I've never been a bucket list person, per se. Maybe I'm just that un-hip or terrified of making decisions. Having a list means you need to check things off of it. Don't misunderstand, I'm not a joyless android (though I am a standard boring white dude). So maybe my bucket list is more a personal improvement plan. And by that I mean a get-over-yourself plan.
For most of my life I've been staunchly independent, probably annoyingly so. Loved the freedom (or the perception of it) that living by myself brought.
I could hop in the car (a Subaru wagon, of course, standard for the Northwest Outdoor Man aesthetic) on a weekend or weeknight and go anywhere. Throw the bike on the back or the backpack inside and just... be. No. Tether. Attached.
To be sure, that is completely possible for anyone — married, parent with five kids, busy working life. But I always assumed being with other people more permanently meant sacrificing some deep and fundamental element of my entire existence. Like if I had to consult with someone about my weekend backpacking plans I was basically plugging into the Matrix.
It's been relatively recently — maybe now that I'm closer to 40 than to 30 (GAH! It burns!) — that I understand being with someone else doesn't mean sacrificing who you are or what activities you enjoy doing. It just means you have the opportunity to share your experience with another person or people (or if I finally pull the trigger — a furry friend husky).
If I'm really more about having experiences rather than possessions (except car and outdoorsy equipment — essential to facilitating experiences!), then I must be open to experiences that involve others.
New experiences — on a trail, on a mountain, in a tent or just at home — are best experienced with someone who's willing to explore them with you. And who gives you the room to do them by yourself when you need a recharge.
Did I just mark off a bucket list item? Public therapy session. Check.