Forget the “bucket list” – cancer survivor Greig Trout has created a wishlist of “101 things to do when you survive” to inspire others to chase their dreams.
The police officer, who has twice defeated cancer, has compiled an alternative “bucket list” in the hope it will inspire others to beat the disease.
Greig Trout, a former crime scene investigator with London’s Metropolitan Police, says he wanted to travel the world and follow his dreams after being given the all-clear a second time.
His list of “101 things to do when you survive” is a take on the 21st-century phenomenon of the bucket list – a fantasy wishlist of things to do and see, set up for those battling terminal illness before they “kick the bucket”.
Trout is one of the survivors behind Cancer Research UK’s Every Moment Counts campaign, which highlights the special moments of those who have encountered the disease.
He was seven years old when he was first diagnosed with cancer, which necessitated the removal of one kidney. Since beating cancer again, the 34-year-old, originally from Dumfries in Scotland, has spent three months working with a remote community in Nicaragua, climbed a volcano in Costa Rica and went nature-watching on the Galapagos Islands. Most recently he was in Ecuador.
Trout, who lived in Newcastle and Bristol before moving to London to join the police, says: “After my bowel operation and with chemotherapy looming, the worst-case scenario was death.
“At that point, my thoughts were not of all I had achieved at work as a crime scene examiner or the nice apartment I lived in, they were of the places I had visited and of the experiences I had had. I also thought of the places I hadn’t seen yet and may never get a chance to.
“When I got my two-year ‘all clear’, I decided the time was right to follow my dreams and travel the world with the aim of inspiring others affected by cancer.”
The idea for the anti-bucket list came to him when he was in a hospital waiting room.
“It’s exactly that ‘every moment counts’ feeling,” he says. “As I watched people come and go, I knew some of them were not going to get good news. I thought how wonderful it would be if they could come on my trip with me and the idea of ‘101 things to do when you survive’ was born.
“Most books and travel journals concentrate on bucket lists and ‘things to do before you die’,” says Trout. “I thought it was about time to inspire others to show them what is waiting for them when they survive.”
Trout created a website for his challenge with 50 ideas on the list, leaving a further 51 vacancies for other suggestions. Many of the ideas involve travel: three of Trout’s dreams involve Australia and six mention New Zealand.
“I knew I wanted to create a website showing a double cancer survivor who has one kidney, a missing piece of bowel and deep vein thrombosis, living a full and happy life,” says Trout. His ideas have even caught the eye of adventurer Bear Grylls.
“Greig is truly one brave man and is determined to shine a light and help and inspire those who have faced real battles,” Grylls says. “I admire his courage and resolve so much.”
SURVIVOR’S SUGGESTION LIST
Trout’s list of “101 things to do when you survive” includes 50 suggestions – some of which he has already completed. Here’s his wishlist of adventures and experiences:
- Help others get through cancer
- White water rafting
- To experience Raleigh International in Costa Rica
- Travel around the world
- Have an entire day where I don’t think about cancer
- Stand at the foot of Angel Falls
- Climb a volcano
- Learn the tango in Argentina
- Watch the sun rise over Machu Picchu
- Dive at the Great Barrier Reef
- Sail from Panama to New Zealand
- Visit Antarctica
- Kayak on the Amazon
- Taste the air at Angkor Wat
- Watch the sun set over Uluru
- See the glaciers at Los Glaciares in Argentina
- Learn to surf
- Hike through the Rockies
- See and hear the geysers explode in Yellowstone National Park
- Sky Dive (my worst fear but I love Point Break so this has to be done)
- Visit Christ the Redeemer in Rio
- Stand on the equator
- Do the Lord Of the Rings Tours in NZ (I’m a bit of fan)
- Hear the water thunder down at Iguazu Falls in Brazil
- New Zealand – all of it!
- Look out the window in awe on the Trans-Siberian Express
- See the Buddhist temples in Tibet
- Look at K2 and Everest with my own eyes
- See the amazing Mayan ruins at Tikal in Guatemala
- See the northern lights (aurora borealis)
- See the mountains of Alaska
- Sing Flower Of Scotland on stage at the Sydney Opera House
- Travel through Canada by train
- Visit Everest base camp
- Trek to the Lost City in Columbia
- Learn to snowboard
- See Matt Damon say, “Do you like apples?… Well I beat cancer… How do you like them apples?” (Ridiculous I know! Good Will Hunting is my favourite flick and I may have said this a few times myself)
- Throw a ridiculous amount of tomatoes at the annual Tomatina festival in Spain
- Climb Ben Nevis
- Black water rafting in the Waitomo caves in New Zealand
- Heli-hike on the Franz Josef Glacier in New Zealand
- Rock out at Glastonbury
- Stand toe to toe with the terracotta army in China
- Stop worrying as much
- Swim with dolphins in New Zealand
- Visit the Forbidden City in China
- Volcano boarding
- Watch the sunrise over Lake Atitlan, Guatemala
- Sail to Colombia via the San Blas Islands
- The Galapagos Islands