It’s hard to tell whether it’s a millennial/snowflake inspired trend but it seems that these days, you’re increasingly being told by the media that multiplying new experiences and travels are the right way to live your life. The rise of Instagram has lead to an insidious Wanderlust epidemic – we’ve almost reached the point where people want to travel and do things purely to post about it and show their peers that they too are ‘living their best life’. My friend was telling me that her boyfriend is currently going through a bit of a life crisis; he feels like they just ‘don’t do enough stuff’ despite the fact that they’re both perfectly happy staying in, sticking to their routine and that they travel as much as the next person. The external pressures of social media are making him feel like he too should be ‘living his best life’ and taking selfies with tigers in Thailand or going to a concert every weekend.
The likes of Murad Osmann who has been taking pictures of his girlfriend in hundreds of different locations in the world (see above) don’t make me feel peer pressure however, they inspire me and spark my curiosity. I’ve always found humans, traditions and cultural differences fascinating and looking at his photographs is sometimes like traveling to another planet – from other-worldly landscapes to beautifully intricate traditional clothing. As cynical as I may come across in my opening statement, I will openly admit to being a partisan of the belief that new experiences should be a priority in life (in mine anyway). It’s hard to tell whether the media instilled that belief in me or if I’ve always felt that way because of my international background – I have been living abroad for the best part of a decade at this point in my life and always knew that I wanted to explore the world. I have very few fond memories of things I’ve purchased throughout the years, but countless and unforgettable memories of shared moments with friends abroad or on road trips. I’m happiest when I’m doing just that – whether we’re camping, at a festival, on a beach, in a tiny town lost in the middle of nowhere – the destination barely matters – it’s the shared experience and the novelty which makes each trip or event unforgettable.
Whatever my reasons may be (does it matter as long as I think it will make me happy?), I decided to put together a Bucket List – a list of all the things I wish to do before I die. And let me tell you friends, it’s really long. I’ve got my work cut out for me. On top of that, it will remain a living document and thus I may never actually complete it. In any case though, whether I cross off 10% or 90% of it, it’s a list of things I’ve committed to try and achieve over the course of my life. It’s too easy to get sucked into the routine of life – work, sleep, drink, repeat – so I drew up this list in order to remind myself of what actually matters to me.
Thinking of drawing one up yourself? Don’t know where to begin? I started off making a list of all the places I absolutely want to go – I want to go everywhere but some places just have a special place in my heart – like the Salar de Uyuni which is breathtakingly beautiful. Then there’s also national or local celebrations in foreign countries which I’d love to experience like Oktoberfest in Germany, La Batalla del Vino in Rioja, partaking in the Tomatina in Valencia or Holi in India. There’s also things I’d like to achieve, some of them realistic, like learning a new language, others less, like writing a book. Things I’m scared of that I’d like to force myself to do – like going on a date with a total stranger or sky-diving. A good way to draw inspiration is by looking at other people’s lists – however don’t get sucked into doing things that look good on paper but that you actually don’t really want to do – this list is about YOU. I’m sure some people have things like eating a scorpion or cricket on their list – yeah, no thanks love.
Whether you or I ever set out to crossing things off of our respective bucket lists, it can’t hurt to write one. Push yourself to try new things you might just love, never stop learning, remind yourself of what makes you happy and strive to spend as much time as possible doing just that.