Seven months down, five more to go and so much left to do. The end of the year signals a frenzied review of your long-winding bucket list goals for 2017. We’re breaking it down for you, in an easy-to-accomplish top 5 that you can tick off to feel on top of the world!
GET HIGH WITH A HOT AIR BALLOON RIDE
A big draw for rosy-eyed adventurers, floating magically up into the sky in an eminently Instagram-worthy balloon ticks all the boxes for a thrilling activity. City rats can make a day trip out of it with a quick dash to Lonavala or NCR, or hotfoot it over a weekend at scenic sites in Pushkar, Darjeeling and Hampi. But for an experience of a lifetime, book yourself (and your bae) a hot air balloon ride in Agra, right over the Taj Mahal. There’s no better way to experience the world’s greatest testament to love, than from 300 metres off the ground with the shimmering marble monument reflected in the Yamuna.
BE INSPIRED BY THE STARS: Dia Mirza and husband Sahil Sangha travelled to Turkey on their honeymoon. It’s another great place to hop aboard a hot air balloon.
SWIM WITH A GIANT
Dangerous teenage online games alluding to the largest mammal in the world notwithstanding, a real-time encounter with the magnificent Blue Whale (this giant’s tongue can weigh as much as an elephant and it’s heart as much as a sedan!) is an all-star on any bucket list. You needn’t go as far as California, Chile and Australia to get up close with them; they’re abundant in the Indian Ocean. Pack your bags, pump some iron — you need to be a good swimmer and in peak physical condition to qualify for this adventure — and head to the small town of Mirissa in Sri Lanka, just 150 kilometres from Colombo. The Emerald Isle is home to one of the largest concentrations of pygmy blue whales on Earth, between July and September. You’ll be guided over a period of 4 to 8 days by an expert crew, which is also sensitive to the wellbeing and behaviour of the whales. There’s no guarantee of a sighting, but when it happens, the experience is remarkable.
BE INSPIRED BY THE STARS: Singer Shakira and footie star Gerard Pique interacted with a killer whale at Florida’s Miami Seaquarium some years ago. It’s not quite as cool as being out in the ocean with a whale, but it may well be the next best thing!
RUN A MARATHON
Perhaps you’ve been fantasizing about it on the treadmill over the past few years, or turned green with envy at friends who’ve crossed the finish line while you’re still tripping on the skipping rope. Either way, before this year ends, break into the 5K or 10K club to soar up the fitness charts and develop an addiction you’ll never regret. Experts recommend that you arm yourself with patience and perseverance before launching into a realistic training schedule — two 30-minute runs during the week and a long one on the weekend. The key to sustaining is to follow a gradual taper (aiming to conquer the distance and not beat the clock), completing on race day with rested, strong legs. Another rule of thumb is to leave out all experimentation on D-day. Stay focussed and you’re good to begin dreaming of a triathlon for your 2018 bucket list!
BE INSPIRED BY THE STARS: Milind Soman marked his fiftieth year by participating in what is said to be the world’s toughest triathlon. Get all the details here...
BUILD A BRIDGE... TO THE PAST
We’re adrenaline junkies, but with an eye on our EQ too, hence this suggestion. In the age of 10-second relationships and fragile egos, reaching out to a pal from your past can be just the therapist you’re looking for, minus the fee! Whether it’s that bosom buddy from school whom you haven’t heard from for two decades, or your first crush with whom you had a massive falling out, it’s an enormously healing process to reach back, re-evaluate and strengthen frayed ties; or attain closure at the very least. Even if you don’t make giant strides, just the immediate dose of nostalgia infuses freshness to your daily routine. Scour your inbox, join a WhatsApp group from your alma mater or take a road trip back to your home town to get started. A small step can signal big rewards for your emotional wellbeing. Whatever the method, the result will banish that looming ‘What if…’ from your life.
BE INSPIRED BY THE STARS: Sussanne Khan and Hrithik Roshan may have split up years ago, but Sussanne reached out to support the actor against Kangana Ranaut’s allegations recently. Despite their differences, they’ve stayed amiable in a way that is truly amazing.
For the amount of social talk on the joys of scuba diving, very few of us actually take the plunge into the amazing underwater world that covers over 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface. While you can get started in Goa, Lakshadweep or Netrani Island in Karnataka, there’s something special about the remote azure beauty of the Andaman Islands. Take your maiden dive this year in the Bay of Bengal, at one of the plentiful sites and diving schools for beginners in and around Havelock Island — like Turtle Bay, Mac Point and Aquarium. Experienced and friendly instructors ensure that the experience is a breeze, especially for non-swimmers. Once you’re at home underwater, move on to Campbell Shoal off North Button Island, to witness some stunning corals teeming with whitetip reef sharks, coral trout, blue and golden-banded fusiliers and giant trevally. It’s really the ultimate way to romance the pause and make your bucket list goals for 2017 the most memorable ones yet!
BE INSPIRED BY THE STARS: Actors Jessica Alba, Sandra Bullock, Matthew McConaughey and Katie Holmes are all fans of scuba diving, as is Avatar director James Cameron. They say, as experiences go, it’s an almost spiritual way to rejuvenate yourself.
Image Credits: awaradiaries; traveltriangle; dailymail; youthensnews; canadianliving; scubadiverlife
Why not add partying on a yacht to your bucket list goals for 2017? Check out some celebrity super-yachts for inspiration here...