The 2012 Adventure Bucket List

Float the Grand Canyon in a Dory. Bike across America. Tie your own fly. And 47 more epic quests, essential skills, and dream trips for the ultimate adventurer.

Just one thing you should try. Via Shutterstock     Photo: Spic Stock Media

Everyone needs goals. Hence this life list. In the United States, a good case could be made that one of them should be to take more time off. Americans have notoriously few paid vacation days: 12, compared to 21 for Canadians, 23 for the Brits, and 39 for the French. What’s more, you may be hard pressed to find people who actually use all their vacation days. According to a 2010 study by Expedia, the travel company, Americans earned an average of 15 vacation days (paid and unpaid), but only used 12 of them. Who hasn’t heard a friend bragging about how many hours they put in last week, or how late they stayed at the office? What’s the problem? Even if you love your work, taking time off will make you more effective at it. The output per worker in most west European companies, even in France, is the same as the output for American workers, despite far less time at work. Plus, doctors agree, taking more time off, you’ll be more creative, feel less stress and stay more healthy. One more reason you should take time off? You're gonna need it to complete this list.

To start things off right, find an inspiring quote for motivation. Here's our pick.

“One final paragraph of advice: do not burn yourselves out. Be as I am—a reluctant enthusiast….a part-time crusader, a half-hearted fanatic. Save the other half of yourselves and your lives for pleasure and adventure. It is not enough to fight for the land; it is even more important to enjoy it. While you can. While it’s still here. So get out there and hunt and fish and mess around with your friends, ramble out yonder and explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. Enjoy yourselves, keep your brain in your head and your head firmly attached to the body, the body active and alive, and I promise you this much; I promise you this one sweet victory over our enemies, over those desk-bound men and women with their hearts in a safe deposit box, and their eyes hypnotized by desk calculators. I promise you this; You will outlive the bastards.”
–Edward Abbey

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