The Bucket List

Bucket list

noun

informal

1. -
A numbers of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime.

The movie, The Bucket List, was on TV not long ago. As I watched I realised there was a flaw in the whole process of having a bucket list – Morgan Freeman’s character was writing his bucket list with only month’s left to live. Are we the same? Is it only when you know your time on earth is ending that you really sit down and think about all the things you would really love to do, places you would love to see or things you want to achieve (or overcome)? By then, it’s usually too late.

I started thinking (not because I feel my time is ending) why not put pen to paper earlier. Like, NOW! Having a bucket list is almost as crucial as setting life goals. If you don’t know where you want to go, how can you formulate a plan to get there?

Having worked for Qantas for seven years I’ve been extremely lucky and been blessed with a handful of amazing travel experiences; safari in South Africa, Bollywood in Mumbai, cycling along Venice Beach in LA… just to name a few. Having discounted travel meant ventures such as flying to Copenhagen for lunch a relatively normal thing to do. (It was to go to Noma – the number one restaurant in the world!) I will admit I sometimes took things for granted. After living the life of an earthling the past six months, I definitely have a fresh perspective on things.

Thinking of all the places I’ve travelled to, I sat down and thought: Would they have been on my bucket list, if I had one?

Now, I appreciate people may feel having a bucket list is pointless. I can hear your thoughts already. “I would never be able to afford any of these things I want to do, so why bother.” Usually a bucket lists consists of travel, like mine but why not dream a little? Why not create a vision to aspire towards? I’m only 32; I have MANY years ahead of me to work, save and possibly achieve some of these dreams. You can never predict what can happen in life; someone may surprise you with a gift that enables you to cross just one thing off… but if you don’t know what those things are, how will you know when the opportunity arises?

Your bucket list doesn’t have to include travel. Maybe you love the outdoors and you have always dreamt of riding a horse? Perhaps milking a cow? You may be laughing right now but I can guarantee people go through life dreaming about riding a horse but never do anything about it. Put it out to universe. Talk about it with people.

Something on your list could be for the sense of achievement. I have a fear of heights – yes I know I work in the sky, it’s different. For me, skydiving is on the list not because I think it will be amazing and fun, I want to be able to say, “I hate heights but I jumped out of a plane!” Maybe you have a fear of snakes and holding a snake would be an achievement for you. Write it down, save for a trip to the Zoo! The options are endless. Be selfish, it’s all about you.

Writing a list is also a great way of appreciating the things you have done. Life is always going to test you; there will always be rough patches. When faced with a rough patch, it’s all too common to forget the good times. Why not make a list of everything you have done, cross them off then continue with your bucket list.

So, here is mine: some basic, some far-fetched.

  • Spend a week learning to ski in Europe
  • Learn to surf (sharks scare me)
  • Learn to scuba dive (again, sharks scare me)
  • Climb a mountain
  • Go to Machu Picchu
  • Skydive
  • Complete an Ironman event (I’ll start with a half then reassess)
  • Go to Finland! I’m half Finnish and I’ve never been.
  • Go to the Opera
  • Sail a leg in the Clipper Race Around the World
  • Go to Ayers Rock and Kakadu

I can’t say if my list is complete. I may add to it as life progresses…but it’s a start. Why not take some time and write your own list, or if you have one, set some goals to get you closer to ticking some things off. Don’t leave it until it’s too late…

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