Bucket List Ideas For A Fulfilled Life

May 17, 2012

Bucket List Ideas For A Fulfilled Life

Do It Right — Consider Adding These Experiences To Life’s Must-See List

None of us gets enough time on this planet.

This is a fact we must recognize, but never dwell on for too long. If we do, it means we’re not out making the most of the short time we do have.

I will quote the modern philosopher here, one Mr. Dylan: “He not busy being born is busy dying.”

But, with such a big world out there to explore, so many people to meet and wonders to behold, it can be hard to know where to start. Fear not, we have a few suggestions, based on over 40 years of hearing “ooohs” and “ahhhhs” from all the friends we’ve taken to various destinations.

Whip out your “bucket list,” and consider adding all of these (at the top):

 

The Grand Canyon — This is more than just a national park. Since John Wesley Powell and company made that first trip through the Big Ditch, this marvel of nature has captivated the imagination of millions, all around the world. It has a powerful effect on people that my words will never convey. The rock, the river, the solitude, the splendor — very few places will leave you wondering about creation and your own sense of purpose like this place.

 

Machu Picchu — Six centuries ago, the Inca ruled an empire from 8,000 feet above sea level, in a city built along perilous cliffs. This UNESCO World Heritage Site will take you back in time, not just to Peru. You’ll marvel at how such a magnificent citadel could go “forgotten” by the world until the turn of the 20th century. And, need we add about experiencing the Andean culture, and rafting and zip lining in the Amazon?

 

Middle Fork of the Salmon River — The Frank Church Wilderness is the largest such protected area in the continental U.S. Through this pristine Idaho wilderness, there runs 100 miles of river, through granite canyons, alpine forest and grasslands. In those miles, you’ll find 100 sets of rapids, as well as Native American history, pioneer homesteads and a menagerie of wildlife. This is a bucket list item many people don’t even know they’re missing. Don’t be one of them.

 

Galápagos Islands — When you’re older and telling the stories to the great-grandkids, make sure you’ve got one in the arsenal about the blue-footed boobies, the lava lizards, and your face-to-face encounter with a penguin. Be sure you can explain how you walked in Darwin’s footsteps observing the amazing creatures found nowhere else on earth, and how you donned a mask and snorkel and went where Darwin never could. Don’t forget to tell them how you loved the sea kayaking, and the sea lions you could almost pet from the bow of the sailboat. “Ah, Ecuador,” you could tell them with a satisfied sigh.

 

Tatshenshini River — Here is another of the few places in the world that time forgot. Let us show you a slice of 27 million acres of Alaskan-Canadian wilderness. We’ll crawl across glacial moraines and sit beneath frozen waterfalls. We’ll raft this milky glacial river pondering the towering mountain ranges on either side. Arriving in Alsek Bay, we’ll try not to be intimidated by icebergs as big as houses, just like we did with the moose and grizzly bears we saw.

 

Rio Futaleufu — If your bucket list is rife with river trips, this one better be on it. “The Fu” is known in the whitewater world as one of the premier runs. This is heart-pounding class IV and V rafting in unmatched Patagonian terrain. Add to the boating some hiking, climbing, rappelling and horseback riding, and you’re talking about the adventure of a lifetime. You’ll be able to check both Argentina and Chile off your life’s travel list with this one, too.

 

Zambezi River — Things you’ll say after: “I thought it was already Class V rafting, but then we saw the hippos … I never knew an impala wasn’t a car until my safari in Botswana … From the helicopter, looking at the Batoka Gorge, it was as though the earth had cracked open and the water of Africa was rushing in to fill it … I learned it was one of the ‘7 Wonders of the World’ when we launched our rafts in the mist at the foot of Victoria Falls …” Make sure your bucket list includes rafting on at least 6 continents, and add the Zambezi.

 

Have you done any of these trips? Chime in in the comments to let people know I’m not exaggerating.

Which trip is most intriguing to you, if you’ve never been on any of them? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below.

Reid Williams
Reid has guided whitewater and taught swiftwater rescue in the U.S. and Central America on 13 different rivers, after brief turns as a chemistry teacher and a newspaper journalist. These days, he tries to turn people on to active, outdoor lifestyles as an executive at WELD.