What do you want to do this summer to make your life wonderful? Create your Summer Bucket List 2024 and make it happen! I share my Summer Bucket List in the post and tips for how to make your vision come true. Use the free Summer Bucket List guide and have yourself a wicked fun summah!

It’s summer! Make your Summer Bucket List 2024

What do you want from your summer? Join me in creating a Summer Bucket List 2024 and let’s create our most wonderful summers yet! My list is jam-packed with fun as part of my Year of Extraordinary, and there’s a free guide for you to help you create your own Summer Bucket List 2024 and tips on how to make your vision a reality! As we say in New England, it’s going to be a wicked fun summah!

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Welcome, summer!

Just in time for summer, we have ourselves a heatwave here even all the way up here in Northern New England. If you know me, this may shock you—I am ready for it. Pool float inflated? Check. Outdoor movie setup ready? Check. Plans with dear friends for the first summer weekend? Travel plans? Summer Bucket List 2024 challenges laid down? Check, check, CHECK!

Pool float and a pool on a summer day. There is a tall pine tree and maples in the background, and a white house with green shutters to the right. Spending time in a pool is on my summer bucket list for 2024
The SS Ridiculous (aka my pool float)

I love summer once again

I’m writing this from the porch, with a little watermelon sprinkled with Tajin to go with my cold-brew coffee and Ollie Dog sleeping at my feet. Last summer, I set about to fall back in love with summer—to recapture that wonder and freedom I used to feel before work stress and, honestly, city living (good lord, city heat) turned me into a crankypants come summer. I packed a bucket list full of fun, and, Dear Reader, it worked.

No more holing up with the AC cranked to 11

Floating in the pool one evening after a hot summer day in late August, I felt this sense of peace and relaxation wash over me. I’d gotten out for summer adventures, and I’d had fun! I wasn’t holed away in my bedroom with the curtains drawn and the AC cranked to 11, working on spreadsheets, desperately trying to make a deadline. Instead, I was floating in a pool, looking up at the maple trees, feeling cool as a cucumber. That was more like it.

A wicked fun summah, coming right up!

This summer, I’m looking to continue my love affair with the season. I want a wicked fun summah, as we say in New England. My Summer Bucket List 2024 is jammed packed with fun and adventure! I can’t wait to share it with you. I update progress on my Bucket Lists throughout the season to keep me accountable. I’d love to hear about your progress, too!

My Summer Bucket List 2024

Without further ado, here’s my Summer Bucket List for 2024. Create your own with my free guide (be sure to subscribe for access—that’s free, too)!

1. Set sail on 35-day voyage from Boston to Europe (and back again)!

Oh, Dear Reader, do I have an epic travel plan for this summer! I booked a 35-day voyage across the sea to Europe and back through a new-ish standby program. Provided that you can drop everything and travel at the last minute, you can get a great deal, because I would not be able to afford this otherwise.

I won’t find out for certain if I’m really going until just before the boat leaves in late July, but, provided that it works out the way I’m hoping, I will visit seven countries over thirty-five days. I’m so excited! More to come! (Drop me a line if this interests you, but I want to know how it all works out before broadcasting the details.)

And, if it doesn’t work out, I’m looking at heading to Istanbul or Malta, so adventure is most definitely afoot!

2. Take a day trip to Rockport, Massachusetts to check out my sister’s new gallery!

Over the winter, my sister Rosemary opened this super cool art gallery/giftshop/studio in Rockport, Massachusetts. This summer, I’m headed to Rockport to check out Slant Rhyme Studio, as well as do a proper toot around this darling seaside town. It’s been a long time.

3. Cannon Mountain Tramway

I’ve taken the Cannon Mountain Tramway before, but I was a little kid, and I don’t really remember it. From the tramway, North America’s first, you can see Maine, Vermont, New York, and Canada on a clear day. Not quite as cool as that time that I saw most of the Balkan nations from the top of Lovćen in Montenegro, but I’ll take it.

4. Visit New Hampshire’s offbeat sites

Did you know that New Hampshire has its own Stonhenge? I did, but I’ve never been. There’s also the remains of a “castle” belonging to one Madam Sheri. There’s a ginormous boulder, a glacial erratic, in Madison. And dozens more unusual sites. I’m going to make pilgrimages to these sites this summer. Have suggestions? Drop them in the comments.

5. Do the touristy things in Portsmouth, New Hampshire

One of the best lessons I’ve learned from traveling is that doing the touristy sh*t is fun. There’s a reason why people visit destinations, and, while I also very much believe that immersing yourself in life as it’s lived in a place (inasmuch as that’s possible), I have also come to embrace things touristy.

I never did the touristy things when I lived there

With that spirit in mind, I’m going to return to Portsmouth, New Hampshire, where I spent much of my twenties, doing literally nothing that tourists did while there. Portsmouth has changed tons in the time since I left there, and I wouldn’t necessarily say it’s for the better, but I want to go and do the things that make it a destination.

6. Hit Hampton Beach, New Hampshire

I have not set foot on Hampton Beach since I was in high school, preferring Rye and the very local Jenness beaches when I lived in the area. Hampton Beach is a bit honkytonk (well, maybe more than a bit), but the beach is a really nice little strip of sand. I’m going to embrace the spirit of the place and have a day at the beach.

7. Bake a fruit galette

If you’ve read for a while, you know that this has vexed me. It’s shown up on Summer Bucket Lists past. This year, I am determined. Stay tuned.

8. Indulge in pool time

I loved my fifteen years in Somerville, Massachusetts, snuggled into Boston and Cambridge. My artsy, diverse, and delicious home delighted me. Except for summers. Hot, steamy summers, without a lot of easy swimming options, sucked.  

I am so grateful to have a pool steps from where I’m writing this post. I’m planning on spending as much time as possible swimming and floating on the SS Ridiculous (my pool float).

I’m taking rest and relaxation seriously

In doing this, I want to take relaxation seriously. I want to swim and read and swim and read and do it again some more. I don’t want to put it off until I “deserve a break.”

9. Summer backyard film series

Last year, I set out to watch Jaws from the pool, and I did it. I had so much fun that I did a whole series of movies last year, with snacks. This year, I’m doing it again, but with more of a theme. Instead of my favorite summer movies, I’m going to do a travel theme. If you have a travel theme, preferably one with a good (and doable) snack, drop it in the comments!

10. Make myself jealous

In this Year of Extraordinary, I want a summer that’s so wicked fun that I make myself jealous. Each and every day, I want to do something that I think is so cool that I’m jealous. I’m open to suggestions.

Image shows a hand holding a Hugo Spritz aperitif in a wine glass, with a pool in the background.

Tips for making your Summer Bucket List 2024 come true

We can have all the dreams in the world for our summers, and they won’t happen if we don’t take actions Here’s a few tips and tricks I’ve learned to help keep me focused on what’s important to me.

Personally, I usually make my Summer Bucket Lists all about fun, but your Summer Bucket List is your list and add anything you want to it.

Write it down—aka make your Summer Bucket List

This post started with a question—what do you want from your summer? Writing down what we want from our lives helps solidify our vision.

Give yourself some accountability—share your Summer Bucket List

Sometimes, we need a little nudge to make sure that we’re doing what we want to do. Sharing your list with your friends or perhaps on Instagram (btw—we should be Instagram friends!).

Envision the first step toward making your vision a reality

Big dreams and goals are sometimes as daunting as they are exciting and we struggle to know where to start. In my reading, I’ve learned that envisioning small first steps.

What’s the first thing you would do to make your Summer Bucket List item come true? Maybe it’s look up opening hours or putting in for days off. Maybe it’s putting time in your calendar to do the first lesson of that online course you bought and that’s gathered dust in the cloud. If you start small, you’ll

Add your Summer Bucket List goals to your Big List

Keep your vision visible, and you won’t forget it. I’ve added my Summer Bucket List Items to my Big List, so that I remember to look at them each week and to plan for how I will achieve them. When you do your weekly planning, think in terms of small steps toward your vision.

Put your Summer Bucket List items on the calendar

Related to the Big List, and super important, be sure to add your Summer Bucket List 2024 items to your calendar. Need a reservation for something? Make it and get it on your calendar!

You’ll also have a nice record of your wonderful summer.

Check in with yourself

Part of the Big List exercise is to keep our goals visible and ourselves accountable. Part of that involves checking in with ourselves. Are things going well, and are we doing what we said we wanted to do? If something keeps slipping, why is that? Do we still want to do this? There’s no right or wrong answer here, and it’s perfectly fine to change our minds. However, if there’s something holding you back from something you really want, it’s good practice to do some thinking about why and how you could go about addressing those reasons.

Make changes if you need to

Life happens. Plans change. Our desires change. Maybe a stellar opportunity dropped in your lap, and it means that you need to make room for it by taking something off your list. Plans are meant to be a guide, not a prison. Change your plans if something better comes along.

Give yourself a little grace

Want to know a secret? I don’t always do everything on my Bucket Lists. In fact, I’ve had some spectacular misses (Fall 2023 comes to mind—stupid Covid). It happens. I’m working on treating myself with more grace, and I’m guessing that you could use that, too.

Make your Summer Bucket List 2024! Free guide!

Create your Summer Bucket List 2024 with this free guide! Includes a template for your list, tips for how to make it happen, and links to more resources! Subscribe today for access (that’s free, too)!

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The Summer Bucket List 2024 guide is available in a version to print out and write out your list by hand or a version to download and fill in on your computer.