Almost everyone I know has a bucket list of places they want to see and things they want to do. The question is, is that list doable? Typically we worry about the cost of traveling and doing activities we’ve always wanted to do. We worry about having the time to travel. In fact, we worry about almost everything involved in making those things happen. And before you know it, another year goes by and we still haven’t done anything on our list. That is not how to make a bucket list work for us.
How do we make a bucket list doable? We write it down! It’s just that simple. Think about the times you had a to-do list in your head. How many of those items were still undone a day or even a week later? Now think about a to-do list that you actually wrote down and were able to check off as you completed them. How many on that list did you complete in the amount of time you allotted? I’m guessing more items on the written to-do list were accomplished than on the list in your head.
There is something magical about writing down a list. That’s because when you write something down, it becomes real. That’s right! When you write down places you want to see on your bucket list, they become real goals. Visualization is a technique used in meeting goals. Olympic athletes visualize themselves winning that race. You can visualize your trip happening. You can see in your mind what it will be like to go to that place and see and do what you’ve always just dreamed of until now. That’s how you make your bucket list doable! Write it down, visualize it, do it!
Make your list.
If you already have a bucket list in your head, start by writing it down. Get a pretty notebook or journal, or type it up in your computer. My personal preference is to hand write it in a notebook or journal. When you write something by hand, you will remember it better than if you type it. I’m not kidding; there are studies about this. So, write your bucket list by hand on a piece of paper that you can refer to over and over.
If you don’t have a bucket list, you’ll start by brainstorming ideas. Is there a place that others have talked about visiting and made you want to go too? WRITE IT DOWN. Think of other places you’ve dreamed of seeing but never thought you could. WRITE THEM DOWN. As you brainstorm about traveling to new places, you’ll probably write down a lot, but even if you don’t think of many at first, as you begin to travel your list is likely to become much longer! I know mine has.
Prioritize your list.
Let’s narrow the list down to one or two places you are really excited about seeing. Number them 1 and 2 and then write the others on your list in the order you consider the most important for YOU to see.
It doesn’t matter whether these places are in the states or another country or on another continent. Just pick the top two you most want to travel to. For example, maybe you’ve always wanted to see New England in the fall when the leaves are peaking in glorious color. But you also really, really, really want to see Paris. It’s been your dream all of your life to go there. Here’s the thing, you can do both! Yes, you really can. Because you see, now that you’ve written them both down, they’re not just ideas, they are GOALS! And goals are meant to be accomplished!
Finally, pick your Number 1 priority on your list and let’s start planning!
Create a Vision Board.
You can create a vision board in a number of ways, but my favorite way is to make a hands-on collage of photos clipped from a magazine and posted on a cork board on the wall in my office. You can also make a board on Pinterest if you like. But there is just something about buying a magazine with stunning photos of places I want to see, cutting them out, and putting them on that board that makes it real for me. You can also find quotes to pin up with the photos. Maybe you want to buy some Belgian lace. Pin a piece of lace too!
There are no rules about making a vision board. Your vision board is for you so make it whatever you want it to be as long as it inspires you to make this trip a reality. That’s the genius of a vision board. It helps you to visualize your “must go” travel site and make it real to you.
Anticipation is the sweetest part of travel. There’s even a Swedish word for it, “resfeber” which means “the restless race of the traveller’s heart before the journey begins when anxiety and anticipation are tangled together.”
This is the time when you begin researching your chosen trip. You begin by building your vision board, spending time in the local bookstore gazing at travel guidebooks, planning where you might want to stay, what dishes you might want to try. Exploring the history and culture of the area you want to experience. This is the sweetest piece of the trip when you anticipate what life is like in the place you most want to visit. Now is when it becomes real to you, a fact yet to be discovered. It’s only a matter of time until you’re there.
All of my life, I’ve known that I must have “something to look forward to.” I told my husband, R, that very thing when we met. Since then, we’ve gone on numerous trips in the U.S. and abroad. Some of them have been short, some have been long road trips, and some have been trips by air “across the pond.” But the anticipation we feel before each trip is exhilarating!
Now you have a doable bucket list!
Now that you have your WRITTEN bucket list, your vision board, and your sweet anticipation of the trip, it’s time to start planning. But that’s another post. We’ll get to that later. For now, just immerse yourself in adding beautiful photos and quotes,etc., to your vision board and thinking about what each one means to you. Why is it on your board? Visualize being there. Feel the anticipation building inside of you. Focus on these things first before you begin to plan the logistics of your trip. It’s doable! Now you can make your bucket list happen!
P.S. Leave me a comment about your own bucket list. Have you tried a vision board? What are your thoughts about anticipating your trips?
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