"Travel is as much a passion as ambition or love" - L. E. Landon
The meaning of travel has evolved from being a simple means of communication to a risk and often a journey of self-discovery. Travel has always been both the cause of and the inspiration for discoveries through the ages. Despite not being cheap, travel continues to top the wish lists of most people. And it is women who seem to have been bitten the hardest by the travel bug as seen from the findings of the Ginger Bucket List Study, our survey of more than 1000 people from different parts of India. We found that for our respondents travel currently holds precedence over money, career and relationships.
We all know what a bucket list is; we've made many ourselves, each time adding a new thing to accomplish on the list. Such a list is an honest expression of one's self that spells out priorities and personal desires. Keeping aside the circumstantial limitations, it pretty much summarises that which is of utmost importance to a person. It is a chart of goals that one seeks to complete before "kicking the bucket".
"[M]en continue to tread on the path leading to dependable careers and satisfactory lifestyles while women are gradually seeking self-actualisation through unconventional life-goals."
The Bucket List Study seeks to understand individual bucket lists - of men and women, of Millennials, of Generation X and of Baby Boomers in India. The aim is to analyse the preferences and behaviours of Indians in terms of life achievements. Are we moving away from material assets to experiences or do we prefer less money and more memories? Is it "self-worth" that our buckets are calling out for or are we still about the "net-worth"?
Our findings suggest that women in India are disrupting norms and perceptions to ring in a new sense of self-accomplishment that reverberates in a new era. The study unearthed an evolving cultural zeitgeist of gender roles, where men continue to tread on the path leading to dependable careers and satisfactory lifestyles while women are gradually seeking self-actualisation through unconventional life-goals. And travel sits high on her list!
She has no qualms in admitting it too. She has moved up the vocational ladder, mastered the balancing act between work and home and is shifting her focus to a long-ignored and highly deserving aspect - herself.
Contradicting the popular belief that women would give to their families and careers over travelling, the majority of the Indian women surveyed voted travel as the topmost dream to be fulfilled with 35% votes for rank one. Relationships came in as the least most important life goal on their bucket list with 34% votes for rank four. At the same time, career came in second after travel, with 34% votes for rank two, followed by money with 43% votes for rank three.
Cinema has played no small role in pushing travel to the top of bucket lists. The 2007 Rob Reiner movie The Bucket List, about two cancer patients who race around the world, packing in experiences, led to mass acknowledgement of the importance and relevance of doing things that create experiences. Then there are recent Bollywood films like Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani (2013) and Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara (2011) that celebrated wanderlust, freedom, love and, above all, life. As people took to stating their life goals and creating bucket lists, they delved deeper to figure what's most important to them. The Ginger Bucket List Study shows that this generation is unified in believing travel and relationships to be the most important goals in life.
We live in world characterised by an all-pervading feeling that there is never enough time. Busy either at work, or doing chores at home, or even socialising with friends, people are constantly running against time to prioritise things. While setting goals for a successful corporate life is a mantra preached by management gurus, creating a bucket list can help you identify meaningful goals that make your life richer -- so as to retain passion for both life and work. What might look like one random entry on your bucket list may turn out to be that one life-altering moment you were waiting for.
Things on a bucket list are there for a reason. Unlike your New Year's resolutions, this list is meant to be acted upon. And if you have carefully jotted down all the things you want to achieve before the sun sets on your life, the list will actually prod you into action. You will make time for it. You will be inspired to redesign your life so that you work towards fulfilling all the things that are closest to your heart. Striking off something from the list upon completion promises a sense of great accomplishment.
Although women are coming out strong with their desire for travel, there are a million dreams that could make your life worthwhile if realized. Write a book, trek the mountains, go bungee jumping, help someone or become a CEO - simply because you are unique. Go ahead and fulfil your bucket list if you've got one ready or create one if you haven't already and celebrate life. Who knows, it might turn into an inspiration for the world.