Monday, 21 October 2013

The 101 things I want to do before I die - My bucket list

The first time I heard about a "bucket list", I was around 14 years old. A film called A Walk to Remember had been released. It featured this girl who had been diagnosed with cancer and her desire to do all the things on her list before she died. (I'm not going to reveal the end, so you'll just have to watch it).
Not long after, I typed up my first bucket list and hung it on my bedroom door. It didn't have that much on it, but a few on the things still remain on my current list. It stayed there for many years and slowly I started to tick a few of the boxes.
Unfortunately the original list was lost, but I managed to remember most of it and have added many more dreams over the years. Until now, mine has been a word document saved on my computer.

A bucket list is a list of stuff you'd like to do. It's not like the ordinary to-do lists people make at the beginning of the week to feverishly try to balance work and spare time. No a bucket list is a list of dreams, activities and adventures you would like to do some time before you die.

December 2012: Licence - Though this is a fairly new dream, a few years back I suddenly wanted to get my motorcycle licence. Still have to buy a bike, but I'll get to that one day.

So why should you have one? Well first of all, it's important to have a dream. A goal. Something to aim for. It doesn't have to be huge like becoming the President of a country. It could be something as small as making you grandma smile every Saturday by bringing her flowers. Point is that we all need to embrace that inner child in us. That "Peter-Pan" stage of our lives where everything is possible if you only believe.

You can go about it in many different ways. You can make a scrapbook with recycled paper, use an website to manage your list or fill a wall with colourful post-its. Point is you need to find a way that suits you. It's no point me telling you what is the right way, cause there ain't one. What I will do however, is tell you how I went about it.

London New Years Eve 2012-13 : When I was growing up, I used to watch the telly on New Years and see the celebrations from all over the world. London, Sydney and New York was always my favourites. So that's how my childhood dream ended up on my list.
Brainstorming and thinking makes it easier to know what you want, really want, and that would make you truly happy might not always be an easy thing know. Take some time to do this, like an hour or two. Go to a place where you can relax, breathe and think. For me this is the beach on a sunny day. Listening to the waves relaxes me immensely.

Draft it on a piece of paper (or on your computer). Just write, or draw, whatever comes into mind. Remember, this is your list. Not your dads or your best mates', it's yours. The stuff you put on this list might seem silly to others, even borderline rude, but to you it means something. That's all that matters.

I bought this leather bound notebook with high quality paper.

The final version should be something you've put some thought into. Like I said at the beginning, this is not the average weekly to-do list which has got the groceries on it. This a list of life. Having said that, nothing is set in stone. You can add or change your list. Only rule is that it's your list.
My way of doing it is having two pages for each goal. On the left page there will be a headline with the dream and pictures from it. Then on the right side I'll write about it, what happened, where I did it and how it was.

By spending some time with it, you make it special. It's not just another piece of paper to go next to the pile of bills or in that folder on your computer where you save all the mixed documents. Nurture it. It's your new mantra. Your new Bible if you want to call it that. It's a reminder about your dreams, about your goals. So if, and you probably will at some point, feel a bit lost in your life you can look at your bucket list. You've done the hardest part, identifying your dreams. All you have to now is make them happen.

Put your personal touch to it

Now, some people might say that you should only put stuff that realistically can happen on there or that they think you're capable of. I think you shouldn't. My personal opinion is that you should write your dreams down, regardless how unrealistic they may seem. I put "Present at a TED talk". Now, I'll admit that I'm not any close at the moment in receiving an invite to speak at an TED event, but who's to say it won't happen in 30 years from now? Point is, don't limit yourself. It's your dreams.

William Arthur Ward once said “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it; if you can dream it, you can become it.”

Here's my bucket list (in no particular order)

My bucket list

  1. Live in a different country- V
  2. Travel by myself - V
  3. Travel to Oxford - V
  4. Travel to Venice (Italy)
  5. Travel to Australia
  6. See the Sydney Opera House
  7. Celebrate New Years in London - V
  8. Celebrate New Years in Sydney
  9. Celebrate New Years in New York
  10. Do Route 66 (USA) on a motorbike
  11. Travel to Scotland
  12. Travel to all seven continents
    1. Europe - V
    2. Asia
    3. Oceania/Australia
    4. Africa
    5. North America
    6. South America
    7. Antarctica
  13. Interrail - Travel Europe by train
  14. Travel to the end of the world - V
  15. Travel to the north of Norway and see the Northern lights
  16. Travel to Svalbard (Norway) and see polar bears
  17. See the Pyramids of Giza
  18. Travel in a hot air balloon
  19. Experience weightlessness
  20. Swim in every ocean
    1. Pacific Ocean - V
    2. Atlantic Ocean - V
    3. Indian Ocean
    4. Southern Ocean
    5. Arctic Ocean
  21. Go to the airport and pick a random flight and go there
  22. See the Eiffel Tower
  23. Travel to the North Pole
  24. Travel to the South Pole
  25. Fly a plane
  26. See an active volcano (active as lava)
  27. Have a pint at the Oktoberfest in Munich
  28. Travel to Pompeii (Italy) and see the stone people - V
  29. Visit the Amazon Rainforest
  30. Cross a country by foot/bike
  31. Attend the Mardi Gras in Sydney
  32. Ride the cable cars up the hills of San Francisco (US)
  33. Celebrate St. Patrick’s in Ireland

  1. Get a degree from university - V
  2. Get a degree or certificate from University of Oxford
  3. Work as a bartender
  4. Get a job I love
  5. Work for Travel Channel OR National Geographic
  6. Work with kids - V
  7. Volunteer for an orphanage
  8. Find a job I’m completely happy in
  9. Work as a teacher
  10. Be a jury member
  11. Study philosophy and/or psychology
  12. Open a cafè in the countryside
  13. Volunteer for a charity - V
  14. Run my own business - V

  1. Sleep under the star one night
  2. Learn conversational Spanish
  3. Learn a Sign Language
  4. Learn to play the piano
  5. Be two places at once - V
  6. Find a cure for my animal allergies - V
  7. Get a motorcycle licence - V
  8. Improve my handwriting and write more letters/postcards - V
  9. Pet a kangaroo
  10. Get a book published
  11. Drive a Ferrari
  12. Do a skydive
  13. Spend a few weeks in a buddhist temple
  14. Run a marathon
  15. Get over my fear of heights - V
  16. Get a tattoo - V
  17. Read every book I own
  18. Have over 500 books in my own library
  19. Watch the sunrise on the beach
  20. Hitch-hike
  21. Get six pack abs
  22. Have a “slow-motion-moment-with-family/friends-at-the-airport”
  23. Make a difference to in someones life
  24. Do karaoke for one whole night in a bar/pub/club
  25. Take a photo, every day for a year
  26. Run a club/hotel in Greece
  27. Send at least ten messages in bottles - V
  28. Ride a camel
  29. Own my own house
  30. Go zorbing
  31. Be on TV - V
  32. Take dance lessons
    1. Salsa
    2. Ballroom
    3. Samba
    4. Hip-hop
  33. Go to a P!nk concert
  34. Learn to juggle
  35. Attend the Olympics somewhere
  36. Get an article published in a newspaper - V
  37. Meet a Royal
  38. Attend an art class and learn how to paint
  39. Do yoga (for a minimum of 6 months, twice a week)
  40. Learn archery
  41. Swim with dolphins
  42. Climb one of the World Seven Summits
  43. Donate blood
  44. Fall in love
  45. Have kids
  46. Fire a gun
  47. Go on a safari
  48. Wear a kilt
  49. Eat insects
  50. Write my memoirs
  51. Have my own “Hallmark-perfect-Christmas”
  52. Milk a cow
  53. Present at a TED Talk
  54. Find my Narnia in the back of a wardrobe

    Now it's your turn, dream, write and do it!
    If you would like to share it or need any tips, feel free to comment below.