The Ultimate Bucket List Ideas to Inspire Your Next Adventure

The Dalai Lama once said that the problem with people is that we’re all under the illusion that we have time. We put things off for next week, next month, next year until we suddenly find ourselves pushing middle age with that sinking feeling that our childhood dreams and ambitions are being left to collect dust while you get busy paying the rent, and generally being respectable adults. Remember, life is all the stuff that happens in between paying the bills and running errands, and if you allow yourself to get too swept up in the current of everyday obligations, you’ll soon find that all those dreams you had when you were younger start to seem more and more unattainable. So just stop right now, find a piece of paper and a pen, and write in big letters “My Bucket List” on the very top. We’re not kidding. This is important. Do it now. For those of you who’ve already done this years ago, find it now, because you’re going to want to add a few bucket list ideas to it. A bucket list is basically just a written manifestation board – it helps you focus on what you truly value, and what you most want to accomplish in your life. Though creating a general visual of what the kind of life you want to live is helpful, lists like these get into the finer details of what it is you want to do with your life in order to feel like you’re living it to the fullest. Need a little inspiration? Here is our ultimate collection of essential bucket list ideas, both big and small, to help you focus on what really matters.

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Bucket List Idea #1. Swimming in the Rain

swim-rain-bucket-list

Seriously, when was the last time you did this? If you’ve ever experienced the feeling of drifting in the ocean on a warm rainy summer day, you’ve probably gotten a little taste of what heaven feels like. This is one of those bucket list ideas that you should probably commit to doing at least once every year for the rest of your life to reap the most benefits. Hot blistering summers were made for this.

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Bucket List Idea #2. Be Your Own Boss

be-your-own-boss

If this is one of your life goals, hopefully you’re already well on your way to achieving it, if so, go right ahead and cross it off your list (just to see how good that feels), and take a moment to truly appreciate your accomplishment! Becoming your own boss is a wild ride, equal parts liberating and challenging, and it will completely transform your world. There’s basically no better way to force yourself to live a life in which you’re always challenged to learn something new everyday. Of all the bucket list ideas here, this one will have the most lasting effect on your life. So if you’re still dreaming about doing it, it’s time to jump in!

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Bucket List Idea #3. Build the Tree House of Your Dreams

tree-house

C’mon, we know you spent most of your childhood dreaming about having one. Arguably, the best thing about being an adult is that you can finally make it happen. Not to mention, to build something like this with your own hands is extremely badass. But if building a tree house isn’t for you, why not spend a day (or seven) at a tree house community like Finca Bella Vista in Costa Rica, Tree House Point or Cedar Creek Treehouse in Washington, or this cute Airbnb in San Francisco!

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Bucket List Idea #4. See the Maldives Beach Galaxy

maldives

As far as travel goes, it doesn’t get better than this. This beautiful beach on Vaadhoo Island in Maldives glows like millions of blue stars at night!! Bioluminescent phytoplankton glow in the crashing surf, giving this destination a other-wordly Avatar feel. Though phytoplankton like these can be found on other shores around the world, they’re found more often in Maldives.

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Bucket List Idea #5. Write Your Story

write-your-life

Never underestimate the power of a good story. Not only is there a powerful therapeutic benefit for those who have overcome life difficulties, but telling your story can put everything into perspective. Whether the story brewing inside you is the next Harry Potter, or simply the extraordinary story of your own life, it needs to be told. Never mind about how long or short it is, just write it down. Start today, even if it’s just one sentence a day. Have some fun with it.

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Bucket List Idea #6. Climb Trolltunga, Norway

trolltunga-norway

Trolltunga, the oddly named ‘Troll’s Tongue’ sticks out of a vertical mountain side above a 1148 foot sheer drop with the most breathtaking views, a 3-4 hour hike from the village of Skjeggedal just below. Also, big bucket list ideas bonus, if you travel to Norway at the right time of year, you can see the northern lights, and bask in the glow of a midnight sunrise. Northern Norway is one of the best places on earth to see the aurora borealis. Seeing it might just complete your life.

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Bucket List Idea #7. Kayaking With Wild Killer Whales in Alaska

alaska-killer-whale

What bucket list would be complete without “swimming with dolphins.” It’s a classic (some might say cliche) bucket list idea. For most people that means a visit to Sea World where the animals are held in captivity, often in horrible conditions. If you love the idea of “swimming with marine life”, this bucket list idea is the ticket to doing it in the most spectacular and ethical way imaginable. It’s just you, the ocean and these gorgeous animals in their natural element. Quick note for anyone who finds this a little scary, consider that there has only been one reported case of a wild orca killing a human, it was in 1894. The only time killer whales have shown real aggression to humans is in captivity, and to be fair, you’d be pretty pissed too if you were held against your will in what to them must feel like a shoebox.

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Bucket List Idea #8. Travel Across Iceland

iceland

In case you didn’t know, Iceland is paradise. Not only does it have the highest standard of living in the world, with some of the lowest rates of depression and suicide, Iceland is a geological miracle, both freezing cold and balmy hot all at once, not to mention it is stunningly beautiful. With countless hot springs, long stretches of mountains and never-ending waterfalls literally everywhere, you’ll feel like you’ve jumped into a storybook. Add this to your bucket list immediately

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Bucket List Idea #9. Go Tree Camping

tree-camping

Scared of heights? This will be a perfect thing to put on your bucket list! Here’s your opportunity to recreate that magical scene from Avatar, and feel all one with nature. You’re pretty much guaranteed to have the most beautiful view of the natural world as you sleep. It’s the perfect way to spend a night with someone you love. If you’re interested in learning more, Here’s the German site for tree camping, and here’s the American site.

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Bucket List Idea #10. See Madagascar Before It Disappears

madagascar

Baobab Alley in Madagascar (seen in the middle image above) looks like something out of a fantasy novel. The landscape is nothing if not magical. But that’s not really the main reason to visit. Madagascar is home to an immense diversity of life. In the last ten years alone over 600 new species have been discovered here. The plants and animals that live on the island are found nowhere else on the planet, making Madagascar something of a bio-museum. If Madagascar’s rain forests continue to be destroyed at the current rate, thousands of species will disappear forever. Since the country is poor, the people of Madagascar are forced to stand by with no alternative but to watch this deforestation take place. But tourism is quickly becoming the light at the end of the tunnel as an alternative source of income. By visiting Madagascar, you can really make a difference to the lives of the people and animals of this beautiful island. This is where your dreams, travel and philanthropy intersect perfectly. You’d be crazy not to add this to your life’s to-do list.

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Bucket List Idea #11. Create Something That Will Outlive You

create

If you’re reading this right now, you’re probably someone with ambitions, someone who’s chasing a dream, whether that involves creating your own fashion label, writing a novel, or painting a ten foot masterpiece that embodies who you are as an artist, we’re all here to leave our mark on history, to say that we were here, that we mattered, and that we left the world a little better. Every single one of us has the creative spark, no matter how much actual creative talent you have. The need to create is as human as the need for love, so pick up that pen, that camera, or that paint brush and get to work. And if you really truly feel that you can’t, then sign up for a class and learn.

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Bucket List Idea #12. Seek Your Zen in Santorini

santorini

Santorini, and especially the beautiful town of Oia, are said to have the most beautiful sunsets on the planet. Another huge plus, Santorini (and Anafi) are the only places in Europe that have a hot, desert-like climate, so it’s basically summer for most of the year. Santorini generally experiences two seasons. April to October is the warm and dry season and the cold and rainy season lasts from November to March. It’s hard not to fall in love with Santorini’s serene architecture and clear blue skies.

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Bucket List Idea #13. Visit Salar de Uyuni Bolivia

bolivian-salt-flats

Salar de Uyuni is kind of what you were told heaven looks like as a kid. Bolivia’s gigantic salt flats (the largest in the world), are a truly magical place. When it rains, this area becomes a giant mirror reflecting the sky above making for the most incredible sunsets you could ever imagine.

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Bucket List Idea #14. Save A Life

save-a-life

In the US, about 3 million dogs and cats are killed every year simply because people are quick to buy puppies from sketchy breeders, only to give them up to a pound a short while later when they realize how much responsibility comes with taking care of an animal. The shelters simply can’t keep up. Unless you swoop in like Superman and save a life through adoption, euthanasia is their only option. Kindness is always a wonderful thing to put on your bucket list.

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Bucket List Idea #15. Compliment 100 People in a Single Day

compliments

We’re not saying it’s going to be easy, but we are saying it will be well worth the effort, not to mention, excellent practice in spreading kindness. This bucket list idea is particularly useful for anyone who has a tendency to be negative, or judgmental of others as well as themselves. This is basically the cure to all your judgmental ills. Your life is about to change completely in one day. You’re welcome.

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Bucket List Idea #16. Release a Lantern at the Yi Peng Lantern Festival

lantern-festival

Yi Peng roughly translates to “second full moon day” and refers to the breathtaking festival of light that takes place on the full moon day of the second month according to the Lanna lunar calendar when swarms of lanterns are launched into the air where they resemble large shoals of giant fluorescent jellyfish gracefully floating through the sky.

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Bucket List Idea #17. Get Over That Stage Fright

stage-fright

No one wants to spend the rest of their life in fear, and in many cases, that very fear is a good sign that it’s something worth overcoming. Sign up for an improv class, or get yourself a stiff drink and get up there on karaoke night and show’em what you’ve got. You won’t regret it for a second.

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Bucket List Idea #18. Hike to Cerro Torre in Patagonia

patagonia

A hiker’s paradise. Large floating icebergs, turquoise glacier lakes, sprawling massive mountain ranges, unbearably cute little penguins and fluffy guanaco (lama-like creatures) dotting the landscape, Patagonia packs a heavy bucket list punch. Here you will find remnants of the last ice age, spilling out of the Andes as immense glaciers. Definitely something you need to see for yourself.

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Bucket List Idea #19. Drive Across America

roadtrip

The classic road trip across America is a right of passage for some, and a dream for others who grew up obsessing over Jack Kerouac’s “On The Road.” The United States is one of the most geographically diverse places on earth, with nearly every kind of climate you can imagine. You start on the East Coast, and work your way through Chicago, then Boulder, Colorado, winding through the rocky mountains, towards the Utah desert, Death Valley, Las Vegas until you finally you arrive in golden California and see the Pacific Ocean break over the horizon. It’s a magical trip in every sense of the word, and a must on any bucket list.

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Bucket List Idea #20. Live in New York City

new-york-city

This one is kind of a no-brainer. Everyone knows that, in many ways, New York is the ultimate city for anyone who thrives on that very special kind of aliveness only found there. There’s so much to do, so much to be inspired by, so many people to meet, and so many adventures to be had. Extra bucket list bonus if you are an artist, or work in the fashion industry. This will be your playground.

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Bucket List Idea #21. Meet Your Heroes

heroes

Ideally this would be an ongoing project over the course of your life. Meet everyone you look up to and admire, and not just the super rich/famous/successful, but those who may be less known on the global arena, but have contributed to the world in some meaningful way. Bask in their light, ask for guidance, find inspiration.

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Bucket List Idea #22. Learn to Live With Your Flaws

love-yourself

Self-love, radical self acceptance, self compassion an all that good stuff. We know, it sounds super cheesy, but being cheesy doesn’t mean it’s any less important. Self-love has become a popular buzzword for so long, it has lost some of its cultural potency. We know that we’re supposed to learn to love ourselves, but we just never get around to it because we have no idea what that even means anymore. In our attempt to “accept ourselves” we spend hours poring over books that promise to help us improve our complexions, help us get organized, use our time more wisely, get over our anxieties and worries, and find the perfect career while we’re at it. That’s not what learning to accept yourself actually means. Simply put, it means getting to a place in life when you stop trying to change, improve, refine and upgrade yourself. Stop with the self-help, stop with the optimization, just stop. Learn to live with your flaws rather than against them. The harder you push against yourself, the more internal conflict you will feel. This is really about remembering to put yourself on top of your bucket list priorities.

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Bucket List Idea #23. Sell Something You’ve Created

sell-art

Whether it’s publishing a series of photographs you’ve taken, selling a painting you’ve made, or a piece of jewelry, there’s something life affirming about seeing your work out in the world, beyond the confines of your imagination and the four walls within which you created it. It’s kind of like giving birth, raising a child and seeing it off into the world. It’s a proud feeling every artist deserves to have. So if you’re a maker, definitely add this bucket list idea on your life’s to-do lists.

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Bucket List Idea #24. Master Your Emotions

be-happy

We’d like to end our list with arguably the most important bucket list item of all: getting over yourself. A lot goes into this simple statement, everything from forgiving those that have hurt you in the past, understanding how to deal with and get passed conflicts, becoming an accepting, non-judgmental, patient friend and just generally getting to a point in your life when you fundamentally accept that you are in control of how you feel, and don’t need to be a slave to your sloppy emotions all the time. 99% of the things that we experience out in the world are neutral, we are the ones that push it in either a positive or a negative association. You can choose to be happy, you can choose to not be upset by other people’s negative behavior, and you can choose to focus on a brighter future ahead. We sincerely hope you’re half way there already!

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So, what’s on your bucket lists?

Natalia Borecka

Natalia is the editor in chief and publisher of Lone Wolf Magazine. She founded the publication in 2012.

4 Comments
  1. This is the most inspirational list I’ve seen thus far. The photos are so beautiful and moving I had tears in my eyes. Until this list has been checked off, one has not lived.

  2. Great list, I have been to Boliva the salt flats are amazing! As is South America too. Just a few more to do =D

  3. This may be the most exciting, least generic bucket list I’ve come across. Great job!

  4. so far i accomplished everything =) except for swimming in the rain, don’t want to be electrocuted =0,

    LESMAN OUTTY!

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