Summer Bucket List

Summer bucket list

“Fill your life with adventure, not things. Have stories to tell, not things to show” Unknown

Call it a ‘list of lifetime goals’; ‘experiences to have’ or an ‘adventure list’, a bucket list is something many of us have considered at some point in our lives: some of us have even created one! Whether that list includes: “50 things to do before I die” or covers a shorter period like, “30 before 30” or “40 before 40”, it’s likely we all have specific things we would like to accomplish during our lifetime.

A 2023 survey by Bucket List Travels revealed that seeing the Northern Lights was top of British travellers wish-lists. “Of the other bucket list top five, an American road trip came second, followed by a safari in Africa, exploring the Great Barrier Reef and cruising Norway’s Fjords.” *

But a bucket list doesn’t have to be just about travel, it could include significant career benchmarks or personal growth ideas. It could be about achieving specific life milestones or completing challenging activities.


Why make a bucket list?

“By recording your dreams and goals on paper, you set in motion the process of becoming the person you most want to be.” — Mark Victor Hansen

There are many benefits to having a list of dreams and aspirations. A bucket list forces you to look at the life you are currently living and the life you would like to say you’ve had. If these two lifestyles are very different, then this can motivate you to make changes to bring your current lifestyle in line with what you would like it to be.

As we looked at in past blogs, (New Year’s resolutions done differently; How to live a purposeful life; Intentional Living) goal-setting means that an arbitrary wish-list is more likely to become a reality, if it is written down.


Making the most of every opportunity

“If you can dream it, you can do it.” — Walt Disney

We all did things during the pandemic that we’d never done before, (think social distancing; bulk-buying toilet roll; baking bread and hosting Zoom parties) but for one member of our team who found herself at home for weeks on end, a summer bucket list became her lifesaver.

“I made a list of all the things I wanted to achieve while I wasn’t working. I didn’t want to get to the end of lockdown, whenever that would be, and find I had nothing to show for the time I had spent at home. So, I wrote a list. And the more things I ticked off that list, the more motivated I became to do more, so I added to the list. By the time I was back at work I’d transformed my garden from a wilderness to a thing of beauty; cleaned out many cupboards and drawers I should have done a long time ago; read books that I’d never had time for before, and discovered dozens of new recipes. I exercised and lost a very much needed three-stone in weight. The sense of achievement was immense.

And even though the world opened up again, and the possibilities have widened, the list continues, and with it comes the satisfaction that I’m making the most of the time I’ve got when I’m not at work.”


A bucket list for summer?

For some of us, a summer bucket list can bring with it exciting holidays, daring activities and one-off adventures, but these are not essential components. Filling your leisure time with meaningful moments and events that are satisfying for you, are key to a successful summer bucket list.

For many of our ambassadors, list-making is part-of their life-survival kit. And the summer in particular, brings with it an opportunity to try something new. University student Sophie likes to make the most of the longer break she gets during the summer months: “I always try to have a creative project that will last me the whole summer that I can do to relax! Often it is also an activity that I’ve never done before so I learn a new skill!”

Teacher Chloe has a bucket list of summer activities she doesn’t necessarily have time for during term time. Going to the seaside; making ice-cream; camping and watching the sun rise, all feature on her wish-list.

For those with young children, summer can be long and tedious if you have no plans.

“As a mum of three I have to be very organised over the school holidays to cope with the childcare juggle” says Alex. “Planning holiday clubs, days out and playdates are essential to help everyone keep entertained. This summer I may reintroduce ’themed weeks’ when the children pick a topic (transport, ocean etc.) and we plan our trips around places linked to that. We definitely spend a lot of time outdoors and I try to encourage the children to enjoy quietly observing nature for a peaceful 5 minutes!”

So, whether your summer is long or short; your budget is large or small and your time is plentiful or in short supply, we encourage you to make every second count. Get out your notebook and your favourite Zebra pen and create a summer bucket list to remember.

In the end, it’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years.” — Abraham Lincoln