It is often the case that people forget to do things they enjoy in the midst of pursuing what they feel they have to in order to survive. Careers and education often lead people to neglect their dreams and passions and I’m here to remind you not to. I keep a bucket list because it motivates me to actually complete it. Simply writing what I’d like to do increases the chances of me actually doing it and writing it on a number of places and updating it often also increases the chances (because realistically your childhood dreams will alter over time so much so that meeting Mickey Mouse or going into space is no longer interesting or realistic — Unless you’re still into that stuff of course). Use my list to inspire you to write your own and you may just thank me in a few months time when you finally start ticking things off your list… Trust me the satisfaction is overwhelming.
1. SNORKEL AROUND THE GREAT BARRIER REEF
Because why wouldn’t swimming in the largest living ecosystem in the world not motivate you to get in a swimsuit? Its one of the seven wonders of the natural world, understandably so considering it is larger than the Great Wall of China and the only living thing visible from space. Plus Nemo, of course.
2. WITNESS THE GREAT NORTHERN LIGHTS (AURORA BOREALIS)
If you don’t know what this is search it and watch yourself automatically add it to your own list. An astronomer and photographer’s paradise, these will leave you flabbergasted. This has been my dream ever since I first watched Brother Bear in like 2002. (Third Disney reference now, can you tell I had a great childhood?)
3. CARNIVAL IN RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL
Known as the Carnival Capital of the world, Rio De Janeiro hosts the biggest and greatest artistic functions on the globe. The rhapsodic event is filled with music, dance and continuous partying… Who wouldn’t want that?
4. ROAD TRIP DOWN ROUTE 66
For my 21st birthday, because I like to plan early, I want to organise a road trip down route 66 passing through the heart of the US and stopping in places like LA, Chicago, Oklahoma, Santa Monica and Fe, Miami, Vegas and many more. Quirky diners, motels, cafes and gas stations still line the famous highway to keep the history alive.
5. HELP OUT PEOPLE IN A LESS ECONOMICALLY DEVELOPED COUNTRY
Volunteering abroad in an LEDC is a great way of giving back to local communities and conservation efforts. Furthermore, it allows you to fully immerse yourself in the culture you’re visiting and learn more about the way they live. After experiencing life in slums or villages in Africa I guarantee you will return to your hometown with a whole new perspective on life.
As I read recently…
“I beg young people to travel. If you don’t have a passport, get one. Take a summer, get a backpack and go to Delhi, go to Saigon, go to Bangkok, go to Kenya. Have your mind blown, eat interesting food, dig some interesting people, have an adventure, be careful. Come back and you’re going to see your country differently, you’re going to see your president differently, no matter who it is. Music, culture, food, water. Your showers will become shorter. You’re going to get a sense of what globalisation looks life. It’s not what Tom Friedman writes about, I’m sorry. You’re going to see that global climate change is very real. And that for some people, their day consists of walking 12 miles for four buckets of water. And so there are lessons that you can’t get out of a book that are waiting for you on the other end of that flight. A lot of people – Americans and Europeans – come back and go, “ohhhhh.” And the lightbulb goes on.” — Henry Rollins
6. WILD CAMPING
Although illegal in some parts of the world, there’s something thrilling and exhilarating about getting a tent and just camping out in the middle of nowhere. Its REAL camping. You don’t stay in a campsite with proper toilets and showers, a restaurant and pool and expect to consider it camping? Camping is going out into the wilderness and living in nature. Combine it with outdoor activities like climbing, fishing, and swimming in a lake or river and you are a wild camper.
7. HIKE THE GREAT WALL OF CHINA
Constructed more than 2,000 years ago to hold back invaders and protect the Silk Road Trade, the Great Wall of China is an architectural marvel. The UNESCO World Heritage site is the longest wall in the world making it perfect for all those crazy people who like to walk for fun, like myself.
8. RELIVE HISTORY IN AUSCHWITZ CONCENTRATION CAMP
No one will ever forget what happened in Auschwitz, but they may become a little desensitised to it. You learn about it, you hear about it, you remember it, so much so that it begins to be overexposed and you are therefore less likely to be shocked or distressed when its mentioned. The truth is, the events that occurred were so disturbing that they sometimes seem unreal. This is why I believe everyone should visit Auschwitz. By hearing the stories first hand and viewing the actual setting the events took place there’s no escaping it. All your senses are exposed to it and thats when you realise how real it actually was.
9. RIDE IN A HOT AIR BALLOON
I recently saw a post on Project Inspo about 7 Places to take a Perfectly Picturesque Hot Air Balloon Ride and it made me want to hop on a plane and travel to any of these 7 destination to ride on a hot air balloon and photograph the incredible sights from above.
10. CLIMB KILIMANJARO
At 5,895 metres Mount Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and one of the most challenging to climb in the world. Who wouldn’t want to stand on The Roof of Africa? Put it on your list if you’re in for a legendary trek.
11. BURNING MAN FESTIVAL
Held in the Black Rock Desert of northwestern Nevada the Burning Man Festival is dedicated to community, art, self-expression and self-reliance. Get rid of your inhibitions and let loose.
12. SWIM WITH SHARKS IN CAPE TOWN, SOUTH AFRICA
Protected only by a steel cage be prepared to piss in your wetsuit when the shark bangs against your cage. You will most likely come face to face with the predator in Gansabaai at Shark Alley. This is a channel of water between Dyer Island and Geyser Rock and fish heads, pilchards, anchovy oil and other fish products will be used to entice the sharks to the boat. Cool or what?
13. CAMP IN THE SAHARA DESERT
Watching the sunset from your campsite in the Sahara Desert will forever be one of the most spectacular sights you will ever witness ever I PROMISE.
14. SCUBA DIVING IN KOH PHI PHI
Learning to dive is an exciting experience especially when diving into the clear waters filled with coral in Koh Phi Phi. There are even some cool limestone formations and wrecks to explore once you’re qualified!
15. WILDLIFE SPOTTING IN THE GALAPAGOS ISLANDS
About 1,000km off Ecuador’s coast, The Galápagos Islands is one of the best destinations for wildlife-viewing. It is home to a diversity of plant and animal species, including some that can be found nowhere else on the globe. Charles Darwin visited in 1835 and it was this island that inspired his famous theory of evolution.
16. WHITE WATER RAFTING IN BANFF, CANADA
Experience the thrill of whitewater rafting down the famous Kicking Horse River in the Rocky Mountain region. There are a number of routes based on the International Scale of River Difficulty which classes rapids from 1 (mild) to 5 (wild).
How to write your own bucket list and stick to it
1. Brainstorm & Get Inspired
Read a book, watch a movie, look around Pinterest, read some magazines or look for other people’s bucket lists (congratulations, unless you’ve ignored everything above you’re well into this step).
2. Write them down
If you’ve got your list somewhere you look often or in multiple places (phone, pin board, fridge, journal) you’re more likely to complete them. Coming across it on a regular basis will constantly remind you to go out and start crossing things out.
3. Read over your list to ensure goals are achievable and realistic
Will you actually have enough money to go backpacking across America in the next few months? Can you really go to space? Lets be real, you’ll lose motivation if you can’t cross things out. Setting deadlines and being specific is a good way of achieving the things you want. I, personally, have no time limit on my goals because I’m in no rush. I like to go one step at a time. If you really want to go out of your way and get down to business a good way to do this is rename the goals to include a time limit (such as: by 2017) and being specific (such as: backpack in Death Valley or Rocky Mountains, instead of America, because realistically it would take a very long time to backpack America).
4. Tell people about your goals
According to a number of studies, because of this thing called ‘social reality’ telling people about your goals makes you more likely to NOT complete them. You’re probably thinking whaaaat? I believe its really all down to the goal. For example, some people prefer not to tell people about their current goal because they’re scared of failure. For example, if your goal is to learn how to drive (not travel related but helps the point I’m trying to make), telling people may make you anxious and nervous and will therefore make you reluctant to practice. However, if your goal is to start a blog, knowing that people are supporting you before you even begin motivates you to get going and do it. In a place like Gibraltar where everything is so small and there is so much talk it is good to get yourself out there before you actually begin because the reaction wont be as dramatic when the time comes. In terms of your bucket list, by telling people your goals or showing them your list you’ll be motivated to complete it because people will have high hopes and you wont want to disappoint them. You’ll want people to know you’re an achiever not just another list maker.
5. Prioritise your list
Have some extra cash at the end of the year? Look through your list and pick something. Don’t just waste your money on anything that comes up like Christmas shopping in the UK or a weekend in Marbella. Use your money wisely. If its a skill you want to learn make time in your schedule to get down to it. I recently watched a TED Talk on learning a skill if you’re interested. It’s called The First 20 Hours — How to Learn Anything and it basically explains how to learn a skill in 20 hours.
This has been the post I’ve found most enjoyable to write because I love talking about goals and the future. It would be really interesting to find out what you’d like to achieve and help me develop my list further! Please comment below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re shy. 🙂