Our goal as a couple is to lead a healthy, happy, and fulfilling life together. Therefore, new experiences and adventure are a must.

Yet, it’s easy to get sucked into the busyness of day-to-day life, with our own bucket list and dreams falling to the wayside. This blog post is, in part, a reminder that the unique memories created using bucket lists is what makes a memorable and fulfilling life.

In this article, we’re baring it all and sharing our own personal bucket list. Follow along, join in on the fun, and get some of your own adventurous couples bucket list ideas!

adventurous couples bucket list ideas_ryan and alex duo life

couples bucket list ideas

“To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream; not only plan, but also believe.” — Anatole France

Bucket lists are intensely personal and don’t need to make sense to anybody but yourselves. But, they’ve been such a big staple in our lives that we’re willing to share our personal couples bucket list with the world.

Why? First off, we think every couple should have a bucket list. It’s a continuous funnel of newfound, exciting experiences to bring you closer together.

Secondly, bucket lists guide you like a road map, making sure you hit the big things while keeping you out of a rut. By writing your dreams as a couple down on paper, you can start the planning on how to cross them off.

We’re so passionate about the magic of bucket lists that we published a journal about it (more on that below). In it, we describe how to brainstorm your own ideas and how to make them a reality. Because what use is a bucket list if you don’t actually make it happen?

This article is our running list of bucket list ideas. We’ll mark off the ones we’ve done, and add to it as we think of more. We hope that it gives you the inspiration to add a few new items to your list as well — and comment below for things you think we should add and consider!

What’s On Our Couple’s Bucket List

According to the largest study ever performed on bucket lists by Stanford University, the vast majority of bucket list items cover three categories:

1) Travel (79% of participants)
2) Personal Goals (78% of participants)
3) Life Milestones (51% of participants)

Surprisingly, only 15% of participants included “daring activities” — something that we all assume are on everyone’s bucket lists.

We’ll cover all of these categories and more in our own running couples bucket list ideas.

Why listen to us? We love adventuring as a couple. Together we’ve spelunked in Borneo, skiied down Patagonian volcanoes, bushwacked in the Amazon, and put some serious miles down on the Appalachian Trail.

Our proudest moments have been starting a family, publishing a book, becoming fluent in multiple languages, and quitting our jobs to become entrepreneurs abroad.

On a whackier note, we’ve been the feature of a Daily Mail article, been extras in a beer commercial, and had a color named after us (Ryalex, check it out!)

This isn’t to toot our horn because there’s loads more that we want to do — as you can see below. Hopefully, we’re able to offer an interesting, off-piste perspective. Don’t be shy, the comment section is open and we’d love to hear what’s on your list!

The Bucket List Journal for Couples

Something to consider as you start planning your bucket list: our bucket list journal that helps you plan and celebrate your adventures.

Now available on Amazon, we designed the most structured and organized journal to help couples make their bucket list a reality.

Bucket list for couples journal

The Ultimate Bucket List for Married Couples features:

  • Space to record over 50 of your best experiences
  • A planner section that includes thoughtful and actionable prompts for identifying your true desires and aligning your goals with your partner’s
  • Practical tips that help you save time and money
  • Dedicated space for saving important memorabilia such as photos, tickets, and more
  • Colorful illustrations and inspiring quotes

No matter how lofty or practical, your bucket list reflects your life goals. Embarking on the journey with your spouse and forever partner will help you build a stronger connection and a more satisfying marriage.

Our Unique Bucket List Ideas for Couples

While our couples bucket list ideas below is compiled of travel and adventures that aren’t necessarily tied to a geographic location, we have added big, small, and DIY adventures for the ultimate bucket list for couples.

A few of these we have done (and found them exhilarating!) and a few we hope to do in a few years.

Here they are in no particular order. Comment below on the ones you’ve done and other ideas that you’ve added to your bucket list!

Couples Bucket List Ideas – goals

1. Become Fluent in a New Language

Status: In process with Spanish

2. Run a Marathon Together

Status: Scheduled for December 2023

3. Give a TED Talk

Status: Not yet

4. Cook Every Recipe in Ryan’s Grandmother’s Cookbook

Status: In process

5. Learn How to Give a Good Massage

Status: Completed! Here’s what we did to learn how to give your partner a professional quality massage.

6. Start a Charity Foundation

Status: Not yet

7. Retire Early

Status: Completed! Sort of, we still write this blog!

8. Buy a Plot of Land in the Mountains

Status: Not yet

9. Build an Epic Treehouse

Status: Not yet

10. Go on a Meditation Retreat

Status: Not yet

11. Be an Extra in a Movie or Commercial

Status: Completed! June 2015 as extras in a Tsingtao beer commercial

12. Read All of the Classics

Status: In process

13. Complete an Ironman Together

Status: Not yet

14. Write Letters to Our Kids Every Year

Status: In process

15. Sell Everything and Travel the World

Status: Completed! Left our engineering jobs in March 2018 and bought a one-way ticket to South America.

16. Go Backcountry Camping with Our Kids

Status: In process — scheduled in Tayrona National Park late-2023

17. Publish a Book

Status: Completed! Published in March 2022, The Ultimate Bucket List for Married Couples.

Bucket list journal for couples

18. Get Interviewed by a Large News Network

Status: Not yet

19. Buy Our Childhood Dream Car

Status: Completed! The top is off on our 1997 Jeep Wrangler as we speak.

20. Live on a Ski Mountain

Status: Completed. In June 2018, we lived for three months on the slopes of Cerro Catedral, Argentina’s largest ski mountain.

21. Buy Nothing for a Month

Status: Not yet

22. Learn How to Dance

Status: In process. Taking salsa classes as we speak.

23. Move Abroad

Status: Completed! We first moved to China in 2011 for three years and once again, permanently to Colombia in 2020.

24. Hitchhike

Status: Completed! We’ve had great experiences doing this in Hawaii and Argentina in 2018.

25. Hunter or Gather All of Our Food

Status: Not yet

26. Write a Song

Status: Not yet

27. Bring the Family to Disney World

Status: Not yet

28. Meet Our Grandkids

Status: Not yet

29. Create Our Signature Dish

Status: Not yet

30. Volunteer Weekly 

Status: Not yet

31. Build Our Dream Home

Status: Completed! We purchased our condo and did a full renovation in 2021.

32. Sleep Under the Stars

Status: Not yet

33. Live to 100

Status: In process

34. Attempt Couple’s Acro Yoga

Status: Completed! It’s seriously fun. Here are our favorite 23 couples yoga poses that you can follow along with.

Bucket list ideas for couples learn acro yoga

35. Ditch the Car for a Bike

Status: Not yet

36. Get Featured in a Magazine

Status: Completed! We were even on the cover of Ryan’s university alumni magazine in 2019.

37. Start that Side Gig

Status: Completed! You’re on it.

38. Leave a Legacy

Status: In process. Just how Ryan’s grandmother left handmade pottery to her grandkids, we want to leave bonsai trees and pots

39. Subscribe 1,000,000 People to Our Newsletter

Status: In process. Enter your email address at the bottom of this page to join now!

40. Become Wine Experts

Status: In process. We’ve just finished James Suckling’s MasterClass.

couples bucket list ideas – Travel

41. Backcountry Ski Tour to Refugio Frey, Argentina

Status: Not yet

42. Celebrate the Day of the Dead in Mexico

Status: Completed! In November, 2019 in iconic San Miguel de Allende.

43. Trek to the Lost City in Colombia

Status: Completed! In May 2019, and it was epic.

44. Dive the Great Barrier Reef

Status: Not yet

45. Dog Sled in Iceland

Status: Not yet

46. Spend Christmas on Christmas Island

Status: Not Yet

47. Flamenco in Andalusia

Status: Not Yet

48. Stay with a Local Family in a Homestay

Status: Completed! Our favorite was staying with a local family in Vietnam in May 2013.

49. Peacock Bass Fish in the Amazon

Status: In process. We’ve connected with the guide and just need to pick the time.

50. Trek the Inca Trail to Machu Picchu

Status: Completed! In November 2018 while living in Cusco.

51. Travel in a Tiny House, Skoolie, or Camper Van Across New Zealand

Status: Not yet

52. Sail Down the Nile

Status: Not yet

53. Eat Fresh Sushi at the Tsukiji Fish Market in Tokyo

Status: Not Yet

54. Join an Expedition

Status: Completed! We ventured to Tayos Cave deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon in April 2018.

55. Watch the Sunrise from a Volcano

Status: Completed! We did this while backcountry camping in Haleakalā National Park, Maui in January 2019. 

Couples bucket list ideas camping and backpacking

56. Follow the Great Wildebeest Migration from Tanzania into Kenya

Status: Not yet

57. Visit Our Family’s Ancestral Hometowns

Status: In process

58. Watch the Golden Eagle Festival in Mongolia

Status: Not yet

59. Scuba Dive with Hammerhead Sharks in the Galapagos Islands

Status: Completed! May 2018 in a pod of twenty or so sharks just feet from us!

60. Dive into an Untouched Waterfall

Status: Completed! Everywhere from Costa Rica to Minnesota, this is one of our favorite things to do.

Bucket list ideas for couples waterfall swimming

61. Swim in All Five Oceans

Status: In process

62. Visit Everest Base Camp

Status: Completed! In October 2013, after eating lots of yak meat and yak cheese while sleeping in huts made of yak dung…! 

63. Drive Through Baja California Sur in a Vintage VW Beetle

Status: Not Yet

64. Listen to Big Brass in New Orleans

Status: Completed! August, 2016

65. Tan on Ipanema Beach

Status: Not yet

66. Drink Glühwein at a European Holiday Market

Status: Completed! In Belgium, 2017.

67. Stay in a House Boat in Amsterdam

Status: Not Yet

68. Skinny Dip in the Wild

Status: Completed! In 2014 Malaysia in wonderful Gunung Mulu National Park.

69. Pet Sit Around the World

Status: Completed! We had amazing experiences and made lifelong friends through TrustedHousesitters (this is our hack to travel for free!)

Couples bucket list house or pet sitting

70. Discover the Best Soup Dumplings in Shanghai

Status: Completed! Personal favorite is at Fuchun Xioalong by the Jing’an Temple.

71. Party at Oktoberfest

Status: Not yet

72. Blast Into Outer Space

Status: Not yet

73. Dive with Whale Sharks

Status: Completed! In September, 2014 in beautiful Oslob, Philippines.

74. Thru-hike the Appalachian Trail

Status: Not yet, although we have hiked multi-day sections in New Hampshire already

75. Drink the Local Moonshine

Status: Completed! While this can be done anywhere, we were in Mai Chau, Vietnam, staying with a family in May 2013.

76. Soak in Devil Falls

Status: Not yet

77. Motorcycle Tour around India

Status: Not yet

78. Hike the Annapurna Circuit

Status: Not Yet

79. Run the Antarctic Ice Marathon 

Status: Not yet. Do you think we can run in our beloved Vibram FiveFingers there?

80. Summit a 20,000+ Foot Peak (6096+ meters)

Status: Not yet, although we’ve come close in Peru!

81. Sleep in a Cave in Cappadocia

Status: Completed! In October 2015.

82. Ride the Trans-Siberian Railway

Status: Not yet

83. Join the 200 Club

Status: Not yet

84. Go to a Country That You’re Not Supposed To

Status: Completed! We had a spectacular honeymoon in Cuba in 2017.

85. Surf Oahu’s North Shore

Status: In process — scheduled for December 2023.

86. Visit Every National Park in the USA

Status: In process

87. Befriend a Monkey at Angkor Wat

Status: Completed! In June 2014.

88. Travel the Silk Road

Status: Not yet

89. Spend a Night at a Tibetan Monastery

Status: Completed! In October 2013 we toured Tibet.

90. Fly in a Private Jet

Status: Not yet

91. Overnight Canoe and Portage to a Private Island

Status: In process, we’re planning a trip to the Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness in northern Minnesota 

92. Watch the Northern Lights from a Norwegian Fjord

Status: Not yet

93. Spelunk in Deer Cave, Borneo

Status: Completed! One of our most adventurous trips in October, 2014.

94. Spearfish

Status: Not yet

95. Raft Across the Amazon

Status: Completed! April 2018 for Ryan’s thirtieth birthday.

96. Climb the Great Wall of China

Status: Completed! Alex even ran a marathon on top of it in 2014.

97. Dance on a Table in Mykonos

Status: Completed! In 2016.

98. Find the Big Five on Safari

Status: Not yet

99. Camp in the Scottish Highlands

Status: Not Yet

100. Ski Down a Volcano

Status: Completed! July 2018 for Alex’s thirtieth birthday in Patagonia, Argentina.

101. Pick, Roast, and Drink Our Own Coffee in Colombia’s Coffee Triangle

Status: Completed! Our favorite place for this is the town of Jardín, although pictured below we’re in Costa Rica. Great coffee there as well!

Couples bucket list ideas live abroad

102. Heliski in Alaska

Status: Not yet

103. Take Mirror Photos in the Uyuni Salt Flats of Bolivia

Status: Not yet

104. White Water Raft in the Grand Canyon

Status: Not yet

105. Drive Across the Atacama Desert

Status: Not Yet

106. Follow a Polar Bear in the Arctic

Status: Not Yet

107. Visit the 7 Wonders of the Modern World

Status: In process

108. Summit Chimborazo

Status: Not Yet

109. Watch Sunset from an Ancient Pagoda in Bagan

Status: Completed! We entered in February, 2013, on one of the first-ever international flights into the country.

110. Ride a Camel Through the Desert

Status: Completed! In Morocco, 2017.

111. Fly Over Namibia’s Skeleton Coast

Status: Not yet

112. Watch the Ball Drop at Times Square on New Year’s Eve

Status: Completed! In January 2013.

113. Stay at a 5-Star Resort in the Seychelles

Status: Not yet

114. Get Lost in the Vatican City

Status: Not yet

115. Tour the Hagia Sofia

Status: Completed! In October 2015.

At-Home Date Ideas Menu_Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Our Proven Tools for Healthy Couples

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Download our guide for the best books, movies, apps, date night ideas, quizzes, questions, and games for healthy couples.

What Did We Miss?

You’re an adventurous couple. So, what do we need to add to our bucket list? Please share in the comments and thanks in advance for the new ideas.

Putting together a couples bucket list makes for a great at-home date activity. For more at-home date night ideas check out our downloadable date night idea “Menu.” Just roll the dice and get ready for an epic and memorable date night in!

For more marriage and relationship tools, such as the best couples massage class, or “would you rather” questions for couples, please visit our Healthy Couples page.

At-Home Date Ideas Menu_Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Proven Tools for Healthy Couples

A decade of experience, hundreds of hours of research and testing, and over 50,000 words of wisdom condensed into one PDF.

Download our guide for the best books, movies, apps, date night ideas, quizzes, questions, and games for healthy couples.

As Seen In Feature Bar Ryan and Alex Duo Life

Hey we're Ryan and Alex

The creators of Ryan and Alex Duo Life. We are a husband-wife duo and “lifestyle engineers.”

After eight years working in the corporate world as engineers, we left our high-powered jobs to tackle our true passion — helping couples engineer their best lives.

The synergy of our engineering minds and ten years of health coaching experience produced Ryan and Alex Duo Life. Our mission is to help you transform your bodies, minds, and relationship as a couple.

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