New Year's fireworks The Netherlands

It’s no New Year’s resolution

I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. The entire concept of making a list of vague promises you have no intention to keep has always felt ridiculous to me. The intention behind them is admirable; people seek to break their monotone routines and make real changes to their lives. This feeling is very relatable, but I still don’t think New Year’s resolutions are a good idea, when there’s a much better alternative.

Bucket list

Surprisingly, I feel the exact opposite when it comes to bucket lists. I think they’re brilliant. Unlike a list of unrealistic goals to complete within one year, a bucket list helps you dream. What is it you want to do before you die? What do you want to achieve? Where do you want to travel? What experiences do you want to have? Bucket lists don’t just help you dream, they help you dream big. They inspire you to think about your long-term goals in life. For quite a while, my list consisted of three main goals, and an ever-changing list of places I wanted to visit. The latter is unimportant, but now that my three main goals – travel solo, graduate university and buy a home – have been reached, it’s time to take another look at the future and adjust my plans accordingly. Given enough time, nearly anything is possible if you set your mind to it, so without further ado, here’s my bucket list:

1. Visit my best friend in Hong Kong.

A trip to Hong Kong has been at the top of my travel wish list for a very long time. I met my best friend in secondary school, when she came to The Netherlands for a year. I have wanted to go visit her ever since she left Holland. This feeling only got strengthened when she came back to visit a couple of years ago. I promised her I’d visit her in Hong Kong after I would graduate. It’s been more than a year since I graduated, and despite my promise, there are still no real plans. All I know is that I’d love to turn it into an epic overland journey, instead of taking an 11 hour flight. Life keeps messing up my plans though, and buying a home has brought all my long distance travel plans to a screeching halt. However, Hong Kong stays at the top of my travel wish list, because this trip really does need to happen at some point.

2. Live abroad

Whether it would be for a couple of months or permanently, I would love to live abroad at some point in my life. The idea of working and living in a different country to the one I grew up in has fascinated me for a very long time. It seems like this would be the only way to truly experience another culture, whilst learning a new language, or improving my English. If I were to leave Holland behind for good, I’d want to live in Britain, but for a temporary home abroad, I’d be open to nearly anything. I’m sure that none of this will happen any time soon now that I’ve got my own flat, but if the opportunity would ever arise, I doubt I’d need a lot of time to think about it.

3. Travel to …

If I listed every country I’d like to travel to as a separate item on my bucket list, the list would be about a hundred items long, and under constant change. Some of the places that have been on my list the longest – aside from Hong Kong – are: Mongolia, Oman, Bolivia and Scandinavia. The wish to travel to Scandinavia is fuelled by two things. I have very fond memories of a trip to the westernmost point of Denmark when I was a kid. I fell in love with the gorgeous landscape. More recently, my desire to travel to Scandinavia was brought back after my parents travelled to Iceland. They came back with a little bag of pitch black sand, a large amount of photos and plenty of incredible stories.

4. Go on a trip without any plans

I’ve always been fascinated by this idea. Ideally, I’d like to pack a bag, go to the airport and book a random flight. The idea of not knowing where you’re going to travel to until you’re already at the airport seems like a lot of fun. That said, throwing a dart at a map and travelling to wherever it lands would be an excellent alternative.

Other items on the list

True to a bucket list’s nature, mine is also filled with random things I’d really like to do if I ever get a chance, such as see the northern lights, ride in a hot air balloon, stand on the equator, visit a rainforest or drive a Lamborghini.

Do you have a bucket list? What’s on it? Let me know in the comments!

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