Thirty before 30

a.k.a. a less morbid bucket list.

Yesterday evening, to finish off the weekend on a more relaxed note, I watched Breakfast at Tiffany’s with my boyfriend.  I had never seen it before and I was struck by the main character’s free-spirited nature (I guess that goes hand-in-hand with her last name– Golightly).  In particular, I was struck by the scene where she and the male lead decide on a whim to spend the entire day doing things they’d never done before.  Today (as I’m currently procrastinating on a presentation for tomorrow 😛 ) I wondered if I were to make a list of things to do that I had never done before, what would be on it?  After some quick googling I found that this is a rather popular topic, and so I’ve decided to come up with a list of thirty things I’ve never done before and want to do before I turn 30.

bucket-listI did purposefully choose to not make a bucket list because I don’t agree with a few primary ideas behind them.  One of my biggest problems with bucket lists is that there are no time constraints on them.  I love the idea of coming up with a list of things you dream of doing and working towards them–to me, that’s the definition of living purposefully.  My worry with bucket lists is that no one knows when they’re going to fall ill or how much busier you’ll be once you have kids to take care of–and especially few people know when they’re going to die.  So to me, a bucket list is really a “maybe eventually” list.  It seems to me, the only way to have any real confidence you’ll get the chance to experience your dreams is to set yourself some real time constraints.

Beyond that, oftentimes on bucket lists and New Year’s resolution lists I see very vague items.  Be happier.  Travel more.  Get in shape.  My problem with each of these is how do you measure if you’ve succeeded?  Maybe these types of goals work for some people, but for the most part I think people prefer finite goals they can tell if they’re achieving.  Call Mom at least once a week.  Exercise three times a week.  Visit Paris within the next three years.  These are goals you can actually tell if you’ve achieved/are achieving.  So with that said, here’s my list of thirty before 30!

  1. Ride in a hot air balloon.
  2. Write a novel (minimum 50,000 words) and send it to a publisher.
  3. Run a half-marathon.
  4. Go on an overnight backpacking hike.
  5. Go vegan.
  6. Visit France.
  7. Camp at a dark sky location for a meteor shower.
  8. Stay at a haunted house/go ghost hunting.
  9. Go on a road trip.
  10. See a Cirque du Soleil performance.
  11. Complete Ludum Dare.
  12. Do a handstand.
  13. Learn to play piano.
  14. Visit Japan.
  15. Go to Carnival in Venice.
  16. Pay off my student loans.
  17. Go urban exploring.
  18. Go to a religious service of another faith.
  19. Do a 365 day photo project.thirtythirty
  20. Ride in a horse drawn carriage.
  21. Go to Loi Krathong in Thailand.
  22. Go a month without spending money.
  23. Be a part of a flash mob.
  24. Send a message in a bottle.
  25. Watch a sunrise over the ocean.
  26. Learn Italian.
  27. Fill a sketchbook.
  28. Grow a garden–and actually eat things from it.
  29. Write a love note to my significant other every day for a year.  Bind them and give them to him when it’s finished.
  30. See the Northern Lights.

I have roughly eight years to accomplish this list, and I think some of the bigger travel trips might have to be put off until after graduate school, but if I complete about two a year I should have them all done by 30.  Maybe then I can make a forty by 40 list!  If any readers decide to make their own list, please let me know!  I would love to read yours too!

Live thoughtfully, purposefully, and fully!

Stop.  Unwind.


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