Tips for making a Midlife Adventure Bucket List

My Midlife Adventure Bucket List

After reading something on Facebook this morning, which incidentally gave me the giggles, I decided to write a post of my own, aimed at my demographic – the midlifers!

I don’t mean to generalise here but I realise that’s exactly what I’m doing and  hope not to offend anyone – we all hope to get old enough to laugh at ourselves.

57 years bold
57 years bold – yep that’s me!

Personal Bucket list tips

What exactly is a bucket list anyway?  I just tend to have a list of things I’d like to experience one day rather than thinking of things I want to do before I die, but that’s just me!

The post I read was an Adventure Bucket List full of exciting adrenaline filled pursuits many of which I have actually done – visit a castle (not too much adrenaline needed here?), ziplining (lots of adrenaline), go on a safari, road trip with friends – and there were a few others not on my personal bucket list. Things like cliff jumping, backpacking around Asia, bungee jumping, scuba diving, running a marathon, swimming with sharks, skydiving, whitewater rafting, ride a motorbike….

We each have our own personal bucket list and although I’m adventurous I have a few things that actually terrify me, like heights, being out of control and taking undue risks while overseas away from my own health system. Nothing wrong with that!!

I’m not a scaredy cat –  I have trekked in Nepal despite my fear of heights, swinging bridges and steep hills, travelled in India, walked the jungles of Papua New Guinea and the Kokoda Track, backpacked on my own as a mature aged woman, given birth three times and raised three daughters into nice young women. But as I get older I see things differently.

As we age we tend to see things differently

While somethings on the list weren’t too over the top, even for an adventurous midlifer like me, I thought I might make my own list anyway, drawn from recent travels.

As we age we do tend to see things in a different light and what might not seem adventurous to some are very much so to others.

Who would have thought I’d ever go on a zip wire at the age of … well at any age? I’m so scared of heights it just wasn’t going to happen – but it did happen thanks to a whim and being in the right place at the right time – The Eden Project in Cornwall for those of you interested!

That’s what makes the world go around, we are all different and we all see things differently – not better, not worse, just different!

My #12 top bucket list items

Here’s my top 12  items on my bucket list – I just happen to have ticked a few off recently!

Please feel free to add your own ideas to my list – leave me a comment below!

  1. Drive the narrow roads of Cornwall in a hire car (or any other quintessential English countryside area) in peak summer holiday time when you’re used to wide open spaces of Australia
  2. Bicycle picturesque rail trails all over the world
  3. Road trip for a week in Iceland with your 35 year old daughter
  4. Share a hot tub with Russians late at night
  5. Get lost somewhere, anywhere, and make it out alive
  6. Book a dodgy AirBnB for 3 nights
  7. Discover delicious Gins in Scotland – in fact do a Gin tasting tour of the UK
  8. Walk behind a waterfall, up above a waterfall and even into a waterfall
  9. Take a Lava tunnel tour in Iceland
  10. Take your life into your own hands by cycling in Amsterdam
  11. Meet up in real life with people you’ve only met on the internet through the blogging community
  12. Pull an all-nighter in Reykjavik in summer when the sun sets at 11.19pm and rises again at 3.19am

I do love a list and I like nothing more than ticking things off a list.

To do list
Photo by Breakingpic on

My 9 top tips for making your own list

#1 Don’t think you have to follow everyone else’s list, feel free to make your own

#2 Take into account your own goals and desires

#3 Be a little realistic but don’t sell yourself short

#4 Don’t give up on those big dreams

#5 If you really want to do something then just do it

#6 Don’t count the days, make the days count

#7 Don’t give into that beige woman inside of you – let her out

#8 Think outside the square

#9 Write it down (and send me your list)

And my last tip which I must remember to tell myself from time to time –

If you think you’re old, then you are!

What do you think?

Does there come a time when you have to give up the dream of extreme adventures on your bucket list or are they there to stay forever?  Or am I just feeling old today and lowering my expectations somewhat????

Although my list looks OK to me at the moment 🙂

Feel free to leave me a comment. I always love hearing your thoughts.

Deb xx

tips for midlife bucket lists

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Debbie in rock chick mode

Everyone has a story to tell! Deb is a young-at-heart & active 60+ blogger/retiree, after being made redundant from her 22-year career managing education programs in a men’s correctional centre (jail). She now spends her time reading, blogging, riding her ebike and travelling. Deb was awarded a Bravery Award from the Queen when she was 17 after a tragic accident – a definite life changing moment! She is married with 3 grown-up daughters & has 4 grandchildren. She never imagined being Granny Debs would bring so much joy to her life! You can read more of Deb’s story here

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48 Replies to “Tips for making a Midlife Adventure Bucket List”

  1. Love this post Deb. I’m 65 and I’m game to do anything that comes my way – I hate flying, boats and speed but if a balloon ride presents itself I won’t refuse to get into that basket! I will go on a cruise and I fly on airliners all the time.
    But – I don’t believe in being stupid just for an adrenaline rush. I will never skydive or bungee jump. I don’t need that kind of excitement 😂
    I believe in spending money on experiences – not stuff.
    My next adventure will be caranning in Namibia – unless something else crops up before then😁

    Liked by 2 people

  2. In today’s world, my idea of extreme adventure is walking out to my garage and getting into my SUV. Life like that ‘Gump’ box of chocolates is one where you never know what you’re going to get. I do like the idea of designing a bucket list for myself. However, at 62, soon to be 63, I’ve done a great many things I’ve wanted to do already. Now, finding ways to experience a life filled with peace and serenity is at the top of my list everyday. Once I decide where I can accomplish this outside of my own home, I’ll jot a few possible destinations down. Some people may call me a chicken for this, but I much prefer watching other people having the extreme adventure of their lives, and catching some of their adrenaline run-off!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I love that quote, ‘don’t count the days, make the days count’. My lists change daily. I used to want to see the world but then I realised I find snapshots of a place frustrating. Now my main focus is seeing as much of Australia as I possibly can. There’s enough here to keep me going for a long, long time to come. The rest of the world I see through the eyes of my blogging friends.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes I love the quote too Chris. I think seeing as much of your own country is a great idea, it sure is a big place and I’ve only scratched the surface of it too! Seeing the world through blogging friends is a great way of travelling 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Love your tips, Debbie! I think when we write something down, we’re more committed and more likely to do it. I always seem to have an adventure of some sort lined up and look forward to experiencing it. #lifethisweek

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Great list! I did a whisky tour in Edinburgh and that was pretty fun! I have met friends in my computer in real life – such a joy! I don’t have a bucket list per se but I do have a list of 101 things to do in 1001 days with a travel component. I’m having so much fun ticking things off!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Love your last item, Deb – ‘if you think you are old, you are’. I’ve always had bucket lists for travelling and have been very fortunate to be able to tick many off the list. Driving through Cornwall is heavenly isn’t it? I’m ready for another visit as it has been over 30 years since I’ve been there. Great tips and good for you with the zip lining. They may be building one at Mt Coot-ha in Brisbane so I’ll meet you there! 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Yes, well I can already tick that one off the list! We were enjoying a late night hot tub soak when a few Russian couples came along and joined us. Conversation didn’t flow particularly well but it was an interesting experience for these two little Aussie travellers!!


  7. Thanks for your post. I almost didnt read it but decided I would. I’m terrified of heights but am conquering that one climb at a time. I’ve walked the Carrick-a-Rede bridge, climbed the Sydney Harbour and Story bridges, Been ziplining in the world’s oldest rainforest and run off a mountain when I went paragliding. Bungy jumping and parachuting are NOT on my list. Most other things I’ll do.
    I do have an actual bucket list but I also have a leaky bucket list. My favourite thing about my list is that no one can ever actually complete it because of #46. If you say you did, then you didn’t. If anyone has any suggestions to add to this list I’d love to hear them.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Wow Jenny, I love your comment and all that you’ve done, considering you’re terrified of heights! I also love your leaky bucket list and the premise behind it, especially #46! So clever.
      I’m tempted to ask what made you actually read my post given that you weren’t going to in the first place? I really appreciate you joining in and sharing your amazing experiences, so a huge thank you from me 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Well, to be honest I don’t tend to read bucket list posts very often – even though I’ve obviously done a couple myself. But then I thought I might miss something interesting. I’m glad I didn’t pass it by now.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Thanks for responding to my question, your original comment had me wondering! I must admit I’m quite selective about which posts I click on at times and I wonder what I miss out on by doing so. There’s just not enough time in the world to read everything though!! I’m so glad you decided to read mine 😊 enjoy the weekend ahead.

          Liked by 1 person

  8. Some great items on that list Deb especially the Iceland related ones. Somewhere we haven’t been but are desperate to visit. Maybe next year eh? Not a massive fan of bucket lists but know that most people love them. Prefer just trying to say Yes to everything and rolling with whatever life offers up.

    Liked by 2 people

  9. This was a fab post! Having just done my very first mountain climb at age 45 (Ben Nevis) Im not sure I am quite finished with the challenges haha! I do however, have an overwhelming desire to go on an old fashioned steam train. Like a slam door, really old one. The orient Express would be the dream, but I could never afford that one! Id love to see Cornwall too, Iv never been and it looks beautiful x

    Liked by 2 people

    1. That sounds great Kerry! Climbing anything is hard work and you obviously enjoyed the challenges it gave you. I was lucky to go on a steam train trip last year in Melbourne and it was a real hoot, hopefully you’ll get to do it one day! Thanks for your great comment, I always enjoy getting the thoughts of others. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This post needs a Love button. It’s awesome! I love any sort of list and it’s usually how I get things done! Love your bucket list and I’ve done a few of them myself though I haven’t zip lined yet. And I’d never jump out of a perfectly good plane! I’m adventurous but not silly! Mostly though, as far as I’m concerned we’re never too old to go after our dreams. Keep having fun Deb. xx

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Having just done #1 on your bucket list two weeks ago, I can safely question your sanity. Also, did #11 in July and it was AMAZING! And #5 & 8 should be on everyone’s list, I try to do that on a regular basis. Thank you for the tips on making an adventure bucket list, I love to mark things off a list, too!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so happy to hear you have done some of these things too! It’s a great way to see the world through different eyes. I find I tend to become more adventurous when I travel compared to when I’m just at home. I love your comment 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  12. Good on you Deb!! I admit I became adventurous in my first solo travels to Far Nth Qld in my early 50s. I learned to ride a Quad bike and went into the cool but amazing water in a creek in the Daintree. I was like that in my only OS trip too some 3 years later. Sadly, for me the mid 60s brought me a level of anxiety and fear that was linked to having 3 major life transitions at one. Now, with a lot of work done on me personally and getting help professionally (with a dose of cancer thrown in to really make me wake up!) I could travel again. Now, not enough money to do so. However, you never know do you!

    I wanting to see grandma news from you soon!!

    Thanks for linking up for #lifethisweek & next week’s optional prompt is: Have You Ever…? Denyse

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks for sharing some of your amazing life Denyse! You really have lived haven’t you, doing such things. It’s weird how we seem to change as we get older and your circumstances haven’t been good but you continue to inspire us all with your tenacity and drive.
      I am happy to tell you I finally became a grandma yesterday and we all couldn’t be happier. I’ll post about it soon I’m sure!! Thanks for your great comment, it always means a lot to have you visit 😊


  13. Extreme adventures have never even been a blimp on my radar Deb – I’m boring like that! Give me a river cruise with beautiful scenery and a bit of touristy stuff thrown in and I’m happy. I wouldn’t mind doing the walk through the Lake District (much nicer than the Camino Trail – that looks hot and dusty, or the Kokoda Trail – humid and sweaty!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That doesn’t sound too bad to me Leanne! You’re not boring!! My husband really wants to go back and do the Camino, or parts of it,but I just don’t know if I want to or not. I like the idea of the Lake District walk though. I think as long as we keep doing something a little bit active then our holidays meet both our needs.


  14. I was thinking about my mom’s bucket list actually. It’s one of her goals to travel more and with a husband who isn’t up for that she has to make some decisions on what she wants to do alone—or find a way to recruit people to go along. She’s taking my sister on an international trip next year and she and I will
    plan something too. My first thought was Machu Pichu. But can a woman in her 70s make that trip comfortably? It’s a question I’m not sure I can answer. So, to your point, how do we reach for our dreams while recognizing reality? Do you have a suggestion on a meaningful place for a mother/daughter trip? (I’m headed to Iceland soon—so I can’t take that particular suggestion.)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s a great question Angela, how do we reach for our dreams while recognising reality?? A few years ago before my father’s Parkinson’s set in too badly, my parents in their early 70s, joined my husband and I on a bike and barge tour from Paris to Bruge. It was 2 weeks but they didn’t have to ride everyday if they didn’t feel up to it. They could stay on board as the barge moved. They ended up riding about every second day and absolutely loved it. They hired a personal trainer to get in shape, beforehand especially to build up dad’s skills on riding a bike and mum’s confidence. It worked really well and although some people thought they were mad for tackling something so active at their age and with dad’s condition, they were determined. We also have great memories of our special time together with them especially now that dad has gone. He always said it was one of the best trips he’s ever done, which is a big call. So in answer to your question, it depends on how much you want to do and what you’re prepared to do to make it happen. Machu Pichu would be a challenge for anyone and a great choice or maybe somewhere very different or with some significance to you. I’d love to hear what you decide 🙂 I’m so glad to hear you’re off to Iceland too, it’s amazing. All the best and I always appreciate your insightful and caring comments. x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh I LOVE that story about your dad. I can’t remember if I read about it on your blog– but I just love it. It’s an inspiration for anyone wanting to “suck the marrow out of life” to quote Henry David Thoreau. Wonderful.
        I’ll let you know how it all shakes out. Could be a few years yet before we decide. But I’ll think back on your story for inspiration!

        Liked by 1 person

  15. It looks like you could check a lot of them off by going to Iceland! My daughter loved it. It’s on my bucket list too!
    I’d add Colorado to your list. With hiking and skiing in the mountains and places to visit like Denver and Boulder to visit, there’s a lot to see and do!

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Time passes so quickly that sometimes I feel if I don’t plan things and set a date for them then we just don’t always get around to doing them!
    What a great list you’ve got, I too would love to be behind a waterfall!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Gemma, it was an amazing feeling of power as the waterfall fell down near us in Iceland, I loved it, despite getting a bit wet! I’m so glad I got to do some of those things on my list already. You’re right though if we don’t set dates then time just gets away from us. Lovely to have you visit 😊

      Liked by 1 person

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