“Another one on the bucket list”, I hear an Australian surfer say when I visit a waterfall in Bali.
I look at him and realize that he is only there to check off another destination on his growing list.
However, that is not the essence of travel.
It’s time for you to make a change.
This is why you should not have a bucket-list.
The youngest person to visit every country
I was informed earlier this month about Lexie Alford, a 21-year-old who claimed to have been the youngest person to visit all countries on Earth.
Let this sink in.
In 21 years, this woman has visited 196 countries.
If you are wondering “How did she do it?” then keep this in mind:
- She was 18 when she discovered that her parents owned a travel agency.
- Since she was 12, she has been traveling since then.
- She also kept a travel blog and took photos while on the road.
- She has made a few partnerships and brand deals to help her travels.
I am not here to ask the how of her adventures. I am asking the why.
But I don’t think that Alford’s actions are ineffective in inspiring young people to see the beauty of the world.
I am afraid they will head out and get on a plane for the wrong reasons.
Bucket lists are a problem
I must admit, I am guilty of creating bucket lists. It’s been a while since I used the term bucket lists.
It’s okay to have a list. This is where the expression originated. There are things you should do before you get rid of the bucket.
You’re not doing the right thing if you travel only to tick off places on your bucket list.
If you travel only for the social media bragging rights, you are doing it wrong.
There is so much beauty in the world, and it’s not enough to just say that you were there.
Everyone has their own style of travel, and I am aware of that. While some people want to see only the highlights of a destination, others desire to experience a variety of cultural experiences.
There is nothing wrong in either one of these travel styles.
Why you shouldn’t have a bucket-list
A bucket list can transform magical places all over the globe into binary yes-or no questions.
You shouldn’t ask the question “Have you been there?” when you plan your next vacation.
It can be the first. It can be the first question, but please, God-willing, it shouldn’t be the only one.
Ask yourself if the cuisine appeals to you. If the culture appeals to you. If you’re looking for adventure, the attractions that are most popular will suffice.
Do not use “I haven’t been there yet” as a motivation.
You don’t have to go somewhere just because it’s next on your bucket list.
Don’t try to see every country in the world just for the sake. It’s not about the food or the people.
A bucket list alternative
Although I don’t feel comfortable with the idea of a bucket-list, there are alternatives that I can support.
The truth is that bucket lists are often a list of cities or countries someone would like to visit.
These lists often include a wide range of countries from very different backgrounds. However, they are still countries.
If you spend three days in Berlin, can you really say that you have experienced Germany? Personally, I don’t believe so.
You haven’t seen the Black Forest, Neuschwanstein Castle or any concentration camps that contain the stories of so many people oppressed.
This is why I propose the following alternative bucket list.
The experience list.
A bucket list is too generalized and should not be kept.
It doesn’t matter if it isn’t.
Write down the experiences you would like to experience before your death.
Walking the Camino de Santiago and climbing Everest. Camping in Banff National Park. I don’t care. I don’t have the right to choose.
Once you’ve compiled your experience list, you won’t be able to look at it again until the moment you find an experience that you must have before you die.
Don’t forget to include the list when you book your next vacation. Consider other factors when choosing destinations.
After you have booked your flights and accommodation, take the time to look through the list. You can spend some time exploring local experiences if there is anything near you.
You can make your travels meaningful again and do the things you always wanted to.
It’s a win-win situation.
It’s worth a try. Let me know your thoughts about this idea. Even if it seems completely ridiculous. Please tell me why you don’t believe it.
People are capable of challenging the status quo to do something different and make a difference.
Thank you for reading!