While no one likes to think about dying, thinking about all of the things you want to do before you die gives you a great excuse to pursue some amazing adventures. More and more people are sitting down to write their bucket list – a list of things they want to do before they kick the bucket – and there are movies, books and seminars with tips and ideas about how to write the perfect list, and how to achieve all of your goals.
If you’re stuck for meaningful and unique ideas for your bucket list, consider these top 20 entries, and see whether any of them inspire you to get out there and live life while you can.
1 – Live in a non English speaking country
This is an experience which will get you right out of your comfort zone and into some fabulous memories as you learn the language and the culture the hard way. When you’re travelling you can fake your way through with a translation dictionary, but when you live like a local you gain a true insight into a country and its people and are forced to appreciate a new way of life.
2 – Go on the road
A popular road trip is to drive through western Europe as you can embrace the freedom of the road, and take the road less travelled since everyone else is getting around Europe on one of the many trains, planes or tour buses. You just need a few friends and a sense of adventure to hop from campsite to campsite.
Going on the road is about experiencing the true heart of a country, so pick somewhere that interests you and engage with it, by travelling with friends or jumping on your bike.
3 – Go to each of the seven continents
Many people put travel on their bucket list, and if you want to be able to call yourself a world traveller then this should be one of your goals. Some continents will be harder to travel than others. For example to travel to Antarctica you may have to join an expedition, and maybe even help out with some preservation.
4 – The ride
Of course there is a thrill you can get from theme park rides, but why not make it your mission to ride something truly spectacular – just make sure it’s bigger than a horse. You will remember the experience forever if you are able to tick off having ridden a camel, or an elephant which stands two stories high.
5 – Climb a mountain
Choose a mountain which inspires you, you have Seven Summits around the world to choose from and while it will take some mental and physical preparation you’ll feel exhilarated with your achievement.
6 – Meet an endangered species
Get up close and personal to photograph an endangered species. This will give you a unique snapshot of the world as it was at that time, and serve as a reminder about how fragile life really is.
7 – Family
Most of us reach a point in our lives where we wonder what we’ll leave behind, what our legacy will be, and what the point of it all was. This contemplation can often inspire you to start a family, and having a happy, healthy baby will be real achievement to add to your life’s to do list.
8 – See your children achieve
Consider adding your childrens’ milestones to your bucket list so that you can see them graduate from high school or from college. Being a proud parent is another important achievement.
9 – Learn a language
Learning a new language can be a difficult and challenging process, but if you achieve this bucket list item you will have a useful cultural skill which can help when you travel, or help you advance your career.
10 – Live to work
If you are unhappy in your job then quit and pursue your passion. This is a brave item to add to your bucket list, but as you start to make this list you’ll realise just how short life is – too short to be in a job you hate. You could start your own business, making sure you are providing a product or service you love and believe in. Plus, if you are looking to achieve financial freedom, find a way to do that by using your passion.
11 – Experience the heavens
Regardless of what you believe awaits you after you die, there is no denying that the skies hold some wondrous beauty, which you should experience while you’re still on Earth. Therefore, make sure to experience a sunset, and a sunrise, see the Northern Lights or a solar eclipse, or simply go star gazing and see what there is to see.
12 – Share your bucket list
Tell at least 10 of your friends and family what you are doing as you compile a bucket list, and encourage them to make their own list.
13 – Resolve issues
Take the time to seek closure with people who have hurt you or who have caused you unhappiness. Now is the time to put the past behind you and make a mends with your enemies or people you have a conflict with.
14 – Learn a new hobby
When we are young we have a hundred interests to occupy our time, but as we get older and focus on our career and family we can forget about our hobbies. Therefore, choose a new hobby and excel at it.
For example you could take dancing lessons and learn the Salsa, learn to tap dance or learn ballroom dancing. You could learn a martial art or learn to play a musical instrument. You could even look at pursuing education in a new industry or field as your passion.
15 – Get out of your comfort zone
This could be as simple as taking a hot air balloon ride across the country and experiencing the weightlessness and seeing the world from a different perspective. Or participate in an extreme sport such as bungee jumping, skydiving, parachuting or paragliding.
16 – See iconic works of art
You may have read about them in books or seen them in movies but there are some paintings you need to see before you die, including:
• The Elevation of the Cross, Peter Paul Rubens, Cathedral of Our Lady, Antwerp.
• Guernica, Pablo Picasso, Museo Reina Sofia.
• The Mona Lisa, Leonardo da Vinci, The Louvre.
• Le Déjeuner Sur L’Herbe, Édouard Manet, Musée d’Orsay in Paris.
• Bedroom in Arles, Vincent Van Gogh, Van Gogh Museum.
• Luncheon of the Boating Party, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, The Phillips Collection, Washington, D.C.
• The Kiss, Gustav Klimt, Österreichische Galerie Belvedere.
• The Madonna with the Christ Child and Saint John the Baptist, Raphael, Kunsthistorisches Museum in Vienna.
• The Scream, Edvard Munch, National Gallery, Oslo.
• The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp, Rembrandt, The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp.
17 – The seven wonders of the world
Again travel is an important part of many people’s bucket list and if you’re not sure which destinations you should put on your list, consider which of the wonders you want to see:
1. Machu Picchu, Peru
2. The Colisseum in Rome
3. Petra, Jordan
4. Christ Redeemer, Brazil
5. The Great Wall of China
6. Chichen Itza, Mexico
7. The Taj Mahal, India
18 – Books to read
For a cultural element closer to home and easier to come by, consider adding some of the most influential and important works to your list, such as:
• Read the complete works of Shakespeare.
• Read every novel that has won a Pulitzer Prize in the Fiction Category.
• Read all of the Russian classics.
• Read every book your favourite author has written.
Or you can simply make a list of your own, and challenge yourself to create a list of 100 books.
19 – Fix your finances
Taking control of your finances has probably been on your to do list for many years, and there are a number of things you should make sure you organise before you die:
• Get rid of your debt.
• Learn more about your finances and how the world of money works so that you can read balance sheets, income statements and financial documents.
• Get your net worth to a positive figure.
• Invest in stocks.
• Invest in real estate.
• Invest in bonds.
• Invest in commodities, for example gold or silver.
• Own gold bullions.
• With all of this investment you should be able to generate a passive income so you can retire early.
• Create a trust fund for your children.
• Take out life insurance, income protection insurance and disability insurance to protect yourself and your family.
• Hire an accountant who can help you take advantage of tax deductions.
20 – Satisfy your spiritual side
You don’t need to be on your death bed to want to understand the mysteries of the afterlife and inner peace. Therefore, depending on your beliefs and religions you may want to add one of these reflective experiences to your bucket list:
• Meet the Dalai Lama.
• Meet the Pope.
• Travel to Tibet.
• Spend a week at a silent retreat.
• Start doing yoga.
• Take up tai chi.
• Drink from or bathe in Lourdes water which flows from a sprig in the Grotto of Massabielle in the Sanctuary of Our Lady of Lourdes in France.
• Read the Bible, the Koran or your chosen religious text cover to cover.
While it is important to feel as though you have achieved everything you want to in your life before you die, also take the time to consider what will happen to your loved ones after you die too. Contact a life insurance comparison website such as Life Insurance Finder now and tick off an important item from your bucket list by making sure that your family will be protected when you do finally kick the bucket.
Image by wve