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a retiree paragliding - an activity on their retirement bucket list

Is there anything that you always dreamt about doing when you had more free time in your retirement?

Maybe it was some sort of extreme sport, like skydiving, or a travel adventure.

Or is retirement something you always dreaded, the thought of days and days with nothing to do?

We reached out to our wonderful community at Mirthy to discover some of the items on their retirement bucket lists!

Retirement bucket list ideas

1. Volunteering at museums and galleries

Having more time available in retirement opens up opportunities like this, allowing you to experience working in areas you may not have had time for before, and learn new skills.

Some exciting reasons for volunteering at a museum include:

When asked about her retirement bucket list, Community ambassador Paula told us:

“I joined the Committee of Friends of Sunderland Museum and volunteered at Sunderland Museum… I especially enjoy helping with children’s activities”

2. Going travelling and visiting cultural landmarks from around the world

Travelling is very popular amongst retirees, with many of our community talking of plans that were slightly further afield…

Golden Gap Years are increasingly popular and there are plenty of travel groups and companies that cater specifically for retiree holidays.

Merril’s retirement dream is “New Year's Eve in Vienna to see Die Fledermaus at the Vienna State Opera House”. A purely entertaining and cultural experience.

Anna set her sights even further afield, “The main thing on my retirement bucket list was to fly to Australia to visit my son and daughter-in-law. To see those iconic Sydney landmarks of the Harbour Bridge and Opera House seemed unreal. I will also never forget the amazing beaches or the day trip to the breathtaking Blue Mountains. I have now added a new item to the list - to do that journey again to meet my 15-month-old granddaughter.”

Or how about combining travel with volunteering, as Julia has plans to do next year! “I’m not retired yet, but items on my bucket list and planned for next year include learning to speak Spanish and doing some international volunteering - 3 months in Costa Rica with Raleigh International. It should be a fun year!”

3. Feeling brave?

Many retirees choose to try completely exhilarating experiences to fill their retirement.

Like Anna, Angela had Sydney in mind on her bucket list, but just seeing those iconic landmarks wasn’t enough. In her retirement, Angela searched for an adrenaline-pumping challenge and decided to climb Sydney Harbour Bridge, and she has the O2 Arena planned next!

Height’s seemed to be a common denominator amongst the suggestions

Jane said she has “Been wanting to do a hot air balloon flight for years, maybe one day soon …”

Many other members commented, encouraging Jane to follow her dreams of taking a hot air balloon ride. Anna said, “I did one a few years ago. It was amazing! You never know where you are going to end up - the wind chooses!”

4. Cruises

Cruises are a particularly popular way of travelling for retirees, and many who have been on nautical voyages have made lifelong friends from these experiences.

There are many different types to choose from, from scenic river cruises to exotic island-hopping adventures. Some cruises even focus on specific historical events and locations for those history buffs who want to travel.

Katie told us, “We spent some time in San Francisco before cruising to Alaska, then back to San Francisco and another cruise ship to New York through the Panama Canal. We then had another week in New York before coming home on the Queen Mary”. Similarly Elizabeth and her husband cruised around the world for 4 months, “It was a marvellous experience.”

5. Making the most of your local area

When thinking of plans on your retirement bucket list, it is important to keep in mind that life may still get in the way, despite the fact that your working life has come to an end.

The pandemic certainly put several spanners in the works for everyone’s plans, but things like this can lead to new goals and achievements, like Paula who did:

Likewise, Annie explained that having retired after almost 50 years as a nurse just before Covid-19, she is “still dreaming of my travel bucket list - New Zealand and Costa Rica. In the meantime, a few quick trips to Italy to visit family, learning Italian and learning to paint and draw”.

So, no matter how long or short your bucket list is, or how adventurous you are, there are endless ways to fill your retirement with excitement, friendship, learning and laughter!

Hopefully, this article has inspired you to write or add to your own retirement bucket list. If you want to contribute your ideas to articles like this in the future, join our Facebook group by clicking here.