How I Wrote my Own Travel Bucket List


Writing in Psychology Today, Jennifer Baker, PhD points out that bucket lists provide structure to achieve goals and “make life memorable.” Contrary to the bad hype often given to these lists, she writes: “A bucket list is not about dying but about living.”

I was always an adventurous type. Making friends with strangers, enjoying new cuisines, and dressing up in unique outfits was a pastime of mine since childhood. It was after college that I decided to write down a list of things I wanted to do, see, and experience and those who deemed “I was proud of having done”. It was a very rough draft in no particular order, with a sole purpose of serving as a reminder of all the adventures that I have done during my time on earth (I believe I was 22 at the time). Things such as sleeping underneath the open sky in the middle of a forest, or swimming in the salty Mono Lake or rock climbing were all momentous occasions.  I had cherished them in my mind for years before I wrote them down in my diary.

Then two years ago, I decided to look through my long list and come up with some sort of structure for my bucket list. I wanted to include cultural experiences, local and international destinations, and food this time encouraging me to broaden my horizons than beyond “checking off” destinations. Brainstorming is arguably the most fun and overwhelming part this. Ask yourself, what do you want to do before you die? and the imagination runs wild. While brainstorming your bucket list, surround yourself with inspiration. Read travel blogs, ask friends about their favorite travel experiences, watch movies set in foreign locations, subscribe to a local newspaper for close-by destinations or just spend some time in the travel section of your local bookstore.  Realism comes later. If a location strikes your fancy, let it! Write each and every idea down, no matter how far, no matter how crazy. After all, you have a lifetime to work through them.

Paris, London, Madrid, Peru… they’re all incredible travel destinations likely to be on every jetsetter’s bucket list. But what about those under-the-radar locales offering just as much charm, culture and adventure? Like you, a bucket list needs evolve with your circumstances and life goals. The items on your list may be a mix of goals achievable in the short-term along with others that might be considered more “dream-worthy.” Perhaps, they’re too expensive, too far, too difficult to get to, or too risky to visit right now. Of course, lists like these aren’t cast in stone, and are likely to be heavily influenced and changed by life circumstances (including time and money) as well as by how zealous individuals are in going about achieving goals once they set them. If we’re married or coupled, the desires of our partners are likely to weigh in heavily, too.

Additionally, while it is important to approach your bucket list with a curious spirit, it is crucial you have a date or a time limit associated with it. This method encourages the list maker to save money, plan, and actually get out while they are young and have the strength. For me, this time around I gave myself ten years to accomplish the list I made. I do wish I had put US states this time around since my partner and I want to see more of our beautiful country, but if you remember in a previous post, I want to reserve state travel for future family trips. If you notice, I have included not only names of countries, but experiences as well. You know how it helps me be a better traveler? When I focus on experiences rather than seeing this or seeing that, I notice more, smell more, taste more, and thus experience more. Try this technique and see how unique your bucket list will be. Here is what I have so far:

Bucket List 2015-2025

North America:

1.       Canada (2016)

Central America:

1.       Bahamas

2.       Belize

3.       Cuba

4.       Jamaica

South America:

1.       Argentina

2.       Brazil

3.       Chile


1.       Belgium

2.       Croatia

3.       Denmark

4.       Finland

5.       France

6.       Iceland

7.       Ireland

8.       Netherlands

9.       Norway

10.   Poland

11.   Portugal

12.   Slovakia

13.   Sweden

14.   Turkey

15.   United Kingdom (2016)

Middle East:

1.       Iran

2.       Iraq

3.       Israel

4.       Jordan

5.       Saudi Arabia

6.       Syria

7.       United Arab Emirates


1.       Cambodia

2.       China

3.       Nepal

4.       Malaysia

5.       Russia

6.       Sri Lanka

7.       Thailand

8.       Vietnam

9.       Pakistan (2015, 2017)


1.       Egypt

2.       Morocco

3.       Namibia

4.       Kenya

5.       South Africa

6.       Uganda

7.       Rwanda

8.       Zambia

9.       Zimbabwe


1.       Australia

2.       New Zealand

Finance and Luxury:

1.       Have your portrait painted

2.       Buy my dream house

3.       Stay in a castle

4.       Get a fish pedicure

5.       Take a mud bath

6.       Eat caviar

7.       Fly first class

Food Experiences:

1.       Eat in Kolachi (a famous restaurant in Karachi) over the water and with birds (2017)

2.       Enter something in a food competition

3.       Eat at a Michelin 3-Star restaurant

4.       Start eating halal (2016)

Sports and Fitness:

1.       Do a color run


1.       Take a cruise to Alaska

2.       Drive a convertible

3.       Ride in a dune buggy or any vehicle over dunes

4.       Ride on a Segway

Just Because:

1.       Police ride-along

Personal Growth:



1.       Scuba Dive or snorkel

Animals and Nature:

1.       Pet a jaguar/lion/tiger

2.       Go whale watching

3.       Go on a safari in Africa

4.       Hold a peacock

5.       Ride a dog-pulled sleigh

6.       Swim with the sharks

7.       Sleep in a treehouse

Connect and Relationships:

1.       Witness my Kiddies’ graduations

2.       Attend a high school reunion

3.       Bury my kitties in my backyard or a cat graveyard with lemon trees


1.       Start my second lifestyle website and blog (Jan 2017)

2.       Create a family tree


1.       Attend a foam party

2.       Go to a drive-in movie

3.       Witness a flash mob

Fashion and Beauty:

1.       Start using cruelty-free makeup 2016

Travel Experience:

1.       See the fall colors

2.       See all the historic monuments in Karachi including Flagg Staff House (Quaid’s Home), Frere Hall, Mohatta Palace (2017)

3.       Visit more states with family

4.       Take a cruise to Alaska

5.       Go on a safari in Africa

6.       See the northern lights

7.       Visit the Victoria Falls

8.       Visit the Iguazu Falls

9.       Scuba Dive in the Great Barrier Reef

10.   See the Amazon rainforest

11.   Swim in the dead sea

12.   See the Yellowstone National Park

13.   Visit Alcatraz Island

14.   See an active volcano in Hawaii

15.   Walk the Great Wall of China

16.   Ride a camel to the pyramids in Egypt

17.   Attend a luau

18.   See the French Quarter in New Orleans

19.   Take a boat ride under the Niagara Falls

20.   See Mount Rushmore

21.   Go to Pike Place Market

22.   Drink coffee in the first Starbucks

23.   Sleep in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora

24.   Go up to the Eiffel Tower

25.   See the Mona Lisa at the Louvre

26.   Eat French Desert in Paris

27.   See Picasso Museum

28.   Stroll the Giverny gardens

29.   Tour a windmill

30.   See the tulips bloom in Holland

31.   Explore the Van Gogh Museum

32.   See the Cappadocia’s fairy chimneys

33.   Pamukkale hot springs

34.   Take a selfie in front of Christ the Redeemer statue

35.   Explore Petra

36.   Travel to the center of all religions, Jerusalem

37.   Visit Hagia Sophia

Worldly Festivals and Events to Attend:

1.       Do a color run

2.       Holi

3.       Kentucky Derby

4.       Basant in Pakistan (2017)

Hopefully, this has given you some ideas about how to create your own travel bucket list. Remember, it is okay to have destinations and experiences overlap-that’s what makes traveling so much more meaningful. Happy Traveling and see you next week!

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