30 Before 30: Did I do it?

Hopefully those following up on this already know what I am talking about. But if not, here’s a quick summary. Back in April 2021 (about 10 months before my 30th Birthday and feeling a bit down from a lockdown birthday), I wrote a list of 30 things to achieve before my 30th Birthday on January 23rd 2022. The original post and list is here. Then I also gave an update back in December on how I was getting on and you can read that if you want too.

Now we are two weeks since my 30th birthday – I had a great weekend celebrating with friends and family so thank you all. And on with the list, how did I do?

Long story, short is that I did not technically achieve all 30 things. But in my defence, some would have been unrealistic in winter months and I had left them too late to achieve in the middle of December or January so I did not push too hard on these as that would have been pretty unpleasant to try and complete them and that was not the idea of the list. However, as mentioned last time, I am very close to achieving the last few and plans are on the horizon so I will endeavour to achieve them in my 30th year! All in all, I ticked off 25 out of 30 which I feel is fairly impressive given certain restrictions and less than a year to complete. If anything, it gave me some fun and focus to achieving some goals.

Below is the final list. Some of you may notice that the ones I had already achieved by December, I have kept the explanation the same. This is just the updated list and the ones highlighted in blue are the recent goals achieved and the red ones are the ones I did not manage yet!

  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 craftsWell 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 had to be cancelled. So, instead we planned a few days away around the UK and I watched the sunrise over the Staffordshire hills with a coffee in hand and the warmth of the campervan. Not quite what I had planned but it was a lovely sunrise all the same!
  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’d run before this goal was 6.2 miles or thereabouts for a few 10k runs. I signed up for REDJanuary (Run every day) and managed to run 7 miles on 22nd January (a day before my 30th!) and I hope to continue adding more 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 tripBelieve 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 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!) and I finished all 7 in January.
  10. Have a solo photoshootThis 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 signed up to the online platform and have started the process. It still needs to be finished as this is something I did not want to rush without discussing with my loved ones, but it feels good to have the start of something important for our future.
  12. Learn about my family historyIt’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 didn’t quite manage this one before my birthday, but my hair appointment is booked for half term and I am hoping to get something a little different – just three weeks behind on this one! I maybe could allow this one to be ticked off?
  14. Travel for a solo weekend away. I have not technically managed to do this one this year. 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 am able to tick this one off. But I would like to travel solo somewhere again soon, it just wasn’t before my 30th.
  15. Off-roading in a Land Rover. Thanks to Ben and his Land-Rover-loving friends, I had a fun green-lane experience! We were properly spoiled by some stunning views across the Welsh border. Thank you to Matt for taking us and letting me have a go! 
  16. Try sushi. 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. As planned, I wanted to tick this one off in style for my actual birthday. And that we did! I highly recommend Revolution de Cuba for a rum cocktail class! It was great fun.
  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 clubNow 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 showThis 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 I think I have now chosen what I would like and will try and build some courage to get it before I’m 31.
  22. Attend a photography class. I joined Skillshare for a month trial and really enjoyed the experience. I managed to complete about 5 courses – most of them were photography classes and a couple were writing related. I learned a lot about the basics of photography that I did not know so I’m looking forward to putting these into practise.
  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 sleeping in a bell tent in the middle of December/January was not such a good idea… so this one remains incomplete for now.
  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. 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! I have ticked it off but this is probably cheating!
  27. Plan my next novel/ writing projectThis 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 PartyThe original plan was to try and do the La La Land party for my 30th birthday (we both 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. This is why I said about planning the party not necessarily hosting it before I turn 30! 
  30. Ride in a hot air balloon – or at least book it! I could tick this one off because it’s in the planning pipe line and was one of my presents from Ben for my 30th birthday. Again, January is not a great time for a hot air balloon ride, so this will be postponed until warmer days!

So there we have it, my 30 before 30 list. One 5 left and some very nearly ticked off too! Thank you for joining me on my little adventure and I hope it’s inspired you to make a bucket list of your own!

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