"I haven't been everywhere, but it's on my list" - Susan Sontag
The quote above is is one of my favorites of all time. It says so much to me about finding a way to expose yourself to as much as you possibly can and never stop exploring. This may mean something different to everyone; it may be going to every rooftop bar in New York City, or to every park in San Francisco, or to every major city in Europe. I've found the best way to set goals is to physically (or digitally) write down bucket lists. I like to store all my bucket lists on Evernote because they allow you to use checkmarks. Nothing feels better than physically crossing something off your list, whether it be an annoying piece of busy work on a to-do list at your office, or reaching out to different friends that you haven't spoken to lately, or traveling to a new country -- it just makes you feel accomplished and successful. For some reason unbeknown to me, it feels so satisfying. Lists are how I set my goals. It helps me to follow through with things.
I'd like to share a four different bucket lists that I've created over the years to give you some ideas to get started with your own:
Life bucket list: this is the broad list of things I want to do over the span of my life, but doesn't include extremely specific items. It includes things like "go on a safari," "live in 4 different big cities," "buy a house," "create a garden," "road trip across the US," "go to all the baseball stadiums in the US," and "host a murder mystery party." The list is much longer, but this is for the items that I want to do at some point in my life that aren't specific to a category or a due date.
City bucket list: this is for the city you live in. I have a San Francisco bucket list I'm working on today, and had a Santa Barbara one when I lived there for college. It's so special to get to know your city and with how crazy life, work, family and relationships can be, you never know how long you will stay put where you are today. Take advantage while you can! There are lots of lists online for you to get ideas to add to your own and tailor it toward your interests. Being a tourist in your own city is a blast!
Restaurant bucket list: This is tied to my "city bucket list" I mentioned above, but I'm such a foodie that it deserves its own list. I have a restaurant bucket list of nearly 150 restaurants in San Francisco that I love to cross off the list. I also love to recommend restaurants to friends and pride myself on my restaurant knowledge, so I began leaving a rating from 1-5 next to the ones I've been to so I can remember which ones are best to recommend, and which ones should be overlooked. I heard a stat recently that there are enough restaurants in San Francisco to seat all 800,000+ residents at the same time; therefore, I think it's silly to eat at the same place multiple times. There are so many amazing restaurants in most big cities (especially San Francisco) that I recommend always researching and finding new spots! The best way I've found out about new restaurants to try is first through recommendations, then through extensive research online on both Yelp (reviews + photos) and the restaurant website itself. Another website I love to follow is Eater SF. They have a page about tons of different cities and let you know of new restaurants opening up! I'll continue to share items from this list on future blog posts.
Travel bucket list: This bucket list is pretty self explanatory. To be honest, this list of mine will never be finished, because I'm constantly adding more and will never want to stop traveling. This is more a list of the places I want to go most, in order of priority. My next stop is Thailand! I also enjoy tracking my progress of my travels. I love to see where I've been and learn where my friends have been for new ideas to add to my list! A great way to access this information is through the TripAdvisor app on Facebook called Cities I've Visited. You can set it up for yourself here.