My 30 Before 30 Project

On my 27th Birthday I was at a cross-roads. I’d returned to New Zealand after a messy 9 month stint travelling, I was unemployed, and I felt like I was approaching my 30th birthday incredibly fast without having a whole lot to show for it.

I wanted to feel like I’d ticked some things off in life but didn’t want a ‘Bucket List’. 30 was my deadline to feel I’d achieved some things. Google connected me with and it seemed I was not alone – people all over the world were writing lists of things they wanted to achieve in their late 20’s.

And so, sitting outside in the Hawkes Bay sun with my family on November 10th 2012 we threw about ideas and I wrote my 30 Before 30 – a  list of places I’d been meaning to visit, challenges I’d wanted to take on, skills I’d been planning to learn, and personal breakthroughs I’d been hoping to have.

At first I threw myself head-first into it and by 28 I had been Skydiving and Bungy Jumping, seen Greece, Spain and Cape Reinga, eaten at a Michelin Star restaurant, seen One Direction in concert, learnt to Surf, tried Skiing and much more.

The following year I learnt to drive a manual car, perfected my skincare regime, visited Bluff, took French lessons, bought a ridiculously expensive handbag.

Suddenly I was more than two-thirds of the way through it and down to the hard ones. The ones which involved significant amounts of money (eg. buying a house, moving overseas) and/or longterm commitments (again, buying a house, adopting a pet). Once or twice I had to make decisions in my life to either cross an item off the list, or take an alternative offer life had presented me with (eg. take a job I was offered or move overseas).

As this post is published I am in Vietnam, having recently visited Thailand, a part of the world I always wanted to go to and I certainly celebrated my 30th in style in Hanoi.

Did I complete it? Not quite, but that’s ok. I realised somewhere along the journey that it wasn’t about completing the 30 Before 30 list, it was about feeling as though I was accomplishing things as I approached the milestone.

And I have.