Why travelling is much more than just a bucket list
Updated: Dec 31, 2022
Travelling find its roots way before technology set into our lives. Not just the idea of it, but the concept of travelling was a lot different than what people perceive today. Fast forward to a couple of decades and we were bestowed with the concept of a Bucket List (courtesy the 2007 'Bucket List' movie which you should definitely watch). And since then, people started filling their buckets with places they want to see before they hang their bucket for good. I think that when people really missed the purpose of a bucket-list as they turned bucket list into just a tick-in-a-box list of endless places. To be fair, even I made a bucket list couple of years back. It was fun to plan and visit places and plan again for the next once I was back. The kick I got while to run to someplace new and be a guest was nothing less than an actual drug. But slowly it lost its charm and was kind of a burden to keep up with the list. My bucket list was getting bigger and sometimes had places which I couldn't remember why I added in the first place. The anxiety of finding a place to visit was much more to handle than finding a reason to travel in the first place. I thought I did everything by the book - Made a list which everyone was making, visited places and took photos. But I still couldn't understand what went wrong and frankly, I hated that feeling. Tracing my way back to the places I visited and what I actually did each time was the only thing that helped me understand where did I mess up. I realised that I was so busy following the list like a lamb that I never stopped to think about what am I achieving from all of this or what was the purpose of it. I was wrong to think that the bucket list was meant to see every place on this earth; to mark my presence on the map like everyone else and crossing countries one after another from the map. The infatuation with the bucket list concept made me lose sight of the soul of a bucket list - what it really stood for. You see, a bucket list is not something you adopt in your everyday life. It is a list of things you wished you had done because they mean something to you. It may be a way to push you to overcome your fear or something that you yearned to do since childhood or maybe something that blows your mind way which you can't fit into words but just experience. But whatever makes its way to your list has a reason and a story behind it, and the closer you go towards the end of the tunnel, the higher is the desire to cross the list to satisfy your fragile heart that there is more to life than just being alive. And in the end, when you finally do hang your bucket for good, you'll be richer in terms of infinite stories about your list than just a lifeless piece of paper. The bucket list concept isn't in harmony with what travelling should really be all about. I've had my fair share of travel and I've grown and evolved with & through them. Planned or otherwise, I travel not because places exist in the world, but because I want to travel there. And the surprising part is that most of my travel plans weren't part of some long list but were born out of idea or desire or at times an impromptu thought. A plan to visit Hampi was scrapped and I picked it up couple of years later and gave it a shot. This was my dive into solo travelling for the first time and it led me to architectural wonders. My first solo trip abroad to western Europe was born out of a wild thought but it ended up as a journey for me to connect with myself. And Iceland wasn't even my choice. My brother zeroed on it and was the best road trip I've taken so far. I could go on but the fact is that some of my best experiences weren't born out of some random list. And it’s because of all the stories, my experience, and the learning I had that I can say it without a doubt that the bucket list concept actually ruins the essence of what travelling should be all about. Meaningless travel gives you nothing except completing a not so fancy list. And once it happens, all it leaves is some unwanted pictures that take up space in your phone once they have fulfilled their so-called destiny of lousy achievement on your social media feed. Travelling should be all about who you are and what you believe in. Your choices of places you visit and what you seek reflects the real person behind the facade. And if travelling is part of some list you pen down, then make sure it's there for a reason and resonates to your heart rather than a silly internet trend. Don't let the explorer in you settle down to something as small and lifeless as a checklist. You may not be chasing a bucket list like everyone else and that's okay because the best moments in life are lost if you just rush through them rather than live them.