9 THINGS EVERYONE SHOULD HAVE ON THEIR BUCKET LIST
Bucket lists are a very personal thing… as they should be. I mean, they’re the culmination of your life’s dreams and goals. Besides your unmentionables drawer, it doesn’t get much more personal than that.
That’s why it always kills me to see people who say “Everyone should go skydiving!”… “Everyone needs to run a marathon!”… “No bucket list is complete without a trip to Africa!”…
This world isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of place (I know I don’t run unless my life depends on it), so why on earth are we trying to get everyone to have the exact same bucket list items?
Instead of pushing specific things, I think experiences should be the focus. Experiences that can be tailored to each individual. Experiences that we can each learn the meaning of, but in our own awesome way.
So that’s what this is, my friends. A list of 9 customizable experiences that should be included on every bucket list.
Because let’s face it, there’s more than one right way to experience something incredible.
1. Travel solo
This is one I will likely channel my best Shia Labeouf “Just Do It!” impersonation until the day I die. I feel that strongly and passionately about it. (And probably look about as crazy.)
And yes, this is for everyone…. I don’t care if you’re married, have kids, in a relationship, always travel with friends, 100 years old, shy AF, boring AF, the Queen of Extroverts, a major scaredy cat, whatever… this is an all-inclusive club.
Because this isn’t about anybody else, this is all about you. It’s a time to step away from everything, and everybody, in your life and reflect on your needs, your wants, and focus on your inner badass.
It doesn’t have to be some huge getaway either, though that’s something I’ll always recommend. A weekend away will do. And try to make it a place you’ve never been before, you’ll get more out of it.
You’ll learn things about yourself that will surprise even you. It will mentally prepare you to take on other things and challenges with an inner-strength you didn’t know was possible.
Self-care. That shit’s life-changing. Promise.
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2. Host a dinner party for family and/or friends
Togetherness. Doesn’t that word just bring on all the warm and fuzzies?? Now put food with it. It’s like a dream come true.
I don’t know why dinner parties aren’t more of a thing. Surely we’re not all too busy to get together with those we love for a home-cooked, sit down meal?
And the keyword there is “home-cooked”. Don’t go out to eat. Make it more personal, more intimate. Make it all about those people. Let’s not include strangers and a wait staff that just want to get you out the door.
You guys can cook the meal together. Or make it a potluck and have everyone bring a dish. Or you can be bold and prepare everything yourself. Make it as fancy or as casual as you like!
Loved ones, good food, and a night in together. What’s not to love about that??
Because I know none of us are selfish bitches, we all know how important it is to give back. Though I get it, with busy schedules it can be easy to let that task fall further down our to-do list.
Let’s change that. Let’s do something that will make a difference to someone in need. Join a local charity or even help the elderly widow who lives next door. You don’t have to go far and lead huge telethons to make a difference in someone’s life. Sometimes it’s the little things that matter most.
And that’s why we’re all here, isn’t it? To help and support each other? Spread the love… Pay it forward… whatever you want to call it. Just go and do good.
4. Learn a foreign language
Believe it or not, your culture is not the only one out there. (Americans, I’m looking at you.)
I know how frustrating it can be to speak to someone with a heavy accent and not understand what they’re saying completely. But when that happens, stop to think about it… that person is speaking a whole different language than what they were brought up to speak!! How amazing is that? How awesome are they?!?
There needs to be more of this. And not just for the coolness factor … (but really, how chic would you feel busting that newfound skill out at parties?)
Learning a new language opens a new world of culture, meeting new people, looking good on a resume and impressing a potential boss or client, makes you smarter (it actually improves brain function), and builds your self-confidence.
I’m currently learning French and I cannot recommend the programs by Fluenz enough. You don’t start off learning how to say oddball things like “the orange shirt” or “the small girl”, you jump right into conversational learning. Plus they break it down and help with spelling, reading, and pronunciation. It’s pretty much the best language program I have found, and I have test-driven a lot.
But no matter which program you use or which language you want to learn, just do it.
5. Do something outside of your comfort zone
I know for some of you, this whole list may be outside your comfort zone. In that case, you know I’m going to say Do the entire list!
Quotes like “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone” and “A comfort zone is a beautiful place, but nothing ever grows there” aren’t immensely popular for no reason.
People like me don’t start blogs preaching about this very thing for no reason!
You know the drill, folks. Push yourself to do something that makes you uncomfortable. Go against your norm. It will open all new doors for you. I promise.
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This is a tough one for most, myself included! I am the girl who won’t even turn my ringer off at night because I’m afraid the one time I do, I’ll miss a call from the hospital saying a loved one has been in an accident and I won’t get to say good-bye.
Dramatic, I know. But that’s how my brain works.
Though just like with anything else in your life, if you unplug it and let it reboot, things tend to work out even better than before.
And you, my friend, are no exception to that rule.
Work, the news, social media, LIFE can get overwhelming. So unplug… for a day, a weekend, maybe a week. Let it all fade out. Then come back refreshed.
7. Visit your dream country
You stare longingly at pictures of it. Whenever you hear its name, it’s followed closely by the word “Someday”. And it usually pops up as one of the first things you think of when the subject of bucket lists come up.
So why haven’t you gone yet??
Wait, don’t tell me… I know why. It’s excuses. Procrastination. Maybe a bit of fear? Maybe a lot of inaction.
Cut all that crap out. Put your mind to it. Save your money or learn how to use credit card points. Do your research. Make a plan… and stick to it!
Where there’s a will, there’s a way. And that path will take you straight to your dream destination.
RELATED POST: How I Afford To Travel While Living On A Budget
8. Take a class to learn something new
You know that cooking class you always thought about signing up for? What about a pottery class (because it’s been your dream to recreate that scene in Ghost)? Or maybe you’ve always wanted to learn how to do the tango (you saucy thang, you)…
What are you waiting for? There’s never a wrong time to learn something new. Especially if it’s something you’ve thought about for a long time.
And let me know how that scene from Ghost goes… I’ve always been curious.
9. That thing your mind always tends to wander off to – do it. And do it in spectacular fashion.
Our hearts have a fascinating way of reminding us what our purpose in life is. In showing us what is meant for us. And pushing us in the direction we’re meant to go.
All we have to do is listen and pay attention.
And if there’s something you think about daily. Something your mind always tends to land on… that’s not a coincidence. That could very well be your calling. Or it could be an opportunity that opens doors to places you never in your wildest dreams could have imagined on your own.
Even if you think it’s completely off the wall and no one would ever understand… pay attention. Take it seriously. And do something amazing that scares you.
You never know unless you try.
P.S. What kind of experiences would you add to this list?