my bucket list and
ideas for yours

“Never say ‘no’ to adventures. Always say ‘yes,’ otherwise you’ll lead a very dull life.”
Ian Fleming


A few weeks ago I was going through my laptop deleting old pictures and word documents when I came across my Bucket List.  When I was in High School my friends and I used to watch MTV’s The Buried Life which was about 4 guys who travel around the United States crossing things off their bucket list.  However, the twist is that for each item they cross off they help a stranger cross something off their own list.

It was a pretty cool concept.

It got me and my friends thinking that we should each have one of our own as well.  So my bucket list began at the tender age of 16 when I thought I knew everything I wanted out of life.

Related: Why it’s okay to be selfish

You’ll find my bucket list below.  I’m hoping that by sharing mine I can give you your own bucket list ideas.  Since starting my bucket list when I was 16, I’ve added to it over the years.  Some of my bucket list items are old, outdated, and no longer apply to things I want out of life.  Some of them are really random, obscure, and may only interest me.  But at the end of the day, your bucket list and the ideas on it should be a personal and true reflection of the goals and the experiences you desire to have. I know mine are.

“And then there is the most dangerous risk of all -- the risk of spending your life not doing what you want on the bet you can buy yourself the freedom to do it later.”
Randy Komisar

I have two rules when adding bucket list ideas to my list:

  1. I can’t ever delete anything once it’s been added.  I do this for multiple reasons. It helps me not add things super impulsively. But more importantly, it’s fun to look back and see what I used value and what my dream/goals were.  My bucket list is a great snapshot to show what things I thought were important during different phases (lawyer, politician, world traveler, blogger etc) of my life.  Lastly, it helps remind me of things I once wanted which I forgot about, and who knows, it may inspire me to finally go after one of them even after all this time.
  2. When it comes to bucket list ideas, nothing is too big or small or crazy or unoriginal or outlandish to be considered.  I don’t care if no one’s done it or if everyone has.  Plain and simple, if it’s something I want to do during my lifetime it makes the list.

Related: The Power of ‘What Next’

I’ve broken my bucket list ideas and activities into categories and added pictures perfect for making the best photo book later on.  Partly to make it more entertaining/easier to follow and partly to prove that I’ve done some of the stuff that I underlined.

My bucket list ideas categories:

Adventure & Experiences
Fitness & Sports
Talent & Skills
Give Life Meaning
Travel & Wanderlust 
Road Trippin’
The Great Outdoors
Places to Stay
Travel Goals & Sites
Because Why Not?

Adventure & Experiences

  • Live a full year in a foreign country and immerse in their culture (Australia 2015)
  • Live in a major city  (over 2 million people) (Melbourne)
  • Attend EDC (2013)
  • Attend Ultra (2013)
  • Attend Coachella
  • Attend Tomorrowland (2014)
  • Attend Electric Forest
  • Attend Wakarusa
  • Attend Burning Man (2016 & 2018)
  • Attend a concert at Red Rocks (The Head and the Heart 2017)
  • Attend a concert at The Gorge
  • Run with the Bulls
  • Stand on top of a Mountain
  • Buy a plane ticket on the same day it takes off. Go somewhere spontaneous.
  • Join the mile high club
  • Be arrested for inciting a riot
  • Go ATVing around the Pyramids (2019)
  • Save a life
  • Visit a Castle (2014)
  • Hold a lion cub
  • Swim with Sharks

Related: What Is Burning Man

First drinks as a Melbourne resident.

Few things compare to Tomorrowland in Boom, Belgium

One of the greatest parts of Burning Man is watching the sunrise with new friends.

Burning Man where you can finally embrace your weird and find others doing the same

The reason we hike is to enjoy the view at the top

ATVs+ Slav squatting + pyramids = great day

  • 1.
  • See a Volcano erupt (2014)
  • Full Moon Party in Thailand (2017)
  • Become scuba certified (2014)
  • Scuba the Great Barrier Reef (2014)
  • Scuba a ship wreck
  • VIP and Bottle Service at a club (2014 Hvar, Belgrade, Melbourne)
  • Feed a kangaroo (2014)
  • Eat Kangaroo (2014)
  • Hold a Koala (2014)
  • Ride in a helicopter (2020)
  • Climb Sydney Harbor Bridge
  • Go White Water Rafting (Bali, Costa Rica, Colorado)
  • White Water Raft the top 10 rivers in the world 1/10)
  • White Water raft the Grand Canyon
  • Zipline (Vietnam and Costa Rica)
  • Ride a camel (2019)
  • Celebrate Mardi Gras in NOLA (2014)
  • Name a Star
  • Gamble in Vegas (2013)

Related: This Must be the Place

  • Hang Glide
  • See the fire fly squid glow in Japan
  • Ride an Elephant (this has been removed due to learning how cruel it is to the elephant)
  • Bathe an Elephant (2018)
  • Drink beer at Oktoberfest in Germany
  • Try-out for the Amazing Race with Z
  • See the Northern Lights
  • Experience “White Nights” in Russia (2018)
  • Lead a dog sled team
  • Go skinny dipping (2013)
  • Fly in a Hot Air Balloon
  • Swim with dolphins
  • Send a message in the bottle (2010)
  • Go on a date with Emma Watson
  • Be an extra in a movie or TV show
  • Stay up and watch the sunrise, hanging out and making memories with friends (2014)- Brett Nelson, Brandon Ritttenhouse, Jessica Waters, and Cherish Cane
  • Go sky diving
  • Throw a major party (500 guests minimum) (2017)
  • Go on a safari
  • Ride a Horse (2008)
  • Leave a club or bar as the sun is rising (Europe 2014)
  • See a blockbuster movie release at midnight showing on opening day (2012 HP #7)
  • Crash a wedding

Related: The Key to Getting What You Want

Fitness & Sports

  • Go to the FIFA World Cup (2018 Russia)
  • Go to the Super Bowl
  • Go to the World Series
  • Go to the NBA Finals
  • Infield at the Kentucky Derby
  • Attend a March Madness game (2012)
  • Go to the Soccer World Cup (2018 in Russia)
  • Watch Nebraska win the National Championship in person
  • Watch Creighton win the Big East in person
  • Meet Tom Osborne (2010)
  • Go to a Yankees vs. Red Sox game
  • Go to a Duke vs. UNC game at Cameron Indoor
  • Participate in the “Rock Chalk Jayhawk” chant at Allen Field House (2016)
  • Attend the ESPYS
  • Play pickup basketball after age 50
  • Coach a youth sport (2012) YMCA basketball and football
  • Visit every stadium in the NBA (3/30)
  • Race a car on an actual race track
  • Get decent at golf and play at a legendary course.
  • Learn the difference between AFL and NRL (2015)
  • Understand the basics of Cricket (2015)
  • Attend the Olympic games
  • Run a 5k
  • Run a half marathon
  • Meet John Wooden (RIP Coach Wooden)
  • Improve my diet and fitness, get a 6 pack. Keep it for at least a few months.
  • 1.


  • Graduate High School (2008)
  • Get into a “prestigious” University (2008)
  • Graduate College (major and double minor)  (2012)
  • Graduate College with honors (3.5 or better) (2012)
  • Get into Law school (2012)
  • Graduate Law school
  • Get my Masters
  • Get my Doctorate
  • Never stop learning

Related: F*ck Happiness and other thoughts on mindfulness 

"Empty pockets never held anyone back. Only empty heads and empty hearts can do that."

Norman Vincent Peale

Talent & Skills

  • Get ridiculously good at chess.
  • Learn a martial art
  • Learn to Ski (2009)
  • Learn to Surf (2017)
  • Learn to Sail
  • Learn a second language
  • Learn to dance: swing, line, tango, salsa, ballroom
  • Learn to fly an airplane or helicopter
  • Learn how to drive a motorcycle
  • Learn to drive a stick shift
  • Sing solo in front of a large group (minimum 100) (2011)
  • Learn to play an instrument decently well (2008  Saxophone)
  • Take a cooking class (2017 Thailand) 
  • Have a “signature dish” or two
  • Have one hobby that I’m known for (traveling)
  • Learn to play the guitar
  • Solve a Rubik’s Cube.
  • 1.

Give Life Meaning

  • Find my passion
  • Be well read and cultured
  • Quit a job I don’t like. Travel and make memories (2013-2015)
  • Have the love and respect of my friends and family
  • Learn to overcome my fears and self-doubts
  • Be someone’s Best Man
  • Give a memorable Toast
  • Find the love of my life (Love you Emma)
  • Know that I’ve inspired someone for the better
  • Be a mentor to someone
  • Be someone’s shoulder to cry on
  • Visit a new country every year until I die
  • Write hand-written love letters to the love of my life
  • Donate anonymously to a great cause
  • Start collecting something that fascinates me ( 2017 Chess pieces from around the world)
  • Have friends all over the world (2013-)
  • Attend the TED conference
  • Volunteer at a TED or TEDx event (2016)
  • Start a charity
  • Help a large group of people in need
  • Have a wall to wall bookshelf in my study filled with books I’ve read
  • Have a wall to wall bookshelf in my study filled with books I want to read
  • Buy a nice watch, pass it down to my son when he turns 18
  • Write hand-written notes to those who’ve impacted my life  (done but always more to write)
  • Enjoy a white Christmas with someone who has never had one
  • Introduce someone to Thanksgiving for the first time (Cruise ship 2013)

Related: Finding the One: Who or When?

Travel & Wanderlust

United States:

  • Los Angeles, Ca (2013)
  • San Francisco, CA (2019)
  • Boston, MA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Sacramento, CA (2018)
  • Hawaii
  • Miami, FL (2013)
  • Las Vegas (2013)
  • Portland, OR
  • Santa Barbara, CA (2013)
  • Alaska
  • Nashville, TN
  • New York City (2008)
  • Sedona, AZ (2019)
  • Aspen, CO (2008)
  • Breckenridge, CO (2018)
  • Salt Lake City, UT (2018
  • Austin, TX
  • Boise, ID
  • Moab, UT
  • Santa Fe, NM
  • Charleston, SC


  • Vancouver (2019)
  • Whistler
  • Toronto
  • Quebec City
  • Montreal
  • Ottowa


  • Mexico City (2020)
  • Puerto Vallarta
  • Todos Santos (2020)
  • Tulum
  • Cancun
  • Cabo (2020)
  • Cozumel
  • Oaxaca
  • Puebla
  • Guanajuato
  • San Miguel de Allende

Related: International Travel Tips

  • 1.

Road Trippin’

  • Grand Canyon, Arizona to Moab, Utah (2020)
  • Route 66, Illinois to California
  • The Atlantic Ocean Road, Norway
  • Drive the Great Ocean road in Australia Melbourne to Adelaide (2015)
  • Karakoram Highway (China to Pakistan)
  • Ring Road, Iceland
  • The Dalton Highway, Alaska
  • Milford Road, New Zealand
  • Amalfi Coast Road, Italy
  • Highway 101- California to Oregon (2019)
  • Through the Red Center, Australia
  • Hummingbird Highway, Belize (2021)
  • The Wild Atlantic Way, Ireland
  • North Coast 500, Scotland

Related: On Free Spirits

  • 1.

The Great Outdoors

Related: Feeding the Vagabond


  • Paris (2014)
  • Greece (2018)
  • Croatia (2014)
  • Barcelona (2014)
  • Amsterdam (2014)
  • Prague (2014)
  • Vienna (2014)
  • Rome
  • (the Vatican)
  • Florence (2014)
  • Poland
  • Istanbul (2019)
  • Budapest (2014)
  • Ireland (2014)
  • Moscow (2018)
  • St. Petersburg (2018)
  • Sochi (2018)
  • Serbia (2014)
  • Lisbon (2018)
  • London (2014)
  • Berlin (2014)



  • Cape Town
  • Cairo (2019)
  • North Coast, Egypt (2019)
  • Dahab, Egypt (2019)
  • Luxor
  • Chad
  • Morocco
  • Botswana
  • Addis Ababa
  • Tanzania
  • Seychelles
  • Kruger National Park
  • Serengeti National Park

Related: 9 Tips for your next trip

  • 1.


  • Sri Lanka
  • Bali (2017)
  • The Maldives
  • Thailand (2017)
    Chang Mai
    Koh Tao
  • Vietnam
    Halong Bay
    Phong Nha Caves
    Hoi An
  • India
  • Laos
  • Cambodia
    Siem Reap
    Ankor Wat
  • Singapore
  • Philippines
  • Dubai
  • Nepal
  • Kuala Lumpur
  • Burma
  • Israel
  • Lebanon (2019)
  • Jordan
  • Jerusalem
  • Bahrain

Related: 25 Lessons Learned from Traveling 


  • Australia
    Sydney (2014)
    Melbourne (2015)
    Brisbane (2013)
    Gold Coast (2015)
    Kangaroo Island
    Byron Bay (2015)
    Uluru (Ayers Rock)
  • Tasmania
  • New Zealand
  • Port Vila (2013)
  • Fiji (2014)
  • Papa New Guinea (2014)
  • Tonga

Related: Travel fatigue- the dark side of paradise

Few things beat bathing with the elephants in Chang Mai

Bali swing time!

Few things beat the rice fields in Sapa, Vietnam

  • 1.

Central America

  • Costa Rica (2018)
  • Dominic Republic
  • Belize (2021)
  • Nicaragua
  • Honduras
  • Guatemala
  • Panama
  • St. Martin
  • Puerto Rico

South America

  • Cartagena Colombia
  • Rio De Janeiro (Brazil)
  • Carnival in Brazil
  • Hike Patagonia
  • Ecuador (2020)
  • Peru (2021)
  • Buenos Aires (Argentina)
  • Chile

Related: What makes a bad traveler? 

Once in a Lifetime Places to Stay

  • A room in an Underwater Hotel (Dubai)
  • Water bungalow (Maldives)
  • Glass Igloo (Finland)
  • The Secret Garden (Cotopaxi)
  • Sleep in a hanging Tree House

Travel Goals, Amazing Sites, & Landmarks

  • Join the Travelers Century Club– Visit 100 countries (56/100)
  • Travel alone for an extended period of time 2013-2015
  • Backpack Europe (2014)
  • Work on a Cruise ship (2013)
  • Teach English Abroad (2014)
  • See the “7 Wonders of the World”
    Great Wall of China: China
    Petra: Ma’an Governorate, Jordan
    Pyramid at Giza: Giza, Egypt (2019)
    The Colosseum : Rome, Italy
    Chichen Itza : Yucatán, Mexico
    Manchu Pichu:  Cuzco, Peru
    Christ the Redeemer: Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
  • See the sunrise from Mount Sinai (2019)
  • Great Barrier Reef: Australia (2014)
  • Taj Mahal : Agra, Uttar Pradesh, India
  • See the Leaning Tower of Pisa (2014)
  • See the Eiffel Tower (2014)
  • See Big Ben, London Eye, Tower of London (2014)
  • Visit every continent (Antarctica if the opportunity arises)
    North America (2008)
    South America (2020)
    Europe (2014)
    Asia (2017)
    Africa (2019)
    Australia (2013)
  • 1.

Because Why Not?

  • Buy land/a house in another country (2020)
  • Start my own company- Of Whiskey and Words Travel Agency
  • Become really knowledgeable about whiskey
  • Become a Whiskey Sommelier
  • Have an impressive whiskey collection
  • Distill my own whiskey
  • Have a lake or beach house
  • Record a StoryCorp conversation with my parents
  • Move to the West Coast of America
  • Get a straight razor shave
  • Grow a beard; shave it in a fun way (2018)
  • Own my dream car, pay cash
  • Read the 100 best books of all time list (7/100)
  • Leave an obnoxiously nice tip when a server or bartender really impresses you (at least 50%)
  • Receive an obnoxiously nice tip as a bartender or server (more than 50%) (2014)
  • Get a suit custom made (Bali 2017)
  • Camp fire and stay the night on the beach
  • Never be boring
  • Start a blog (2013)
  • Get over 100,000 users in a year (2020)
  • Get over 200,000 users in a year (2020)
  • Get over 1 million views on Of Whiskey and Words
  • Have over 1 million followers on Of Whiskey and Words
  • Own a tuxedo that fits perfectly and make sure never to grow out of it.
  • Vacation in a place without internet for at least a week
  • Plant a tree and watch it grow over time

That’s my bucket list! 

I know it will never be finished because I’m constantly adding to it and updating it as I go new places and talk to other people.  I mean, how could you hear someone tell you about white water rafting in Costa Rica and then not want to do it?!  The world is an incredible place and there is so much out there for each of us to do and see. There are worthy bucket list ideas around every corner!

I’ve found that by writing the list of things I want to do before I die down I find it easier to do them and hold myself accountable.   Because I keep adding things I know I’ll never cross every item off or ‘finish’  my list and that’s okay.

It may sound cliche, but life is really about the journey not the destination.

What things am I missing? What are some of the coolest things you’ve done?
More importantly, what things do you still want to do? What are your bucket list ideas?

Stay Gold.

Todd Smidt

About Todd Smidt

Todd is a man of simple tastes: traveling, words, whiskey, & dad jokes. He enjoys first-rate banter, long walks along the coast, High West, and Vonnegut. He spends his free time traveling the world, drinking whiskey, and writing about it.