There’s so much joy to experience in life. The world abounds with interesting people, breathtaking scenery, and delectable food.
Although everyone likes different things, a few life experiences can be universally appreciated. While scrolling through my favorite sub on Reddit, R/AskReddit, I came across a thread asking users to share some of the fantastic joys of life they felt everyone should experience at least once.
The answers range from niche adventures to universal experiences of human connection. Check out the responses and find ways to add them to your bucket list!
One Redditor earned gold by saying that everyone should get the chance to experience contentment and security.
“Not necessarily full happiness,” they clarified, “but satisfaction in your own life and safety within it.”
Others agreed, saying contentment rather than happiness is what folks should strive for. “I feel like contentment is just a general feeling of satisfaction which facilitates moments of happiness which, of course, come and go,” replied another.
A Support Group
“A loving and supportive group of humans,” responded one user.
Another shared a story about how connecting with others helped alleviate their depression symptoms.
“I’ve been part of a community choir for the last year, and a few of us make a habit of going out for drinks after rehearsal. I’ve skipped several of our last outings because I’ve been struggling with depression and social anxiety, with my brain telling me things like I’m not part of this social circle and I don’t belong here,” they began.
“We had our concert for the season over the last weekend, and I decided to force myself to go out with the group afterwards; all those negative thoughts disappeared once I sat down with the group and started having real conversations with people! For the first time, I felt like I was actually forming some connections with everyone there.” The user went on to explain how lucky they felt to have friends in their life.
“Being in love with someone who loves you back,” answered one Redditor.
“Yeah, that absolutely crazy in love, there is no other interest in any other because this person speaks to my soul. Which follows mutual respect, admiration, and blind support and belief in who you are and who you are capable of being,” replied another.
With the loneliness epidemic in full swing, some users feel like it’s harder and harder to come across true love. “It’s crazy to think that I may never have that. I’ve loved and been loved but not on a deep and mutual level, and I can’t help but feel envious of my married friends,” admitted one user, while others shared that being married doesn’t guarantee true lasting love.
Being in a mutually loving, respectful relationship is beautiful, but we also need to remember that platonic relationships can be just as fulfilling. It’s not the end of the world if you haven’t found true love yet.
The Sound of Snow
One Redditor from Alaska said everyone needs to experience the serene quiet of a snowfall. “I laid on the ground, in the snow at night in the Alaskan wilderness, in December; it’s so peaceful,” they commented,
Others agreed, with one calling the experience the “ultimate quiet” and another describing the experience as “a soft whisper and it’s steadily but gently falling down. Feels surreal.”
The Night Sky
Most don’t get the opportunity to marvel at the true beauty of the night sky. Our views get blocked by light pollution, smog, and other human-created obstacles.
However, some Redditors said everyone should trek to a remote area to view the sky in all its majestic glory.
One user shared a story of seeing the sky for the first time as a teenager. “I was 13 and went to see my aunt and uncle up in the white mountains in Arizona. I said to my uncle, “I thought you said it’d be a clear night” he replied, “It is. “First time I saw the nebulous material that makes up our galaxy. It truly is amazing!”
Seeing the Ocean
Nothing compares to seeing an ocean in person for the first time. Standing on the beach, watching the waves crash to shore, offers us a rare opportunity to ponder nature’s raw power and contemplate our own significance in the face of Mother Earth.
“I took a friend to see the ocean for the first time, something I had seen regularly since I was a child. He was awestruck, and we just sat there watching for about an hour,” shared one user.
“I was 28 the first time I saw the ocean,” replied one user. “When we got there, I was just in awe. It was so much different in person. Knowing that there’s millions of creatures, that this ocean connects to a whole other continent on the other side. It was almost overwhelming,” they added.
“Everyone should experience the joys of traveling to a foreign land at least once in their lifetime,” responded one Redditor. They continued to say that even homebodies should try it at least once, just to appreciate how much they love their own home.
“Definitely this!” exclaimed another user. “My first time traveling alone to Japan was extraordinary, it felt like I was in a book or a movie for parts of it. And made me a much more tolerant person in general,” they shared.
Traveling to another country can expose you to a diversity of ideas, cultures, and experiences you wouldn’t have dreamed of. It can open your mind to new ways of doing things or help you appreciate what you have at home. It’s truly an exceptional experience that everyone should try at least once.
Total Solar Eclipse
“Witnessing a total solar eclipse,” replied one user, describing the phenomena as “life-changing.” “Even having a full understanding of what is happening, I totally get how people over the millennia would find this to be an omen from the gods,” they added.
Another user shared that the next total solar eclipse visible in portions of the US will be on April 8, 2024.
One Redditor extolled the virtues of only being responsible for yourself financially. “You can pay your own bills, you have your own place, and you have full freedom over your free time,” they shared.
The commentator referred to a common definition of financial independence, where you have a job and can take care of all your financial needs without help.
Many in the FIRE movement have a different definition, saying financial independence is the ability to do what you want without a job. We like to use the term “financial freedom” to describe the latter, but both are common in the FIRE community.
Overcoming a Fear
Our fears hold us back. One key to a fulfilling life is identifying our fears and finding ways to face them.
If you’re scared of heights, climb a mountain. Fear flying? Take a short trip somewhere (flying is safe, we promise!).
When you face your fears, you grow as a person and have more opportunities to enjoy your life.
Work a Restaurant Shift
One user took the question differently and said everyone should experience “What it’s like to work a busy shift at a restaurant.”
They continued, saying that everyone should “have one evening where you are trying to serve and cater to dozens of people at once. You should know how it feels to bring someone the wrong dish or spill a glass on someone. You should know how it feels to work hard af and get no tip, get told to take something back like it’s your fault, all the normal things that happen during a busy shift.”
The user hoped that experiencing just one busy restaurant shift would help others develop empathy for stressed-out restaurant workers and lead to more kindness and respect between patrons and service staff.
Life is for Living
Life is a series of experiences, good and bad. We should embrace all life offers and do our best to enjoy every moment.
What do you think about the experiences Reddit users felt everyone should have at least once in their lives? Do you agree, or are some of the ideas on this list a hard pass? How many can you genuinely say you’ve experienced?
If you haven’t done many of the items on the list, what are you waiting for? Get out there and start living your best life!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.