One day you’ll wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do it now.Paulo Coelho
Bucket lists are incredibly useful for organizing your goals and planning trips around the things that matter most to you. These lists are constantly changing, at least mine are, as you get older and your priorities change. When I was younger, I had a lot of things on my bucket list that I wanted on there simply because I wanted to say I had done it.
Today, I still have some of those things, but I also make it a point to put things on my list that will truly have an impact on me, those around me, the places I visit, and how I hope to be remembered. The list below are some of the things that probably should be on everyone’s bucket lists, but usually aren’t. I hope these inspire meaningful change for your travels at home and abroad.
Volunteer for a Charity 10x
Anyone can volunteer for a charity or organization once or even twice. Finding a cause that truly makes you happy and fulfilled is hard work, but the results are meaningful for you as well as the cause you’re furthering. That’s why I challenge myself to volunteer for an organization I care about at least 10 times. That way, I can make more of a lasting impact. It will take some time to figure out which organization is the best fit for you, but it’s worth it in the end.
Make 2 Meaningful, Positive Changes in Your Outlook
This. Is. Hard. You may have grown up in a very sheltered area and have an aversion to trying food that resembles anything different. You might have false stereotypes about another culture and constantly spread negativity about that place or culture. The list is endless.
Changing your outlook takes time, courage, and trial and error. Think about what will truly make you a better person if you decided to leave that behind. It won’t happen overnight and may even take years to truly perfect this, but you will emerge as someone who cares enough about themselves and the world around them to share positivity instead of toxicity.
Leave Your Destination Cleaner Than You Found It
Trash is gross. Viewing trash on your travels is just plain sad. Bring a bag each day you venture out and make a promise to yourself to make sure it’s full of trash each day. It doesn’t seem like much, but imagine if 10 or 500 people did this every day. I would literally squeal with happiness. In fact, I’ve started doing this once/twice a week when I walk my dogs. Hello cleaner, happier world, goodbye nasty trash ruining my ambience.
Ditch 3 Environmentally Unfriendly Practices
Ditch disposable straws, ditch plastic water bottles, ditch plastic bags. You can start with one, adjust, and then remove something else. I try to carpool or use public transportation and I’ve completely eliminated one-time use straws and plastic bottles. My next goal is to ditch plastic bags for reusable or recyclable options. These aren’t the only options by any means.
Find something that is simple to ditch for your lifestyle to start and then keep finding new ways to improve your sustainability while you travel. Plus think about how much you can save by eliminating single use items.
Make Someone Smile In Every New Place You Visit
This is one of my favorite things on my bucket list. Bonus points if you do this for a perfect stranger. It doesn’t take much to make someone smile. Yes, it can be awkward to talk to strangers, but think about how you might make someone’s day. Just remember to be genuine.
Like someone’s necklace? Tell them. Love that outfit? Ask where they got it. See an artist creating something amazing? Let them know. It doesn’t have to be a life-altering compliment. Simply let someone know that you think something about them is awesome. Nine times out of ten it will bring a smile to their face.
Break Out of Your Comfort Zone
Nothing holds you back like the fear of leaving your comfort zone. Trying new things can be scary, but they can also give your one hell of an adventure. Try new dishes, go somewhere you normally wouldn’t, learn that new language. Do anything that gets you thinking new thoughts and challenging your self-imposed barriers.
Not many things do that like travel. It’s going to feel uncomfortable at first, then it gets mildly addicting, but in a good way. You’ll find that you never needed to hold yourself back and that there’s so much to try if you’d only give it the chance.
Learn Something New Everywhere You Go
Taking a cooking class, learn one new work or phrase, or look up the history of a monument. It takes almost no effort, but gives you lots of rewards. Knowing more about the place you’re visiting gives it more depth. Being able to communicate allows you to discover new places and immerse yourself fully in the culture or destination.
Learning something new can be just plain fun. You don’t need a reason to learn something. Anyone can do it at any time. Find something that intrigues you and go after it.