“Bucket List” Needs to Go Away
As a lifelong traveler and seeker of adventure, I find the term “Bucket List” to be one of the most depressing terms in all of travel. No more Bucket Lists! Let’s replace it with “Adventure List.” But even still, adventurous lives are not about lists. They’re about attitude and engagement while ignoring the call to wait. Here’s how to build an Adventure List and make it become part of your daily life.
Goals Are Good Things
I’m all for making lists. Lists are actually nicely numbered goals, and when goals are written down, they are achieved. I believe in this theory so much that I know my super power is the ability to achieve any goal I write down. Ritually, I create vision boards and New Year’s Resolutions. But I don’t create bucket lists. Here’s why.
Bucket Lists Anticipate your Death
Buckets lists are about dying. The idea came about to motivate people to get up and live their dreams before they “kick the bucket.” The whole idea is somewhat morbid. What happens when you finish your bucket list? You start making funeral arrangements?
Life Isn’t about Crossing off Items from your Lists
Bucket Lists also insinuate that you’re going along, getting through life, and the only place you’ll find excitement is by crossing off items on your Bucket List. But how boring and lackluster is that? Why not make every day an adventure and accomplish something fun and exciting every day?
I’m not advocating that you should go hang gliding, experience Barrier Reef snorkeling, or lean against Pisa every day. I’m suggesting that having adventure is about attitude, not about destination. Adventurous attitudes are habit and behavior, not isolated to once-in-a-lifetime Bucket Lists.
So, instead of making a Bucket List, I suggest making a life of adventure. Write down all the things that are adventurous and just a bit outside of your comfort zone. Figure out how to incorporate them into your everyday life, then sprinkle in the getaways.
Adventurous Lives Differ
Perhaps you don’t have an idea about what adventure looks like? Start googling until you have perspective into what you find adventure to be. For some, it’s walking to the store. For others, it’s jumping off buildings.
What would an Adventure List look like? Let’s say you want to meet new people and find more adventures. Rather than making it a future goal for your next 2-week vacation, start instead by talking to the person behind you in line at Starbucks. Go to MeetUp and find a group nearby then go to a meeting. Turn these experiences into positive, life-enriching moments which lead up to great adventures that happen every day. Or, say you want to learn to scuba on your next Caribbean cruise. Rather than waiting until you actually get on the boat, find a scuba class at your local YMCA right now. Join the class, learn how to scuba, and maybe even before you go on the cruise, you sneak in a certified dive in a nearby lake. By setting up small adventure goals, adventure quickly becomes a daily attitude, not a far-away getaway.
What’s on your Adventure List?
Bucket Lists are about procrastinating and making things happen “one day.” Well, One Day is not a day of the week. Grab a calendar right now and start writing in the pathways to your adventures. Your daily Adventure List could be as simple as waving hi to one new person, trying a new flavor of coffee, or scheduling a Spanish tutoring lesson. Add to your calendar when you’re going to take the adventurous get away, and start with the first step to bring that adventure into your life.
Share your Adventure List
Share your Adventure List in the comments below or tweet it. Add my handle @eatwalklearn and tag it #adventurelist. Let’s build an entire library and get everyone living a life of adventure! Need some inspiration? Read a few of my 5 Unusual Things to Do posts. No more Bucket Lists!