Build your own bucket list
People approaching retirement might fall into one of two broad camps:
- the pessimists who see it as a time out of work before you die; and
- the optimists who look forward to retirement as a long-awaited opportunity to do all those things they had always wanted to do but have so far been too busy with mundane workaday lives to get around to.
For sure, all of us are going to kick the bucket one of these days, but how much better is it likely to be to have a bucket list of dreams to fulfil by joining the ranks of optimistic retirees?
A bucket list tailored to your own dreams, ambitions and personal goals may be the answer to living a fabulous retirement – rather than one that is humdrum and uninspiring.
The idea of a bucket list of fabulous achievements and experiences, of course, is nothing new – you’ve probably seen news reports of inspiring individuals who seem to have pulled off last-minute achievements against all the odds.
There was also the heart-warming, bittersweet film “The Bucket List” starring Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson.
There is no reason in the world why you should not compose your own bucket list as a key to achieving a fabulous retirement. Every list is highly personal and particular, of course. The list might verge on the exotic or seem to others almost mundane – it is your list and that’s what makes it so personally fabulous. So what targets, goals and ambitions might go on yours?
The Northern Lights
- want to kick off your retirement with a sparkle of magic, mystery and awe – what about a trip to see the fabulous Northern Lights?
- head north to see the most spectacular displays, of course – and you can’t get much further north than Svalbard in Norway;
- other Scandinavian destinations might be Kakslauttanen in Finland, or Jukkasjärvi in Sweden;
- further afield you might go to Reykjavik in Iceland or any number of places in Northern Canada;
- but a glimpse of the Northern Lights doesn’t have to involve travelling thousands of miles – Shetland, Orkney and Caithness in Scotland all offer vantage points for seeing the display (albeit on rare occasions);
Caribbean or an around the world cruise
- a long, relaxing and luxurious around the world cruise might appear on many people’s bucket lists;
- shipping line Cunard offers round the world cruises lasting from 89 and 120 nights;
- if you have a favourite destination, of course, the length of the voyage may be tailored to suit your particular tastes;
- the Caribbean is a favourite – and you might visit the website of Celebrity Cruises to consider their schedules of sailings direct from Southampton;
- you’ve seen the wildlife programmes on television, but retirement might be the time to find your inner David Attenborough – on safari in Africa;
- Easy Travel offers a range of award-winning safaris in the national parks of Tanzania in East Africa;
- it might be something you’ve done in your youth, something you’ve never tried before, or an experience you’ve always wanted – horse riding offers a sense of adventure, a brush with nature, and a great day out;
- contact the appropriately named British Horse Society (BHS) to find out about facilities, lessons and hacking opportunities to suit your ability;
Whales and dolphins
- memories that last forever are often built on seeing whales or dolphins in their wild, natural environment;
- there are innumerable places in the world where you can arrange excursions for more or less guaranteed sightings – getting so close to these magnificent creatures that you could almost touch them;
- European Best Destinations help to show that you don’t have to travel half-way around the world for such an experience;
- everyone has a novel inside them, it has been suggested – have you discovered your inner author yet?
- for a more stay-at-home contribution to your fabulous retirement bucket list, why not make that search, sit down and let the words flow? The sense of satisfaction and achievement is likely to be enormous and you’ll have an heirloom to pass down to your children and grandchildren;
Join the community
- one of the greatest perils when you are well into retirement might be the sense of loneliness and lack of social contact that many seem to suffer – according to the charity Age UK, 3.6 million people in this country live alone and nearly 2 million of them often feel ignored or invisible;
- what better way, therefore, to stave off your own feelings of loneliness and help others avoid the same fate by participating in local community organisations and events?
- Citizens Advice might be a good place for finding out quite how and where to start;
Local magazines and newsletters
- another way of making sure that you stay in touch with your neighbours and what’s happening in your local community is to subscribe to any or all of the magazines and newsletters that are published in practically every corner of the country;
- they are a mine of information – and provide an open door for keeping in touch with local affairs and events.
An exotic bucket list or seemingly more innocent and mundane experiences and involvement might transform your retirement into a more fabulous life experience than you could possibly imagine.
All data correct at time of writing.