I’m hurtling through the sky at maximum velocity. The wind is rushing by so quickly my cheeks flap. The feeling of free falling doesn’t drop my stomach like I thought it would, but knowing I have nothing between me and the earth is terrifying and exhilarating. The skydiving instructor pulls the parachute and everything stills. We float serenely to the ground and after a graceful touchdown, I am sure of one thing: this is definitely the adventure I’ve been looking for.
If you’re like me, you look at your life and think things are not that exciting. You stay in front of a desk most days, drive around a lot, and mostly just work for the weekend.
When was the last time you challenged yourself to a new experience? I know I needed to start checking things off my bucket list or I’d let the blood dry in my veins.
So, if you’re looking for some inspiration for your own bucket list, here are some of the activities I tried and want to share with you.
Leap Past Your Limits: What’s on Your Adventure Bucket List?
Do the thing we fear, and death of fear is certain.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Jump out of an airplane
The thing that stuck with me about skydiving was my inability to control anything. Once I let go of that plane and dove into nothingness, I had no control. Whatever was going to happen was going to happen and I surrendered.
Skydiving is exhilarating, freeing, and pushes you to the farthest reaches of what you think your body can endure. It was a liberating experience unlike any I’ve experienced before.
Lori Steffen, who has won medals in USA skydiving championships, says, “knowing you met your fear, took control and pushed yourself to take that step flows over into other parts of your life.” She says it’s such a “stupendous sense of freedom.”
While skydiving seems very dangerous, it’s actually quite safe, with research showing there were only 21 fatalities in 2015. That’s out of 3.5 million jumps! With numbers like that, you’re more likely to die by getting a bee sting, or struck by lightning.
So, if you’re like me, and you’re looking for something to get your adrenaline pumping or find a lesson in letting go, consider adding skydiving to your bucket list of adventures.
Get a tattoo
Bucket lists aren’t all about being wild and crazy. If that’s not your cup of tea, getting a tattoo might be the thing for you. We all have life experiences we want to commemorate.
Find something that brings you inspiration, a memory, or even something you just really like looking at, and take the leap. Bring a friend or a relative along to experience it with you.
Actress Lea Michele has said that getting a tattoo is almost a family event for her large, Italian family. She says when they gather, someone will suggest getting tattoos, and it ends up being a sentimental experience.
This is a memory you can revisit over and over as you’ll be carrying it around on your skin for the rest of your life. Don’t worry, it only hurts for a minute.
Go paintballing with your friends
This may sound tame next to skydiving, but when you’re in the heat of battle and those colorful bullets are whizzing past your ears, it gets intense. With such a wide range of facilities and scenarios, it’s easy to find one that’s pretty realistic.
From fake towns to real-life military bases, you and your buddies can strategize and carry out your missions. Plus, it hurts when you get hit! Prepare yourself for the angry, red whelps you’re going to receive, and the fun adventure you can add to your list.
You can even become a real-life Tomb Raider like Angelina Jolie and her family.
Try public speaking
I’ve read that the number one fear for Americans is public speaking. I bet this wouldn’t be an issue if you could stand onstage and text your audience, but alas, that is not acceptable.
So, the fear remains. Why is it so scary? Is it because we care so much about what other people think of us? What if we make a mistake and look foolish? Well, now is the time to stand up to that fear and face it down once and for all.
Why should you let others’ opinions of you keep you from doing something extraordinary? If you think you’re funny, try your hand at a stand-up comedy open mic night and literally laugh in the face of fear. If you’re more thoughtful, aim for a poetry jam or spoken word event at your local coffee shop. Either way, get creative, get motivated, and get up on that stage!
We all have a need for purpose in our lives. In the grand scheme of things, we are only on this earth for a short period of time, and I know I want mine to be full of life, and full of adventures that allow me to explore my senses to the max.
I want to do things that scare and thrill me, and that maybe even make me fail so I can grow. I want to be stretched and challenged and proven wrong.
Whether it’s falling from the sky or speaking in front of strangers, I want to look back on my life and realize I never let fear keep me down.
A bucket list shouldn’t be just one more thing you need to get done. It should be a challenge. It should be an adventure. So, step out into that void of nothingness and feel the exhilaration of the free-fall.