We all have things we want to do before we die, but most people aren’t that rich and can’t spend every day jet-setting to complete their bucket lists.
Here I’m including 49 things you should do before you die. For most of them, you don’t need a lot of money to achieve; yet there’re still some of them do cost a fortune. Just consider this as a dream list!
49 Things to Do Before You Die
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. It’s more fun to go on a road trip when you’re doing it with friends. Blast out your favorite tunes, wear your favorite sunglasses, and hit the road! Explore different museums and natural landscapes that are just a few miles away from your place.
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 on which cruise company you go with. You also run the risk of getting stranded, which often happens. Fun, right?!
I’ve only been to a couple but I’d love to visit all of them.
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.
Kidding aside, migrating to another country opens your horizons. You get to immerse in a different culture, get to experience exciting job opportunities, and you could even meet the love of your life.
4. Sleep under the stars
Oh, how romantic! 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.
But if you’re single like me, don’t fret! Who says it’s illegal to sleep under the stars when you’re alone? Or you could do it with friends and families. The more, the merrier!
5. Watch all those movies everyone keeps talking about
What are the movies that people talk about and feel inspired from? Go watch them! Are you a superhero fan? Try to explore and binge-watch Marvel and DC movies. Now, you won’t be out of the loop when your colleagues talk about their favorite heroes… or villains. Bombard your group chat with Spiderman memes or Thor memes.
Not into superheroes? Perhaps, this random movie picker could help you out.
6. Read all those books everyone keeps talking about
What are the must-read books that you’ve missed? Try picking them up! Colleen Hoover’s novels seem to be popular these days. If you’re not into some chick flick fiction, there are also lots of nonfiction gems out there, such as The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck by Mark Manson.
If you’re a bit more on the spiritual side, go ahead and pick up a sacred text. No one’s stopping you.
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. D.I.Y. projects are so fun to make! And sometimes it can even save you money. It’s a good opportunity to get closer to your kids, if you have them, or you can just enjoy them on your own!
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.
You might be afraid of speaking in public, putting up a business, driving a car, or learning how to swim. Now is a good time to conquer them all!
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. It’s been said that learning a foreign language improves your memory and encourages creativity. Which country would you like to visit next? Do you know how to speak their native language? Visit Duolingo and check if you can learn it there.
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. Not to mention, your hair would be able to help a cancer patient regain their confidence.
Now, before you chop off your long locks, think: ‘Should I donate my hair today or not?’.
11. Disconnect for a week
Take a detox. 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, or you’re caught on kiss cam with a stranger. Yikes! Please don’t ever don’t ever let that happen.
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. Or you could be wearing one yourself. But who cares about the costumes if you wanna win the first prize, right? Make sure to do some stretches before the big event.
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. It can be any regular day. If you don’t know how to cook, this could be a good time to get to know the basics. There’s nothing like seeing someone smile after they’ve finished your soup! Just make sure you don’t pop in some poison in there.
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.
You’ve gotta consider this idea if you haven’t hosted a Christmas party before.
16. Adopt a rescue pet
No joking around on this one; there are so many animals out there who need love. Buying from pet stores is not the way to go. Sure, a pet is an added responsibility but the love and joy that they give back to you are nevertheless rewarding.
So what’s it gonna be this time? A puppy? A cat? A bird? A tarantula?
17. Eat something you wouldn’t usually
This could be anything from a vegetable you don’t like or 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.
It’s also not a bad idea to try out new flavors. Try exotic dishes. Buy yourself an expensive meal. Go on a food trip! You deserve it!
18. Learn a new skill
You can always teach an old dog new tricks. If you’ve always wanted to learn the piano, knitting or anything else, go and do it! Even if it’s learning traditional German dance in lederhosen, there’s no judgement here.
Don’t wanna learn a new skill? You can always relearn a skill or hobby that you got lost in touch with. Maybe it’s singing Ariana Grande songs, or making doodles and drawing sketches, or writing a romantic piece of poetry. Just do it!
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…
20. Sleepover somewhere haunted
Because who doesn’t want their lives to turn into Paranormal Activity? It’s time for you to have a real life Stranger Things moment! Bring on the snacks and the sheets… and your video cam because you’re about to experience an unforgettable night in an old, creepy haunted mansion. Don’t try to sneak out too early or else you’ll spoil the fun. It’s not for the faint of heart!
21. Stay awake for 24 hours
It’s worth it just to see things get weird and emotional. Although I’m guessing most people have done this without even trying, but it’s fun to stay awake too when you don’t even have to. Set a party with friends or not. It’s all up to you. To make it more exciting, you can challenge a friend and bet on it. Who’s gonna stay awake for 24 hours without a wink of sleep?
Caution: Obviously, don’t do this if you have health issues.
22. Attend a cop-raided party
Bonus points if you find a party that’s cop-raided. Extra bonus points if you’re too old to be at a cop-raided party. A cop usually raids a party for three main reasons—noise, illegal substances, and underage drinking. Choose your party wisely. And also, you don’t wanna be the root of the problem. You’re only there to grab some popcorn and watch all the drama.
23. Climb a mountain
Ok, it’s not that 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. Another set of bonus points if you belt out Miley Cyrus’ ‘The Climb’ while going down the mountain.
24. 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. There are literally thousands of virgin beaches waiting for your discovery. If you’re tired of the usual hike, going to the beach might be a great idea.
25. Sleep on the beach
Can you imagine the warmth of the sun against your skin as you hear the waves crash against the shore? Nothing says ‘colonization’ 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.
26. Pilot an aircraft
Take control of the skies! The good news is that you can achieve this even with just a single flying lesson. You can even find coupons online! Don’t believe me? Just google “1 hour flying lesson discount usa” and thank me later. You’d find dozens of offers available. If you have the money for it, why not give it a try?
It’s time to channel your inner Wright Brothers. As Lightyear said, to infinity and beyond!
27. Bury a time capsule… and open it!
Not only is this a cool idea in general. It’s also 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. Just make sure you dig holes in legal places and not in some random private park, or it’s jailtime for you. Don’t say I didn’t warn you!
28. Take a cocktail-making course
Not only are cocktail-making courses fun, but they’ll also 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. Though I don’t blame you if you’re not a cocktail person. Maybe it’s coffee, tea, milktea, or juice for you. Taking barista courses aren’t half as bad.
29. Host a cocktail party
Who doesn’t love a lovely, classy cocktail party? Pro-tip: take photos throughout the night as people get progressively messier. Just kidding. It’s fun to chill and bring out the booze from time to time. Just remember, moderation is key. Your choice if you wanna invite David Guetta for some EDM, or Stevie Wonder for jazz. Either way, it’s gonna be lit and classy.
30. 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. I’d also recommend a lesser known place if you’re concerned about your privacy and you’re not ready to let it all out. You don’t have to make a scene at a public place if you ever feel like skinny dipping although if that’s your thing, then no judgement too.
31. Grow your own
No, not the illegal kind! 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 veggies by yourself.
32. 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 take the time and do it. By the way, it only counts if you blow off work or some other kind of important commitment.
Still don’t know what I’m talking about? I bet you’ll figure it out soon.
33. Go to an expensive ‘open house’
It’ll be both fun and depressing! Unless you can actually afford it. Don’t forget to invite me to the housewarming after you move in. But for those who can’t afford, think of it like… window shopping for houses. It’s also a good chance to get some inspirations and ideas for your own house. So the next time you go to IKEA, you’ll know what to buy.
34. 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. You’d be surprised at who your ancestors are. Your great great grandfather could be Shakespeare or Albert Einstein or the father of Western philosophy. Or you could be related to your crush! Don’t know if that’s good news or not.
35. Leave a note for a stranger
Brighten someone’s day by writing a nice, uplifting note and leaving it somewhere random. It can be as simple as “you’re beautiful” or “you are enough.” It doesn’t matter who finds it, or that there’s a chance that they’ll be weirded out. It’s a good exercise to do random acts of kindness for people, even if you don’t know who they are and you’ll never see their reaction.
36. Give blood
Because why not? Every single day, there are people needing of blood donations for various health reasons. Bloodletting is also healthy for the body once in a while. Plus, they usually give you free snacks when you donate your blood! Sometimes, there’s also a free medical screening before you’re allowed to donate. This can also be a good chance for you to get a free check-up.
37. Google yourself
I was joking. Don’t ever do that. Promise me… But I can’t really stop you, can’t I? Wait a minute, did you just? Never mind.
Kidding aside, I’m pretty sure we all wanna know what comes up on the Internet when we search our name. You’ve probably done it before, so this one’s a no-brainer. But in case you haven’t, it’s an easy task to check off your bucketlist.
38. Ride in a limo
Even better if it’s one of those old limos from the 70s that looks worse than your regular car. You can enjoy a few drinks inside while people-watching or sightseeing the busy streets at night. Just lay back and enjoy the moment. It’s not everyday that you get to ride inside a limousine with a glass of sparkling juice in your hand. Magic carpet, say what?
39. 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 a train wreck 007 would be if he were a real person.
40. 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’s 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.
41. Give your lunch to a homeless person
Because sometimes we forget how little some people have. It’s everyone’s social responsibility to help their fellow man in whatever way we can. No amount of help is considered big or small for a person in need. And giving your extra lunch is an easy way to help out a starving homeless individual on the street. Although we sometimes wish we could help them more, we’ve got other mouths to feed when we get home.
42. 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. Gentlemen, you don’t have to fight like Brad Pitt and Edward Norton in the Fight Club.
A playful and carefree mud fight won’t hurt even if you’re an adult. It’s like snowball fights, except it’s mud!
43. Protest something
Whether it’s encouraging nations to stand up for justice or fighting for something you truly care about is an amazing feeling. Fight for what you believe in. Fight for the oppressed. Fight for the bullied. Fight for your own rights. Practice freedom of speech with a sense of responsibility. Do not be silenced.
I don’t even have to explain this one because karaoke is just 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.
Some people can belt out Mariah songs or Josh Groban songs. If that person is you, then it’s your time to shine! Let your voice be heard!
45. 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. Yes, there’s such a thing as Biscuitology! Check out the link if you’re curious.
So if you prefer the more conventional type of fortune telling, go ahead and lend your hand to a fortune teller. Sometimes, they tell you the most predictable things. Other times, you get the most absurd predictions.
46. 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. Bonus perk of swimming under a waterfall? You get a free back massage.
The sound of the water flowing, its coolness against your skin, and the possible attack of a piranha somewhere—there’s nothing more relaxing than that!
47. 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.” And make sure you’re fully tanked becuase it’s a pretty long ride going nowhere.
Who needs a map when you don’t mind getting lost? But honestly, you’ll be needing that GPS when it’s time to go home.
48. Go stargazing
A night of stargazing is the perfect way to put life into perspective, and feel either super insignificant or feel that you’re part of this one big universe. If you’re lucky, you may spot an alien and get probed. Don’t blink or you might miss the shooting stars. Who knows? Maybe your wish will be granted this time around, so stay vigilant.
49. 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 dream job. Write an inappropriate children’s book. Eat twenty hotdogs in one sitting. Don’t leave room for regret. Sometimes it’s better to make silly mistakes than none at all.
So have you decided which one you’re going to do first before you die? Or maybe, wanna do them all? Then that’s great too! I’m sure that you have something interesting in mind that I haven’t rounded up in the list. After all, it’s a pretty short list. Life’s too short to not do the things that make you feel happy and alive. Life’s too short to let all the what ifs hold you back.
Sometimes, life actually holds you back. But most often, it’s you holding yourself back. This time, give yourself permission to live a life that you truly want.
Featured photo credit: KaLisa Veer via unsplash.com