If I could guess what an average bucket list entailed, here's what I'd imagine seeing... bungee jump/sky dive, see all of the world wonders, honeymoon in France. You get to the idea! Am I far off from your own?
I love the idea of bucket lists. It's the ultimate "dream big" activity... one that requires us to ask ourselves the big questions in life. What is it that I want to accomplish while I'm on this earth? How am I going to make this happen? So that being said, whatever you want to call a bucket list, whether is a life "to-do" list or a grocery list of #goals, it's safe to say that most of the items on our are very much far away from reality. Not to mention, sometimes bucket list items that remain incomplete can be a source of self doubt and apathy... I know I'm guilty of feeling this way, especially when the new year is right around the corner!
That's why when Famous Footwear approached me about their Step Forward campaign this winter, I knew it was time to shift my perspective about my bucket list and take a breathe. Between all the holiday hullabaloo, shopping for loved ones and running to family get togethers, there's no need to add an internal pressure of getting bucket list items completed! I'm taking a necessary break from the holiday chaos (and nagging internal woes to do and see it all)... and instead, I'm focusing on small, manageable local bucket list items to explore this season.
With many guests coming into town during the holidays, I realized that there were a considerable amount of Lancaster-based eateries, sights and experiences we had yet to accomplish this year. And that's where it hit me... we needed to make a local bucket list. One that's filled with the fun, fresh things I've been meaning to do since moving into my favorite little city of Lancaster! One that's filled with fun little activities to do to re-inspire myself, to recuperate from the holiday craziness, while also exploring my own neck of the woods.
The bucket list mentality that all fruitful pursuits have to happen far, far away in a distant country is just a silly outlook, isn't it? Creating a local bucket list can help us finally get to those bookshops, coffee stops and stores we've been meaning to visit, but just couldn't squeeze into our routines. It stops us from making those lame excuses as to why we just haven't had the time to visit amazing, unique places in our neighborhoods. It keeps us motivated and allows us to see our day to day surroundings with fresh eyes. It can help remind us to be thankful for the community around us. Who's with me?
Here are some tips for creating and conquering your own local bucket list!
Think Like A Hostess
Having guests stay over in your city is a great exercise in rounding up the absolute best of our surrounding areas. So, hypothetically, if you had some friends stop by for a weekend... what would you recommend them seeing, tasting and experiencing? Make a list of those things and see if you've done them all yourself.
You could even make and print a nice local travel guide for friends from out of town to peruse through... and test your own ability to list cool and special spots you love along the way. You'll find that the places that have been highly recommended to you, but you haven't quite visited yet firsthand stick out like a sore thumb! Time to add those places to your local bucket list and get to adventuring!
Group Places & Things Into Themes
Am I the only person who loves an organized and creative themed day? If you haven't already read our Feast Of Saint Pizza posts (literally a day dedicated to discovering the best pizza of large and small cities) or our Finding Little Paris post (similarly about finding nods of France in your own neighborhood)... see what I mean!
So pick a theme, any theme! Make a bucket list item a morning hopping in and out of the thrift stores you haven't seen yet, or exploring the nearby college by walking the grounds and spending an afternoon watching an athletic event. The possibilities are endless here! See what common ground your local bucket list items have in common and make it a fun day for yourself... and thank me later.
What Haven't You Seen Or Done Yet?
This is where the wonderful world of TripAdvisor, Foursquare and other review websites come in handy! Check to see what the top ten recommended activities for your neck of the woods. Have you done them all? Now check out all the restaurant recommendations. Have you tasted the best recommended dishes visitors have praised? If anything, and I truly mean anything, hasn't been see or done yet... do it! Book that reservation and make it an experience you'll never forget!
Now's the time to embrace those weird, quirky colloquialisms you might have gotten too accustomed to! For example, my community of Lancaster is heavily influenced by the Amish culture that surrounds the city. A great (albeit oddball) experience might me to go see an Amish farm or visit a nearby farm stand. What's strange or unique about your neck of the woods?
As for what's on my own local bucket list, here's what I'm aiming to accomplish this season:
- See a show at The Fulton
- Plan a picnic in Musser Park with friends once the weather warms up a bit!
- Roast some Passenger Coffee beans at home
- Have a good ol' fashioned Penny's ice cream cone in their new shop. Don't judge, I am absolutely the type of girl who still craves ice cream in the middle of winter!
- See a movie at our very own independent movie theatre a few blocks away, Zoetropolis
- Go to a gallery show of an artist I haven't met yet
- Shop locally for Christmas this year. Buy at least two to three little trinkets from Lancaster natives and family owned shops in the city!
- Make a trip to an Amish auction
- Find the best dang whoopee pie in Lancaster! Anybody have a personal recommendations?
- Discover some new street art in the city... I've heard the new graffiti behind Mulberry has changed?!
- Pick a favorite historic home to get dreamy-eyed about around Chestnut Hill
So, guys, what do you think? Isn't creating a local bucket-list a great way to take a moment to ourselves and recuperate this holiday season? Thanks so much for Famous Footwear for sponsoring this post and for the gorgeous shoes that made adventuring around Lancaster a breeze! Their Step Forward campaign and mission to take a moment to ourselves this holiday season is something I believe in wholeheartedly!
Thank you to Famous Footwear for kindly sponsoring this post. All opinions are 100% honest & completely my own.