SURE there are the standard bucket list items like ‘go skydiving’ or ‘get a tattoo’, but there are many more amazing and meaningful things that should be on everyone’s list of things to do before they die.
And what better time than the new year to start or revisit your list once your hangover subsides? Here are a few to get you started that you may or may not have already thought of.
1. MAKE FRIENDS WITH SOMEONE MUCH OLDER AND WISER THAN YOU
Too frequently do older people get dismissed and ignored by society. The Greatest generation did or lived through some pretty great things and they have the most incredible stories to tell and life lessons to share. If you still have grandparents (or just borrow someone else’s), take some time to ask them some questions about the good old days. Chances are they will have a tale or two that might very well put hairs on your chest or laughs in your belly and they might even teach you a thing or two about life.
2. EMBARK ON A SOLO EXPEDITION AROUND THE WORLD
Removing yourself from your normal surroundings and people that know you, strips you down to be a very raw form of yourself. In this setting, there is no one around to project onto you the kind of person other people that “know you” expect you to be. Book a one-way ticket and don’t look back — it’ll be one of the best things you will ever do for yourself.
3. BECOME A BIKE COMMUTER IN YOUR CITY
My friend Simone Spilka swears by her bike. “It will change your perspective of the roads, of time and of your community,” she says. You might even find a new favourite cafe with the best coffee and avo toast you’ve ever tasted!
4. EXPLORE A SUNBURNT COUNTRY
How many of us are guilty of gallivanting around the world, yet haven’t actually explored our own backyard? Australia has so much to offer the domestic traveller, from stark desert landscapes to tropical paradises.
5. TICK OFF AS MANY NATURAL WONDERS OF THE WORLD AS POSSIBLE
We all know The Great Barrier Reef is likely soon to be a thing of the past, and Antarctica isn’t too far behind. You only get one life to take it all in — see as much as you can before it’s too late.
6. LEARN A NEW SKILL
Always wanted to play the piano? Take some lessons. Dreamt of speaking fluent Italian? Sign up for some night classes. Are you the world’s worst cook but want to know how to make the perfect pavlova? Then buy a cookbook and LEARN. It’s never too late — old dogs really can learn new tricks.
7. PAY FOR A STRANGER’S MEAL
Depending on your budget, maybe make it a coffee. A random act of kindness and generosity will no doubt make that person’s day. It feels really good to surprise someone when they least expect it.
8. ATTEND A MIND BLOWING FESTIVAL
If Burning Man is a little too far fetched for you, there are plenty of others to choose from. Perhaps you’d like to participate in a tomato fight in Spain, or check out mardi gras in New Orleans or Carnival in Rio de Janeiro. But there are many more that are much closer to home. Rainbow Serpent Festival in Beaufort Victoria and Woodford in Queensland are frequently named as must-go festivals in the world. Why not check one out in 2016?
9. COMMIT TO EATING SUSTAINABLY AND GROW YOUR OWN HERBS AND VEGGIES
Not only will your health benefit, but it’ll be so rewarding to watch your garden prosper and grow. Strapped for space? Then start with a few herbs on a kitchen window sill. Once you have a decent patch of dirt going and a bit of production in the works, you can then invite your friends and family round for dinner and bring new meaning to ‘yard to table’.
10. KEEP A DIARY, CONSISTENTLY
And I don’t just mean when you go off on your next trip. Journaling your thoughts as well as experiences will help you better understand the tough times and give you a greater insight when you are ready to look back. Memory can fail us at times, so it’s always good to have a back up. It’ll serve as a time capsule for yourself. Imagine reading a diary of your life today, 20 years from now? That experience alone will be worth its weight in gold.
11. DANCE EVERY DAY
I once made this my new year’s resolution, and it is the only one that I’ve actually ever managed to keep. If it wasn’t Saturday night and I wasn’t on a dancefloor I would always try to remember to have a boogie in front of the bedroom mirror. While stopped at pedestrian lights with my headphones in was always a pretty good time to break it on down too. Sure I got a few stares, but seriously who cares?