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A guide for Inspiration, How-To's and Overcoming Obstacles 

  • Brenda J

5 Inspiration Sources for Creating your own Bucket List

Updated: Sep 15, 2019

Writing down bucket list ideas helps get thoughts from the inside to the outside where they can start to become reality. But how do we get those ideas in the first place? How do we know what sparks us, what excites us? It’s important to make your list from passions and interests, and not just throw tasks down on paper because you saw it on the Gram or on a 1001 bucket ideas list. A destination bucket list requires a lot of effort, money and time. Make sure it’s going to take your breath away!

Here are 7 ways to get inspired.

1. Magazines

Magazines have authority and are of professional caliber. They are relevant and timely, created by a team of enthusiasts in that particular field. It is a great honor to be published in a well-respected magazine and takes individuals to another level of seriousness. These are the people you want to read about and follow. A magazine issue gets published only after a team of writers, editors, managers, and stakeholders produce content appealing to their advertisers and subscribers.

Magazines come in many forms. I receive Backpacker and Sunset magazine in paper form and love to throw them in my truck so I’ll have something to read when I need it. I will either rip out articles and add them to my huge binder collection or leave un-ripped up magazines on the break room counter at work for others to enjoy. I enjoy Arizona Highways on my tablet though my library’s website for free. If I find an old issue of Arizona Highways at Goodwill or the antique shop, I’ll snatch that baby up! I also have paid for a subscription to Zino and other digital magazine services when I want a particular magazine that is only offered in that way.

2. College Classes

A huge heart spark for the outdoors came from taking elective classes. I took a couple of geology classes and environmental sustainability classes. I even took Recreation 101 where the final was planning three backpacking trips in three separate countries. One of my geology classes introduced me to Mammoth Cave National Park and I have been dreaming of seeing the limestone labyrinth ever since.

3. Documentaries

Ken Burns’ The National Parks: America’s Best Idea made me cry. Seriously! When I learned about Stephens Mather’s passion and then being plagued with mental illness that halted his passion… oh boy. I learned a lot about the major players in the history of conservation and have a deep appreciation for what they did, the parks they protected and why. Amazon Prime Video and Netflix have a wonderful selection of documentaries of many interests. I recommend watching all of Ken Burns documentaries.

4. Art Work

I started painting Monument Valley long before I ever got to lay eyes on it. I would look at others paintings and photographs for reference and inspiration. Studying the landscape and history beforehand gave me a much deeper appreciation.

5. Friends and Family

Following my parents on their many drives from Southern California to Alaska was like showing candy to a two-year-old and then saying no (mean, huh.) It was exciting and frustrating at the same time. I followed them on their Spot and looked up every road they drove, and campsite, city and attraction they visited. Then when they came back, I got to see all the beautiful photos and hear the amazing stories. I have wanted to do a very similar trip ever since.

6. Hobbies

I love wild flowers and I love birds. Both of these hobbies have taken me places and are inspiration for more of my bucket list ideas. I want to drive through Texas’s wildflower bloom and I want to see the birds on Padre Island. I also love riding my bike and have wanted to ride the Katy trail for years.

7. Your past

One of my biggest inspirations comes from old dark secret in my past. I used to be afraid to fly. I believed this was my dirty little secret and was very ashamed. Then I said, “Enough! I’m done with this shit!” and spent 6 months getting that little issue resolved. Now that I can fly, I want to fly everywhere and anywhere! So cheap flights are my inspiration!


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