Bucket lists are lists of good things. Good ideas. Inspiring goals. Feats of greatness.
But what to include?
Sometimes things look “good” to us in the moment—that used car on the corner lot is calling our name, or we might feel “good” about three corndogs right before a series of spinny carnival rides. However, in the big picture, the car probably has issues and will end up costing more than it’s worth—and spinny carnival rides are usually only good in moderation.
We don’t want those kinds of things in our bucket lists though, obviously.
Good opportunities should look like ideas and goals and feats that:
1) Honor God.
2) Honor our parents.
3) Demonstrate responsible stewardship of God’s gifts to us.
4) We can look back on in 20 years and still see it as good.
If anything we set as a goal or bucket list experience violates these, it’s probably not that good. It’s probably just one of those corndog-overload-at-the-carnival things. We all have those moments, but don’t waste bucket list space on it.
How do I live my bucket list, though?
That’s a good question. Because, my bucket list is very, very ambitious.
#1) Trolltunga, Norway
#2) The Great Wall of China
#3) Banff National Park, Alberta
There’s hardly anywhere I wouldn’t go, really.
#14) Jeju Island, South Korea
#15) Neuschwanstein Castle, Germany
#16) Taj Mahal, India
If I let it, it scares me. Because how would I ever have the money or time or opportunity for all this??
#20) Machu Picchu, Peru
#21) Cliffs of Moher, Ireland
#22) Milford Sound, New Zealand
I don’t have the answer for that. I don’t have a magic formula for making all these travel dreams come true. Sadly.
What I can tell you, though, is good opportunities aren’t limited to your imagination.
A few years after I got my first camera, I was asked to photograph my first solo event. I almost said no—it was a big job, and I didn’t have the skills or equipment for it. But it was a good opportunity. Honoring to God, my parents, stewardship of my skills, and something 40-year-old Kim will still be proud of. I said yes, and it led to more photography work, which funded more equipment, and next thing you know I’ve accomplished a bucket list item: be a wedding photographer.
Even though I’ve been passionate about missions since I was a kid, I couldn’t have picked out Taiwan on a map for anything in sixth grade, when I declared a bucket list item of going to Argentina on a mission trip. I’ve still never been to Argentina, but at 20 years old, I had the good opportunity to go to Taiwan with a mission team—a six month mission trip to teach English and share the love of Jesus, fully paid for by the school where I taught.
When I got to Taiwan, I made a list of things I wanted to see while there, and checked everything off in just those 6 short months! Because I was working full-time, sometimes that meant sacrificing sleeping in on the weekends, or a little loose change, but traveling all the way around the island was such a great adventure. Absolutely bucket-list-worthy.
After an almost two-year break from college work, I had the good opportunity to re-start up earning college credits, getting a scholarship for a few free courses with Study.com and studying for CLEP exams again. That propelled me forward in my degree, which I completed with a perfect GPA and no debt: a huge bucket list item!
Will I ever see #27) Niagara Falls or #31) The Egyptian Pyramids? Who knows?
However, I have toured the White House twice in the past year. I have gone ziplining and snow skiing. I have been to Japan during the Cherry Blossom Festival and I’ve danced tribal dances with the villagers in Myanmar and Taiwan. I keep my eyes open for good opportunities and they become my bucket list—maybe even better than my bucket list!
As I dream big, pursue adventure, and take good opportunities, I may not tick all the boxes, but this is how I live my bucket list.
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