Tagged: bucket list

Finding yourself…

Have you ever wondered why people travel to distant places they have never been to ‘find’ themselves? Doesn’t it sound a bit strange? There is something wrong with this; not with the travel but the idea of finding ourselves.

We don’t find or discover our true selves, we create and define ourselves. Stepping out of our daily routines and comfort zone helps us to see what’s possible. This enables us to come up with new ideas of what is we can do with our lives and find new ways of achieving the goals we have already set. It’s a quest for inspiration and development.

Traveling or living abroad for a while is a great way to broaden your mind and find out what you could be doing with your life.  Travel doesn’t always have to be physical either; we can get out of our daily rut by picking up books and magazines on areas outside our current expertise or interest. It’s a way of taking our minds on trips outside it’s comfort zone and routines. The more we learn the more possibilities open up.

If you have any troubles coming up with bucket list items you might want to consider moving abroad for a while and see what’s out there. And if you do have your bucket list items already set, great! Go travel anyway and cross them off!

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Why your bucket list matters

Deciding what you really want to do with your life, which dreams to chase, is in essence defining your reasons to live.

Imagine meeting the grim reaper who tells you that your time has come. However, he is willing to let you live a bit longer if you answer the following:

“If I let you live a bit longer, what are you going to do with your life? Why do you need the extra time? What is it you still want to do, experience, and achieve? “

Your bucket list is the answer to this question. The goals on our bucket list are those things we still want to do, experience and achieve. Achieving the goals on our bucket list should be our main priority since it’s a list of those things that matter most. We don’t know how long we still have, we can’t afford waiting forever to get started. We really have no excuse not to give it our all since it’s that which we live for. 

If the goals on our bucket list fail to excite us we need to rethink them. It’s our bucket list, we are free to change it however we want. Just make sure the items on it really resonate with you, don’t shy away from the more audacious goals because they seem out of reach. Just because they are out of reach for you now doesn’t mean you can’t grow to a point where they are within reach. 

Whenever you feel overwhelmed by life and feel like you can’t go on anymore find yourself a new reason to live. Set yourself a new exciting goal to pursue and go for it. 

And if you don’t have a bucket list yet start writing one. Writing your goals down is the first step towards achieving them. You need to know where you want to end up before you can find the best way to get there.

It’s not over until you give up or you are dead

The things you want don’t always come easy. You can’t expect the universe to make things work out for you. If you want something you need to go out and make it happen. This requires a proactive attitude and the guts to take some risks along the way. You might stumble across some roadblocks along the way, but as long as you don’t give up you will eventually find a way around it.

Back in 2010 I was in my final year of high-school. I had set the goal to go study abroad afterwards. For over a year I had been planning it. Since the career adviser at school told me to just apply to a Dutch university I had to do it myself. After some research I found a study program that interested me in Sweden. I applied as early as possible and even arranged my accommodation. At the start of July I only needed to do one last thing to finish up the application; send in my high-school diploma. This shouldn’t have been a problem. However, due to the graduation ceremony having been postponed and the school having strict bureaucratic rules stating I could not get my diploma before then, I ended up being two days late.

Up to that point it was all up to me, I did the preparation as I should and did what I could to make it happen. Then because of something out of my control the whole thing ended up a failure. I got an email from the school in Sweden stating that I was too late and should try again a year later.

At this point I could have just given up and gone to a university back in The Netherlands or wait a year. However, studying abroad has been on my bucket list for years by that point. So instead I went on the internet and started looking for alternatives. About a day later I found a business program in Finland which had an application date for which I was still in time. I applied immediately and started looking for flights and arranging accommodation. At arrival I would still have to do an entrance exam but I decided that I just had to pass it. About six weeks after I got the email from Sweden I was living in Finland waiting for the entrance exam, which I passed. The goal had not changed, to study business full time abroad, just the way to get there.

When trying to get into the school in Sweden failed it was a lost battle, but the war wasn’t over yet. I could have been mad about the year of preparation that had been in vain and at my high-school for not giving my diploma in time. And I was of course, but I soon realized it wasn’t helping me so I took a deep breath and started working out a way to still achieve my goal. I could have given up, thinking it was just not meant to be. If I had done that I would not have been writing this now in Finland after completing my first 3 years of study there.