I used to love bucket lists. Now I loathe them.
The problem is that the movie The Bucket List was fantastic and a real tearjerker. I imagine it inspired thousands of people, young and old, to put pen to paper to create their own.
In fact, one of the first things we ever wrote for this travel blog was our own bucket list. It is featured right up there in our main menu and is one of our most visited pages.
When we wrote it, we chose 44 adventures and “things” that we wanted to achieve during our short lives. They didn’t have any rhyme or reason to them. And they all seemed manageable at the time.
I mean, who doesn’t have the time time to travel the width of China, volunteer with turtles and drink the local beer in over 100 countries?
These were activities that I thought would bring meaning and fulfillment to our lives. These 44 items were going to help us plan our next travel adventures as a couple.
I vowed that I would keep it updated and that we would do whatever it took to tick them off our list. We even managed to cross off 7 of them. But the others?
Here is where the problem lies.
Every time we find a cheap airfare, travel somewhere new or talk to people about travelling, I discover something that I want to add to this list. If I had kept on adding items up till now then we would have over 200 adventures to do before our time on this planet was up.
Now all I want to do is tear up our bucket list.
Sure I understand the usefulness of having a bucket list. It gives you a place to dream of all the things you want to achieve. A place to write down things that sound awesome. Like kayaking in Italy.
We still want to do all the things on our current bucket list.
But in reality, they are a list that most people use for hope that they might be able to escape their current lives.
Because what happens if you don’t tick them all off? I know that you are not going to die. Technically that is impossible if you treat a bucket list like a bucket list.
But shouldn’t our travels, and lives for that matter, be as flexible as we want them to be?
And when you are dying in your beds, many years from now, would you be willin’ to trade ALL the days, from this day to that, for one chance, just one chance, to come back here and tell our
enemies bucket lists that they may take our lives, but they’ll never take… our FREEDOM! (Sorry, couldn’t resist the Braveheart reference).
To be honest, that is what it feels like our bucket list is currently doing. It has taken our freedom. It is holding us back. It is making us change our travel plans so that we can pursue something we wrote down over a year ago.
Christina from Couple of Travels agreed that she hates bucket lists because they are procrastination tools.
Adventurous Kate also wrote about her problem with bucket lists. She argued that “if your deadline is death – you’re not making it a priority”.
She even challenged her readers to create a realistic list of 5 – 10 totally achievable travel adventures and tick at least one of them off in 2 years.
This is the sort of movement I can agree with.
So, I am tearing up our bucket list.
But what will you use to inspire our travel plans?
By having a bucket list we are actually turning down perfectly amazing places that we could visit. We are limiting ourselves to only doing those activities or visiting those countries where our list sends us.
As Matt from LandLopers stated, “as one expands their personal travel boundaries, more travel destinations will suddenly become more appealing”.
We agree wholeheartedly.
We have changed a lot over the last 3 years of travelling. We still love stepping outside our comfort zones and doing travel adventures. But we don’t want to be broke-ass budget travellers all the time. I even quit my job to pursue our travel blogging dreams.
Our priorities continue to change and we are adapting with them.
So, instead of having a piece of paper, or in this case a blog page, dictating that we need to do something in the next 50 years or so, we are just going to live each day as it comes.
We will still prioritize where we want to travel in the next 12 months. But let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves just yet.
So my question to you is…