30 before 30: Looking Back at 27

I love a good list. My journal is full of them. Things that make me happy, things I want to do more of, things I should do less of, things I’m grateful for, tasks to do – there! I’ve even got a list of my lists! To do lists help me think of goals to work towards – some big, some small – and I’m getting much better at accepting that it’s okay if not everything gets ticked off. In fact, I sometimes write ‘might do’ lists which are a lovely way to give myself some ideas of things I’d like to do with no added pressure. Last year, I wrote my ‘30 before 30’ list which, if you can’t work it out, is a list of 30 things I aim to achieve by my 30th birthday. 

I’d love to do as many as I can, but this is most definitely a ‘might do’ list. No pressure. I’ll just see how many I can do! As I’ve just celebrated my 28th birthday, I’m 1 year into this, so here’s an update on how my 30 before 30 list is going!

Travel + Adventure

1. Move to another new country

2. Travel to 6 continents

3. Scuba dive

4. Ski

5. Climb a mountain

6. Go on a solo travel trip

7. Go on a well-known multiple day hike

So travel has been rather limited since my last birthday and I haven’t done any of these things! We did do some incredible snorkelling in Con Dao, and I would have loved to scuba dive there, but we didn’t have time during our trip. We’ve also decided to move back to the UK, so I won’t be ticking off number 1! However, we plan to move somewhere new in the UK so I’ll still have new experiences in a new place, despite it being the same country. 


8. Become vegan (I’m on the way!)

9. Create some of my own vegan recipes to share with others

I went vegan for several months and enjoyed it, but it is tricky in Vietnam. We are making predominantly vegan recipes at home, but I have succumbed to Dairy Milk and cheesy pizzas. I think once back in the UK, where there are a greater variety of alternative meats and dairy products, it’ll be easier.

On Pancake Day, I shared my first vegan recipe on my blog. I’ll be sharing more in future!


10. Run a half marathon

11. Do a handstand

12. Become the fittest and strongest I’ve ever been

13. Practise yoga or pilates regularly

14. Find a sport or exercise I love

Since writing this 30 before 30 list last March, I’ve definitely upped my exercise, though it’s still not as regular as I’d like. I ran my first ever 5km following the Couch to 5K app, and hope to do a ‘proper’ 10km run this year (covid dependent). I go to pilates most weeks now and am enjoying it! I’m pleased to be running more and doing stretches and exercises that feel good. 


15. Have articles published in a magazine

16. Have illustrations published in a magazine

17. Establish what my ideal job is, and do what I can to get there

18. Design and sell a product again (I used to sell greetings cards & mugs. Scroll back a long way on my instagram and you’ll find some!)

19. Meet my savings goal OR buy a property

I’m really pleased to say I had my first article published in a printed magazine last September – ‘My City: Hanoi’ in The Simple Things. I’ve also had illustrations and writing published on the digital magazine Hug Mag, including one commissioned design being used as the front cover! A print of mine is being sold by My Self Care Edit, with a portion of the proceeds being donated to Mind charity. I’ve got plans in place for the rest of the goals on this list! 


I feel like some of these are fundamental basics that I should have learnt a long time ago…

20. Become confident shooting in manual mode

21. Learn how to change a tyre

22. Learn how to knit and create something of use

23. Learn to meditate

24. Build something myself

I haven’t had as much success with this list. However, meditation is now a part of my routine and, though not every day, I do meditate most days. I use the Calm app and do notice my mood and anxiety suffering when I haven’t meditated for a few days. I like the calmness it brings when I start my day with meditation. 

And I’ve not built anything yet, but my Pinterest diy board is full of ideas!


25. Organise a regular community meet up

26. Volunteer either regularly or for a long time

27. Contribute actively to the sustainability cause

28. Foster or adopt a pet

29. Streamline my wardrobe and stop over-purchasing clothes

I was pleased to get involved in the wonderful Tet Shoebox Appeal this year, but wouldn’t count that as volunteering regularly or for a long time. My wardrobe has been halved and I’ve donated several item to charity that either didn’t fit or weren’t really my thing anymore. I’ve cut down on purchases too, but there’s still plenty more I could do.

I have had an idea for a community meet up for months but haven’t got my act together to start it! Maybe I’ll do it for the last few months before leaving Hanoi, or maybe I’ll wait til I’m back in the UK and hit the ground running then!

And finally…

30. Do something that terrifies me

I’ve dealt with cockroaches and that’s a pretty big deal for me, but I think when I added this to my list I envisioned something more. This one’s pending…

So, a bit of progress in some areas but there’s definitely more for me to work on! Still, I’ve got 2 more years to go – plenty of time to achieve a few more of these!

What are some things you’re hoping to achieve before your next (big) birthday? Big or small, let me know in the comments! xxx

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I’d love to hear from you!

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