To Make The Most of Your Summer, Try This

Has this ever happened to you?

You go into summer full of excitement to do all sorts of fun activities like hikes, weekend trips, bike rides, BBQs…

…but then you fall into a groove. Before you know it, the leaves are changing color and you’re pulling your sweaters back out of the closet. Summer’s over and barely any of your dreams were realized. You had fun in the sun, but you also have that nagging feeling you didn’t make the most of it.

I know the feeling. It’s happening to Kim and me right now.

With all the hullabaloo of returning to Canada from South Africa, quarantining, and now trying to find an apartment, time has been flying by. And we don’t have much to show for it.

So this week we turned to our trusty strategy:

Taste test with friends outside in the summer with one of our bucket list items, Mount Currie, behind us
Two summer bucket list items in one photo: Hike to the top of Mount Currie and organize some blind taste tests.

Bucket Lists

Bucket lists serve as friendly reminders from our past selves to our current selves to not let our future selves down by going with the flow all summer without doing anything memorable or noteworthy to show for it. And they’re an easy repository for fun but fleeting ideas that pop in our heads.

Since our second year together, Kim and I have made a bucket list at the beginning of every summer. Sometime around early June, we go for a walk and agree on the travels, get-togethers, experiences, and adventures we really hope to accomplish before the weather gets crappy again.

(We also make bucket lists every time we move to a new city, such as Mexico City, Medellin, Cape Town, Valencia, and Essaouira.)

Then we start making those dreams a reality. And if plans change or new ideas come up, we adjust our bucket list accordingly.

Tried and True Bucket List Tips

  • Keep them to a reasonable length. Fifteen to twenty’s our sweet spot. A few big activities can fill a bucket just as well as hundreds of little ones.
  • Leave most activities open-ended. For instance, we’ve bucketed a couple of day trip bike rides, but are keeping our options open on where we’ll go in case a friend suggests somewhere other than what we have in mind.
  • Only include a couple of specific activities. One of ours is to climb Mount Currie, the mountain in the photo above.
  • Steady pacing. We don’t bother scheduling our entire bucket list in advance. Instead, every Sunday or Monday we decide on one or two activities to knock off in the coming week.

Handy Resources

  • Reminders: Use a reminders app to share and sync your summer bucket list. Kim and I both have iPhones, so we use Apple Reminders (see photo above) to manage and monitor our bucket lists. Our grocery lists, too, but those are more boring.
  • City Guides: If you live in a city, check out Airbnb’s little-known things to do guides. They’re a consolidation of the recommendations from all the hosts in a particular city. We often use them to uncover new restaurants and attractions to visit, even in our hometown of Vancouver.
  • Saved Places: Speaking of little-known, not enough people make the most of Google Maps’ Saved Places functionality. Here’s how to unleash its full potential.

Seize the Summer

Bucket lists are not an original idea, but I bet you don’t have one for your summer. And I bet that using one would help you make the most of it.

They won’t stop time from flying by, but when it’s gone, you will feel like you made the most of summer thanks to making one.

Make The Most of Everything

Chris and Kim having fun
Chris and Kim having fun

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