Life Without Limits: The Bucket List Adventurer

At the age of 15, John Goddard created a list of 127 aggressive goals and entitled it, “My Life List.” He passed away last Friday at the age of 88 after a battle with cancer. In those 73 years, Goddard checked off 120 of the goals on his bucket list, and became semi-famous in the process as the self-proclaimed “World’s Greatest Goal Achiever.”

Just 10 of Goddard’s accomplishments:

  • Explored the full length of the world’s longest river, the Nile (4,145 miles over 9 months) – Goddard led the first expedition down the Nile in history. The LA Times called it the “most amazing adventure of this generation.”
  • Climbed Mt Kilimanjaro (and many others, including the Matterhorn, continuing on even when his guides turned back due to dangerous conditions)
  • Studied and lived with more than 260 different tribal communities
  • Became a pilot (and flew more than 40 types of aircraft with multiple civilian air records)
  • Retraced the route of Marco Polo through the Middle East, Asia and China
  • Bagged “camera trophies” of an elephant, lion, rhino, cheetah, cape buffalo and whale
  • Learned fencing, jujitsu, surfing, and archery, as well as proficiency with a lariat and boomerang
  • Wrote a book and published an article in National Geographic Magazine
  • Lit a match with a .22 rifle
  • Circumnavigated the globe (four times)

You can check out Goddard’s full bucket list here.

Goddard was just a regular kid born here in Utah who went on to be called the “real life Indiana Jones.” It doesn’t matter if you are 15 or 50, Goddard said it best:

If you really know what you want out of life, it’s amazing how opportunities will come to enable you to carry them out.”

Do you have a bucket list yet? If you don’t, now might be a good time to reconnect with your dreams, no matter how wild. If you do, when was the last time you reviewed your list?

Regardless of whether you just started your list right now or have one you carry in your wallet, what goal are you tackling next?

  1. Right? I had to sit down and add some new challenges to my own list right away. Love your blog’s concept and look forward to diving in further to your own bucket list adventures!

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