Lord Howe Island Diving

My Reverse Bucket List – The things I’ve accomplished by 25

This idea came to me when I was starting to zone out at work on Friday afternoon. For a minute I thought I was a genius, until I Googled “reverse bucket list” and realized of course it’s been done before. Nevertheless, I was excited to write my own. It makes me happy to think about all the things I’ve done in my 25 years of life so far, and I think it’ll help you get to know me better.


1. Lived abroad _in New Zealand for a year, and then Australia for a year. It’s how I’d like to live the next few years (decades?) of my life.

2. Learned to play a musical instrument _I played piano for about 8 years when I was younger, but was never any good. I also played clarinet for about 8 years, and I was actually pretty decent.

3. Bungy jumped _three times. The first was the highest in Macau, the second was backwards off the Auckland Harbor Bridge, and the third was the Nevis in Queenstown. I can’t wait to do it again.

4. Learned to scuba dive _on Lord Howe Island and became addicted immediately.

5. Accepted to UVA  _By far, the happiest day of my life. My dad went to UVA and brainwashed me to love it, too. It was my dream school ever since I can remember.

6. Graduated UVA  _Maybe the saddest day of my life. (Just kidding…it was fun.)

7. Safaried in Tanzania _At the Ngorongoro Crater with Rustic Pathways the summer after my senior year of high school.

8. Hiked the Tongariro Alpine Crossing _successfully the second time after a failed attempt two days earlier due to bad weather. Lesson learned – be flexible with your travel plans.

9. Went canyoning in Queenstown _on days off from work.

10. Kayaked in Abel Tasman _and decided if I ever move back to New Zealand, I’d like to live in Abel Tasman for a bit.

11. Lived on a remote island _for just under a year. I loved it, but am fully convinced I couldn’t live on a remote island forever.

12. Traveled solo and made new friends _One of the best decisions of my life, and I plan to keep doing it for a long time coming.

13. Worked a ski season _made a lot of friends, and had a lot of fun during a Queenstown winter.

14. Rode elephants in Thailand _and gave them baths while I hung out at an elephant conservation center in Northern Thailand for a week.

15. Drank Kava in Fiji _and got to experience the local life in a small village for a couple weeks.

16. Volunteered with Habitat for Humanity in New Orleans _for a week during spring break in high school.

17. Partied at Mardi Gras in New Orleans _for a week during spring break in college.

18. Viewed the Chicago architecture on a river cruise _I think most people enjoy this tour even if they didn’t major in architecture.

19. Smelled some fish at Seattle public market _and it didn’t rain all week, so I think Seattle would be a great place to live.

20. Spent July 4th on the Oregon coast _with a lot of bonfires and fireworks. It was pretty cool.

21. Walked across the Golden Gate Bridge _like a typical tourist, but I enjoyed the view.

22. Drank wine in Napa Valley _for three days with my parents. It’s one of the most relaxing places I’ve ever been to.

23. Snorkeled in Cayos Cochinos, Honduras _I think this was the first time I realized just how cool the underwater world is in person.

24. Walked on the Great Wall of China _when I studied abroad for a summer.

25. Explored a lot of other Chinese architecture sites such as the Forbidden City, Summer Palace, etc. _They were all a lot bigger than I even imagined.

26. Hiked in the Shenandoah Valley _and conquered Old Rag – one of my favorite hikes to date.

27. Camped _a lot when I was younger with my family.

28. Hang-glided _off of Coronet Peak in Queenstown, and was way more scared than I thought I would be.

29. Saw some Broadway shows in NYC _including Hairspray, Avenue Q, Movin’ Out, Memphis, and I loved them all.

30. Consciously realized that I am super liberal and became more politically aware _probably somewhat a result of growing up in Northern Virginia, and watching a lot of The Daily Show and Colbert.

31. Worked in a winery _in Charlottesville the summer after I graduated. It was one of the best jobs I’ve had – I got to work at a beautiful location, with awesome people, learned a lot about wine, and got to drink a lot of wine too.

32. Road tripped in a campervan _for two weeks along the east coast of Queensland, Australia.

33. Cruised Alaska _with my dad’s side of the family. This trip also included an amazing whale watching tour.

34. Explored Harry Potter World _but before the new part opened, so I’ve gotta go back!

35. Learned to ski _in Virginia and then got a bit better in New Zealand.

36. Walked on a glacier _Fox Glacier in New Zealand.

37. Attended a lot of Dave Matthews concerts _with a lot of boyfriends. (Ha, yeah right, only a few and not all at once.) I don’t think I converted any of them into fans.

38. Saw some pro surfers at the Margaret River Pro _and was thoroughly impressed.

39. Been to the Grand Canyon _as a kid, so I don’t remember too much, and I’d love to go back.

40. Flew (er, was flown) to Milford Sound _I heard the drive is supposed to be pretty scenic as well, but I can’t imagine it really compares to the flight. If you can, I highly recommend flying.

41. Experienced the Hong Kong night life _in Lan Kwai Fong.

42. Voted _I am proud to be American (despite its many faults), maybe more so while abroad.

43. Saw the Red Rocks in Sedona from a Pink Jeep _definitely one of the coolest tours I’ve ever been on.

44. Toured the Sam Adams brewery _and got to drink a lot of good beer.

45. Saw my brother graduate from MIT _and visited Boston for the first time!

46. Worked in an architecture firm _and decided I don’t want to be an architect (for now).

47. Snorkeled with the turtles on Lord Howe Island _my favorite hobby of all time.

48. Walked across the Capilano Suspension Bridge in Vancouver _and saw a lumberjack show.

49. Started a blog _Sharing it is still on my bucket list.

50. Explored the monuments and museums in Washington D.C. _mostly for required school field trips, but also for fun!


Since I’ve never done this before, I wanted to include everything (well, 50 things) that I could think of. But I’m thinking this might be a good new year’s tradition for me in the future. I’ve never been one to make resolutions (I usually just stick to doing whatever makes me happy), but reflecting back is something that I find fascinating. Perhaps each new year, I will create a reverse bucket list to reflect of everything I’ve accomplished the previous year.


I really like reading these. Even if they belong to strangers on the internet. Please share yours with me if you write/have written one!