1 month to go: 30 Before 30.

Hello, and thanks for checking in again with me, one month before I turn 30.

For those who don’t know, back in April, I decided to approach this next milestone with optimism and adventure, and wrote a list of 30 things to complete before my birthday on January 23, 2022. You can read that here.

A few caveats I’d already made is that I had to be fairly realistic in my bucket list because we are living in a pandemic (they don’t blow over quickly, it would seem) and I also made my list in mid-April, meaning I’d already got less than 10 months to achieve them all. Also, I said I would do a half-way check in, which would have been around September time and that never happened, apologies.

But let me check in with how I am getting on.

  1. Go Vegan for a month (or more!) As I said, this one I actually achieved last January and loved it. I really recommend trying out more dairy and meat free options for many reasons!
  2. Try new crafts. Well this one I think I have completed too. Photography, collages, embroidery, wreath-making, even a little more baking (but not much!)
  3. See a sunrise/sunset from a new place. This one I had planned to tick off on a wonderful New Year trip we had planned visiting theme parks in Rust, Germany before meeting friends in Paris to welcome 2022 from Disneyland. If you’ve seen the headlines, you’ll know that’s not happening. So I’ll be re-thinking this one!
  4. Experience cold water swimming. I joyfully ticked this one off with my Mum and Dad on a summer holiday near Shropshire. Ben found a great spot in the River Wye by Hay-on-Wye and I feel like we were very lucky to have such a beautiful first-time experience of cold water swimming.
  5. Run further than you have run before. The furthest I’ve run is 6 miles or thereabouts. I thought I would have completed this by now but my exercise has been stop/start since August so I have made this a lot harder for myself as I probably have not run more than even 3 miles for months! I have signed up for REDJanuary (Run every day) and plan to get myself moving further than 6 miles soon!
  6. Do an escape room. This one I did with the help of our friends Carolyn & Chris and I’m happy to say we had a great time and made the leaderboard. To make it even better, we completed a Pirate themed room (perfect for us as for some reason, we have a pirate obsession – some sort of inside joke and I’m not sure we know where it started…)
  7. Go on a campervan trip. Believe it or not, even though we bought a campervan back in October 2020, it took us awhile to both properly get out there and camp out in it (mainly due to lockdown restrictions and work), but I’m happy to say we have now had a couple of trips – one fairly local in Lincolnshire and the other much further afield for a friend’s wedding in Cornwall. More campervan trips to follow!
  8. Taste a nut roast. Again, I’m surprised I didn’t do this in Veganuary last year and I know it’s not exactly a rock’n’roll 30 before 30 list. But it’s my list and all that. Anyway, I tasted a lovely nut roast when having a family Sunday dinner out at a pub and would definitely have again as an alternative to a meat roast!
  9. Re-read a story/series from childhood. I am currently doing this now. I decided I wanted to read C.S Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia series as I have a lovely set of these books from my childhood (or my brothers!). I thought I would be enjoyable to read these during the Christmas season (not that the books are Christmassy!) but I am currently on book 5 out of 7. So I’ll cross this one off but I do still have some reading left to do.
  10. Have a solo photoshoot. This one I had ticked off when I wrote the list. As I said before, I am not exactly confident in front of the camera (especially on my own) but our wedding photographer offered a remote shoot for teachers so I did it and got some lovely self portraits!
  11. Make a will. I have done some research in this area and have a couple of options as to making a basic will. So we just need to get on and do it now. I’ll leave this one unticked for now but it is in the early stages of being done!
  12. Learn about my family history. It’s my parents that have been doing this one and I’ve really enjoyed hearing about what they have discovered so far about their family trees. We still have more to discover so I guess this one is ongoing in its nature, but I am glad we’ve started the process.
  13. Get a new haircut. I wish I’d been a little braver and already tried this one because each time I go to the hairdressers (probably about every 10-12 weeks or so!), I just keep asking for the same dry cut – basically a trim with more layers put back in. I like it, so I’m not forcing myself to change for the sake of it, but now I’m making it a more daunting dare to ask for anything different.
  14. Travel for a solo weekend away. I have not managed to do this one (yet). I was hoping to utilise the campervan and hopefully I still will… but a genuine issue is that I am too short to be able to put the campervan bed up and down (sounds like a lame excuse but I am serious, I have tried it!) so for now, this remains incomplete. But, as I said in my original blog, I did travel to South Africa (via Paris) on my own back in 2015 so I feel like I might be able to tick this one off. But I would like to travel solo somewhere again soon, it just might not be before I’m 30.
  15. Off-roading in a Land Rover. This one is in the pipeline for the next few weeks. Thanks to Ben and his Land-Rover-loving friends, I’m hoping for an off-roading experience… although I can imagine I will be more lamb than lion.
  16. Try sushi. I crossed this one off with style! In the summer holidays, I took a couple of days in London with good friends. They took me to a lovely local and authentic Sushi restaurant – and I loved it, more than I expected! So I’ve even had sushi a few more times.
  17. Learn at a rum cocktail class. I have had a few rum cocktails but that does not technically fit the brief here. But my plan is to book a restaurant for my birthday at a Latin American style place where you can also do rum cocktail classes!
  18. Donate blood again. I did this one in November and it was a good feeling being able to make a small but important difference. I can’t believe I had previously donated over six years ago and just let life get in the way. So I am going to make this a more regular habit and if you can too, please consider donating blood.
  19. Join a book/writing club. Now this one I am going to check off because I have found a writing club to join. However, not long after I signed up, they changed their meet up days to a weekday when I have other commitments. So I have been continuing with some other online writing groups with prompts and news but I was hoping to join a more local one. Maybe one day.
  20. See another West End show. This one was originally booked in for November (having already been re-arranged before that due to theatre closures) but it was moved again to December. But we finally got to see Harry Potter and The Cursed Child last weekend and it was a fantastic way to kick start the Christmas holidays!
  21. Get a tattoo? Now this one I had a big question mark next to it. However, the idea has grown on me more that I thought it would and I have a few ideas now about what I might want. I still have questions and doubts, but the fact I was fairly confident this one would not happen and now I am feeling more confident that it will, a lot could change!
  22. Attend a photography class. My plan is to sign up to SkillShare in the New year and get some photography classes done online. I am looking forward to this and feel like I should have done this back in the summer, but it would seem trying to get nearly 30 things achieved takes more time and energy than I anticipated!
  23. Sleep in a bell tent. On that note, another one yet to achieve. This one is actually more realistic than I realised as Ben knows someone with a bell tent that I could use for a night. But I did not get organised enough and now sleeping in a bell tent in the middle of December/January is not such a good idea… but we’ll see.
  24. Climb a mountain/peak. Yet again, there is a theme appearing here about my underestimation of the bigger plans on the list. I had hoped to fit in a climbing weekend over at Scafell Pike but with Ben and I being very busy at work, and not wanting to climb on my own, I’ve not got this one done yet either. But watch this space.
  25. Watch classic movies. This one I think I can tick off. I never really settled on a specific list to achieve this one but I have enjoyed watching classic films I’ve not watched before: Jurassic Park, Close Encounters, Indiana Jones, The Matrix, Groundhog Day, Fantasia, Inspector Gadget… just to name a handful.
  26. Grow my own vegetables. Now I had hoped I would achieve more here. In fact, I have achieved very little and yet this is something I still really want to have a go at. But once again, I left it until Autumn to really get going on my list and by then, I had failed to play to the seasons. I did grow some spring onion indoors, but this was more like a gimmick than growing my own vegetables! Do I tick it off or not?
  27. Plan my next novel/ writing project. This was a big one, but I have done this. I am pleased to say I have worked on a few different writing projects including planning and starting to draft my first novella, with a plan for a different one altogether and also a final draft of a young children’s picture book story.
  28. Try a hot stones massage. Thanks to my Mum, after reading my blog and list, she organised a spa afternoon for us to try out a hot stones massage. It was a great experience and I would definitely do it again!
  29. Plan a ‘La La Land’ Themed Party. The original plan was to try and do the La La Land party for my 30th birthday (I love the film), but with big plans for an outdoor space, I think January is too cold and unpredictable. So we are now thinking of a combined 30th birthday for both of us in the Spring time. Watch this space. Either way, this is why I said about planning the party not necessarily hosting it before I turn 30!
  30. Ride in a hot air balloon. Again, having a Winter birthday is not a great mix for a hot air balloon ride, but I am hoping to celebrate my 30th (at some point of the year) with a ride in the sky.

So I think that makes it 17/30 although a few more of those are due to be ticked off the in the next few weeks. Although, that still makes a lot to achieve in a month! I know there are a few that may have to be re-arranged to fit within my 30th year before I turn 31 due to seasonal issues (and possible looming covid restrictions!) but the important thing here is that writing the list and achieving as much as I can has given me more focus to achieve some bucket list adventures! I hope it inspires you to do something similar… go on, go for it!

So, I’ll check back in around the end of January to see how many of the 30 before 30 I can complete!

Ciao for now x


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