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50 Things

12/29/2009 10:26AM ● Published by Wendy Sipple

I heard someone say these wise words once: “The tragedy of life is not that it ends so soon, but that we wait so long to begin it.”

The path of life is short, but the opportunities to enjoy the time to its fullest are endless. One thing is for certain though, we need our health to do so. Physical and mental health are so harmoniously intertwined that what's good for one is invariably good for the other. So while you have made the resolution to take better care of yourself by eating right, getting adequate sleep and proper exercise, keep in mind the care needed for your mind. The stresses of life can often be cured with something as simple as a change of scenery. But, if you need more ideas for expanding your mental horizons via leisure and relaxation...Style suggests the following 50 things for your bucket list.

1. Enjoy a hot air balloon ride in Calistoga, California.
Imagine floatingpeacefully over spectacular views of mountains and lush vineyards. That tranquil feeling is like no other as you rise with the sun and gracefully drift away on the breeze.

2. Attend a live television game show.
Whether you’re playing or just watching, it’s a unique experience viewing it from the set.

3. Walk or run for a good cause.
Breast cancer, autism, and muscular dystrophy are just a few of the excellent causes that need support. It’s a great feeling to know that every step you take is making a positive difference in someone else’s life.

4. Swim with dolphins in Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
It’s an exhilarating opportunity to get up close and personal with dolphins. The encounter could include a kiss, hug or a fast belly ride with a friendly dolphin.

5. Stand on a sidewalk and sing out loud about something you love.
People might think you’re crazy, but who cares? You’ll be putting a smile on someone’s face and have a bit of an idea about what it’s like to be a star.

6. Travel the world.
Being exposed to different cultures can be eye opening. Enlist a friend to join you, join a tour, or just design your own itinerary and see the world solo.

7. Update your hairstyle.
Be daring. Allow your stylist to create a flattering hairstyle. Then go have fun as a fabulous “new you.”

8. Sponsor a needy child.
By contributing to a trustworthy organization, you can help guarantee that a child’s needs are met, and you have saved at least one life!

9. Every month, dine at a different ethnic restaurant.
Entertain your taste buds and expose yourself to a different culture without having to pay big bucks to travel.

10. Swim near a waterfall.
It’s a way to get close to nature and feel invigorated at the same time.

11. For a day, smile at everyone who crosses your path.
Smiling gives you a great tingling sensation. You’ll surprise people, make a unique, new connection and instill some good feelings for at least a precious moment.

12. Attend a variety of festivals.
Enjoy good foods, music, history, exhibits and family activities, and learn things along the way.

13. Discover the thrill of caving.
Get the help of a tour guide, and investigate the beauty of the underground world by walking, crawling, sliding and climbing through multiple passages and chambers.

14. Write a book.
Write what you know and pass it along by traditionally or self-publishing your story and wisdom.

15. Hike in Yosemite National Park.
Yosemite has spectacular views and numerous hiking trails that nearly anyone can experience.

16. Volunteer at a local non-profit organization.
You would be making a difference in your community and gaining an experience that can have a valuable impact on your life.

17. Take a bike ride on the American River path.
The length of this paved trail is about 33 miles and offers beautiful scenery. Along the way you’ll find benches, parks, restrooms, and dirt paths leading down to the river.

18. Spend the day at a spa resort.
Take time to refresh and rejuvenate by getting a massage, facial, body wrap, seaweed scrub or some other therapeutic treatment.

19. Become a Mystery Shopper and fine dine for free.
Pose anonymously as a customer, evaluate the restaurant, and then fill out a review on your experience. The mystery shopping company will then reimburse you for the money spent.

20. Zip line in the Costa Rican rainforest.
You’ll be attached to a steel cable by a pulley, with which you will propel down on. You’ll feel a rush of adrenaline as you soar through the tropical rainforest. When you zip from tree to tree you will see breathtaking views of tropical birds, monkeys and other wildlife.

21. Pay it forward.
Pick up the bridge toll fee for the person behind you. It’s a great feeling to make someone happy. Who knows, they could be inspired one day to pay the toll for the person behind them, and that person could just be you.

22. Be a human kite and parasail.
Parasailing is basically you, a parachute and a boat. It’s an ultimate experience because you get the scenic views of land and the enjoyment of water.

23. Write to a pen pal from another country.
There are organizations that can connect you to an international pen pal. Having a pen pal is a great way to make a friend and possibly learn a new language.

24. Take a glider ride in Lake Tahoe.
Enjoy a breathtaking silent flight on a two-to-three-seat glider that can soar between 4,000 and 10,000 feet high. To make the experience more thrilling you can have the pilot do acrobatic flips.

25. Walk into an elevator and face the people.
How fun to go against the “norm” of things. It’s interesting to see what other people will say or do.

26. Go white water rafting.
Action packed excitement that often comes with beautiful scenery. Whether you’re a novice or a pro, there is something for everyone when it comes to the desired level of rapid intensity.

27. Stay at a bed and breakfast.
Experience accommodations at a privately owned home. Every bed and breakfast is different, so research then reserve when you find the right one for you.

28. Camp and fish in the great outdoors.
Push through your comfort zone of living a furnished life and experience what nature has to offer.

29. Be a guest on a local television station.
Think about what information viewers would benefit from hearing and what you know best. Pitch your amazing idea to the producer. Then before you know it, you’re on television being interviewed and seen by thousands of people.

30. Book a trip on an all-inclusive cruise ship.
For most cruise ships the passenger pays for everything before hopping on board. That means you can eat and drink all you want while enjoying the activities and accommodations of your ship.

31. Ski down a mountain.
What an incredible feeling of freedom you can experience as you rapidly float down a powdery mountain successfully arriving at the bottom of the hill. If you’re new to skiing, take a lesson to help prepare you.

32. Stop and listen to what church missionaries have to say.
You don’t have to join their church but you might hear something enlightening that can make a positive difference in your life.

33. For a couple of weeks, avoid shaving any part of your body.
Get in touch with the natural part of you. See what you would look like if a razor were never invented. Who knows, you, along with others, may actually like the look.

34. Form a group and do something fun once a month.
This is a marvelous way to have a social life and remain connected with friends.

35. Take up a hobby.
Find activities you like and do them – anything from gardening to violin classes to dumpster diving!

36. Visit a national monument.
There are many national monuments in the United States. Each one has a significant historical background that’s interesting.

37. Snorkel or scuba dive in the great Tahitian waters.
Tahiti is the place to go if you want to see crystal clear blue water, assorted creatures and interesting vegetation.

38. Do something for others that they cannot do for themselves.
Boost the feel-good part of you and do something for someone else. For example, serve your sick spouse breakfast in bed, tie a child’s shoes or open the door for a stranger who has his/her hands full.

39. Saddle up on a horse.
Horseback riding is fun and can be a family adventure or a romantic one on the beach, a wooded trail, creek or river.

40. Take a two-week unplanned road trip.
Map out the road you’re going to take but not the actual stops. Make it an adventure and see what places you come across.

41. Send a message in a balloon.
Write a greeting and your email address on a small piece of paper, and then stick it in a balloon. Blow it up and let it fly away. You could get an email back and gain a new friendship.

42. Enter in the Guinness Book of World Records.
Decide what record you want to set or break in the latest edition. Then go for it!

43. Visit your favorite book author.
Create a memorable moment in your life by visiting an author who has inspired you and thank them in the end.

44. Seize the day and live a life of luxury.
Rent an exotic car like a Ferrari, stay at a lavish five-star hotel, shop till you drop and dine at a fine restaurant.

45. Play laser tag.
Laser tag is a fun indoor action game where you earn points when you tag specific objects and opponent players.

46. Become an infant for a day.
Reflect back to your younger years. Eat with your hands, walk around your house naked, make a mess in your room and take a nap.

47. Play a nice practical joke.
For example, talk to a restaurant manager and see if he can help make your friend the customer of the month. You can make it more exciting by providing a reward like movie tickets or a bouquet of flowers.

48. Upgrade your level of education.
It’s never too late to take classes and set a goal to move towards a higher degree of education.

49. Join a gym.
Exercising at the gym is a great way to have fun, relieve stress and expand your life so you can add more things to your to-do list.

50. Float, flip and fly like an astronaut.
An incredible zero-gravity space experience without having to go to space. You would be in an enclosed room where you can make acrobatic moves. No experience needed to enjoy this fantasy adventure.


Local resident Jaleh Donaldson M.S., MFT is the author of Life’s Little How To Book, a self-help book with tips on dating, marriage, children, career and more. Her book is available at amazon.com, Barnes & Noble and Borders.

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