Student creates bucket list to inspire travel, adventure

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Alex Wagman is the creator of the “The Bucket List” blog. He published a book titled the “Bucket List Journal” that encourages people travel and work towards their goals.
Photo Credit: Mike McGraw | Daily Texan Staff

At the start of September, marketing senior Alex Wagman put 143 marbles in a jar to represent the number of Saturdays he has left before graduation. Each Saturday, he takes one out and puts it in his pocket to remind him of his pre-graduation goals.

“Bucket lists are just another name for goals, and without high goals, there aren’t high standards,” Wagman said. “I think it’s important to have bucket lists with deadlines. The marbles in my pocket remind me of how important it is to make sure every day has a little adventure in it.”

When Wagman was 11 years old, he learned what a bucket list was and wrote his own in a journal. After rediscovering the journal years later, he decided to start his bucket list blog. Since then, he has been bungee jumping and skydiving, brewed his own beer and rolled his own cigars. His favorite item on the list led to a near-death experience when he entered a bull riding competition with no experience.

“It was the most terrifying and stupid thing I’ve done,” Wagman said. “I got trampled by the bull and it charged me. It was chaos, but it was a good memory.”

Quarto Publishing found Wagman’s blog, and the company asked him to put his thoughts into a book. Wagman then wrote a 127-page book called “Bucket List Journal,” released Feb. 17.

“The book and blog are for people who have dreams but don’t know where to start or think that they are too young,” Wagman said. “I’m all about going out there and finding inspiration, but I want people to have easy access to that. I hope to be that spark of motivation, that daily dose of inspiration so that people get into a habit of living adventurously.”

Wagman’s book includes short narratives, bucket lists and blank spaces where readers can insert their own goals. Advertising junior Julia Waicberg, who bought the book shortly after discovering Wagman’s blog, said her favorite activity in the book encouraged readers to write down past events in their life that are bucket-list worthy.

“Typically, bucket lists [entail] making lists of what we want to do, but we never look back,” Waicberg said. “By looking back we can realize the importance of experiences we had and feel accomplished.”

Mechanical engineering junior Katherine Allen said Wagner’s daily bucket list focuses on doing little things on a day-to-day basis like meeting someone new.

“A lot of people are caught up in bucket lists being grand, but it doesn’t have to be,” Allen said. “[Wagman] is good at living in the moment but also remembering the past and looking to the future.”

Now, Wagman plans to help other students achieve their travel goals through his new, online company Active Adventures Abroad, which launches Oct. 5. The online company offers personalized travel itineraries to students. Users spend about 10 minutes answering a series of 15 questions so the company can generate a plan for their trips based off their responses.

“This is like a personal guidebook with no excess information,” Wagman said. “I think it’s a revolutionary business because it’s personalized. It lets me figure you out first, find out what you’re interested in and then build something that is specifically for you.”

Wagman said he is a strong believer that traveling and being exposed to various cultures are important. He desires to not only write stories, but to live one. He urges people to make a habit of being adventurous.

“I feel like you have a better chance at living life adventurously if it’s constant doses of motivation and inspiration, as opposed to one inspirational event,” Wagman said. “The act of doing adventurous things reminds us of how great that is and becomes a cycle that you can’t get out of.”