In 2010 I assigned myself a deadline of May 25th 2017 and made the purpose of my life to complete my bucket list. Prior to that I was dealing with clinical depression and was frustrated with the course of my life. It sounds cheesy but after hearing other people's cool stories, I crafted a plan to live my own.

My list (which I call a Life List) has two rules. First, every item must be completed before the deadline. Secondly, I can not add or remove any items from the list.

You can see my Life List here:

Since starting I have been tackling the list by living in strategically located cities for 6 months at a time. I pay for stuff by writing other people code (Ruby) and doing online marketing freelancing. In pursuit of the list I have been to all seven continents, learned to pickpocket, lost 60 pounds in order return to my high school weight, been to the super bowl, ran a marathon and completed about 100 other items.

I am currently over 80% done with the list and expect to finish it early.

Proof: Here is a tweet about this:

Thanks for all of the questions everyone! I appreciate the opportunity. If you want to get in contact with me just use any of the channels listed on

Comments: 360 • Responses: 69  • Date: 

insightfulCommentz182 karma

Do you think those covers for gutters that are supposed to keep leaves out really work or will I end up having to clean them out anyway?

DannyDover84 karma

You are going to have to manually clean those suckers. I hear they keep out leaves but not the dirt that is in the rainwater.

derbyna116 karma

I am cynical. I want to be able to phrase this nicer, but all I see is a rich guy listing out the run things that he wants to do with his money. How is it different? (also, what is up with the Ron Weasley stand up in your "Burning Man" picture?)

DannyDover58 karma

Feel free to phrase it however you want :-)

I hear you on the rich guy talking about how cool he is thing. It something about this project that bugs me.

This is kinda going to sound like bullshit but I am being heartfelt here. I started this project during a really rough time in my life and used it as a ladder to get myself out. Money is a huge factor in enabling me to do this but it is only fair to note that I didn't have very much money when I started and I don't have a lot now. I just keep my other expenses way down and focus all of my financial resources on the list.

Regarding Ron Weasley, it was burning man. I don't even know how that got there :-)

chasing202061 karma

I see you have checked off "Experience LSD"

Can you tell us about your trip?

DannyDover115 karma

I'll give the short version as this venue is very public.

I did it once and will never do it again.

I took it alone in a highrise apartment building in Argentina. It was by far the most disconnected from myself that I have ever been. The high was incredibly high (it was very physical and frankly sexual) and lasted for hours. It was a pivotal point in my life in that everything afterwards was different. After the high, came an extremely low, low. I got lost in my kitchen and being in Argentina the only thing I had in my fridge was uncooked meat. The sight of the meat and blood set me in a bad direction. It was the most scared I had ever been in that I was convinced that I had eaten part of my own body (but I couldn't figure out which part)

After the experience, I had periodic flashbacks for months afterward. I could feel the distinction between my bones and the flesh on my body. shiver

I didn't expect this outcome but after the experience, I have had no desire to take any kind of drug (even things like Asprin). I am just different now.

ReluctantMuffEater59 karma

So apparently, everything you've done since highschool is related to self-promotion, marketing and SEO. How is this any different?

DannyDover50 karma

Hey ReluctantMuffEater,

I'd say that is oversimplifying my life a bit but generally I think that is correct. I am 26 now so since high school those areas have been my primary focus. I am sure that will expand as more time passes.

How is this any different?

I find a lot more meaning in this work. I really enjoy storytelling and this list gives me a lot of new stories to tell. I hear your sentiment though, I do feel a little uneasy about how self-promotion this is. But its an AMA, so naturally its going to be a bit uncomfortably about me.

cheezycrusty38 karma

I just have two things to say :

1) you must be freaking crazy

2) I love that and truly wish that you will accomplish everything on your list. You have balls.


DannyDover17 karma

Thanks man :-)

Gaberader130 karma

So does this mean you're killing yourself on that day? If so, how?

DannyDover59 karma

Well before I do anything I am going to throw a really big party that day. This is a bit of a morbid idea but I am treating that deadline as my dead day and prioritizing the things in my life based off of that.

Am I actually going to kill myself on that day? Doubtful but it would be quite fitting if I got hit by a bus or flattened by a train carrying buckets or something.

Bruhooke12 karma

After reading this you've inspired me to get off my ass and make my life as wonderful as possible. Thank you

DannyDover7 karma

Awesome man, that is the idea! :-)

Fearless_Shultz12 karma

What's the best live music gig you've seen on your travels? who, where, why was it the best?

DannyDover32 karma

Deadmau5 in a tiny club in Seattle. It was the first time I had heard his music and it completely floored me. This was about 3 years ago.

great2beking10 karma


DannyDover12 karma

In my opinion, Burning Man is a must do for anyone who has the freedom to make it happen (the logistics of living in the desert for a week is not for everyone). I have been 5 times, each time was completely different. (I even went with my boss once :-p)

luddist8 karma

Do you genuinely find this pursuit fulfilling?

DannyDover8 karma

Absolutely. That is why I keep doing it.

guiltyas-sin8 karma

Just curious, why would want to be a pickpocket? Or at least learn the skill? I can't think of a noble reason for this one. Your list is cool, but that admission seemed odd to me.

edit: I guess you could be a performer as a pickpocket?

DannyDover6 karma

It certainly wasn't noble. It interested me at the time and freaked me out a little bit so I added it to the list (this was in 2010).

Having done it, I am actually happy it was included on my list. It was definitely not something I would have done otherwise. I learned a lot about weird human quirks (personal space is relative to the amount of people in one vicinity) and about how to protect myself from pick pocketers.

indeeds8 karma

2017....why so soon?

DannyDover25 karma

Good question!

The entire purpose of setting the deadline was to force myself to prioritize those kind of things in life that everyone says they want to do but never actually make time to do. I picked a date that was close enough make me feel pressured to start asap. Otherwise I knew I would keep putting things off.

indeeds9 karma

Have you anticipated the arrival of a potential girlfriend/children? Anything that may derail your aim?

DannyDover20 karma

Funny you say that. I have thought about this a lot. I think there are three big things that could prevent me from finishing my list.

  1. I become too ill to complete an item
  2. I run out of money and can't afford to complete an item before the deadline
  3. I meet some amazing girl and she convinces me to change courses.

As you implied, I think the last one is the most likely situation to arise. So far the girls I have dated have been adventurers themselves so we have completed items together so this hasn't been an issue. That said, it is something I think a lot about when I am dating someone new.

CoreyMcNeil5 karma

Alright, how about this? You did an interview for me a couple of years back for Search News Central. When are you going to be in Utah? I would like to say hello.

DannyDover11 karma

Hey Corey! I'll be in Utah sometime early next year. It looks like that is one of the only places in the States to do Olympic luging. If you are nearby when that happens, lets grab a beer.

pghbatman4 karma

I pre-ordered your book way back and remember this list very well. Funny enough I'm currently attempting to learn Ruby. I'm very happy I see you use this as a component to be able to do the things you want to do in life. You were an inspiration to me as a young man and I"m currently working for a Fortune 500 doing SEO. I just wanted to say thanks for helping me. You have a lot more checked off the list than the last time I saw - amazing Danny.

DannyDover2 karma

:-) Thanks bud.

jeremy99314 karma

Surprised no one else said it but with a name like Danny Dover, you have no need to be depressed. You have either the perfect pornstar name and if all else fails, 80's buddy cop character.

Hi, I'm Danny Dover now bend over.

DannyDover4 karma

Yeah that was surprising! This is the longest I have ever gone in a public thing without someone making a BenDover joke. :-p Good tagline, I am going to file that away.

fahmif103 karma

Wow you have been to Singapore but not Malaysia? should have gone. could have saved yourself some flight tickets. Btw i'm from Malaysia, hope you will enjoy our country.

DannyDover2 karma

I actually just spent a little under a week in KL. I just haven't written a post on it yet. I liked KL but want to explore more of the country (KL was basically just like any major city but had some interesting additional flare)

the_ninjew3 karma

what happens if you don't complete everything on the list by the date?

DannyDover12 karma

The plan is to throw as big of a party as I can afford and invite all of the people who have been part of the List journey or have supported me in some other way throughout my life.

metwreck3 karma

You said you code and do marketing to pay for everything. I am just curious what your annual income is, even if in general. I work for myself and was curious how much money is needed to do a life list like this.

DannyDover10 karma

I make 5 figures. (Sorry I can't be more precise than that. I know clients and potential clients will be reading this and it would hurt my leverage in rate negotiations to give an exact number) Biggest takeaway I have had with money throughout all of this is that it is MUCH easier to cut expenses than to increase income. The latter is reliant on someone else (a boss, client, etc) whereas the former you can do entirely yourself.

It is also worth noting that I am single and don't have any kids. That means I have much more flexibility over my budget than other people.

That_is_a_filthy_lie3 karma

What language are you learning or planning on learning?

DannyDover7 karma

Spanish (although I see a good case for learning Mandarin). I lived in Spain for a while and really enjoyed the pace of life and the people who I met. I am tentatively planning to move to Madrid to double down on this life list item.

shockg881 karma

Hey how long did you live in Spain for?

DannyDover1 karma

3 months. Next time I am going to look into better ways of extending my visa.

brazener3 karma

Do you really have a tattoo on your ass? Plz send pix thx.

DannyDover11 karma

Yup its tattooed. Not going to post a pic though, I think the Internet is better off without my digitized ass.

ifworkman3 karma

What's the most challenging item that you completely didn't expect to be a challenge?

(Also, I really enjoy following your journey! Best wishes!)

DannyDover3 karma

So far the most unexpected challenge has been getting a six pack (abs not beer ;-p). After losing all of that weight and running a marathon I had wrongly thought that I was disciplined enough to keep the insane workout/diet routine that is required.

No excuses on this one. I have formally started this item twice now and failed both times.

nosaJ42973 karma

Most of your goals are quite reasonable and definately achievable by your average person. What are some of the more extrememe things you would like to do, but probably wouldnt be able to in the allotted time? Personally, the most rediculous thing on my list is to juggle on the ISS in zero-G. I already know how to juggle, but i doubt ill ever get the oppertunity to do this

DannyDover5 karma

What are some of the more extrememe things you would like to do, but probably wouldnt be able to in the allotted time?

This isn't part of my Life List but I'd love to be fluent in the world's 5 most popular languages (Mandarin, Spanish, English, Hindi-Urdu, Arabic). This would enable me to speak with over half of the world's population.

seri_3 karma

Your thing for Australia was to see the Sydney Opera there really nothing else in Australia that interests you to see? Great Barrier Reef, Uluru etc.

DannyDover5 karma

Yeah it sounds like there are definitely a lot more things worth seeing in Australia. I guess my list can't include everything though.

BeardedSloven3 karma

How were some of the World's Greatest Parties? What was your favorite experience? What was your least favorite?

DannyDover10 karma

Queens Day in Amsterdam has been my favorite by far. That day something like 3 million people pack the streets of Amsterdam and have an all day and night giant street party. I had gone in with low expectations because I hadn't really heard much about the event but was blown away by the super cool people (they were really inviting) and the general positive attitude of the crowd.

Least favorite is relative in that they have all been fun (I mean they are giant parties) but if I had to pick one I would say Sant Joan in Spain. Its a big beach party but just not as fun as the others.

fallasy3 karma

No question, just wanna say you are a pretty damn cool inspirational person. Just an awesome idea you have. Makes me want to have my own list. Ya, i know how that sounds reddit and I still typed it!

DannyDover5 karma

Thanks man, best of luck with your own list! Let me know if I can support you somehow.

MybuddyWill2 karma

Are you gonna write a book about completing this when you are done? Because I'm down to read that. I'm serious.

DannyDover7 karma

Yeah I think so. More just to get the thoughts out of my head. Ideally I'd like to write something to help people out with the logistics on how to do something like this themselves. I don't want to get ahead of myself, I need to finish the list first :-)

greycharcoal2 karma

I see that Mount Everest (Sagarmatha, as we Nepalis call it) is on your list. If you just want to see it, then you could see it from the Base Camp without actually climbing it. Also, the Lukla airport (no other access to the mountains) is considered the most dangerous airport in the world.

P.S. Recommended read: 'Into Thin Air' by Jon Krakaeur.

DannyDover1 karma

Good advice! Base Camp (or think it might technically be called lower base camp - you know better than I do) is my tentative plan for seeing Everest.

Big fan of Krakaeur, I've read most of his work.

xPasas2 karma

How's life?

DannyDover7 karma

Listed? (sorry :-p)

therealbrooklyner2 karma

What are you going to do after?

DannyDover3 karma

Honestly I haven't figured that out. I am purposely (and maybe even irrationally) hyper-focusing on the time before the deadline. I know that I tend to be a procrastinator so I am using the deadline as a tool to force me to prioritize activities that I would normally never do. I'll figure the rest out later.

I had an interesting and pivotal moment where I was thinking about contributing to a Roth IRA. It forced me to really think about how seriously I was going to take my deadline. I realize money in that account now is worth more to me than money I add later but adding now also detracts from my ability to complete items in the near future.

I ended up not contributing and instead using the money to invest in an experience from the list.

schubear2 karma

Go to law school! It's what all the cool kids are doing.

DannyDover4 karma

That sounds very expensive.

TheStrangestSecret2 karma

  1. What was the most exciting bucket item you've done so far?
  2. What will you do once you've finished the list?
  3. What is the most important thing you've learned since starting this journey?

EDIT 4. What bucket item do you advise everyone to have on their list?

DannyDover4 karma

  1. The most exciting item so far would have to be mountain climbing in Antarctica. I had an item to visit all 7 continents before the end of 2012. Trips to Antarctica are really expensive and although I spent a year looking for a deal, I couldn't find one. As a last resort I bought a one way ticket to Ushuaia, Argentina (the most southern city in the world) and vowed to stay there until I made it to my last continent. It took about two and a half weeks but I randomly ended up on a ship which took me there.

  2. The plan is throw as big of a party as I can afford on the Life List deadline and invite all of the people who were either part of the list or have supported me in my life in some way.

  3. I have learned that persistence can solve just about any problem.

  4. Travel somewhere (anywhere) with each member of your family.

ryanricketts2 karma

Can I join the party? :)

DannyDover3 karma


bogdaniuz2 karma

Hi, this'd be rather atypical question for you to answer, but I'd give it a shot. I'm sort of a college student right now, but in all honesty, I do not enjoy it, nor I see reason to continue doing it.

I was thinking about maybe traveling around the country and see how it goes.

Or I'll shoot mmyself in the leg if I will abandon college now?

DannyDover6 karma

Ultimately, I think this is something you are going to need to answer yourself.

I can tell you about my experience but it really only applies to my unique path. I am a college dropout and it has never held me back. In fact it moved me forward in that I had a head start with my first career relative to my peers who were still in class. When I was in school, I realized I really wanted to study the Internet. Unfortunately, there is not a degree in that. (well there wasn't at the time) I bounced around degrees for a while (Computer Science, Comparative Lit, Informatics) and eventually just ended up applying to all of the startups in my area (Seattle). I told them I would work for free and bring my own laptop, I just wanted to learn.

The only company that said yes was SEOmoz (Now Due to nothing of my own, that gig set me up extremely well as SEO turned out to be a perfect tool for studying the Internet. I was passionate about that and it opened a lot of doors for me. It also got me me traveling which was the seed for my Life List.

I don't remember who originally said it but I have always liked the quote "Luck is Opportunity times Preparation". I have been extremely lucky in my life and the only aspect of that that I have had any say on was preparation.

Good luck man! School might not be the right path for you but do keep looking. Regardless you still have a lot of work ahead of you. Try to make it something you enjoy.

kage521242 karma

Are you afraid you'll have 'nothing to live for' after you complete this list? Like a couple who are filming a porno together and lose all excitement about each other in the process?

DannyDover3 karma

I have worried about that before (that I will be become too jaded). Then something happens like I fart and find myself giggling like an idiot and I stop worrying. Some problems just stay purely intellectual.

abcactus2 karma

Is there anything you regret putting on the list?

DannyDover3 karma

Nothing that I regret exactly but there have been some let downs. I didn't enjoy my time in Moscow and St Petersburg and wasn't inspired by the Forbidden City.

That said, I am really glad I gave myself a strict deadline. There have been lots of items that I never would have done (expensive, super inconvenient, plain scary) if I hadn't made time a factor with this mission.

humuspotatoe2 karma

  • So far in your seeing of the worlds most amazing man-made things, what was your favorite and why?
  • And the same question for natural thing?

DannyDover3 karma

It is a close three way tie between the Great Wall, the Neuschwanstein Castle and the Moai on Easter Island. Although given the backstory of Easter Island, I think the Moai win. That place is surreal!

And the same question for natural thing?

I think I have been the most wowed by the Grand Canyon. It is extremely hyped but even more amazing than I had heard. (The Red Woods are a close second. Mostly because the sheer number of them.)

adgre12 karma

how did you see the great wall and not the forbidden city? you can do that all in the same day! also, whens the next time you're hitting asia?

DannyDover1 karma

I actually did see both of them while I was in Beijing. I just haven't posted about the Forbidden City yet as it happened about a week ago :-)

In Asia right now. Greetings from Vietnam.

Times_Are_Rough2 karma

So basically, you're trying to become the most interesting man in the world?

DannyDover2 karma

No, that guy is old. :-p

Saorigameover2 karma

I hope by May 25th after completing your bucket list, you come to a realization that life, behind all it's bullshit, is actually quite beautiful. From one who suffers from depression to another, I do not know you, but I have a special place in my heart for you. I hope you experience everything you've planned.

DannyDover1 karma

Thanks man, I appreciate the support (I really do!). Best of luck on your own journey. It does get easier. (It just takes a lot of time)

khan1fn2 karma

One of your rules is that you couldn't add anything to your bucket list. I imagine that could've been really frustrating at times that you thought of something really good. Did you have anything you couldn't add to the list, but really wanted to? What were they?

DannyDover1 karma

If that happens, I just do them anyways (assuming I have the resources). Only catch is things on the list take priority over things not on it.

IVIajesty1 karma

Live in the wilderness for a month? Holy shit, good luck man. How are you planning for that one?

DannyDover1 karma

Not to die :-) (I haven't figured out the logistics for that one yet. I actually plan to have that be my last one so I can get some writing done while I am out there.)

iWasAwesome1 karma

I took a look at your submarine adventure. It looks awesome.

I now have a bucket list made up of one item: Go on a submarine. (Guess im going to Hawaii!)

I have a couple questions about it tho.

  1. About how long would you say the ride was?

  2. What was the deepest the sub went?

  3. Did you have to sit in the middle the whole time? You couldnt walk about or go near the windows?

  4. How many crew members were there? And how many other passengers were there? Was it just you? If so was there room for more? Aka, if i went, could i bring at least one other friend?

  5. How much was it if you dont mind me asking?

  6. You said you only found one company that offers submarine rides to the public? What was the name of the company? Edit: With a quick google search i think i found it. correct?

DannyDover1 karma

I'll have to go off foggy memory on this one as that was awhile ago but...

  1. 1.5 hours?
  2. 200 feet? The part I remember the most wasn't the depth it was the authentic submarine noise :-) Also, going deeper was not necessarily better (heh) As you increase the amount of water between you and the surface, you lose colors. At the bottom, the only color that made it through was blue.
  3. No, I was right up against the windows the entire time.
  4. 3 crew, something like 5 other passengers. I think it could hold 20.
  5. I don't remember the exact price but I think it was around $100

oljaz1 karma

Why do you do these things? Like what is the ultimate purpose? You want to gain recognition for your feats? What is the thing that keeps you going?

DannyDover2 karma

This isn't the hollywood answer that you might want to hear but... there is no ultimate purpose to this. I am clueless about life just like everyone.

I was going through a really rough point in my life and used this mission as a ladder to get myself out. Since then, I haven't stopped.

ohaibee1 karma

Read your story about sant Joan and I wish I could've been there! I lived in Barcelona for 3 months, but arrived there the day after Sant Joan. Bummer. Best wishes on your life list! It's definitely inspiring me to do something similar. :)

DannyDover1 karma

Thanks and good luck! :-)

BentMyWookie1 karma

Houston? I could have told you not to go to Houston.

Also, you can't become an Eagle Scout after the age of 18.

DannyDover2 karma

Yeah, in hindsight Houston wasn't really one of "The World's Greatest Cities". But I didn't know that at the time. :-)

joeyoungblood1 karma

When are you going to make a LifeListed Facebook App?

DannyDover5 karma

:-) I am not sure exactly how that would provide value to people.

Ukria1 karma

You said you've been to all 50 states, including Alaska. What did you do in Alaska? Also, which state was your favorite to travel to and why?

DannyDover8 karma

I have actually been to Alaska a couple of times (there is a ton to do and see there). First time was to see the aurora borealis and go dog sledding. The most recent time was on a cruise with my mom :-p Two very different trips but both very fun.

My favorite state to travel to is California (even though I am from Washington) but that shouldn't come as much of a surprise. The one that surprised me the most was Nebraska. I had a great time road tripping through that state.

Zayark1 karma


DannyDover3 karma

What is one thing that you think everyone should do before they die?

It is admittedly cliche but my answer is travel as much as possible.

What was your favorite city to visit?

Barcelona. I love the people, pace, weather, architecture and women there. :-)

What is the task you haven't done, but think will be the hardest to do?

So far the hardest has been getting a six pack. I have tried twice and failed twice. I am also worried about getting a patent as it is time consuming, expensive and unpredictable.

brainfr33z31 karma

When you visit Vancouver, would you like a ride to Whistler?

DannyDover1 karma

Yeah! :-) That would be great.

roneesh1 karma

Hey man, fellow Ruby developer here also considering traveling around a bit while I work (looking for remote gigs).

How do you find your clients?

To me that seems like the biggest obstacle to this life.

DannyDover1 karma

I am sure other people are more qualified to give advice on this than I am but I found only finding the first was hard. After that my services spread by word of mouth. Friends of friends are the easiest, randoms on o-desk/elance are next (but generally not ideal) and if all else fails, join a remote team. It turns out this Internet is global.

Also, I totally recommend getting out and traveling! Even if you don't have an income while doing it, is is worth doing for the short term.

Dingbang8881 karma

Amazing transition and amazing story. Keep going man!

DannyDover1 karma

Thanks man, best of luck on your own journey :-)