The Bucket List: 100+ Braver Things

Every year, I write New Year’s Resolutions.  These tend to be goals for the coming year: take a class, learn a language, read X number of books, lose weight, etc.  And they are always within my comfort zone.

My promise to myself this year is to start to expand that comfort zone, to try the things that scare me, and to ensure I have a full, brave life that will someday scandalize and/or inspire my grandchildren.

Here is my living Bucket List.  I’ll add things as I go, and please send me your suggestions.

  1. Be a contestant on Jeopardy!
  2. Take and pass the Foreign Service Exam
  3. Complete a cross-country road trip
  4. Visit all 196 countries (2) (3)
  5. Also, all 7 continents
  6. Start my own business/non-profit
  7. Write and publish a book
  8. Have a TEDTalk
  9. Become conversational in all 6 UN languages
  10. Skydive
  11. Bungee Jump
  12. Sleep in a haunted house
  13. Renovate an old house
  14. Learn ASL
  15. Float in an anti-gravity chamber
  16. Ride the world’s largest rollercoaster
  17. Get married
  18. Be a mom
  19. Earn a Master’s Degree (2)
  20. Be in a movie
  21. Run a marathon
  22. Go scuba diving by the Great Barrier Reef
  23. Fly a plane
  24. Get a pilot’s license
  25. Learn to fight
  26. Make a passive income
  27. Pose nude for a figure drawing class
  28. Have a (near) perfect credit score
  29. Meet Amy Poehler
  30. Meet JK Rowling
  31. Take a photo with a president (Not Trump)
  32. Write a detective story
  33. Own a beach home
  34. Have a library in my home
  35. Try a psychedelic drug
  36. Travel to the place my ancestors were from
  37. Attend a big awards ceremony
  38. Take part in a sleep study and improve my sleep
  39. Read at least 52 books in a year (2) (3) (4) (5) (6)
  40. Submit a photo to NatGeo and have it published
  41. Fight for and enact policy change
  42. Get a makeover
  43. Kick depression and anxiety
  44. Build a community of people I love
  45. Attend an Eyes Wide Shut party
  46. Launch and keep an interview podcast/blog (
  47. Do a goofy photobooth photoshoot with my love
  48. Forgive and let go of past mistakes
  49. Complete the 100 Happy Days Challenge (2)
  50. Perform a poem at an open mic
  51. Stay overnight on a houseboat
  52. Donate my hair
  53. Grow a plant without killing it (2) (3) (4)
  54. Wear a gown worth at least $1000
  55. Own special lingerie
  56. Invest $1000 in something
  57. Find my doppelganger
  58. Go to a nude beach
  59. Learn a magic trick
  60. Learn to pick a lock
  61. Run for office
  62. Get first aid certified (again)
  63. Learn to navigate difficult conversations without yielding my ground
  64. Attend a Leadership Seminar
  65. Cast a spell
  66. Record an audiobook
  67. Save $50,000 by 30
  68. See all 7 Wonders of the World
  69. Learn to paint
  70. Draw cartoons
  71. Join the National Speakers Association or Toastmasters
  72. Teach a class
  73. Learn to cook
  74. Be in the SNL audience
  75. Sleep under the Northern Lights
  76. Have a “Yes” Day
  77. Go into business with my S.O.
  78. Watch iMDB’s Top 250 Movies (2) (3) (4)
  79. Watch Rolling Stones’ Top 100 TV Shows of all time (2) (3)
  80. Become an NGO consultant
  81. Attend a UN General Assembly Meeting
  82. Sit on a porch/rooftop with people I love from all over the world and drink wine
  83. Fire a gun
  84. Trapeze
  85. Create a scholarship fund for badass ladies
  86. Work remotely abroad for at least one year
  87. Work with my alma mater on sexual assault policies
  88. Celebrate a 5 year anniversary
  89. Learn Tarot
  90. Get a grant writing certification
  91. Complete a Tough Mudder
  92. Naked body paint
  93. Learn to code
  94. Dye my hair
  95. Learn Poker
  96. Be on the Ellen Show
  97. Meet Craig Ferguson
  98. Have a governmental Security Clearance
  99. Plan a concert/comedy show
  100. Swim in the Dead Sea
  101. Have a spiritual experience
  102. Win a legal battle
  103. Become a true New Yorker
  104. Apply for my dream job, even if I’m under-experienced
  105. Graduate Magna or Summa Cum Laude
  106. Read every book on the State Department’s Recommended Book List for Diplomacy
  107. Learn to dance
  108. Sail a boat
  109. Have a truly perfect happy day
  110. Write a children’s book
  111. Cosplay at ComicCon
  112. Meet Pete Holmes and Kumail Nanjiani
  113. Be a guest on You Made It Weird with Pete Holmes
  114. Spend a whole day on a movie set
  115. Meet Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie
  116. Learn yoga
  117. Surf
  118. See an iconic farewell tour
  119. Visit all 50 US States
  120. See live music in New Orleans
  121. Volunteer for a political campaign
  122. Get a TEFL certification
  123. Visit the Edinburgh Fringe Festival
  124. See a Drive-in Movie
  125. Read a book from every country in the world
  126. Attend a wedding from every major faith/religion
  127. Become a certified notary
  128. Be a jurist
  129. Film a documentary
  130. Get in great shape
  131. Voice a cartoon character
  132. Become a Fulbright Scholar
  133. Get a PhD
  134. See the Great Migration
  135. Visit Hogwarts
  136. Make money through art
  137. Become a published writer
  138. Be a TV reporter
  139. Get a boating license


      • Yeah, lots of scope for that! I’m a total coward as far as bungee jumping, etc goes but being a nude life model would be ok as long as the room was warm! Do they pay well? Good luck with your challenges. Oh, recently I went for a boudoir photo shoot that was very exciting and a first for me!


      • Oh wow! That sounds very fun (and elegant!)
        I had a friend during my service years who used to make extra money modeling for figure drawing classes and she said it wasn’t too grueling. I don’t think it pays THAT well, but it’s not a bad gig.

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Hi! I’m really glad to know your blog, thank Naill O’Donnell very much! I have Bucket List too, but I have never published it or told anyone. Wow, your 6,7,8, 116 are the same like mine. I also wrote this things in my list. We’ll see when we get them done!


  2. Love this! I have two bucket lists, a normal one and a wild one that pushes me out of my comfort zone with things like go on a theme park ride, sing out loud, dance in public, etc. Love it! Wishing you well with your list!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have completed Some of your items (example – cross country trip ‘Across Canada in Betsy’ post but decided Never to do some of them as well: psycadelic drugs (due to being bipolar – ‘crazy train’ post) or bungee jumping (although I have rappelled out of a helicopter – ‘army’). I am blown away by the scope of your list and can’t even imagine imagining doing some of those things! Good for you!


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