What is a Bucket List?

Simply put, a bucket list is a list of all things that you want to do/accomplish before you die. Life is finite and nothing can be planned right? Propelled by this belief and hunger to get the maximum out of life, a bucket list seeks to concretely pen down all the things that you want to do in life and will maybe one day get down to it. A bucket list is not merely a to-do list and it is not limited to realistic things only. Say someone is hydrophobic- realistically speaking the person will not have swimming on their to-do list. But a bucket list goes beyond expectations and always tries to push the edges. So whether the person is hydrophobic or not, if they want to swim, it can be on their bucket list and the list acknowledges that desire to do something extra ordinary. In a lot of ways, bucket lists are extra ordinary goals you place for yourself and accomplishing these are more fulfilling than, say a monetary award. These are things that are innate in you, things you want to do and things that make you happy at a deep, personal level.

First Bucket List Ever!

The original blue print of what is now known an a bucket list can be seen earliest in John Goddard’s “Life List”. Spanning over 127 experiences to conquer over his life time, Goddard took up the task to live in the present fully. Learning from others and elders who had lived with regrets and missed opportunities, he made sure to scratch off as much as possible in a life time. His itchy passionate self was not limited to one kind of bucket list, rather looked forward to an array of activities. From climbing Mt Fuji to studying primitive culture in Borneo and even exploring the Amazon, his scratched off list is an impressive display of determination and accomplishment. Do read the full post on John Goddard as he talks about his motivations and his 127 long bucket list!

john goddard life list

John Goddard and his Life LIst

Origins of the term “Bucket List”

Several conflicting theories exist at the moment, yet each has the same conclusion. Death remains an imminent part of the definition and the threat of a life cut short always lurks within its context. The first theory goes back to the middle ages and practices of public hanging. One would have to stand on a bucket with a noose and when the bucket is kicked, the person would automatically strangle to death. The second theory argues that after death, usually holy water is placed in a bucket at the feet of the body. When people came to visit for mourning, they would sprinkle the holy water on the body. A third theory picks up a childhood game of kicking a ball at randomly placed buckets. If the ball hits a bucket, you are automatically ‘dead’ and kicked off the game. Such ominous allusions though, are proof that life is short and unpredictable. It’s better to do the things you want to do NOW, then to pile them up on a “some day list”. Having a bucket list, is to have a life and utilise it fully before it’s knocked off from under your feet!

The Movie “The Bucket List”

The phrase ‘Bucket List’ gained popularity after the release of the movie ‘The Bucket List’ in 2007. Though the movie they did not get critically acclaimed, it began the phenomenon of people writing their Bucket Lists. The Bucket List is heart-warming, buddy movie about two geriatric terminally-ill patients, Edward (played by Jack Nicholoson) and Carter (played by Morgan Freeman). Edward and Carter share a hospital room in Edward’s hospital and rub each other the wrong way in the beginning. Eventually though, they become the reason for having the most fulfilling last days of their lives. Carter has a ‘Bucket List.’

Bucket List Twist- Candy Chang’s Before I Die:

A public art project, Candy Chang’s art installations across the world have resonated with people and united them in the thirst for more. After the loss of a loved one, she channeled her grief into a remarkable idea and converted an abandoned building in her New Orleans neighbourhood into a a site where everyone could particpate and went their desires. Covering the crumbling wall with spray paint and chalkboard, she stenciled the words “Before I Die, I Want to…” and made a visual bucket list! Before long, the entire board was full of responses ranging from serious to hilarious, across all age groups.

“Before I die I want to… see my daughter graduate, abandon all insecurities, get my wife back, eat all the candy and sushi in the world, be a Youtube sensation, straddle the International Date Line, tell my mother I love her, be completely myself.

Soon there were calls to request installing similar walls across the world and today there more than 1000 installations in 70 countries! Iraq, China, Brazil, Kazakhstan, South Africa and more- countries that are vastly different yet profoundly similar. These walls are remarkable as they depict that everyone, irrespective of age, class, race, gender- everyone has some sort of bucket list. Everyone is aware of imminent death and the race against time. No matter what kind of bucket list, everyone has some thing to achieve and all of us are united in that struggle.

bucket list candy chang

The “Before I Die, I Want to…” installation at Santiago, Chile.
(C)Bernd Biedermann

Popularity of Bucket List

Soon after the movie, making a Bucket List became a huge trend. People started putting down their Bucket List goals on sheets of paper and some also created blogs about it. There were more movies created around the concept of doing things you want to do before kicking the bucket. Some evidence of the popularity is that Bollywood Superstar ShahRukh Khan made a Bucket List himself! American President also seems to have a Bucket List!

Shah Rukh Khan’s Bucket List

In Aug 2015, when Shah Rukh Khan was 49 he shared his Bucket List with his fans on Twitter. Through a series of tweets he said: “Just putting it out there….my amaranthine bucket list. Like I said its perpetually increasing & changing but right now it’s this… Learn the guitar, Learn cooking, Find a perfect pair of jeans, Learn to make five cocktails, Tend to plants, Read Papillon again, Finish book; Sing a song for every mother 2 daughter in the world & make them smile; Learn backflip…again. Invent/do a Noble prize worth thingy??! Know the difference between Sensual and Sensuous, Find a mermaid” 🙂

Like most of us, Shah Rukh Khan has also been procrastinating on his Bucket List. “Finish Book’ has been on his list since a decade. He tweets, “Finish book means finish writing the book I have been writing for the last millennium…somebody stop me!!!” He was referting to 20 Years in a Decade, his autobiography about the perks of stardom and the disadvantages that tag along with it.

Barack Obama’s Bucket List

In September 2014 Barack Obama visited Stonehenge. He was in UK for a NATO summit and post the meet, he took a detour to Stonehenge. “Knocked it off the bucket list,” he said after visiting Stonehenge.

Stonhenge is one of the wonders of the world and the best-known prehistoric monument in Europe. Around the ancient landscape, the Neolithic Houses give a glimpse of the tools and objects of everyday Neolithic life. They have a world-class exhibition and visitor centre with 250 ancient objects and come face to face with a 5,500 year-old man.


While Obama has not shared his Bucket List in public, it seems he has one. If he does, he is  one of the few people who scratched off ‘Be the President of United States’ off his Bucket List 😉

Buddy, the Dog’s Bucket List

Buddy, a 6 yr old Australian dog was diagnosed with severe lymphoma recently. Emily who was taking care of Buddy for 4 years then compiled a 49 item long Bucket List for him.

His list included things like: meeting a celebrity, being featured in a book, paw-paint a canvas picture, get his very own order at a fast-food establishment, ride in a limousine, being published in a calendar, becoming “the face” of a product and riding around in a police car.

Buddy’s last uncompleted bucket list item was to help other animals, which Emily is now helping him achieve, after death. All his toys will be donated to shelters, and the money raised for Buddy’s bucket list endeavours will be donated to the Australian animal organisation, RSPCA. Head to Buddy’s Bucket List to know more.

Kinds of Bucket Lists:

Adventure Bucket Lists

Adventure sports like rafting, scuba diving, bungee jumping- any thing that picks up the heart rate and kicks in the adrenaline can be sorted into this list.

Foodie Bucket List

Nothing makes you happier than an epicurean delight! You are up for all sorts of culinary experimentation and never shy away from trying out new cuisines. Money does not make you work as hard as the thought of great food.

Travel Bucket List

Wanderlust or “itchy feet” as we like to call it is the need to travel to unknown and off beat places. Sitting still in one place is not your cup of tea! Flying in, road trips, treks and long walks are your thing and getting away from normal routine once in a while is a must!

Life Skills Bucket List

Driving, cycling, swimming, zumba, karate, yoga, baking- some essentials that you keep postponing but you know you will need to get around to them soon.

Everyday Bucket List

No list is too small or too big! This one includes all the every day procrastination we convince ourselves on a daily basis. Want to eat a whole cake by yourself? Get a flatter stomach? Start your blog? Each dream is significant and achievable with the right amount of enthusiasm!

Couple Bucket List

Got someone to share the awe and beauty of the world? After you change from an “I” to a “we”, your bucket list goals also tend to pick up that change and start adding more dreams. Take a look here for a detailed breakdown of the couples bucket list!

People can have bucket lists that criss-cross these categories or fit into none at all- that’s the beauty! It’s personal and up to you to decide the how, the when and the why.

Crazy Bucket List Ideas!

A bucket list by definition is crazy right? Jotting down every single thing you ever want to do? But some are crazier than others. Let’s take a look that will knock the sock off your feet!

Smashing a Garage door:

Who knew there was an itch like this? Taking a cue from action movies and stunt wonders, this 91 year old great great grand father had something in his bucket list and finally he scratched it off! With help from friends and family, he drove an SUV directly through a garage door! For more details of his amazing feat, head here.

Selfie Inside a Live Volcano:

George Kouronis already had us dropping our jaws at his television series Angry Planet, but here he just upped the mark! Descending into the Marum crater – a boiling lava lake situated within the Ambrym volcano in Vanuatu, he dived right into the midst of the heat and lava for an epic selfie. The scariest bit? “The suit that protected me from the lava’s heat. It was destroyed by the potent acid rain on the volcano,” he wrote. And soon after the selfie, his camera literally melted in the heat!

Panorama shot from the top, looking down 1,200 feet to the Marum lava lake. The same height as the Empire State bldg," he tweeted

Panorama shot from the top, looking down 1,200 feet to the Marum lava lake. The same height as the Empire State bldg,” he tweeted

Stairway to Heaven:

Located at Oahu, Hawaii, these steps at a 30 degree are at an elevation of 2800 ft. With scenic vistas, it’s definitely worth a try. Considered one of the toughest hikes, it’s considered “forbidden”- one wrong step and it could be a literal stairway to heaven!

Wingsuit Flying:

Now that we have conquered flying like a bird, how about some other creatures of the wild? The latest trend is flying like a Flying Squirrel and it boasts of amazing speeds and control. Navigate between impossible rocks and crevices but be careful to look after your head!

Macau Bungee Jumping:

This dive would truly etch your name in the Guinness Book of of World Records. Jump off 764 Ft with a specially designed “second generation bungee cord” and slow down 30 metres ground before rebounding right up. Sound like a headache? The fall is absolutely worth the adrenaline surge.

How is The Itch List Different?

Unlike a bucket list that sits pretty on your table and reminds you of the great things you want to achieve, The Itch List actively tries to poke you to action! Setting deadlines gives incentive to start working on your bucket list and positive encouragement from peer pressure helps! We know that and aim to utilise positive reinforcement in order to get you on your toes! The Itch List takes the idea of a bucket list and tries to push it even further by making sure that you do accomplish the goals you chalk for yourself. Talking to like minded people and getting adequate support for fellow users is a huge leap in that direction. Often we put off our goals for daily jobs and exclaim lack of money or time. Well, The Itch List is here to tell you that you are not alone! These are universal excuses but together, our itchy tingly passionate souls can achieve miracles and scratch those seemingly impossible tasks! With regular meet-ups, realistic deadlines and a blog that is dedicated to inspire and curate inspirational people, we hope to address the issues that hold people back from getting out of their comfort zone!


They say mixing business and pleasure is not a smart thing, but we know that’s not true! Sitting around a round table over a cup of coffee and talking about the things that are closest to you is the best way forward we find. Like old friends, we exchange stories, anecdotes and inspire each other to scratch what’s next on their Itch List. It’s a fun way to get to know each other and learn from each other!

Itch List Meet Up Singapore Itchy Tales

Travel enthusiasts at Itch Lists first meet up in Singapore


From curating accounts of extra ordinary feats to interviews with inspirational people, the blog today has expanded to a forum for exploring several avenues of change and motivation. Varying from to-do lists and ideas for your Itch List, the blog aims to share information and opinion regarding bucket lists and how you can achieve them easily on your own.


What’s life without a little humour? Get your funny bone tickling and your gray matter chuckling with our cartoon strips that talk about our every day procrastination!


A fun comic strip for that added nudge


Often we partner up and try to expose our users to new challenges like paragliding at Nirvana Adventures or grape stomping at the Great Grover Wine Festival or an obstacle race like a mud run! With systematic partnerships, the Itch List hopes to introduce users to new bucket list ideas or scratch off things that are already there.

grape stomping wine festival

Are you up for getting down in the grapes?-In collaboration with The Great Grover Wine Festival

Bucket List and New Year’s Resolution:

There are essential differences to both these ideas although both hope to achieve the same ideals- a better, happier you! While a NY Resolution typically is a solemn promise undertaken at the beginning of a year, it usually takes on a negative tone. Hoping to change the negative aspects of your life, one uses language of abstinence and strictness. “Don’t”, “never”, “should”- these are common utterances in a resolution. But rejecting yourself and keeping count of the negatives is bound to not last for long and result in less positive actions. Usually a momentary, spontaneous occupation, as the excitement of the NY fades, so does the motivation to stick to the new routine. A much more improved method would be acceptance and self-love. A bucket list graciously recognises the feasible, unfeasible and far fetched and allows both to thrive. You get to choose how and when you will achieve it- giving you time and the driver’s seat. Fueled with inspiration and excitement, the jet pack on this list is likely to last much longer! Get a buddy along and motivate each other to achieve the best of their potential. Keep time on your side and go about it in a relaxed manner.

Create Your Own Bucket List!

Now that we have got all familiar with the bucket list phenomena that is gripping the world, we know you cannot wait to get started! Here are some useful tips to get you on your journey to scratching off all your itches:

Write it down: Start jotting it down! Don’t just chalking it up in your head. Of course we like to think of ourselves as super human with insane memory skills but soon we realise we are not fooling anyone. A visual reminder that enumerates the various things you want to do or have done will help you to keep things on track.

Target different kinds of bucket lists: Experiment with adventure, mundane, travel, hobbies and do not worry if they seem downright impossible at the moment. You have your entire life to achieve it. Right now, the first step is to get started and be open to a myriad experiences.

Mix it up: Blend in itches that can be easily accomplished along with other seemingly difficult itches. Scratching some helps to build motivation and raring to try more. Things that can be done today, that need no external aid are best scratched off right in the beginning. For instance if you have always wanted to bake cookies, don’t wait for the right time and occasion. Now is the right time! Grab the ingredients and start baking away.

Make it public: Public accountability is a beautiful thing. To put your bucket list out in the open and sharing it makes you more responsible towards achieving it. Listen to inputs, keep your eyes and ears out for events/ trips and who knows when people know about your itches, they might recommend methods and contacts that can help you scratch it off hassle-free!

Read other bucket lists: It helps to know what others are itching to do. Maybe it’s similar or it will be radically new- either case it’s something to learn from and add to your list.

Bucket List Buddy: Find someone who has similar hobbies or at least shares the same enthusiasm to try new things. Having a buddy can be incredibly inspiring and the positive peer pressure can do amazing accomplishments together. Whether it’s sticking to a work out, travelling together, keeping a check on your diets or plan an adventure- find a teammate and double the fun.

Give yourself deadlines: We know we have our entire lives to go about and start scratching stuff. That’s the exact mentality that prevents us in the prevent place! Procrastination has never made work easier and neither will it help here. Give yourself concrete, realistic deadline and set about to getting it done. Try your best to achieve it within the stipulated time. After all, nothing gives as much satisfaction as setting a target and completing it.

Have fun: It’s not a race and it is completely alright to not scratch off every single item on your bucket list. The goal is to live a fulfilling and happy life and completing as many as you can is satisfaction in it’s own right. This is your list and life and you set the rules. Have the time of your life and live it- one itch at a time!

In fact, here at The Itch List, we combine all these assets in one place and make the whole process a lot easier. Make your Itch List, share with your buddies and cheer for their itch lists too! Here are some ways to get you started:

Popular Bucket List Ideas

Based on our user base and trending itches on the website, here are a few facts we have gathered:

Solo travel:

This one is not a surprise. Time and again people itch to get away from the hectic 9 to 5 lifestyle and spend some time alone. Away from crowds, network and familiar people, solo travel emerges as a popular favourite cutting across age, gender and location.

A trend that will hopefully continue in 2016 as well

A trend that will hopefully continue in 2016 as well

Road Trip:

Inspired by various sources like Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara, hopping into a car/bike with your besties and few baggage is living the dream. Cut off from notifications and hustle of the city, a road trip opens you up to new vistas and experiences. Fending for yourself and having a completely unplanned itinerary is a different adventure altogether.  On an hilarious note, do check out compulsory awkward photos taken on the road!

road trip

3 generations roadtripping in South Africa!


Whether it’s for bird watching, or motor biking the dirt roads or simply the panoramic view, Leh-Ladakh remains on everyone’s radar at all times of the year! Here’s a compelling photologue capturing the scenery.


Ladakhi terrain

Getting fit:

Flatter stomach, stronger stamina, ever-lasting youth and the Kim Kardashian butt are some of the reasons people get on and off the health chart. This is the first New Year’s Resolution for most people and continues to haunt them throughout the year!

Motivation enough?

Motivation enough?

Camp on a beach:

Twinkly skies over a blue twinkly sea and the pale moonlight to guide you, this has been a trending itch that refuses to fade with time. With Hollywood and Bollywood taking a cue to show us romantic moments and carefree young friends roasting marshmallows over a bonfire, with a hunky guitarist in the midst and beer on the go, who can say no to this bucket list essential?

For a more comprehensive list of popular itches in 2015, head here to read the full details. Behind these ideas are the people that continuously raise the bar  and remind us to live our lives more fully and passionately. Here are the people in 2015 who shocked us with their infectious zeal and daredevil persona. Whether it’s a “Before I Die” list or a meticulously planned list that defines the things you want to experience/accomplish before a certain age- we all have a bucket list of desires. Regardless of how secret/public it is, no one can deny that there are things we regret not trying. “Every man dies. Not every man really lives”– William Wallace. Make each moment count and live the life you have always wanted for yourself. Of course there will be roadblocks- time, money, peer pressure, jobs- but that’s what a bucket list is for! To figure out the best way to overcome these obstacles. So do not wait for a “New Year New You” promise that will eventually be broken. No better time to start than now and no better place than right here. 😀


So what are you waiting for? Dive into the website and explore a whole range of interesting itches, like minded people and draw inspiration to live the life you have always wanted. All this and more, only on The Itch List.


Posted by Sainico Ningthoujam

Scribbler. Wanderer. Itching to trek Valley of Flowers, ace the ukelele and give contemporary dance a try.

One Comment

  1. […] weekend sprees or eating out sessions. Learning professional Photography is also a popular Bucket List item! And while everyone has the latest photo equipment from a DSLR camera to a battery of lenses, […]


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