The idea of a bucket list can seem morbid to some: it’s a list of experiences, locations, things, etc that people want to tick off before they die. Yes, by definition, it involves contemplating one’s death, but a bucket list is the opposite of morbid fear because it focuses on hopes, plans, and achievements. As it turns out, many people share some of the same ideas.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, traveling features on many buckets lists (and is the most popular category) with 77% of bucket-listers mentioning some form of trip. This may be linked to the challenges of traveling earlier in life: people lack money, time, or enthusiastic companions. Traveling solo can be a partial solution, but still, many end up saving trips for their big bucket-list experiences that take time to plan.
The three most desired experiences on American bucket lists are sky-diving, winning the lottery, and having kids. These experiences differ quite a bit in pretty much every aspect. Sky-diving lasts a short time and can be purchased by anyone, the lottery is out of one’s control and extremely unlikely to happen, and having children is more of a permanent life choice than an experience. Nonetheless, people love to dream about what they want out of life, and bucket lists are a great way to do just that.41