The idea of the impossible bucket list is to compile a list of all the things you dream of doing, but perhaps don’t seem easily achievable in the short term. They are aspirational goals to aim towards rather than a simple to do list. However, just like any other bucket lists these goals must be SMART goals:

  • Specific
  • Measurable (must be clear when achieved – e.g. not “obtain happiness”)
  • Actionable
  • Realistic (at least not physically impossible, I can’t aim to turn into a flying pig…)
  • Timely (with the time duration being my lifetime in this case, but selecting goals that can’t have any other strict time limit/ inability to try again)

While I plan to add to this list, here are my impossible bucket list items and progress (red = haven’t started, orange = in progress, green = achieved) so far:


  • Visit every country in the world (16/ 193)

  • Visit every province/ municipality/ autonomous region/ special administrative region in China (16 /33)
  • Go “interrailing” (travelling around Europe by train)
  • Travel for more than a week independently
  • Travel for more than a week with a group of friends (not family)
  • Circumnavigate the world by boat


  • Graduate from Cambridge
  • Achieve a first / highest grade possible in a degree
  • Study abroad
  • Complete a Master’s degree
  • Obtain HSK 6 in Chinese
  • Officially study something fully in a foreign language


  • Set up my own company
  • Intern abroad 
  • Work abroad 
  • Volunteer abroad
  • Appear on TV/ radio (for an official reason, not just as an audience member…)


  • Be awarded full blues (award for outstanding sporting achievement at either Oxford or Cambridge)
  • Learn to row and compete in at least one rowing competition
  • Achieve my yachtmasters qualification
  • Read 1000 books