Bucket List Ideas: 101 Things To Do Before You Die

*Visit Bucket List Ideas, Part 1 for bucket list ideas #1 to #25.

26. Befriend a stranger

Kids on a flower field

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Who says that there needs to be a reason to start a friendship? A connection can start anytime, anywhere, in any way. I have many great friendships that started off from the most random of situations.

Perhaps the most random one is with a near-stranger, whom I met once in college and did not speak to him for the next 9 years (except once when we bumped into each other on the streets). One day, he was sorting through his phone contacts list, saw my name, and decided to message me. Fast forward today, and he is now my husband. 🙂

Not saying that the next stranger you contact is going to be your romantic partner, but rather, that a great friendship can start in any way. 🙂 Articles to get you started:

27. Get a drink for a stranger

Two cups of coffee
The next time you’re in Starbucks or a coffee place, don’t just get a drink for yourself — buy one for someone else. Once I was in Starbucks working on my laptop, and a stranger bought me an iced latte just to thank me for sharing a power point with him (which isn’t even my property to begin with). He left the cafe right after giving me the drink and left me with a very good feeling in my heart.

28. Walk/Dance barefoot in the rain

Playing barefoot in the rain

We are all used to following a “proper” conduct: to be clothed when we are out, to always wear shoes when we are outside the house, and to always use an umbrella when it’s raining (with good reason of course, so that we don’t catch a cold).

While all these make sense, how about breaking the “rules” for a change… and just walk… or even dance barefoot the next time it rains? Feel the pavement, feel the earth, and feel the wet surface against your feet. Better yet, find someone to do this with you. Perhaps it will make you feel like a child again. 🙂

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29. Run barefoot

Barefoot

It’s funny putting this as a bucket list item because I see barefoot running as a lifestyle — I’ve been running barefoot since 2010! Do you know that barefoot running improves your landing, gives you better posture, and creates less stress on your knees/feet/joints as compared to running with shoes? Don’t just take my word for it — try it for yourself.

Read: 10 Reasons You Should Start Running Barefoot

30. Experience a sunrise/sunset

Sunset at Holland, Noordwijk

Sunset at Holland, Holland, Noordwijk. I was there on 21 June 2011 for a speech, and incidentally it was the Summer Solstice, the longest day in the year. The sunset lasted a few hours!

Sunrises and sunsets are some of the most beautiful gifts from mother nature. And the best thing? We get them free every day.

While I think a sunrise/sunset is beautiful in most places around the world, here are some of the best places to catch a sunrise/sunset:

If you don’t wake up early, here’s why you should: Why I Wake Up Early (And 9 Reasons You Should Too). Tips to start waking early: 21 Tips To Wake Up Early.

31. See the Northern Lights

Northern lights

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The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is a “natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetically charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere” (Wikipedia). A natural phenomenon, the northern lights is a magnificent sight to behold, which is why people from all around the world travel great distances just for a chance to witness this phenomenon.

The most popular places to see them are in Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, and Scotland, though it should be noted that sightings are never guaranteed due to the unpredictability of weather.

32. Witness a solar eclipse

Solar eclipse

A solar eclipse is an eclipse that happens when the moon passes between the sun and earth, and the moon fully or partially blocks the Sun from our view.

As you may have learned during science class, the moon orbits around the earth while the earth orbits around the sun. Technically, if the Moon were in a perfectly circular orbit and in the same orbital plane, there would be total solar eclipses every single month. However, this isn’t so as the Moon’s orbit is tilted at more than 5 degrees to Earth’s orbit around the Sun. The orbital planes of the earth’s and moon’s cross each year resulting in anywhere from 2 to 5 solar eclipses occurring each year. That means 2 to 5 opportunities for us to catch this natural phenomenon!!

According to Wiki, the phases of an eclipse can span over 2 hours while the total phase can only last up to 7.5 minutes for any one location. Please note that looking directly at the sun can lead to permanent eye damage, so please get a pair of CE Certified Safe Solar Eclipse Glasses before viewing a solar eclipse!!

Read:

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33. Go stargazing

Starlit sky

Isn’t it beautiful to gaze into a sky that’s filled with beautiful stars? I was once traveling in Cape Town, South Africa, where I lived beside the sea (with penguins and all, no less!!). I would get SO MESMERIZED by the beauty of the night sky every night. Unfortunately, this was only then as I live in Singapore. The light pollution here — or any major city for that matter — makes it difficult to admire these natural masses of burning gas that are trillions of miles away!

Here are some of the world’s best stargazing spots for you:

Fancy some astronomy lessons about stars?

34. Plant a tree and watch it grow

Planting a tree

Do you know that some trees can grow up to several thousands of years old? Trees are one of the most important living beings on the planet. Not only do they clean our air by removing it of carbon dioxide — a major greenhouse gas — and provide us with oxygen (a gas we can’t live without), they cool the earth, prevent soil erosion, provide shelter from sun’s rays, and provide food. (Read: 22 Benefits of Trees.)

A tree takes about 10 to 20 years to grow depending on what it is, so plant a tree now, care for it, and watch it grow together with you!

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Read: How to Grow A Tree or Shrub From Seed

35. Get a pet

Playing with Rocky the cat

Playing with Rocky, my British friend’s cat. He’s adorable, often jumping on your laptop keypad to grab your attention (and maybe because it’s warm)!

Aren’t pets the most adorable creatures in the world? I love animals but never saw the point of having a pet… after all, they take time, cost money, and are overall just a huge commitment!

However, when I was traveling in Europe and U.S. and staying with different hosts, I realized almost all of them have pets… and hanging out with their pets subsequently made me realize the beauty of having a pet. I still don’t have a pet because I don’t want to get a pet until I’m ready to commit to caring for a life for the next 15 years — and that’s something every aspiring pet owner should think about too before getting one!

Read: Considerations Before Getting a Pet

36. Publish a book

Books

Being a writer isn’t about having tip-top grammar and literary skills, though it’s important to write with good english. Being a writer is about having a message to share with the world. Prior to their hit series, J.K. Rowling (author of Harry Potter series) and Stephenie Meyers (author of Twilight series) were not professional writers — in fact, Meyer’s only professional work was as a receptionist in a property company!

What is a message that you are passionate about? What do you want to say to the world? When can you start writing your book?

Some resources to guide you through writer’s rut:

37. Do public speaking in front of 1,000 people (or more)

Public speaking

Public speaking is often said to be the greatest fear of people, ranked even higher than dying (!!), and it’s understandable why. Before I became a professional public speaker, I remember shivering the few times I was made to speak to a crowd — my mind was occupied with fears of being judged, saying the wrong things, and making a fool of myself!

Yet, having been professionally speaking for 5 years, I can tell you that public speaking is one of the most exciting things to do in a lifetime. Not only does addressing a large crowd help to train you in your communication and body language, you also get the opportunity to share a message you care about to a large crowd of people, hence getting the opportunity to impact their lives. While I’ve spoken to countless audiences — ranging from dozens, to hundreds, to almost a thousand — each experience is always exciting and never dull.

What are you passionate about? Find opportunities to public speak on that!

Here are some public speaking resources to get you started:

38. Throw a mega party

House party

Get to know your friends’ friends and introduce your friends to others by throwing a mega party! Throwing a mega party is not just about the drinks, it should be about having the right company — people whom you enjoy hanging around and who are great to converse with. Plan ahead, identify a venue (someone’s home will suffice; or you can always rent a space), set aside a little budget (having a party doesn’t have to cost a bomb!), and start sending out the invites! Who knows, you may well meet your future friends here!

For party tips and ideas

39. Get a complete makeover

If you’ve been donning your current look for years (if not decades), and if you feel a little stagnant in your life right now, consider a makeover. Permanent change in life needs to happen from inside out, but sometimes change on the outside can help us to boost our self-confidence and give us a renewed sense of self.

A makeover can consist of changing your hair style, hair color, physique, and wardrobe. You can start by getting a haircut (and even hair color), refreshing your wardrobe, applying a new makeup look (if you’re a girl), and then working out for a better physique. If you haven’t done a makeover before, consult the right people to know if your new look will work on you! Speak to an image consultant to get ideas on what will work best for you; consult a hairstylist before getting your haircut (and new hair color).

For makeover tips, check out these links:

40. Learn wine appreciation

Wine appreciation

Even if you don’t drink (I don’t), that doesn’t mean you can’t appreciate wine! An alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes or other fruits, wine’s history dates back thousands of years, with the earliest discovered production being in 6000 BC in Georgia. If you think drinking wine is just about holding the glass up to your lips and drinking it, then you’ll find in your wine appreciation class that wine drinking is a more elaborate process than that! A wine appreciation class will give you the opportunity to try different types of wine, learn the right way to drink wine, and identify your favorite kind of wine. 

Links:

41. Join a social etiquette class

Etiquette class

In today’s world where first impressions are increasingly important, be it in professional settings (think job interviews and networking events) or social settings (think first dates, eeps!), it’s more important than ever to be socially adept and to know how to present ourselves. This is where joining a social etiquette class will help! You don’t have to be a celebrity, be of the royal family, or be a member of the high society to join a social etiquette class; anyone can join and benefit from it. Be it learning about fine dining, gender-specific mannerisms, work etiquette, or social mannerisms, there’s something to learn for all of us. 🙂

Links:

42. Be a matchmaker: Introduce your single friends to each other (the rest is up to them!)

Let’s face it — it’s very hard to meet compatible people these days. I’d know, having been single for a good part of my life before I met my husband! So, why not give your single friends a nudge in the right direction by introducing them with other single friends who share the same values? It’s not about taking over your single friends’ dating life, but simply about connecting good people with other good people. Whether sparks fly is entirely up to them after their first meeting, but at least you can be the catalyst to help start the reaction! 🙂

43. Go on a blind date! (for the singles!)

Blind date

“Arranged dating is only for desperate people.” Such is one of the many limiting beliefs that people have towards dating today.

Yet, that’s not true at all. Arranged dating, or going on blind dates, is simply a fun way to meet new people. If you feel a connection brewing during the date, then that’s awesome and you should follow up with a second date; if not, then that’s cool and you can always stay friends! I tried an arranged dating service before and while I didn’t experience any luck with it (I would meet my soulmate later on through other means), it was a fun and enriching experience.

So, go on a blind date! Allow yourself to be set up on such dates by your friends! Open yourself to meeting people online. If money isn’t a concern, try matchmaking services and see who you get matched with in their databases! The date can be adventurous since you don’t know who you’re meeting, and who knows, perhaps it’ll lead into a friendship — or something more. 🙂

Read: “I’ll leave love to fate.” 5 Myths Keeping You from Finding Love

44. Further your education

Study

No matter how long ago you graduated, learning never ends. If you already have a diploma/degree, consider getting a second diploma/degree in a different field. Not only will it expand your knowledge and give you the competitive edge in the workplace, it’ll also be the perfect tool if you wish to transition to a different career. If you are eyeing for a promotion within the same career field, then a Master’s degree may be more relevant for you!

If you are not sure on what further education to pursue, map out your ideal life first, then identify your ideal career. Pick the educational path that will assist you in your ideal career the most!

For more on discovering your ideal career, read:

45. Play a (new) musical instrument

Violin

Have you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar/violin/piano/etc. but never had a chance to? It’s never too late even if you’re an adult because science says it’s still possible! Learning to play a new instrument not only teaches you discipline but also makes you smarter — did you know that musicians use both sides of their brains more frequently than average people? And that among Nobel Prize-winners, there are a disproportionately high number of musicians? (But whether it’s their music lessons that made them smarter or vice versa is a different question altogether!)

Here are some resources to get you started:

46. Win a lucky draw

Lucky draw

Let’s face it — the probability of winning a lottery is very small. The chances of winning the jackpot in a 3-reel slot machine is one in 262,144, and one in 13,983,816 (or about 14 million) for the UK National Lottery. However, you can’t deny that there’s always a little joy in winning a draw, even if it’s a small lucky dip that gives you a $5 dining voucher or a scratch-and-win card that gives you $1 off your next ice cream.

So, try your luck! Open yourself to lucky draws, and who knows — maybe you’d get lucky like 67-year-old James Bozeman Jr. who has won the lottery twice (amounting to a total of $13 million in lottery winnings)!

47. Take up dancing

Ballroom dancing

Dancing is not only fun, but it’s also a great form of exercise! Do you know that dancing Salsa burns approximately 200 calories in just 30 minutes?? This is about the same as what you would burn in a jog — and it’s definitely more fun than monotonous forms of exercise like running on the treadmill or using a stationary cycling bike! Here are some dances that you can try:

48. Learn a martial art

Martial arts

Not only does martial arts help you to defend yourself, it also improves your physical fitness, perseverance, honor, self-discipline, and self-development — all of which help to better our daily life. There are many styles of martial arts, from weapon-based (archery, shooting, swordsmanship), to grappling (brazilian jiu-jitsu, wrestling, judo, jujutsu, sumo), to striking (boxing, karate, kickboxing, taekwondo), to internal (aikido, baguazhang, t’ai chi ch’uan), to full contact (professional boxing, mixed martial arts). Check out the full list of martial arts on Wikipedia, and here are some popular martial arts to start off with:

49. Go on a road trip

Road trip

A road trip is a journey taken on roads, typically by automobile. While some would consider a road trip as tiring, a road trip can actually be fun, especially when accompanied by the right people — and perhaps, great music! Not only is it relaxing to go on a long, non-stop ride, it also provides a great view of the country/city (depends on where you are driving) and creates an opportunity for you and your companions to bond with each other.

Links:

50. Backpack across at least 10 locations

Backpacking

Backpacking is a great way to enjoy international destinations at a low cost and with a fair degree of freedom. With the boom in budget airline and hostel businesses in the past decade, backpacking has evolved into somewhat of a lifestyle, with free spirits taking 6-month to year-long sabbaticals just to backpack across the world. While some backpack because it’s a cheap way to travel, others backpack for the experience and the adventure. Whatever it is, backpacking is definitely something to try at least once in a lifetime! Even if you are backpacking alone, you can always meet new people along the way — I’ve found that there are many friendly travelers abound every country, and it’s a matter of opening yourself and taking the first step to know them!

Links:

Proceed to page 3 for bucket list ideas #51 to #75…

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