- Published on Wednesday, August 22 2012
- Written by Shawn Bonner
Bucket lists have been growing in popularity ever since the movie The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman, premiered in 2007. For those of you who don’t know, a bucket list is a list of things that you want to do before you “kick the bucket”. Every person’s bucket list is different, but there are a few things everyone should add that are totally worth exploring:
1. Learn to Do Something New.
Step out of your shell! Take a pottery class, learn a new language, or learn to fly a plane! This is such a great way to expand your horizons and make new friends that have similar interests to your own. No matter what it is, learning something new will give you such a great sense of accomplishment that will last the rest of your life!
2. Buy That Thing You Really Want.
It’s okay to indulge in your shopping fantasies every once and a while. Spend time saving up for something that you’ve always wanted. Is it a new pair of killer kicks? A 60-inch flat screen TV? A golf getaway to Scotland? Whatever it is, if you spend the time saving up and planning, you’ll not only learn a bit of patience, but will appreciate the experience so much more. You only live this life once! Live it happily and spoil yourself every now and then.
3. Have a “Back to Childhood” Night.
Everyone, at some point in life, wishes they could go back to their childhood and relive the times where "responsibility" was just a word that grown-ups used to scare you. Take one night for a do-over! My childhood night will involve jungle gyms and playing games like Candy Land and Shutes and Ladders while drinking juice boxes and watching my favorite kids movie. Experience childhood again with a youthful exuberance – GO PLAY!
4. Immerse Yourself in a Different Culture.
When you spend time doing the same things week after week, it’s easy to get so used to it that you unintentionally create this little bubble for yourself that you just can’t seem to escape. Spend a weekend experiencing how others live. This doesn’t mean that you have to fly all the way to China! Spending some time in certain parts of your city can present a different cultural experience for you to explore. Try going to a restaurant that serves cuisine you’ve never tried before or walk into trade stores that sell items specific to a different culture. You’ll be surprised what you see and what you find out about yourself (and others!).
5. Take a Day to Do Nothing But Free Things.
Nothing is better than getting to spend a whole day doing free things! Save a boatload of moolah and visit your local museums, parks, even pet stores! Some cities show outdoor movies at dusk that are open to the public and free to attend. If you have a hard time trying to find free activities in your town, Yelp.com can help! Just visit the website and type “free” in the search box. Sometimes it takes a little digging, but it’s worth it to find a diamond in the rough! For example, in Orange County, California, there is a hot air balloon that you can ride for free. It’s a great way to end your day on a high note while still staying grounded with all the money you’ve saved still in your pocket!
6. Find Your Rhythm.
We all do it – tapping toes to the beat in the car, bob your head at clubs, jump up and down at concerts... It’s time to take up the tempo on that beat of yours! Kick clumsiness in the butt and take a dance class, or learn to play an instrument. Trust me, your coordination skills will thank you. And, yes, Zumba and kickboxing count.
7. Make a Movie with Friends.
Let loose and get goofy! Bring a video camera (or your iPhone) with you when you go shopping or to a concert. Film anything and everything you can. Soon you’ll begin to feel like a professional filmmaker. Edit it, add music and sound effects, and get everyone together a year later to view it. You’ll have everyone reminiscing and laughing at the silly jokes they’ve since forgotten. Cut, print, and enjoy. That’s a wrap, people!
8. Get Lost in Town During a Vacation.
Personally, I find that this is the best way to discover incredible parts of a city that are off the beaten path. If getting lost makes you nervous, don’t panic. Keep a map in a pocket or purse, but only use it in cases of dire emergency! Walk around and explore the city the way a local might – store by store, alley by alley. Amazing things are hidden in the cracks and crevices of the places you visit. You never know where you’ll end up, either! You could leave your London hotel that’s in the middle of nowhere and end up in Trafalgar’s Square an hour later! You may have no idea how you got there, but that’s the best part. Every place you come upon is a complete surprise. Lose yourself and have a great time! Don’t forget to take pictures!
9. See the Aurora Borealis.
Come on, people! Put some science in your life! Also know as the Northern Lights, the Aurora Borealis occurs when the polarity of the earth interacts with solar winds. The beautifully brilliant lights that appear in the sky are something that everyone should personally experience. The Northern Lights will next show their true colors from late November to March and will be visible from Alaska, Denmark, Scotland, and Canada, among others. So, pick a spot and hunker down because this gorgeous scenery doesn’t last all year!
10. Pay It Forward.
This is a great bucket list item that you can add to your to-do list on a daily basis. Need a little feel-good pick-me-up? Little acts of kindness will not only increase your positive karma but will give you the boost you need to make you feel like your day went right. If someone is kind to you, pay it back to at least three people. Even the smallest act makes a big difference: from letting a car get in front of you during traffic to volunteering at a soup kitchen. Giving back can propel your feel good vibes out of this atmosphere. After a while, the domino effect occurs and the whole world is performing little acts of kindness that make everyone’s lives a little bit easier, a little less stressful, and a little more blissful.
Whether you’ve already got a bucket list or are just getting started, these 10 activities are a great addition or place to start and can easily be personalized to fit your lifestyle. Get out there and experience new things! Toward the end, when you look back at all the items you’ve checked off your list, you’ll know that no time was spent in vain and you’ve lived life to the fullest.
- Shawn Bonner, YH Staff
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