Create that Bucket list

6:45:00 PM

So, you want to travel!  Yay!  My job here is done!
No but really, that is the first step.  Then there’s all the boring practical questions like financing and getting off work and how to get there and where to stay and the list goes on fooorrrrrrreeeeeeeever.  But there’s also the fun stuff: where to go and what to do!

I read a really interesting article on Huffington post about why not to create a bucket list.  And although I agree with the points, I think that a bucket list doesn’t HAVE to give you those limitations like “give you tunnel vision” or “make you miss out on spontaneous getaways.”  You can choose to use a bucket list in different ways.

1.     If a friend calls you up and says, lets go to Turkey.  You could come up with a million reasons not to go OR you could look at your bucket list and say, I’ve always wanted to ride a hot air balloon, I’m in!
2.     You have a few weeks vacation time and are overwhelmed on what to do.  You could decide to relax and stay home OR you could look at your awesome list and say, I found a cheap flight to Brussels, so I’m going to go to Belgium for the week!
3.     You’re stuck at home bored out of your mind.  You could watch netflix with your pint of ice cream like you do every week OR you could say, I’ve always wanted to paint, and you call a friend to go do a paint with wine groupon activity. 

Let’s start with the most feasible things.  What are things in your own town that you would like to try and do.  I told my friend Lillie last week, "Let's go do something outside." She said, “Well, what are your Chicago outdoor bucketlisters?!?”  And I am ashamed to admit that a red light flashed in my head because I hadn’t thought about it!  You can bet your bottom dollar I have a list now.

At Home Bucket List!!

Go on the Chicago architectural boat tour
Actually make it through the entire Art museum and not just visit the same 5 favorite Monets
Play in a sand volleyball league
Eat at a famous chef’s restaurant
Ride a Segway – I’ve checked this off!!!!!!
Go to China town
Go to a second city show
Take a cooking class
Take a glass blowing class
Explore a new train stop I’ve never gotten off at
Play Frisbee in the park and bring my grill
Kayak on the lake
Actually have a dinner party at my house where I cook for everyone
Go to a farmer’s Market in a different neighborhood
Go to a concert of a singer I love
See a bears game

Next, list activities you want to do that maybe you can’t do in your hometown.  When I was traveling from Buenos Aires to Santiago, Chile, it was cheaper to take a bus across the continent, stopping in Mendoza, Argentina along the way!  When planning what to do in Mendoza, my traveling partner Matt and I looked at activities that were on our bucket list.  For me, trying new things is always a top priority, so we went White Water Rafting for my first time ever!  This will help you prioritize things you’d like to do when you are planning your trip and/or help you choose a place to go to accomplish them.

Activities Bucket List

Run a marathon
Scuba dive
Ride in a hot air balloon
See more architecture that came from Worlds Fairs (Eiffel tower came from there)
Try new, exotic foods specific to different cultures and areas
See famous paintings
Go to the tops of mountains
Be in nature with no other people
Be in a place during their huge celebration (like the festival of lights in Thailand)
See the northern lights
Ski in the alps
Volunteer in another country
See elephants and giraffes in the wild

Lastly places you want to go.  Don’t let this blind you to other beautiful places that come your way.  Let it give you a starting place or guidance.  Keep your mind and your heart open to all places, things, and opportunities.  I didn’t know anything about Panama City but had the opportunity to stop through there, and it was incredible!  Who knew!?

Places Bucket List

The Great barrier reef
The Great wall of China
Bolivian Salt Flats
The pyramids of Egypt
A Christmas Market in Europe
Yellow Stone National Park
Glacier National Park
Kentucky Derby
Angel Falls

I could list things for hours upon hours, but these are just examples of some of the things on my list.  On my most recent trip, I checked off a ton of really special bucket list items- Machu Picchu, Iguazu Falls, attending the Olympics again, Rio de Janeiro, seeing a wild monkey, eating exotic cultural foods, white water rafting, skiing in the Andes, swim with sea lions, tango in Buenos Aires, and many more things that I couldn’t have even known I wanted!

So I encourage you to brainstorm lists.  Be willing to add and subtract.  Be willing to do things not on it, and to not be devastated if you don't complete one when you thought.  Making the lists gets your brain started towards doing things.  You can travel.  You can skydive.  Start putting that energy out there, and you will be more inclined to accept those opportunities that may already be there!


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