Motivation Monday: Slay your Bucket List

Surf Sister surf school with my bests in Tofino, British Columbia.
Surf Sister surf school with my bests in Tofino, British Columbia.

Warning: Imma going all big-sister, preachy on you. So if you’re not in the mood for some un-solicited advice, move on.

You’ve probably read one of those posts – you know the viral ones with the gorgeous photos and trust-fund whiff of bottomless funds: the travel bucket list. As in ‘10 Bucket List destinations in Europe/Africa/Asia/Etc You MUST visit‘ style posts. This topic is so so subjective.

This bucket list post is a little different, because I’m not going to share my list with your per se, because it’s still evolving. My travel bucket list is changing as I get older and take on more adulting, more driving, less flying, less palm trees, more local campgrounds. You get the picture. My travel maps are a little more local these days. And that’s okay.


Because I’ve knocked a few things off my bucket list in my 20s and early 30s. Before all the adulting started. I wanted to learn to surf (check), sail through the Great Bear Rainforest (check), live South Africa a second time (check) and take the train to Jasper (check) plus many more. Whenever my travel jets are fired up by a great travel blog post, a New York Times travel feature or even Instagram/Facebook photos of friends in far off climes, I just need to close my eyes and draw from my OWN deep well of nostalgia. I picture those country/world maps that I’ve drawn on, those guide books I’ve marked up with notes, the postcards on my friend’s fridges. Or even better, I spend a quiet night scrolling through my external hard drive or (gasp, they still exist) photo albums.

So this post is for all my readers in their 20s or at the beginning of their travel careers. Before you settle down, work in a real job, have real bills and do all that real grown up business – travel. Please travel. You don’t have to go far, you don’t have to go somewhere expensive. But for pete’s sake, just travel.

Make your travel bucket list, start knocking it off. Revise it, knock a couple more things off of the travel bucket list. Keep working on achieving those adventures – maybe it’s one a year, maybe it’s three. Maybe you travel every other year. Frequency doesn’t matter, it just matters that you try.

You will not regret one moment. I don’t. This is the furthest emotion from what I feel when I look at photos of my girlfriends and I learning to surf in Tofino or tour environmental projects in Soweto. These and many many more memories are my reserves, my adventures past, my spark when I miss the impetuous wanderlust of years gone by.

Make that travel bucket list, start plotting and darn it, slay it.

15 thoughts on “Motivation Monday: Slay your Bucket List

  1. Great post. Totally agree. I regret not travelling more when I was younger and before I ‘settled down’ but the money just wasn’t there for me. Now I’m making up for lost time 🙂

    1. Glad to hear you’re hitting the road now – there’s never a wrong time to travel per se. I’m just glad that I did it when I was younger and less ‘settled’. 🙂

  2. I wish everyone preached so pleasantly! I could handle that everyday. Think I’ll pull out a travel book right now……..

  3. I can’t agree more with the concept of just go out and travel. I have been on the road for 5 years and working full time as well – there is no reason why you have to go back and “settle down” if you don’t want to!

  4. I traveled a LOT when I was younger, then settled down raised some kids and now we have revived our wanderlust and taking advantage of the fact we have less family commitments and responsibilities. We actually have a list of things we can do when we are old, we are working on the while “we are still young and fit” list now.

    1. I love that you have a ‘young and fit’ list. And, yes, I hear you re: family commitments. I can’t wait to bring our little guy on a big trip, but for now weekend getaways are perfect.

  5. I love this! And although I prefer not having a bucket list (because I like the idea of just doing everything and anything whenever and wherever), I pretty much agree with you!

  6. YES! Thanks for this – far too many people fall into lifes patterns of work and a family and a full time job just because they think that’s what society expects, but there are no rules to life!! And the only things we regret later on in life are the things we didn’t do.

    1. Oh my gosh Meg – that last line is tshirt/meme/quoteable quote worthy. I’m making note of that line for the future.

  7. I’m certainly beyond 20! And I certainly still have items in my bucket list. Yes, time to get through them so they can be marked “Been there! Done that!” Time is getting short!

  8. I have a list though I must say it changes a lot. Albania has recently been added – and Turkey was never on it again but just had a fabulous two weeks. I do believe in exploring close to home to as there’s a lot to see if you’re open to it.

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