Dontcha guys just love birthdays?! Well, I guess some people don’t, but for the most part, people love celebrating them. And what better way to celebrate the start of a new year than with a birthday bucket list!
Birthdays are a really nice way to be mindful and look at your past and say “yep, I did that” or “oh boy, that was a huge mistake”. But even better than looking back is looking forward. Birthdays bring a sense of freshness and newness to someone’s life. So an upcoming birthday is a great time to pause and think about what you want your future to look like, what you can do to get there, and what are the cool things you want to accomplish.
My 31st birthday is just over four months away and I’ve been thinking lately about how I want to commemorate the occasion. Like a lot of people I have always had a bucket list that is a mile long, and like most of those people, a lot of the things on there remain unchecked.
And I truly want to change that. Having a list of things you want to do before you die reminds you of whats really important. So for my birthday each year, I have decided to compile a birthday bucket list!
I’m a big believer in list making and then placing that list in front of you so you can always see it. I think out of sight, out of mind is so true. Besides, having a bucket list is a great thing and can be totally inspiring if someone puts forth the effort to make things happen. However, if it is just a list of things to do before you die, it doesn’t really light a fire under ya to get it done.
If you would like to join in on this fun new tradition then check out a few ideas below, or read through the motherload and learn how to make your own bucket list!
Birthday bucket list
31 exciting things to do this year
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Written by: Stephanie
Birthday bucket list ideas –
31 before 31
Cook a traditional dish from a different culture – DONE!
We went to Morocco and thought it would be SO MUCH FUN to take a cooking class. Spoiler alert – IT WAS! The riad we stayed at offered the half-day class which included choosing the menu, going to the market to buy ingredients, and then coming home to prep and cook everything.
Two // Go skydiving
This is something I’ve always wanted to do, but seem to chicken out when I’m ready to book it. One day!
Three // Read at least one book a month
Reading is a relaxing hobby that I used to do so much of, but I’ve really fallen off the bandwagon with it. This is an excellent place to scour the web for great books!
Four // Visit an observatory
How fun would this be?! There are a couple around the area here that offer star parties so we’ll have to check those out.
Ride a camel – DONE!
This is something that has been on my list for a LONG time, but I never had the best opportunity to do it. I definitely don’t do the animal rides at the circus or fairs because I think that’s cruel. Morocco presented itself perfectly for a camel ride through part of the Sahara. Now, how is that for a bucket list check?
Eat something totally weird– DONE!
I am a food enthusiast and will eat literally almost anything (no bugs) but I’d never had octopus before. Pete happens to love it so when we were in Mexico we found it on a menu somewhere and had to try it. I was obviously a little scared to, but it wasn’t too bad. It was quite chewy and a bit overcooked so I’ll give it another go one day. I always try things twice, if I hate it the first time I chalk it up to a bad experience, but if I hate it twice then it’s truly something I just don’t care for and that’s totally okay.
Seven // Sleep in a cabin during the winter
This comes from growing up in Texas and not really having winters. How romantic is it to be in a cabin with a fireplace, drinking wine, while the snow is falling? Yes, please.
Eight // Learn to make cheese
Because why not?
Take a cooking class – DONE!
I spoke of taking the cooking class a few bullets back, but this was great fun!
Ten // Learn calligraphy
One of my friends in third grade was practicing calligraphy and it’s always been an interest of mine.
Try 2 new ethnic food types – DONE! Ecuadorian Moroccan
Make it all the way through a haunted house– DONE!
I have a terrible fear of all things scary, but Pete’s family love Halloween so this year I decided to buck up and get through a haunted house. Good news, it wasn’t actually all that bad.
Thirteen // Perfect my grandma’s signature dish
I remember my grandma being a good cook and she had a few dishes that were her signature recipes so I’d like to take those and practice. Lots of great Cajun food.
Dress up in a couples costume for Halloween – DONE!
This is something I’ve always wanted to do but never had. We decided to dress up as Britney Spears and Justin Timberlake circa like 2002 when they wore the full denim outfits.
Fifteen // Go to a drive-in movie
Can you believe I’ve never done this?! Me neither!
Experience a renaissance festival – DONE!
Pete loves this stuff and I don’t think I’d ever been to a true renaissance festival before. Minneapolis puts on a huge one every fall and some people get way into it and dress up in costumes. The usual suspects are there – funnel cakes, turkey legs, tomato throwing, jousting, sword throws etc. So much fun!
Seventeen // Have my palm read
I don’t think I believe in these things, but still fun for the experience of it.
Host a holiday party – DONE!
It wasn’t so much a holiday, but we hosted a big housewarming party about a month or so after we moved in. We did a great big Cajun shrimp boil and had about 12 people in our apartment. It has now become an annual thing because everyone loved it so much.
Organize all my old photos – DONE!
I know I’m not the only one that has photos coming out of every corner of my house or haphazardly scattered on my computer. I took all those photos from their albums and placed them in clear photo boxes. The photos are being scanned and saved onto an external hard drive – much easier to manage.
Have a tasting menu dinner – DONE!
There is a great restaurant here in Minneapolis called Travail. I’ve written about my love of Travail before, but their big thing is a 25+ course tasting menu filled with adorable and artfully crafted small plates.
See a favorite band/singer in concert – DONE!
I have only been to a handful of concerts in my life, my very first was the Backstreet Boys – 90s baby or what? This year I saw one of my favorites, Chris Stapleton. If you’re thinking about seeing him, I recommend it. He puts on a great show.
Twenty-Two // Write a letter to my future self
I’m not sure what I would say, but it would be neat to have a time capsule sort of thing to open later on.
Start my own family traditions for the holidays – DONE!
One of our very first dates was cutting down a Christmas tree so we’ve decided each year we will go back to the same place and choose one.
Twenty-Four // Experience a mud bath
I think this would be super relaxing and a fun experience.
Twenty-Five // Try ice skating again (and not end up in the hospital!)
The first time I went was when I was 9 or 10 and I fell and bumped my head. Spent the next few hours in the hospital being worked up for a possible concussion. With access to all the Minnesota lakes, it would do me some good to get back out there.
Twenty-Six // Go snowshoeing
Again with the non-existent winter in Texas, having enough snow to actually do this would be a lot of fun.
Twenty-Seven // Take a hot yoga class
I love yoga and have been practicing for a few years now, but I’ve never tried hot yoga.
Let go of a floating lantern – DONE!
This is another one of those “huge bucket list” check offs. I always thought I would let one go in Thailand or another Asian country, but there is a company here that travel around and puts on these festivals. It was absolutely a phenomenal experience and I’m so so so happy I did it.
Twenty-Nine // Do 31 random acts of kindness
Because people need to be kinder-
Celebrate someone you love– DONE!
- Send cards to Cards for Hospitalized Kids
- Put together small Christmas gifts for neighbors
- Bake treats for our neighbors
- Deliver flowers to residents in a nursing home
- Send cards to the elderly at Love for the Elderly
- Pay for someone’s dinner
Bring snacks/breakfast to the office– DONE!
- Send dessert to another table
- Drop off some dog or cat food at a shelter
Hold the door for someone– DONE! Let people merge during rush hour– DONE! Say “thank you” a lot– DONE! Donate warm clothes to a shelter– DONE! Don’t complain– DONE!
- Give out coloring books and crayons to the pediatric unit
- Drop off combs, toothbrushes, and toothpaste at a shelter
- Donate to the National diaper bank network
- Leave a gift for the mailman
- Leave money in an envelope at the vending machine
- Buy a treat for the cashier when I checkout
- Leave a “have a happy day” note on someone’s car
- Send an unexpected gift to a friend
- Leave a nice note for my partner
Make a homemade treat for my pet– DONE!
- Bake Christmas cookies for neighbors/coworkers
- Donate toys for the holidays
Donate my unwanted clothes to a shelter– DONE!
- Put a post-it note that says something nice on a mirror
- Donate blood
- Hang a bag of candy on neighbors doors for Halloween
Thirty // Make a time capsule to open on my 40th birthday
Sort of like the letter, but I’d like to include other things in it as well.
Have a facial– DONE!
This was aaaaaamazing! I highly recommend everyone having a facial at some point in their lives.
….and one to grow on
Thirty-Two // Finally, finish my family cookbook
Over the last few years, I’ve been compiling a list of family recipes from my grandma, aunts, cousins etc. I need to finish editing this so I can give it out as gifts.
If this has inspired you to create your own birthday bucket list or general everyday bucket list check out how to get started below!
Read Next: How to create your own bucket list
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Founder of Packing for Plenty in July 2017. Along with her husband, Pete, she is on a mission to visit most countries. And wants to take y’all along as well! On PFP Steff provides travel itineraries ranging from a weekend trip nearby to 2 weeks living abroad like a local…detailed destination specific travel tips that aren’t readily available elsewhere…and unique and interesting bucket list worthy experiences.