Skydiving for the Thrill Seekers Bucket List

Skydiving was one of the first bucket list goals I crossed off, mostly because it doesn’t take a lot of time or money. It also became one of the most thrilling experiences of my life.

A lot of people said I was crazy and shook their heads, but eventually I found four coworkers willing to strap a stranger onto their back and jump out of a plane with nothing but parachute.

We drove over to Vermont Skydiving Adventures in rural West Addison, Vermont.  After training, suiting up and practicing, two of us, plus our skydiving instructors, the pilot and the videographer/photographer squished into a tiny, tiny plane.

Skydiving in PlaneI skydived with my work supervisor and, yes, I wondered if I would have a job after this adventure.]

We sat on the floor and I was jammed tight between the door, the pilot and my instructor. Aloft, I felt and heard the roaring wind.  I looked down and saw a gap in the door, giving me a bird’s eye view of the growing distance back to the ground. The adrenaline started pumping.

At 11,000 feet, we maneuvered ourselves into jumping position. The little latch on the door was let loose and it flipped up with the force of the wind, revealing a horrific distance between me and the ground. My stomach was in my throat, the sound of the air merged with the pumping of blood through my veins.

Sitting on the edge of the plane, I put my feet on the wing. We had two, brief moments left:

1)     Look at the camera and smile. I wasn’t too capable of this on my own, so my instructor moved my head toward the camera, then away from the camera and back up into position.

2)     Split-second pause….at which point a tiny voice in my head said, “Am I sane?”

Skydiving Smile for the CameraClearly, I was too shocked to look at the camera myself, so my instructor had to maneuver my head manually, producing these priceless photos.]

Then we were falling.

For the first few seconds, it was all adrenaline, fear and excitement. The wind beat hard at my body and ear drums. I forced my eyes open and realized we were flipping: “There’s the sun. Oh, there it is again!”

Gravity had a 130 MPH downward grip on us. The force of the air shoved my breath back down my windpipe.

Skydiving Fall

Eventually, the instructor signaled to extend my arms and get out of the fetus position. Then he signaled to pull the rip cord. I pulled hard and suddenly we reversed direction, going up again.

We floated and turned and swooped. This was the only time my stomach felt queasy, but I didn’t want it to stop. I wanted to savor this and stay, live up here in the clouds forever.

On the ground, our reactions ranged widely. I was excited and didn’t know what to do with all the extra energy. Joe was the best: grinning ear-to-ear, his hair blown back, he glowed/floated off the landing field.

I can vividly re-inhabit two moments: when the airplane door opened dramatically and right before I jumped and it was all before me. The adrenaline rush is still accessible and it was an experience of a lifetime.

If you haven’t gone skydiving, don’t let it linger on your bucket list. The US Parachute Association states that tandem dives, perfect for the beginner, cost between $150-$250. It’s worth a few months of brown bag lunches or skipped lattes.

But, beware: other bucket list goals may pale in comparison to the thorough adrenaline rush that skydiving provides.

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Fall for Fall – The top 5 bucket list ideas for Fall 2014.

For parents all around the world, it’s the most wonderful time of the year. The kids are back at school and routines are back on track. But for the rest of us, the end of summer is a bummer, to say the least. But since we can’t change mother nature’s seasons, we might as well embrace my second favorite season of the year, fall.

The changing of the leaves brings in crisp air, sweaters, and most importantly pumpkin spice. So here’s to having the ultimate autumn with these 5 awesome and tasty bucket list ideas for fall 2014.

1. Make Something Pumpkin Spice.

I seriously can’t get enough of the stuff. From lattes to scones, there is nothing more fall than pumpkin spice.

Make something Pumpkin Spice(1)

2. Capture the perfect picture of the beautiful fall foliage.

Nature is definitely a beaut at this time of year. Photographing the perfect fall day is a great way to let your artistic side shine through, no filter necessary.

VISUAL

3. Win “Best Costume” at a Halloween Party

It may seem a little early to start thinking about Halloween, but before you know it, the ghouls and goblins will be out in full force, and you’ll regret not starting earlier!

bucketlist costume

4. Turn your home into a haunted house.

So you have the ultimate Halloween costume ready, what next? Why not become the spookiest place on the block. Hang skeletons, spider webs, and zombies around the house, dim the lights, and prepare to fright. After all, what’s life without a little fear? Don’t forget about the jack-o-lanterns.

bucket list halloween

5. Go apple or pumpkin picking

Finally, the fall means that it’s time for the harvest. Have the perfect day and bring the family over to a pick your own apple farm, or if its nearing the day of the dead, pick out that perfect pumpkin for carving!

go applepicking

Check out some over awesome bucket list ideas over at Bucketlist.

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Prioritize Your Bucket List – The first steps to success

How do you prioritize your bucket list and make sure you actually start living your deepest dreams and goals?

If you’re like me, you have a lengthy bucket list and all of it sounds fun.  We want to skydive while traveling across Europe on our way to a meditation retreat at which we find the love of our life, right?

Skydiving

I took six steps toward my bucket list and the last two years of my life have been drastically different than the ones before. Give these a try and let us know how the steps work for you:

1.     Write it All Down

Everything you’ve ever wanted to do. Nothing is too big or too small for this list. Working in Excel will make the next steps much easier.

2.     Create 3 Levels

In a second column, write 1, 2 or 3 next to every item. Ones are the things you have to do in order to die happy someday.  Twos are things you’d love to look back on. Threes are things that would be cool to complete, but aren’t really gripping for you right now.

Sort the data by this column, so the Ones are at the top.

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3.     Estimate the Money

In Column C, create estimates for all of your Ones.  Do quick searches on flights and hotels, or classes and books, or gear and lessons.  Use rough averages; it doesn’t have to be precise at this stage.

Not everything requires money, I understand. But even the lofty goals, like falling in love, might require a Match.com subscription.

4.     Estimate the Time

In Column D estimate the time you’ll need for each item.  If you’re very detailed, create two columns: actual days and vacation days.

Not everything has a clear timeline, I understand. This column is mostly about how much time you want to truly and utterly devote to the project.

Now, all of your Ones – the things you must do in order to die happy (some day, very distant future) –have budgets and timelines.  Let the IRL (in real life) fun start!

Prioritize Your Bucket List - Chart

5.     Commit Time and Money This Year

Ask yourself these two questions: How much money can I spend on these projects in the next year? How much time can I devote to them?

6.     Do the Bucket List

Believe it or not, the answers to those last two questions are your only limitations to dying happy at any time, at least when it comes to prioritize your bucket list.  If you have $500 to spare in the next year, get to work on the bucket list items that cost less than that.  If you only have 3 vacation days left, get to work on the projects you can accomplish in that time.

You may be surprised at how much is within your reach.  The first year I did this, I accomplished 5 things on my bucket list!

And, of course, the more time and money you devote to your bucket list, the more of your dreams and goals you can accomplish.  But you’ll find you can start somewhere in some way, and then living your dreams will become a way of life!

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Top 7 Back to School Bucket List Ideas

Just a couple more weeks of freedom before the school bell rings and parents can breath a sigh of relief. Even though summers almost over doesn’t mean the fun has to end there. Call me a nerd, but back to school was one of my favourite times of the year.  Fresh notebooks, new clothes, and reuniting with friends are just a couple of reasons why September is awesome. But if your dreading the homework and those hallowed halls, here are our top 10 things you need to do before the school doors open.

7 Things to do Before You Go Back to School

 

1. Swim in the ocean/lake/pool

It doesn’t matter where you go swimming, but take advantage of the warm weather while it’s still here! When I was growing up, my sister and I would always beg our mum to take us to the pool before school started, it’s just the symbol of my young summers.

2. Finish that summer read

Once you’re back to school you can nearly forget reading for pleasure, especially if you’re heading to University. If you’re halfway through Harry Potter, obviously its a no brainer.

3. Throw one last summer bbq

Soon the snow will start to fall from the sky and you’ll look back longingly on the times you could sit on a patio for hours without a care in the world.

back to school bucket list

4. Go to the Fair

Nothing screams summer like wandering around your local fair grounds. Ride the ferris wheel, eat deep fried fair food, win for yourself or someone you love an oversized teddy and live those instagram worthy memories.

5. Run a 5km or a Color Run

While the weather’s still warm, get outside and get moving. Colour runs are such healthy and memorable activities. Check out the people below, they seem to be having a pretty amazing time!

6. Take a last minute road trip

Soon routine will take over. It’s time to live out your spontaneous youthful days during these last couple of years!

7. Dance in the rain

Such a popular bucket list idea, but definitely for a reason. For me the smell after a summers rain is can’t be copied, so fresh, so clean. Break through any reservations and easily knock this one off the bucket list before school starts.

Use every last minute of summer to the fullest.

PS: What activities are you going to cross off your bucket list before school starts?

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Top 5 Bucket List Ideas Inspired by Mother Nature

The power of nature is seen every day. From a beautiful sunset, to a frighteningly spectacular lightning storm, there really is no show like a Mother Nature show… In fact over at bucketlist.org 5 of our top 25 goals of the site are bucket list ideas involving mother nature!

Check out,

Top 5 Bucket List Ideas Inspired by Mother Nature

1. See the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis)

The Aurora Borealis comes out as the most added goal on bucketlist.org. 14,121 people have “To see the Northern Lights” on their bucket list. And why wouldn’t they? The Aurora Borealis, “is a natural light display in the sky, especially in the high latitude regions, caused by the collision of solar wind and magnetospheric charged particles with the high altitude atmosphere” (source). Literally the nights sky is electrified! Interested in adding one of the most popular bucket list ideas to your list? Click here to add to your list.

2. Visit a Volcano

One word, magma! Seeing the earth’s melted crust must be a pretty spectacular site to see. And apparently I’m not the only person who thinks so – intact 12,869 people have “visit a volcano” on their bucket list.

volcanoAdd, “Visit a Volcano” to your Bucket List.

3. Visit Niagara Falls

Bordering Canada and the USA, Niagara Falls is one of the most spectacular sites to see before you die! 11941 people have added Niagara Falls to their bucket lists already. Did you know that:

  • The 3 waterfalls combine to produce the highest flow rate of any waterfall on earth.
  • The largest vertical drop is over 165 feet (50 metres).
  • The Niagara Falls were created by glacier activity around 10000 years ago (source)

Add “Visit Niagara Falls” to your bucket list.  

4. Walk Behind a Waterfall

Speaking of waterfalls…. Did you know that over 8450 people want to walk behind a waterfall in their lifetime? Take a walk through natures shower. And bonus this goal is fairly easy to accomplish. Do you have, “walk behind a waterfall” on your bucket list?

waterfall

 

5. Swim The Great Barrier Reef

Finally, this list wouldn’t be complete without an ocean. Not just any goal but a fabulous bucket list dream of mine, swim the great barrier reef! The home of Nemo and Dore, scuba the reef to see some of the most exotic fish and aquatic species known to mankind! There is no description I could give that would be as effective as these photos:

 reef3

reef 2

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bucket list

Join the 6231 people who have “Swim the Great Barrier Reef” on their bucket list.

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Top 5 Travel Destinations to Add to Your Bucket List

The world is your oyster, and you are it’s shining pearl. There are so many fabulous places to see in this beautiful world, that it was nearly impossible for me to narrow down this list to just 5 places. But I am fortunate enough to have access to one of the world biggest bucket list sources of inspiration.

Ever wonder where people just have to see before they, you know, kick the bucket? Well wonder no more my friends. Because I’m here to share with you the top 5 travel spots that you just have to add to your Bucket List.

5 Most Popular Bucket List Destinations

1. France

Vive le France, or at least Paris. It seems the city of lights, and specifically the Eiffel Tower is at the top of the travel destination bucket list.

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What to do in France:

Go to the top of the Eiffel Tower

– Walk over to Mont Saint-Michel

Eat a crepe in France

2. Italy 

Anyone who’s witnessed the beauty of Tuscany know just how appealing Italy is to the average tourist. So it is no surprise that cities such as Rome, Venice and Milan pop up on so many people’s Bucket Lists.

rome bucket list idea

What to do in Italy

See the Colosseum

Visit Cinque Terres 

Make a wish at the Fontana di Trevi

3. Bora Bora

So nice you say it twice, the beautiful island of French Polynesia is surrounded by crystal clear water, and pristine beaches.

bora bora

What to do in Bora Bora

Stay in a bungalow on the beach

Scuba dive with Manta Rays

4. UK 

Great Britain, oh she is go great. The history, the scenery, the people, the accents, all work together to make the United Kingdom an amazing place to visit. Tally ho, and check out some of the top things to do in her majesty’s kingdom.

london

What to do in the United Kingdome 

Visit a castle

Ride the London Eye

Go whisky tasting in Scotland

5. Egypt 

Finally, this (short) list wouldn’t be complete without one of the great wonders of the world, the pyramids of Egypt. It seems the bucket list community is as mystified as ever as how these great wonders came to be, but Egypt has a lot more bucket list worthy activities to offer.

pyramid of egypt

What to do in Egypt

– Visit the pyramids

The Egyprian Antiquities Museum

Ride a Camel

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The Top 3 Restaurants you have to add to your Bucket List

Your bucket list doesn’t just have to be about adventure, it should be about experiences as well. And what’s a better experience than three amazing restaurants serving the best food to taste and to devour. I have a feeling I’ll be adding a lot more places to my foodie bucket list, but for now, here are the top three restaurant bucket list ideas to add to your yummiest of bucket lists. From the rare to the down right scrumptious, get ready to ogle some food-porn. (This list is based on the world ranking from http://www.theworlds50best.com/)

1. Noma, voted the number one restaurant in the world last year, is an amazing interpretation of what food can be. You may feel like you’re stepping into a whimsical forest when you take a look at some of the creations the chefs come up with. How does moss sound? Apparently it is like nothing you’ve ever experienced. I could write all day about the creations on the menu, but let’s be honest the picture are everything. If you’re ever in Copenhagen check them out.

noma1 bucket list idea

White asparagus with poached eggyolk and sauce of woodruff. (source)

noma2 bucket list idea

Moss and cep (photo source)

2. El Celler de Can Roca has bumped Noma out of first place to be named the best restaurant in the world. And it’s no wonder. The Roca brother’s have crafted a menu that has traditional influences with a creative twist. From the impeccable pastries, to the freshest seafood, if you’re ever lucky enough to eat at this restaurant in the heart of Catalonia in Spain, then you are in for a meal that you will never forget. 

GENTE PLATO DE JOAN ROCA TODA LA GAMBA

(photo source)

ElCellerDeCanRoca 117

(photo source)

3. Osteria Francescana described as modern Italian, is the third best restaurant in the world. According to The World’s 50 Best, “Tradition and modernity collide in spectacular fashion at Osteria Francescana with chef-patron Massimo Bottura’s sense of fun and headline-grabbing cooking.” The images are just as drool worthy as well. Take a look for yourself, and if you’re ever in Modena, Italy, stop on by for possibly one of the best meals you will ever have.

OSTERIA-1

(photo source)

I don’t even know what this could be, but it is beautiful.

Osteria-Francescana-Italy-Boiled-meats-not-boiled

(photo source)

Have you eaten in a truly world class restaurant? Let us know in the comments….especially if it’s in the Pacific North West would love to give them a try… for research of course!

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The Ultimate Las Vegas Bucket List – Part 1

Recently I had the pleasure of going to Las Vegas for my 23rd birthday. With my best friend in tow, we set out to have the best time ever in the city where anything can happen. With a little bit of research (hey, someone has to do it) we set off to create the Ultimate Las Vegas Bucket List. Because we had such a great time, I’ve decided to split this post into two. But without further a due, here are 5 things you have to add to your Las Vegas Bucket List.

1. The Strip

I know, I know, what a cliche first suggestion to have on your Las Vegas bucket list, but you have to go there. Not only is it truly awe inspiring to think that all of these attractions were completely man made and constructed, but you can start in Egypt and travel to the canals in Venice, all in an afternoon.

Strip

2. The Grand Canyon

If you really want to up the adventure side of things, try taking a short plane ride or helicopter ride to the wonder. The vast canyon is indescribable. Nature at its finest. The glass bridge isn’t for those of the faint of heart, look straight down into the canyon. I truly recommend going to the grand canyon, it’s a welcome break to the hustle of Las Vegas. If you head to the Grand Canyon by car, no doubt you’ll stop by the Hoover Damn an American jewel and man made amazement.

3. Old Vegas

The sites you see in the tv and movies depicting Las Vegas is usually Old Vegas. Specifically Fremont Street. Covered in a blanket of lights, Fremont street is not only reminiscent of an older time in Las Vegas, but also a lot cheaper. Want a meal for under $5? Fremont Street is probably your best bet.

welcome sign

4. XS

XS is the best club in the world. No really, XS was named the best night club in the entire world. With house dj’s like Avicii, and David Gueta, get there early or prepare to wait in line. But once inside, prepare to be amazed. Where else in the world is there a swimming pool in the middle of the club? The inside is plated with real gold status and fittings. And not to sound like a small town kid (I’m a small town kid) the bathrooms were amazing. Probably the nicest ones I have ever seen.

5. The Chippendales

Finally, we’ve come to the end of the first half of my ultimate Las Vegas bucket list, but we’re going to finish strong. The Chippendales are a Las Vegas institution. For those of you who don’t know. the Chippendales are ‘male dancers’ similar to Magic Mike, but impeccable. Whether you’re into the more traditional fireman dance, or a more specific 90’s R&B performance, the Chippendales have something for you.

Although at first I was a little nervous (to say the least) ladies, don’t worry these men are pros! If you’re interested in having one of the best nights of your lives, check out their site here. PS get your photo taken with the Chippendales after the show…it’s the only Vegas souvenir you’ll ever need.558996_10153851704090012_138151699_n

Vegas was just so much fun! If you’re over 21 I 100% recommend going. Check out Vegas.com if you’re thinking of going. It had some really great deals. Have you been to Las Vegas? Let me know if there’s anything you’d suggest to do. I know I will be back soon.

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Top 7 Music Festivals to Add to Your Bucket List

Anyone who’s been to any sort of music festival automatically understands why it should be on your bucket list. There’s electricity in the air. From the festival culture, being surrounded by your best friends, to listening to world class music, summer music festivals have it all. Although there are probably hundreds of festivals I am pining to go to, I somehow narrowed down my top 7 choices (well the top 7 festivals in North America) to add to your bucket list (in no particular order.)

Coachella

Probably one of the most recognized music festivals in the world! This years headliners include OutKast, Muse and Arcade Fire. But something even more tantalizing was the announcement of the pop up restaurants dotted around the festival.

Sasquatch

Sadly I cannot make this years festival, but Sasquatch located in the Gorge in Washington state has grown to be one of the most popular events of the year. Although it was recently announced that the second festival in July is cancelled, I’m sure the May event will more than make up for it.

Sasquatch! Music Festival 2011 bucket list

Squamish

Well, I live in British Columbia, so the next two festivals may be a little biased choices, but both of these festivals are great additions to the festival tour. This year Eminem, Bruno Mars and Arcade Fire are all headlining the three day festival. What makes this fest extra special is the sprawling mountains that surrounds the location, absolutely beautiful.

Boonstock

I’ll be honest, before I bought my tickets to this festival, I never really knew it existed, but located in beautiful Penticton, BC this three day festival is sure not to disappoint. Plus Macklemore is headlining so should be awesome!

SXSW

South by South West is one of the coolest festivals there could ever be. A combination of technology innovation and some of the most creative minds there ever could be join forces to express and share a glimpse into the future. And where else could Lady Gaga get a performing artist to literally make herself sick (puke) on her for art.

SXSW

EDC Las Vegas

The Electric Daisy Carnival is one of the top electric music festivals in the world. Attracting some of the craziest people who are ready to have fun and (let’s be honest) rave. If you’re into dub step and are ready to have fun with thousands of your closest friends in Las Vegas, I highly recommend you check this out.

Craven

Finally, if you’re into country, and in the middle of Saskatchewan go to Craven, you won’t regret it. For those of you who maybe haven’t heard of Craven, it’s a huge country music festival in the middle of the valley. And although you maybe wouldn’t think it, Craven has had some of the best country music stars in the world.

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