1. Do an extreme sport
I don’t consider myself an extreme-sports person, but I do like to experiment in life. When I was in Cape Town in April 2013, my host and reader Lizette invited me to go paragliding as she has friends who are licensed tandem paragliding pilots. I took up the offer, and went paragliding not once, but twice!!!
The experience was immense and one that I’ll never forget. I do recommend everyone to try at least one extreme sport in our lifetimes! (Of course, make sure *all* safety precautions are in place and you are with professional and licensed instructors.) While the experience may only last a couple of minutes, those few minutes will be some of the most memorable ones in your life.
2. Climb a mountain
Why risk your life to climb a mountain when the journey is fraught with rocky terrains and with ever-changing weather conditions? For some, mountain climbing is an external conquest; some find enjoyment in the sport; others see it as a step in their personal growth journey. Whatever it is, mountain climbing is a feat that takes physical endurance and mental tenacity to accomplish, and is definitely a bucket list worthy item. I haven’t climbed a mountain yet but I plan to do that sometime in the future!
3. Be a mentor to someone
Teaching is one of the most rewarding things we can do. No matter how old you are, even if you are in your teens, you are always in the position to mentor someone else — perhaps someone who is more junior than you or someone who is older but can benefit from a particular expertise you have. Mentoring others is also a great way for you to develop yourself too.
Many communities are always looking for volunteer mentors, so check with your local community programs for such opportunities. At the same time, is there anyone you know who can benefit from being mentored by you? Extend your hand to help — who knows, it may well be what he/she needs at this moment!
4. Fly in a hot-air balloon
The view of the world as you float away in a hot-air balloon… spectacular. Once, I got to fly in a hot-air balloon while I was in Orange County in 2012… though that was just a stationary balloon ride that went up for a minute before coming back down. My next goal is to have a real hot-air balloon ride.
5. See the Northern Lights
The Northern Lights, also known as the Aurora Borealis, is a “natural light display in the sky particularly in the high latitude (Arctic and Antarctic) regions, caused by the collision of energetically charged particles with atoms in the high altitude atmosphere” (Wikipedia). A natural phenomenon, the northern lights is a magnificent sight to behold, which is why people from all around the world travel great distances just for a chance to witness this phenomenon.
The most popular places to see them are in Sweden, Iceland, Norway, Finland, Canada, and Scotland, though it should be noted that sightings are never guaranteed due to the unpredictability of weather.
6. Play a (new) musical instrument
Have you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar/violin/piano/etc. but never had a chance to? It’s never too late even if you’re an adult because science says it’s still possible! Learning to play a new instrument not only teaches you discipline but also makes you smarter — did you know that musicians use both sides of their brains more frequently than average people? And that among Nobel Prize-winners, there are a disproportionately high number of musicians? (But whether it’s their music lessons that made them smarter or vice versa is a different question altogether!)
7. Go on a road trip
A road trip is a journey taken on roads, typically by automobile. While some would consider a road trip as tiring, a road trip can actually be fun, especially when accompanied by the right people — and perhaps, great music! Not only is it relaxing to go on a long, non-stop ride, it also provides a great view of the country/city (depends on where you are driving) and creates an opportunity for you and your companions to bond with each other.
8. Live in a different country for at least 6 months
It’s great to holiday in countries around the world; it’s a different thing to live in a different country for an extended period of time. With the former, what you get is a taste of how different countries and cultures are like; with the latter, you get a full immersion of local culture and an inside view of it’s like to be a resident.
Realize that every country is richer than what you see from its tourist attractions — for example, while tourists in London will remember it for its Big Ben, London Eye, London cabs, and castles, what I remember London for (having stayed there for 3 months) is the amazing friendships I made that have stood the test of geographical boundaries of time, how its a melting pot of different cultures, the cosmopolitan outlook of its residents, and the forward-thinking culture.