Pursuing the passion: The importance of bucket lists

Olivia Rutt during trip to Greece. By Olivia Rutt
Olivia Rutt during trip to Greece. Photo courtesy of Olivia Rutt

What do sending a message in a bottle, kissing the Stanley Cup and playing basketball with President Obama have in common? Besides being inherently awesome, these are all crossed-off items on the bucket list of The Buried Life, the lifestyle of a group of young Canadian men who embarked on a journey to do 100 epic things before they die.

Laurier alumni Olivia Rutt describes a bucket list as “a list of things you want to do before a certain age, before a significant moment, or before death.”

Rutt, 22, has always had a bucket list in her head but last year before she left for a trip to Greece, she formally wrote down her travel bucket list.

“Bucket lists can drive people to do the things they have always wanted to do. By putting it down on paper or putting it on the web, it is a constant reminder of your passions.”

Rutt’s list includes everything from swimming with manatees, to bar hopping in Ireland, to sailing around the Galapagos Islands like Charles Darwin.

“I fell in love with the Galapagos during second year in a class with Professor Stephen Haller,” Rutt said. “[Since then], I have wanted to go there for a photographic, scientific, eco-adventure.”

Some of Rutt’s completed feats include hiking a volcano, flying in an aerobatic plane and visiting the Rideau Canal in Ottawa. The Rideau is one of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization’s (UNESCO) World Heritage sites. Rutt has already seen 11 UNESCO sites which means to complete her goal, only 996 more to go!

“Bucket lists are just fantasy until you put it into action,” Rutt said. “Sure, you can see the big stuff, but knowing why you want to do the things on your bucket list creates a sense of curiosity.”

Not all bucket lists are as ambitious or worldly as Rutt’s travel bucket list. She also has a short-term bucket list of things to do before her next birthday. This list includes things like seeing a drive-in movie and visiting an aquarium.

The men from The Buried Life, which is now a best-selling book and show currently available on Netflix, have quite a few quirky items that anyone can do with essentially zero budget: hosting a lemonade stand, growing a moustache or protesting something you’re passionate about. The group of four men now travel the world encouraging and helping people to do the things they want to do before they die.

Krista Syczewski, 22, does not feel the need to have her own bucket list. She believes that she can do the things she wants to do without a list to guide her. For Syczewski, moving to Brantford in her first year was the beginning of many new experiences, starting with Orientation Week.

Current O-Week Go-Team Member Syczewski believes O-Week is a great opportunity for students to step out of their comfort zone and try things they have never done.

“There are lots of activities to try if you haven’t before, and it’s a great chance for people to break out of their shells, especially if they are shy,” Syczewski said.

With the chaos of moving in and figuring out class schedules, it is easy to forget that this September sparks a new adventure. As you experience the novelty of this coming year, keep Rutt’s motto in mind: “Stay Curious.”

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