Sure, you travel a lot. But, are you a great traveler? Are you traveling just so that you can say you did, or are you actually traveling for the experience? No one wants to hear you brag about your trips all the time – unless you have done something incredible with your travel. Give your travel some purpose by making some goals for your traveling alter ego.

Here are 10 things that should be a part of every traveler’s bucket list (otherwise you’re just traveling to show off, and no one likes you).

Los Suenos Resort in Herradura Beach and background Jaco Beach
Los Suenos Resort in Herradura Beach and background Jaco Beach

1. Visit a Foreign Country

Listen, you just aren’t a “traveler” if you haven’t left the country. Sorry. And no, Canada doesn’t count. Try somewhere that doesn’t share a border with your home country. To be a true, respected traveler, you have got to get a few notches in your passport. You learn so much when you actually leave your country, and you can see all different kinds of beauty.

Amazing jumping dolphin in Osa Peninsula
Amazing jumping dolphin in Osa Peninsula

2. Swim with Dolphins

Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know that you can do this in California, and Florida, and probably some other places in the states (oh yeah...Hawaii too), but it just isn’t the same. There is something about being somewhere new that makes the experience different and more exciting. I can’t explain it. Just try it already. Have you ever tried to do it in Costa Rica, it's amazing!

3. Conquer a Fear

The only question you should be asking yourself about this is: which one? As humans, we are naturally fear­hoarders. We just keep piling those fears up, tucking them into corners. Stop the madness now. You are already getting out there into the world, now conquer it too. Afraid of heights? Take a canopy tour in Costa Rica. The beauty that you will be surrounded by will trump your fears. I think. OK, you might still be crazy afraid and cry or something, but you’ll be glad you did it.

Beautiful view at JW Marriott Guanacaste
Beautiful view at JW Marriott Guanacaste

4. Stay at a 5­ star Hotel

LUXURY. Let yourself have some. “Budget travel” should not be used in your vocabulary more frequently than “travel” is used in your vocabulary. If you need to take LESS trips (gasp! I know...how dare I?) so that you can take BETTER trips, just do it – at least once. There is nothing like traveling in style to help make your bucket list well­rounded. Look up that 5­ star hotel, book a room, and indulge in all it has to offer. Especially the food. Seriously though – the food.

5. Stay at a hostel

Ohhhh, see how I switched gears on you there? Yes, I am saying that you should stay at both a 5­star hotel AND a hostel in your travel lifetime. If you always travel in style, you won’t have a real idea of the magic of travel. You won’t cross paths with random people that are more inclined to chat with you over a beer. And get the idea that they are dangerous out of your head. ANY place can be dangerous. Overall, hostels are safe. Just be an aware and cautious traveler in general and you’ll be ok.

Studying Spanish in Alajuela
Studying Spanish in Alajuela

6. Learn a foreign language

Half the fun of traveling to a new place is learning the language. Sure, sure, there are a lot of differences in the English language alone (is it “milk” or “malk”), but maybe that just helps you prepare better to learn a new language. The rules are so loosey goosey that your mind is open to change and exceptions. Try to learn at least the basics before you travel, and pick up new words as you are traveling.

7. Get lost

Sure, domestic public transportation can be scary and confusing in its own right, but you’re pretty likely to figure out your route without much trouble. Try that in Japan. Or Paris. Just see how it goes. While you are getting lost, you might have the most amazing experience of your life. You might have to learn some of the local language. You might have to talk to a strange that doesn’t speak the same language as you. The possibilities are really endless.

Backpacker at the river
Backpacker at the river

8. Do it with just a backpack

Leave the suitcase at home and just travel with a backpack. I mean, hundreds of people do it every year so there has to be something to it, right? Sure, most of those people are young and might be more resilient, but some of those people aren’t...and they have survived. It takes a lot more skill to pack everything you need into a single backpack instead of the extra space a suitcase allows. See how much you dare to leave behind.

9. Go Alone

Leave everyone else behind, and get through a trip to a foreign country alone. No, it doesn’t count if you go from New York to Chicago by yourself. Get out there into the world and force yourself to interact with the people around you. And if you are going it alone, stay off the phones and tablets when you are out and about. Eat at a café hands-free and you’ll be amazed by how much you can discover about the local people and local landscape.

10. Fill your Passport Book

Before it expires. That’s right, get that book filled up and go get a new one before you are legally required to do so. Travel to so many places that the check­point agents roll their eyes at you when they have to flip all the way to the back of your passport book. While you are at it, fill up two or three of those books.How many of these things have you checked off your list? I’m sure there are a ton of other things that those addicted to travel should try to do – but I don’t want to bore everyone. Leave your ideas in the comments, because some people are just here for the comments and I don’t want them to feel like they came to this blog for nothing.