[quote style=”3″]“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.” – Mark Twain[/quote]
There is only so much time we all have in this world. Depending upon your mindset, the human capability to know our own death is either the cruelest joke ever played or the greatest blessing. Being an optimist, and a procrastinator, I instead view our final deadline as an incentive to take all we want from life. So, without further ado, is a list of 100+ things everyone should try to complete.
If you think I missed anything important, please don’t hesitate to leave it in the comments below!
1. Visit Mount Nemrut, Turkey
Mount Nemrut is an amazing series of burial tombs located in South East Turkey, from the 1st century BC. The tombs are best known for the giant stone heads littering the mountainside that once belonged to statues flanking the tombs.
2. Become Published
Being published is becoming easier and easier, thanks to a surge in self publishing and electronic publishing options, such as through Amazon. For the slightly less ambitious, there are multitudes of newspapers and websites looking for contributors. Time’s a wastin, let loose the writer within!
3. Live in Another Country
Embrace a challenge and move to a country you have always dreamed of going to. The experience of living somewhere radically different will both open your horizons, as well as helping you to appreciate the small things about your home country you may not have originally realized. Who knows, you may not ever want to leave your adopted home.
4. See the Aurora Borealis
The Aurora Borealis is a natural light show that takes place at far northern latitudes, caused by the collision of charged particles in the atmosphere – far out, dude! Depending upon how far north or south you go, the Aurora takes on different hues – greens and yellows further north, pinks and purples further south.
5. Camp Out at a Music Festival
This past June, I attended my first music festival at Bonnaroo. The experience was amazing! Never had I been around so many people, all expressing themselves so differently, yet so welcoming and friendly. Festivals actively encourage bringing out the best in everyone, and it shows! Besides, how could you not have a good time while seeing so much amazing music and art?
6. Take a Ferry Ride around the Bosphorous
The Bosphorous is the body of water that divides Istanbul – the only city on the planet to be located on two continents – in half. By riding the ferry, you can easily take in the beauty of an amazing skyline that has been developing for over two thousand years. Not to mention, the water itself is a constant beautiful turquoise.
7. Climb the Great Wall of China
The Great Wall is known as being great for a reason – all branches included, it is over 13,000 miles long! How’s that for a feat of human engineering? The best segments of the wall for climbing are located around Beijing, and they meander along beautiful mountain views.
8. Brew Your Own Beer
Doesn’t the idea of coming home after a long day, kicking up your feet, and enjoying a beer that you brewed yourself sound like a slice of heaven? Not to mention, by brewing your own beer you can craft a taste that you’re guaranteed to like – as well as seriously impressing your friends! Bonus: Brew your own mead and pretend to be a Medieval lord.
9. Ride a Camel
10. Learn How to Paint
Painting is a relaxing, enthralling art form that has been appreciated worldwide for almost all of human existence. Don’t you want to be part of that?
11. Study a Topic that Fascinates You for Fun
Knowledge can oftentimes be its own reward. Most people have that one subject they wish they knew more about, but often just can’t find time to learn about. Well, no more procrastinating! Learning about a subject for no reason other than learning can be a liberating experience for many, especially with the knowledge that there are no tests to worry about.
12. Go to a Shooting Range
Bonus: Manage to hit the target.
13. Ride a Yak
I never fully knew what a yak was, let alone the fact that you could ride one. My brother swore he rode one in Tibet. Apparently they are just one of many exotic animals that are rideable, others being…
14. Ride an Ostrich
This just sounds dangerous. For all the pokemon lovers out there, though, who could pass up on a chance to ride the closest thing to a do-duo that the world has to offer?
15. Eat a Scorpion
Going to the Donghuamen Night Market in Beijing offers the adventurous a chance to feast for exotic delicacies, ranging from deep fried crickets to spitted lizards. I’ve heard that silk worm and scorpion are to die for. Bonus: Reinvigorate yourself after a long day climbing the great wall by chowing down on as many invertebrates you can find.
16. Have a Child
Whether you adopt, or have a child the old fashioned way, raising children can be one of the most difficult, tiring, rewarding, and amazing experiences in your life. Don’t pass up on the opportunity – once you feel ready, of course.
17. Learn an Instrument
Learning an instrument is a great lifetime hobby. Whether you want to go the standard route of learning the guitar, or are instead interested in more offbeat instruments – such as the sitar or ocarina – you really can’t go wrong. Learning an instrument also has a positive effect on memory functions.
18. Go on ‘Spring Break’
If you are in college go to SoBe or Cancun; if you are older, take a week off from work and enjoy the warming of the weather. Life is too short to never experience the joys of taking a week off for warm weather – don’t miss your chance!
19. Go Base Jumping
20. Confront a Fear
Everyone has that one deep rooted fear deep inside them. Don’t let it control you! By confronting your fears, you open up a whole new world of possibilities. Confronting a fear can put everything into perspective, as well as giving you the self-esteem to continue pushing yourself for bigger and better things.
21. Experience 24 Hours of Darkness
Seeing the world bathed in silvery light, as the snow softly reflects the moon is a sight not to miss. Bonus: Chances are, you’ll be able to see the Aurora Borealis.
22. Read a Horror Story in a Dark House by Yourself
I once made the mistake of reading The Exorcist after school one day, during a thunderstorm, while home alone. I was never so happy to have a friend call (after recovering from the shock of the sudden noise, and confronting my fear of having to enter a pitch-black room).
23. Go WWOOFing
WWOOF, World Wide Opportunities for Organic Farmers, is a global organization that seeks to pair interested volunteers with organic farming opportunities. Volunteers – in exchange for their hard work – receive free food, lodging, and hands-on-experience with organic farming. This organization is also a great way to travel for cheap!
24. Visit the Galápagos Islands
The Galápagos Islands are an archipelago off of the western coast of Ecuador. They are home to some of the highest amounts of biodiversity on the planet, and are so remote that they have had minimal human interaction with the local species. These islands helped to inspire Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
25. Explore Another State of Consciousness
Meditation might conjure up images of Chinese monks or New Age hippies in the West, but it is really something everyone should practice. Meditation has been proven to help relieve stress, as well as treat mild depression and anxiety. Lastly, those who routinely meditate report having a calmer and more optimistic outlook on life.
26. Go Road Tripping
A road trip with friends is a great way to open your life to adventure. Although you will likely know your final destination, a road trip provides many chances for interesting things to occur between leaving and arriving. Bonus: Road trip to a music festival or to a spring break location.
27. Watch All Three Lord of the Rings Movies in a Row
28. Watch All Three Star Wars Movies in a Row
You know the three I mean…
29. Fly a Kite
It seems like such a basic thing to do, but I know very few people who have ever actually flown a kite. If Mary Poppins does it, it must be wonderful!
30. Cook S’Mores with Friends
31. Climb a Really Tall Tree
Be daring and climb all the way to the top. You’ll feel like the King of the World, or the monkeys, at least. Bonus: Use this as a way to get over your fear of heights… or your fear of trees.
32. Accept a Free Hug from Someone
Every now and then you see people going around with signs, offering a free hug. Take a chance and let some love into your life – it’ll make everyone feel happier.
33. See Your Favorite Music Live
My aunt once commented how all music is better live. So, whether your favorite music is Mozart or Anal Cunt, go see a performance live. It’ll only make you love the music that much more.
34. Watch a Sunrise/Sunset from the Beach
35. Go to a Drive-In Movie
There is something wonderfully quaint and old fashioned about an outdoor movie. Go on a nice night with your sweety, and enjoy a movie ‘70s style. Unfortunately, drive-in theaters are becoming harder and harder to find, so, if you know of one, don’t miss your chance!
36. Drink Absinthe
Its alcoholic, its strong, and its green. Falsely purported to make drinkers go crazy leading to it being banned for over a hundred years, absinthe was famous for being a favorite of bohemians like Ernest Hemingway or Vincent Van Gogh. Recently it is making a comeback, so drink up you hipster, you.
37. Go Fly Fishing
Fly fishing is a speciality type of fishing, relying on unique gear and methods. The angler is required to flick his lure – specially constructed to float on the water – to trick the fish into thinking it is a fly, or another type of invertebrate fish commonly eat. Bonus: Go fly fishing in Mongolia! The rivers there are full of taimen – a type of fish related to salmon that can grow upwards of 200 pounds. Fishermen have to use specially constructed lures that the fish mistake for squirrels.
38. Break a Bad Habit
Whether it is biting your nails, playing with your hair, or constantly leading people on, you are better than that! Use your willpower to break a bad habit; you will never feel stronger or more proud of yourself.
39. Read Every Book by Your Favorite Author
Show your true fandom and immerse yourself fully in your favorite author’s works. Who knows, you might just end up finding a new favorite book out of this corpus. Bonus: Collect every first edition copy of the author’s works.
40. Go Scuba Diving at the Great Barrier Reef, Australia
The Great Barrier Reef is one of the true wonders of the world, sprawling over an amazing 133,000 square miles. The reef provides fantastic diving opportunities for novices to professionals, and is home to an amazing assortment of marine life – from giant sea turtles to starfish. Divers can also experience the amazingly breathtaking (hopefully not literally) beauty of the coral itself.
41. Make Your Own Stuffed Animal for a Child
I recently watched my mother make a stuffed animal for her first grandchild. There is something beautiful about knowing both the care she put into it, and the joy my nephew will have growing up playing with Dudley the Dragon.
42. See Stella Live
Stella was a one season long absurdist comedy on Comedy Central, starring David Wain, Michael Ian Black and Michael Showalter. Although the show was cancelled, the trio continue to make video shorts as well as giving live, avant garde performances. Definitely not something to be missed!
43. Attend Burning Man
Burning Man is an art festival known for its radical brand of self-reliance and self-expression. It is held for one week around the beginning of every September in the Black Rock Desert in northern Nevada. Every year the festival ends with the burning of a gigantic wicker man – just don’t tell Nicholas Cage.
44. Go Skydiving
If base jumping was a little too intense for you, skydiving provides the next best alternative. I can think of very few things that would give someone as much adrenaline filled perspective on the planet as skydiving, as you gracefully plunge towards the earth from thousands of feet above. Bonus: Go skydiving over the Great Barrier Reef, and follow it up with a nice swim.
45. Walk on Hot Coals
I don’t know why you would do this, but my friend Mike has it on his bucket list. Seems cool?
46. Volunteer for a Cause You’re Passionate About
Volunteer at a soup kitchen! Run a marathon for breast cancer! Help deliver meals to the elderly! Volunteer at an AIDs clinic! There are as many causes in the world as you could be interested in, and altruism is shown to make you feel better about yourself too. So be selfish, and help,
47. Witness a Solar Eclipse
In ancient times, our ancestors mistook eclipses for the sun being eaten by a demon, or a dragon, or some unimaginable horror (Cthulu?!?). Nowadays, we know that they are caused by the much more awesome explanation of the moon blocking out the sun. So, next time an eclipse occurs, wear protective glasses, look at the amazingness of our universe, and laugh at the stupidity of our primitive ancestors.
48. Tour Maine’s Autumn Foliage
Maine is a beautiful part of the United States, full of wild rivers, hills, rocky coastline and breathtaking forests. In the Autumn, all the forests turn the most amazing shades of gold, fiery red, and orange. The government of Maine provides a foliage tracker to see where the best views are at a given time.
49. Fund a Project Through Kickstarter
Kickstarter is an amazing web page that allows fans to help fund artistic endeavors they think are worthwhile. Many artists, independent developers, and startups are now turning to Kickstarter to get true funding by the people. So feel good about yourself as you help someone achieve their dreams! As a bonus, many projects you help fund also provide free goodies – ranging from signed postcards to production credits.
50. Stay in a Bedouin Tent
Bedouins are renowned for their hospitality and extremely different method of living. Step outside your comfort zone and spend a beautiful night in the desert with the Bedouin, experiencing something you never would have dreamed possible.
51. Become Bi/Tri/Multi-lingual
Learning other languages presents a myriad of benefits: you can enjoy music, movies, and literature in the original language; you can communicate with an expanded part of the world; you can more easily travel; you can earn bonuses at work; learning other languages also presents an assortment of cognitive benefits, to help keep you feeling young and fresh. Bonus: Live in a country where your second language is spoken.
52. Make a Music Video for Your Favorite Song
Everyone has that one song that completely resonates deep in the person’s’ soul. Demonstrate your appreciation – and let loose – by creating a video for it! I know I’ve been meaning to make one for Ghost Animals by Foxy Shazam for over a year now… Bonus: Have the band publicize your video.
53. Patent an Idea or Invention
54. Venture Inside the Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle is a mysterious part of the planet for many that is sparsely inhabited and dark half the year – what an amazing place to go! One of the best places to stay would be Longyearbyen, in Norwegian Svalbard – a frozen archipelago where polar bears outnumber people. Don’t worry, Longyearbyen has numerous tourist attractions including dog sled rides and snowmobile safaris.
55. Explore the Parisian Catacombs
Beneath Paris a subterranean mirror city thrives in the dark. Consisting of sewer lines, old basements, vaults, ossuaries, and limestone quarries – some dating back to the Roman period – the catacombs of Paris are ripe for exploring. Although technically illegal to explore the tunnels, much of which is uncharted, the catacombs are the favorite hangout for cataphiles who use the underground for activities ranging from throwing raves and bachelor parties, to doing drugs or simply relaxing in an environment free from the laws of the surface.
56. Take a Maglev
A maglev – magnetic-levitation – are trains that literally float over their rail lines thanks to the wonder of opposing magnets (how the fuck do they work!). Since there is no actual contact, the trains are able to go at amazing speeds completely smoothly. There is currently operation lines in China, Japan, and South Korea.
57. Stay in the Ice Hotel, Jukkasjärvi, Sweden
Imagine staying in a hotel that you know was freshly built every year – now, imagine that hotel made out of ice. That is essentially what the renowned Ice Hotel is. Built annually in Lapland – 200 km within the Arctic Circle – the Ice Hotel boasts fabulous engineering, art, and views of the Northern Lights. Bonus: Find a way to stay in the Ice Hotel in summer.
58. Have an Authentic Chinese Banquet
Chinese banquets are lessons in plenty – plenty of food, plenty of alcohol, and plenty of great company. Whoever said that Chinese people can not drink, or eat, has obviously never taken part in a banquet. You’ll be lucky if you can stumble out.
59. Watch a Thunderstorm Come in from the Beach
Watch as nature turns a once beautiful peaceful sea into a writhing black menace – it’s beautiful.
60. Visit Angkor National Park, Cambodia
Angkor is home to thousands of temples from the once great Khmer Empire which lasted from the 9th to 15 centuries. After the fall of this empire, many of the temples were abandoned and retaken by the jungle, giving them an otherworldly feel. Chief amongst the temples is Angkor Wat, the largest single religious structure in the world and the pride of Cambodia, and for good reason!
61. Stay in Touch with Old Friends
You love them now for a reason. Don’t let time get in the way.
62. Build Your Own Furniture
“Hey, see that desk your computer is resting on? Yeah, I built that. Pretty cool, huh?”
63. Visit Timbuktu, Mali
Timbuktu – besides being famous for being extremely far away and hard to get to – was once one of the greatest trading cities in Western Africa, as well as being the hub for the spread of Islam. Honoring this history, Timbuktu has some amazing architecture in the form of tombs for Sufi saints and mosques which look quite unlike anything else.
64. Become a Martial Arts Master
Martial arts are awesome for a host of reasons – they train you in discipline, keep you healthy, are good exercise, and Bruce Lee did it (so it must be good).
65. Stay in a Villa in Tuscany, Italy
Rolling hills, old churches, Sienna, Florence, olive groves, good wine, great food, beautiful countryside… Sound like enough reasons to go?
66. Take Part in the Mongol Rally
Have you ever gotten into your car and thought “Man, this car is too large, comfortable, and I’m driving nearly far enough?” If so, the Mongol Rally might just be for you. Officially starting in the UK and ending in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia, the Mongol Rally is a road trip that covers approximately ⅓ of the earth’s surface. With no clear route, participants are welcome to drive to the destination however they like with one caveat – if you get into trouble, you are on your own. This isn’t just for adrenaline junkies, however, as each car at the end is donated to charity and each participant must raise at least £1000 for charity.
67. Go Clubbing in Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Ayia Napa has been consistently rated as one of the best clubbing, partying, and going crazy cities in the world. Attracting like minded souls from all over the world, Ayia Napa is sure to be a crazy getaway, as well as promising beautiful weather all year round and a great launch pad for exploring the rest of Europe.
68. Go Skiing
Skiing is inherently exhilarating, as you plummet down a slope relying on nothing but yourself. Bonus: Go skiing in Dubai! Remember when Dubai had all the money in the world before going bankrupt? Well, projects like this help explain how they quickly went broke. Still, skiing in the desert! Cool!
69. Go Birdwatching in the Amazon
The Amazon Rainforest is one of the most biodiverse areas of the planet – so diverse, actually that scientists are still managing to find new species there (as well as people we have never encountered before). So, if birds are your thing, then there are few places in the world where you will see such a vast assortment as in the Amazon.
70. Hike the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu, and actually the entirety of the Inca Trail, is a testament to what man can accomplish. Built by the Incas without the use of the wheel 2,430 m above sea-level, Machu Picchu is a triumph of Incan engineering and urban development. There are multiple different methods of hiking to the city, with the shortest hike taking only two days.
71. Find a Life Philosophy that Works for You
Life is a long journey (hopefully), and unless you feel comfortable it could feel like it just drags on and on. Finding a philosophy for yourself – truly crafting something to believe in, instead of just accepting what you are told – can make your life more fulfilling, and give you much more meaning.
72. Visit a Berber Village in Morocco
Berbers, original inhabitants of North Africa before the Arab Conquest, still make up a significant portion of Morocco’s population. There are multitudes of Berber villages nestled in the foothills of the Atlas Mountains that are full of great food, friendly people, and interesting wares for sale.
73. See All the Films By Your Favorite Director
Similar to reading all the books by your favorite author, but in a different medium. Yay!
74.Hike Through Cappadocia and the Ihlara Valley, Turkey
Cappadocia is a site of true amazement and wonder, and nothing short of it. Due to unique geology, Cappadocia is famous for its fairy chimney rock formations, and amazing subterranean houses and developments. The site is also home to extremely old Christian churches – dating back to the fourth century – that were built underground to escape Roman persecution. These churches and tunnels are still in excellent condition, and are open to tourists. The Ihlara Valley is also close by, and is one of the largest canyons in the world.
75. Finish a Crossword Puzzle Without Cheating
It might take a few practice puzzles…
76. Finish a Master Sudoku Puzzle
77. Find Contentment
A friend and I were discussing what we wanted out of life one day. I said to be happy, but she said it was better to be content. Contentment isn’t volatile like happiness. Instead, contentment accepts everything as it is and finds peace in it. It sounds beautiful, doesn’t it?
78. Visit the Khajuraho Group of Monuments
The Khajuraho Group of Monuments are a temple complex in Northern India, dating back to the 11th century. There are 20 temples left, belonging to Hinduism and Jainism, and feature some of the most amazing examples of the balance between architecture and sculpture. The buildings are also covered with extremely erotic statues in all sorts of sexual positions. Bonus: Act out every sexual position you see at Khajuraho.
79. Shake Hands with your Favorite Celebrity
80. Have a Bonfire on the Beach
The sound of waves, the glow of the fire, good friends, sand between your toes… It sounds like bliss.
81.Go Stargazing in the Desert
Sometimes there is a time to feel small and realize that the weight of the world isn’t on your back. For times like that, go stargazing in the desert and realize just how large and amazing the universe truly is.
82. Start a Band
“Yeah, we’re like… Dr. Manhatten meets The Unicorns, with some Carly Rae Jepsen style vocals thrown in on top of Deadmau5 inspired drum loops.” You’re never too old to start! Bonus: Become multi-instrumental, record yourself, and make your own band.
83. Take Part in a Historical Reenactment
84. Get A Pen Pal
A pen pal can provide an extremely interesting friend and outside point of view. Pen pals also open up the ability to travel and meet with a local or practice that foreign language you’re learning.
85. Keep a Dream Journal
Some people believe that dreams may signify deep truths about the world – either as omens for what is to come, or about your own psychological state; some believe the exact opposite of that. No matter what, dreams are always fun to relate. A dream journal will help you remember your dreams, as well as increasing the chances you will have a lucid dream experience.
86. Buy a Pet
Pets provide constant companionship, and can truly lighten your mood after a rough day. According to a 25 year long study, pets can also help reduce anxiety, brighten moods, and even help you land a date. Talk about being man’s best friend, huh?
87. Grow Your Own Vegetables
Practice self-reliance! Grow your own vegetables and call no man mister!
88. Visit Lac Abbe, Djibouti
Lac Abbe, located in Djibouti, is one of the most lunar landscapes on earth. Located at the convergence of three tectonic plates, Lac Abbe has numerous mineral hotsprings, limestone chimneys, and river banks where flamingos rest. It is possible to travel here from the European part of Djibouti City with relative ease.
89. Learn to Cook Your Favorite Dish
Cooking is one of those things that seems deceptively easy but also devilishly hard at the same time. So, being able to master this sticky-wicket and cook your favorite dish will not only allow you to eat like a king whenever you want, it will also let you impress your friends.
90. Visit the Gypsy Quarter in Izmir, Turkey
Turks apparently love gypsys. Experience their extremely unique culture by paying their section of the city a visit as you also enjoy the beauty and wonder of the Aegean Sea.
91.Explore Canyonlands National Park, Utah
For those unable to visit Cappadocia (or who want even more amazing rock formations), Canyonlands National Park is for you! Unlike Cappadocia where the erosion was due to wind and rock type, Canyonlands is a string of countless canyons, mesas and buttes carved out by the Colorado River, the Green River, and their tributaries. The canyons, besides being beautiful, also offer great locations for hiking, off-roading, and kayaking.
92. Design a BustedTee
BustedTees are cool and hip and funny. Show how cool and hip and funny you are by designing a best selling one! Bonus: You also get money for this.
93. Create Your Own Bucket List
Well, go on then! This should hopefully have inspired you to live life, grab the bull by its horns, and shake it for all it is worth. Make your own list – or use this one – and see how adventurous you can make your life become.
94. Forgive a Grudge
Too many of us carry around grudges over petty little things that have no bearing on us at all today. Learn to forgive and forget. Not only will you feel better – lighter, even – but you will be a happier person too.
95. Become a Chess Master
Come on! You won’t let Deep Blue and the robots have all the glory, will you?
96. Visit Le Marais, Paris
Le Marais, once the seat of the French aristocracy, later became a heavily Jewish area of Paris. Unfortunately, some Jews were deported by the Nazis, although recently it has started seeing a revival of Jewish culture. The area is beautiful, and known for its small streets and history. It is also one of the few areas where one can truly experience what Medieval Paris would have been like.
97. Build a Collection
Stamps, old coins, books, works of art, swords – all these items are unique, historical, and able to be collected. Building a collection is a fantastic hobby, and it provides a way for you to truly become knowledgeable about a subject you are interested in.
98. Be on Film
Who doesn’t secretly desire to be famous, even if just for an instant? Film – especially with the internet now – has a way of immortalizing everyone, even if you were just an ordinary Stormtrooper amongst a thousand.
Let loose your inner diva and take part in a film! Even if only as an extra, you still have something to brag about.
99. Move to Another City for the Hell of It
Life not looking so good at home? Take a chance, pack up your things, and head out to another city. Be spontaneous, and act. You never know what you might find.
100. Make Your Own Ultimate Halloween Costume
Ever since seeing Donnie Darko, I have dreamed of creating a Frank the Bunny costume for Halloween – every year, I somehow fail at this. I can only imagine how awesome it would be to create your own costume for one of your favorite characters.
101. Fly First Class
This is a luxury few of us ever manage to experience. Treat yourself to something special, and in ultimate style! Make sure to pick someplace far away, to get the most bang for your buck. Bonus: Find a way to fly first class for free.
102. Get Married/Fall in Love
As the Chemical Brothers say, there’s nothing else.
Remember! If you think I left anything out, please make sure to let me know in the comments! Now, go out there and start living large.