Europe, Italy, Travel Tips

My Love/Hate Relationship with Bucket Lists

My Love/Hate Relationship with Bucket Lists

I love making lists. I make lists for everything: groceries, weekly to dos, trip planning, packing, future goals, upcoming blog posts, you name it! I love the satisfaction of crossing items off a list. Heck, I’ll even retroactively put something on a list that I already completed just to see it on there to cross it off. Sick, I know.

However, I feel weird about travel bucket lists. I love the idea of accomplishing specific things on a trip, researching the “top 10” sites, etc., but I sometimes feel that travel lists, especially in blogging, are misused. Here me out.

Read more: Stop Telling Me How to Travel

Whenever I’m trip planning on Pinterest and stumble upon a “top x things to do in ____” I have to click it. I always do. However, I am nearly always disappointed. The lists usually just consist of just that: a list. No rationale, no explanation, no reasoning, no history! I want to know why I should visit those places. I want to hear the blogger’s experiences there, what they loved about that site or hated. I don’t need a million lists that just keep listing the same top 11, 15, or 50 things to do. They’re all the same.


I hate going to see something just because it’s something I “have to do” in that country, just because it’s iconic or famous. It bothers me. Now take the list above, it’s not a bad list and I have checked off a lot on the list but there are a few things that bother me:

  1. Ate ridiculous amounts of pasta/carbs – just why? Why is that seriously one of the bucket list items for Italy. Do they have great pasta? Hell yeah, but why can the bucket item be “Slowly enjoy a wonderful meal of a local pasta dish”?
  2. Gondola ride in Venice – ughhhh so freakin overrated. Did I think about it while in Venice? Yep. Did I stop thinking about it when I saw the ridiculous prices and the totally unromantic atmosphere? Yep. The gondolas in Venice are solely there for tourists who want to take “that” photo and cross it off their list. Fine but seriously that is going to make it on a bucket list!?

Read more: Lonely Planet: Top 500 Global Destinations

Am I being melodramatic? Yes, but it bothers me when I am trying to plan a trip and no one is giving me reasons why I should see anything. Can a good reason be that something is beautiful? Yes. Just tell me that you have no idea why something is famous. I’ll forgive you. However, better believe that I’m going to find out why it’s famous and blog about it myself. :p


P.S. In case you’re wondering I have done all the items on the Italy Bucket List Above EXCEPT: ride a vespa, ski in the Alps, climb a volcano in Sicily (but I did climb one in Pompeii), & the gondola ride in Venice.

P.P.S. Oh and I totally repined this image on my Pinterest. Am I being hypercritical? Yep.

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