40 experiences every gentleman should have before he’s 40

JFK sailing Manitou in 1962 photographed by Robert Knudsen
John F Kennedy sailing the Manitou in 1962 / Robert Knudsen

Before you hit 40, it’s worth trying to tick off as many awesome, once-in-a-lifetime and life-changing experiences. Why? Because quite frankly gents, you only live once, and the truth is many men don’t actually live their lives to fullest. So here’s a pretty awesome bucket list…

1. Get a speeding ticket in a car that was worth it

Jaguar F-TYPE 2018

2. Traverse a country with a pack of sled dogs

Greenland Sledding by Joe Capra

3. Sail a boat from one country to another


4. Step into the ring and go 10 rounds with someone

Muhammad Ali by John Rooney
Photo by John Rooney

5. Help someone less fortunate, but never tell a soul

Prince Harry at the Kananelo Centre for the Deaf
Photo by Chris Jackson

6. Spend a week completely unplugged from the world

Matterhorn France by FABRICE COFFRINI
Photo by Fabrice Coffrini / AFP-Getty

7. Heli-ski on a mountain that isn’t overrun with trust fund kids

40 experiences every gentleman should have before he’s 40

8. See a great white shark up close and personal

great white shark diving in cage

9. Create a signature cocktail, or get one named after you

40 experiences every gentleman should have before he’s 40

10. Grow a full face of hair, just the once

Daniel Craig as 007 James Bond with full beard

11. Own a tailored bespoke suit

Oliver Cheshire for Gentleman's Journal shot by Adam Fussell

12. Buy someone an engagement ring, without them knowing, and get their size right

choosing an engagement ring

13. Watch a film from every decade

40 experiences every gentleman should have before he’s 40

14. Live in a foreign country for a year, ideally where you don’t speak the language

Shanghai Old Town
Shanghai Old Town

15. Eat a meal you hunted and grew yourself

Alphonse Atoll, Seychelles

16. Write something – a story, song or poem – regardless of whether or not it will be any good

Bradley Cooper writing music

17. Become a true expert at something


18. Make amends with that person you have long begrudged

Trump and Obama shake hands

19. Do your bit for the environment

Prince William planting a tree

21. Do the sahara desert trek

Gentleman's Journal desert photoshoot

22. Complete a three day silent retreat

silence retreat

23. Take the Trans-Siberian railway

Trans-Siberian railway in winter with snow

24. Volunteer in a part of the world that you’ve never been to

Prince William and Kate feeding baby elephants by Adnan Abidi

25. Learn to cook one dish like a Michelin star chef

Bradley Cooper holds a fish in the movie Burnt

26. Go to Trinidad and Tobago and take part in Carnival

Trinidad Tobago Carnival by Patrick Bennett

27. Take a Harley Davidson on a road trip around America

40 experiences every gentleman should have before he’s 40

28. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro

Mount Kilimanjaro by Karam Puri
Photo by Karam Puri

29. Go back to university and do what you wanted to do the first time

King's College Cambridge by Andrew Dunn

30. Learn how to fly a plane

Leonardo DiCaprio as PanAm pilot in Catch Me If You Can

31. Become fluent in a language

Midnight in Paris

32. Learn to play a musical instrument

Johnny Depp playing piano

33. Watch the sun rise somewhere incredible

Santuario Itsukushima torii shinto gate at sunrise

34. Bungee jump off the tallest bridge or building in the world

Macau tower bunjee jump

35. Go to Burning Man at least once

Burning Man by Trey Ratcliff

36. Explore a city that you’ve never been to without a map, and without asking for help

Havana Cuba

37. Travel to Iceland and see the Northern Lights

Iceland aurora northern lights by Larry Gerbrandt

38. Crash an incredible party

Wolf of Wall Street Leo DiCaprio party

39. Buy the one thing you’ve always wanted to, but never had the guts to

Gulfstream's next generation $45 million G500 private jet

40. Make it to Everest Base Camp

Everest Base Camp

Further Reading