The term “bucket list” is possibly the most commonly used word in travel these days. You hear it from almost every traveler; things you just have to do before you die, or in this case, on your trip. But why do you need it? Why those particular things? Are these things genuinely stuff that interest you? Below are highlighted reasons to ditch that travel bucket list, or at least, amend it to match your personality, your passions, and what makes you truly happy.
- Lacks Authenticity
If you were honest with yourself, are the things on your travel bucket list things that reflect your passions, things you care about or are they things you saw off someone’s Instagram, and you don’t want to be left out? It is likely to be the latter. Most items on travel bucket lists have a herd mentality. Everyone wants to do it just because someone famous or “cool” is doing it. Instead of blindly following crowd favorites, visit that slam poetry event you were just given a flyer for as you were roaming the streets. It might not be popular, but you love poetry. It makes you happy, and that’s what’s important.
- Creates Expectations
You’ve spent three months drooling over the ideas of the perfect selfies that will make your friends green with envy seeing you diving at “The Great Barrier Reef,” but you finally get there and do it, and you know what? It’s not at all what you expected. Travel bucket lists have a way of creating too high of expectations. They can, sometimes, paint an unrealistic picture. Be excited about your trip but also, be open to the fact that things don’t always appear as they seem in photographs.
- Leads To Regret
When you create a travel bucket list, it becomes the primary purpose of the trip, which then takes precedence over anything else. In that, if you, somehow, don’t get a chance to do it, you’ll likely beat yourself up for it. It will feel like a failure, a failed trip. Take travel as it comes. Travel should be enjoyable and not feel like a task. Let go, relax, and take it as it happens.
- Creates Competition
Travel, in a way, has become more about one-upping each other. People are traveling not to enjoy the benefit of experiences that it offers, but to brag or show that they can do it better. This is why you’ll see people crossing borders solely to get stamps and have an almost zero to no interaction with the area, the locals, or anything related to the country or place. This is the curse of travel bucket lists. Take your time to savor and enjoy a region. Travel is not about the miles or the other person. It’s about expanding your horizons (mind and body), meeting new people, seeing new things, and creating lasting experiences.
- Kills Spontaneity
Spontaneity is the soul of travel. Bucket lists tend to take out any sense of impulsivity because you fixate your time, energy, and resources on doing those particular things. You have no time for last minute random adventures, which usually, end up being the highlight of most trips. Say yes to that random plan from a local to visit his village and learn about his daily life and culture. Be flexible. Get out of your bucket list comfort zone and embrace some spontaneous adventures.
- Misses Opportunities
Time, money, and energy are usually reserved for bucket list items. This means that you may miss out on other equally great deals that may come along the way. For example, you may miss out on a flight deal to a favored destination with your friends because all your resources are already taken up by that one thing. By all means, make plans, but don’t let your list of items dominate everything else. Leave a little wiggle room for some other unexpected prospects to fit in, too.
Travel bucket lists can be fun, or even, worthwhile. But at the same time, they are not a requisite for travel. You do not have to have a particular list of things to tick off to have a delightful travel experience. Let your passions and interests be your travel guide. Be influenced but don’t just blindly follow the status quo, peers, or the media to dictate what travel goals are. Turn your David Livingstone on and explore to find hidden gems. Do not put limits on how much you can see. Be flexible with your plans, and remember, don’t be a crowd follower. Be true to you.