President’s Message – The New Bucket List

By Frans Hansen, President, The Cruise Web.

In Rob Reiner’s film The Bucket List, Jack Nicholson’s and Morgan Freeman’s characters meet in a crowded hospital room, having just been diagnosed with terminal illnesses and prognoses of less than a year to live. The two become unlikely friends, and set off together to climb the Pyramids, traverse the Great Wall of China, safari in Africa, and share all the things on their list before they “kick the bucket!”

With respects to legends Reiner, Nicholson and Freeman, and to those who have actually lived out final year bucket lists, I have to argue that this is the ‘old’ way about a Bucket List! The New Bucket List concept is quite different … and it’s ageless!  First of all, very few of us are given one year’s ‘advance notice’ on our life expectancy, and then also have the time, resources and health, to knock off a list of 20 worldly pursuits in under a year.  Additionally, beginning with the instant we are born, our time here starts ticking away.  Thus, now is the time to live our dreams.  Now, everyone, whether 25 or 85, should put together a proper Bucket List and start checking off at least one item per year!

I can’t say whether People magazine will officially recognize the New Bucket List as the official in way of the times, but I can tell you that this is what I am doing.  Although I am fortunate enough to be as healthy as I’ve ever been, have no plans or expectations of dying anytime soon, and would never admit to being a day over 29 and 3/4, I’ve been aggressively tackling my own Bucket List over the last 3 years.

Frans whips his BMW 330is around a tight turnIn 2008, I took my boys on a majestic cruise to Alaska {Click here to read the story}, and then in 2009 I took them to Sweden {Story here}, the birthplace of their grandmother. In 2010 I am checking off something a little more selfish from my list: “Race automobiles competitively!”

I found the perfect class — BMW Spec E30, with the National Auto Sport Association (NASA). By all accounts, this was a highly competitive, low-cost class with lots of fun side-by-side race action!

While I had never raced an automobile before 2010, I had raced karts, and I initially thought that the transition would be easy for me. However, about 10 minutes into my first session on a track at full speed, with a professional instructor as my passenger, I realized the fragility of that prediction. Sliding a solid suspension kart around a turn one inch off the ground was suddenly quite different than sliding a full size BMW 325is around a turn near 100 mph with the body rolling and tires screeching, each one at its limit of traction.

FransMy karting experience helped me pass my requirements, though, and put me out on the track for my first race against competition this February. While a whopping 7+ seconds per lap off the pace, I had the time of my life. I picked off a few seconds a lap in my March event, and then even more in my April race, before qualifying for my first pole position in May, and then eking out my first race win in June! Click here to watch highlights of the race!

I am scheduled to race three more NASA SpecE30 events this year, and it looks like I may even compete for NASA’s SpecE30 National Championship at Miller Motorsports Park in Utah this September. ‘Check’ one off the list!

Taken a step further, the New Bucket List, is really about making the most of every single day and every single moment. With the stresses and distractions of everyday life, this is not always so easy. If you can consciously plan a special, fun, or memorable life experience into your next year, and make it happen, then you are conquering your very own New Bucket List! Of course, if that special experience can be reached by cruise ship, I hope you will contact the amazing team at The Cruise Web that I am so fortunate to work with every day, when I am not on the race track or with my boys.

Frans G. Hansen


1 CLAIRE ERLIN { 07.21.10 at 1:17 pm }

I loved your story.. I am always talking about my bucket list but seem to be so busy each day I never get to it, but I try to do a lot of fun things. I always say “There is one thing wrong with being retired and that is “you never get a day off”. Anyway I love to cruise and have been on many. Now I’d like to do the EPIC. I’m going to try to go for it.
Loved your story..and GOOD LUCK

Buni Erlin

2 CLAIRE ERLIN { 07.21.10 at 1:19 pm }

LOVED YOUR STORY. I’m putting THE EPIC on my bucket list.

3 Frans Hansen, President { 07.21.10 at 1:50 pm }

Thank you, Ms. Erlin.

I actually just spent the 4th of July weekend aboard ‘Epic’ with my two children. We docked right in front of the five river barges that launched all the fireworks! Both the ship and the fireworks were amazing!

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