Why A Best-Life List Is The New Bucket List

by Jordyn Kraemer

One of the greatest things about your 20s is the flexibility and freedom to do exactly as you please. Want to go to a boozy brunch with your girlfriends? You can. Feel like spending the weekend dancing in Vegas? Why not! While I have to admit, your 20s might be the most transitional period of your life — filled with growing pains of figuring out who you are, what you want to do, and who you want to date — there's that incredible sense of living in the moment that can’t be beat. This is why you probably have some things you'd like to accomplish in this prime decade, to ensure you’re enjoying every single moment. Well, I'm here to tell you that a best-life list is the new bucket list, so you can draft your own ASAP.

Hear me out. A majority of the standard bucket lists can be daunting, and require extreme dedication (not to mention, a few pretty pennies and a lot more vacation days). So, I have taken the liberty of reinvented this “bucket list" trend. Millennials are interested in enhancing and living their best possible lives by doing personal, meaningful things, both big and small that add value and purpose to every day. Some of them don't even cost a dime. The beauty of this mindset is the ability to build your own “best-life" list that will inevitably differ from everyone else’s. Think about what you find important and fulfilling.

Below is a list to get you started, to give you ideas of experiences and dreams that might allow you to feel like you're truly living your best life. At the end of the day, make something you are proud to complete in your 20s.

Take A Coastal Road Trip
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There's something so nostalgic and magical about driving down the coastline on a road trip adventure. Whether it's the salty breeze blowing through your hair, the endless sea that's sparkling back at you, or the feeling that you're somehow unstoppable, I always find a coastal road trip makes me feel extremely reflective, while also emitting a strong sense of freedom (which is essential for your best life).

Watch The Sunset From A Sailboat
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Having an unobstructed vantage point from the water to take in the beauty of a nightly color display is an experience that stops me dead in my tracks. Surrounded by the serenity of the water, combined with its ability to reflect the vibrant colors of the sky like a mirror, never fails to make me feel like I'm the luckiest girl on the planet.

Learn A New Sport In A Different Country
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One of the best ways to build confidence, along with a sense of accomplishment, is to learn and tackle a new sport. Whether it's learning to ski in Whistler or starting to surf in Morocco, taking up a new sport in a new country will make you feel like a total bad*ss.

Complete A Meditation Retreat
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Finding your inner Om is at the top of many people's lists. Being able to focus and train yourself to believe in and support your "dream best life" on a daily basis calls for some meditation. Its benefits to create purpose and meaning in a trip are unparalleled. The clarity, stillness, and control gained from a meditation retreat was the reason this was high on my list.

Snag A First Class Seat
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In my opinion, nothing says "living your best life" more than relaxing in a first-class seat with a glass of Champagne, on your way to your next adventure. Think this seems unrealistic? This was one of my "best-life goals," and I while I absolutely didn't have the funds, I did have a creative mind. I payed my rent for a year on a credit card that gave me miles per dollar, and racked up enough miles to purchase a first class seat!

Have Champagne For Breakfast
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This is a bit of a silly one, but it’s just to explain that you’ve made it, and you’re an adult. You can do whatever your heart desires. For me, choosing to have bubbly, girlie glass of Champagne to celebrate being on vacation, getting through the week, or just to honor that I’m a 20-something that can and will have sparkling drinks in the morning, really makes me feel beyond fabulous.

Whether this for you is getting that ice cream in your favorite flavor to enjoy as you lounge in the park, or finally trying that burger joint you’ve been dying to go to, it’s all about stopping in your busy life to have a moment of gratitude and treat yourself. I know when I finally take the time to savor and enjoy the little things in life, it makes me feel like royalty, no matter how small the treat may be.

Learn A New Language In Another Country
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Learning a new language requires a lot of hard work and dedication. However, it is my belief that it's a little less overwhelming when you're doing it while uncorking a bottle of wine, lounging along the Seine in France, or perfecting the rolling of your Rs (in Spanish) over tapas in Barcelona.

Learning to speak a foreign language, in the country it originates from, exposes you to so much more learning material. Plus, it makes the entire process far more enjoyable than a classroom setting.

Savor The Local Cuisine
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When traveling, it's easy to fall into the same patterns of comfort you lean on back at home. Cuisine is typically one of those areas, as some people hold back on trying new dishes. "What if it tastes disgusting, or doesn't agree with me?" I'm guilty of playing it safe from time to time as well.

However, I have also felt the most alive by being daring with my food choices while abroad. I felt more in touch with the culture, and overall, the feeling of authenticity found in trying local food is why I recommend adding it your list.

Stay Active On Vacation
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You know that feeling you get right when you're done with an amazing workout? Your endorphins are soaring, and you feel like you could conquer the world. Imagine that feeling while being in one of the places you’ve always dreamed of going. To me, staying active while on vacation allows me to feel a new kind of self-worth in a way that I can’t get at home.

Whether it’s sweating it out over a game of tennis in the South of France, or battling it out over beach volleyball in Rio, staying active when you’re on vacation is one of the many ways to truly feel like you are living your best, most active life.

Go On A Volunteer Trip
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Planning a trip where you are volunteering brings a huge sense of purpose and inner peace that makes a lasting impression. Some of my fondest memories in travel have been when I was able to help, teach, build, and share experiences with different people and cultures worldwide. It isn’t always the five star hotel that emulates your “best life." For me, the best version of myself is one that gives back, enlightens, and shares.

Plan A Passion Trip
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I'm a huge sucker for things that make me feel nostalgic. Give me a 1920s vintage train car rolling through Napa Valley's vineyards, complete with tastings and delicious food, and I’m absolutely the bees knees. By taking the time to define your passions before planning a trip (mine were: the 1920s, wine, and train travel), you can seek out adventures for your best-life list that feel absolutely meant for you.

Try To Tackle One Fear A Year
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Scared of flying? Go skydiving. Nothing makes you feel more alive than doing something that absolutely terrifies you. The adrenaline rush, along with the build up and fear that slowly transitions over to talking yourself up, encouragement, pursuit, and accomplishment, makes for a lifelong memory and an unforgettable adventure. You have to trust that facing some of your fears head-on, with zero apologies or apprehension, builds strength and character.