Reimagining the Bucket List

TW: Death mention.

I’m just going to say it: when we think of bucket lists, we think of death. I mean, that’s where the saying comes from–“kicking the bucket.” Often times, people don’t even seriously consider creating a bucket list until they have a near-death experience. But this post is about living. Living life to the fullest, more specifically. After my stay last week at the Virgin Hotel, I have been thinking a lot about my bucket list:

  1. Go on a hot air balloon in Turkey
  2. Ring in the new year in Singapore
  3. Walk the Edmund Pettus bridge in Alabama
  4. Go to the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California
  5. See the salt flats in Bolivia
  6. See the tulips in Amsterdam
  7. Visit Halloweentown in Oregon
  8. Walk by the first Macy’s in New York at Christmas
  9. Bike through Hyde Park in London
  10. See Chicago on Broadway

The list goes on, but a common theme is that they are travel-centered. I have a couple of ‘normal’ things like dance on a bar and, prior to last week, order room service and wear a hotel robe. However, I realize that I am placing a lot of limitations on myself and potential experiences by assuming I need to ‘escape’ to do them. Yes, a bucket list should be comprised of things you would otherwise not do/have the chance to do, but what else can I add that I can achieve from home? Maybe it’s finally learning how to do a smoky eye look (or makeup at all). Being able to style my own natural hair from start to finish. Finally becoming fluent in Spanish. Considering many of my bucket list items are on hold until further notice, I have to get creative.

We get so bogged down with this need to feel productive and like we are accomplishing something, especially here in America. I don’t want to approach my bucket list the same way. Little tasks like learning something new seems more like a goal on the surface rather than a big bucket list item. But do they fit the criteria of things I want to do before I die? Yes! Are they achievable? Yes! I love when my interests are piqued and it’s an added bonus when I am being challenged. Though I am naturally resistant to change because I hate failing, there is a rewarding feeling in trying something outside of your comfort zone. Maybe you end up loving it, maybe you end up hating it, but at least you tried it!
I remember I spent two hours learning to sew the hem in my dress pants by hand, thinking it would be an easy feat. I hated every minute of it, but I pushed through and that hem is still going strong. So instead of downplaying learning to cook, reframe it as “develop a signature dish”–transform a small goal into a larger than life experience. It is during these moments that we are reminded to open our minds and push ourselves the tiniest bit beyond our limits–coincidentally, two reasons I fell in love with traveling. So, why not find other ways outside of traveling to continue replicating those feelings for the time being? Not to mention, learning/doing/seeing something new is the perfect way to distract your mind from the woes of life during a pandemic.

What are some things you have added to your bucket list since the pandemic? Are they also travel-centered or are you using this time at home to tackle things you otherwise wouldn’t have had the time to do? Let me know in the comments!
xx, AE

4 thoughts on “Reimagining the Bucket List

  1. Now wearing a hotel robe and ordering room service has been added to my bucket list, haha.. I’ve ordered food several times but not in robe.. Think that just makes it feel a lot more luxurious.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha, it makes such a difference! It’s something that always seemed “normal” when i watched movies and then come to find out, more affordable hotels don’t even offer robes or room service lol. Had to take advantage!


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