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Creating bucket lists have kind of become a thing. Not that it’s a new concept, we’ve always had ideas for where we want to go next. Since creating a term around building an actual list and the world becoming smaller and smaller, we’re thinking more and more about all the places we want to go to next and then actively making it happen.
If you’ve built your own bucket list, you might be surprised to find out that 6 out of 10 Canadians have – or plan to make – a bucket list. While those that are aged 35 or under are more likely to have a bucket list compared to those aged 55 to 64, the disheartening thing to find from IHG’s survey is that 91% of Canadians with a bucket-list are not able to make their dreams come true.
Making your bucket list a reality
While that may sound a little bleak, it’s the bucket-list that actually propels us to travel more. Canadians have said that these lists are give them something to look forward to (61%), provides an aspirational goal to achieve (52%), and gives an opportunity to try something new (44%).
Ultimately it’s cost (68%) and work (37%) that prevents us from actioning on bucket list dreams. So that begs the question, how can you make your bucket list come true? Here are a few ways that I and bucket list expert Robin Esrock agree on:
 Start small and local – Bucket list destinations don’t have to be all the way on the other side of the world. Think about all the places in your own country that you haven’t even seen yet. That means you can totally make it happen by taking advantage of a long weekend or doing a road trip.
 It doesn’t have to be expensive – There are a bunch of travel hacks that I talk about that can save you money while travelling but what it comes down to is that you don’t have to spend a fortune on your trips. It’s all about spending strategically! So for example, stay at budget-friendly hotels like the Holiday Inn and start amassing points – like IHG Rewards Club – to turn into free stays.
 It’s just a list – Creating a list is therapeutic but can also weigh on you. Remember K.I.S.S.? Keep it simple stupid! Start with a shortlist of bucket-list goals and grow it over time.
 Dream big but be realistic – Break your list down into short-term and long-term goals. Think about what’s achievable now and others that you can build up to. It’s like making your own checklist of tasks at home or at work – it always feels good to check off the first few items quickly and progress from there.
For the love of Canada!
As a Canadian, I’ll be the first to admit that I seriously don’t travel enough in my own country. What put a smile on my face is when I saw the stat that among Canada’s “bucket listers”, 8 out of 10 are interested in Canadian experiences. It’s time to explore more of our country!
One of the bucket-list items on the Great Canadian Bucket List is something that I just did recently in Newfoundland – getting screeched in!
If there’s one thing that Newfoundlanders are known for, it would be hospitality and warm welcomes. They take this a step further with their formal-ish ceremony where a blustery local recalls a tall tale of the origins of screech before challenging you to become an honourary Newfoundlander. All we had to do was recite a local sailor saying, shoot back a glass of screech (burn-all-the-way-down rum), and kiss a frozen cod in the lips. It’s absolutely ridiculous but hilariously fun at the same time.
When you’re in Newfoundland and Labrador, cross your bucket-list at one of the many bars that line St. John’s, and stay at the nearby Holiday Inn® St. John’s Conference Centre.
Read the full 25 Places On The Great Canadian Bucket List
My 5 top picks for where I want to go next in Canada
So what are my bucket-list destinations and activities for Canada? I’ve done some thinking and the five that I’m most itching to do are:
- Hike Gros Morne – My one regret about visiting Newfoundland and Labrador this time around was that I wasn’t able to make it out to this incredible national park that is literally lifted out of something like Lord of the Rings. Take that New Zealand!
- Deep Sea Kayaking with Killer Whales – I’ve heard fairy tales of how amazing this experience is off the coast of British Columbia. One of these days I hope to make it out there to see orcas up close and personal.
- Bears and Belugas – In the snowy tundra of Churchill, Manitoba there’s the opportunity to hang out with the polar bear and swim with belugas.
- Calgary Stampede – As #11 on IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List is Canada’s largest rodeo that features hat stomping, pancake flipping, and wagon-racing fun.
- Exploring Haida Gwaii – Wildlife rich, this dagger-shaped archipelago has been dubbed the “Canadian Galapagos”. I wouldn’t mind doing some boat camping here and learning more about the Aboriginal culture.
So what do you think about these 5 experiences? What’s on your bucket list and what would you LOVE to see in Canada?Check out IHG’s Great Canadian Bucket List. Which travel experience are you going to try first? #IHGBucketList @IHGClick To Tweet
Header image by Jamie McCaffrey via Flickr