you learn a lot, and in most cases, you become a better person as a result of the experience. When I lived in Manchester, I volunteered once a month at a Community Association for the elderly and as a result of this experience I have a profound affection for the idiosyncrasies of elderly people. I know it might not be fashionable, but I just love grumpy old men and women.
grumpy old womenIf you want to hear about what gets grumpy old British women hopping mad, then watch this video. It’s hilarious, and the perfect video to learn a lot of idioms in context.


20 Minutos Blog Awards 2015 –The results for Inglés Málaga

celebrate successThere were 994 blogs competing against us, and our winning position was in the top 4%.

Top 4%, OMG – top 4%; I’m on cloud 9, I’m over the moon and as excited as a kid in a toy shop! Are we fantastic? Of course we are! Seriously, it’s really amazing news and I’m very grateful to everyone who took the time to vote for us. Thank you so much!
Unfortunately, because we won’t receive the prize money, we can’t afford to pay for a hedonistic party, neither invest in a learning grant, nor fund some work experience as I promised we would do if we won. However, I’m going to put my thinking cap on and try to come up with some other ways to celebrate our success. Perhaps a beach party in the summer? What do you think?


ambitiousAmbitious is an adjective which is connected to the ideas of improvement, success and achievement. For example, my sister is very ambitious because she always wants to improve and widen her skills, experience and knowledge.

Personally speaking, ambition is one of the sexiest personality characteristics in a person while complacency is one of the dullest. Don’t you think so?

50 things to do before you die: go for a midnight picnic

midnight picnicGo for a midnight picnic! Really! It can’t be true that someone has suggested this activity as a must-do before you pop your clogs?!

No, I’m sorry, I can’t. I can’t even respond to that idea. It’s like saying, go out, get drunk and eat a donna kebab or a 4 cheese pizza on your way home. I mean, who hasn’t done that?! However, if someone suggested going to New York’s central park at midnight in order to jump on the Alice in wonderland statue with little bottles of gin and tonic with labels that said:’drink me’ on them, I might reconsider this. Having said that, shrinking to the size of an ant would definitely be challenging!