So, I’m well into my 30th year now, when I turned 30 a colleague told he seriously thought I was around 22, and I’m going to hang onto that, for as long as possible!
Friends told me it was nothing, that turning 30 doesn’t change anything, but obviously I am still sitting here worrying about wrinkles and cellulite. After over 6 months of woes I’ve finally found time to evaluate the last few years, and how I got on with my 30 before 30.
30 before 30
1. Snorkel the Great Barrier Reef.
In December 2014 we finally made the 24 hour journey to Sydney and then onto the Queensland coast and all the way out to the Great Barrier Reef. I have the most amazing memories from this trip, not only did I spend a day snorkelling the reef with my partner and my parents but I was treated to an amazing flight over the reef, the famous (and beautiful) Heart Reef and the Whitsunday Islands. To date this was the best flight of my life, I also got to sit upfront as co-pilot! The photos speak for themselves.
2. Buy a house.
Good things come to those who wait, hopefully.
3. Revisit the Indian Ocean.
In September 2013 I made it back to paradise after our first trip to the Maldives in 2009. This time it was the wonderful Seychelles for another 30th birthday celebration. I won’t ever forget it for so many reasons, the main being that my soon to be husband asked me to marry him midway through our trip.
4. Own a designer handbag
It may not be the Prada I spent years coveting but for me it’s about moments not things right now, so my bargain Osprey and MK bags are adequate.
5. Own a pair of designer shoes.
I’m going to say that the Vivienne Westwood shoes my cousins just bought me count in this. They were a complete and utter bargain.
6. Buy my own car.
I’m pretty lucky, my fiance and I share the same taste in cars, so when it came to choosing our first car together we had no issues, we fell in love instantly. I barely drive her, but she’s a beauty and she’s all ours.
7. Own something from Tiffany’s.
I coveted a beautiful Tiffany bracelet for years and at Christmas it became mine.
8. Get a pay rise.
Over the last few years I have progressed my career, because I enjoy what I do I’m continually looking to further my career and improve my knowledge with courses, webinars and self teaching.
9. Stay at a Mandarin Oriental/Raffles hotel.
We stayed at Raffles hotel on Praslin Island in the Seychelles. It’s my number one hotel. It’s worth every single penny. It was an incredible experience, from the wonderful villa we stayed in to the epic service we received.
10. Stroke a Safari Animal.
It may not have been on Safari in Africa (one day) but when a Giraffe stuck its head into the jeep during our tour at Longleat Safari I was beaming. And then in Queensland, Australia I got to cuddle a cute, cuddly and sleepy koala and stroke and feed a couple of kangaroos and Wallabies. My dream would to be to visit the Black Jaguar and Lions in Mexico City. Check them out.
11. Start and maintain a gym routine again.
I’ve rejoined the gym, and am trying to get back into a routine [so that’s this one half ticked!] This morning I read that we need to just take 1% of our day to get a good work out in, that’s nothing when you look at the bigger picture.
12. Perfect my Make Up routine
I wish I could afford to have my lashes, eyebrows and my nails done every few weeks, but I can’t, so instead I have finally worked out what basics suit me. I dabbled into the world of HD Brows and left happy. Over the years I’ve gone through phases of a make up bag stuffed with everything from Channel, Armani and Dior, to all the usual high street brands. Now I’m really happy sticking to the high street until my priorities of travel and house saving change. The contents of my make up bag doesn’t cost a fortune but everything works for me.
I am still on the hunt for a long-lasting and non smudge liquid liner though, for now Mac and Stila are keeping me happy, but the best of the best is yet to be found.
13. Visit the Cotswolds.
A close friend had the most beautiful countryside wedding in the heart of the Cotswolds, to this day it’s been one of my favourite weddings that I’ve attended. We barely spend anytime exploring our own country, instead opting to see as much of the world as we can before we settle down.
14. Go on a Hen do.
Since I added this, there have been a few, they are as fun as you can imagine, they’ve ranged from phallic straws to sophisticated Gin afternoon tea.
15. Buy a MacBook.
I took the plunge, and took advantage of my current student discount and bought myself the MacBook Pro of my dreams after years and years of coveting.
16. Visit Dubai.
As we flew with Emirates to Australia, it seemed very fitting to stop in Dubai for a few days on the way, and what a wonderful whirlwind three days they were. Dubai surprised me, I thought I would hate it…but I loved it and can’t wait to return again soon.
17. Save up a deposit
This should have come above ‘Buying a House’ but nevermind. Saving is hard and I’ve had to give up frivolous things and be really strict, but it’s worth it, otherwise buying a house would never become a reality. I have a spreadsheet, I allocate spending for travel each year to make sure we still have the balance in our life. I’d happily forgo eating out, takeaways, trips to the cinema, clothes, alcohol, day trips or uk trips to make sure we can buy the house we love and see as much of the world as we can while we can. I’m pretty good at sourcing a bargain so it helps.
18. Own the 10 key wardrobe pieces/staples.
Because of the above, this is still something that’s ongoing, I am still coverting the perfect thigh high suede flat boots but just can’t part with the £500 that the dream Stuart Wiseman boots cost. Instead I make do with the odd Primark trip, a bargain sales buy (hello Zara) and selling on eBay.
19. Start and maintain a travel/lifestlye blog.
I’m here trying my hardest to push past my self doubt, to ignore the pressure I put on myself and finish the dozen half written posts I’m too scared to publish.
20. Learn how to decorate cakes.
On a drizzly Sunday afternoon in a Hampstead pub we were taught how to decorate cupcakes, I wasn’t too bad at all and surprisingly nor was my fiance!
21. Learn more about Photography and InDesign/Photoshop
A while back I did a 2 days introduction course to InDesign, it made me realise I’ve self-taught myself pretty well as I was already doing everything we covered and found the course too easy. Of course there is always more to learn, but I’m incredibly happy with all that I’ve achieved so far. I am currently doing a Photography diploma online. Online learning is hard work, trying to get that motivation to sit down and turn off Netflix is pretty hard. But I am persisting and practising by making various friends wedding stationary, artwork for prints and now my own wedding stationary.
22. Learn to cook something new every month.
The internet is an amazing place for amazing recipes. Although we might not cook something new every month we try as much as we can, i love trying something new, so this is something i love working on.
23. Eat at a 3 Michelin Star Restaurant
My amazing cousins treated me to a pretty spectacular lunch at Alan Ducasse at The Dorchester. We were spoiled with three courses of some of the tastiest food I’ve ever had and sent home with a super cute goody bag. Couldn’t recommend it enough.
24. Watch a west-end show.
The Lion King blew me away, The Woman In Black terrified me and Kim Cattrall in Sweet Bird Of Love left me in awe.
25. Get Contact Lenses.
They may cost me a fortune but contact lenses are my preferred option. I love my tortoiseshell frames but for comfort and ease , it’s contacts all the way now.
26. Read 12 books in 12 months.
I have trashy taste in books, don’t judge me. It allows me to escape the real world. I accomplished this quite easily with the help of the Twighlight saga, 50 Shades of Grey, The Hunger Games trilogy and various other non fiction reads.
27. Get Engaged.
I added this to my list in the vague hope it would happen one day, a girl can dream right? We had always talked of our future but an engagement wasn’t really on the cards for a few years and until we’d bought our first home. So when it did happen, it wasn’t expected and it was to me, the most perfect proposal that I could have ever imagined (other than he didn’t film it).
28. DeClutter my Wardrobe
In the last 2-3 years I have emptied my wardrobe of a number of black sacks of clothes, shoes and accessories. They went to friends, family and charity. However until we buy a house with a walk in wardrobe this will have to keep happening, along side a shopping ban.
29. Fix my smile.
This was one of the best decisions I have ever made, spurred on by a beautiful proposal, the support of my family and fiancé, and the threat of wedding photos I plucked up the courage to visit a Dentist (for the first time in 10+years). It was worth every appointment, all the discomfort and every single penny. Read here for my experience.
30. Get a professional Massage.
Where else is better than Thailand to get your first professional Massage. After a not so great experience (arriving to find the whole hotel rented out for a 4 day wedding for the 3 days we were there and our room faced it all) we were compensated with a wonderful 1 hour full body Thai Massage. It was heaven, and helped me feel less anxious about the fact my 60-year-old father had to endure constant noise and loud music for the 3 days that we had set aside for ‘pure relaxation’ during our three weeks in Asia.
I honestly loved writing my list and setting myself these ideal goals. I found it gave me things to strive to, to aim for. It isn’t about ticking off experiences like they are meaningless, but prioritising and listing the things i want to experience the most. It gives me focus to achieve everything I want to achieve. My twenties were so full of so many other amazing things, so many spectacular moments and accomplishments. Here is to my thirties, and the next chapter of adventures.
40 before 40? Wow, things just got really real!