Bucket lists. I am obsessed. I’ve had the same bucket list since I was 14 years old. Lots of the things on my list have changed over the years, for instance: there is no way I’m graduating from college with honors and a 4.0 GPA. However, in the almost six years of its existence, not very many items have been crossed off.
The other day a friend and I were talking and she came up with a great idea: 22 things she wants to do before she turns 22. As my 20th birthday is taking place this week, I was contemplating what kind of year 20 will be. I will spend five months of it studying abroad in Italy and traveling Europe, I will become an aunt for the second time, I will finish my minor in international studies and I will complete my junior year of college.
I have so many opportunities afforded to me this year, so what a time to cross some things off my bucket list. Without further ado I present:
21 things to do before 21
Go to Rome
This one is pretty obvious. I’ll be studying abroad in Arezzo, Italy (about one hour outside of Rome). Our study abroad program will have plenty of weekend trips to Rome. I can’t wait to throw a coin into the Trevi Fountain.
Can we say living on the edge?! This has been on my bucket list since I was born. My friends currently studying in Italy took the plunge a few weeks ago. Who can say they went sky diving in Italy?
Visit the Sistine Chapel
Talk about one of the most beautiful man-made creations! I will definitely be taking a picture even though it’s illegal.
Send a Message in a Bottle
In the fourth grade my sisters and I tied a note to a bunch of balloons and let it fly. The note made it all the way to a field in Illinois and the finder sent it back! Probably one of the cooler things that has happened in my lifetime. What’s even cooler? Being a full grown adult and sending a message in a bottle. Hopefully someone will actually take the time to read the note.
Have a Pajama Party
I have never once in my life had a pajama party. Sure, I had plenty of sleepovers as a kid, but no one wore pajamas or talked about boys. We normally ran around outside and played hide and seek until two am. No one in college has huge sleepovers anymore. (College is actually one big sleepover with your roomie but that’s another story.) I want to dress up in my finest footie PJs and sing Britney Spears karaoke while simultaneously stuffing my face with cookies with my best girlfriends. Nothing is more mature honestly.
Visit the Parthenon
Look guys, the economic state of Greece right now is pretty crappy, so I’m gonna reap the benefits. I have always loved ancient Greece. My last international trip I was able to visit the remnants of Troy. Athens would bring my visit full circle. History is one of my favorite topics, but seeing it in real life beats reading it in a history book.
Learn Sign Language
I only speak two languages: English and Arabic (moderately). The University of Oklahoma does not offer sign language as a foreign language class. I’ve always wanted to learn. In middle school I had homeschool friends who would communicate to each other via sign language so that none of us plebeians would understand them. Besides private conversation, knowing sign language would be useful so that I could communicate with the deaf community. Here’s to taking on another language!
Go to a Nude Beach
Judge me, but I am a young woman chasing a dream. The dream? To tell people funny stories about that time I went to a nude beach in Italy. Who can top that? (Do not look up “nude beach black and white photo” because it will not be pretty. The fact that I even thought I could look that up without negative results is a testament to my character.)
Churn My Own Butter
Yes. I’m weird. Ever since I saw someone doing this at a southern fair when I was like seven I have always wanted to churn my own butter. What’s better than homemade butter on homemade bread? Absolutely nothing. Nothing is better. Next thing you know I’ll open up a butter shop.
Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter
Ever since the ripe age of four I have loved Harry Potter. I owned all of the books, attended book and movie releases, dressed up as a wizard two years in a row for Halloween, had my own potions set, dragged my Harry Potter backpack around everywhere, only played Harry Potter cards and attended pool parties with my Harry Potter towel. Obsessed would be an understatement. In my adult life, I continue to love reading the books and watching the movies, but I have never been to Harry Potter World. (Am I truly a fan then?) Of all the items on my bucket list, this is the most important of them all.
Read the Bible
I don’t mention my faith enough in this blog. But an important part of my faith is the Bible. Reading God’s word is important but it is also helpful in trying times. I have had a goal for awhile to read the Bible cover to cover. I always finish Genesis and get bored (sorry God). It isn’t about entertainment though. Reading the whole Bible, for me, is about being able to know every word that God commanded be written, even the most boring ones.
Scotland is BEAUTIFUL. From the pictures I’ve seen anyway. I have always wanted to visit the British Isles. Scotland just seems like a place where dreams come true. Luck of the Scottish amiright?
Pay it Forward
One Christmas about three years ago, I was checking out at a store after buying Christmas presents for my family. At the checkout counter my card was declined. I frantically started putting things away so that I could check out without embarrassment. I came back to the counter and tried to check out again. This time the manager came and charged me as much as he could. There was a $5 charge left and I had no money to pay, but he wouldn’t let me leave without coughing it up. A line began to form behind me and tears starting welling up in my eyes. This situation was one of my biggest nightmares made into a reality. Thankfully, a kind old man behind me gave me five bucks so that I could leave. It was the nicest thing that has ever happened to me. I thanked God that I live in a small town where people show grace and vowed that I would pay it forward. But, besides spotting my friends every once in awhile, I really have never been given the chance to pay it forward. I hope to spend this year spreading random acts of kindness and encouraging others to do the same just as the man who helped me did.
Get A Tattoo
I already have a tattoo so this may seem strange, but dangit I want another one. I have always wanted something small and meaningful hidden where no one but me can see it. Maybe it’ll be the lyrics to my favorite song, or a Bible verse, or something Harry Potter related (because I can). The only thing I’m not looking forward to is the pain.
Bike Around Norway
Also something I plan on doing while on my study abroad trip. Amsterdam is beautiful to walk and boat around, but nothing beats biking with friends.
Learn to Skateboard
I recently watched a video where women learn to skate board. Skateboarding is a male dominated activity and I am the number one feminist AKA women = men AKA I can skateboard just as well if not better than men. I just need some practice. Aaaaaand I need a board.
Dye My Hair
You caught me! My hair is already dyed. But I’m thinking some out-of-this-world grandma-wouldnt-approve dye. Maybe purple or blue (definitely not pink). I’m spending a semester in Europe, might as well go for an unconventional look.
Ride a Motorcycle
It seems like such a small thing, but how many of you have actually ridden a motorcycle? I guess the opportunity has never presented itself. It’s amazing to me that I have been alive for 20 years and have never ridden a motorcycle. I can’t wait to be the toughest chick in the streets.
Learn to Snowboard
I’m a skier. Snowboarding scares the crap out of me honestly. It’s terrifying to have both feet strapped into one board and slide down a snowy mountain to your death. I am much more comfortable when each foot has command of its own domain. But 20 is the year of self discovery and adventure and facing my fears. If that means I must snowboard, so be it.
Read a Classic
Romeo and Juliet, A Streetcar Named Desire, Of Mice and Men, The Crucible, The Great Gatsby: those are a few of my favorite books. But, if you survey the list above, none of them are really classic. As a college age adult, I feel as though it is my responsibility (and really the responsibility of any responsible citizen) to read books that have stayed relevant throughout history. First on my list? Wuthering Heights
Learn How to Code
Tech is has gotten HUGE in the last decade. From creating apps to creating websites, the industry is valid in most parts of everyday life in the developed world. I know the basics of HTML and CSS, but there is so much more I could perfect. My hope is that the skills I develop coding will help me in my future career, but also breakdown the stereotype that only men can be successful in the tech industry.
Thank you all for reading about my life! Be sure to check out more posts.