Everyone has a few "bucket list" items in the back of their mind, those amazing places they would love to see or the experiences they want to have once in their lives.
But what about those things you want to do NOW? Or, not right now exactly, but while you're young. Partying in Ibiza sounds amazing, but do you want to wait until you're 60 to go? On the other end of the spectrum is the African safari, which for me is a lifetime must do, but (in my opinion) will be equally enjoyable with a couple of kids and hubbie in tow. This is why, along with a bunch of my girlfriends, about four years ago I created my "before 30" list. It's a list of the places I need to see, and the experiences I want to have before I hit the big 3-0 and (in my imagination if not reality) settle down and get serious.
Here's what is on my list, and some tips for creating yours.
1. Get scuba diving licence
2. Write a novel
3. Trek to Everest Base Camp
4. Party in Ibiza
5. Run a marathon
6. Live in London
7. Go to Coachella
8. Read Infinite Jest
9. Practice yoga in Ubud
10. Go to Cuba
With 12 months to go, I have now achieved four of these (#3, #6, #7 and #9). Not great, I admit. But I have plans to get through #1 and #8 this year, and dreams of living in in South America and writing my novel in 2017 (#2) which will include a side trip to Cuba (#10). The goal is to celebrate my 30th in Ibiza as the grand finale and last item off the list (#4).
What about the marathon? I hear you ask. Well, truth is, I was pretty ambitious when I wrote this and my lazy, corporate bum is unlikely to be taking a casual 42km jog anytime soon. I ran a half marathon in 2013, so, while i'm still hoping for a #fitspo miracle, if I don't get it done, the plan is to use that half mara as credit. My list, my rules. It's not cheating... right?
Step 1: Set a deadline
I used 30. You might prefer 50. It doesn't have to be an age either. It could be a life milestone like getting married or starting full-time work. A friend of mine created a Sydney Bucket List of all the things she wanted to do in the city before she made the move to London. Watching and helping her tick items off the list gave all of us a newlines through which to see our same old city.
So set yourself a deadline that works for you. But make sure it is close enough in the future that it will compel to get out and make things happen. After all, the point of the list is to encourage you to achieve your goals.
Step 2: Get dreaming
What do you love? What have you always wanted to do but don't think you'll ever actually get done without a deadline? It's your list, you set the rules. Write down anything you want, just be prepared to go out and achieve it.
Looking for some inspiration? Dear friend, may I introduce... the internet. Or literally just look at #wanderlust on instagram. Fall into a dreamworld reading about other people's adventures, and when one grabs you enough to say "I want to do that"/"go there"/"see that"/"eat those" add it to the list.
Step 3: Make a plan to tick off the first item
Here's the tricky part - stepping up and achieving those dreams. Start small, what is the most achievable item? Think about what you could do on your current budget or what things you think a group of friends might want to do as well. Coachella was the first item off my list, purely because we had a group of friends who were all keen to go, so the organisation of the trip was quite easy.
Step 4: Add, edit, enjoy!
The last thing to remember is that the list isn't set in stone. The point of it is to motivate us to get out there and live our lives, see the world and achieve our goals. It isn't about putting impossible standards on ourselves. Although i'm probably going to miraculously get super fit in the next 12 months and kill that marathon, if it doesn't happen i'm okay with that. A year ago yoga in Ubud wasn't on my list, but a desire to improve my practice inspired me to add it. The more we see, the more we learn about the world and about ourselves. And if your priorities change as a result of that, then the list has done its job.