My Unique Bucket List Ideas

July 19 2021, 11:21pm

It’s not uncommon for people to have bucket lists of places they want to check out and things they want to do. As someone who is very experience-driven, I wanted to create my own list featuring some of the best bucket list ideas I’ve come across as well as quirky and even unconventional items. There are many ideas, so they are broken down by broad categories.

Feel free to add them to your own adventures and if you happen to take up any of these ideas, let me know how they go!

Note: This list will continue to grow and evolve over time, so don’t hesitate to bookmark it and come back to it again.

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Travel Bucket List

Specifically for Japan, check out my Ultimate Bucket List of Things to Do in Japan.

  • Live, study, or work abroad for a few years
  • Travel solo
  • Visit the Louvre, the world’s most visited museum, and see the Mona Lisa
  • See the Great Pyramids of Giza in Egypt by camel
  • Visit both ends of the Great Wall of China
  • Join La Tomatina, a Spanish festival where people throw tomatoes at each other
  • Stay at the ICEHOTEL (a hotel made of ice) in Sweden
  • Visit all 50 US states and try the top ice cream shop
  • Go on a cross-country road trip with friends
aurora borealis
  • See the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights
  • Go on an African safari and catch a glimpse of the Big 5
  • Visit Barcelona to see the architecture of Antonio Gaudi
  • Experience the immensity of a glacier up close
  • Float in the Dead Sea
  • Celebrate Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
  • Visit the Hermitage, the world’s largest museum, in St. Petersburg, Russia
  • Make a new animal friend on Galapagos Islands 
  • Cross Abbey Road in London
  • Get picked up at the airport by someone with a sign with my name on it
  • Catch glimpse of a geisha in Kyoto, Japan
  • Shop at Harrods, especially at the food halls
  • Ride the Trans-Siberian Express from China to Russia
  • Step foot on Antarctica
  • See the castles and temples of Kyoto
  • Enjoy coffee at a Starbucks with tatami seating in Japan
akihabara japan
  • Shop for electronic gadgets at Akihabara in Tokyo
  • Visit the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, where an art heist remains unsolved
  • Eat churros for breakfast in Madrid, Spain
  • Try real basque cheesecake from the Basque region
  • Explore the Summer Palace in Beijing, China
  • Visit Tsukiji Fish Market at dawn and pick something to eat raw
  • Try odorigui (踊り食い), in particular a dancing squid
  • See tulip fields in the Netherlands
  • Take the Shinkansen or bullet train across Japan
  • Go on a food trip around Italy
  • Buy a Russian matryoshka doll
  • Eat at Restaurante Botin, the world’s oldest restaurant
  • Go people-watching at a Parisian café
  • Watch a Broadway musical in New York City
  • Watch a West End musical in London
  • Eat authentic Mexican cuisine in Mexico
  • Get a bird’s eye view of the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
  • Relax on a Brazilian beach
terracotta warriors
  • See the Terracotta Warriors in Xian, China
  • Cruise the Nile River in Egypt
  • Drive the streets of Havana, Cuba in a vintage car
  • Visit Prague, the capital of the Czech Republic
  • Trek the Andes mountain range
  • Check out Le Mont-Saint-Michel at high tide and low tide
  • Hang out on the banks of the River Seine
  • See the cave paintings in Lascaux, France
  • Trace what is left of the Berlin Wall in Germany
  • Visit the new Grand Egyptian Museum in Giza, Egypt
  • See the ruins of Petra, Jordan
  • Relax in a luxurious resort in the Maldives
  • Get lost in a Moroccan bazaar
  • Travel to Bhutan
  • Bike around Amsterdam, the Netherlands
  • See the Suez or Panama Canal in action
  • Visit the sanctuary of Machu Picchu in Peru
greece ruins
  • Explore the archaeological ruins of Greece
  • Go to Liverpool, United Kingdom
  • Visit Frank Lloyd Wright’s Fallingwater in Laurel Highlands, Pennsylvania
  • Interview a hawker in Singapore 
  • See Don Quixote’s windmills in La Mancha, Spain
  • Wander the streets of New York City like Holden Caulfield 
  • Experience those little fish that nibble at dead skin in Thailand
  • Wear a fresh handmade lei in Hawai’i
  • Sleep the night in a Mongolian yurt
  • Jive in a Jamaican dance hall
  • Go shrimping in Taiwan
  • Watch a kabuki play in Japan
  • See how Dia de los Muertos is celebrated in Mexico
  • Visit all the Smithsonian museums in Washington, DC
  • Travel the entire span of Route 66
  • Drink at an Irish pub on St. Patrick’s Day
  • Explore Bath, England
pacific coast highway
  • Drive the Pacific Coast Highway from one end to the other
  • Sail the Mississippi River on a steamboat
  • Watch a Peking opera
  • Picnic under cherry blossoms in Japan
  • View Monet’s gardens in Giverny, France
  • Take a dip in a Japanese onsen (hot spring)
  • Go on a cruise across the oceans
  • Tour the underground of the Roman Colosseum 
  • See the Hobbiton movie set in New Zealand
  • Taste genuine tapas and pintxos in Spain
  • Go on a trip without making any plans or bookings. Just pack the bags and go
  • Live the luxe life in Monaco
  • Explore the Florida Everglades on an airboat 
  • Travel to Alaska
  • Fly business class or, better yet, first class
  • Chill by the Spanish Steps in Rome
  • Visit Santorini, Greece
  • Meditate in a traditional Japanese garden
thai floating market
  • Experience a Thai floating market
  • Celebrate Chinese New Year in the heart of Asia
  • Go behind the scenes at a hotel, airline, airport, or cruise ship
  • Climb the Sydney Harbor Bridge
  • Watch the Rio Carnival from the grandstands
  • Stroll Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills
  • Participate in a Japanese tea ceremony
  • Cross the Shibuya Scramble Crossing in Tokyo
  • Join the Pingxi Sky Lantern Festival in Taipei, Taiwan
  • See the Jadeite Cabbage at the National Palace Museum in Taipei, Taiwan
  • Embark on a Night Safari in Singapore
  • Journey the Mekong River across Indochina
  • Visit Stonehenge in England
  • See the Gilded Age mansions of Newport, Rhode Island
  • Ride a gondola in Venice, Italy
  • Celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in Ireland
  • Visit the Palace of Versailles in France
  • Join the Holi festivities in India
mt fuji
  • See Mt. Fuji in Japan
  • Visit Bali, Indonesia
  • Explore the Forbidden City in Beijing, China
  • Run with the bulls in Pamplona, Spain
  • Hear the Pope speak at Vatican City
  • Visit the Holy Land of Jerusalem in Israel
  • Shop at a German Christmas market
  • Step inside the Notre Dame Cathedral in Paris, France
  • Tour Patagonia, the southernmost end of South America
  • Visit the White House in Washington, DC
  • See Niagara Falls
  • Stand under the Hollywood Sign in Los Angeles
  • Unwind in the French Riviera
  • Pick blueberries in Washington atate
  • Get a henna tattoo in India 
  • Travel all seven continents
  • Wander the Silk Road
  • Walk atop a Hawaiian volcano
  • Watch a K-pop act in Seoul
  • Travel to the Stans: Kazakhstan, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, or Kyrgyzstan 
  • Visit the ruins of Pompeii in Italy
  • See the giant statues of Easter Island in Chile
  • Explore the Taj Mahal at sunset
  • Mail a friend from a Disney park mailbox
  • Watch the animal migrations in the Serengeti Plains
  • See the statue by Michelangelo and Donatello in Florence, Italy
  • Navigate the Yangtze River in China
  • Visit Angkor Wat in Cambodia
  • Hike Mount Kilimanjaro
  • See the Grand Canyon
  • Explore the Amazon rainforest
  • Eat Philly Cheesesteak in Philadelphia
  • Taste champagne at a winery in the Champagne region
  • Ski or snowboard in Japan

Location Agnostic Travel Bucket List

These ideas are travel-related, but not really tied to a specific location.

  • Throw a dart at a map and just go there
  • Go outlet shopping in a foreign country
  • Reach the end of a continent
  • Ride a steam train
  • Witness a ceremony by an indigenous people
  • See a dinosaur skeleton
  • Pan for gold in a stream
stone castle
  • Step inside a medieval stone castle
  • Spend the night in a log cabin
  • Visit more than one country in a single trip
  • Go around the world in 80 days
  • Climb to the top of a lighthouse
  • Hop aboard a wooden ship
  • Create a travel scrapbook
  • Ride a small airplane where each passenger has to be weighed
  • Stay at a bed and breakfast in the middle of nowhere
  • Sleep in a capsule hotel
  • Take a sleeper train
  • Sleep in a cottage over the sea
  • Explore a shipwreck
  • Spend the night in a treehouse
bamboo forest
  • Walk through a bamboo forest
  • Hike through a tropical rainforest
  • Walk across a rice field
  • Camp in a national park
  • See coral ecosystems via a glass-bottom boat
  • Step on an uninhabited island
  • Discover a hidden lagoon
  • See a dolphin in the wild
  • Walk inside a butterfly garden
  • Watch turtle eggs hatch
  • Shower under a waterfall
  • Give glamping a go
  • Build an igloo and stay in it
  • Watch hot air balloons take flight

Experience Bucket List

These ideas are a catch-all for general experiences. Specific lists for food, fitness, and relationships can be found down this page more.

river fishing
  • Relearn how to fish and go fishing with friends
  • Blow molten glass into something cool
  • Go bird-watching and identify at least three birds
  • Learn how to command a falcon
  • Make my own soap from scratch
  • Learn how to play a long-forgotten or lesser known board game
  • Collect a coin from every country I visit
  • Build a piece of wooden furniture 
  • Get a pet cat or dog
  • Travel with pet(s)
  • Learn Chinese paper cutting
  • Create my own fragrance
  • Paint my own masterpiece
  • Start a blog to help people
  • Use a potter’s wheel to create a pot
  • Learn how to make washi paper by hand
shell collection
  • Start a collection
  • Learn another language
  • Teach a community college course
  • Actually read all of the books I own
  • Actually play all of the board games I own
  • Buy out all of the inventory from a lemonade stand or similar childhood business
  • Purchase an original piece of art and see it increase in value
  • Let a cosmetology student do whatever they like to my hair
  • Cruise on a private yacht
  • Fly in a private jet
  • Sit front row at a fashion show
  • Get premium seats to a rock concert
  • Win at a rap battle 
  • Play the drums
mariachi band
  • Listen to a Mexican mariachi band
  • Learn how to read music sheets
  • Play the electric guitar
  • Join a rock band
  • Learn to play a Caribbean steel drum
  • Join an outdoor music festival
  • Record an album at a studio
  • Fly a giant kite
  • Throw a boomerang and get it back
  • Jump inside a bouncy castle
  • Be attended to by a robot
  • Rewatch a Disney classic
  • Attend a murder mystery party
  • Be a game show contestant
  • Solve an escape room
  • Win a quiz night
  • Ride a tandem bike
  • Get my handwriting analyzed
  • Drive a smart car
  • Make a snow angel
  • Participate in a flash mob
  • Use a phone booth
heirloom carrots
  • Plant a garden with heirloom herbs and vegetables
  • Watch the sunrise and sun
  • Feed monkeys
  • See a meteor shower laying down on the ground
  • Shower in the rain
  • Dive with friendly sharks
  • Ride a helicopter
  • Go parasailing
  • Try all the rides at an amusement park

Fitness Bucket List

go kart racing
  • Race friends in go-karts
  • Run a Disney half marathon
  • Run a full half marathon
  • Drive an all-terrain vehicle (ATV)
  • Learn some tai chi in a park
  • Go skydiving with a friend
  • Ride a mechanical bull in a finger licking good barbecue joint
  • Roll inside of a Zorb downhill
  • Ride a Segway
  • Go on a desert safari
  • Ride a zip line through a forest
  • Play a game of paintball
  • Ride a jet ski
MG 0002
  • Brave the rapids by whitewater rafting
  • Bungee jump off a bridge
  • Hike into a cave to see a waterfall
  • Get taking across snow by huskies on a dog sled ride
  • Go skinny dipping
  • Play croquet while dressed up
  • Give archery tag a try
  • Bowl more than three strikes in a row (turkey) 
  • Get a hole in one in a round of golf
  • Learn how to control a light saber
  • Get a bullseye at a shooting range
  • Go kayaking on my own
  • Watch a professional golf tournament
  • Boat watch from a paddle board
  • Survive a spinning class
axe throwing
  • Learn how to throw an axe with one hand
  • Bet on the winning horse at a horserace 
  • Learn how to do some hula
  • Learn a traditional dance from locals

Foodie Bucket List

  • Eat fruit I’ve never had before
  • Blend my own wine
  • Attend a molecular mixology class
  • Prepare and indulge in chocolate fondue
  • Try ice wine
  • Make my own ice cream using fresh local ingredients
  • Drink from a freshly picked coconut
  • Listen to live jazz at a wine bar
IMG 1971
  • Try my hand at tea blending
  • Recreate a lost family recipe
  • Make pasta from scratch
  • Learn how to pair food and wine with ease
  • Stomp grapes to make wine
  • Have dinner with locals in a foreign country
  • Participate in a cooking class overseas
  • Find space food that actually tastes decent
  • Pick, roll, and dry my own tea
  • Visit a chocolate factory without Oompa Loompas coming out to sing
  • Eat at a Michelin-starred restaurant
  • Learn to tell the difference between most basic types of cheese
  • Win an eating contest or challenge
  • Make my own jam using produce given by a friend or family member
  • Do a brewery tour by bike
  • Go to drag queen bingo for brunch
  • Bake sourdough bread from starter given by someone else
high tea
  • Have afternoon tea in a luxurious hotel
  • Create an ice cream marble cake
  • Learn to appreciate Japanese whisky
  • Shop for fresh ingredients at a market abroad, then cook a meal for two
  • Make my own cheese
  • Have a romantic dinner on the beach
  • Make a gingerbread house from scratch
  • Make wine from scratch
  • Eat street food in a new country

Miscellaneous Bucket List

No category? These ideas go here.

  • Stay off all social media for a month
  • Get to Inbox Zero
  • Give acupuncture a try
  • Read story time at a library to kids
  • Get a book published
  • Design a character that is recognized by at least one stranger
  • Trace my family tree
  • Write a children’s book
recipe book
  • Create a book of family recipes
  • Go on a picnic with my family somewhere special
  • Write a letter to my future self
  • Meet long-lost relatives 
  • Revisit my alma mater, from kindergarten all the way to college
  • Be interviewed on a podcast
  • Appear in a movie or television show
  • Break a world record
  • Have my home featured in a design magazine or blog
  • Get a board game published
  • Help someone check an item off their bucket list

What’s missing? Would love to hear your unique bucket list ideas!

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