101 Bucket List Ideas You Must Try at Least Once in your Lifetime

Designing your bucket list, but struggling for inspiration? Bucket lists create an opportunity to reflect on what you really want to achieve before you die, focusing you on what’s truly important. Whether you dream of traveling to Everest Base Camp, or you simply want to be able to bake that perfect loaf of bread, creating a bucket list can help you prioritize, focus, and achieve your goals.

Everyone’s bucket list is different, and by definition, is deeply personal. However, sometimes it can be useful to look further afield for a bit of inspiration. If you’re short of ideas, here’s our selection of the 101 best bucket list ideas.

Adventure

There’s no greater thrill than leaping from an airplane thousands of feet up in the air. Skydiving is one of the most popular adventure sports, and a perennial fixture on bucket lists all over the world. Although the idea of hurtling through the air towards the earth is a somewhat terrifying prospect, the natural high created by the subsequent adrenaline rush is an ample reward. What’s more, once your parachute has opened, you’ll enjoy a real bird’s eye view of the world as you float peacefully down to the ground.

Sharks are some of the most fascinating creatures of the sea, but they are also perhaps the most terrifying. With their muscular, strong bodies and sharp teeth, sharks are often regarded as aggressive, wild and deadly: the ultimate underwater predator. However, swimming with these creatures might just change your perspective. Few shark species are aggressive towards humans, and seeing them up close in the water can be a fascinating experience. Either way, this bucket list idea is sure to give you a thrill.The best places to swim with sharks (in the world)

3. Scale Half Dome in Yosemite National Park
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The distinctive Half Dome, that famous rock in the heart of the Yosemite National Park, is a mecca for hikers and mountaineers. This iconic trail is a real challenge for walkers, spanning 16 miles and ascending 5500 feet, providing a real sense of achievement for those who make it all the way to the top. This is adventure hiking at its best: the steep scramble up the last 400 metres, clinging to the specially installed steel cables, is a little hair-raising, but the magnificent view from the summit makes it all worthwhile.

The Mount Huashan Plank Walk is certainly not a bucket list item for the faint of heart. This adrenaline-inducing trek has been called the world’s most dangerous hike, and it’s easy to see why. This sacred mountain contains a death-defying stretch along a narrow wooden plank, precariously positioned over a long, sheer drop down the mountain. Although you will be firmly strapped into a harness for the plank walk, the trail itself is known for the high number of accidents each year, usually caused by tourists focused on capturing the perfect photo of the magnificent surroundings. The danger is real, but the views are incredible.

The Zambezi River offers some of the best white-water rafting experiences you can find anywhere in the world. Commercial river-rafting has been going here since the early 1980s, making it an ideal place to try your hand at this exhilarating activity. Head to the Zambezi in the low water season when conditions are at their most exciting. Between July and February, the river boasts huge, crashing rapids and frothing waters, for the most thrilling white-water rafting experience possible.

Hiking up a mountain that is ready to launch tonnes of molten lava down its slopes is not everyone’s idea of a relaxing stroll. However, visiting a volcano can be an incredible experience, allowing you to see mountains as you’ve never seen them before, and to reflect on the awesome power of the molten rock beneath the earth’s crust. Guatemala boasts a number of active volcanoes that are safe for hiking, with viewing points to allow you to look down upon bubbling lava and smoking craters. This is the mountain, as you’ve never seen it before.

Queenstown is known as the adventure capital of the world, and doing a bungee-jump here is considered to be a rite of passage for many travellers. The highest bungee-jump in the country is the Nevis Bungy in Queenstown, rising to a nail-biting 134 metre jump, with an impressive 8.5 second free fall. If you’re searching for the ultimate adrenaline rush, make sure you add this to your bucket list.

Since 2016, there’s been a new way to experience the awesome power of the Niagara Falls. The 2200-foot MistRider is a zipline that spans all the way from the top of the Falls to close to the bottom of the gorge, at a jaw-rattling top speed of 40 miles per hour. You won’t find a better view of this epic natural phenomenon.

Culture

Chinese New Year is a cultural highlight on any calendar, and today it’s celebrated all over the world. However, for the full authentic experience, head to China in February to see in the New Year and be immersed in the traditional rituals and festivities associated with this ancient festival. Listen to the drums pounding, watch the dragon process through the streets, and marvel at the dazzling fireworks that light up the skies: this is New Year like you’ve never seen it before.

Rio Carnival is a must for anyone’s bucket list. This explosion of colour and music on the streets of Brazil’s Rio de Janeiro is legendary, and is widely considered to simply be the best party in the world. This is the place to completely let your hair down and be free. Throw your cares to the wind, shake your hips, and party!

The Louvre Museum, once a palace and the residence of the French monarch, is now a temple for culture lovers. This epic museum houses an embarrassment of riches, including the Mona Lisa, the Venus de Milo and the Great Sphinx of Tanis. The collection covers art and artefacts spanning thousands of years and the entire world, so there’s sure to be something to suit all tastes and interests.

Stonehenge is one of the most enigmatic and tantalising monuments of Britain’s ancient past, and historians are still unsure of its precise use and purpose. One thing is clear, the alignment of the stones means it was likely used for rituals at both the summer and winter solstices, and this tradition continues to this day. Thousands of people gather at the stones on the shortest and longest days of the year, ready to mark the transformation of the seasons with an all-night ritual. A bucket list idea for all culture and history buffs.

13. Attend the Tomatina Festival in Valencia, Spain
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The festival of tomatoes in the town of Buñol near Valencia, Spain is one of the country’s cultural highlights. This fantastic celebration of the humble yet delicious tomato fruit always ends in a food fight, accompanied by street parties, music and dancing. Whether you’re a tomato fan or not, the Tomatina Festival must be experienced at least once, if only for the vibrant colours and festive atmosphere of this joyful summer celebration.

Mardi Gras literally translates to ‘Fat Tuesday’, and is known as the day before the annual Lenten fast in the Christian calendar. Traditionally, this was a day to eat up all of the culinary items that would be forbidden during Lent, including meat, butter and eggs. Today Mardi Gras is celebrated all around the world, but the most epic festivities take place in New Orleans, Louisiana. Spanning several days, the city is taken over by parades, music and lavishly decorated floats. Wild, extravagant, and always messy, Mardi Gras in New Orleans should not be missed.

The Sapporo Snow Festival is one of the most iconic and spectacular winter cultural events in the world, attracting millions of visitors every year. In February, thousands of artists gather in Sapporo to create incredible statues made out of snow and ice, displaying an incredible range of talent and dedication. In addition to the gallery of glistening sculptures, visitors can also get lost in a maze constructed entirely from snow, and sample a range of delicious local delicacies. 

16. Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland
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The feast of St. Patrick falls on the 17th of March each year, and there’s no better place to celebrate it than in Ireland, where the famous saint made his name. St. Patrick may be known for Christianizing the pagan tribes of Ireland, but today we celebrate him with music, food and often, a lot of alcohol. There’s no better place to enjoy this wild night than in Ireland itself. It’s sure to be a bucket list experience you will never, ever forget.

Travel

The Great Barrier Reef is one of nature’s most spectacular marvels. Stretching over 3000 kilometres, this extraordinary habitat is home to an abundance of marine life and is the number one spot in the world for snorkelling and diving enthusiasts. The underwater coral gardens of the reefs provide a dazzling display of colours, textures and shapes, teeming with fish, reptiles, birds, dolphins, birds, molluscs and rays. This delicate eco-system is under threat from warming seas and climate change, so there’s never been a better time to fulfil this one-of-a-kind bucket list ambition.

Paris is one of the world’s most beautiful cities, and the Eiffel Tower, the Louvre and the Moulin Rouge justifiably feature on many bucket lists. However, few visitors to the city realise that there is an entire world to explore beneath their feet. The subterranean labyrinth of the catacombs of Paris is a marvel to behold, and it is home to the remains of over 6 million Parisians, removed from cemeteries and buried deep underground to stop the spread of disease in the early 19th century. It’s estimated that there are around 320 kilometres of tunnels to explore below the chic streets of Paris. Just don’t get lost…

The world’s only uninhabited continent is a wild, inhospitable place. The extremes of weather and temperature in Antarctica make a trip here a thrilling experience, unlike any other bucket list destination. Despite its remote location, it’s possible to hitch a ride on a boat and take a tour to Antarctica, with the promise of some incredible wildlife-spotting opportunities to go with it. This is the ultimate traveller’s dream.

The Aurora, also known as the Northern Lights, is one of nature’s most impressive displays. In parts of the northern hemisphere, it’s possible to see this strange, ethereal phenomenon light up the sky, creating a perfect ballet of light and colour. There is no better way to experience this than by camping out in the wilderness with your loved ones, without the interference of man-made lights to disturb the show. This bucket list favourite is sure to please just about everyone.

Machu Picchu is one of the Inca civilisation’s most epic legacies. This stunning ruined city, perched atop a hill bathed in lush, green vegetation, is one of the ultimate travel bucket list ideas. For the most satisfying experience, take the three/four day hike along the historic path through the jungle, arriving at the Sun Gate of Machu Picchu at sunrise on the final morning. That is one sunrise you’re guaranteed never to forget.

22. Explore the Ancient Ruins of Petra, Jordan
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Movie lovers will recognise Petra from epic big screen adventures such as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, among others. This ancient Nabataean city, carved into the rose-coloured sandstone cliff, is a wonder to behold, and certainly creates an atmosphere. For the best experience, visit during the day and then return at night for one of the candlelit tours that run three nights per week, when you can walk through these deep rocky chasms, guided by the soft light of more than 1500 flickering candles.

The Camino de Santiago, literally the ‘Way of Saint James’, is a medieval pilgrimage route that traverses France, Spain and Portugal and finally converges at the Cathedral of Santiago de Compostela. Walk in the footsteps of countless medieval pilgrims, and stay in ancient hostels and monasteries along the way. On the camino, the old adage rings true – it’s all about the journey, not the destination, and the people and places you’ll see on this epic route will leave you transformed.

The Salar de Uyuni, Bolivia’s magnificent salt flats, extends over 4500 square miles, creating a shimmering, mirror effect that draws the eye until the horizon. This salt desert is actually the remains of a lake, which collects a thin film of water during the rainy season and produces a dazzling veneer that glistens in the sunlight. This is the ultimate bucket list destination for photographers, as the unusual, otherworldly landscape is ideal for creating epic images. A trip here will certainly not disappoint.

Few people will ever be able to look at the world from its highest point, the peak of Mount Everest in the Himalayas. However, the next best thing is a Himalayan trek through the stunning Nepalese mountains, culminating at Everest Base Camp. This is a location brimming with mountaineering history, and is a fabulous spot in its own right. If you’re looking for a challenging, memorable trek on the roof of the world, this is the one for you.

The Grand Canyon is one of nature’s magnificent wonders, and a rafting trip offers an opportunity to see it from a whole new perspective. Getting a permit to go rafting down the Grand Canyon can be a lengthy process, but it’s definitely worth the wait. As you gently wind your way through the gorge, you’ll have a view of the cliffs like no other: truly the best way to admire this beautiful corner of the United States.

Spanning 2180 miles across the Appalachian mountain range, this epic walking trail is a bucket list highlight. These mountains are some of the most beautiful in the world, offering glorious views, stunning wild flowers and fascinating geography. Hiking the entire trail in one go would take a long time, but luckily, you can tackle this challenging activity in instalments. Set a date for completion, and aim to cover the entire trail!

New Skills

Learning a new language is a popular bucket list item, as many of us wish that we could communicate in a tongue that isn’t our own. Research suggests that learning a new language can be good for your health, helping to stave off degenerative conditions such as dementia. Learning to speak a foreign language is a challenging, but immensely rewarding activity. If you’ve always wanted to brush up your French, try a little Japanese, or learn to order coffee in Italian, now is the time to start!

Ever wanted to run away and join the circus? While you may not be cut out for the trapeze, learning to juggle is a skill within the reach of most people, and it’s a useful talent to have up your sleeve. Juggling is a great party trick and will keep younger family members entertained for hours. All it takes is a few balls, a little space, and plenty of patience. Remember, practice makes perfect!

Most of us love listening to music, but learning how to make it is another skill entirely. If you’ve always yearned to pick up a guitar, or to tinkle the ivories, now is the time to have a go. It’s never too late to try something new, and you might find that you have a hidden talent!

Many of us didn’t get the chance to go to university first time, and instead have built careers and lives without ever having had the opportunity to do a degree. But, it’s never to late to get your notebooks out again, and return to school to acquire some new skills. Perhaps you’ve always been fascinated by history, but never had the chance to study it? Or you might be passionate about chemistry, or electronics, or graphic design. Going back to school can be the start of a new career, or simply a new way to indulge your passions.

Traditional ballroom dancing is witnessing an explosion in popularity, thanks to shows like Dancing With the Stars and Strictly Come Dancing. This activity is fun, sociable, suitable for any level of fitness, and great exercise. It’s been proven that the combination of concentration, movement and music is an excellent way to get in shape, but beware – this bucket list item is addictive! Get your dancing shoes on and release your inner Fred Astaire or Ginger Rogers.

Learning to scuba dive might seem like hard work, but the rewards offered are substantial. As a trained diver you’ll have the opportunity to explore coral reefs across the world, marvelling at the countless natural wonders found under the sea. Scuba diving is by far the best way to explore the reefs and abundant marine life in our oceans, and it’s no surprise that this is one of the most popular bucket list items going.

Birds of prey are some of the most beautiful and intimidating creatures on this earth. For centuries and across cultures, man and bird have formed a powerful partnership, hunting for food in tandem. The connection between falconer and bird is a special one, and you can experience it by taking a falconry course. This will get you up close and personal with some of nature’s fiercest hunters, and you’ll experience the thrill of releasing the bird off in flight. Although these beautiful birds may seem scary at first, this bucket list item is a very special experience indeed.

Bees, nature’s workers, are under threat all around the world, and there are fears that their dwindling numbers could seriously affect delicate eco-systems. You can play your part in protecting this important species by learning how to raise bees, and keeping them on your own land. This is a deeply rewarding, meditative experience, and what’s more, you’ll reap a rich, delicious harvest of honey.

Creativity

Designing and building a house is no easy feat. But a few determined people spend years dreaming up their ideal home and then making that dream a reality. Whether you imagine an eco-friendly, off-grid haven set in stunning nature, or a modern urban pad with a sleek design, now’s the time to put those dreams into action. You have to spend your life living in your home – why not make it the one you’ve always wanted?

The blogging revolution has created countless new ways for ordinary people to express their ideas and creativity online. If you have a particular skill, interest or area of knowledge, why not share your experiences and ideas with the world and build an online community around your content? Blogging doesn’t have to be a commercial or profitmaking venture – it’s easy to get started and this could be the creative outlet you’ve been searching for.

According to a popular saying, everyone’s got one novel in them. Whether it’s your dream to pen a children’s book, become a crime writer, or throw yourself into fantasy and science fiction, there’s no better to time to get started. Writing takes discipline and hard work, but it’s a therapeutic process and one that could transform your life. Who knows? You might create the next Harry Potter…

Painting is an activity we all do while we are children, but very few of us continue into adulthood, despite the fact that research suggests that those who paint or draw regularly are more happy, stable and fulfilled than those who do not. Painting offers a creative outlet and encompasses many different artistic styles and approaches. Take up a course, or simply set yourself the challenge of painting something every day.

Gardening is a seriously therapeutic activity – what could be more satisfying than nurturing plants as they grow from seed to full maturity? Although many of us don’t have the space to design and raise a full garden, anyone can grow herbs. All it takes is a windowsill, a balcony or a patio, and it’s amazing what you can do even with limited space. And at the end of your labours you’ll have a fine selection of fresh herbs whenever you want them. And it’s true – they do taste better if you grow them yourself.

Have you always imagined yourself on the stage? Taking up acting is a popular bucket list activity, but many of us feel intimidated at the thought of performing in front of a large group of people. However, amateur dramatics can be an extremely rewarding activity, allowing you to meet new people, boost your confidence, and learn new skills.

For many children, having a treehouse is a magical experience, creating space for a hideaway literally embedded in nature. Even as adults, many of us still love the idea of having a private space high up in the trees, where we can retreat from the world. The good news is, as adults, it’s possible to make this bucket list goal a reality. Design and build your ultimate treehouse, either for you or for your children. Whether you want a luxury treetop cabin or a rustic hideaway for reading and painting, the choice is yours.

If photography is your passion then why not set up your own dark room? Despite advances in digital camera technology, many photographers continue to shoot film, and exposing your own film can be a creative and rewarding experience, allowing you to play with the results and create some seriously cool works of art. Setting up a darkroom needn’t take too much effort, and at the end you’ll have a quiet, peaceful retreat where you can experiment with photography to your heart’s content.

Food and Drink

This Scottish delicacy really is a heart attack on a plate. In principle, this strange culinary treat – an entire Mars bar, coated in battered and deep-fried – really shouldn’t work. However, miraculously, it’s delicious. Perhaps it’s the delectable combination of salty and sweet flavours, or perhaps it just hits the spot after a night of drinking and dancing the night away. Either way, this is one thing you mustn’t miss on a trip to Scotland. Here is a recipe if you want to try it at home.

Peking duck was served up to Chinese emperors for centuries, and is the quintessential Chinese dish. Consisting of crispy skin, tender meat, and crunchy vegetables, all wrapped in a soft pancake, this certainly a meal fit for royalty. By far the best place to enjoy this Chinese national dish is in Beijing itself, where countless talented chefs compete for the accolade of best duck in town.

We spend most of our lives eating the same thing, recycling familiar recipes and shopping at the same grocery stores. This bucket list item aims to widen your palate by seeking out a weird and wonderful new food product every month. Go crazy and try some things that you’ve never dared to before!

Most of us turn our nose up at the idea of eating snails. These small, slimy, ugly creatures are not the most visually appetizing of treats! But this will change once you head to France and try escargots – the French speciality that everyone must sample once in a lifetime. These little creatures may be small but they pack a nutritious punch, and once smothered in butter a la francaise, they are simply delicious.

Many of us enjoy drinking a delicious cocktail, but making a good one is a different matter. The art of cocktail making, otherwise known as mixology, requires an understanding of flavour, chemistry and texture in order to create a perfectly balanced drink. Many cocktail bars now offer mixology courses, allowing you to experiment with ingredients and flavours to create your own signature drink. This bucket list item also comes with its own reward: a delicious cocktail at the end of a hard day’s work!

Truffles are some of the rarest delicacies found on the planet, and their distinctive taste will add a touch of luxury to any dish. Truffles are traditionally hunted by pigs, whose delicate sense of smell allows them to root them out in the damp, cool forests where they grow best. Foraging courses in France and Italy allow you to follow specialist truffle hunters and their pigs, and learn how to find these elusive gastronomic treats. There’s nothing more satisfying than a delicious dinner made from truffles that you’ve sniffed out all by yourself.

With the ubiquity of different types of fresh and dried pasta in the supermarket, it can seem like a waste of time and energy to make your own. However, homemade fresh pasta always tastes better, and it’s well worth taking the time to learn more about this ancient Italian art. You only need three basic ingredients, but you’ll earn plenty in terms of flavour and texture. Once you’ve gotten the hang of making your own, you’ll never look back.

Touring a vineyard is one of the most popular culinary travel bucket list ideas. Whether you pick the south of France, California, Capetown or Auckland, the pattern is the same. On these tours you can learn about wine production, see the beautiful landscapes in which the grapes are grown, and of course, sample the products. Don’t be surprised if you come away with a few bottles for the cellar, and beware – you might have a headache in the morning.

The craft beer industry has exploded in recent years, thanks to the newfound popularity of thousands of local, small-scale, micro breweries. However, these new beers can come at an increasingly steep price tag. A far better, if more lengthy process, is to make your own. Home brewing kits are widely available now online, and these simple installations don’t take up much room. Once you get the hang of it, you can start to be creative and brew concoctions that suit your own flavour preferences.

It’s not only the trained, professional baristas that can make beautiful patterns on top of your regular cup of morning Joe. Get creative with your own coffees by taking a course and learn how to make the perfect espresso, as well as dazzling your friends with some killer latte art. There are plenty of courses where you can learn from the best in the business, and you’ll be soon making creative designs that are guaranteed to impress!

This bucket list item might not be for everyone, but if you have the stomach for it, an eating competition can be a real adventure. Competitive eating is more popular in the United States than anywhere else in the world, and you’re sure to find a contest that suits you. These competitions can encompass all kinds of eating activities, including the famous ‘chicken wing challenge’, or the world pie-eating competition. If you’ve got a talent for eating at speed, you could find yourself winning some impressive prizes.

Robert ‘Rabbie’ Burns is Scotland’s national poet. Every year on the 25th of January, the Scots celebrate Burns’ Night, during which they eat a traditional meal of ‘neeps’ (swede), ‘tatties’ (potatoes) and haggis, a sheep’s stomach stuffed with offal, onion and spices. The haggis is often piped into the room and then Burns’ poem, Address to a Haggis, is recited before the hungry guests tuck in. Haggis certainly isn’t for everyone, but it’s something everyone should try at least once in a lifetime.

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If you’ve never seen the way in which cranberries are grown, you’ve got a surprise coming. These beautiful crimson fruits are grown in artificial ‘bogs’, flooded with water to allow the ripe fruit to float to the top for easy harvesting. This bucket list idea is unusual, but allows for some stunning photos as you wade through a sea of crimson in search of a delicious crop of juicy cranberries. This is fruit picking with a difference.

Spiritual

Pilgrimage is an age-old tradition that spans religions and cultures. Whether it’s the Camino de Santiago in northern Spain, the Hajj to Mecca, or the holy Buddhist mountain of Kailash in the Himalayas, we can find examples of pilgrimage all over the world and throughout history. A pilgrimage can be a deeply meditative experience, involving a combination of physical exertion and reflection. Wherever you choose to go, it’s sure that you won’t return unchanged.

In our busy modern lives, many of us forget to stop and pray, reflecting on our hopes, fears and gratitude. Whatever prayer means to you, whether it’s to a god, or gods, or simply a matter of meditation, make space at least once a day to do it. You won’t regret taking the time, and it will make you more mindful and grateful for all of the wonderful things in your life.

Singing is a particularly spiritually fulfilling activity, and joining a church choir often features as a popular bucket list idea. Spiritual music has shaped and influenced much of our modern music, providing uplifting melodies with profound lyrics. The feeling of being part of a group of voices, surging in unison, is one of the most powerful musical experiences you can have.

Yoga has been appropriated in our Western culture, and is largely marketed as a good way to get in shape and improve flexibility. However, yoga is also a deeply spiritual activity, embedded in Hindu doctrines, which focuses on the relationship between body and spirit. This form of meditation through movement is an ideal way to transform your outlook, promote relaxation and reflection, and understand your body. Find a good instructor and learn about the spiritual origins of this ancient practice.

Vipassana is one of the latest trends to hit the spirituality and well-being market. This extreme form of meditation promises deep spiritual benefits, but it’s not for the faint of heart. Vipassana requires 10 days of complete silence, sitting or standing very still, in a monastic retreat. You will be guided by instructors during scheduled sessions during the day, and the aim is to push yourself through discomfort to achieve a deeper meditation. It’s a challenging process, but many adherents report a significant transformation at the end of the experience. Here is a quick guide by wikihow

The Tibetan spiritual leader, the 14th Dalai Lama, is a widely loved figure. His wisdom, compassion and keen sense of humour have touched many people, even outside of the Tibetan Buddhist religion. He holds regular audiences at his residence in McLeod Ganj, in northern India, and often tours other parts of the world to give speeches. Hearing this important spiritual leader speak is a profoundly moving experience.

Although many of us are adherents of a particular faith, few of us have ever read the foundational texts of our own religion in full, let alone the texts of other religions. Perhaps your bucket list will include reading a religious text in full, whether it’s the Qur’an, Bible, Torah, Upanishads or any other foundational spiritual text. Take the time to immerse yourself in one of these complex, revelatory scriptures, and you might discover a whole range of new ideas and lessons that don’t usually feature in your daily worship.

The eternal city is the locus point for three major world religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. While it’s a site that has been significantly contested over time, this place remains a spiritually potent space. Visit the Wailing Wall, walk in the footsteps of Christ on his journey to Calvary, and see the incredible magnificence of the Dome of the Rock, site of Muhammad’s night journey. Always challenging, this ancient, sacred city is sure to move you deeply.

65. Take Part in a Spiritual Fast

All major religions incorporate some form of fasting. For example, Muslims fast during daylight hours during the month of Ramadan, and Christians give up meat, fish and other luxury foods for 40 days during Lent, mimicking the actions of Christ in the desert. Fasting has known health benefits, but it can also have spiritual ones too, focusing the mind, helping you prioritise what’s important, and reflect on what you have achieved. In essence, fasting offers the perfect way to strip back the comforts of the modern world and focus on what’s really important.

While this is a somewhat unusual bucket list idea, giving to charity is often seen as an important spiritual activity. Giving to others mimics the actions of spiritual leaders such as Jesus or Muhammad, and connotes the idea of sacrifice for the greater good. Charitable giving also allows us to reflect on what we have and express our gratitude. Whether you want to do some fundraising for your favourite cause, or just give away a part of your own wealth or possessions, however small, this bucket list item can really make a difference to others.

Sports

Comprising swimming, cycling and running, the triathlon is one of the ultimate physical challenges that will really test your fitness. For people wanting to get in shape but who hate endlessly repeating the same activity, the variation afforded by a triathlon can be a good option. The sense of achievement at the end is huge – you’ll be rewarded by a huge adrenaline rush and you’ll immediately be looking ahead for the next challenge.

Marathon running has really taken off in recent years, and this activity remains an important test of endurance for many people looking to get in shape. Running 26 miles is no easy feat, but the good news is that organised marathons are usually joyful, shared experiences where the adrenaline, the goodwill of the crowd and the comradeship of your fellow runners will pull you across the finish line, even when you feel like you can’t make it yourself.

If you’ve got a talent for football, rugby or any other team sport, why not put your skills to use and set up a kid’s sports team. Children’s sporting groups often rely on adult volunteers, especially in deprived communities where resources are scarce, so this is a great way to get fit, put something back into the community and have a lot of fun. You’ll also get to enjoy the satisfaction of seeing a young team flourish under your care.

Attending the Super Bowl is a once-in-a-lifetime bucket list opportunity, and a must for all American football fans. This annual extravaganza gets bigger and better every year, and offers an exhilarating experience for the crowd. Not only will you enjoy an intense game of football, the half time entertainments are the stuff of legend. This is a bucket list experience you’ll never forget.

For fitness fanatics looking for an extra challenge, this is a bucket list idea for you. Ironman is essentially a triathlon, but it’s widely regarded as the most challenging one-day fitness competition in the world. Participants complete a 2.4-mile swim, a gruelling 112-mile bicycle ride, and finish it all off by running a marathon. This challenge has become increasingly popular in recent years, and is the ultimate test of fitness and stamina.

For all those budding Robin Hood fans out there, one of the best bucket list items has to be an archery course. This sport requires skill, patience and a keen eye, but find a good teacher, and you’re sure to be hitting the target board in no time. For those who are particularly keen, it’s possible to learn to fashion your own bow and arrow too, making this a fantastic sport for developing creative as well as physical skills.

Downhill skiing is a popular sport for many of us, but fewer people try cross-country skiing. This requires rather more endurance, but will allow you to travel through snow-clad forests and fields, seeing the scenery at a more leisurely pace. It’s a great workout too, so get your skis on and cross this brilliant activity off your bucket list.

If you’re a gym bunny, then a fun amateur body building competitions may be just the bucket list item for you. Body building has taken off in recent years, as men and women search for that perfectly ripped physique achieved through weightlifting. Find your peak physical condition and enter a body building competition today.

Tackling steep, sheer mountain faces and buildings is no mean feat, and this bucket list item is certainly not for those with a fear of heights. Abseiling involves lowering yourself down the side of a tall building or cliff, using your feet to push off the wall and a rope around your waist. This is definitely a bucket list item for adrenaline junkies. If you can bear the heights, however, the views are likely to be fantastic.

The Olympic Games happen every four years, and represent an extraordinary feat of international cooperation. This global sporting event brings together athletes in all sporting areas and from all over the world in order to compete and celebrate sporting greatness. Watching the Olympics in person is a bucket list must – attend this incredible event at least once in your lifetime and soak up the electric atmosphere created by so many talented sportsmen and women.

Money and Career

Debt is a prominent feature of modern-day living, and for many of us, it feels like a heavy anchor, an inescapable weight that stands in the way of many other items on our bucket lists. However, clearing debt is possible. If you’re struggling to become debt free, seek advice, audit your spending and find ways to make savings, however small. With a long-term plan you’ll soon be on your way to losing that debt.

The 21st century economy is increasingly mobile, and the internet has created a wide variety of opportunities for people who want a more flexible approach to working. If the 9-to-5 office job isn’t your thing, perhaps now is the time to go freelance. The benefits include working for yourself, determining where and when you work, and using your own skills and creativity to make your way in the world. Freelance, and flexible working, is the future.

Are you stuck in a job that you don’t enjoy? Don’t hang around waiting for that dream offer to land on your lap. If you know the job you want, it’s time to make a plan to secure your dream position. Finding the perfect job is high on many people’s bucket lists, but realising this goal can be difficult. Nevertheless, don’t despair – set your sights on your professional goals and focus your efforts on attaining them.

An Englishman’s home is his castle, so the saying goes, and many of us are working towards that time where we can save up enough money to put towards our own little piece of paradise. Settling down into your very own home is a powerful feeling, and offers security and stability, especially for young families. For many of us, this is a big-ticket bucket list item, and one that can be truly life changing.

For some people, a sign of real success in life is earning enough money to be able to give a little back. Occasionally, this involves donating funds in order to set up a scholarship endowment, thereby funding future students through their degrees. This is an altruistic and rewarding way to spend a little cash, and can make a profound difference to the lives of people who have not had a privileged start in life.

While many of us have plenty of ideas for things we’d like to do in our spare time, the reality is that a full time career leaves little space for ticking items off your bucket list. For this reason, it’s becoming increasingly popular to take a sabbatical, allowing a little break from the grind of the 9-to-5 to fulfil those long-standing ambitions, or simply have some time to reflect. Use your sabbatical to write a book, set up a blog or website, or to learn new skills. A change is as good as a rest, and you’re sure to come back to work feeling refreshed and reinvigorated.

Healthy Mind and Body

Losing weight is a regular feature on health and wellness bucket lists. With obesity levels rising, and many of us adopting an increasingly sedentary lifestyle, now is the perfect time to go on a health kick and watch the number on those scales come down. Nobody said losing weight was easy, but with the right plan and plenty of support this is an achievable bucket list goal. The ideal weight calculator

Smoking is one of the most dangerous vices in our modern society, with cigarettes known to cause at least 15 different kinds of cancer. The good news is, however, even if you’re a life long smoker, it’s never too late to stop. The risks of cancer and heart disease drop with every month that you stop smoking, and you’ll soon notice a difference in your overall health and well being.

Veganism may offer the key to saving the planet, according to a recent study commissioned by the United Nations. The biggest impact you can have on your carbon footprint as an individual is to go vegan, and its also been shown to have considerable health benefits. You don’t have to eschew meat and dairy entirely, but adopting a vegan lifestyle for a month or even longer could seriously reduce your risk of heart attack and also help you to shift a few pounds.

Staying healthy doesn’t have to mean constant diets and gruelling exercise plans. Sometimes it’s just as important to pamper yourself, so why not treat yourself to a luxury spa weekend, get a massage or another treatment to leave yourself feeling fresh and clean. Building in time for relaxation and rest is an important part of self-care too!

The six pack is the ultimate abs challenge, and is a physical testimony to hours of work put in at the gym. Building a six pack doesn’t have to be about endless crunches, however, and many different forms of exercise are now geared towards targeting that middle section and producing defined abs. Try Pilates, weightlifting or body weight exercises to get the ultimate six pack and cross this item off your bucket list!

Sugar is one of the most addictive substances on the planet, and is so deeply integrated into our everyday diets that it can be extremely difficult to wean ourselves off it. However, an increasing number of studies indicate that sugar is responsible for obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and the whole range of other health conditions. Cutting sugar out of your diet can have a dramatic effect, even leading to changes in taste and appetite, as well as reducing your risk of developing some of these deadly diseases.

Some of us struggle to do one complete push up without shaking and crumbling to the floor. However, the good news is that this activity is one that anyone can do, with a little training, just by practising every day for a few months. Set a goal of 20, 50 or 100 push ups, depending on your level, and gradually work your way up to it. Before you realise you’ll be doing 100 push ups in one go and you’ll never look back!

Fasting has proven health benefits, providing it’s done under controlled conditions and not for long periods of time. Juice fasts have become increasingly common in recent years, and are thought by some to be effective ways to detox your body. Follow an approved plan, under medical supervision, and you could end your juice fast feeling healthier, lighter and more clear headed than you have for a long time.

In this age of consumerism, our houses and lives are fast becoming more cluttered than ever before. It’s no surprise, therefore, that there’s a new trend for de-cluttering and dramatically stripping back our lives to embrace minimalism. This bucket list idea aims to help you identify what’s really important in your life, whittling all your possessions down to the last 300 objects in your home: the ones that truly bring you joy and meaning.

Animals

If you can’t cope with an entire menagerie, but still want to create a farmyard feel in your home, why not invest in some chickens? These feathered creatures will provide a ready supply of eggs, and help to keep your land bug-free and well fertilised. Owning chickens is a rewarding activity, and you’ll benefit from making sure that your eggs are from happy, healthy hens that have lived a full, peaceful life.

Hundreds of thousands of dogs are abandoned by thoughtless pet owners every year, adding to the growing number of strays that populate towns and cities. This means that there are countless numbers of dogs out there looking for a forever home. If it’s your dream to own a dog, adopt a canine friend from a rescue centre, and give one of these unfortunate animals a permanent home and a loving family.

This bucket list item is a joyful experience: who wouldn’t enjoy walking around a hothouse of tropical plants, looking at countless species of colourful, dancing butterflies? There are many dedicated butterfly houses around the world, and they often perform important conservation work, preserving rare species and educating the public about the lives, habitats and varieties of different butterflies.

Horses are one of man’s oldest companions, and for many of us, horse riding is a childhood dream. These noble animals are deeply empathetic and social, and they form deep bonds of trust with their riders. Learning to ride a horse is a challenging activity, requiring training, patience and practice, but it is definitely worth the effort.

Swimming with dolphins is a universally popular bucket list item. These intelligent, powerful, underwater creatures are known to be social and empathetic, and swimming among them can be a very special, even therapeutic, experience. There are many areas around the world that provide opportunities to swim with dolphins in safe, beautiful surroundings. For many of us, this is simply a dream come true.

97. See the Big Five in Tanzania
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If big cats are on your bucket list, then look no further than the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. Here you can take part in an epic safari that could bring you into contact with lions, leopards, rhinos, elephants and buffalo, in addition to many other impressive creatures of the savannah. This is a truly memorable, once-in-a-lifetime activity that will bring you close to some of Africa’s most impressive creatures in the wild.

98. See the Giant Panda
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The Giant Panda is the least intimidating of bears, with its distinctive black and white fur and gentle countenance. Unfortunately, this stunning animal is particularly ill-adapted to its habitat, leaving it vulnerable to both predators and habitat loss. Luckily, conservation efforts have been successful, and it’s possible to visit pandas in the reserve near Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China. Here, these famously shy creatures are thriving.

99. Visit the Giant Tortoise of the Galapagos
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The Galapagos Islands are rich in all kinds of animal life, but most people come here for a close encounter with the record-breaking Giant Tortoise. These remarkable creatures can live up to 150 years, and in this time, they grow to an enormous size. Like many other rare and wonderful creatures, the species is under threat and some types are considered critically endangered. Visiting the Galapagos and seeing these ancient animals is an unforgettable experience.

The mountain gorillas of Central Africa are some of the world’s most fascinating creatures. These intelligent, sociable and gentle creatures are also under threat as their habitat is increasingly reduced as a result of human settlement. Seeing these wonderful animals in the wild is a true privilege, and is guaranteed to take your breath away, Visit the lush, dense jungle of Uganda’s Bwindi National Park to see mountain gorillas in their natural habitat, while supporting the important ongoing conservation efforts to keep them from extinction.

Seeing the giants of the sea close up in the water is one of the most awe-inspiring things you can do. There are many places around the world where you can head out into the open water to swim with these magnificent, gentle creatures of the deep. Whether you plump for Australia, Canada or Sri Lanka, this is one bucket list adventure that should be high on your list.

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