Philosophical Bucketlist – Melanie Agustina

This has made my day! After ages of nagging my lovely sister to write and post her bucket list here she has sent me not one, but two lists, along with a very interesting letter explaining this rather philosophical bucketlist. It is so interesting to compare the different things that were important to Mel when she was leaving university and now, as she approaches ‘ahem’ the dreaded four zero. I would love to hear your take on the thought that maybe a bucket list is not ideal as there are so many spontaneous adventures which life throws at us, and some things that just never happen (for whatever reason). Anyway, enjoy this read coming all the way from Saudi Arabia where my sister lives and works:

I know you have been at me for ages about my ‘bucket list’ but after looking through the checklist (before the ‘Bucket List’ movie was made) I made with my best friend Jayne when I was at university I was really worried about how little I will/have achieved at this stage of my life (OMG I am nearly 40!).

When I sat down and began this I started thinking about all the amazing things that I have seen, experienced and worked towards that were never on my original checklist. This sparked a debate with Win (my husband), as he doesn’t think that a Bucket List is a good idea. His reasoning is that there is so much that happens during life’s journey that are incidental surprises, changes and choices we make when we get to that fork in the road, that if you have a list and don’t tick them all off you will not appreciate these other experiences and joys to the same extent as if you didn’t have a list. Win also said that he would find it hard to get to a point in life and look at the list and feel really disappointed. His views made me think about all the strange twists and turns in my own life journey and all the amazing things that I have experienced and done. I realise that this is not the place for a philosophical debate about Bucket Lists, but going through this reflection provided food for thought to me from different perspectives.

However, I love checklists and crossing things off. It provides such a sense of achievement and control. In my second bucket list, all the family items are not negotiable. They are things that I have an intrinsic desire to achieve and wish to do to give my children the best opportunities possible. Although I have made this Bucket List I am going to grab all positive opportunities as they come and if I am lucky enough to get to do the things in all other categories along the way I will be very excited.

Okay so I have attached some of the bits from my university checklist and then pasted on my Almost 40 Bucket-List.

University ‘Checklist’


  1. Travel the world for at least a year
  2. Raft down the Amazon
  3. Bike through NZ
  4. Adventure to follow Charles Darwin’s Journey
  5. Visit South America and places from ‘Children of the Sun’ (cartoon from childhood)
  6. Visit countries that I did projects on in High School and College (Laos, Amazon, Peru, Tibet)
  7. Australian Road Trip with JS (aka JC) and RK
  8. Swim in whales
  9. Learn to Cross Country Snow Ski
  10. Go walking in Nepal


  1. Write a book called, “Stories I couldn’t tell my mother”
  2. Work overseas
  3. See the Australian Deserts in Bloom (WA)
  4. Find the perfect tall, dark and handsome man to share my life
  5. Get a tattoo
  6. Own the perfect little house (near the ocean and close to the mountains)

Brain Food:

  1. Gain my AMus (Associate Diploma of Musical Performance)
  2. Get to wear the purple hat

Physical Challenges:

  1. Base Jump from cliffs in Pakistan
  2. Complete at least 10 triathlons
  3. Learn to surf
  4. Complete a free fall course
  5. Climb the highest mountains of three continents


Mel’s Almost 40 Bucket List


  1. Be there when my children/family need me
  2. Help my children find their passion
  3. Live to see my children enter their chosen careers that sparks passion and gives them fulfillment


  1. Write children’s books that promote intercultural understanding and respect
  2. Get to wear the purple hat
  3. Jointly celebrate 40th birthday JC and RK in STYLE
  4. See the Australian Deserts in Bloom (WA)
  5. Pass on the skills and knowledge of bushwalking and the outdoors (I have learnt from my mother and father) to my family
  6. Provide my children with opportunities to develop a strong ALs (Additional Languages)
  7. Go walking with my family in five continents
  8. Become ideal weight and fitness then maintain
  9. Be financially out of debt before I am 40!
  10. See the Southern Aurora
  11. Go star gazing in an Australian desert and Middle Eastern desert and compare
  12. Find somewhere that we can call home
  13. Own the perfect little ‘home’ that is environmentally sustainable
  14. Permanent Residency (as the word permanent really means forever) or Citizenship for Win
  15. Do a musical tour of Europe (concerts, places of birth of great composers, museums)

Brain Food:

  1. Lead 6 different IB workshops in EY (Early Years education – multiple times if possible to help refine my own skills and understanding)
  2. Do a Reggio Emilia Study Tour
  3. When retired…work for an NGO providing education and training for countries or areas of need
  4. Get to wear the purple hat
  5. Play in an orchestra


  1. Visit South America and places from ‘Children of the Sun’
  2. Visit countries that I did projects on in High School and College (Laos, Amazon, Peru, Tibet)
  3. Australian Road Trip with JS (aka JC) and RK
  4. Swim in whales
  5. Learn to Cross Country Snow Ski
  6. Go on an adventure holiday with Grandma and Grandpa
  7. Adventure to follow Charles Darwin’s Journey
  8. African Safari

Physical Challenges:

  1. Run a marathon before 40!
  2. Complete a full length triathlon
  3. Climb Mt Kilimanjaro
  4. Learn to surf (and manage to stay up for the whole ride)


  1. Change my diet to become more environmentally sustainable
  2. Win 5 games of ‘May I’ (card game) in a row against good competition (Butlers etc…)


Return to Your bucket list


3 Responses to Philosophical Bucketlist – Melanie Agustina

  • Jayne says:

    Love them both! You’ve always been an inspiration to me Mel and those lists are amazing! Looking forward to helping you tick off some of those items. Also very impressed with Win’s point of view – has made me reconsider mine which is a work in progress.

  • Drea B says:

    I agree with Win, it is easy to miss the opportunities life presents you if you’re focusing on what you missed out on doing.

    One of my favourite quotes from a song is “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans”.

    • Ben says:

      I am swinging around as well. I don’t sleep with my bucket list under my pillow (these days) but it is a great point of reference when I feel that the adventures are starting to slow down…not that this often happens :-)

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