The idea of a bucket list is a pretty common one among travel bloggers. A few of my favorite blogs – including Bucket List Nation and Veni Vidi Vici – focus very specifically on the idea of ticking things off of a bucket list.
I’ve long wanted to put one of my own together, but like chasing my travel dreams, I’ve always found excuses not to do it.
There’ll always be plenty of time to do it later, I’d assure myself.
Time is a funny thing. It stretches out before you and it feels infinite.
We wish it away while we sit at our desk and clock-watch. We waste it on people who aren’t deserving of it. We piss it up against a wall as we play video games or stare blankly at reality TV we aren’t really interested in. We drink it away in the same bars week after week. We waste it on buses. We sleep in and let entire mornings pass us by.
And then we get a wake-up call and suddenly that time that seemed so limitless feels so much smaller.
The truth is, I’m dying.
We all are.
Some of us may have less time than others, but none of us is immortal. One day all of us – travelers and real lifers alike – will die.
When that last breath is drawn and your eyes blink closed one final time, do you think you’ll look back fondly upon the countless hours spent in offices? Will you hold warm memories of long days or weeks spent glued in front of your computer’s monitor? Will you smile at recollections of grocery shopping and bathroom cleaning and waiting in line for a train ticket to a place you didn’t really want to be?
Maybe you will. Maybe you’re reading this and the idea of a stable life fills you with a sense of immense warmth and security. Maybe the idea of owning your own home and establishing a career and raising 2.5 rugrats before retiring to relative comfort is one which holds great appeal to you.
To me, at least right now, it sounds like a prison. White washed walls designed to keep you penned in. Phone contracts and workplace agreements that lock you in as a willing participant in the God awful rat race that churns senselessly around us while we watch our lives wither and die on the vine.
I’m not sure if there is a God. I don’t claim to have those answers.
I believe that if there was a God who put us on this earth, he didn’t do it so we could hand in reports and buy iPads. He didn’t do it so we could spend 48 weeks a year counting down to the next opportunity we had to be somewhere other than work.
We get just this one chance to live our lives, and so many of us are wasting it being a part of a vast machine that was not designed with us in mind. It’s a great, all consuming thing that we all stumble into once we graduate college and so few of us ever think to look for a way out of it.
Nothing scares me more than looking back at fifty or sixty or seventy and wishing I’d done more with the things I had. I turned 28 two weeks ago and there’s still time for me to live out the moments I daydream about, but I’ve wasted too many years making excuses and putting it off.
I didn’t set foot onto a plane until I was twenty three years old. I spent five years after high school treading water and trying to make sense of the mess of bills and expectations and demands that make up the real world.
I read all of my favorite bloggers and I see them out living life as it was meant to be lived. They’re using their eyes to take in unfamiliar vistas rather than stare listlessly at their computer screens. They’re kissing strange new lips. They try new foods, make new friends, and soak in new experiences.
And I envy them.
I like my job, I really do, but I don’t love my job. Is that even possible?
All I know is that I take almost as much joy out of sharing my experiences with you as I do from actually living them. And I’m collecting precious few new experiences answering phones and living for weekends that rarely involve more than a drunk night and a hangover chaser.
And so it was that I put together this bucket list. This list of
two hundred three hundred odd things that I’d like to do before it’s time to call it a day.
Some of them are cliches and others hold a sort of cheesy romantic significance. Some are silly sexual ones and others are life experiences that I feel like a guy should have.
But all of them, I hope, are within my reach. Maybe not right away and maybe not cheaply, but they’re all things I can someday hope to check off the list.
And even if I don’t get through all of them – I can imagine it will be one hell of a ride trying.
The list appears in its entirety on my Bucket List page, but below you’ll find it broken up into rough groups based on themes. They are:
1. Kiss passionately in the pouring rain.
2. Get married in Vegas to somebody I hardly know.
3. Get married and mean it.
16. Take a pretty girl out to dinner and a show on Broadway (Achieved on July 13th, 2012. Read it here)
28. Serenade somebody.
47. Have a whirlwind romance on the road.
128. Spend a romantic evening at a County (or State) fair.
147. Perform an obnoxious karaoke duet with a significant other. (Achieved in January, 2013)
148. Propose to a girl in an over the top way.
177. Organize and execute a romantic picnic.
204. Seduce a pretty girl from Maryland (Achieved on… a gentleman never tells)
263 – ‘Park’ and make out like a teenager.
278 – Learn to give a good full body massage.
291. Ride a tandem bike (Achieved on July 13th, 2012. Read about it here)
4. Give a speech at a good friend’s wedding.
12. Have a drink with somebody I consider a hero.
13. Go to a fancy party with or without an invitation.
20. Publish a novel.
21. Volunteer and make a difference.
46. Pioneer Australian Thanksgiving as a holiday.
55. Spend a month biking, walking, or hitch-hiking my way around a country.
65. Be in a movie (even if it is only as an extra).
70. Do street performance and make some money out of it.
72. Make over $1000 for a charity. (Achieved in November 2012. Read about it here).
81. Jump off of a cliff and into the ocean (or a lake).
86. Participate in a Flash Mob.
89. Get a tattoo.
95. Learn to ski or snowboard well.
98. Open my own bar or hostel.
105. Learn to salsa dance (well).
109. Give a eulogy.
116. Run a race on every (inhabited) continent.
121. Brew my own beer.
122. Bottle my own wine.
124. Shake the hand of a president or member of royalty.
127. Spend a weekend on a country estate or mansion.
129. Spend a weekend living like people did in a different time period (preferably medieval).
130. Father a child (and know about it).
132. Fly a plane.
133. See a chart topping band in concert.
134. Watch every Academy Award winner for Best Picture.
140. Quit a job in a dramatic way ala Jerry Maguire.
144. Have a bar or cafe at which my friends and I are regulars. (Achieved in 2012/13)
145. Have a tearful goodbye with somebody I’m not dating or related to.
150. Get rid of my credit card debt. (Achieved in November 2013)
151. Ride a horse on a beach.
157. Spend a night in a hammock on the beach.
158. Go a month without the internet.
166. Spend a day at the baseball in the United States (Achieved on July 31st, 2012)
168. Be treated like a VIP.
173. Paint somebody’s portrait.
174. Find an opal (or other precious stone) and have it made into jewelry.
176. Record a song professionally (but not necessarily release it or sell it).
180. Learn to sing a song in another language.
187. Participate in a protest for a cause I care about.
188. Learn to swing dance (well).
190. See a meteor shower or solar eclipse (or both).
192. Have a drink thrown in my face or be slapped for being a cad.
193. Have something I write or do go viral.
194. Get a kiss from a (preferably female) celebrity. Tongue optional.
195. Be in one (more) play.
198. See a tsunami or storm surge.
199. Host a ridiculously big party.
201. Get my PADI Dive Master’s License.
202. Get my driver’s license.
217. Pose for a sexy calendar for charity. (Achieved on October 30th, 2012. Read about it here)
218. Become fluent in another language.
219. Have a travel article published in hard form.
220. Have something published by Lonely Planet or Frommer’s.
222 – Harvest my own fruit and bake it into something.
227 – Go Christmas Caroling.
251 – Launch a second website and make it successful.
256 – Attend an event at which a national leader or monarch is also dining.
257 – Attend a traditional black tie ball and dance up a storm.
258 – Swing dance in an authentic 1950s style diner.
259 – Have a student contact me to thank me for improving their life in some way.
260 – See one of my teams win a grand final (Newcastle Knights or Newcastle Jets).
262 – Meet Stephen King.
265 – Go streaking (through the quad, if possible).
266 – Attend a traditional American kegger.
277 – Attend one of the ‘big’ football matches (El Clasico, Merseyside Derby, Manchester derby etc).
279 – Study yoga in India.
281 – Familiarize myself with other faiths by participating in a Jewish, Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindi holy day or service.
282 – Make pottery while listening to Unchained Melody. (Achieved in February 2013)
289 – Jump into a fountain fully clothed.
287 – Go Wakeboarding.
295 – Give a speech as the best man.
299 – Eat dinner in a 5 star restaurant and spend the night in a 5 star hotel.
5. Climb a mountain and give a barbaric yawp at its peak.
7. Spend a week camping and living off the land.
45. Finish a marathon.
66. Catch, clean, and cook my own meal.
67. Build something with my own two hands.
106. Win an athletic contest.
107. ‘Work’ a wrestling match like the guys in the WWE.
108. Be in a fist fight.
117. Score the winning points in a game.
123. Learn to do a standing flip, kip-up, or handspring.
131. Have a debauched boys weekend away in a foreign country.
141. Eat only things I cook or prepare myself for one month.
142. Have a six pack or killer biceps.
146. Learn to light a fire and then cook something on it.
152. Overcome my fear of huntsman spiders by holding one (or a tarantula).
170. Yell at a tornado (from a safe distance).
206. Hike to Everest Base Camp.
213. Rough it in the Arctic or Siberia.
228 – Fire a gun. Further to that, fire an automatic weapon or throw a grenade. (Achieved in February 2013)
233 – Swim with a Great White and conquer my fear.
234 – Be bitten by a wild animal (and survive).
235 – Overnight in the jungle.
286 – Go rock climbing outside of a gym.
290 – Go Guerrilla Camping.
296 – Have a truly debauched, decadent boys’ weekend in Las Vegas.
298 – Play a game of full contact American Football.
6. Swim with a whale shark.
8. See the Northern Lights.
9. Go on a safari in Africa.
11. Eat dinner with an Italian family in Italy.
14. Live like a king in Dubai.
15. Go sky-diving.
17. Visit North Korea.
18. Visit Auschwitz.
19. See the sun rise (or set) over Stonehenge.
22. Go dog sledding.
23. Spend a night (or more) under the stars on the Mongolian steppes.
24. Visit Pripyat.
29. Sail from one country to another.
33. Go crazy at a decadent beach or boat party.
34. Swim in an isolated canyon or gorge.
35. Visit Antarctica.
36. Visit Cuba.
40. Explore the Florida Everglades. (Achieved on July 5th, 2012. Read about it here) 48. See a ping pong show in Thailand. (Achieved in February 2013)
49. Learn to Tango in Argentina.
51. Visit Egypt and see the Pyramids.
52. Visit Jerusalem.
53. Spend 24 hours in the Amazon.
54. Travel as the locals do in the Sahara.
56. Backpack around Australia and see it through a traveler’s eyes.
57. Ride the Trans Siberian railway.
58. Ride in a hot air balloon.
59. Kayak through the Grand Canyon.
60. Walk along the Great Wall of China.
62. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Pichu.
64. Spend a weekend at a Buddhist retreat living like a monk.
68. Visit a hash cafe in Amsterdam and wander the Red Light District.
69. Spend a night in a haunted location.
71. Pack my life into a backpack, buy a ticket, and just go.
74. Ride in a submarine.
75. Get naked at a nudist beach or nudist resort.
76. Spend the night in a castle.
77. Swim in the Mediterannean.
78. Go spelunking.
79. Climb a volcano.
80. See icebergs up close.
82. Go white water rafting. (Achieved in February 2013)
83. See Angel Falls, Niagara Falls, Victoria Falls, and Iguazu Falls.
84. Explore Pompeii.
85. Visit all of the European countries.
87. Visit all of the Wonders of the World (old, new, and natural).
88. Visit the 10 biggest theme parks in the world.
90. Visit Halong Bay.
91. Explore New Zealand’s Fjordlands National Park on foot.
92. Visit the Galapagos Islands.
93. Spend a week on the Grecian coast.
94. Swim in the Blue Lagoon in Iceland.
99. Spend at least two months backpacking around South America.
100. Visit Angkor Wat. (Achieved in February 2013)
101. Visit Yellowstone National Park.
102. Take a gondola ride in Venice.
103. Spend a month living on an island other than Australia.
111. Walk the Kakoda Trail in Papua New Guinea.
112. Visit all of the ‘Stans (Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan etc).
118. Go on a cruise between two countries.
119. Win money gambling in a casino.
120. Visit Siberia.
125. Explore the Northern Territory by 4WD.
136. Travel somewhere by river boat. (Achieved in February 2013)
138. Eat poutine in Quebec.
143. Lick the Liberty Bell.
153. Drift dive in a river.
154. Meet real gypsies.
159. Spot a celebrity in Hollywood.
160. Explore the ruins of Petra in Jordan.
161. Spend some time in a war-torn country.
163. Ride the train in India and bathe in the Ganges.
164. Attend Holi in India.
165. Visit the Himalayas.
167. Explore a ghost town.
171. Explore San Francisco (Achieved on July 27th/28th, 2012)
172. Spend some time in the Caribbean.
181. Go hang-gliding.
182. Visit Transylvania in Romania.
184. See a killer whale in the wild.
185. Scuba dive a wreck.
186. Swim with dolphins in the wild.
189. Visit the Killing Fields in Cambodia. (Achieved in February 2013)
191. Go bungee jumping.
196. Travel somewhere by helicopter.
200. Go on a cross country road trip.
205. Scuba dive the sardine run in South Africa.
207. Bike along the Rhine River through Germany, Switzerland, and the Netherlands.
208. Ride the world’s highest altitude train to Tibet.
210. See Hallelujah Avatar Mountain in Zhangjiajie National Park, China.
211. Hike through Jiuzhai Valley National Park, China. (Achieved in May 2013)
212. Spend Christmas in Lapland.
214. Scuba dive on every continent.
215. Boat down the Nile.
216. Ride the Orient Express.
221. See a tiger, giant panda,
bear, elephant, lion, giraffe, hyena, bison, blue whale, platypus, rhino, hippo, and a gorilla in the wild.
223 – See a geyser explode.
224 – Visit a genuine tribal village.
225 – Travel for one month solely on website income.
226 – Ride the zipline on Fremont Street, Vegas.
230 – Couchsurf (Achieved on June 30th, 2012. Read about it here)
232 – Drive across the Nullarbor Plain in Australia.
236 – Bathe in mud pools in Rotorua (not the killer kind).
237 – Walk the Milford Trek.
238 – Stay in a capsule hotel.
239 – Spend the night in an igloo.
240 – Party at the Castle in London.
241 – Attend a live polo match.
243 – Visit a micronation.
244 – Try my luck gambling in Monaco.
245 – Visit the Berlin Wall and Checkpoint Charlie.
246 – Learn to make pasta in Italy.
247 – Walk Paris at midnight and be inspired as the great authors were.
250 – Participate in Portland’s naked bike ride.
252 – Cruise the Yangtze River. (Achieved in December 2013)
253 – See the Terra Cotta Warriors in Xi’an, China.
254 – Stand atop all of China’s ‘Five Sacred Mountains’.
255 – See the Giant Pandas at play in Sichuan province, China. (Achieved in May 2013)
261 – Visit Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre.
268 – Travel the length of the Silk Road.
269 – Motor cycle across a country (or countries) and write about my travels.
270 – See some live jazz where it all started in Chicago.
271 – Visit every one of the Disney theme parks.
272. Eat a Philly Cheese Steak in Philadelphia (Achieved on July 13th, 2012. Read it here) 273. Eat blue crab in Maryland (Achieved on July 2nd, 2012)
274 – Eat some real gumbo in Louisiana.
275 – Eat real clam chowder in the American New England.
276 – Visit a Japanese hostess bar.
283 – Trek through the Andes on a donkey.
284 – Float in the Dead Sea.
285 – Visit Easter Island.
288 – Scuba dive the Big Blue Hole in Belize.
294 – Go on an island hopping cruise of the Caribbean.
297 – Ride the Maiden of the Mists at Niagara Falls.
300 – Snorkel Jellyfish Lake in Palau.
301 – Explore a ghost town or abandoned settlement.
302 – Go into low orbit.
10. Have a threesome (or moresome) (Achieved. No details)
61. Make love to somebody without speaking the same language.
63. Go skinny dipping in the dark.
96. Get a blowjob in a cinema, plane, or bus.
97. Have sex in a public place.
104. Be complimented on my body.
135. Sleep with somebody way out of my league.
139. Have a lover from every continent.
156. Kiss a girl from every country in the world.
169. Get a lap dance in a strip club (Achieved on January 14th, 2012. Read about it here)
178. Have sex on the beach.
179. Make a sex tape.
198. Have a lover ten years my junior and a lover 10 years my senior.
229 – Join the Mile High Club (or the Mile High Blowjob Club).
231 – Paratroop (see Barney Stinson).
249 – Make use of the ‘top sheet’ in a hostel.
264 – Get to third base (or hit a home run) at a baseball field.
280 – Practice the kama sutra with a beautiful Indian girl.
292 – Have a two girl threesome.
293 – Participate in an orgy/swingers night.
25. See the ball drop at Times Square in New York City.
26. Have a white Christmas in England.
27. Attend Oktoberfest in Germany.
30. Spend Anzac Day at Gallipoli, Turkey.
31. Attend a Mass at St Peter’s Basilica in the Vatican City.
32. See Australia play in a FIFA World Cup.
37. Attend Carnival in Rio, Brazil.
38. Get messy at La Tomatina in Spain.
39. Attend the Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
41. Attend Diwali in India.
42. Attend Burning Man in Nevada.
43. Attend Dia de Muertos in Mexico.
44. Get soaking wet celebrating Songkran in Thailand.
50. Attend one of the big football matches.
73. Attend a wrestling (WWE or TNA) PPV (Achieved on July 8th, 2012. Read about it here)
110. Go to the Full Moon Party in Thailand.
113. Celebrate Chilean Independence Day in Chile.
114. Attend a 4th of July BBQ on a lake in the United States (Achieved on July 4th, 2012. Read about it here)
115. Celebrate St Patrick’s Day in Ireland.
126. Have a truly awesome costume in a Zombie Walk.
137. Tail gate a college football game in the United States.
149. Attend the Sydney Mardi Gras.
155. Eat haggis in Scotland at the Highland Games.
162. Attend the Glastonbury Festival and camp out.
175. Attend a country music concert or festival.
203. Celebrate Christmas in Bethlehem.
209. Attend the Harbin Ice & Snow Festival.
242 – Attend the Highland Games.
248 – Attend the Mardi Gras in New Orleans.
267 - Spend Thanksgiving in the United States and watch the Macy’s Parade live.
I’ve shown you mine…
Now show me yours! Did I miss anything you think should be included on everybody’s bucket list?
Are there some on here that you’ve already done?
Do some of them not make sense? Demand an explanation!
If you’ve got your own bucket list posted somewhere, I’d love for you to share it in the comments section.
Want to track my progress in ticking off the items on my bucket list? There’s a page dedicated entirely to it! Go look at my bucket list progress.