Monday, October 22, 2012

Five Things That Should Be on Everyone's Bucket List

Five Things That Should Be on Everyone’s Bucket List
By: Jenny Riley


1)      Backpacking
As long as you are sleeping on and eating with the things in your backpack and not relying on any mode of transportation besides your own two feet, you are backpacking correctly. Backpacking at least once in your life gives you the kind of self-dependency which is essential in recognizing the novelties we take for granted today. Recognizing and for once not taking for granted the luxuries by which we live is important for understanding modern life as a whole.
2)      Sky diving (Obviously)
I won’t lie to you and say that I’m a wuss so that when I tell you that I’ve been skydiving before you can feel more at ease. I’m quite the opposite of that, in fact, and find that “adrenaline junkie” is a bit more appropriate for a title for me. But I must wholly condone that having taken the leap of faith this past July, I feel that I am a different person because of it. The people I met at the skydiving ranch really changed my perception on life. The way that my instructor talked about his job—about being able to see every day people that are at emotional highs in their lives, and how beautiful they all are in those states of mind—it really made me think about my current state in my own life, and made me wonder if this would be a state of mind I would always want to revert back to. It’s important to one day have the courage to sky dive, and possibly to reflect on what in your life has given you the courage to not be a wuss for once and just to enjoy, as my sky diving instructor referred to it, the exciting emotional high that sky diving seems to entail.
3)      Travelling across the U.S.
To all United States citizens, what is stopping you from seeing every corner of your beautifully diverse homeland? Absolutely nothing, as a matter of fact. As U.S. citizens we are allowed travel to anyone of the 48 continental states (and also to Alaska and Hawaii, if you so happen to have the money for flight fare). No matter by what mode of transportation you see the country (motorcycle, biking, car, walking, even) you will be open to experience a range of sites which citizens of no other countries are entitled to. So why not take this privilege to your advantage in your lifetime, and see the Alaskan Highlands, Old Faithful, Mount Rushmore, Yosemite National Park, Death Valley, the Redwood Forest, or the White House?
4)      Learning to speak another language fluently
The best part about learning another country’s language is being able to make friends with people from those countries and, in turn, to be privy to their lifestyles. The best part about learning German could be actually getting to sit down at a German pub during Oktoberfest and having a merry time with people who don’t know a thing about your home country. Because let’s face it: going into another country and not knowing a word of their native tongue is not going to score you brownie points with potential local friends. Also, if becoming fluent in another language for the purpose of going to another country does not entice you, it might help to add that learning another language as fluently as I have has really opened up my vocabulary in English. There are all kinds of benefits in learning foreign languages.
5)      Going couch surfing
The beautiful thing about CouchSurfing is that you can couch surf with relatively anyone in any country who has agreed to the activity and, also like the learning to speak another language fluently, couch surfing opens you up to learning the customs of people of other countries, while also learning things about the countries you visit from people who live in those countries and know, for instance, the best places to get a coffee, or a maybe to take pictures and write about your experiences abroad. Also, these are the kinds of experiences that could change your perception on the way that you live and, ultimately, who you are as a person.

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