What Should Be On Your Bucket List? A Guide for Choosing Your Life’s Goals and Adventures

If you’ve stumbled upon this blog post, then chances are you’re interested in having a Bucket List but aren’t really sure where to start. Well, thankfully we’re experts in this field so have all the tips and tools you need to create your own Bucket List. We have tons of ideas to help you write your ideal Bucket List so you can start ticking off your life goals and make wild adventures seem even more achievable!

What Is A Bucket List?

A Bucket List is a list of things you want to see or do in your lifetime. These are usually things that are new and exciting, that you’ve never done before, but that you want to try at least once before you die.

Many people used to write their Bucket List ideas on a scrap of paper, but now the digital age helps you to create an online Bucket List that you’ll never lose! An online Bucket List helps you track your goals, allowing you to tick things off when you’ve completed them, which enables you to feel even more accomplished in the process.

What Should Be On Your Bucket List?

Your Bucket List can feature absolutely anything that you want to complete in your life, be that travelling to far-flung destinations or simply learning how to do a press-up. Ideally, you’ll have a real mix of things on your Bucket List, including personal challenges, travel destinations, events, food and drink you want to try and charitable deeds that help give back to society.

There really are no limits as to what you can include on your Bucket List, but it can be helpful to break down your goals and dreams into sections to make it more manageable. We’ve come up with a guide for helping you choose your life’s goals and adventures so you can begin writing your Bucket List and then start ticking them off!

1. Bucket List Destinations

putting pins in a travel map

Travel destinations are a great place to start when thinking about writing a Bucket List as it’s likely that you have a few countries or cities in mind that you’d like to visit in your lifetime. Even if these destinations are thousands of miles from home, or your bank balance barely allows you to pay for the bus let alone a flight ticket, don’t be afraid to add them to your Bucket List. A Bucket List is all about dreams and goals.

Adding exotic destinations to your Bucket List helps you to dream big and think about a future in which you’ll be able to afford to travel to these incredible locations. Having goals in the back of your mind – even if they seem unobtainable right now – will help spur you on to achieve the things you want to in life.

The travel section of your Bucket List doesn’t only have to include set destinations though. It can also feature goals like: “travel to 10/20/50 countries”, “turn up at the airport with no destination in mind and just go” or “travel/backpack solo”.
The world is your oyster!

Add to Done List
Make a list of countries I want to visit someday
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Visit 100 countries
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Visit Antartica

2. Iconic Monuments/Landmarks

a view over machu picchu

In line with travel destinations, you may also want to choose a selection of iconic monuments or landmarks to add to your Bucket List. These may be some of the modern Wonders of the World, icons such as The Eiffel Tower, The Empire State Building or The Taj Mahal or certain National Parks, rivers or forests.

This section of your Bucket List is where you can get specific about your travel dreams, which again, makes your list much more manageable. When you have particular travel ideas in mind, you can start looking out for deals or start planning a trip around seeing something as iconic as the Colosseum in Rome or Anne Frank’s House in Amsterdam.

Add to Done List
Visit the Eiffel Tower
Add to Done List
Admire the Colosseum in Rome
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See Anne Frank’s house

3. Travel Experiences You Will Forget

on safari looking at wild animals

When you think about travel, it may be that you don’t have a specific destination in mind, rather that you know you want to have a certain type of experience. This may be something like “go on safari”, “go to Disney”, “see the Northern Lights” or “go on a cruise”. As such, the destination for these experiences can be changeable, as long as you get to do the thing you’re dreaming of.

Picking these types of experiences for your Bucket List lets you be flexible with your plans, meaning that you are more open to opportunities when they arise. Rather than saying “I want to go on safari in South Africa”, simply putting “go on safari” on your Bucket List allows you to be open to going on safari in Kenya, Tanzania or Uganda if the opportunity presents itself!

Of course, there will be certain experiences that are linked to set destinations, e.g. “swim in the Great Barrier Reef” or “drive Route 66”, but it’s great to have a wide variety of travel experiences on your list.

Add to Done List
Go on a safari in Africa
Add to Done List
Visit The Great Barrier Reef, Australia
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Drive the length of Route 66

4. Bucket List Worthy Events

Yee Peng (Yi Peng) Or Loi krathong Festival Chiang Mai
Yee Peng (Yi Peng) Or Loi krathong Festival Chiang Mai, Thailand

Another section that can help inspire your Bucket List is Events. These can be small, local affairs or huge international gatherings that are renowned for being some of the biggest parties in the world! Whether you’re longing to go to a Full Moon Party in Thailand, want to attend Rio Carnival or would love to go to watch tennis at Wimbledon, there’s sure to be an event for you.

Attending events not only gives you memories of a lifetime but is also allows you to interact with different cultures, connect with people who have a shared interest and spend hours in the company of people having an incredible time!

Festivals, holidays, award shows, sporting competitions, weddings, Ted talks, fashion shows and Christmas markets are all ideas of events that can be added to your Bucket List.

Add to Done List
Attend Carnival in Rio
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Attend a full moon beach party in Thailand
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Attend Wimbledon

5. Challenges That Will Help You Grow

running a marathon

Not all Bucket List items have to be travel related though. Challenges can also be a fun thing to add to your Bucket List. Challenges help you to grow as a person, push your boundaries and see what your body can really achieve when you put your mind to it!

Some people like to add sporting challenges to their Bucket List such as “make a hole-in-one at golf”, “run a marathon” or “get the perfect score in a game of bowling”. These challenges may relate to a sport you already enjoy but want to perfect, or could be something you’ve never even tried before but find intriguing.

Challenges could also be related to learning a new skill such as learning to juggle, learning a new language or instrument or figuring out how to knit, sew or whittle wood.

Add to Done List
Run a marathon
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Bowl a perfect 300 game in bowling
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Become fluent in Spanish

6. Achievements - Goals You Can be Proud of

just bought a house

Similar to challenges, you may want to have an Achievements Bucket List which features goals that are meaningful for you and that you wish to accomplish during your life. For some people, an achievement may be getting a high score on a video game or watching a box set in one go, while for others it will be receiving a distinction in a course or buying a home of their own.

Each of us are individual, and therefore your Achievement Bucket List won’t be exactly the same as anyone else’s.

By writing up an Achievement Bucket List, you can see clearly what your life’s goals are and then work out the steps you need to take in order to fulfill them. There is no right or wrong here, so start creating your list without fear of failure or comparison!

Add to Done List
Fully declutter my home
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Buy my Dream House
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Complete the IMDB top 250 movies

7. Food & Drink - It's About Trying New Things

trying sushi in Japan

A more light-hearted section of your Bucket List can be the food and drink section which includes everything your stomach wants to devour before you die. Whether you’re a foodie fanatic who wants to try everything under the sun, or a fussy eater for whom even trying a mushroom would be a breakthrough, creating a food and drink Bucket List can be a fun thing to do on a rainy Sunday afternoon.

It might be that you want to increase your culinary skills by learning to cook some authentic dishes, or you might just want to work your way around the world eating at restaurants and cafes.

Some foods are better when you try them in context, so why not add “eat paella in Spain”, “eat sushi in Japan”, “drink Tequila in Mexico” or “drink Guinness in Ireland” to your Bucket List?

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Eat sushi in Japan
Add to Done List
Eat paella in Spain
Add to Done List
Drink Guinness in Ireland

8. Personal Growth - Being the Person You Want to be

meditating in nature

Last but by no means least is the Personal Growth/Creative/Spiritual side of things. These are somewhat miscellaneous items to add to your Bucket List but can be equally (if not more) important than the travel achievements above.

Personal growth items for your Bucket List are there to help you discover things about yourself that you might not know, figure out what you want to do in the future or change things about yourself that you might not like or think are best for your health. This could be something like “write a letter to my future/past self”, “give up alcohol for a week/month/year”, “do a digital detox” or “conquer one of my fears”. Writing down these personal growth goals is the first step towards achieving them, and you’ll feel so proud when you are able to tick them off your Bucket List!

You may also want to add creative goals to your Bucket List such as “upcycle a piece of furniture”, “build a treehouse”, “paint something to hang on my wall” or even “write a book”. These creative dreams allow you to think outside the world of work and choose goals that help you to express yourself or and feel proud of your innate creativity.

Spirituality means different things for different people, but being in touch with a higher power or believing in the importance of connection helps your life to have meaning and purpose. Adding things to your Spiritual Bucket List can help you stay on track with tasks that are good for your mind, body and soul. Consider adding “write a gratitude list daily”, “meditate or pray every day” or “learn more about each religion” to your Bucket List, to ensure you continue to learn and grow throughout your life.

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Learn meditation properly
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Pray everyday
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Don’t drink alcohol for one year

The real joy of a Bucket List is that it is totally unique to you and therefore you’re not in competition with anyone else. You can choose items that feel challenging, exciting and inspiring you to, and you can work through them at your own pace. Of course, some things like hiking Everest may want to be higher up your Bucket List than, say, learning to paint (from a purely physical point of view), but it’s up to you to choose the order in which you wish to accomplish your goals.

What are the top things on your Bucket List? Have you started your list on BucketListHQ yet? Let us know all about it in the comments below!

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