“Thirty things to do before you’re 30”, “20 things you must do in your twenties”, we know the type of article. We’ve all read them and felt bad about our lives afterwards. I’m really not a fan of this kind of listcle type global peer pressure, which tells us where we have to be at a certain point in our lives. If I haven’t been to a full moon party in my 20’s have I even lived at all? I’ve often read these things and thought “Oh no, I’ve only done 5 of these 20 things, what have I been doing with my life?”
This kind of thing becomes even worse when you are edging towards a significant birthday. I will be turning the big 3-0 in a few weeks and to add to this, my birthday is New Year’s Eve. The problem with having a birthday on the last day of the year is that it makes you extra contemplative. I always have an incredible urge to reflect on the year gone by and the things I have achieved, or failed to achieve during that last year of my life. This year will be a big one and the listcles certainly don’t help. So, I have decided to reflect, not on the things that I “should” have done, but focus on the many fantastic things that I actually have done on my 30 years on the planet. So here is my list of 30 things I have done before turning 30.
1. Witnessed the Taj Mahal
2. Learned to Dance Salsa In Cuba
3. Heard the Echoes of my voice through the Maya Pyramids in Chichen Itza, Mexico
4. Walked the Great Wall of China
5. Backpacked through Croatia and Bosnia & Herzegovina
6. Attended an open air Opera in Vienna
7. Climbed to the top of Europe’s Biggest Sand Dune
8. Ate a Chicken Maharajah Mac before a Bollywood movie in Agra, India
9. Learned how to shoot in Riga, Latvia
10. Saw the Northern Lights flicker across the Icelandic Sky
11. Volunteered to work with children in Kigali, Rwanda
12. Celebrated Carnival with Dutch friends in Eindhoven
13. Haggled for trinkets in the Souks of Marrakesh
14. Represented my country at the European Parliament in Brussels
15. Watched the sunrise on the River Ganges on Christmas morning
16. Climbed to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Explored the least visited country in Europe
18. Partied all night long in Ibiza
19. Was enthralled by red Square in Moscow
20. Met Mickey Mouse in Orlando, Florida
21. Braved Carrick-A-Rede rope bridge
22. Crashed a Wedding Party in Skopje, Macedonia
23. Volunteered in a Delhi Soup Kitchen
24. Found the path to peace in Tbilisi,Georgia
25. Walked hand in hand with someone special, along the canals of Amsterdam
26. Soaked up the atmosphere in the beer halls of Munich
27. Swam in the Caribbean sea.
28. Slept in a Military Hanger in Interlaken, Switzerland
29. Sampled Absinthe in Prague
30. I’m leaving number 30 blank….. because there is still a few weeks left to go!
So, am I worried about turning 30? Not a bit. There are a whole lot of adventures to come. So here’s to 2017 and here’s to the next 30 years and beyond!