My 30 before 30 list

30 before 30

Today is my 29th birthday.

I’m not really bothered by birthdays or “getting older.” But a few weeks ago, I started thinking about my 29th and 30th year, and I realized that I want to make the last year in my 20s significant. I’ve always been a fan of setting goals and making lists, and several of my friends put together lists of 30 things they wanted to do or accomplish before their 30th birthday. There’s LOTS of “30 before 30” lists and blogs around the interwebs. Seriously, just google “30 before 30” and you’ll be occupied for days.

So I decided to do the same thing. I spent a lot of time thinking through things I’ve wanted to do by this point in life. Some of the items are from lists I’ve had for years. Other things are new, and some are inspired by the lists from strangers that I read online. But all of them are things I’ve never done before–or never done in a very long time.

Surprisingly, it was rather hard to come up with 30 things. Generating this list made me reflect on the past 29 years, and I realized just how blessed I’ve been and how many great experiences I’ve already had in my life. It was a helpful perspective to have moving into this next year.

The plan is to blog about each of these items  as they are accomplished, and the goal is to finish them all by April 10, 2014. I hope you’ll stick around this year to see how it all happens. Now, without further delay, here’s my list of 30 things to accomplish in the next 365 days…

1.     Take a professional cooking course
2.     Take dance lessons
3.     Learn a song on the piano and perform it for people
4.     Visit St. Augustine, Fla.
5.     Climb a 14,000′ mountain in Colorado (attempted on 9/12/2013)
6.     Ride in a hot air balloon
7.     See the sunrise and sunset from the beach in Florida in the same day
8.     Re-learn French, and have a conversation with someone
9.     Read the Harry Potter series
10.     Hike the Grand Canyon
11.     Ride a train through Napa Valley
12.     Visit a winery and vineyard
13.     Learn to paddle board
14.     Learn canning with some type of vegetable or jam
15.     Do something generous and surprising for someone unexpected
16.     Pay it forward for a stranger
17.     Go to an NFL game
18.     Visit Disneyland
19.     Watch Amadeus, Best Picture Academy Award Winner, 1984
20.     Go on an airboat ride
21.     Learn how to drive a manual transmission
22.     Teach a class or speak somewhere publicly
23.     Start a garden
24.     Go to a big concert or music festival (Completed on on 5/18/2013)
25.     Volunteer for at least 30 hours
26.     Attend a blogging conference
27.     Eat at a place from the Restaurant Bucket List (Completed on 4/13/2013)
28.     (This one is a surprise item)
29.     Complete the “Exile” blog series and turn it into an ebook

30.     Successfully complete a game of golf.I’m looking forward to a fun year! Also, thanks to my brother, Jason, for the “30 Before 30” image up top.

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26 thoughts on “My 30 before 30 list

    • Thanks, Kathy! I was actually hoping I could get some help from you in that area. Just let me know when you’re doing it again and I’m in!

  1. I just fell more in love with you 🙂

    Napa Valley is like me DREAAAAAAAAAM city and there is a restaurant over there (The French Laundry), I just picked back up my French after 7 years of studying, and the hot air balloon is on my bucket list! So…I’m down for any of these you need a co-dreamer for 🙂

    • Thanks, Aleesha. I’m excited about it all, and I’m always up for adding people onto the experience. Lets start saving our pennies now to make Napa happen! And I had no idea you studied French for 7 years! You maybe getting a request for some practice convos soon…

  2. Nice, I look forward to seeing these checked off the list! Let me know if we can help in any way, though some of the ones we could help with you’ll be able to accomplish much easier (and cheaper) with Nick in CO, as he said…

    • Thanks, Chris! It’s great to hear from you, and I was so sad that I wasn’t able to connect with Christine and the kids when they were in Orlando a few weeks ago. I’ll definitely let you know if I make it out your way anytime soon. And thanks for the encouragement on the blog…it should be a fun year.

  3. Ok, we are soooo down for the 14er. Planning to hopefully catch at least one this summer, so of course you should come on out again. (and yes, I’m catching up on your blogging now)

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  6. I can recommend several great places for dance lessons! I’ve taken swing, tango, country line dancing, and blues. I love that you have this on the list!

      • Hands down, the best for Swing is from Rob & Dawn at Flyin Footwork. (www.flyinfootwork.com). They do 6 or 8 week series classes. Great teachers, fun, and nice venues (Whirl & Twirl, Longwood ballroom, etc.).

        For Tango, I found a groupon from Nanette’s, which was fun as well.

        If you don’t want to wait for a groupon, UCF Swing Knights has $5 dances on Friday nights and a free lesson beforehand. It’s open to anyone but obviously mostly made up of college students. You probably won’t learn true technique, but you get what you pay for 🙂

        Country Line Dancing I did with adult education classes from Seminole State, which was also fun. I learned a lot, but also learned that country line dancing is hard to keep up if you don’t go to a country line dance 🙂

        Finally, Blues I just picked up on the floor. There’s Friday night blues dancing with the UCF crowd after swing.

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