It’s an incomparable thrill to jump out of a plane or go scuba diving, and you should totally go out and give these activities a whirl. Upon completion, when you’re ready to try something a little more unorthodox and perhaps slightly closer to the heart, this list can help get you there.
These ideas focus on helping others, becoming a better person and reaching a higher human potential -- and in the end, I think that is the best thing you can do as a human being.
1. Experience a lucid dream:
Envision a vivid world in which you are able to construct, and have the omnipotence ability to control. From overwhelming your senses with the sublime rush of flying to exploring the unknown expanses of the galaxy, the limitations that exist are only a result of your imagination.
It can also be used to help overcome nightmares.
If you aren't one of the lucky ones who enjoys this naturally, it is something I highly recommend introducing yourself to.
2. Grow food to eat:
This is becoming somewhat of a forgotten art, especially in urban areas, as humanity just doesn't possess the same patience and time we once held.
Reclaim this fading mastery of mother nature and the delicious empowerment you’ll enjoy when you bite into something you grew right out of the earth.
3. Coach a children's sports team:
If your first instinct was to immediately veto this idea, that may be because it is the perfect opportunity for you -- you just don’t know it yet.
It is a celebrated plot-line of many great tales because it often involves someone who holds disdain for children, until he or she begrudgingly finds love in his or her heart through hilarious misadventures and adorableness.
4. Volunteer abroad:
As you put your time toward something this meaningful, you will encounter powerful feelings of perspective and gratefulness. You get to travel, too. So, hey, it’s a win-win situation.
5. Teach someone a skill:
You can skip this one if you have children because let’s be real: You’ll be doing this pretty much all day, every day. If not, this item is a great way to experience why teachers are so passionate about what they do.
I still remember the person who taught me to snap my fingers. Although it was something small, I am grateful to her all of the time because of it (especially when I’m crooning during karaoke night).
6. Take the pilgrimage of Camino de Santiago:
You’ll find this item near the top of my bucket list for good reason. It involves making your way across a large part of Spain (and more, depending on the path you choose) to visit the shrine of the apostle St. James The Great, which retraces the footsteps other pilgrims have been making for many centuries.
Along the way, you’ll find others from all over the world, with whom you can revel in the divine beauty this spiritual journey has to offer.
7. Buy coffee for a stranger:
I love learning about occasions where a long line of people buys coffee for each other, sometimes continuing the chain for hours. This is something that needs to happen more often, so why don’t you go out and start it?
8. Take your mom out to the theater or a fancy dinner (for no reason):
When you're in your awkward stages growing up, it took some serious moxie to go to the movies with your mom, but what is your excuse now? I try to take my mama out to the movies whenever I can because she means the world to me and I want to show her that, by being seen in public with her doing social activities.
9. Take a homeless person out for lunch:
Giving a homeless person food or money is an admirable gesture, but they are more than just hungry and poor. Their difficult lives have left them feeling forgotten.
By sitting down with them and sharing a simple human pastime, you are showing them that there are people in the world who care about their well-being. I’m sure they have a lot of interesting stories to tell.
10. Spend a week in the wilderness:
This is just the vacation everyone needs to not only feel empowered as a human being, but to sincerely take a break from everything.
And it doesn’t count if you can reach WiFi.
11. Help a neighbor with a chore:
When I grew up in a suburban neighborhood (back in the old days), things were significantly different. People actually got to know each other; there was a camaraderie that existed.
Your neighbors were a big part of your life, and whether you needed some sugar or some help with a landscaping project, they were there to help out.
12. Get a pen pal from across the world:
To truly experience all this item has to offer, be sure to use snail mail. That way you can relive the magic of sending a piece of your written thoughts out into the world and the anticipation of getting its response ... in two to six weeks.
13. Book a one-way ticket alone with no plans:
This is the ultimate character builder. You’ll find yourself forced to land on your feet in unfamiliar territory, and have no one to help you but total strangers.
My experiences with this changed me drastically for the better, and sparked my current love affair with travel.
14. Spend a night on the streets:
Disclaimer: This idea isn't recommended for everyone, and it's entirely dependent on which city you live in.
Something like this would definitely remind you just how lucky you are. It’s only one night -- think you could make it?
15. Tip people you wouldn't normally tip:
When I worked in the hospitality industry, it was big news among the hotel staff when a housekeeper was left a few bucks from a guest. This simple gesture could truly make the day of someone who doesn't always get the praise they deserve.