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30 before 30 – Update at 30

As I turned 30 at the end of June, I looked back on the 30 before 30 list I made when I turned 25 and do my last update at 30. Five years have gone by so quickly, a real roller coaster (mostly when it comes to jobs and visas).

I had big dreams! Some came true, some didn’t happen yet, and some are about to! I’ve also created new dreams along the way. Generally speaking, it’s been quite a ride!

1-3. Visit at least 2 countries in Asia, visit one other country in Africa, and go to Australia or New Zealand.

Ha! Those first three goals were so aspirational! Same with #30! I’d hope that I would travel so much more in the five past years, but going between multiple visas didn’t allow me to travel as much as I probably wanted to. This is all still on my bucket list though!

4. Visit at least another 5 European countries. ✓

Yes, in the last five years I’ve been to: England, Ireland, Sweden, Iceland, Denmark, Italy, Germany, Poland, Estonia and the Netherlands.

5. Go back to Chile to visit my family.

Did not manage this one as I’ve mostly been around Europe, but this is in the works! I really want to bring the Brit to meet my family in Chile, and we’re hoping to make that come true in 2020 or 2021.

6. Go to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter at Universal Orlando.

So sad not to have managed this one! I’ve been to the US once only in the past five years, and it was for a 10-day trip to Colorado and Pennsylvania. Florida isn’t high on my list… But I have been to the studios and the play in London and that fulfilled so much of my HP dreams!

7. Go a on trip by myself to a country I don’t know.

Did not manage this one yet! I’ve mostly travelled with the Brit or with friends, but keeping this in my pocket for future plans for sure!

8. Take a cross-country road trip. ✓

We have road tripped around Scotland so many times! It’s a perfect country for a road trip! And while it’s not cross-country, we’re planning on doing a road trip across the Maritimes in Canada next summer.

09. Learn a 5th language.

I worked really hard on Danish for two years, but its kinda useless so I’ve given up now. I really do love languages though and would love to put myself on something else, just not sure which one! Any ideas for useful languages to learn?

10. Learn to surf. ✓

Okay ‘learn’ is a bit of a stretch! But I did take a lesson recently and it’s so fun! I definitely would love to keep going!

11. Have a big St Andrews reunion. ✓

Our wedding two months ago was a great occasion to get some of our St Andrews friends back together, so I’m saying this was sort of accomplished! I still have such a big space in my heart for all the friends I made in St Andrews and I’ll keep this on my future list for an even bigger one!

12. Study towards another degree. ✓

Another one I’m giving myself a point for since I did get offered a PhD position at four universities here in Scotland. While I haven’t taken it up, I still have a position held for me for next year. We shall see what the future holds!

13. Finish a novel and a film script. ✓

I finished the first draft for both, but swiftly started reworking them as I wasn’t happy. So yes, but still a work in progress.

14. Improve my whisky knowledge.✓

I added this one as a funny Scottish thing, but I really have improved my whisky knowledge and taste buds. Last summer I went to my first tasting and it really opened my eyes to whisky. Just like my first wine tasting made me appreciate wine. In May, I went for another one with my dad and brother and it was amazing!

15. Get a tattoo.

Not done yet. Oh I really want this one, it’s always in the back of my mind. But I don’t know yet what I want and where. And until I’m sure, it’ll stay in my mind. How did you decide what tattoo to get?

16. Move in with the boyfriend. ✓

Done and done! We moved in together in Edinburgh in October 2014, promptly after my 25th birthday. He then bought our flat in Stirling the following year, before finally moving to our current home which we bought together in 2017!

17. Adopt a puppy.

Also not done, but I’m dying to get a dog! With our current jobs it’s not the best idea so it’s still on the list. Thankfully some friends in Stirling recently got a puppy so we can get all the puppy love we want without the responsibility.

18. Shave my head or simply fundraise for charity. ✓

This one was a bit of a cop-out. I really wanted to shave my head for charity but when it became clear that we’d get married I pushed that idea out of my mind. I did though raise loads of money for charity!

First for my abseil down the Forth Rail Bridge and second for my 5k mud run. I’m now hoping to raise more for ME Research UK doing the Edinburgh half-marathon next year.

19. Put myself out there: audition for dance/theatre & try to sell my writing. ✓

I’ve been doing this one actively over the past few years. I auditioned for a few plays, pitched stories and am now working as a writer!

20. Learn to play my ukulele.

Aw I tried, but not enough! This is a fail on my part. My Brit, the musician, definitely took it up quickly though!

21. Run/swim/bike a novice triathlon. ✓

Guys, I did this one! I’m so freaking proud of it! I’m hoping to do another one this year or next year.

22. Go to a music festival. ✓

I didn’t go to big music festival, mostly because I have anxiety about crowds, but we went to one in Stirling and to Oban Live, which was awesome!

23. Go to the opera, music gig, ballet and theatre at least once a year. ✓

Yes! It was great to have it as a goal at the beginning and it just became part of our lives. Especially in the last three years, we’ve been treating ourselves to more gigs and shows.

24. Read 150 books. ✓

I didn’t keep track at the beginning, but since 2016 I’ve been participating in the yearly Goodreads reading challenge. Since then I’ve read over 165 books, so I say it’s definitely a success!

25. Go skinny dipping.

Not done! Shame! Don’t know where to go haha!

26. Attend a hot air balloon festival.

I tried to plan to go down to Bristol for the balloon festival, but August is always quite busy. Will keep it on the list!

27. Go on a writing retreat. ✓

Yes in 2015 I attended a writing retreat in Ullapool in the north of Scotland for a weekend. It was so cool! I feel like I need another one soon!

28. Go paragliding.

Another one not accomplished because I didn’t know where to go.

hiking shiehallion selfie

29. Go hiking up a big mountain that scares me. ✓

I hiked Shiehallion last summer. It was a tough but great experience. I haven’t been back hiking, but definitely want to!

30. Visit 30 countries before 30.

I think I’m at 25 but I stopped counting ages ago. We’re going back to the same countries, enjoying different aspects of them and looking for new adventures when we can.


Thanks for making it to the end of this terribly long post!

It was very fun to go through the goals that I wrote 5 years ago. I accomplished 16 items, plus many many more things that were not on this list of course! It’s funny to see how much my priorities at the time (mainly travelling) really influenced my list.

Have you ever made a bucket list? Do you make one yearly, for every five years or even 10 years?xx

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