Where are your career aspirations on your bucket list?

Written by
Louise Newton

18 Jul 2016

18 Jul 2016 • by Louise Newton

In the not too distant past, workers were usually satisfied with a two-week holiday on the beach as a way to refresh themselves. But with the rise of Instagram and travel blogging, more and more workers in the UK are feeling the pull to quit their jobs altogether to travel the world as a nomad. 

In fact, as summer approaches, almost half (48%) of the UK workforce have declared a passion to abandon their careers, sling on a backpack and turn travel into their full-time occupation.

Running a nationwide survey of 2,000 people, Inghams have uncovered just what the UK has on their bucket lists, with travel being by far the most popular activity.

Unfortunately, 22% of respondents also claimed that they aren’t given enough annual leave by their employers to travel to the destinations they most want to visit. Sadly, this can leave workers with little option when it comes to travel, as they face the option of taking unpaid leave from work, which can increase the overall cost of travel. For many, this simply isn’t a financially viable option, which can leave employees feeling resentful of their employer.

A workable alternative could be taking shorter trips, or arranging them to coincide with bank holidays. This way, less holiday allowance is used, and workers are still able to visit landmarks and destinations without sacrificing the entirety of their annual leave. 


Top 20 greatest ambitions: The UKs bucket list

Bucket List Items


See the Northern Lights


Visit the Galapagos Islands


Go on safari


Visit the Arctic Circle


Take a ride on a husky-drawn sleigh in Lapland


Ride in a hot air balloon


Quit work and travel


Go on a luxury cruise


Learn a new language


Lose weight


Meet one of my heroes


Scale the career ladder


Do a cookery course


Start my own business


Own a fast car


Buy a house


Get married


Go skiing


Do an extreme assault course


Start a family


As the table shows, globe-trotting ambitions score highly, with the most popular activities all being travel-related. Meanwhile, career goals feature far lower in the list, with only 35% of respondents aiming to start their own business. Interestingly, this answer was far more popular with men (36%) and those aged between 25 to 34 (51%). 

Of those surveyed, 19% of people aged over 55 stated that they retired early in order to travel the world, whilst only 6% of 18 to 24 year-olds have taken a gap year to see the world before entering work or further education.

Fantasy versus reality

Many respondents had managed to achieve some of their bucket lists dreams, however, with varying levels of satisfaction found once their fantasy had become a reality. Losing weight ranked far higher than climbing the career ladder, whilst having a pet, getting married and buying a house were also found to be extremely satisfying experiences.

Interestingly, far more men have achieved their goal of climbing the career ladder, with a third saying they made the dream become a reality, whilst only 28% of women saying the same. Women were also far more likely to say they didn’t care about developing their career, with 33% stating this. 

Whatever your career goals, the bucket list highlights that travel is a real passion for many people. Continuous hard work without the opportunity to recharge can make a serious impact on both physical and mental health, so both employers and employees should ensure that regular breaks are taken. 

Achieving the dream of travel can help to broaden horizons and allows employees to return to work refreshed and reinvigorated, which is great for everyone in the workforce.