We're always being told to travel and to 'collect experiences, not things'. But travelling takes up a lot of time and a lot of money that you don't always have when you're young and adventurous.
So rather than get put off by a crazy long bucket list of the world's most amazing places you just can't get to, we've got a few broader bucket list adventures that will give you joy, experience and memories galore, without feeling like you're just ticking off a list of 'things to do before you turn 25/30/die'.
(And some are remarkably do-able.)
1 Climb a mountain (any mountain)
You don't have to climb Everest. A nice, small mountain will still give you an immense sense of achievement, show you incredible views, possibly even a sunrise, and give you something to talk about when other adventurous types talk about the time they did 'Kili'. (Kilimanjaro to the rest of us.)
The easiest choice in the UK is one of the three highest peaks. Snowdon, Wales; Scafell Pike, England and Ben Nevis, Scotland are all do-able without intense training (though the more you train, the less you'll ache afterwards).
If you want more of a challenge, try heading further afield and try Mount Kinabalu, in Saba, Borneo; Stony Man, in Shenandoah National Park, USA; Mount Warning, in NSW, Australia or Mount Fuji in Japan (all of which can be completed if you're fit and healthy, perhaps with a small bit of pre-training).
2 Swim in the Dead Sea
There's nothing so bizarre as trying to swim in water so salty you can even stand up. Cover yourself in rejuvenating Dead Sea mud and don't forget to bring a paper so you can take the obligatory 'reading in the dead sea' pic.
3 Try scuba diving somewhere really cool
^^ this could be you.
You don't have to shell out on a whole Padi course to give underwater exploration a go. You can do an introductory dive and get all the benefits without the commitment and the classroom time.
Do it when you can afford to holiday somewhere sunny with warm seas and interesting fishies.
Beware: you might find yourself signing up to that pro-diver course after all.
4 Take part in a Man Vs Food-style eating comp
It's got to be done once in your life, ideally in America. Here's the show's location lists. Off you go.
5 Do a road trip
Grab some paints, locate your driving license and get set. Whether is a convertible across America, a camper van in New Zealand or a nice, comfortable SUV along the coast of Australia, nothing with give you stories and experiences like a good old fashion road trip.
For added wanderlust satisfaction, read On the Road while you're, er, on it.
Make your own RoadTrip America map here.
6 See one of these three natural wonders
The world is full of 'unmissable sights'. But let's face it, we're not likely to have the money or time to get round all of them in one lifetime. 🗿
So pick your three most-want-to-see sights from this list (it's Lonely Planet's Top 20, though you could make your own) and concentrate on making them happen. For everything else there's TV. (Yes, we know, we know, not quite the same.)
- The Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- Machu Picchu, Peru
- Great Wall of China, China
- Taj Majal, India
- Grand Canyon National Park, USA
- Colosseum, Italy
- Iguazu Falls, Brazil/Argentina (Pictured above.)
- Alhambra, Spain
- Aya Sofya, Turkey
- Fez Medina, Morocco
- Twelve Apostles, Australia
- Petra, Jordan
- Tikal, Guatemala
- British Museum, England
- Sagrada Familia, Spain
- Fiordland National Park, New Zealand
- Santorini, Greece
- Galapagos Islands, Ecuador
- Museum of Old and New Art, Australia
(We're giving you the British Museum for free, pick three others 😜.)
- The Temples of Angkor, Cambodia
7 Fall from a great height
There's nothing like dicing with death to make you feel alive. If you're brave, a bungee or parachute jump is an exhilarating adrenaline-hit like no other. Just do it somewhere where the views are worth keeping your eyes open for.
If you're not quite that dare devil, give yourself a mini thrill jumping off a waterfall (in a carefully chosen location, mind you).
8 Go on holiday by yourself
Want to go on a Gap Year but have no one to come with? Loads of holiday days you need to spend but everyone else gotta work? Then go it on your own.
It's empowering, relaxing and you're totally free. Until you make a ton of friends along the way who leave you wishing for peaceful solitude again.
9 Set yourself a physical challenge, and complete it
Whether it's running the London Marathon, swimming the Channel or completing Couch to 5k, one thing we all need in life is goals.
And there's nothing like ticking off a life goal.
10 See the Northern Lights
The Aurora Borealis are one of the world's great magical mysteries. All to do with magnets and light, they can be seen in the Northern hemisphere in our winter, though usually involve a trip to the Arctic Circle. Scotland sometimes sees them and they've been spotted on dark nights as far south as Gatwick, though, so if you pay attention you might get lucky.
There are no guarantees that they'll show up on the night you go to visit, though, so do your research and plan some back up light-chasing nights just in case.
11 Listen to jazz in New Orleans
Jazz music permeates New Orleans and its history and culture are all wrapped up in it. Whether you catch the bands in the street, a bar or cafe, just go...
12 Eat at a Michelin Star restaurant and don't worry about it
Work out how much you need, save save save, pick a special occasion, read the reviews and head to an amazing Michelin star restaurant for the gastronomic experience of your life. Forbid yourself to think of the money. This is a once-in-a-lifetime foodie event.
13 Do a Jailbreak Challenge
A 'Jailbreak' is when you attempt to hitchhike as far away as you possibly can. You might only get to Devon, or you might get to Morocco. Just remember to do it safely (definitely not on your own) and take some back up cash in case you get stranded in Marrakech.
14 Travel the Trans-Siberian Railway
Connecting European Russia with its far east, this ride takes several days to complete and promises a wild trip through wilderness. You stay in a sleeper car and can either ride the whole way to Vladivostok or hop on and off in continental Russia. Expect to return with stories of bonkers Russians, and vodka a-plenty.
Feature image: Pexels