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Table of Contents
GALAS, PARTIES, AND GET-TOGETHERS: MARVELOUS WAYS TO MIX, MINGLE, AND MEET NEW FRIENDS
Opening Night $$$-$$$$
Create Your Own Club! $-$$$$
Go behind the Scenes on Broadway, at the Opera, or Anywhere $$
Host Your Own Literary Salon $
Mr. Hearst Will See You Now $$$
Join the Explorers Club $$$
Find Your Congregation or Community $
Throw an Annual Theme Party $-$$$
Own a Hot Auction Item $-$$$
Enjoy a Polo Match in the Summer Sun $$
Share Your Birthday with Someone Famous $
Be a Delegate at a National Convention $
Check Out Classic and Vintage Car Shows $-$$
Get Your Own Crown and Royal Entourage $
THRILL YOUR TASTE BUDS: FOOD AND WINE EXPERIENCES
Spend an Evening in a Wine Cave $$$
Take a Turn as an Apprentice Farmer $-$$
Learn to Cook Another Language $-$$$
Become a Master Fermenter: Make Your Own Pickles, Beer, Bread $
Harvest Wine Grapes in France (or Work in a Vineyard) $-$$$
Make Your Own Customized Coffee $-$$
Follow the Pie Rules of Conduct $
Try a Meatless Monday and Cook Up Something New $
MAKE YOUR MARK: IRRESISTIBLY FUN DIY ACTIVITIES AND SKILLS
Find Your Own Food $-$$
Build It Big: Create Something of Lasting Value $-$$
Open Your Own Bookstore $-$$$
Shift into a Higher Gear: Drive a Stick $$$
You’re On! Be in a Professional Opera $
Develop Your Own Line of Food Products $$-$$$$
Become an Art Curator $-$$
Attend Jewelry School at Van Cleef & Arpels $-$$$
Create Your Family’s Memoir $
Live like Martha Stewart for a Month $$
Found a Festival $-$$$
Sail Away at a Wooden Boat Festival $-$$$
Designate Your Own Meditation Room $
LIFE IS LEARNING: MUST-KNOW NEW SKILLS
Sail with the Big Boys $$$
Around and Around You Go: Drive a NASCAR Car $$-$$$
Pick Up and Play: Take Up a New Instrument $-$$
Learn a Secret Language $
Cook Your Way through a Cookbook $$
Attend Oxford $$$
Get Your Hands Dirty: Participate in an Archaeological Dig $$$$
Restore an Object You Love $-$$
Learn a Long-Lost Skill for Today $-$$$
Drive a Real Train on a U.S. Railroad $
Get Silly at Clown School $$
CREATE AND INSPIRE: ART, FILM, THEATER, AND MORE!
Let Me Count the Ways… Become a Poet $
Take Up an Art and Create Often $
Start a Journal—and Stick to It $
Bespoke Shoes: Custom Made Just for You! $$$
Share Your Words at a Poetry Slam $
Become a Songwriter or Lyricist $$
Enter the Magic Castle $$
Reenact History $
Down in Front! Host Your Own Themed Movie Nights $-$$$
Draw, Paint, or Create Art in a National or State Preserve $
Score a Role in a Big-Budget Movie $
Be Like a Boy Scout and Learn Basic Survival Techniques $
Create a Motivational File $
Make a Documentary $-$$$
Revive the Art of the Handwritten Letter $
GIVING BACK: MAKE YOUR MARK
Run a Marathon $-$$
Become a Citizen Activist $
Volunteer in National Parks $
Those Who Can, Teach Others: Share Your Skill and Inspire Others $
Been Meaning to Give Something Up? Do It! $
Serve on a Grand Jury and Help Deliver Justice $
Help Create a National Park Larger than Yellowstone $-$$$
Be in the Olympics $$
Dig Up a Fossil $
Become a Theater Producer $$$
Participate in Audubon’s Annual Bird Count $
Run for Office $
Start a Humanitarian Movement $
Participate in Cutting-Edge Scientific Research $
Get Ready to Be a Hero $
Focus on Family $
OFF THE BEATEN PATH: ONE-OF-A-KIND TRAVEL EXPERIENCES
Great Ways to Get There
Leaving on a (Private) Jet Plane $$$
Ride in a Vintage Bike Race in Tuscany $$$
See the World on Horseback $-$$$
Make a Pilgrimage in Spain $$$
Learn How to Use All Four Wheels at the Overland Expo $$-$$$
Cross the Seas in an Ocean Liner $$$
Old Roads, New Experiences $$$
Hike the Trails of the World, from California to the Alps $$$
Drive a Boat down the Canals of France and Germany $$$
Historic and Literary Destinations
Stay at an Actual Artists’ Colony $$$
Forget African Safaris. Try an Indian Safari! $$$$
Attend a Masked Ball in Venice $$$-$$$$
Explore the Literary South $$$
Tour Literary and Book Towns $$-$$$
Travel Iceland’s Ring Road of Fire and Ice $$$-$$$$
Walk in Our Leaders’ Footsteps: Visit Presidential Homes $$
Join Dylan Thomas’s Birthday Walk $$-$$$
See an Opera under the Stars $$$
Rekindle Memories down by the Sea $-$$$
Dip Your Toes into a Piece of History—Literally. Visit One of the World’s Top Pools $-$$$
Learn How to Survive in the Wild $$-$$$$
Experience Autumn on the Road $-$$$$
Visit the World’s Christmas Markets and Dickens Fairs $
Private Lives $$-$$$
Live in a Castle $
See the United States in a Silver Bullet $-$$$
Have a Literary Sleepover in a Famous Author’s House $-$$$$
Talk to Strangers $
Stay in the Favorite Hotels of the Stars $$
A Castle of One’s Own $$$$
Sample Delicious Port in Portugal $$$
Drink in Gehry’s Celebrated Architecture in Spain and France $$$
Spend Twelve Months Skiing on the Slopes $$$-$$$$
Take a Trip around the Globe $-$$$$
Swim from One Continent to Another $$
Embark on an African Safari by Foot $$$$
Jump in with the Big Boys $$$
Travel Your Own Silk Road $$$
Have Dinner Up in the Eiffel Tower $$$
Dine Sixty-Five Floors above New York City $$$
Travel with Your Favorite Baseball Team $$$
Own a Tiny House Just for You $$
Let’s Go Racing: Be Part of a Car Race $$-$$$
Surf the Best Waves in Europe $$$
GLAMOROUS GOALS AND GETAWAYS
Snuggle Up in an Ice Hotel $$$
Get Done Up and Be a Star in Photos $$
Have a Dish at a Restaurant Named after You $-$$
Celebrate Mardi Gras without the Crowds $$$
Up, Up, and Away! Ride in an Old-Fashioned Airplane $$
Shop the Best Flea Markets
Do What Scares You $-$$$
Glam It Up! $
Shhhhh! No Talking: Go on a Silent Retreat $-$$
Get a Producer Credit in a Documentary $$$
Dress to the Nines: Rent the Runway and Wear Couture Fashion $
Say Yes to Your Next Opportunity! $-$$$
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Are you at the point in life where you’re looking for new ideas and adventures? Feeling in a rut, or just wanting to make sure you’re enjoying your life to th...
Are you at the point in life where you’re looking for new ideas and adventures? Feeling in a rut, or just wanting to make sure you’re enjoying your life to the fullest? You have come to the right place! We live in exciting times. Opportunity for personal growth and lasting adventure surrounds us if we dedicate ourselves to looking out for it. But in our busy, overworked, and distracted world, it can be easy to let those possibilities slip by. Every day I try to keep an open attitude in the hope it will steer me toward taking chances, stretching for goals, and continuing to move forward in life to experience as much as I can, as fully as I can.
Does that sound like a mantra for living that you’d like to embrace? Make it your own from now on with this book. In the pages to come I offer ideas for anyone at any point in his or her life—starting out, midway through a career, or winding down workwise—who wants to add a challenge, perhaps a touch of glamour, and a solid sense of satisfaction, enjoyment, and accomplishment to their pursuit of a well-lived life. This list includes unique travel destinations, a great many personal challenges, and more than a few unusual pastimes, and will amuse and delight readers with a host of new ideas. So let’s get started.
THE WELL-LIVED LIFE? DEFINE YOUR TERMS…
You might be wondering, “A well-lived life, according to whom?” No one wants to be told what to do, where to go, or how to think, of course. And that’s not what this book aims to do. Rather, its goal is to inspire you to pursue exciting new experiences you’ve always dreamed of (and some you may have never imagined), whether those experiences are halfway across the world or right in your own backyard. Also, don’t use this list as a reason to feel inadequate about what you’ve done in your life thus far. The world gives us plenty of chances to feel that way every day (and if you have children, I’m sure you’ve noticed that they will happily point your inadequacies out as well).
Instead, imagine you and I are having drinks in a wine bar, the soft afternoon light filtering in from the street while we enjoy a glass or two and swap ideas on things we’d like to accomplish before heading to that wine bar in the sky. You suddenly realize, why couldn’t I finally try that hobby I’ve always been meaning to pick up? Or why couldn’t I go on that trip I’ve dreamed of? Or maybe, in the course of the conversation, you even think of things you want to try that had never occurred to you.
That’s what I did, of course. Had countless glasses and hours of conversation with well-traveled and accomplished people, listening to their goals and dreams, mentally adding the things that appealed to me to my own list. You’ll hear from many of them in this book. Their perspectives and recounting of their experiences and ideas were enough to make me want to cut the conversation short and get going!
One friend told me he wanted to “die with his boots on.”
“But Bryan,” I pointed out, “you don’t wear cowboy boots. You wear velvet slippers.”
Yes he did, he admitted, in fact he had thirty pairs of custom-made slippers from a shoemaker in Venice. “Must go to Venice for velvet slippers,” I thought to myself, smiling and sipping gin as he spoke. Simply must.
So what exactly do I mean by a “well-lived life”? Do I think we need to earn our spot on the planet and make full use of our talents, imaginations, and drives? No. Here is what a well-lived life means to me:
•That you have showered love and affection on those around you and received it in return.
•That the world is a better place because of your energy, generosity, creativity, and efforts.
•That you had the chance to get out in the world and poke around, not just to observe, but to fully engage with other people in other places.
•That you had a hand in creating something, somewhere that will outlive you.
In other words, I believe that to pursue a well-lived life you need to get out there and make something happen. Participate in life, rather than observe or drown in the dreaded feeling that it’s just passing you by. But it’s more than just putting another notch in your belt. Much was made of President Obama’s ten-minute stop at Stonehenge during a state visit to England. “Knocked that off my bucket list,” he said, climbing back into his motorcade and heading off to the next meeting. Is that all there is to some bucket lists, to merely view something of interest while making a mental check next to that item? There’s something quite sad about that.
This book is designed to get you engaged in your life so that you fully experience it on all levels. Planning a trip to Paris? Great. Why not also plan to become a part of Paris? To have a business in Paris, to learn a skill in Paris, to rehab a house in Paris, to model clothes in Paris, to paint in Paris, to run a marathon in Paris, to make wine in Paris, to have your hair done in Paris… Are you getting the idea here?
Of course you no doubt already have a hundred ideas about the things you’d like to do in your life. You may have been keeping a list for years now. I hope that this book will help you find many interesting ways to add to the list of the things you’ve longed to do at some point in your life or figure out how you can turn your own bucket-list wishes into realities. Think of this book and the ideas inside as an extra bit of frosting that you have swiped off the edge of life’s cake.
You’ll find all kinds of bucket list ideas in this book—there are travel ideas, food-related ideas, sporty ideas—but I’ve also included creative challenges, lofty goals, and extravagant desires. What do I mean by those terms?
•Creative Challenges are things you can make, items of permanence, ideas that will stretch your talents and abilities and perhaps help you develop some new ones.
•Lofty Goals are just that—lofty as in way above our heads—so why not reach up and try? Save the world. Invent a better mousetrap. Write the great American novel. Leave something behind. Create something of permanence. Visit the over-the-top places you dream of, and enjoy the unique things you want to do once you get there.
•Extravagant Desires? Okay, let’s just say it…these are things you’d like to own. To have in your life on a daily basis. Like the custom-made velvet slippers that my friend Bryan wears. Do you have to pay for your desires? You might. But there are creative ways to bring what you want into your life for less, so those are also included.
What are your creative challenges? Lofty goals? Extravagant desires? You will have to decide for yourself. We want you to consider all of these ideas, not just the ones that you know will appeal to who you are right now. Because who you are right now might change in the future…and one of these ideas might bring about that change.
CAN I AFFORD MY BUCKET LIST?
Daydreaming is free. Acting on your dreams can sometimes be quite costly. Of course, we would all love to have lives of financial ease and good fortune, where our wildest dreams are well within our means. But what if that isn’t the case? Are there ways to make your dreams come true on a budget? What about on a shoestring? What about for free? Depending on what your dream entails, sure. Here are a few methods to bootstrap that bucket list:
•Ask Your Friends to Join—Traveling with a group is almost always cheaper than going alone. Being part of a group puts you in a position to bargain for a better deal. And if what you want is costly—a week in a castle or a month on a sailboat—getting a group together to split the cost might bring it all into reach. So share your dream any chance you get and look for those like-minded folks whose eyes light up when you describe it.
•Start a Special Account—A dedicated savings account earmarked for your dream trip or purchase can be a great incentive. Resolve to put in every stray bit of cash you come across—the two hundred you brought in from your garage sale, the twenty bucks you got returning aluminum cans, or the money you made selling your daughter’s old textbooks on eBay.
•Try to Get Comped—Yes, in some circumstances travel writers get parts of their trips comped. And as a consequence, hordes of hopeful folks have declared themselves “writers.” Travel writers for major magazines and papers don’t actually accept free travel. That’s against company policy. However, plenty of writers for small sites and publications do. You will need to get an assignment first, to pitch your article idea to an editor and get it approved, before you can truthfully tell a hotel that you are working on a story.
•Work for It—Big cruise lines always have speakers onboard. Are you a public speaker with a niche that fits the theme or destination of a cruise? Cruise lines also sometimes employ men to dance with the single women on board… Just a thought for the retired man with a talent for the dance floor.
•Crowdsource—Websites like Kickstarter and GoFundMe make it possible to ask friends and strangers to put money into your dreams. Kickstarter might fund your bucket list dream of producing a small film or opening a vegan sandwich shop. GoFundMe leans more toward asking for contributions to travel. But do tread carefully. You don’t want to lose friends over this.
GoFundMe has thousands of active campaigns from hopeful travelers with headlines like “Female World Trip on Motorcycle.” She’d raised $6,683 from eighty-eight donors when I checked. “Will Schmidt’s Canada to Mexico Paddle” had raised $8,530 toward his goal from seventy-nine donors, and “Battleborn Pacific Challenge,” a team of guys who rowed from San Francisco to Hawaii, raised more than £16,000, or about $24,000!
•Volunteer—If your money is low and your hopes are high, perhaps volunteering at your dream destination is a possibility. But not every place will allow volunteers free access. Burning Man, for instance, welcomes volunteer help during the year and during the event itself, but warns that helping doesn’t lead to free admission. So keep that in mind as you do your research.
ASK, AND YE JUST MIGHT RECEIVE
Why do some people lead such interesting lives and have such amazing experiences, while others just lead sort of bland and humdrum lives? Could be that the people in the first group have learned the art of the ask. It seems like such a simple thing, really, but it can be quite intimidating to think about. At a famed restaurant that everyone is talking about, why not ask the waiter if you can go back into the kitchen and meet the chef? The answer may be no, and there is no shame in that. But if the answer is yes, think of the extraordinary opportunity that just fell into your lap! A behind-the-scenes look at the world of an artist.
So think about it…who do you want to meet? Go ahead and try to make it happen. Make blind phone calls, send out inquiring letters and emails, see if you can get in touch with someone you find fascinating. What do you want to know? Never be afraid to call on experts or skilled amateurs. They love to talk about their passions. Where do you want to go? Always ask for help in getting behind the scenes. What is behind that door marked Off Limits anyway? Ask the guide and they just might be in the mood to show you. Take charge of building your own interesting life by speaking up and asking for something unusual.
Okay. Ready to work on your bucket list? Let’s get started at amping up your life of adventure! Take a look at these ideas and see how many spark your fancy. And most of all, have fun.
“The Big Bucket List Book will transform the way you look at the world and the power you have to achieve your dreams. In this charming and practical collection, Gin Sander offers ...
“The Big Bucket List Book will transform the way you look at the world and the power you have to achieve your dreams. In this charming and practical collection, Gin Sander offers over 130 fresh ideas for infusing your life with a bit of glamor, adventure, and style for every budget and adventure level.
” - Our Windsor
“Unlike plenty of other bucket list guides on the market today, The Big Bucket List Book focuses on creating experiences rather than visiting sites or landmarks to cross off as "completed". This book is a fun read, for not only does it bring to light all kinds of imaginative experiences-- ride in a vintage bike race in Tuscany, anyone?-- but it also provides resources on how to actually do accomplish these trips of a lifetime.” - The Paper Airplane
“Now, you may never finish all the things in the book, but surely you will be inspired to create your own list and knock a few off each month or year to bring enjoyment and fulfillment to your life. ” - Charging You Up
Length: 7 in
Width: 5 in
Weight: 15.00 oz
Page Count: 256 pages