They say a year is just a collection of experiences, and the best experiences are those once-in-a-lifetime extreme experiences that take your year from the “ho-hum” to the “holy shit that was fucking amazing.”

If you’re not having intense experiences every day, you’re not really alive. And no, sitting on your fat heiney while reading the internet doesn’t count. (Except for when you’re reading my lists.)

2011 was a year that cried out for experiences, and you obliged — with enthusiasm. From bungee-jumping to culture-jamming, this year saw more people living their dreams than any other year. It’s time to celebrate how much fun we all had in 2011!

Here are the top ten ESSENTIAL EXPERIENCES OF 2011:

10. Climbing a mountain

9. Having a grandchild

8. Eating at a five-star restaurant

7. Taking a bath with a celebrity

6. DJ’ing a huge L.A. dance party

5. Sailing a boat across the river

4. Doing a genealogy report about your ancestors

3. Astral projection

2. 5K charity run

1. Remembering all the great memories from the year