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50 Things You Should Do Before You Die

50 Things You Should Do Before You Die

We all have things we want to do before we die. I’m sure people’s lists involve stuff like ‘travel to Paris, Tokyo, a crack den, etc” so I won’t include them on this list. Most people aren’t Oprah-rich and can’t spend every day jet-setting to complete their bucket lists, but I couldn’t resist including a couple of things that might require a lottery win.

In the immortal words of Ferris Bueller…

    1. Go on a road trip

      Preferably without getting murdered. Stay away from abandoned buildings and don’t take advice from crusty old men at gas stations.

      2. Visit all seven continents

        Yes, even Antarctica. There are plenty of cruises that go down there now, and it only costs tens of thousands of dollars! And possibly your soul. It depends which cruise company you go with. You also run the risk of getting stranded, which often happens. Fun, right?!

        3. Live in a different country


          Traveling is one thing, but actually moving to a different country is a whole other thing. For bonus Life Points, get involved in a green card marriage, just for the story.

          4. Sleep under the stars

            This can be one of the most rewarding, beautiful and introspective experiences of your life…unless you’re doing it because you maxed out 5 credit cards and no longer have an apartment.

            5. Watch all those damn movies everyone keeps talking about

              You know the ones I mean. Most of them grace the IMDB’s Top 100 Films list.

              6. Read all those damn books everyone keeps talking about

                See above, but replace ‘movies’ with ‘books’ and ‘IMDB’ with ‘BBC.’

                7. Make something from scratch

                  One of the best feelings in the world is making something by yourself, as opposed to just buying it. It can be anything from satay to a piece of furniture.

                  8. Conquer a fear

                    Don’t spend your whole life letting fear hold you back! Try conquering some, or at least one, of your fears. Just don’t go jumping off any buildings if you hate heights, I don’t think that will work.

                    9. Learn a foreign language

                      Learning another language is incredibly rewarding, plus it gives you an excuse to travel! Just don’t be like those Amazing Race contestants who yell “rapido” at cab drivers in Asia.

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                      10. Donate your hair for cancer


                        You can raise big bucks by shaving your head for cancer, particularly if you’re a lady. It’s also a great opportunity to flip the bird at traditional conventions of beauty and expectations of women.

                        11. Disconnect for a week

                          No phone. No internet. No TV. Nothing.

                          Free yourself from the burden of modern technology. Sure, you may want to blow your brains out at first, but you’ll discover some amazing things you may not have otherwise. Plus, you’ll learn a lot more about yourself. If you think the temptation  of screens will be too great, remove yourself from them. Spend the entire time camping or hiking.

                          12. Go to a major sporting event

                            I’m admittedly not the biggest sports fan, but even I can’t deny the sheer power of an excited sports crowd. The atmosphere is unmatched. Worst case scenario, you have a few drinks and yell out the wrong sports terms or team names for fun.

                            13. Take part in a city running event

                              Not only does this give you the chance to get in shape, but you also get to accomplish something big with the rest of your city. Plus you’ll get to see people wear some pretty hilarious costumes.

                              14. Volunteer at a soup kitchen

                                And I don’t just mean at Thanksgiving or Christmas when everyone else is doing it too. Take the time to really help people in need.

                                15. Host Christmas

                                  Because who doesn’t love stress and cleaning up after people? Seriously though, this earns you some major Adult Points and you can always make it more fun by implementing Inappropriate Secret Santa. This is where everyone has to buy a terrible present on the cheap and then engage in Yankee Swap.

                                  16. Adopt a rescue pet

                                    No joking around on this one; there are so many animals out there who need love.

                                    17. Eat something you wouldn’t usually

                                      This could be anything from a vegetable you don’t like to chowing down on some insects in South East Asia. The worst that can happen is that you get a little grossed out. Who cares? Live a little.

                                      18. Learn a new skill

                                        You can always teach an old dog new tricks. If you’ve always wanted to learn piano, knitting or anything else, go and do it! Even if it’s learning traditional German dance in lederhosen, there’s no judgement here.

                                        19. Get a ‘regrettable make out’ story.

                                          Sure you may regret it at the time, but making out with someone that you’ll regret later makes for great stories in the future. Sure, drunkly kissing a guy at a Halloween party who has half a front tooth missing and is ten years older than you may seem like a bad idea, but eventually it will become a hilarious anecdote. Especially when you find out that he spent time in a mental institution. Disclaimer: that is just an example and definitely didn’t happen to me…

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                                          20. Sleepover somewhere haunted

                                            Because who doesn’t want their lives to turn into Paranormal Activity?

                                            21. Stay awake for 24 hours

                                              It’s worth it just to see things get weird and emotional.

                                              22. Attend a cop-raided party

                                                Bonus points if you’re too old to be at a cop-raided party.

                                                23. Get arrested

                                                  I’m not advocating serious crimes or anything, so put the knife down. It could however be kind of funny to get arrested for a minor and embarrassing offense that you’ll have to talk about at parties for the rest of your life.

                                                  24. Climb a mountain

                                                    I’m not saying you need to rock up to the Everest Base Camp or anything, but climbing a real life mountain (even a small one) is a huge accomplishment. Bonus points if you perform a full rendition of ‘Climb Every Mountain’ once you get to the top.

                                                    25. Swim in the ocean

                                                      This may not sound particularly impressive, but not everyone has had the opportunity!  There’s nothing quite like bobbing up and down in the ocean on a hot summer day. Just stay away from Amity Island.

                                                      26. Sleep on the beach

                                                        Nothing says ‘colonization’ quite like sleeping on the beach. Bad historical jokes aside, camping by the sea is a liberating feeling, as is watching the sun rise over it as you have breakfast. You should however be prepared to get sand in every crack. Just make peace with it.

                                                        27. Pilot an aircraft

                                                          Take control of the skies! The good news is that you can achieve this even through a single flying lesson. You can even find coupons online!

                                                          28. Bury a time capsule…and open it!

                                                            Not only is this a cool idea in general, it’s a fantastic opportunity to reflect and to see how much your life has changed since you buried it. Hopefully not for the worse. Leaving a time capsule for random people in the future is also a good idea.

                                                            29. Take a cocktail making course

                                                              Not only are cocktail making courses fun, they’ll make you the life of every party from here to eternity! Plus, there’s no life skill more important than knowing how to make a decent martini.

                                                              30. Host a cocktail party

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                                                                Who doesn’t love a lovely, classy cocktail party? Pro-tip: take photos throughout the night as people get progressively more messy.

                                                                31. Skinny dip

                                                                  What feels more freeing than an old-fashioned naked swim? I’d recommend a place with flowing water, like an ocean or lake. Less risk of venereal disease.

                                                                  32. Grow your own

                                                                    No, not the illegal kind of growing! Because my spirit animal is a 60 year old woman, I love gardening. Nothing tastes more fresh and delicious than eating something you’ve grown yourself. Even if you don’t have much room or time, try growing some low-maintenance herbs. I can’t recommend this enough as a life goal. For a bonus challenge, try growing all of your vegetables yourself.

                                                                    33. Have a ‘Ferris Bueller’ day

                                                                      If you don’t know what I’m talking about I’m afraid we can’t be friends. For those who do, welcome! We all deserve a day to kick back and do whatever we want, so make the time and do it. By the way, it only counts if you blow off work or some other kind of important commitment.

                                                                      34. Go to an expensive ‘open house’

                                                                        It’ll be both fun and depressing!

                                                                        35. Research your family tree

                                                                          Family and history are important, and definitely worthy of looking into. Plus, you may find some long lost rich uncle who you can scam money from.

                                                                          36. Leave a note for a stranger

                                                                            Brighten someone’s day by writing a nice, uplifting note and leaving it somewhere random. It doesn’t matter who finds it, or that there’s a chance that they’ll be weirded out. It’s a good exercise in doing things for people, even if you don’t know who they are and never see their reaction.

                                                                            37. Give blood

                                                                              Because why not?

                                                                              38. Google yourself

                                                                                I was joking. Don’t ever do that. Promise me.

                                                                                39. Ride in a limo

                                                                                  Even better if it’s one of those old ones from the 70s that looks worse than your regular car.

                                                                                  40. Watch all of the James Bond films

                                                                                    Seeing that this is a franchise that’s been around for over 50 years, attention must be paid. Plus, they’re so kitschy and fun. If Bond isn’t really your thing, you can at least marvel at the sheer sexism and turn it into a drinking game. It’s also fun to think about how much of train wreck 007 would be if he were a real person.

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                                                                                    41. Try a sensory deprivation tank

                                                                                      I once had this experience described to me as “meditation on crack” so it’s gotta be good, right? Depriving your brain of external stimulation can make it do some weird and really cool things, including hallucinations. Some people even use it in order to rest because the brain can react in a way that similar to a sleeping state and thus they don’t need as much actual sleep. At the very least it offers a cool vehicle for relaxation and introspection.

                                                                                      42. Give your lunch to a homeless person

                                                                                        Because sometimes we forget how little some people have. It’s everyone’s responsibility to help their fellow man.

                                                                                        43. Get in a mud fight

                                                                                          Fun, messy and good for your skin! Get back in tune with your inner child. Ladies, if the men folk start ogling then it’s turned into a different thing and it’s time to stop.

                                                                                          44. Protest something

                                                                                            Whether it’s encouraging nations to boycott the Russian Winter Games or maintaining that Firefly needs to return to television, protesting or fighting for something you truly care about is an amazing feeling.

                                                                                            45. Karaoke

                                                                                              I don’t even have to explain this one, because karaoke is awesome. Especially bad karaoke. Unless Gwenyth Paltrow is involved. Make sure you have a signature song too. Mine is ‘I Touch Myself’ by the Divinyls, because making people feel awkward is funny.

                                                                                              46. Get your fortune read

                                                                                                Just for the lols. Better yet, get your biscuits read. I’m not even close to joking about that being real.

                                                                                                47. Swim under a waterfall

                                                                                                  What a way to feel alive! Also, if Tomb Raider has taught me anything, there could be some treasure or a med pack behind there.

                                                                                                  48. Go on an aimless drive

                                                                                                    Jumping in the car with no destination in mind can be liberating and a damn fun adventure. Just don’t talk to anyone that says you have a “purdy mouth.”

                                                                                                    49. Go stargazing

                                                                                                      A night of stargazing is the perfect way to put life into perspective, and feel super insignificant. If you’re lucky, you may spot an alien and get probed.

                                                                                                      50. Follow a dream

                                                                                                        Whether it’s big or small, you should definitely try to achieve at least one of your dreams before kicking the figurative bucket. Visit somewhere you’ve always wanted to go. Go after your perfect job. Write an inappropriate children’s book. Eat twenty hotdogs in on sitting. Don’t leave room for regret.

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                                                                                                        Tegan Jones

                                                                                                        Commercial editor for global publications Gizmodo, Kotaku, Lifehacker & Business Insider.

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                                                                                                        The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                                                                                        The Gentle Art of Saying No

                                                                                                        No!

                                                                                                        It’s a simple fact that you can never be productive if you take on too many commitments — you simply spread yourself too thin and will not be able to get anything done, at least not well or on time.

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                                                                                                        But requests for your time are coming in all the time — through phone, email, IM or in person. To stay productive, and minimize stress, you have to learn the Gentle Art of Saying No — an art that many people have problems with.

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                                                                                                        What’s so hard about saying no? Well, to start with, it can hurt, anger or disappoint the person you’re saying “no” to, and that’s not usually a fun task. Second, if you hope to work with that person in the future, you’ll want to continue to have a good relationship with that person, and saying “no” in the wrong way can jeopardize that.

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                                                                                                        But it doesn’t have to be difficult or hard on your relationship. Here are the Top 10 tips for learning the Gentle Art of Saying No:

                                                                                                        1. Value your time. Know your commitments, and how valuable your precious time is. Then, when someone asks you to dedicate some of your time to a new commitment, you’ll know that you simply cannot do it. And tell them that: “I just can’t right now … my plate is overloaded as it is.”
                                                                                                        2. Know your priorities. Even if you do have some extra time (which for many of us is rare), is this new commitment really the way you want to spend that time? For myself, I know that more commitments means less time with my wife and kids, who are more important to me than anything.
                                                                                                        3. Practice saying no. Practice makes perfect. Saying “no” as often as you can is a great way to get better at it and more comfortable with saying the word. And sometimes, repeating the word is the only way to get a message through to extremely persistent people. When they keep insisting, just keep saying no. Eventually, they’ll get the message.
                                                                                                        4. Don’t apologize. A common way to start out is “I’m sorry but …” as people think that it sounds more polite. While politeness is important, apologizing just makes it sound weaker. You need to be firm, and unapologetic about guarding your time.
                                                                                                        5. Stop being nice. Again, it’s important to be polite, but being nice by saying yes all the time only hurts you. When you make it easy for people to grab your time (or money), they will continue to do it. But if you erect a wall, they will look for easier targets. Show them that your time is well guarded by being firm and turning down as many requests (that are not on your top priority list) as possible.
                                                                                                        6. Say no to your boss. Sometimes we feel that we have to say yes to our boss — they’re our boss, right? And if we say “no” then we look like we can’t handle the work — at least, that’s the common reasoning. But in fact, it’s the opposite — explain to your boss that by taking on too many commitments, you are weakening your productivity and jeopardizing your existing commitments. If your boss insists that you take on the project, go over your project or task list and ask him/her to re-prioritize, explaining that there’s only so much you can take on at one time.
                                                                                                        7. Pre-empting. It’s often much easier to pre-empt requests than to say “no” to them after the request has been made. If you know that requests are likely to be made, perhaps in a meeting, just say to everyone as soon as you come into the meeting, “Look guys, just to let you know, my week is booked full with some urgent projects and I won’t be able to take on any new requests.”
                                                                                                        8. Get back to you. Instead of providing an answer then and there, it’s often better to tell the person you’ll give their request some thought and get back to them. This will allow you to give it some consideration, and check your commitments and priorities. Then, if you can’t take on the request, simply tell them: “After giving this some thought, and checking my commitments, I won’t be able to accommodate the request at this time.” At least you gave it some consideration.
                                                                                                        9. Maybe later. If this is an option that you’d like to keep open, instead of just shutting the door on the person, it’s often better to just say, “This sounds like an interesting opportunity, but I just don’t have the time at the moment. Perhaps you could check back with me in [give a time frame].” Next time, when they check back with you, you might have some free time on your hands.
                                                                                                        10. It’s not you, it’s me. This classic dating rejection can work in other situations. Don’t be insincere about it, though. Often the person or project is a good one, but it’s just not right for you, at least not at this time. Simply say so — you can compliment the idea, the project, the person, the organization … but say that it’s not the right fit, or it’s not what you’re looking for at this time. Only say this if it’s true — people can sense insincerity.

                                                                                                        Featured photo credit: Pexels via pexels.com

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