It was my birthday last week, I turned 28, and we celebrated a lot! From travelling to cinema to delicious dining. It’s been really fun! I also came to realise that, y’all, my 30 before 30 list isn’t going well!
Three years ago when I started this list, I was just applying for my youth mobility visa and looking forward to life back in the UK. However, I never expected to be stuck in a never-ending loop of dead-end jobs, immigration issues, having to go home and being unemployed for nearly 9 months. It’s been quite the rollercoaster, but hoping that this summer the Brit and I can get to a comfortable place where we can start thinking of the future, making plans, and saving money for said plans.
Here is an update on my 30 before 30 list:
>> Visit at least 2 countries in Asia.
We’ve had to postpone our trip to Asia for the Brit’s 30th due to money/job uncertainties, but I’m hopeful we’ll go to Hong Kong and Japan next year!
>> Visit at least 1 other country in Africa.
That’s no where in sight at the moment honestly and can’t imagine it will happen in the next two years sadly.
>> Go to Australia or New Zealand.
I love that my 5 year plan included going to ALL the continents – not an overachiever at all, amiright? I may have a plan for this one too, but it’s a longer term plan that may not happen until I turn 30.
>> Visit at least another 5 European countries.
3 down! Italy in 2015, Ireland in 2016 and Denmark last month. I’m kind of upset I’ve only managed 1 country a year, but it’s life! Two countries to go and that’s definitely achievable!
>> Go back to Chile to visit my family.
I’m not entirely sure this one will happen either. Because we’ve been postponing so much of our plans over the last few years, it means the next two years’ worth of holidays are pretty much planned out already, and, for now, it doesn’t include Chile.
>> Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.
Also not in the plans, but you never know!
>> Go on a trip by myself to a country I don’t know.
Definitely planning that one in a small country in central Europe…
>> Take a cross-country road trip.
Done! We’ve done quite a few road trips in Scotland and they are my favourite kind. Last year for my birthday we took a 6 day tour of the West coast and it was wonderful.
>> Learn a 5th language.
I’ve been learning Danish and going to Denmark made me realise how unrealistic that is! It takes practice of course, but Danish is just so outside my comfort zone i.e. my mouth literally cannot make those sounds! Maybe I should try Italian instead!
>> Learn to surf.
That’s reminding me that I should try to book that for this summer!
>> Have a big St Andrews reunion.
I’ve had multiple reunions with friends from St Andrews, but a big one would probably mean quite a few friends flying back to Scotland, and we may just have the occasion coming up.
>> Study towards another degree.
Well we shall see about that one, but I am hoping to apply for 2 PhD programmes this year.
>> Finish a novel and a film script.
I kind of had a first draft of a novel done, but I got really unhappy with it. With my new Agile series, I’m hoping to get there, slowly but surely.
>> Improve my whisky knowledge
Urg I’m sure this item has been changing over the years, because I’m often not satisfied by it. I’m still at that point with this item. That said, my whisky knowledge has improved! And when my dad comes and we visit a bunch of distilleries – second goal of his visit after seeing me I’m sure – I’ll be able to taste and try more things.
>> Get a tattoo.
I still want to get a small one, but there is no timeline for it.
>> Move in with the boyfriend.
We moved in together nearly 3 years ago now. It’s definitely done and done as we moved in two different places together and are about to buy a house together!
>> Adopt a puppy.
I’ve definitely convinced the Brit, but this may depend on our living circumstances. Maybe before 30…
>> Shave my head or simply fundraise for charity.
Kind of done! You’ll have noticed that in the past year I’ve added the ‘simply fundraise’ lol yeah turns out the prospect of shaving my head is less appealing in reality. I’m hoping to do it one day! But for now, I’ve fundraising a few hundred pounds for Macmillan Cancer Support.
>> Put myself out there: audition for dance/theatre & try to sell my writing.
This is a scary one and a bit difficult to quantify. I’ve started trying to sell my writing, or at least get published in magazine. I had an article accepted to The Skinny, but there were a bit weird about it and after a few months of not hearing from them, honestly I gave up. It was all a bit rude and disorganised. But I shall persevere! I’ve also been applying for writing grants.
In the dance and theatre section, it’s been more difficult because that’s often accompanied by a huge time commitment which I didn’t have until now. I’m determined to get a headshot and audition for some stuff in the coming year, even if it’s just local! I’m also writing a play, which I may or may not want to star in.
>> Learn to play my ukulele.
This is another one that I had forgotten about! Will get on it! I learned the song from How I Met Your Mother when I got my ukulele in 2014, but haven’t really played a lot with it. I get annoyed really quickly by how bad I am…
>> Run/swim/bike a Sprint Triathlon.
I have been slowly looking into which one I could do in Scotland. In the next year I want to start training more (read: start running again, buy a bike and get the guts to go swimming in Scottish waters) to hopefully take part next spring/summer!
>> Go to a music festival.
Done! We went to two music festivals in the span of one month. Turns out this kind of thing isn’t really for me – but it was fun to give it a go!
>> Go to the opera, music gig, ballet and theatre at least once a year.
Definitely on track with this one! In the past three years I’ve been to four operas, six plays, four ballets and countless music gigs. I like that this one has just become part of life. That’s what I wanted, not to play the counting game but for it to just be normal, and be exposed to the arts.
>> Read 150 books.
I think from this date I’m at about 130 books, so definitely plenty ahead of time.
>> Go skinny dipping.
Turns out that’s difficult to do in Scotland since everything is so damn cold, but still convinced I will!
>> Attend a hot air balloon festival.
We considered going to the Bristol balloon fest in August (it’s the biggest one in Europe I think), but we booked so many trips at that point that we postponed taking a decision. Maybe for next year!
>> Go on a writing retreat.
I did in November 2015 in Ullapool and it was great. I would love to go on another one!
>> Go paragliding.
Yes! I mean I haven’t done it, but I really want to! Maybe something for next year’s birthday?
>> Go hiking up a big mountain that scares me.
I’m also still planning for that one! I need to start hiking smaller mountains first coughcough still haven’t done Arthur’s Seat…and then head on over to one of the big munros!
>> Visit 30 countries before 30.
I’m only at 14 at the moment so that’s a big ask in the next two years. That said I think I can make it to 20. So I’m considering finding a new expression like ’20 by the end of your twenties’…though it’s not as catchy!
Do you have a 20 before 20, 30 before 30, 40 before 40, etc? What’s on it?xx