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1001Stories

Walking in the Nights

Throughout each profound and magnificent night, I've shared moments with strangers who've crossed my path, listening to their stories and unfulfilled desires before death. Thus begins a journey of 1001 such nights.

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Diwata | Running Spice Store

Auguest 2, 2019 | Manila, Philippines

"I wish to die in family's arms."

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Neil | Queer Queen

June 17, 2019 | Melbourne, Australia

"I am showing what true, worry-free beauty is like, and I am gonna do this till the day comes."

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Natalie | Junior Chef

May 1, 2019 | Singapore

Met Natalie at an Italian restaurant near the North Date of Botanic Garden in Singapore. Not expecting both the owner and Natalie are such generous. They allow me to take pictures inside the kitchen.

"Don't tell my boss, I wish to own a restaurant by myself, preferably a place where plants surround."

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Jose | Street Peddler

April 4, 2019 | Venezuela

"I used to have a wife and one little son but something occurs to me and they are now leaving me. I wish to see them grow up and live happily before my last breath."

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Shu Ying | Retired

March 26, 2019 | Singapore Nursery House

Shu Ying was sitting on the porch of the old people's house when I got there. It is right about activity time in the afternoon. It seems her family has not visited her for long.

"It is getting close. I am ready."

Hipster

Andrew | Animation editor

November 8, 2017 | Seine River, Paris

Carrying a chunky black handbag and shivering in his greyish turtleneck, Andrew was wandering along the Seine River alone when it was just past dusk. I can't detect an ounce of surprise from his face when interrupted by me from his mind palace, as if I was supposed to be there at that moment. I offered him a coffee with steamy aroma. A smile diffused from his face and I accompanied him for the rest of his journey. It was just about when the lights of Eiffle shined through. 

He wants to own an animation company before the final day comes. 

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Fuqiang | Orchard Owner

April 23, 2018 | Jincheng City, China

I came across Fuqiang when I was self-driving to Shanxi Province, China with my family. Spring just kicked in and you could smell it in the air. One particular aroma was getting stronger each day while we stayed in the village. A bit like lemongrass but only sweeter. The silver necklace that Fuqiang wearing all the time was forged by the blacksmith living in the outskirt of the village. It was passed down from his own mother, who passed away a few years ago.

Fuqaing wanted to see both of his children go to college before the final day comes.

Male Musician

Vadiamo | Street Singer

 October 12, 2017 | Barcelona, Spain

Traveling to the South to avoid the stark winter in his hometown Minsk, Vadiamo shared a bunk bed with me in a secondary youth hotel in the suburb of Barcelona. His father, in his 80s, was sleeping on the opposite bunk bed as ours. They gonna stay in this hostel till next spring. Vadiamo went out every night singing at one night market near the Cathedral, where no cops would arrest you for unlicensed performance. 

Vadiamo wanted to have vodka every single night before the final day comes.

Female Headshot

Laurel | Finnish Exchange Student at SMU

January 17, 2018 | SMU, Singapore

Laurel and I met in Paris when I was exchanging at ESSEC Business Scool last fall. She is a firm believer of Communism and we used to sing Internationale in front of the Marseille Palace, where the French King was beheaded. 

Laurel wanted to witness an alien before the final day comes.

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Chin Wen | Literal Critics

April 02, 2018 | Singapore

Born and raised in Vietnam, Chin immigrated to the States with his family at a young age. I bumped into him when he was delivering a speech at one of the public-owned libraries in Singapore. His topic was on gender inequality, where he shared an experience when he was thrown to jail for a physical confrontation with his girlfriend back then. He was innocent and was self-defending when the girl took her blows on him. But because the girl's finger was fractured during this scuffle, and the judge, citing the male part is capable of inflicting such injury, sentenced Chin guilty. 

Chin wanted to publish a book on how gender stereotype can sway people's judgement before the final day comes.

Tattooist

Mark | Tattoo Artist

May 18, 2018 | Bangkok, Thailand

Mark owned a little stall in a night market near the well-known red-light district in Bangkok. His frequent customers are the party-goers, who normally came in pairs around 3 or 4 am in the morning when most of the clubs were shut. He was a Buddhist and disguised by male-male relationships, but after years of doing this, he became more tolerant of people's sexual orientations. "Life needs to carry on, after all."

Mark wanted to rebuild the relationship with his father before the final day comes.

Professional Woman

Vivian | English Language Teacher

August 09, 2018 | Singapore

Vivian is now an English teacher in one of the language institute in Singapore. When she first landed in this state city, her biggest struggle was blending into the local life. People treated and spoke to her differently just because of her look. Even though this is an English-speaking country and you can see English signs everywhere, the way people speak is totally different. It took years before she finally felt like an insider and got her PR status.

Vivian wanted to own a little bakery shop and frequented by her old-time friends before the final day comes.

Athletic Man

Chandler | National Tennis Player

September 25, 2018 | Online

Chandler accepted my invitation on Instagram. I was fascinated by his career as much as he was by what I was doing. He was in his late 20s and decided to retire in 3 years' time. His career-best was the champion as the state of Georgia. 

Chandler wanted to own a wineyard in the countryside of France before the final day comes.

Youth Portrait

Zac | Secondary School Student

January 22, 2019 | Mexican City, Mexico

I met Zac when I was backpacking alone in Mexican City. He was performing on the street with a little girl on his side, singing trendy songs like Mark Ronson's Uptown Funk. They must be trained to do this since their dance move was way too professional. The money they earned at the end of the day was to hand in to a man, who stood at a distance from the site and claimed to be a government official in the Domestic Affair Department. It took tons of efforts before the "government official" agreed to let me take this photo of Zac.

Zac wanted to have Mac Donalds everyday before the final day comes. (translated from Spanish)

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 Vivi | Data Scientist | 35 y/o

 July 04, 2022 | Chile

"I just want to live each one of my days without compromising my beliefs, no matter what pressures I face."

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Westy | Retired

August 09, 2022 | Texas, USA

"I have struggled with a major depressive disorder since childhood when I was 20. I vowed to kill myself at 30 if I wasn't better. I worked at getting better. I spent my 30th birthday in psych hospital precaution as my shrink changed my meds. I have obligations and connections now. A husband, an elderly mother, and dogs. I'd really love to enjoy being alive sometime before I die. Buy mostly, I just tolerate it."

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Anne | Biology, Geography, and Social Studies Teacher

June 15, 2022 | Finland

"I have MCTD. It is one of the rheumatism diseases. I have so much pain in articulation that handwriting isn't possible. I have also pains in many tensions, but I try to be positive."

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Christi | Undisclosed Occupation

July 02, 2022 | USA

"My father passed away, aged 84, on 15 May. He left in his sleep after fighting cancer for 4 months. He told me he was ready, and he wanted and needed to do. He was a retired military officer, and a genealogist. Now he is back in the stars."

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Debbie | Business Manager in Nursery Home | 60 y/o

July 18, 2022 | Oregon, USA

"I see death every day and find comfort in knowing I have helped make our residents' last days as comfortable as possible. I want to know I have made as many people happy as I can and been completely connected with them. The relationships we make and share are more important than anything we own. Besides, a little travel would be nice."

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Seohee Moon | Student | 15 y/o

August 09,2022 | South Korea

"I want to travel all over the world and to be a great person who deserve to be respected before I die."

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Kayla | Graduate Student | 23 y/o

August 31, 2022 | USA

"I want to get married and travel. I want to travel a lot in Europe, specifically the UK, Czech, Italy, Spain, and Germany. I want to have many cats."

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Shazz | French Teacher | 37 y/o

September 06, 2022 | United States of America

"Before I die I would like to translate a book. I have studied translation and the most interesting yet difficult form is literary translation. I think it would be awesome."

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Anita | Work for a Bank | 34 y/o

Sometime in 2022 | Vienna, Austria

"Before I die I want to see the Pyramids in Egypt. I want to travel as much as possible!"

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Maaike | Coach for Students at University | 46 y/o

August 31, 2022 | the Netherlands

"Before I die I want to see the northern lights. Have you ever considered whether you are a highly gifted (IQ 130+) person? Please like you tend to think about the meaning of life and get bored easily and have a good feeling for esthetics. You seem to fit in. Dive into it and find people like you!?

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Marzur | Operation of CNC Machines | 46 y/o

July 30, 2022 | Czech Republic

"Visit all the continents on the Earth"

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Yana | Unknown Career

July 26, 2022 | Russia

"I would like to experience satisfaction from collected impressions, joys, and wonderful memories at the end of my life. I would like not to regret my actions, and to be grateful for my life."

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Klaas | Civil Engineer Working as Constructor | 62 y/o

Sometime in 2022 | the Netherlands

"What I want is to get this site in the air again, and see some of my grandchildren grow old since now I have no grandchildren."

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Lisa, 初榕 | Management Consultant

October 12, 2022 | Shanghai, China

"Compared with people who are still suffering from hunger, poverty, and other misfortune, the reason why we could choose the life we want and pursue our dreams is not that we’re smarter or more hard-working, but more fortunate to have the resources and supports to enjoy opportunities the world offers us. I really wish I could work for NGOs or even set up a foundation to help people live a better life, everyone in this world deserves an equal chance and nothing can change this."

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Amit | Techical Consultant

October 17, 2022 | Mumbai, India

"I want to see my two daughters grow up, go to college, and live a life that they determined, and they do not have to do anything they do not feel like."

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Pelang Investment Strategist | 27 y/o

October 10, 2022

"I wish to be a drifter, staying at each city for a quarter, to get the most out of the civilization that has to offer."

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Rafi | Hotel Manager

October 17, 2022 | Amman, Jordan

"I wish to open my own hotel before I die. Meeting people come and go makes my life flowing too."

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Mohammad | Hotel Owner & Travel Guide

September 16, 2022

I met Mohammad when I was checking in at a hotel near the Pyramids in Cairo. He is so gentle and talks like a loving father, which makes him stand out from almost all the other people I have met in Cairo, who are always trying to get something from you. When I checked out on the last day of my stay, he halted me and pulled out a beautiful Pharoah from the counter, saying this is a portrait of the youngest ruler in Egypt, and he hope this sculpture will bring me luck. Seeing his eyes, I realized I will never forget this short encounter with this total stranger, yet someone so amicable that I start to doubt if I have met him the other life.

"I wish to rest in absolute peace and with the mindset that everything has complete and there is no more to see or to pursue, just like lying in mother's arms."

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Moaz | Hotel Receptionist

September 23 | Cairo, Egypt

"I wish to die in the wilderness where I can see the Milky Way, just let it engulf me when I exhale my last breath. I will then become one of the stars."

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Aawaz | Help Dad Run Youth Hostel

April 21, 2022

Aawaz was such a cute lad. During my days backpacking in Nepal, I got serious flu and was not able to get out of bed. Aawaz learned about my condition, he cooked mushroom soup and bought me drugs for me. His smile was so pure and bewitching and it was definitely worth the title of "woman killer"

"I wish to die with my loved girl."

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Nick | Accounting Assistant

October 18, 2022 | Oslo, Norway

"When thinking about the goal in life, it is now to actually lived and experience life and done good things to the world. I want to travel around, take notes and learn. To have worked and have my life make a positive impact on people's lives. I want to achieve a happy and content life when reflecting back, and that my actions and choices caused others to do good."

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Giada | Luxury Retail Strategist

October 23, 2022 | Hong Kong

"I want to travel to 100 countries, I want to learn 10 languages, and I want to create a brand that empowers women."

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Freya 舒婷 | Technology Service

Octoer 29, 2022 | Shanghai, China

"No one can escape death, which belittles the outcome. See where in life you are now, and exploit all the vitality that life has ever bestowed until the outcome crumbles in front of your eyes."

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Anto | Consumer Insight Manager at Procter and Gamble

2 November, 2022 | Italian living in Geneva, Switzerland

"Before my death, I want to be able to create music that gives emotions to people!"

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Dj/Danj | Director at a Media Company

July 13, 2017 | Singapore

"To be present everyday and to live a fulfilled life, surrounded by close friends and family."

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Yesh | Accounting Finance Executive

September 28, 2013 | Singapore

"My wish is to have a blissful and worry-free life.
Sometimes in our pursuit in life we might just lost on who we are and make some compromises. There is no doubt as well during our pursuit we ask ourselves whether we shall continue on it or thinking back on what is our original dreams."

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Solange | System Technician

December 21, 2022 | Madrid, Spain

"This is a hard one because I've never thought about it. But I'd say.....hhmmmm.... knowing as many cultures as I can, visiting the more countries I can and that transmit me a lot of peace. Also have an ONG."

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Elim | Home Palliative Nurse (switching to full time student soon)

October 24, 2022 | Singapore

"Tour around the world (The South Pole as well, hopefully)."

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Elle | Conservation Practitioner | PhD Student

November 12, 2022 | USA

I met Elle when I was traveling in Xishuangbanna, which is a border town in southwestern China. She was a wildlife activist and we stayed at the same youth hostel for some nights. Bright smile and soul.

"I wish to live a self-sufficient and sustainable life in a forest hut with my own garden, farm, and lots of animals. My time will slow down then, and I'll sit in sunshine, do nothing."

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Domi | Investment Consultant

November 16, 2022

"I really wish to see China got into the World Cup before I die."

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Jackson | Education Self Media

1 September, 2010 | Xiamen, China

"Take my parents to travel aboard."

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Orange | Tea Shop Owner

June 26, 2022 | Xishuangbanna, Yunnan, China

"What I want to have before death is that.. more people could experience the joy of sipping tea at my teat workshop, and more people could be impacted to fall in love with tea. Besides, I also wish people will remember me when they are drinking the tea that I selected for them when I passed away. They will think "ahh, this is the tea cooked by Orange! How nice!" Lastly, I also wish to leave this world in peace and harmony."

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Liangyong Yinan | Artist

September 21, 2022 | Xi'an, Shaanxi, China

"Before I die, a wish that is more likely to realize is: to become the Champion among the one-of-its-kind artists; a wish that is less likely to realize is: to become a head of state, religious leader, and top-notch scientist."

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Qianqian | UX Designer

1 September, 2010 | Shanghai, China

"I think my death wish should be to travel to the places that I have not been, like Finland, Hawaii, Thailand, Africa etc. There are tons of places I have yet frequented, and if I die now, it will be such a pity. The meaning of life lies in exploration. However, I only have one day off at my current job, and we are only allowed to have half of the public holiday leaves, thus it is a bit unrealistic to explore the world, but I will definitely get there."

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Molly | Data Analyst

September 1, 2012 | Shenzhen, China

"Become an emotionally stable and gentle person."

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Yun | jobless

September 1, 2007 | Beijing, China

"Enter Niebi Kapa Samadhi before I die." (a sacred place in Buddism)

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Wenbin | Financial Service 

August 3, 2022 | Toronto, Canada

"I hope I can make lots and lots of money, so I can make sure that my family is well supported. I want my parents to have nothing to worry about while getting older. My parents took really good care of me when I was growing up, and now it’s my turn to return the love and care. I hope my kids could be fearless and carefree, at least when it comes to the problems that can be solved with money."

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Alice | Private Equity Investor (or Investment Associate if you need specific title)

October 23, 2022 | New York City, USA

"I have been thinking about this for a while, and while I am still searching, I wish to find my personal legend and leave my story behind before the last day in this world."

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Zul | Cloud Engineer

March 18, 2016 | Singapore

"Travel to some of the most beautiful places on earth, watch & appreaciate new cultures and lifestyles. Make a positive impace to people around me so that they will still remember me when i am gone one day."

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Ajay | Research Engineer

May 08, 2022 | Niagara Falls, Canada

"Make a real difference in the lives of a handful, just a handful."

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Lucaf | 31, Freelance Illustrator

December 12, 2022 | Berlin, Germany

"I wish to live as if life will never end. Being itself serves its own end, for no other means beyond it."

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Ink | 21, Finance Grad Student

Jan 16, 2020 | Xiamen, China

"I want to have my personal Wikipedia page before I die."

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Gina | 22, Analyst at a Boutique Investment Bank

November 02, 2020 | Jakarta City, Indonesia

"I wish to teach at least one class in my university (University of Indonesia) before I die."

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Mark | 29, Finance Industry

July 05, 2020

"I wish to truly embrace and enjoy every single moment in my life with the girl I love. It amazes me how often such moments are overlooked as we are so bombarded by things that seem to be important but actually not."

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Jack | 28, Finance Grad Student

January 16, 2020 | Singapore

"I want to go back to my childhood house before I die, where pine tree stands tall and old chums take time for their walks."

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Trevon | 26, Fashion Model

February 21, 2018 | Mogadishu, Somalia

"I want to see a world where people don't give a damn about your colour and sexual orientation before I die. That is just the way to be."

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Addison | 28, MBA Student

March 01, 2020 | Hong Kong, China

"I really have no idea man. If the Gods can't save us from agonies, may human becomes the God and save ourselves before I die."

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Shivani | 22 Msc Student

February 04, 2022 | Mumbai, India

"I want to spare my last days to talk to those unprivileged, and show them how poverty is restricting their imagination without knowing. They deserve much more if they just start believing."

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Aditya | 63, Temple Guard

May 05, 2021 | Dehli, India

"I want to die one day after my wife. She said she was afraid of being left out. So I will try live as long as I can. That is the pivot of my life now." (translated from Tamil)

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Lean Saavedra | 29, Operation Manager

June 17, 2017 | Zamboanga City, Philippines

"I want to be a politician and give out huge incentives to artists, scientists, and builders to design and build infrastructures, i.e. libraries, sports facilities, school buildings, road networks, healthcare systems, technology etc. before I die."

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Angela | 45, Entrepreneur

April 10, 2020 | Brighton, UK

"I want to see my family in Zimbabwe before I die, It's been ages."

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Vadiamo | 32, Independent Singer and Songwriter

May 30, 2015 | Omsk, Russian Federation

"I want to create songs that people still sing along years after I died."

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Pham Vu Minh Ngoc | 25, Digital Marketer

March 11, 2020 | Vietnam

"I want to have a truly happy and loving family before I die."

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Jafari & Zane | 28 & 29, Pop Singers

April 01, 2020 | Sierra Leone

"We want to have a world tour with our band before we die."

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Arjun Sabari Namashivayam | 27, Looking for Job

September 09, 2020 | Coimbatore, India

"I wish to be a teacher when all else fails, however modest and economically restrained I shall one day become. To see my teaching has ever influenced even just one student will be sufficient for this life."

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Amir | 68, Imam (Islamic Worship Leader)

March 29, 2020 | Fez Morocco

"Smell those flowers (picked from the tree behind), those are god-sent. I shall take care of those before I die." (translated from Arabic)

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Thaddeus | 26, Trader

June 07, 2021 | Singapore

"Life is ultimately meaningless as we will all eventually cease to exist. Yet, in this transitory period of consciousness, I want to experience as much happiness as possible."

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Jingle | 23, Student

November 08, 2021 | New Taipei City, Taiwan

"Taiwan is too small to be known, but an island too beautiful to ignore. I want to meet over 30 people from different countries and introduce Taiwan to them before I die."

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David | 24, Business Development Manager

August 25, 2013 | Jakarta, Indonesia

"I want to find that one thing that gets me excited in life, and dedicate myself towards perfecting that one thing before I die."

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Anousha | 23, Msc Student

January 18, 2020 | Tehran Iran

"I wanna gain financial independence before I die, given that in my country as a girl, you are usually not allowed to move out of your parents' house before getting married, and trust me, getting married is the last thing I will do."

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Tran Thi Cam Nhung | 24, English Teacher for Children

June 28, 2016 | Hue, Vietnam

"I want to help the ethnic minority groups in my country, who are not able to access advanced knowledge or means of transport. I wanna help them get used to city life and open up opportunities for them by teaching them English. Ahhh, my religion is Buddhism and I also want to travel to other countries and give my help."

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Emre | 21, Master Student

January 18, 2020 | Istanbul, Turkey

"I want to play all the Blues that used to accompany me in my prime to the friends I hold dear before my last breath, especially the ones by Jimi Hendrix (who passed away in the 70s)."

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Xiaomin | 22, Msc Student

January 29, 2020 | Shenzhen, China

"I want to become a programmer and devote my remaining life to a computer game, a game that happens in the future, has the best evet graphics, and shows the light for the players who may encounter the downest of the down in his/her life."

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Aharon | 10, Primary School Student

April 11, 2022 | Jerusalem, Israel

"I want to serve God till my day comes."

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Ibrahim | 54, Street Peddler

April 04, 2020 | Fez, Morocco

"My wife makes those blankets day in and day out. I want to earn her a good life before I die. She sacrificed too much."

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Meir | 38, Diplomat

October 18, 2021 | Jerusalem, Israel

"Long live Israel. May the Catastrophe happened to my people 70 years ago never happen to any race again."

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Akram | 21, Hawker Center Worker

April 19, 2021 | Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

"I wish to have my own football league before my last breath. This life (as street peddler) with my dad is suffocating."

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Maggie | 32, Flight Attendance

June 02, 2019 | Nice, France

"I want to have my own baby before I die, so my last thought will be the only treasure I ever left in this world."

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Dr. Randy | 63, University Lecturer

May 05, 2022 | Wellington, New Zealand

"My Utopia is a world where everybody is smart and knows what and why he is doing something. I will strive to the goal as much as I can before I die."

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Chris | 56, Senior Manager, Financial Services

September 21, 2021 | Singapore

"Wish my daughter could come back to me one day. Miss her much."

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Daiki | 26, Dance Teacher

October 13, 2019 | Kyoto, Japan

"I want to travel to every country on this planet before my last breath."

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Akram | 54, Hawker Cewnter Worker

August 08, 2021 | Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates

"I used to own a big sheep farm in Abu Dhabi but I lost it all. Now I work hard and wish to send my son to college, or at least support him in his dream, whatever it should be. He is wasting life with me."

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Rhett Long | 22 Mster Student

19 December, 2021 | Bistol, UK

"I am not inclined to set any goals for my life, but right now what gives me adrenaline is the idea that I could travel to most places on earth while making a living when I am there, whatever the job is. And I could meet human beings from all walks of life, that thrills me to the core."

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Adrian | 16, Student

December 24, 2019 | Berlin, Germany

"I wish to die in my cabin in the woods, where birds chirping and squirrels dropping by for chestnuts. The day should be warm and breezy too."

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King and Kong | 36 & 44, Software Engineers

March 30, 2020 | Pittsburgh, USA

"May the world gone with hatred."

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Luis | 28, Professional Backpacker

May 11, 2022 | Lisbon, Spain

"I want to, and need to collect specimens of every known insect on this planet. They are my reason for being."

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Praddle | 21, College Student & Handpan Artist

April 26, 2022 | Mumbai, India

"I have no wishes, let time be still at this moment when we coexist just like this."

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Marina | 25, Medical and Pharmaceutical Practitioner

December 21, 2021 | Copenhagen, Denmark

"I want to hold my love tight in arm before I die, just like how uterus holding the infant."

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Karis | 25, Banker

October 28, 2019 | Fujian, China

"I want to visit an exotic territory that is rich in culture and beyond my congnition. I wish to find a way to leave positive footprint on the lives of its people before I die."

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Marisa | 25, Bio Lab Research Assistant

May 09, 2022 | Kyoto, Japan

"Guess what, I just need to focus on what I'm doing without a second sparing for fear of death. Being itself implies value."

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