Everywhere on social media, I hear people talking about their “Bucket List”. It seems like even if you haven’t seen the movie, the basic concept has become ingrained in our culture. The sad part is that many times when I hear people talk about their Bucket List, it is with a sense of regret (that it is something they would never do), or an impossible feat because of whatever the circumstances. It seems to me to be a waste of a good bucket, to fill it that way. Instead, I’d like to offer some life instructions on how to fill your bucket.
It’s All Yours
The first mistake a lot of people make is not including things that are truly special and meaningful to them. Sure the tropical beach your friend just returned from sounds nice, but is it worthy of being on your list? A “list-worthy” item should have a deeper connection to you. Achieving it should be marked as a special moment that is the culmination of effort, dream, and desire.
Within Your Reach
Good bucket list items are ones that are within the realm of possibility. If there is no way you are ever going to accomplish it, mark that down as wishful thinking, not a bucket list item. I would prefer to classify a good bucket list item as a stretch goal (maybe super-stretch goal). A great example is a hiking friend ours who’s bucket list item was to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. We were very fortunate enough to be with him when he reached the summit. It was an amazing experience. The emotions we all felt for our own accomplishment were overwhelming. This would have been a stretch goal for any hiker, but our friend had an added challenge of being completely blind. A truly amazing feat and truly bucket list worthy.
One Size Doesn’t Fit All
A bucket list item doesn’t have to be an amazing physical accomplishment to be on the list. In fact, it can be very simple. The important thing is the meaning it holds to you. My personal list has a mix of personal challenges, emotional connections and life changing experiences I hope to accomplish. The size of my list has grown even though I have actually checked some things off my list. After all, this is your list. And because it is your list, you can decide the size of the list.
Feeling the Check
The feeling of checking something off your list is the best. It can cause exhilaration, and make your scream with glee, or sob uncontrollably, or many more feelings. Every time can be it’s own special emotion because every time it is so special. All I can say for sure is that you will know it is a real bucket list item when you feel it.
Sometimes The Stars Align
One of my favorite things in the winter is alpine skiing. I’m fairly new to the sport, but I love it. Truth be told, it was a bucket list item from way back. The first time I actually skied was such a special moment. Only in recent years has it moved from item checked off my list to the thing I love most about winter.
Skiing may be my winter time activity, but traveling is my anytime activity. I love going anywhere in the world with Cathy. The thrill of adventuring to new destinations is my passion. These are the elements that went into a personal bucket list item. The desire to ski in a foreign country.
Since we are by no means rich travelers, our travel plans usually come with a strict budget and time constraints. We aim to pack as many activities into each vacation as possible. We also tend to not travel to a destination’s peak season to save on costs. This means that although we may be visiting a foreign country, it may not be the best time for skiing.
Fortunately for me, sometimes things just come together. This was the case when we recently journeyed to the French Pyrenees. Beautiful mountains with skiing like the Alps, but without the crowded lift lines and chaos of the Alps. We stayed at a beautiful bed and breakfast minutes away from prime skiing. Since it was the end of the season, my hopes weren’t high that conditions would make for great skiing. Just before our trip to the Pyrenees a large storm moved in and blanketed the mountains in snow. Our week was packed, so skiing would have to wait until the end of the trip. Again this seemed like a time when things would not work out. With my luck, the snow would all melt in the very warm weather that followed the storm.
Finally, it was the night before ski day, and I was so excited. I got ready and OUCH…pulled something in my back. I did all the normal treatment for my chronic back issues, and the next day I felt good enough to ski. We were starting really late in the day, though, so it still may not happen. It never hurts to be prepared for failure of reaching a bucket list, but it just seemed like there was always going to be something in the way of this one.
Through everything, we managed to get on the slopes. The largest, most beautiful scenic vistas I have ever seen skiing. Mountains that were over 10,000 feet, and we had to take a few lifts to get to the top. The whole experience was surreal. Finally standing on top of the mountain with Cathy and looking down, there just are no words. I was waiting for something to happen at any moment to wake me up. This moment got the biggest CHECK ever.
The stars may not come into alignment easy for you, but some of the best things in life don’t come quickly or easy. Bucket lists items are great, but so are all the moments in between. Live them, love them, and Roar Loud always.
All the activities we did on our trip and more can be booked as part of the multi-activity holiday with The Adventure Creators! Thank you to The Adventure Creators and Tourisme Haute- Garonne for inviting us to the Pyrenees, we were happy to be guests. As always our opinions are honest and our own.
We would love for you to share this:
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- Getting Above the Clouds in the Pyrenees - April 18, 2017
- Finding That Perfect Freedom in the French Pyrenees - April 5, 2017
- Life Instructions On How to Fill Your Bucket - March 30, 2017