Anyone motivated to be successful—to really make an impact with your life—has a list of important things they want to do. Things to have, things to be. Places they want to go, people they’d love to meet.

You may not have a list of life goals all written down on paper. You probably keep an immediate to-do list, you might have some of your long-term life goals written down on scraps of paper or word doc lists on your computer here and there, but you know at the very least you have those things somewhere in the back of your mind.

I’ve challenged myself with yearly goals in the last couple years, and I’ve mapped out plans for my businesses and different projects. I don’t frequently achieve everything on my lists, but as my friend Ramit Sethi once told me, if you’re not failing at a couple things each month, you’re not trying hard enough.

And I’ve found that sharing those goals publicly gives me additional motivation and accountability to follow through, and sometimes friends and readers can offer words of advice, help, or partnership on some goals.

I’ve had some pieces of the puzzle in the works for a long time, but I hadn’t put together a comprehensive “bucket list” of things I want to do before I die until recently. It wasn’t until Sean Ogle recently wrote about bucket lists, and how to identify the most important life goals that will enable you to achieve the other items on your list—the travel goals, the possessions, the fun stuff—that I finally got motivated to really solidify my whole life list and put it out here to share with the world.

Several friends and bloggers have compiled great bucket lists that have helped inspire some of the things I decided to put on my list. There’s a mix of places I’d love to jet set, landmarks I’d like to see, adventures I’d like to have, experiences I hope to share with specific friends and family, and of course I immediately took Sean’s advice and prioritized the importance of the enabling goals that will make everything else possible.

So without further ado, here’s my bucket list—or, 84 adventures you can follow me on here at Thrilling Heroics:

Enabling Goals

  1. Develop an online business that earns over $3000/month in passive income.
  2. Build a blog with 10,000+ subscribers.
  3. Write an ebook or launch a digital product that earns $6,000+.
  4. Publish a best-selling book.
  5. Achieve 100% freedom from all debt.
  6. Get an article published in the print edition of Esquire, GQ, Wired, Details, or Maxim magazine.
  7. Leverage my blog audience to make a major positive impact in at least 10 peoples lives (we’ve already helped my friend Ryan, and Tim & Rodrigo (two scholarship awardees at Digital Nomad Academy).
  8. Speak at South by Southwest Interactive and stick around for the music festival in Austin, Texas.
  9. Set up a Hong Kong corporation.
  10. Make at least $200K in a given year.
  11. Get a second passport, and maybe a third too.
  12. Complete my Personal MBA.
  13. Attend an official TED Conference. (Already had the honor of helping plan the locally-organized TEDxBKK!)
  14. Sell my photography and other creative artwork.
  15. Organize a lifestyle business summit (March 2014 in Costa Rica! – a 5 so far SE Asia)

Adventures to Have & Things to Do

  1. Learn to rock climb in Railay Beach, Krabi.
  2. Climb up to the mountaintop Wat Tum Sua Temple in Krabi, Thailand.
  3. Learn to sail.
  4. Climb a volcano.
  5. Eat slow-roasted crispy suckling pig in Bali (delicious babi guling).
  6. Spend a week with friends at Burning Man in the Nevada desert.
  7. Go skydiving. Go skydiving again.
  8. Learn to play guitar.
  9. Reactivate my French and achieve fluency.
  10. Learn to speak conversational Spanish. (half-way there in Colombia 2014)
  11. Get in the best shape of my life with my trainer Tom Frearson.
  12. Replace my morning coffee with Yerba Maté for at least a week.
  13. Get a tattoo with a design from my best friend.
  14. Take my dad to eat real Kobe beef at Wolfgang Puck’s restaurant CUT in Los Angeles.
  15. Spend a whole lot more time with my grandfather and learn about his life before he leaves us.
  16. Raise another dog.
  17. Take my best friend Patrick to a Daft Punk concert.
  18. Share a beer with Carlos Miceli in South America. (Sept 2013 in Santiago, Chile)
  19. Settle abroad for at least 3 months elsewhere in Asia, in Central and South America, and Europe.
  20. Live at least 3 months in San Francisco, San Diego, and Austin, Texas.
  21. Work for a month at a winery—like, in the fields, growing grapes—in California or France wine country.
  22. Drive the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible Lamborghini.
  23. Camp under the stars on the beach and see the sun rise. (2009 in Prachuap, Thailand)
  24. Participate in the world’s biggest water fight during Thailand’s New Year’s festivities (Songkran).
  25. Do a beach photoshoot with a swimsuit model.
  26. Go to a shooting range and fire off a Kalashnikov rifle and a Desert Eagle .50 Action Express. More importantly, learn to disassemble & reassemble them.
  27. Drive a Tesla Roadster.
  28. Take a gondola along the Venice canals in Italy.
  29. Ride camel back across the Sahara desert.
  30. Take a Serengeti safari in Tanzania and Kenya.
  31. Trek through the jungle on the back of an elephant.
  32. See the view from the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (twice).
  33. See the view from the top of Corcovado Mountain in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  34. Party on Ibiza for New Year’s Eve in Spain’s Ballearic Islands.
  35. Go to the Glastonbury Festival in England and see Stonehenge.
  36. Participate in the Brazilian Carnaval celebration.
  37. See what Mardi Gras and Voodoo Fest are all about in New Orleans, Louisiana.
  38. Train Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu with my son.
  39. Learn to surf (took lessons in Bali 2010). Learn to surf properly!
  40. Learn to DJ or mix electronic music.
  41. Own a Ducati motorcycle.
  42. Buy and restore a 1965 or 1966 Shelby Mustang GT350.
  43. Stay in an over-the-water bungalow in beautiful Bora Bora in the French Polynesian islands.
  44. Spontaneously walk into the airport and randomly buy a same-day ticket to wherever looks appealing.
  45. Drive the Amalfi coast near Sorrento, Italy.
  46. Rent a villa on Lake Como or Lake Lugano with friends.
  47. Own a small bar or restaurant with live music.
  48. Leave any wealth or assets I have when I go out to people who really deserve and need them.

Places to Travel & Landmarks to See

  1. The ancient temples at Angkor Wat, Cambodia
  2. The Acropolis and Parthenon in Athens, Greece
  3. The Sistine Chapel and Vatican City in Rome, Italy
  4. The pyramids at Giza, Egypt
  5. Machu Picchu in Peru
  6. The home of the Oracle at Delphi, Greece
  7. The Taj Mahal
  8. The ancient city of Petra, carved into canyon walls in southern Jordan
  9. The Karnak temple and the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt
  10. The Mayan ruins at Chichen Itza near Cancun, Mexico
  11. Iguazu Falls on the Argentina/Brazil border
  12. The Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy
  13. The Petronas Twin Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
  14. The Banaue Rice Terraces in the Philippines
  15. The Borobudur stuppa in Java, Indonesia
  16. Gorgeous Zion National Park, Utah
  17. Niagara Falls lit up at night
  18. Potala Palace in Lhasa, Tibet
  19. Jerusalem’s Old City
  20. The Hagia Sofia mosque in Istanbul, Turkey
  21. The abbey of Mont-St-Michel in France

You’ll notice I’ve included a few things I’ve already accomplished (plus I come back to update this list every few months, so things are continually getting crossed off).

I’ve also taken Sean’s advice to have a few things that will be easier to achieve, and a few goals I can obtain in the very near future.

I think when you make your own list it’s important to recognize the big things you’ve already done that you’d always dreamed of, and include a few “gimme” goals so you can start off strong and stay motivated.

Of course I expect that my feelings about some items on the list may change throughout the course of my life. I may not achieve everything, some of my goals will change, or I may add new items to the list. But, it’s a starting point and it’s something I can always refer back to to remind me what I want to accomplish.

Of course if there’s anything you can help me achieve, or something you want to join in on, leave a shout out and we’ll talk! 

What’s on Your List?

Take a look at my in-depth breakdown of how to establish meaningful personal and professional goals for yourself in all the important realms of your life. It’s written to help you establish yearly goals, but the principles can be applied to building your own life goals list too.

If you have a bucket list already, share it. If not, take a look at the above articles and get on it! Your time here is short, so remember to value every day you have and make the most of it.

75 replies
  1. Matt Gartland
    Matt Gartland says:

    Hey Cody!

    Amazing list! I have no doubt given your current velocity that you’ll be able to achieve all of these.

    This definitely inspires me to compile my list too. I think many will overlap actually.

    I love your goal to make a massive impact in the lives of 10+ friends!

    Good luck on your quest! 🙂


  2. Stella Stopfer
    Stella Stopfer says:

    That is one crazy list! I have one too, and it’s a long one, of course. You’ve just reminded me to reread it and make some adjustments. But, I do have some cool things on my list like climbing an active volcano, trekking in Patagonia, Milford track…also visit Machu Picchu and Petra, which is something my friend and I promised we would go one day while we were still in school. The 6th, 7th and 8th language I want to learn are Portugese, Russian and Swedish.

    What’s your favourite thing that you did from your bucket list?

    • Cody McKibben
      Cody McKibben says:

      That I’ve done so far? Hard to choose. I loved seeing the ancient ruins at Angkor Wat temple in Cambodia. But as for an adventure, definitely skydiving! It’s why I used a skydiving feature photo, and can’t wait to do it again—may try to go over the beach in Pattaya, Thailand in the next couple months…

  3. David Crandall
    David Crandall says:

    This list is awesome! I can’t help but think that having a defined list and having it available to see regularly would help to continually keep priorities straight, especially when the day to day lures us to accept pointless compromises!

    Your goal to impact 10+ people is fantastic and caught my attention more than any other item. (Think I might steal that one!)

  4. Dan - Voyagner
    Dan - Voyagner says:

    Great stuff on that list, a great reminder that I really need to update and expand mine too, I’ve come up with more than a few new things to add.

    I noticed you still have freedom from debt on there too, big issue for me and I wonder if I let it hold me back too much. I guess it depends on what type it is and how you are required to pay it back and I’m not familiar with how college loans work from the US, I’m guessing that is what most or all of it is?

    • Cody McKibben
      Cody McKibben says:

      Yep, loans and consumer debt (bad decisions from college) make up a large portion of my expenses every month. Probably the largest actually, but as you know living somewhere with a low cost-of-living can help, and there’s always potential to earn more to get out of it. I’ll be applying Baker’s unautomate your finances tips in the next few months…

  5. AdventureRob
    AdventureRob says:

    Great list Cody 🙂 I look forward to following you achieve them all. I hope to do my bucket list over the next few months when I can give it a good think through.

  6. Farouk
    Farouk says:

    wow, sounds very ambitious cody, Good luck 🙂
    my plan is to get 1 million hits/month for my website in 2011, i am more than half way through 🙂

  7. Alan
    Alan says:

    Great post, Cody! I may have to borrow the text, “enabling goals.” Really dig that wording 🙂

    Beach photoshoot with a swimsuit model? LOVE IT.

  8. Noah Fleming
    Noah Fleming says:

    Cody, I love this post. I’m a firm believer about getting your goals or your list first onto paper and secondly out in the open.

    This is a fantastic list and I’ve got no doubt you’ll do a lot of it.

    I’ve never made a list this in-depth, but plan to now.


  9. Josh
    Josh says:

    WOW! Cody this is very inspiring!

    Let me know when you’re planning on taking your trip to Niagara Falls, I live not-too-far from there and would love to give you a tour! 🙂

    Thanks for some great motivation!

    – Josh

  10. Martyn
    Martyn says:

    This is a fantastic list, and a couple of the goals are being added to my own list right now!

    I keep my list as a note on my iphone, and always refer to it when bored on a train etc as a reminder to stop wasting time.

    The only thing I’d say is that you focus your travel goals round big tourist centric areas. I think when traveling to these places most people make a bee line to the sights, but it does take away the authenticity of the experience. Nothing wrong with that but in most cases there are ways to do almost the same thing without the crowds. A recent example:

    – The Serengeti is not the only National Park in Tanzania. I went to Iringa on the outskirts of the inland park Ruaha and hired a private driver very easily which I split with some guys I met where we were staying. Saw all the same wildlife, but without the tourists and about half the price. Highly recommended. I spent the money saved on taking a light aircraft flight from the park back to Dar (an experience in its own right!). Whilst there definitely visit Zanzibar, and if you have chance, Morogoro where there is an exchange program to visit and stay in mountain villages (search for Chilunga)

    A few other travel experiences worth a shout
    – Take the train from Scotland to Singapore (on my list, going via the silk route rather than trans siberian… you could even Lhasa on the way)
    – Take a trip to Antartica from Ushauia in Argentina
    – Take the 2 day train from Winnipeg to Churchill Manitoba in November to see Polar Bears in the wild. (I did this 08 and It’s one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had)
    – Visit Sarajevo and stand in the spot where World War 1 started, and see the history of the Yugoslav War.

    Enjoy, and good luck!

  11. Migration Mark
    Migration Mark says:

    I’m going to have to help you out with Adventure #6. When things return from chaos in Bangkok, we will have to make the slow roasted suckling pig a priority, and shoot a killer video while doing it!

  12. Amber
    Amber says:

    I adore your list Cody. I’ve been slowly building mine over the last few months. I think it’s so important to take the time to write it all out and put it into the universe. I have a lot of the same travel goals and will be stealing a few from you. Awesome work as usual. Keep it coming. I love and need your inspiration :D. Oh ya! I will be traveling in the next few months. I’m setting up workshops around the globe and SE Asia will be part of my tour. I’d love to meet up with the whole Thailand nomad crew.

    p.s Full moon party is insane…you’ll love it!

  13. Josh
    Josh says:

    Cody, I’ll help you with #9 and #42 of your adventures list. I’ve been playing guitar for 25+ years and studying martial arts for 35+. If we can find some time to meet up when I’m in Thailand at the end of the year I’ll be happy to get you started on both.

  14. Pond Jumpers: Croatia
    Pond Jumpers: Croatia says:

    Nice list, Cody. I always love reading people’s bucket lists. I find them inspiring. I definitely loved a lot of suggestions on your list, like: Stay in an over-the-water bungalow in beautiful Bora Bora in the French Polynesian islands.
    And I liked some of Martyn suggestions too. I’m totally borrowing the train trip to see the polar bears for my list. And I visited Sarajevo last summer and it is an experience I will always remember:

  15. Sean
    Sean says:

    Hey man, its about time you finally got around to making this! Some really good stuff on here. I still maintain that this is one of the most useful tools I’ve found when it comes to continually making forward progress. Thanks for the shoutout, and you let me know when you want to hit up the full moon party! Lets make it happen!

  16. Sarah
    Sarah says:

    The bucket list really is a great way to maintain and map out your wants and goals in life. Once I started writing mine down, I couldn’t believe I had never done it before. It’s an excellent way to track progress and really figure out what means most to you.

    Thanks for including me in your post. Writing mine ( has been great fun and I’m looking forward to updating it with the things I accomplish and releasing the top secret second half!

  17. BK
    BK says:

    I looked at amazement at the amazing number of items you have achieved already. I must really start working on my bucket list too.

  18. Jason
    Jason says:

    Good list Cody. Learning to play a guitar is not that hard and if you want to learn how to surf, I could help you out with that.

  19. Solomon
    Solomon says:

    Dude just came across your blog from great stuff. Also i think you’ve inspsired me to post my bucketlist to both inspire and maybe the accountability that comes along with that. Looking forward to reading more of your stuff. Thanks-Solomon

    • Cody McKibben
      Cody McKibben says:

      The beautiful thing is, no one can take it from me. Even if it’s been done already, I can still do it again! 😉

      Anyway, the plan now is to make an attempt at a summit/retreat for the week before Coachella music & arts festival near Palm Springs in the beautiful Southern California desert in April, then maybe Thailand after we make that successful… 🙂

  20. SaraOoo
    SaraOoo says:

    Wow, your goal of randomly buying a ticket at the airport really ticked me off, that’s such an appealing goal! I’m snatching it straight off to my own list.
    Thanks for inspiration!

  21. Jess Cushway
    Jess Cushway says:

    Very inspiring!

    If you ever in England give me a shout. Im sure there’s a few beautiful places that I can show you!

  22. Kelly
    Kelly says:

    Yes yes yes!!!!!

    Seriously, while reading your website I was so inspired by your adventures. The attitude you have towards life is fantastic, and I love meeting people like you with a passion for exploring, taking risks, and drinking in all the awesomeness that the big glorious world has to offer.

    I have subscribed to your newsletter about becoming a Digital Nomad, because I am on the road to that goal myself. I am currently building up my freelance writing career so that I can be free to live and travel where I please. I am a Canadian, but I have been living abroad for 16 months in New Zealand and the UK. I have traveled a bit in Europe as well, but Asia and South America are calling my name and I can’t wait to explore them!

    I hope I can be as successful as a digital nomad as you are someday. Thank you for leading the way and for setting the example. You rock!

  23. Untemplater
    Untemplater says:

    This is so awesome Cody! I want to see a lot of the same places. The one area I’ve been on your list are the ruins at Chichen Itza, plus Tulum and Coba. They are all absolutely amazing! -Sydney

  24. Derek Murphy
    Derek Murphy says:

    Awesome – we’ve got a similar list but have focused on different things. Let me know if you need help with your book; I’ve self-published and work as a full-time editor and book designer.

  25. beatnik
    beatnik says:

    Can help you with #26 Next time your in the states east coast give me a shout. Even show you which end the bullets come out .8)

  26. Jenny
    Jenny says:

    You know… I love your bucket list, i love reading other ppls bucket lists, mine is constantly evolving and these help to keep improving it… BUT if suckling pig is major enough to be on your bucket list, I think you must change your location to Ubud, Bali and get your suckling pig there at Ibu Oka’s. Ibu Oka’s has even been graced by Mr. Bordain and I agree, it is the most delicious suckling pig I think you’ll find 😉

    • Cody McKibben
      Cody McKibben says:

      I loved Ubud when I was there last year! Didn’t know they had the suckling pig there too. But another visit is definitely in order soon… was my favorite part of the island. Thx Jenny

  27. Ben
    Ben says:

    Really cool concept, I’ve been big on yearly/ monthly goal setting for a while but haven’t done anything longer term, looks like a useful way to focus thinking particularly when something unexpected happens and you need to re-think your yearly goals.

  28. Hugh Kimura
    Hugh Kimura says:

    Very cool, we have some similar items. Love it when people post pics of completed items on their list, like yours. Learning Spanish is a big one for me and of course, the restored 60’s Mustang. If you click on my name above, it goes to my list.

  29. James
    James says:

    WOW! no wonder why you wanted to go skydiving again! i just went with my girlfriend… and it was awesome! I wanted to go again but she threw up, our next thing we are doing is going to spend a week in Caribbean!

    also thanks for helping me write my own bucket list! You really helped give my life a purpose.

    With lots of thanks,

  30. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    Mardi Gras is fun the first time around, but I’d tell you to check out Carnival in Venice or Rio. Voodoo Fest depends on who’s playing, but now that they’re letting people camp out at the fest it’s better all around. (PS–Get a VIP pass, they get the nice bathrooms, and you won’t to have to wait in line for the port-o-potties.)

    [WORDPRESS HASHCASH] The poster sent us ‘0 which is not a hashcash value.

  31. Cynthia
    Cynthia says:

    Mardi Gras is fun the first time around, but I’d tell you to check out Carnival in Venice or Rio. Voodoo Fest depends on who’s playing, but now that they’re letting people camp out at the fest it’s better all around. (PS–Get a VIP pass, they get the nice bathrooms, and you won’t to have to wait in line for the port-o-potties.)

  32. Sid Owsley
    Sid Owsley says:

    I love your list Cody. Like you said it is important to include things that you have already done so that you can see it is possible to achieve what you want to do and that you may have accomplished more than you think. I am going to organize my life list better and continue to cross things off. One thing on my list will be to me you, so I will see in Thailand, the Philippines or in some other country.


  33. ally bader
    ally bader says:

    Hi Cody,
    I’m a Junior in high school. I’m working on a project for my Contemporary Literature class. My Presentation is on Goal setting. When I was looking for examples of goals, I then came across your list. Your list is a great example for my presentation as to why a person, especially teens, should have a goal list, not just a bucket list. I hope you don’t mind me using your “Learn to rock climb in Railay Beach Krabi.” it’s just an example for what people could set their goals to for. Thank you for your inspiring list.
    Grantsburg High School

  34. hayle sturgin
    hayle sturgin says:

    amazing buket list that helped me with my buket list i have to do for school. you are amazing.

  35. Sierra
    Sierra says:

    Hey Cody,
    Your bucket list is great! If you want help with #7 I could really use help with college. E-mail me if you want 🙂

  36. Kevin Grunert
    Kevin Grunert says:

    Hey Cody, that’s a pretty awesome list – there are a few similarities between some of your goals (like the self published books and skydiving) and the goals that I have on my 30 Before 30 List.

    I’d really like to meet up with you for a beer (and get closer towards goal 11 on my list) if you happen to be heading back to Thailand next year.

    – Kevin.

    • Cody McKibben
      Cody McKibben says:

      After 5 years in Southeast Asia, I’m finally on to the next adventure Kevin. I’m settled down here in Colombia for the next 6 months ahead… but I’m sure I’ll pop back for many visits in the future.

  37. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    I’ve never had a bucket list – and now I do – thanks Cody! What I love about this also is realising how many amazing things I have already accomplished in my life… and I will also be skydiving AGAIN 🙂

  38. exlorenz
    exlorenz says:

    Hi Cody, I enjoyed reading your list. Some things are quite similar to mine. Some I’ve already done. I will comment on these at a later time to tell you my impression of it. And I will add a few of yours to my list b/c I had forgotten to put them on it. When I’m planning on doing some of them that are similar to yours, I will let you know, so you can join me if you wish.
    You are “lucky” to have found the key to living the good life so young. I really enjoyed the video you made about living and dying like a hero. It is a good motivational film that could apply to most people in any circumstance. .
    .. The main message I got from it was, don’t dull your senses if you aren’t happy but instead use your time wisely to better yourself and advance yourself into doing something that does fulfill you. … Excellent point.
    Have a great day!

Comments are closed.