The Myth of the ‘Bucket List’

Ever since the movie starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman filled the big screen with images of exotic places and iconic experiences on a timeline rapidly running out, it posed the ultimate question.

What would you do if you knew you were going to die?

The term ‘bucket list’ is something used to describe pivotal moments in one’s life. Epic experiences which appear so colossal they may have otherwise remained on the ‘to do’ list. It can at times be an overused term to describe the more mundane experiences which in my humble opinion defeats the point.

Diving the Red Sea

Diving the Red Sea

My bucket List

I like the term, and regularly use it but if you are anything like me and have a compulsion for travel exceeding that of a normal person which changes with alarming frequency – the list is actually inexhaustible.

Everyone knows the age old travel story of the ‘travel list’ – cross one destination off and add five. It doesn’t take long to realise the list is never going to expire, it will never run out with so many glorious experiences to empty our wallets and fill our memory cards.

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Even after travelling to a country and crossing it off the ‘bucket list’, having returned once again to the same country a plethora of epic experiences have presented themselves. Simply by travelling by river instead of road, hiking for days to ruins instead of arriving by bus, or by planning nothing and arriving open to whichever way the wind blows. And we aren’t talking run of the mill travel occurrences, I mean epic, pulse pounding, life-affirming experiences that should surely grace the list of things to do before shuffling off this mortal coil.

Once they have graduated from the list, there are more and they seem to have multiplied like gremlins when water is added.

Chilling in Antarctica

Chilling in Antarctica

Kayaking in Alaska

Kayaking in Alaska

You know what I think? The bucket list is a romantic term to justify the list of places bouncing through my brain which across one day can see me climbing Kilimanjaro, diving in Antarctica, walking to hill-tribes or running a marathon across the Gobi Desert. It helps me justify why my passport need frequently changing, why I have 3 or 4 holidays booked in advance and why I keep finding foreign bus tickets in backpack pockets.

Of course – the question does remain what would grace my bucket list if I knew death was imminent? I suspect that is one of those questions you can only ask yourself when faced with that conundrum. I would probably spend time with my partner and family, just preferably somewhere exotic, warm and where I can hide a few more bus tickets in backpack pockets for a traveller to find before dropping it off to the charity shop!

Happy travelling your crazy bucket-listers!

Kicking it on the Route 66

Kicking it on the Route 66

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