Get inspired to make your own Life List


How many times have you been with friends or family, listening to exciting stories about their adventures and accomplishments? You can’t help but wonder “What made them think of that?” or “How did they ever do that?” One of the ways to create significant life experiences is to have a Life List.

Life Lists have been around forever, in one form or another. They act as roadmaps to achieving the life of your dreams. Many people have dreams but fail to write them down. Studies show that when you write down your dreams and engage others to support you, they become achievable goals.

Today we’re going to introduce you to our guided process of Create, Act, Celebrate™. This is how we do what we do, and how we decide what’s next. We challenge you to identify goals you’re passionate about, and take you through a step-by-step path to achieving them. MyLifeList™ uses our proven methodology and the power of social networking to help you accomplish your goals and inspire others.

We hope you feel as inspired as we have using this process. We look forward to hearing about and celebrating your achievements with you as you check them off YOUR Life List.

This process will help you to:
1. Create a life list of goals and experiences you wish to have in your life.
2. Act on your life goals by documenting the steps needed to accomplish them.
3. Celebrate your accomplishments by sharing your story to inspire others.

A quick way to start is by browsing the MyLifeList™ 90 (the most significant life experiences to add to a Life List, based on more than a decade of our research). Use it for inspiration, make your list and then share with friends—it’s amazing the impact this can have to help you realize your goal. And finally, do you have a story to share from past experience? Celebrate the achievement by telling the story to highlight the significance of your experience. One of the best ways to motivate yourself into action on a new Life List item is to reflect on significant accomplishments and write out how you did it.

Here’s the MyLifeList™ 90 to get your started. How many have you already checked off your Life List?
1. Become a parent
2. Volunteer your time toward an important cause
3. Fall in love/get married
4. Serve your country (military, peace corps, politics)
5. Find your dream job/career
6. Explore your religious/spiritual beliefs
7. Be physically fit and healthy
8. Start your own business
9. Buy a home
10. Go to college
11. Visit a European capital (London, Paris, Rome, etc.)
12. Organize an event for charity
13. Explore Ecuador’s Galapagos Islands 
14. Take a job for experience rather than money
15. Represent your school, community or country in sport
16. Teach or work with children in some capacity
17. Go on an African safari and see the Big 5
18. Start a new life in a new town/country
19. Spend a night in an overwater bungalow in the Maldives or Fiji 
20. Become financially independent
21. Complete a marathon/triathlon
22. Complete an advanced self-development course
23. Walk along the Great Wall of China
24. Learn to play a musical instrument
25. Tide pool in the pink sands of Jobson’s Cove, Bermuda
26. Go to a luau in Hawaii

27. Go dune-bashing in Abu Dhabi
28. Drink Guinness in Dublin and kiss the Blarney Stone
29. Complete a major ocean passage on a ship
30. Swim with pigs in the Exumas
31. Perform in front of an audience
32. Take a gondola ride in Venice
33. Master a new language

That’s the Adventurer, above right, at the summit of Mount Kilimanjaro.

34. Climb one of the seven highest peaks in the world
35. Explore a live volcano
36. Visit the ancient gardens of Japan
37. Buy your dream car/boat
38. Visit ancient ruins in Mexico
39. Go sky diving or bungee jumping
40. Bring the family to Disney
41. Take a road trip
42. Go skiing
43. Visit the country of your ancestors

The Captain greeting Radar after her study abroad in the UK

44. Study abroad
45. Eco-adventure in Costa Rica
46. Visit the Roman Coliseum
47. Participate in a major festival in Europe
48. Visit the Taj Mahal in India
49. Be in the wedding of a good friend
50. Learn to cook a fine meal and invite friends
51. Visit New York City at Christmas time
52. Go water-water rafting on a Class 4 or 5 river 
53. Work with a life coach or mentor
54. Take in the view at Christ Redeemer, Rio, Brazil
55. Attend a major concert or musical event
56. Have a pet
57. Write a book, blog, news article or movie script
58. Visit the Incan citadel Machu Picchu in Peru
59. Go on a bicycle tour through wine country 
60. Go camping in the Grand Canyon, Arizona
61. Scuba dive the Great Barrier Reef in Australia
62. See the pyramids from the back of a camel in Egypt
63. Take a hot air balloon ride
64. Explore ancient Greece and visit the Acropolis
65. Enjoy the spray from Victoria Falls
66. Learn to meditate or practice yoga
67. Eat tapas and dance flamenco in Spain 
68. Complete the passage through Panama Canal
69. Attend a famous musical or play
70. Explore the Artic and see the Northern Lights
71. Paddle a canoe on a lake
72. Hike the Milford Track in New Zealand
73. Take in the view from one of the world’s tallest buildings
74. Perform in front of an audience
75. Learn how to fly a plane or glider
76. Drive a race car
77. Attend a major sporting event (Super Bowl, Olympics, World Cup)
78. Fly first class
79. Cultivate a garden
80. Go horseback riding out West
81. Learn a creative hobby (painting, knitting, photography)
82. Create a family tree
83. Swim in the ocean with dolphins or whales
84. Watch the sunrise/sunset
85. Drive Route 66 in a classic convertible
86. Visit a palm reader
87. Attend a black-tie gala
88. Save for three months’ worth of bills
89. Take a cooking class
90. Do a polar bear plunge

Whatever you decide to put on your list, remember: It’s not a bucket list. That’s about the dying. This is your LIFE LIST, for the living. So do it.

Shelagh Braley is a Boston-based luxury/adventure travel journalist. She and her life-listing husband, teen and preschooler share their REAL tales of finding the awesome as they travel together. Come along with us. #mylifelist #findwhatmatters

Join our FB community and share your own #lifelist experiences to help others with their journey

Or just follow our FB page to keep up with ours

Twitter: @mylifelist

Instagram: @mylifelistnews

Read more about our story at

We Are Sailors

Today is sort of our anniversary—which we celebrate from July 1 (Canada Day), through July 4 (Independence Day), to July 6, which is the date we actually had a wedding. In honor of this, the Adventurer wrote this week’s blog:


“Dad, why don’t we have a sailboat?” This is how my 4 year old greeted me one morning this week. I kind of felt bad that we don’t have a boat right now, considering all this started because I said yes to a race.

The fearless crew of Night Train. Adventurer, second from the right. MYLIFELIST FILE PHOTO

You see, nine years ago today, I sailed into Marblehead, Mass., aboard the C&C 40.2 tall rig Night Train. It was a tougher-than-usual delivery, with fog our constant companion as we sailed from Saint John, New Brunswick. After we cleared customs, we found ourselves a good pub awaiting us, Maddies Sail Loft on State Street.

Maddies Sail Loft is on the list of top sailor bars in the world. MYLIFELIST FILE PHOTO

The place is a must for any sailor doing the Marblehead-Halifax Ocean Race. For that week, it is alive with sailors getting ready to race. After a few cleansing rums, I noticed a very pretty girl in a black dress (not normal sailor bar gear) and soon I was sitting next to her. She was there after the funeral of a great aunt but found herself drawn to our adventure and laughter, so I introduced her to Mount Gay rum and My Life List.

That moment nine years ago changed my life list forever. Having just launched the social network, I was quite the cheerleader for finding awesome experiences. But one thing I believed was that life must be better shared. And this girl was the one I was going to share it with.

My wife is also known as Tickets, an Australian expression that indicates confidence, as in “selling tickets to my own show.” Here she is driving into San Diego. PHOTO BY BILL STARR

We were engaged two years later, (VIDEO PROOF: she said yes swinging from the mast). We married two years after that and I became a Bonus Dad to Radar. A year later, the Captain joined our family. We moved three times, ran a few businesses and had some far-too-rushed vacations. Hardly the shared life either of us dreamed of.

I’m sure many couples just survive the hustle of raising kids and move forward one school year after another. But my wife—she remembers the sailor in the bar and what I said nine years ago. She boldly declared that she would not let us forget what we both dreamed of. She re-launched MyLifeList and we are now planning multiple journeys with the kids. Radar, 15, even decided she would absolutely jump from the world’s highest bungee if I went with her. (Yikes, I thought once was enough.)

My wife kicked the housecat outside and now our whole family is going to benefit from this new mind-set.

And in case we ever need a reminder, there is always the Captain. “Hey Dad, let’s go outside in the rain. It can’t hurt us. We’re sailors!”

Bill Starr is a Boston-based Canadian chartered accountant and lifelong adventurer. With his journalist wife, Shelagh, he chronicles the crazy stuff his family gets up to in their quest to find the awesome. Come along. #mylifelist #findwhatmatters

Join our FB Community and share your own #lifelist experiences to help others with their journey.

Or just follow our FB page to keep up with ours.

Twitter: @mylifelist

Instagram: @mylifelistnews

Read more about our story at

Just Decide—Then Jump

The vast and beautiful land of South Africa has been calling our family forever. PHOTO COURTESY OF SHAMWARI GAME RESERVE


I’ve been watching videos from some YouTube-famous families that have decided to go adventuring. And the thing that sticks out to me most is how they identify as “average.”

I mentioned this to the Adventurer and he shook his head, too—they are NOT average families. They are young, they are wealthy, they have major savings accounts and massive audiences, so they’re sponsored by resorts and airlines around the world.

How is that attainable for regular people? For most families, a life like that seems utterly out of reach.

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Traveling light has its advantages


This year, we’ve been working toward a life that more closely resembles sailing: advance planning, flexible expectations, extraordinary reward.

Successful travel has to be like that, too, especially with kids. They are as unpredictable as the ocean itself, and just as awesome.

Every piece of gear we pack for sailing has to be like a multi-tool: You’re going to use whatever it is more than once, for more than one purpose. It makes everything you put in your sailing bag valuable—and it has to be, because those packs are small. Every square inch is prime real estate. I never want anything with me that I bring home unworn. That’s the most disappointing feeling.

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Frontenac fit for a prince in Quebec City

The Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac stands on the shore of the St. Lawrence River high above Old Quebec, sentinel to the past and emissary of the future in this vibrant, multicultural city.


QUEBEC CITY—“This is a stylish hotel,” decreed the Captain, 4, walking hand-in-hand with me toward the ornate golden elevators at the Fairmont Le Chateau Frontenac. A front desk attendant, walking slightly behind us, couldn’t help but giggle, overhearing him.

He looked at my son with seriousness but laughter still in his eyes, nodded respectfully and said, “Thank you, young master. We’re happy you’re pleased.”

With tiny robes, a miniature swimming pool, resident canine ambassadors and specially trained staff, the Frontenac excels at catering to a particular kind of traveler: the youngest one.

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What’s on your summer bucket list?


It started out as a simple exercise in logistics.

Every spring, we sat down with nine printed pages—three for each of us—the monthly calendars of June July and August. It was just the three of us then, and the goal was to map out our summer travel plans. The process was part dream board, part weekly agenda.

Radar, the family navigator, was only 7 or so. She had already reveled on the Mexican Riviera, beach bummed on the Bahamas, body surfed on Myrtle Beach, discovered the magic of Disney on junkets to Anaheim and Orlando (among other Florida destinations), explored the heights of New York City and relaxed along the coast of Maine. As much as she’d already seen, there were still many places we wanted her to experience for herself, to bind the spirit of travel to her own identity.

We were fresh off spring break 2011 in Los Angeles, where we rolled up the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible, sailed out of Marina del Rey on a Hunter 35, hit up the American Girl™ store, adorned our hair with blue feathers on Venice Beach, hung out with the stinky flamingoes at the LA Zoo, and more. With vacation laundry still in heaping piles to wash, we sat around the coffee table and carefully wrote on our calendars the dates and details for trips to Nantucket Island and the East Coast of Canada.

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We’ve come full circle

BOSTON–It’s been a long journey already, considering we did everything the hard way. But we have found the summit of this mountain, and we’re making the final ascent.

When I met Bill Starr, an avid traveler who had climbed Kilimanjaro, leaped from the world’s highest bungee, competed in ocean races and more, I was emerging from the darkness of a metro newsroom life that kept me away from home 10, 12, even 16 hours a day. He radiated sun, a global citizen hailing at the moment from Marina del Rey, Calif., living on a boat, building a social network for capturing users’ Life Lists. “It’s not a bucket list,” he said cheerfully. “It’s about the living, not the dying.”

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