Fulfilling Life Goals and Dreams with Bucket Lists -- Advanced Conversation and English Worksheet

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In this Advanced English conversation, we discuss "Bucket Lists" and why you might consider making one. If you're interested in gaining new experiences, achieving your professional objectives, and fulfilling life goals, then having a life list could help you realize your dreams.

Test your listening comprehension skills with these two worksheets. I recommend listening through once and getting the conversation's overall gist. Then, you can complete the questions as you listen to the episode a second time. If you prefer to attempt these questions on the first listen, then read through the questions before you listen to the episode to prime your brain! You'll find the answers to these questions at the end of this blog post.

Enjoy :) 

Below, please find the transcript of the conversation I had with Greg about Bucket Lists. Feel free to follow along as you watch or listen to this episode!

00:00:00:03 - 00:00:23:08
Mary Daphne
Hello, Advanced English learners. Welcome back. I'm joined today by the one and only Greg. Thank you for joining me, Greg, for another English conversation. We do these for you so that you have enough practice with listening comprehension. Hearing native English speakers speak at a relatively normal pace. We're not really slowing things down. We're trying to keep it natural.

00:00:23:18 - 00:00:48:10
Mary Daphne
And that gives you also an opportunity to work on your own pronunciation to hear connected speech, to see where we naturally place emphasis and words and all of the, you know, amazing ways of communicating, really. And that being said, you also get some new new words, new phrases, new expressions so that you can use them in your real world applications of English.

00:00:48:10 - 00:01:05:26
Mary Daphne
So that's super cool. Yeah. And today's episode is all about something that is very integral to American culture. We hear this a lot. You might have heard of this concept. So we're going to talk about eat a bucket list. Oh, yeah.

00:01:06:15 - 00:01:07:18
Good old bucket list.

00:01:07:19 - 00:01:46:24
Mary Daphne
Exactly. All right. So let's get into it. All right. So let's first define what a bucket list is. So I'll share my definition and then go ahead. Yeah. So bucket list is essentially a life list, things that you have on your list that you want to do during your time on Earth. So anything that, you know involves maybe traveling to certain places or learning a new skill or trying out a cool experience.

00:01:47:03 - 00:01:54:11
Mary Daphne
It's usually based on experiences in my in my understanding and my experience of it. What about yeah.

00:01:54:18 - 00:02:02:21
When I think of a bucket list, I just think of like a short list of things I want to do within some kind of time constraint.

00:02:02:21 - 00:02:03:08
Mary Daphne

00:02:03:17 - 00:02:10:16
Right. And so, for example, when we were moving out of New York City. Yes, we put together a bucket list.

00:02:10:17 - 00:02:11:12
Mary Daphne
Oh, that's right.

00:02:11:12 - 00:02:18:24
All the restaurants we wanted to go to, all the parks we wanted to go to, all the museums, volunteer, the people we wanted to see. We, of course, did almost none of it.

00:02:19:09 - 00:02:22:10
Mary Daphne
So it still stuck somewhere in a digital file.

00:02:22:10 - 00:02:41:03
Exactly. But that was our sort of live in New York bucket list. And then when we got to the new place, we had an arrival like things we wanted to see when we got there. So arrival bucket list. Yeah, but you're right as well. Like you can have life bucket lists like yeah, there's places like countries you want to visit before you die.

00:02:41:03 - 00:02:48:27
There's, there's like, you know, things you want to try, you know, things you want to cook, right? Are skills you want to develop? Absolutely.

00:02:48:27 - 00:02:54:00
Mary Daphne
Like I checked one off my list recently. It was. Do you know what this is?

00:02:54:12 - 00:02:57:19
No, I'd love to hear it. Let me see if I can guess.

00:02:57:25 - 00:03:00:06
Mary Daphne
It was something that I ate.

00:03:00:06 - 00:03:03:20
Yes. You know, I bet it was. It is a seafood.

00:03:03:20 - 00:03:04:10
Mary Daphne

00:03:04:24 - 00:03:05:26
It was oysters.

00:03:05:26 - 00:03:24:03
Mary Daphne
That's right. Got it. So I was terrified. For the longest time, I've been in multiple situations where I mean, living abroad and being back in the U.S., people just offering me oysters to eat every time I would say no. And and a lot of these times, it was like the place to have the oysters. And I'd just be like, no, thank you.

00:03:24:03 - 00:03:41:27
Mary Daphne
Politely declined. I was just I had this unrealistic fear of them. I don't know exactly. And then recently, just a couple of weeks ago, I was like, you know what? Why not? I'm going to try. So I put that on my bucket list now and I just checked it off because I did it.

00:03:41:27 - 00:03:44:13
You know why they added it and then remove that quickly?

00:03:45:05 - 00:03:54:24
Mary Daphne
Well, yeah, in a way. Like it wasn't something that I had intentionally said, I'm going to put this on my bucket list. But it was sort of like in the moment I was like, This is pretty cool. I'm just try and.

00:03:54:24 - 00:03:56:11
Remove this or you checked it off your.

00:03:56:11 - 00:03:57:07
Mary Daphne
List. Exactly.

00:03:57:07 - 00:03:58:07
Yeah. And you enjoyed.

00:03:58:07 - 00:04:26:04
Mary Daphne
It, right? I did, yeah. Yeah. So a lot of these can also be rooted in this idea of like facing a fear you might have, maybe a food you want to try, but you're also scared to try. Or like, you know, there could be a delicacy in a place that you travel to that maybe doesn't sound as appetizing to you, but then when you try it and you let go of your fear of that type of flavor or taste or consistency of the food, then you end up enjoying it.

00:04:26:14 - 00:04:32:16
Totally, yeah. And you know, I often find I use bucket list in response to something that someone tells me.

00:04:32:16 - 00:04:33:03
Mary Daphne
Right. Okay.

00:04:33:05 - 00:05:02:29
So they might say, oh, I just went to, you know, Ecuador. Yeah. Oh, Ecuador. Yeah. That's on my bucket list of places to visit. Sure. Right. Or they tell me about a restaurant they want to be like, ooh, I should add that to my bucket list. Totally. Right. And so in that case, those are sort of vague general bucket lists, not any specific one, but it's a nice way to show people that you're interacting with, that, you know, you're into it as well and that you're going to add another one is like movies.

00:05:03:00 - 00:05:06:19
Movies to watch or books to read. Right. You can have a bucket list for any of those.

00:05:06:21 - 00:05:28:15
Mary Daphne
Totally. Absolutely anything that you want to try or do or experience at some point between now and the end. Right. So it's like something to just try to aspire to do. Like it could be a skill that you want to learn. It could be, you know, maybe you want to learn how to cook. That could be something. Maybe you want to learn how to drive.

00:05:28:15 - 00:05:33:07
Mary Daphne
Maybe you want to learn how to fly. Maybe you want to go. What is that? Skydiving?

00:05:33:17 - 00:05:34:18
A scuba diving.

00:05:34:18 - 00:05:36:12
Mary Daphne
Scuba diving? I'm terrified of.

00:05:36:27 - 00:05:37:17
Both of those.

00:05:37:19 - 00:05:39:27
Mary Daphne
Scuba diving and skydiving. So I don't think.

00:05:40:07 - 00:05:41:03
The diving for you.

00:05:41:07 - 00:05:49:16
Mary Daphne
I don't think those are going to be making my bucket list anytime soon. Yeah, but hey, you know, we all have our own bucket list. I guess a quick question.

00:05:49:16 - 00:05:54:01
Do you know where the bucket and bucket list comes from?

00:05:54:01 - 00:06:13:18
Mary Daphne
I actually think it's like from the medieval times and I think it's just something that they were they were using at that time. It has to do with like. Well, this is a little bit. Yeah, not so great, but like an executioner and that kind of thing. Really? Yeah.

00:06:13:18 - 00:06:17:02
Gosh. Wow, that's intense. So I had no idea.

00:06:17:02 - 00:06:20:21
Mary Daphne
Yeah, I did a little digging and that's what I came up with. Well, to be.

00:06:20:21 - 00:06:27:15
Fair, it's oftentimes those are those are hypothetical, right? Or they're like, speculative. Yeah. It's not for sure that that's where it came from.

00:06:27:16 - 00:06:52:21
Mary Daphne
I mean, the middle Ages. So that's, you know, several hundred years ago. Yeah. And who knows if documentation was right. I have a feeling somebody just that one day sat down one day and said, let's just come up with this term. And you know what I like to think of it? Like the way I thought bucket list worked was, you know, you have a bucket and you have all these like strips of paper and you write down something like, for example, oh, I want to learn how to garden.

00:06:52:21 - 00:06:56:21
Mary Daphne
And then you just crumple up and you throw it in your bucket, you know? So it's like, All.

00:06:56:21 - 00:06:57:16
Right, let's go with that.

00:06:57:17 - 00:07:05:21
Mary Daphne
Let's go with that. That's my take on that. So yeah, sometimes you don't want to know the origin of a term word I've learned.

00:07:05:21 - 00:07:12:15
Or it could be, it could be take it for something that often times things from history, deep in history are quite dark because.

00:07:12:24 - 00:07:13:09
Mary Daphne
It's true.

00:07:13:09 - 00:07:32:12
You know, yeah, we have problems in today's world, but honestly, across the board things were a lot worse before we were born like and back in earlier parts of history. We sometimes reminisce like, Oh, I'd love to live in the Middle Ages, but actually if you really like do the math. Things were stinky back then. We didn't have antibiotics.

00:07:32:12 - 00:07:51:20
We didn't have running water. You know, we certainly didn't have the Internet. Yeah, right. So it's easy to romanticize the past, but it was kind of a rough place. And so it's no surprise that a lot of these terms that we use casually now have their origins in things that are quite intense by modern standards.

00:07:51:29 - 00:08:12:17
Mary Daphne
It's so true. So yeah, it's something to keep in mind if you do go down the rabbit hole of analogy. Exactly. And, you know, etymology is is cool in a lot of ways and is very empowering, especially when you're doing some vocab acquisition because they're the roots of the words can be so intertwined with other languages that can help you.

00:08:12:17 - 00:08:31:15
Mary Daphne
Just remember those words. Use those words, understand those words. So I personally really like looking up the etymology of words and just don't be surprised if you come across sort of a morbid meaning, you know, here and there. So something to keep in mind. Just take that with a grain of salt for you.

00:08:31:15 - 00:08:32:21
Etymology that's out there.

00:08:32:26 - 00:08:37:19
Mary Daphne
Exactly. So do you have anything specific on your bucket list that you feel like.

00:08:38:03 - 00:08:40:14
Is worth other than time travel to the Middle Ages?

00:08:40:14 - 00:08:41:01
Mary Daphne

00:08:41:28 - 00:08:47:21
Yeah. Actually, something that we that's related to that. I love to go to a medieval fair.

00:08:48:22 - 00:08:50:01
Mary Daphne
Right? Yeah. A good renaissance.

00:08:50:01 - 00:08:51:00
A renaissance fair.

00:08:51:01 - 00:09:17:14
Mary Daphne
Well, that's coming up. We have a renaissance fair. Yeah. So we've been invited to we just haven't had the time to go. You know, I went to so for for those of you listening and watching a renaissance fair I had never heard of before, this sixth grade school trip that we that we were taken on in sixth grade, we went to a medieval fair because we were studying the Middle Ages in history at that point in time, and it was really cool.

00:09:17:14 - 00:09:33:17
Mary Daphne
Is the Renaissance fair? And they were fully decked out in the costumes. Decked out means to be like fully, you know, dressed, dressed from head to toe in that costume. And, you know, they had food that was presumably from that era.

00:09:33:21 - 00:09:46:00
Yeah, it's basically a celebration of everything from that era. And there's a lot of people there who are dressed up and role playing people from that era. They're doing things from that era, right? Classically, you have jousting.

00:09:46:00 - 00:09:53:05
Mary Daphne
Oh, yeah, watch jousting. So that's when you get on horses and you have a spear. Well, it's not really a spear, but it's a wooden it's basically.

00:09:53:05 - 00:09:53:15
A spear.

00:09:53:15 - 00:09:54:01
Mary Daphne
With a.

00:09:54:02 - 00:09:54:16

00:09:54:18 - 00:09:56:25
Mary Daphne
Javelin, right. With that was.

00:09:56:25 - 00:10:00:01
The spear that you don't throw. It's the spear that you hold sort of under your arm.

00:10:00:01 - 00:10:22:01
Mary Daphne
And javelin is a track and field event and you actually do throughout Woodstock, which is really cool. Yeah. Yeah, that's pretty awesome. But anyway, so the jousting is the real thing that they're doing in these fairs. So they're all over the U.S. You can find them more so in the countryside. So if you're in a city, you might have to drive to it and it's typically around the fall season, so you might want to check that out.

00:10:22:01 - 00:10:29:10
Mary Daphne
If you are someone who is interested in, you know, doing something like that, it's a fun weekend activity. Gather some friends. Exactly.

00:10:29:14 - 00:10:35:15
Yeah. Yeah. I just like I love TV shows that are set in the past with all the costumes and so to do that in real life, I think we really cool it.

00:10:35:15 - 00:10:38:24
Mary Daphne
We really got would you dress up and go or would you just be like, I think the.

00:10:38:24 - 00:10:41:18
First time I went, I would like to just be the observer.

00:10:41:19 - 00:10:48:16
Mary Daphne
Okay, so they're 20, 20, 23, 20 clothes 20. What do we say to that? 2020s.

00:10:48:17 - 00:10:51:07
Clothes? Yeah, it's 20, 20 strange.

00:10:51:07 - 00:10:52:06
Mary Daphne
Is it? It sound weird.

00:10:52:07 - 00:10:54:12
Yeah. The twenties we live in the twenties now.

00:10:55:05 - 00:10:56:25
Mary Daphne
Yeah, but not the 1920s.

00:10:56:26 - 00:10:58:08
We live in a tiny circular.

00:10:58:09 - 00:10:59:12
Mary Daphne
Okay, let's go with that.

00:10:59:13 - 00:11:06:18
Yeah. Yes, I'll be decked in my twenties regalia. Okay. But I'll be appreciating all the the really what I'm most excited about are the suits of armor.

00:11:06:18 - 00:11:07:08
Mary Daphne
Oh, yeah, I.

00:11:07:08 - 00:11:14:12
Love suits of armor. I love the broad swords. Yeah. So that'll be a lot of fun. I think it's on my bucket. So what's on your bucket list?

00:11:15:00 - 00:11:20:00
Mary Daphne
Oh, it's hard. So one of the ones that we checked off was the safari.

00:11:20:08 - 00:11:20:24

00:11:21:01 - 00:11:37:09
Mary Daphne
But I'm going to be bold and say another safari in a different location. Yeah, that would be really cool. It was just such a magical experience. Like, yeah, it's you experience nature in a way that I've never experienced nature. It's just surreal. So totally. I would say.

00:11:37:09 - 00:11:41:14
Yeah, you make a connection with the animals and yeah, it's such a special experience.

00:11:41:14 - 00:11:44:20
Mary Daphne
It's really cool. So I would say another safari, to be honest.

00:11:44:21 - 00:11:45:10
It's a great item.

00:11:45:19 - 00:12:03:21
Mary Daphne
And then I have a bunch of skills that I want to learn and things that I want to do and things that I want to learn. So it's just, you know, I don't know if I would say that's on my bucket list or is it on my life goals list. So, you know, I think the idea of a bucket list is just to make what you will of it and just have some goals in mind.

00:12:03:21 - 00:12:16:09
Some well, I think that's actually a good contrast. Life goals. I think it was like a little more. There's a little more gravity. Yeah, a little more import. Yeah. Right. Where a bucket list is sort of more like fun. Kind of like would be nice stuff.

00:12:16:22 - 00:12:44:17
Mary Daphne
Definitely like learning how to cook certain dishes you love to eat. So what's on your bucket list? Share that with us. I'm curious. Greg's curious, so share that with us. Maybe. You know, we can get some ideas going. Let's share that with the community. We get that community vibe. I get so many comments every day from all of you, and it's really it just puts a smile on my face and I just want to say thank you from the bottom of my heart.

00:12:45:07 - 00:12:47:00
Mary Daphne
I can speak from my heart. I don't know about Greg.

00:12:47:00 - 00:12:48:05
Greg Yes.

00:12:48:15 - 00:13:22:22
Mary Daphne
Definitely Greg's heart, too. And it's just it's really cool to see you engaging with the content the way you do to, you know, see how it's helping you improve, helping you just come to new realizations, help you check things off your own bucket list, so to speak. And we want to keep that up. So we really appreciate your support, your encouragement, and we're really excited to share with you the next stage of our journey on advanced English and also explaining our communication channel.

00:13:22:22 - 00:13:41:03
Mary Daphne
So to get that news that we're going to share very soon, just make sure that you're subscribed to the newsletter because I will be sharing it first. There. That's where you're going to hear about it first. So definitely just go to Advanced English Echo. You can also go to explore Learning Echo and to sign up for the newsletter.

00:13:41:03 - 00:14:02:06
Mary Daphne
Many of you probably are already signed up for that. It's free, so it's a cool resource that you want to take advantage of and I will be sharing very exciting news. I'm so excited about it. Yes. So be sure to stay tuned. All right. So that being said, thank you so much again for your support. And we will see you here very, very soon for another advanced English.

00:14:02:19 - 00:14:11:07
Mary Daphne
Bye for now.


Here are the answers to the listening comprehension worksheets:

What is a bucket list?

  • A life list of things you want to do, experiences you want to have, and places you want to travel to. This can also be a list of movies you want to watch, books to read, recipes to cook/bake.

What did MD recently check off her bucket list?

  • [2:59] Eating oysters.

How does Greg use a bucket list in response to someone’s message?

  • [4:38] He might respond positively to what something someone said and align with them by saying that a place they recently traveled to is on his bucket list. 
  • Or, in response to a restaurant someone tells him about he might say “Ooh I should add that to my bucket list.”
  • This is a nice way of showing someone you’re interacting with that you’re into the experience they just shared as well 

What makes MD uncomfortable about the question Greg asked during the conversation?

  • [5:55] Greg asked about the origin of the term “bucket list” and when she researched the etymology of the term, she came across some grim history 
  • The term presumably comes from the Middle Ages (look it up! – not so fun!) and has to do with the guillotine

When Greg says “those are speculative” what is he referring to?

  • [6:31] The stories about the origins of certain expressions and phrases

What is MD’s alternate etymology for "bucket list"? In other words, what’s her take on it?

  • [6:48] Writing different goals down on paper, crumpling them up and placing them in a bucket.

Why does Greg think it’s no surprise that some of the origins of certain expressions are grim?

  • [7:12] Oftentimes things from history are quite dark. The world was a rougher place back then, before any of us were born. And while it’s easy to reminisce and think “how cool would it have been to live back then” the truth is that it’s much more comfortable in our day and age.

How can learning the etymology of words be empowering?

  • [8:14] When learning new words, it’s a way to make the vocab stick. You might be able to draw comparisons between your L1 and L2 and understand the word that much better. 

What is one thing on Greg’s bucket list? What’s one thing on MD’s?

  • [8:56] Greg says that he’d love to go to a Renaissance Fair. 
  • [11:22] Greg really wants to see the suits of armor that the knights would wear.
  • [11:28] MD would love to go on another Safari in Africa. 

What is a Renaissance Fair?

  • [9:12] It’s a fair where people are fully decked out in medieval costumes and celebration from everything from that era. There are actors who do role-play, and they have activities from that era, such as jousting. They even have food from that historical period.

Use appetizing in a sentence:

  1. The appetizing aroma coming from the kitchen piqued her interest in the meal her husband was cooking prepared.
  2. The plate of pasta looked so appetizing that Jim’s mouth was watering.

Use “come across” in a sentence:

  1. I came across an intriguing ginger cake recipe I’d like to try for Thanksgiving.
  2. She came across a riveting interview between two scientists discussing the future of genomics. 
  3. I came across a fascinating article about space travel.


Example sentences for “three things on your bucket list and why?”

  1. Mathilda would like to travel to India and sample authentic Indian food from various regions.
  2. Sam wants to travel to Brazil and attend “CARNAVAL” and see all the amazing costumes and décor.
  3. Veronica would like to get VIP tickets to attend a Barry Manilow concert because she loves his voice and artistry. 
  4. Visiting tea plantations in Taiwan and tasting a variety of green teas is high on Matt’s bucket list.
  5. Zoe wants to go to design school so that she can design her own clothes and wear her own creations one day.