The Bucket List 2016

As a self-described list enthusiast, I enjoy creating lists for all sorts of things. You’ve got the classic to-do lists, packing lists, ‘favourites’ lists – the list of lists is almost endless. Bucket lists are probably my favourite kind. It’s like a big picture to-do list.

Plus, it lets you see how much you have accomplished over time. I’ll be revisiting this post as I (hopefully) complete these goals to cross them off. After all, that is the best part.

The last time I properly sat down to write a Bucket List was before my undergraduate degree began. In fact, I’m pretty sure it was before I was accepted to college. It was one of those things that I did on a whim one day and subsequently forgot about for three years. When I was home last Christmas, I stumbled across that old list while I was tidying up my room. It was amazing how many things I had actually managed to cross off.

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Me living out my Harry Potter fantasy and crossing ‘Graduate College’ off my bucket list.

I had gotten my driver’s license, gotten accepted to (and graduated from) college, and participated in a proper archaeological dig to name a few. Just the action of reading that list had made me feel really proud of what I had done. It was a reminder to think about all of the experiences I have had and not just those things that I was looking forward to.

Since starting this blog, I have been thinking a lot about the ~future~, so I figured this was a good time to revise that old bucket list. There are still a few things that I have yet to do and a few I no longer feel the need to complete (I’m looking at you “New Year’s Eve in NYC” – I like bathrooms and personal space too much for that these days).

But if I’m honest, I don’t think I will ever complete my Bucket List. It’s like a hydra. Every time I cross something off, I discover three more things I want to do. And as you will see, some of the things on my list are more like guidelines than an experience I want to have. I don’t think there will be a specific day where I can cross those off the list, but if in a few years I feel like I have managed to work them into my life, I will be happy.

Just because you have until you die to complete a Bucket List doesn’t mean you should just sit around and tell yourself you’ll do it later. It is simply a tool to help you accomplish what you want out of life. The whole point of making a list is to keep track of your goals and to see your progress.  So go forth and do all the things, list or no list!


The Dream
  1. Get my Master’s Degree
  2. Take a canal boat trip around the UK – I’ve recently discovered a show called Great Canal Journeys which follows this absolutely precious old couple traveling around the British Canal system being adorable. It’s the kind of show your stereotypical Gran (i.e. me) would watch. I now want that to be my life, so I put it on the list.
  3. Learn how to scuba dive
  4. Read an entire book in another language
  5. Week-long solo trip – This means I would be traveling on my own for at least a week. It can be anywhere, but I’ve never travelled on my own for that long, so I think it could be a really valuable experience.
  6. Live in another country – Current ideas: Ireland and Australia
  7. 30 countries before 30 – Now I am not a fan of traveling just to say I’ve been to X many countries, so this is more of a catchy reminder to keep traveling and not sit still for too long rather than an actual numerical goal. If I can hit it, awesome. If not, I’ll be happy as long as I have travelled as much as I could.
  8. See all seven continents
  9. See gorillas in the wild – Because they are and always will be my favourite ape. And no, it’s not because I love Tarzan (which I do), but because they are such gentle giants. I mean, don’t run up and give one a cuddle, but they tend to be really peaceful.
  10. American West Coast road trip
  11. Learn to sail – Being from Connecticut, I am pretty surprised I’ve avoided sailing for the 22 years I’ve been alive. Recently the idea of being able to take a sailing trip out into the ocean has been really tempting, though I have a slight fear of boats, so this plays in to number 14 a bit as well.
  12. See the Queen of England in real life
  13. Ride a motorcycle – I really want to live out this whole Indiana Jones fantasy thing. And I feel that being able to ride a motorcycle will make me seem hard-core even though I wear a lot of floral dresses.
  14. Conquer a fear – This is one of those standard things to stick on a bucket list, but I figure if I put it on every bucket list I write, I will eventually conquer all of my fears.
  15. Get back into photography
  16. See the northern lights
  17. Live in NYC for an extended period of time
  18. Hike the Appalachian Trail
  19. Work in a bakery – I have no idea why, but the idea of working in a bakery has always fascinated me. I think about this a lot actually, so it got a spot on the list.
  20. Swim with whales and/or turtles
  21. Attend the Salzburg Music Festival

I’d love to hear your bucket list goals as well! I may steal a few of them if they are good…

8 Comments

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  2. Grandma D.

    I too am a list person Genna, always have been, but I never got around to an actual “bucket list”. The closest I came was a list I made up after Grandpa D. died. Mostly it was just things I had to or would like to do to keep up the maintenance on the house. I have done quite a few of them and it is most satisfying to cross items off. Like you said though, you cross one off and add three more–but then that’s the whole story of life. One of the things I’ve always wanted to do is to learn how to swim really well. You would think with having a pool in my backyard for almost 48 years I would have mastered that by now, but no, it hasn’t happened yet. You mentioned working in a bakery and that brought back some memories. When I was very young and living in the city, my sister worked part time in a local bread store. I thought that was the coolest thing, tearing the white paper from the big roll, wrapping the bread and then tying it up. (Maybe that’s why I like gift wrapping!) I always wanted to work the cash register too. Of course, by the time I was old enough to work, we had moved to NJ. Another thing you mentioned was a canal trip. It’s not quite what you had in mind but I always thought renting a houseboat and navigating the inland waterways of Florida would be fun. I did get to do 10 and 17 on your list though. Reading your blog made me think about all these things. Thanks for that! Keep up the blog and good luck with your list.

    1. Thank you so much! It is always fun to hear what other people have on their bucket list. I feel like you learn a lot about a person that way. The bread store sounds amazing. Maybe it’s genetic? And I think our next family trip should be on the houseboat! I would definitely be up for that.

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