Why I think a (travel) bucketlist is shite

I used to be excited when I saw a bucket list on somebody’s blog. I used to click right on it to see what this person’s plans are and what kind of cool things the person wants to do. It would get me inspired for about half an hour and then I would be envious about the awesome things that are on the person’s list and the things the person has already crossed off: What a cool guy/gal that must be, with their huge bucket list, crossing awesome things off!


Now I notice more and more that most people indeed have done cool things, but a lot of the  items on their bucket list are not crossed off and are unlikely to be ever accomplished.

Very often bucket lists are created once and are then forgotten, along with the dreams the people had when they wrote things on there. That is only natural as people change their goals change.

The question I want to ask now: Is there any value in posting a bucket list?

There are only two things I can think of that might be a reason to write one:

  1. Making a to-do list for oneself to organize a way to do the items on the list

  2. For inspiration, to look at the list and think about the amazing places one wants to see


1) Of course it is good to have goals and to write them down to be more organized, but a bucket list with 100 random items on it is worth less than a specific plan for the next adventure.

Then, it is great to have a structured approach to fulfill your dreams but it should be more concrete than just a few words on a list. A list is not a proper plan, it’s just a collection of random items! You might argue that the list is so that you don’t forget about the awesome things that you want to do, but seriously! If there is one item on your list that you would forget had you not written it down, then it is not awesome enough to be on your list in the first place.

DSC001172) I agree that it is good to have a list for inspiration, to get some ideas what would be awesome, but I would prefer a more spontaneous approach to things. Spontaneous ideas are often a lot better than a list of things where you cross things off, one after the other. Usually things on a bucket list concern one thing in one country (eg. Macchu Picchu) and then the next thing would be for a different country. When I visit a country, I want to see more than just this one thing! I want to see many different things the country has to offer before I head off to the next country, but these lists often only mention one attraction or activity, so it is kind of one-dimensional.

In addition to this, if it is only for inspiration, for a bucket list I would prefer pictures instead of numbers and words.

DSC02163In my point of view, bucket lists are lists that people write when they want to share how many awesome things they have done. It is not a bucket list, it is a “brag list”.

“Look at my list, I have seen all these things” or “Look at my list, I have so many great ideas of what to see/do!” or worse: “This list is full of interesting things, so in conclusion I must be interesting.”.

People don’t get that a bucket list where only three items are crossed off and nothing changes or is actively pursued is not something to be proud of. Quite the contrary.

Fo me at least, a bucket list is a serious commitment and some people put lists online full of awesome things that they never do.

Of course I am not talking about you! You will do all the great and inspiring things that are on your list! You have made the commitment to do all these things before you kick the bucket, so until you are not dead I can not know if you will really do these things, so of course you will accomplish your list!

How do you feel about bucket lists? Do you love them or hate them? Have you ever made one and then done everything on it?

Why I think a (travel) bucketlist is shite

One thought on “Why I think a (travel) bucketlist is shite

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