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Make a Bucket List of Hopes and Dreams

Updated on March 17, 2017
Beth Eaglescliffe profile image

Science graduate and business advisor, health educator and author, Beth writes articles on a wide variety of subjects.

Make a list of all the things you want to do before you die.
Make a list of all the things you want to do before you die. | Source

What is a Bucket List?

The original idea behind making a bucket list was to record all the things you wanted to achieve before you died. (The slang term for death is “to kick the bucket”.) However, people are now living longer and healthier lives and the prospect of opening “death’s door” is a distant one for most of us. So a bucket list can now be made around any future life event or significant birthday milestone.

For example, you might make a list of things you want to achieve before your 50th birthday. Or you could catalog places you intend to visit before you have your first baby. The choice of milestone and contents of your bucket list are unique to you. A bucket list challenge is for your own satisfaction. You are not in competition with friends and family, although you may share some of your new experiences with them along the way.

This article aims to get you thinking about and planning some of the things you want to include in your life. Here are 50 ideas to kick-start you into visiting new places, taking up a new hobby or refreshing an ailing friendship.

Look to the Skies for Inspiration

1. Take a balloon ride.

2. Learn to fly a glider.

3. Do a parachute jump and raise money for a good cause.

4. Go fly a kite on the beach with some kids.

5. Read “The Cloud-spotter's Guide: The Science, History, and Culture of Clouds”.


6. See giraffes in the wild (with their heads in the clouds).

7. Spend an evening stargazing.

8. Visit a planetarium.

9. Go on a “bat walk” and listen to their calls (with a bat detector).

10. Climb to the top of a mountain.

The video below was produced by the BBC Natural History Unit and shows clips of nature in action from all around the world. It's well worth watching to get some ideas for your bucket list. The hit "Both Sides Now" (1967) was written by Joni Mitchell and in this version is sung by Judy Collins.

Learn to Drive and Go On a Road Trip

You may want to include things on your register that will improve your life. You’re a long time dead so make the most of the short time you have on this earth! If you keep in good health you are more likely to be happy and be able to complete the items on your bucket wish-list.

11. Learn to drive.

12. Quit smoking.

13. Get to know your neighbors.

14. Pay someone a compliment.

15. Try a different hair style.

Think large when you commit your list to paper. Check out “The Little Book of Thinking Big” for help. According to the book’s author, Richard Newton, the book will encourage you to aim higher and go further than you thought possible. It’s certainly true that a varied and exciting bucket list can motivate and inspire you for years to come. So it’s worth putting time and effort into creating a good one.

16. Take up a new hobby.

17. Join a gym.

18. Use all your cell phone apps.

19. Learn basic first aid.

20. Contact a friend you haven’t seen for years.

Marking Life's Milestones

Have You Made a Bucket List?

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Travel Cheaply and See the World

There are thousands of wonderful places to visit. Most of us have a limited amount of time and money to spend on sightseeing. So your bucket list is the perfect place to start planning how to visit the best ones. Name specific sights and sites that you would like to experience if you had the chance. Then start saving to make at least a few of those dreams come true. If you plan ahead and make use of bartering and volunteering opportunities, travel doesn’t have to be expensive as the video below shows.

21. Do a house swap overseas.

22. Become a house-sitter while owners are abroad.

23. Volunteer or barter your skills for board and bed.

24. Hitchhike to travel cheaply.

25. Crew a yacht.

26. Work on a cruise ship.

27. Help on an organic farm through WWOOF

28. Apply for a travel scholarship.

29. Become a TV quiz contestant.

30. Go outdoors camping or backpacking.

So Little Time, So Many Books to Read

Imagine you are marooned on a dessert island and have unlimited time to catch up on all the books you meant to read. Which ones will you choose? Will they be popular fiction; chick lit or detective novels? Or will you go for non-fiction classics, like biographies or true adventure tales?

There are millions of books published each year so it’s a difficult call to make. If you’re not sure where to begin you could ask friends and family for their recommendations. Or you could read the top best-selling books of recent years. Here are a few I think are worthy of a place on your bucket list.

31. Travel with “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” by Douglas Adams.

32. Read “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn” by Mark Twain.

33. Experience the magic of “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norman Juster.

34. Find out “Where the Wild Things Are” by Maurice Sendak.

35. Browse ”Life: A User's Manual” by Georges Perec.

Girl with books
Girl with books | Source

Don't Forget Life's Simple Pleasures

36. Have a picnic in the park

37. Blow soap bubbles.

38. Tie-die a shirt.

39. Go to a drive-in movie.

40. Make a time capsule for your grandkids.

Tie-dyed t-shirt.
Tie-dyed t-shirt. | Source

A Celebrity's Bucket List

Here are 10 things that vlogger Siena Mirabella has on her bucket list.

41. Participate in a triathlon.

32. Learn to speak a foreign language.

43. Volunteer with animals on a conservation project.

44. Write and publish a book.

45. Direct a horror movie.

46. Explore the Galapagos Islands.

47. Go on a yoga retreat in Costa Rica.

48. Host a salon party.

49. Attend New York Fashion Week.

50. Live in Paris for two months.

Remember, you can earn more money, but when time is spent it's gone forever.

— Zig Ziglar


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    • MsDora profile image

      Dora Isaac Weithers 7 months ago from The Caribbean

      Great suggestions for the bucket list. Thanks to you, I've added Number 18 to mine. That should help me get closer to my toddler relatives since they have to help me.

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