There are many bucket lists out there. Not all of them are good. None of them are truly complete. But the majority is plain out boring. When I’m reading suggestions such as, “Invite a stranger for a cup of tea” or “Read a good book to the end,” something inside me is crying tears of embarrassment and disbelief. What’s the point of writing a bucket list when it’s filled with, well, ordinary day-to-day activities? If you’re looking for bucket list ideas that are a little bit more adventurous, have a look at the following. It’s a huge list of thrilling, exciting, and heroic activities that will one day leave your grandchildren speechless – and not bored. Get ready for the mother of all bucket lists; a bucket list so huge and inspiring that you will never ever have to read another bucket list again. Here’s our list of ultimate bucket list ideas: 100 things to do before you die.
Writing a bucket list can be massively rewarding. But why is it so important to create a bucket list? The reason is simple: when you draft your bucket list, you will automatically have to ask yourself how you intend to make the most of your life. It’s the omnipresent question that many seek to run away from. Instead of asking themselves how they can make good use of their time on earth, they rather waste their precious time with dull activities.
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.”
If you don’t have a clear idea about all the magnificent things you want to do before you die, you will always opt for television, the internet, and various other forms of mediocre entertainment or leisure activities. All these things will certainly keep you heavily entertained until the end of your life. But there will always be that nagging thought that you’re somehow missing out.
Don’t allow this to happen!
Life is what happens outside these ordinary moments.
Instead of wasting your time with the mundane, purse unforgettable experiences that make your life truly worth living. Always remember that the story about a football match you visited or a movie you watched at the cinema lasts no longer than 10 minutes. But the story of another remarkable experience that you’ve finally ticked off from your bucket list lasts a lifetime.
Bucket List Ideas: 100 Things to Do before You Die
Life is too short to waste it with shallow activities that are not even important to you. Write a bucket list, get these experiences under your belt, and you will never ever look back on your life with the slightest feeling of regret.
Table of contents
Once you’ve created an initial draft of your bucket list, you can begin pursuing all the unforgettable things you are dreaming of.
A bucket list catalogs remarkable experiences and achievements you want to accomplish before you die. The list details dreams you want to realize, visions you want to implement and experiences you seek to explore.
There are many good reasons to create a bucket list. Perhaps the most important one is that having a bucket list will help you to give your life direction. Creating a bucket list shifts your attention away from what is unimportant to the things that really matter to you. Without the exciting goals and plans that emerge from your bucket list, you are more likely to end up living a mediocre life defined by boring routines.
At the same time, writing your bucket list is an important exercise that helps you to reflect on your life. It helps you to discover how you can make the most of your time on earth. By developing this kind of understanding, you can focus more on pursuing things that really matter instead of wasting too much time with unimportant activities.
As such, writing a bucket list gives you the opportunity to design a life that is centered on your personal goals and dreams. It’s an opportunity for you to break free of performance-based goals dictated by your job in order to readjust your focus on the vision for your personal life instead.
And that’s the beauty of having a bucket list. It will help you to create a blueprint for an exciting life, which motivates you to tick off one impressive item after another.
There are no rules when it comes to creating your bucket list. You can write your dreams and ambitions down on the most elegant paper – just as much as you can use a simple notebook for the list.
All you need is a couple of good ideas and some time to write them down. (An inspiring list of inspiring bucket list ideas can be found in the following). It may take a while until you’ve put all your dreams down in writing. But here’s the good news: A bucket list is always a work in progress. You can always add new items to the list or drop those that are no longer relevant.
Once you’ve created a draft of your bucket list, make sure to review it regularly. You will see that you will come up with more and more ideas as time progresses. Add these new items to your list and develop plans to accomplish every single item. The best list is of no use if you don’t pursue the exciting activities you’ve outlined in the list.
1. Marvel at the vivid Northern Lights
There are many beautiful natural phenomena around the world. But none of them compare to the stunning and awe-inspiring light show of the Northern Lights – also known as Aurora Borealis. The spectacular dance of vivid colors in the sky is a phenomenon that you will never forget in your life. If it’s not already on your bucket list, consider adding it!
2. Explore ancient Egypt, especially the pyramids of Giza
The pyramids of Giza are monumental records of human architectural ingenuity. Erected several thousand years ago, the huge pyramids are the impressive remainders of an epochal civilization that maintained a stable culture for millennia. When standing in front of the colossal sight at the Giza Plateau, one cannot help but wonder how many decades it took to build these monumental forms.
3. Stand on the equator at latitude zero
What does it feel like to be standing at zero degrees (0°) latitude at the outer edge of the southern hemisphere in Quinto, Ecuador? Well, you will be roundabout 2 pounds lighter than you normally are due to the decreased gravitational pull at the equator.
4. Fly in a fighter jet if you’re an adrenaline junkie
Flying in a fighter jet is way crazier than many people assume. It’s like being stacked onto a rocket – surrounded by absolutely nothing but glass from your waist upwards. If you are used to flying on commercial airlines, you may find yourself incredibly helpless and exposed because you’re not sitting in the plane, you’re sitting on top of it. That’s what makes flying in a fighter jet so exciting but also thrilling.
5. Be like James Bond and dive in a submarine
If you can spare roundabout $100, you can dive in a real submarine in Hawaii. There are also other submarine bases where you can explore the depths of the ocean, for example in the Maldives. Diving in a submarine is great for all those who always dreamt of this particular experience.
6. Hop into a sensory deprivation tank, if you dare
What’s so unusual about sensory deprivation tanks? Well, there’s no sound, no sight, and no other sensory input. You will be floating in a salt water saline solution in a pitch-dark tank. The solution is at body temperature, which makes it quite difficult to locate your limbs once you’ve floated for some time. This in itself wouldn’t be too unusual, if it wasn’t for the way your brain responds to the sensory deprivation: it begins to hallucinate. Strange things can happen when you’re in a sensory deprivation tank.
7. Get lost watching a meteor shower
If you’ve never seen a meteor shower, consider adding this impressive phenomenon to your bucket list. All you need to do is to have a look at the meteor shower peak dates in your location. (An excellent resource for this is EarthSky’s meteor shower guide). You will definitely not regret watching this spectacular event.
8. Sleep in an overwater bungalow or water villa
For decades, advertising has confronted us with beautiful images of overwater bungalows surrounded by crystal-clear water of a remarkably turquoise color. But have you ever spend one of your holidays in such an overwater bungalow? Living in one of these houses feels as if you’re in paradise. And the best thing is that it takes only a minute or so to go snorkeling in the ocean. If you haven’t already been there, consider adding it to your bucket list.
9. Launch into space with Virgin Galactic
At the time of writing this, only 555 people have ever had the privilege of traveling into space. You can become one of them – at least if you have $250,000 to spare. If you do, a life-changing experience of unencumbered weightlessness and a spectacular view of Earth await you.
10. Dine in the sky
What could be better than eating delicious food in a sky table restaurant with an excellent view of the city’s skyline? It’s not even that expensive, especially when compared to #9.
11. Get your name in the book of Guinness world records
How can you get your name in the Guinness book? Break an existing Guinness world record or set a new record! If you’ve got an incredible skill you excel in, consider applying! Your record may not be set in stone for eternity. However, knowing that you’ve broken a world record that no one else could break for a certain time can be quite uplifting.
12. Have a ride with the world’s longest cable car ride
Tianmen Mountain – also known as Heaven’s Gate Mountain – is not only an incredibly beautiful mountain in China but also known for its cable car which spans over a distance of more than 4 miles (7 km).
13. Sleep in a treehouse
You might not even have to travel very far to tick off the “spending a remarkable night in a treetop hideaway”-bullet from your list. In fact, there are many locations all over the world where you can rent a treehouse. As a rule of thumb, if there’s a really large forest close to you, chances are high there is also a treehouse. It’s a remarkably beautiful experience to sleep in one of these beautifully designed houses of wood, surrounded by nature.
14. Chase a storm
While frightening to most, storm chasers take a great interest in severe weather conditions such as tornadoes and thunderstorms. The spectacular view of a storm unfolding right in front of you can be quite a remarkable experience – as long as the storm is far away from your house.
15. Visit the world’s longest glass skywalk in China
In 2015, the world’s longest skywalk opened in China’s Longgang National Geological Park. Not only does the glass-bottomed skywalk give you a breathtaking view of the impressive landscape but it also allows you to walk 2000 feet (700 m) above the rocks below. And in case you cannot make it to China, there’s always the option to visit the Grand Canyon skywalk in Arizona.
16. Explore a ship or airplane wreck
Exploring an old shipwreck is a remarkable experience for scuba divers. Seeing those glorious vessels and mighty warships lying on the seafloor can be quite fascinating but also a little bit frightening.
17. Stand on the famous boulder between mountains
In Rogaland, Norway, there is a boulder that is stuck between two mountains located on the edge of Kjerag mountain. The boulder alone is an impressive sight but if you are a thrill-seeking daredevil, see if you have the confidence to stand on the boulder.
18. Swim in Devil’s Pool at the Victoria Falls
The so-called Devil’s Pool is a naturally formed rock wall on the outer edge of the Victoria Falls. It’s a pool in which you can swim right at the top of the Victoria Falls. And it’s only a couple of inches away from the cliff what makes swimming in this pool so exciting. You can even bend over the cliff to see the masses of water pouring down.
19. Dine in an underwater restaurant
Underwater restaurants can be found all around the world. But they all offer a surreal experience: eating and drinking underwater without getting wet. It can be quite magnificent to see fishes and sometimes even sharks swimming above and/or beside you while you dine.
20. Visit the ancient city of Petra in Jordan
There is an ancient Nabatean city in South in Jordan that can be accessed through a narrow gorge, known as the “Siq.” If you follow the gorge for a while, it will lead you into the city of Petra. It’s a remarkable city that is carved into the red sandstone cliffs that surround it.
21. How about flyboarding?
If you’ve never heard about a flyboard: it’s perhaps the coolest water jet pack imaginable. The flyboard is a board connected to a watercraft that uses water propulsion to make you hover above water. If you haven’t tried it yet, this is a must-have on every bucket list.
22. Experience zero gravity in a Boeing 727
You don’t necessarily have to become an astronaut just to experience zero gravity. You can also book a flight on a modified Boeing 727 that operates weightless flights. The airplane takes a parabolic flight path – by flying up and down – show that zero gravity is created when the airplane is in freefall.
23. Swim with crocodiles in the Cage of Death
If you’ve ever dreamt of diving with a crocodile, Australia has an incredible crocodile dive experience to offer for you. The Cage of Death allows you to dive face-to-face with the possibly most terrifying reptiles for up to 15 minutes.
24. Attend the Pamplona bull run
You don’t necessarily have to participate in the running of the bulls. That’s incredibly dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Watching the spectacle, however, is quite impressive. The Pamplona bull run is the most popular run in Spain where true daredevils let themselves be chased by angry bulls.
25. Have a food fight in La Tomatina
La Tomatina is another fabulous festival in Spain. It’s basically nothing more than a really huge tomato fight Festival, leaving the entire town colored with red pulp.
26. Visit all seven continents
Not many people can claim that they’ve been to all seven continents in this world.
27. Sleep under the stars in a remote location
The stars look far more impressive when you’re at a place where there is no unnatural light. And yes, sleeping under the stars is truly magnificent. Waking up in the middle of the night and seeing hundreds of stars hovering over you is a remarkable experience.
28. Climb a volcano
Everyone’s climbing mountains but have you ever hiked an active volcano? Depending on the volcano, you might even be able to see the lava flowing.
29. Relax in Iceland’s Geothermal Pools
There are numerous geysers and hot springs all over Iceland. What makes bathing in Iceland’s Hot Springs so special is the fabulous mixture of fire and ice. On one side you have geothermal activity that warms the springs. On the other side, you have cold ice. Enjoying these two in combination is quite spectacular.
30. Go cage diving with great white sharks
A cage diving experience brings you face-to-face with the ocean’s largest and toughest predator.
31. Take a hot air balloon trip
Riding in a hot air balloon is quite different to flying an aircraft. You have a much better view all around you.
32. Circle the world
Millions of people have flown from one end of the world to the other, but not many made a full circle around the entire globe. No matter if you go by ship or airplane, circling the world is quite adventurous.
33. Make a pilgrimage
Ever considered taking a journey in order to search for moral, spiritual, or religious meaning?
34. Fly first-class or even in a private jet
Taking a one-time flight in first-class or even a private jet gives you that feeling of being incredibly rich and important. And who knows, maybe you’ll even fly with a celebrity or well-known CEO.
35. Disconnect from the Internet for one week/month
Disconnecting from the Internet and all other technological gadgets can be truly remarkable. It’s an information diet that can have a non-lasting effect on your life.
36. Pilot an aircraft
Who didn’t dream of piloting an aircraft as a kid? If you legally want to fly a plane, you’ll need to get a pilot’s license. However, there may be an opportunity for you to fly with an experienced pilot.
37. Jump into the fairy pools on the Isle of Skye
If you’re in Scotland, make sure to take a trip to the beautifully and vividly colored pools of water located on the Isle of Skye. (You can swim in these pools but the water is freezing even during summer).
38. Attend Burning Man festival
Centered in the middle of the Black Rock Desert in Nevada, the Burning Man festival attracts thousands of visitors each year.
39. Take a road trip with your best friends
If you’ve already taken a road trip with your best friend, consider doing another one just like you did in the “good old days.”
40. Go scuba diving at the great barrier reef
Scuba diving at a coral reef alone can be quite impressive. But scuba diving in the world’s largest coral reef system is even more impressive.
41. Watch newly hatched turtles head to the ocean
Some sea turtles can live more than 150 years! Become a part of this impressively long lifespan by being part of the first moments in a turtle’s life.
42. Go on an adventurous safari
If you’re tired of going to the zoo, think about taking a safari to see all these majestic animals in their natural environment.
43. Attend a TED conference
If you’re a great fan of TED conferences, consider attending them in person. There might even be a conference really close to you. Attending these conferences is guaranteed to inspire you greatly.
44. Go wing walking on a plane
Wing walking is definitely not for the fainthearted. But the experience is the closest you can get to flying – besides skydiving. The wing walking experience is only for true daredevils but it will definitely be the ride of your life.
45. Be a background actor in a Hollywood movie
Have you ever dreamt of being in a Hollywood movie? It may not be possible for all of us to become famous Hollywood actors but you can still try to become a background actor. If you’re really keen on becoming a background actor, consider applying to as many background casting companies as you possibly can. There will be opportunities for you!
46. Go to the end of the world in New Zealand
It’s the westernmost and southernmost spot in the world, hence the name end of the world. But there also other locations that are called the end of the road.
47. Go to Venice and ride a gondola
There’s no other place like Venice. When considering that the entire city is built on water, it’s quite incredible that the city has survived numerous floods. If you ever go to Venice, make sure to travel through the water canals with a gondola. Taking a ride with a gondola can be overwhelmingly beautiful.
48. Sing in the rain
No one particularly likes rain when they’re busy pursuing their day to day activities. We almost always try to hide from the rain. Do the opposite on a warm day way you don’t have to go to work. Sing in the rain and enjoy the refreshing experience.
49. Watch a lunar eclipse
Watching the moon pass into the shadow of the earth is quite a remarkable experience. It’s even a little more exciting than a solar eclipse. It’s really unusual to see the moon slowly turning dark.
50. Take a skinny-dip (swim naked)
It’s guaranteed to be a totally different experience.
51. Celebrate New Year’s eve in Times Square
A great alternative is to celebrate it in Sydney. That way you’ll be the first to celebrate New Year’s eve.
52. Dance in a jazz bar in Chicago
Going to an original jazz bar will take you back to the 50s and 60s.
53. Book a helicopter flight
If you want an experience that is a little bit more thrilling than “just” a helicopter flight, keep your eyes open for aerobatic stunt flying experiences or tactical helicopter flying lessons.
54. Go to Pompeii – the city buried in volcanic ash
Pompeii, the ancient Roman city near Naples, is widely known as great parts of it were buried under volcanic ash when a nearby volcano erupted in A.D. 79.
55. Run a marathon or participate in the Ironman triathlon
If you like, run for a good cause.
56. Sleep one night in the Burj al Arab hotel
It’s perhaps the most luxurious hotel you can spend a night in.
57. Ride in a batmobile
This idea is especially for those who grew up with the classic Batman movies during the 80s and 90s.
58. Rent a race car at a racetrack
Driving a sports car with 80 mph is quite boring. Go to a racetrack and unleash the great power of a true race car.
59. Go zip-lining
There are many adventurous zip-lines but the ones in the jungles of Nicaragua and Costa Rica are especially thrilling.
60. Go sailing the ocean
If you’ve never sailed before, you may not want to start with such an incredibly difficult task as crossing the Atlantic, unless you’re in really good company.
61. Have the courage to live in a different country or a while
Immerse yourself in a completely different culture.
62. Walk behind a huge waterfall
There are some waterfalls where there is a cave behind it. Perhaps you’ll even find a treasure.
63. Go swimming with dolphins
It can also have therapeutic effects.
64. Take a boat ride in the Everglades
If you want to go with your entire family, you could also take a thrilling airboat tour.
65. Take a sightseeing trip to the Taj Mahal
A stunning example of Mughal architecture, the Taj Mahal is not only one of the most impressive mausoleums but also an iconic symbol of India.
66. What about deep-sea fishing?
Prices start at roughly $40.
67. Go swimming in the world’s largest pool in Chile
It’s located in Algarrobo and the cost of construction of this 250 million liter containing pool is estimated to range around $1.5 billion.
68. Take a skydive
Skydiving is an integral part of numerous bucket lists.
69. Travel to Paris and leave a love padlock
What better way to celebrate your relationship than by leaving a love lock on a bridge in the city of love?
70. Plant a tree
There are three essential elements in every bucket list: write a book, have children, and plant a tree.
71. Go to a Mardi Gras Festival
If you’ve never been to one of these carnival celebrations, think about going to one.
72. Take part in a holi festival
Nowadays, you don’t even have to travel very far to attend a holi festival. They are celebrated in almost every larger city.
73. Walk on the Great Wall of China from beginning to end
The total length of the entire wall is about 30,000 miles (21,000 km) so be sure to plan some years to walk from one end to the other. Doing so will perhaps give you an entry into the Guinness Book of World Records, allowing you to tick off two items from your bucket list at the same time.
74. Write a message in a bottle
Isn’t it exciting to imagine that there might one day be someone who will read your message?
75. Make your own wine by stomping on grapes
Or leave the winemaking to the experts and just stomp on those grades.
76. Climb South Africa‘s Table Mountain
Perhaps the only flat-topped mountain on this planet, the table Mountain is an impressive tourist attraction.
77. Celebrate the Festival of Light in Thailand
The moment when thousands of sky lanterns are launched into the air is quite stunning.
78. Conquer your greatest fears
There’s no point in running away from your fears. Confront what you are afraid of and never be bothered by it again.
79. Learn a foreign language
If you decide to live in another country for a while, think about fully immersing yourself in its language.
80. Donate blood regularly
There’s nothing to lose by donating blood but you can help others greatly with this kind act.
81. Take a tour through Googleplex
If you’ve ever wondered how it is like to work at Google, take a tour through their amazing headquarters.
82. Take a white water rafting tour
Taking a white water rafting tour is a thrilling thing to do, especially with your friends.
83. Watch every single James Bond movie
There are around 24 James Bond movies out there, depending on how you count.
84. Go to Machu Picchu
Machu Picchu is a 15th century Inca city located on a mountain.
85. Go for a bungee jump
Perhaps not as adventurous as taking a skydive but still quite exciting.
86. Spend a night in a beautiful castle
If you’ve ever wondered how it feels like to be a king or queen, sleeping in a castle is a must-do for you. In fact, there are many castles you can sleep in for an affordable price. Treat yourself to this royal experience!
87. Stand in front of the awe-inspiring Sistine Chapel
While you’re there, be sure to explore everything Vatican City has to offer.
88. Sleep in a haunted house, if you dare
Obviously, this bucket list idea isn’t for everyone.
89. Try to stay awake for 24 hours
Staying awake for 24 hours can be quite difficult but once it’s accomplished, you’ll sleep like a baby.
90. Spend one entire night at the beach
This bucket list idea is another fantastic way to enjoy the marvelous night sky.
91. Go to Stonehenge
Stonehenge is perhaps the most widely known prehistoric monument in England. Constructed more than 4000 years ago, it’s awe-inspiring and leaves you wondering how it was constructed.
92. Write your own book
If writing a book is nothing you’re interested in, have a look at bucket list idea #93.
93. Direct your own movie
This one is obviously a lot more difficult than writing your own book. But all it takes to direct your own movie is a good script, a good camera, video editing skills, and perhaps even some good actors.
94. Drink the best beer at the Oktoberfest
The Oktoberfest is the world’s largest folk festival with more than 6 million visitors each year.
95. Go to comic-con in a costume
This bucket list idea is especially for everyone who’s interested in comics, video games, movies, and science fiction.
96. Attend the Brazilian Carnival
The Brazilian Carnival is a great alternative to the already addressed bucket list idea of Mardi Gras.
97. Tell your boss what you really think of him/her
Perhaps you should leave this one out of your bucket list.
98. Rent a limousine
It’s not even that expensive if you rent it with all your friends.
99. Go paragliding in the mountains
This bucket list idea is a lot less intense than skydiving and becoming a wing walker. But paragliding gives you the opportunity to actually enjoy the marvelous environment.
100. Explore the Amazon
The Amazon rain forest spans across nine nations and has numerous marvels to offer.
I hope you enjoyed this collection of the best bucket list ideas and the numerous things to do before you die.