Why You Should Have a Travel Bucket List

February 18, 2016
Why You Should Have a Travel Bucket List

We all know the concept behind a bucket list: the dreams and goals we would ideally like to accomplish before we die. But most of us don’t take this list seriously, in my opinion. This list is our permission to ourselves, and society’s permission to us, to truly pursue our deepest passions. A bucket list reminds us that we are more than a ‘human resource’ fighting to simply survive the rat race and achieve the American Dream. A bucket list, especially a travel bucket list, tugs at that corner of our hearts that contains wanderlust. It ignites our dreams, desires, and prompts our memory into holding onto the things we want to accomplish.

I’ve always had a mental bucket list, but it wasn’t until 2010, while I was living in Japan, that I actually wrote it down. I was dealing with quite a bit of emotional trauma due to a divorce, and felt the need to prioritize my wants and needs. I ended up with two pages, and could have easily kept going.

Writing down the things I wished to accomplish was very eye-opening. A sense of order was assigned to my chaotic mental list, and I began to realize which things were truly important to me, and which things were back-burner hopes.

Here are the most important reasons why having an actual written travel bucket list has been life-changing for me:

Focus

Perhaps it’s the Pisces in me, but my mind is a jumbled ball of ever-changing dreams, wants, hopes and desires. I seem to have always had so much passion for so many different things bottled up inside of me that focusing on one issue, one subject, is not enough to satiate my seemingly obsessive desire to make a difference in this world.

I feel that I have so much to give, and that I typically end up giving too much, inevitably exhausting myself. For me, a bucket list has helped focus the various goals I have, and writing them down helped to connect my feelings with each goal and see an order of importance.

Writing down the things I wished to accomplish was very eye-opening. A sense of order was assigned to my chaotic mental list, and I began to realize which things were truly important to me, and which things were back-burner hopes.

Direction

Speaking of order of importance…having a bucket list has helped me concentrate on the direction I want to go in life. Which goal comes first? Which is number 20? Which is last, and which items aren’t even important enough to warrant inclusion on my list?

The act of making the list helped decide an order. I’m now aware of the things that are absolute musts for me, and which goals are simply ‘bucket list filler’.

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Purpose

Perhaps I have such strong feelings toward my bucket list because I wrote it during a time of tremendous turmoil in my personal life, but I feel as if my bucket list will be a legacy I leave behind. Maybe when I’m gone, my list will give those I love insight into what type of person I truly was.

The things I’ve accomplished from my list (included on a separate list!) will show what was important to me, and will reiterate to my loved ones that I lived my life exactly the way I wanted, the way that made me happy. Life is too short to not be happy.

My bucket list is an ever-changing entity, and while most of it includes travel, there are also some very personal goals on it that will remain there for my lifetime, such as staying in close contact with my nephews, and not changing who I am for a man.

Maybe when I’m gone, my bucket list will give those I love insight into what type of person I truly was.

Below are just a few examples of the things that are included on my list:

*Swim in Jellyfish Lake in Palau *Stay in an overwater bungalow in Bora Bora *Dance around a bonfire on a beach *Drive the Ring Road in Iceland *Swim with a whale shark *Kiss passionately during a rainstorm *Visit Hiroshima *Never give up *Publish a book *Get more involved in fighting for Planned Parenthood *Make a difference in this world *See the Moai on Easter Island

And here are a few things from my list that I’ve been able to accomplish:

*Participate in a Sea Shepherd campaign *Sail the Strait of Gibraltar *Meet my brother Tom *Live on a tropical island *Forgive people from my past *Organize a music festival *Love someone passionately *Minimize material possessions *Live in Australia *Go to a rooftop party in a big city *Backpack in New Zealand

Why You Should Have a Travel Bucket List, 5 Things to Know Before Your Trip to Finland

About Liberty Elias Miller

Liberty Elias MillerBorn and raised in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, Liberty Elias Miller grew up with a Grandfather who was a photographer and a mother who is a writer. As an adult, Liberty learned to combine these passions and has since traveled the world as a photojournalist. She has served as a foreign correspondent for several marine conservation non-profits in Japan, Australia, Amsterdam and aboard a ship in the Mediterranean. She is now living in Friday Harbor, on Washington State’s San Juan Island, where she works as a boat captain and photojournalist.

One thought on “Why You Should Have a Travel Bucket List

  1. Avatar
    Marcia
    February 19, 2016
    Reply

    Well done, Libby I hope you will check off everything on your bucket lisr !!!!

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