23 Realistic Things to do Before You Die

There are hundreds of “must do before you die” lists online. Some of the suggestions range from seeing Machu Picchu to skinny-dipping in France. Most of these lists would be better titled “things to do before you die if you have a million dollars to spare and tons of free time.” They almost seem like a means for inspiring a sense of personal insufficiency in readers.

That isn’t the point of this list. Instead this list is focused on things that are not only physically possible for most individuals, but also provides playful ideas that can help give perspective on how others live and see the world.  

  1. Try as many different flavors of ice cream as you can in one day. (Lactose intolerant people may substitute cake for ice cream.)

2. Spend a day on foot without using a motorized vehicle.

3. Jump into a game of sidewalk hopscotch. Bonus: jump into a double-dutch match.

4. Go to a restaurant and eat a meal alone.

5. Talk to strangers.

6. Eat (or drink) something that sounds gross. It might just be amazing.

7. Pay for the coffee or toll of the person behind you.

8. Fast for a day.

9. Go to the religious services of another faith to see what it’s like.

10. Listen to the opinions of someone you disagree with without responding. 

11. Watch someone else’s kids for a day.  (I’ve got one you can borrow!)

12. Strike up a conversation with an octogenarian.

13. Grab a pair of rubber boots and jump through puddles in a rainstorm.

14. Learn a song on the ukulele. (It’s the recorder of stringed instruments.)

15. Volunteer at a local soup kitchen.

16. Get in an ocean.

17. Do something nice for your neighbor. Yes, this will force you to actually meet them.

18. Pet baby animals. (Pro tip: petting zoo at the county fair.)

19. Spend a day doing nothing.  

20. Drive somewhere new on a whim.

21. Watch a movie from every decade since the silver screen. (Bonus- watch plays written in as many eras as you can.)

22. Take a hike. Literally.

23. Go to a sporting event that you don’t understand, pick a team, and be that team’s biggest fan for the day.

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