My 30 before 30 list: how did I do?

Well, it happened; I turned 30. Which means it’s crunch time. Just over a year ago, I set myself a 30 before 30 list and it was pretty ambitious. Here’s how I got on…

Visit Angkor Wat

S and I took a trip out to visit the temples at Angkor back in May 2015. It was one of the most magical things I’ve ever done in my life. I haven’t written about it properly because I got a serious case of the overwhelm, but I did write these posts (one, two) which are two of the posts I’m most proud of ever writing.

I ticked Angkor Wat off my 30 before 30 list in style

Get promoted to Senior Consultant

Yes! I achieved this in the annual promotion rounds at the beginning of 2016. I wrote about it briefly here. It’s a pretty big deal for me because there are only 4 job titles in my entire company so to make the step from one to the next is fairly huge. It also means I get more say about what I get involved in, and I just generally feel more confident about my role and ability to add value. So far, I think it’s going really well which I’m so thankful for.

Master gluten free doughnuts

I tried, I failed. In short, my yeast was too old and therefore my mixture didn’t rise. Also, because I was determined to recreate the true Krispy Kreme experience I deep fried mine and they came out so greasy. Any tips for making things absorb less fat? Or is that absolutely not the point of a deep fat fryer…?!

Join an orchestra/ensemble with Ned

Nope. I totally chickened out and failed on this one. I haven’t even properly introduced Ned on the blog; he’s my cello and one day I will write about him. However, I have met a new friend who plays the violin and she and I have agreed to get together a string quartet towards the end of the year. We’ll play in church for special occasions and such. I’m pretty excited about it, but need to seriously scrub up my skills as she’s a proper professional concert violinist. Yikes.

Transcribe FPM’s travel diaries and try to recreate his photos in the present day

So I still haven’t transcribed FPM’s diaries, like the one below which has enigmatic scrawlings like “Wartime in Mespot” and “Kala Azar work Assam”. It’s something I’d love to do one day, but at the moment I’m too sad to do it since one of the things my Dad and I loved to do was look at these things together. One day I’ll be glad to do it in memory of him, but now it’s too soon.

With that said, I did manage to recreate some of FPM’s photos from the temples of Angkor which are linked under my very first heading.

FPMs travel diaries are amazing

Earn my professional development qualification level 4

Yeah no. I probably could have made time for this but I chose not to. I don’t think it’s a difficult qualification, but not having it hasn’t held me back so far which doesn’t help with the whole motivation thing. I really should do it though, considering work will pay for it.

Travel to the USA

All booked! I leave for NYC a week tomorrow (eeeeeek!) and I’m in a planning frenzy. I’m working my way through where to go, what to eat (gluten free, of course), how to get around; and now I’m planning what to buy. American friends, what should I buy in your country that’s better (or just cheaper…) than anywhere else? I’m keen for all the tips. Hit me!

Oh and also there’s the small matter of the cross-USA trip we’re doing in the Autumn which will take in Chicago, Seattle and some of Alaska, too. More details here (this is the same link I just posted so don’t bother clicking both!).

Master gluten free éclairs

Yeah I think I got there with this. Not something I’d recommend for the faint hearted, but I spent one long evening right before we went to Santorini making these beauties. I miscalculated how much they were going to rise so they turned out the size of footballs, but that just meant more room for crème pâtissière 🙂 Here they are in all their glory. I made 4 giant ones in the end, which was just enough to share with my Mum and sister when we stopped by for dinner on the way to the airport. They got good reviews all round, so other than the size issue I’d say that was pretty well mastered.

My chocolate eclairs were a success

Sorry for the terrible photo quality, iPhone photography is clearly not my strong point. Also, I just wanted to dive in! Can you tell from the photo just how huge this thing was??

Quit Facebook properly

Done way back last September and I couldn’t be happier about it. For me it did nothing but waste time and induce rage, and I simply couldn’t be bothered any more. The only thing it was useful for at the end was receiving event invitations, but now people just text me instead. Problem solved.

Tell my friends about my blog (eeek)

No! I’ve still wimped out of telling anyone other than 2 of my sisters, and that was nerve racking enough. I’m still working up the courage to tell my last sister. I’ll be telling one of my besties next week in preparation for our trip to NYC. You never know, maybe she’ll consent to appearing in a post or two. I hope so! I don’t know why I find this so hard. Can anyone else relate??

Get my teeth fixed

This is currently in progress! I wrote about my first 72 hours with my incognito braces here, and if teeth are your thing then check back here over the weekend because I’ve got another update for you, post first tightening. Thrilling stuff. Here’s a sneak peek:

Braces update

Sidenote: I went blonder for summer!

Make new friends in our new town

I mean the kind of friends you can call up and say hey, what are you doing this evening, I’m bored, fancy hanging out? This is a weird one to categorise, but I think I’m there. Which I’m really happy about.

Go for a week with no technology after 8pm

Hahahahaha no.

Sort out my dang shoulder

So… Feel free to skip ahead if you don’t like extended medical chat. It’s a long ‘un. Here’s the story: after a spinal fusion 11 years ago to correct scoliosis, I am left with spontaneous pains of varying severity. Some are caused by fatigue, or sitting on a chair wrong, or lifting something too heavy; others have no obvious cause at all. Some are constant aches; some are sharp pains that come out of nowhere and vanish as quickly as they arrive. I’m making the situation sound terrible, but usually it’s quite manageable and I’ve grown very good at Pacing.

Anyway, almost 2 years ago I started getting an entirely new kind of pain which was one of the unknown onset, short sharp types. It was in my shoulder, and when it spiked it took my breath away. Last year it became really quite debilitating, so I got fed up of waiting to see if it would go away by itself and tried to go and see a doctor about it. My particular situation is so specialist that there are only a handful of surgeons who can help me. After a lot of to-ing and fro-ing I managed to join the waiting list of the one nearest me. 6 months later, I got my appointment. At this point I’d had the pain for over a year. He said he couldn’t see anything obviously wrong in my x-rays and said he’d sign me up for some physio. Well, I’m still waiting for that as well, nearly a year later. However! Here’s the good news. The pain does seem to have gone away all by itself! I get the very occasional twinge but nothing like what was going on before. So I’m reluctant to start up the surgeon/physio shenanigans again because that was such a major hassle. Therefore, I’m counting this one as done.

Condensed version: the NHS couldn’t help me, so my own body sorted out my shoulder!

Read (or listen to) 52 books in 52 weeks

I just fell short of this one. I made it to 46 and I’m ok with that. I set this target to encourage myself to read more, and I think I did, so I’m counting that as a win. I’m not about to start reading short or easy books to get my numbers up, that totally defeats the object of the exercise.

Encourage someone new to donate blood

Technically I did do this. I encouraged a new friend at church to donate blood, however I have no idea if he actually has or not. I’m going to keep trying on this one because it’s something I feel quite strongly about, transfusions having saved my life during said spinal operations I mention above. Having received a transfusion I’m now not able to donate myself, so the only way I can help out is by gently persuading others to.

Complete a photo-a-day challenge for a month (or longer, if I can!)

I’ve changed this to post a picture a day to Instagram, which I’m using to relive past travel memories and tell little stories about each one. That felt like something I was more excited about, and I’m really enjoying how it’s making me up my photography game. I’ve kept it up for 10 weeks so far, and my photos have been featured on A Beautiful Mess and Great Captures Greece which has been pretty cool.

This striped rooftop! ❤ (📷: @anestingnomad) #ABMlifeiscolorful

A photo posted by Elsie + Emma A Beautiful Mess (@abeautifulmess) on

Start a memory jar

I’m doing a photo a week book instead, which I think is a better fit for me. I’ve got a beautiful diary from Frankie magazine (link here for any Australian readers who like pretty diaries, although they also ship internationally for everyone else who likes pretty diaries) in which I’m writing the fun things I do each week and sticking in an Instax photo of said fun thing. I have the Instax Mini 70 and it’s one of the coolest thing I own. You never fail to raise a smile from the photographer or photographees with this bad boy, and it makes taking memento photos that much more fun. I’m loving this so far and I’m already enjoying looking back at past weeks.

Go to the V&A Museum

Done! I did enjoy looking around all the art from the Far East, and of course the famous chandelier in the entrance hall, but other than that I’m afraid I prefer the British Museum or the Natural History Museum. Still, I’m glad I went.

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London chandelier

Find an exercise regime that works for me, and then stick to it

I think I’ve got to a place that’s as good as I’m going to get, to be honest. I’ve done better than I ever have before (except for my birthday month, in which I have eaten copious amounts and exercised very little). My winning regime is a combination of my Fitbit which I’m finding a great motivator, and my cross trainer which I try and use every day that I work from home. That has been hovering at around the 4 or 5 times a week, pre-birthday blow out. I’m getting back on it in June, and trying to mix in some walks and pilates as well.

Have S and my pictures taken professionally, for no particular reason

This hasn’t happened. S wasn’t that into it, which put a bit of a downer on things. I still think it would be great to have our photos taken around the pretty bits of Bedford before we move away (more on that at the end…).

The Victoria and Albert Museum in London

Seeing as there are no pictures of S and I, here’s a pretty piece from the V&A’s Japanese collection. Much prettier.

Join a book club with strangers

No I definitely chickened out of this. Big time.

Make our wedding photo album (it’s only been 5 years…)

Can you believe I’ve still not done this??

Get my own camera and learn how to use it competently, instead of half-assing around with S’s posh camera 

I’m going to say yes on this one. I bought myself my beautiful Panasonic Lumix GF7 which takes the prettiest pictures on auto, and I’ve now taught myself about ISO and aperture and shutter speed so I’m trying to take half as nice photos on manual mode. It’s a work in progress but at least I understand where I’m trying to get to!

Experimental in Santorini

This is me taking an ‘experimental’ shot in Santorini. You’re welcome.

Learn how to edit video clips into nice short films, and then use my new skills to make memento videos for trips, travel etc

Nope. I fell at the first hurdle which was finding decent video editing software. A lot of people swear by iMovie but I don’t have a Mac, so that’s out. Everyone is universally rude about Windows Movie Maker and I don’t want to spend a lot of time learning a new software package if it’s rubbish. Others recommend Final Cut Pro, but that’s Mac only as well. The best alternative to that seems to be Adobe Premier Pro, which is expensive. I got disheartened and stopped looking. However, I’ve just googled it again and found Filmora, which looks promising?

Get contact lenses and learn how to use them properly without freaking out

Done! Wahooo I can seeee with my eeeeeeyes! Note: a few months on and the contacts are going great. I particularly love them for travel, where before I’d be squinting up at signs in the airport and struggling to see landmarks, now everything is crystal clear. Maybe that’s why I enjoyed Istanbul so much. I could finally see things!

Watch the sunrise and sunset in Santorini

Yassss! Totally done. You can find details of my incredible birthday here.

29 skaros rock turning 30 birthday in santorini trip highlights

Get a suit made for me

I achieved this in Bangkok back in 2015. I actually found it quite a stressful experience and I’m not sure I’d do it again in a hurry. I think it was something to do with confronting the reality of my strange shape (I’m not just being cute, I am a strange shape. It’s all due to my scoliosis. I just hide it well, usually.), having strangers cluster around and discuss the reality of my strange shape in the middle of a shop, and standing around a lot in strange positions while people poked me. Also it was hot and I got flustered. So…. maybe if I found somewhere that I trusted and could get to know the person making things for me I might change my mind, but unfortunately the reason I wanted a suit made for me in the first place ended up being the reason I really didn’t enjoy it.

Take a hands on course, like floristry, hairdressing, or upholstery

I hugely failed at this. I wanted to take a course at my local university which runs some pretty cool practical courses, but they were all either way too expensive, run at impossible times (2pm every Wednesday for 8 weeks? No way) or lasted a full semester. I know they’re catering for actual students for whom this is ideal, but for me it just didn’t work. I’m still keeping my eyes out for something that suits my schedule more, but with work as it is I can’t commit to anything on a regular basis.

Finally, the biggie. Figure out whether to go and live in Australia or not. And then do it.

Oh yeah. This is why I find it hard to tell people about my blog. Because most people don’t know I want to go and live in Australia, and as yet I don’t want them to. I don’t want them to worry about it, and I don’t want them to overwhelm me with advice or even kind words. I need to figure this all out myself, first.

My favourite city in the world is Sydney

So, overall I think I did ok. There’s a few in here that I need to take out and put into a new goals list – 40 by 40 perhaps? – and some that I’m actually not fussed I didn’t achieve. Let’s face it, if I had mastered gluten free doughnuts I’d be the size of a house by now so it’s probably a blessing I haven’t.

Have you ever done an X before X list? How did it go?


Linking up with Kristen and Gretch for What’s New With You?



  1. 2nd June 2016 / 09:20

    Wow, you did really well! I’m impressed. I still have 2 years left for my 35 before 35 list and I’m not sure I’m going to complete it!

    I live in Switzerland and I’m not allowed to give blood. If you spent more than six months in the UK between 1986 and 1996 you’re not allowed to give blood here EVER because of BSE.

    • 2nd June 2016 / 19:15

      I thought I’d done really badly until I sat down to write the list, and you know, I impressed myself! I’ll have to go and check out what’s on your 35 before 35 list. I feel I need a new set of goals to work towards. And oh yes, it’s so funny how we have such high standards here in terms of blood donation (eg you can’t donate if you’ve been to Africa in case of HIV) but nowhere else will have our blood because of BSE!

  2. 2nd June 2016 / 10:34

    You should probably go ahead and move to Australia 😉. You’ve done well! Your eclair looked delish!

    • 2nd June 2016 / 19:16

      That’s it, you’ve convinced me! The eclair was so good. But massive. I ate half and had to go and have a lie down..!

  3. 2nd June 2016 / 13:02

    i want to join a real book club with strangers as well, but i doubt i ever will lol. i think it is on my 30 before 30 list to donate blood, but i can’t without a driver’s license or ID i don’t think.
    i COMPLETELY missed your upcoming travel plans! i can’t believe it!! i won’t see you in NYC but I think I need to drive to Chicago to see you later in the year, yeah? yeah.

    • 2nd June 2016 / 19:19

      It sounded like a good thing to do but I’ve made some friends here now and I’m like nah, that’s enough. That’s strange, I’m trying to think if I needed ID when I tried to go and donate. Does your passport count as ID…?

      And YES it would be totally amazing if you drove to Chicago! That sounds far… is that far?? I’m there the weekend of the 27th August, is that doable?

      • 2nd June 2016 / 19:23

        i swear i looked into it once and it said i need my drivers license. i don’t know. perhaps i should look into it more.

        it’s like, a 5 hour drive. or a 1 hour flight. totally doable. is that like super weird and odd? how long are you there for? who with? i don’t want to impose!

        • 2nd June 2016 / 19:26

          Well don’t let me pressure you but it would tick off another thing from my list… 😉

          and NO its not weird at all! It would be the coolest! It’ll be just me and the husband. He’s very amenable. I’m taking this offline in case of stalkers but basically yay!

  4. Jen
    2nd June 2016 / 14:38

    I haven’t told many of my personal friends about my blog either, honestly sometimes I feel it’s better that way haha.

    • 2nd June 2016 / 19:20

      I think you may be right actually. I don’t want to worry about the way I write changing to accommodate the people I know.

  5. 2nd June 2016 / 14:52

    You really did such a great job with your 30 before 30 list! Even though you didn’t accomplish some of your goals, you at least tried them out and they achieved what you wanted them too, like read more books! And way to go for getting featured on both of those Instagram accounts! That’s awesome!

    • 3rd June 2016 / 22:52

      Thank you! And yes, I totally agree about the nature of the goals rather than the specific details. I’m glad I upped my reading game, even if I didn’t quite make it to a book a week. It was cool to be featured on those Instagram accounts, although disappointingly it didn’t really increase engagement on my original photo at all. Hey ho, at least it was a nice compliment on my photography!

  6. 2nd June 2016 / 15:03

    I made a 30 before 30 when I was 23. And since I figured I had soooo long, I made a lot of the things really ambitious. Like, see all 7 continents. Which, when I was 23 I’d been to North America, 1/7. So, yeah. Crazy.

    I’m 26 now, & still want to do as much as I can but, I recognize that some of the things just aren’t as important to me anymore.

    But I love lists like these to get me out of my comfort zone.

    And my friends don’t know about my blog either. It is SO hard to tell people. And I don’t know why, because here I am spilling my heart out on the internet…

    • 3rd June 2016 / 23:53

      Ha that sounds like exactly what I’d do. I thought I had ages with 13 months! I had to change my list too; initially I had buy a house and get a cat on the list, but then we steered more towards emigrating and those choices no longer made sense. But I think the point of these lists isn’t to constrain us, it’s to help us get where we want to. So I’ve got no qualms axing things from the list that don’t serve me any more. Good luck with the rest of your list!

    • 3rd June 2016 / 23:53

      Also what’s your blog url? Disqus isn’t helping me out here and I want to visit you!

  7. 2nd June 2016 / 17:11

    Oh I really love this! I like how you were so honest with each thing. You might have just inspired me to create a 30 by 30 list myself. 🙂 It seems like you are totally killing it at Instagram, so kudos to you! Have fun in the US! If you find yourself in Philadelphia, let me know.

    • 3rd June 2016 / 23:57

      Oh yay! I hope you do. Let me know if you do so I can come and see what’s on yours! I wouldn’t say I’m killing it on Instagram by any stretch of the imagination, but I’m having fun and posting photos I’m proud of so I think that’s the main thing. I will certainly let you know if I come to Philadelphia, somewhere else to add to my ever-growing US wishlist!

  8. Kerri Taylor
    2nd June 2016 / 20:03

    what a lovely and non traditional list. which are my favorite kind. all very personalized to your fantastic self. the part about not telling your real life friends about blog is not as scary as you’d think. i mean this is coming from a girl where my entire office knows about my blog and it’s on my resume haha. but it’s not bad at all 🙂

    xoxo cheshire kat

    • 4th June 2016 / 00:01

      Haha awesome. I can’t be any other way! Oh I need to take inspiration from you on the telling people. I think I’m more ready now, now that I’ve finally figured out how I am even going about this whole blogging thing. The Australia question is somewhat of a hold back though, I don’t want to disclose before I’m ready but I want to talk about it on here so I can work through my emotions about it, ha!

  9. 2nd June 2016 / 21:54

    You did such an amazing job on your list! I can definitely relate to not telling people about my blog. i’ve slowly started telling close friends, but it’s still so weird!

    • 4th June 2016 / 00:04

      Thanks! Reflecting back, I did much better than I thought I did. I just find it awkward, because I’m overly honest on here but I want to tell my friends my news in person rather than them be like, oh yah I saw it on the blog…

  10. 2nd June 2016 / 22:06

    Great job! And happy 30th 🙂 I’m still working on mine and hope I can achieve most of it..I have just over 4 years to go! Thanks for linking up with us 🙂

    • 4th June 2016 / 00:08

      Thanks so much! Ahh you’ve got ages, go for it! I look forward to reading how you get long in 4 years time! And thanks for hosting 🙂

  11. 2nd June 2016 / 23:24

    Love all these things you are doing for yourself.
    I dont think I could give up Facebook. Its really how I stay in touch with most of my family 🙂
    I’m anxious to see how your teeth end up. I actually love your gap. I think gaps give such personality 🙂

    • 4th June 2016 / 00:10

      Yeah, that’s fair enough about Facebook. Not many of my family are on it, so I guess it’s horses for courses 🙂
      Ahh I know, if I weren’t me I would probably like my gap, too. It just slaps me between the eyes every time I look at a picture of myself, if you know what I mean! I’m curious to see if getting it fixed will stop me being mistaken for a teenager. We shall see…

  12. 3rd June 2016 / 00:02

    Such a great list, you did so well! Love the variety of things you thought of! I thought it was just me who didn’t tell people about my blog, eeek! Only my very close friends and family know, I get so shy about it and I’m not quite sure why!

    • 4th June 2016 / 00:11

      Nope, you and me both! I’m not sure why I’m reluctant to tell people about my blog. Your blog is stunning, you’ve got nothing to be shy about – but at the same time I totally get it. Maybe we should start a therapy group 🙂

  13. 3rd June 2016 / 00:18

    You did a great job on this list! I haven’t told anyone but my husband about my blog, so I totally get that. I don’t know if I’ll tell people when we move or not, but who knows. I can not wait to read more about your Greece trip! and I think it would be amazing to live in Australia!!

    • 4th June 2016 / 00:12

      Thanks so much! I’m glad it’s not just me that’s weirdly sheepy about it, I’ve got no idea what my problem is. I might be more up to telling people if I moved away, that way it’s a legit way for people to keep up with what I’m doing. At the moment I just worry people will see it as a narcissistic ramble. Maybe I’m overthinking things… And yes! There’s plenty more to come on my Santorini trip, and as for Australia watch this space…

  14. 3rd June 2016 / 16:37

    you did a lot! I totally relate with telling friends about blogging. I’ve only told my husband, my best best friend and to my other two best friends. and I did that only after a few months after I launched my blog:))

    • 6th June 2016 / 16:04

      Thanks! Glad I’m not the only one. You did good with the telling! Better than me!

  15. 3rd June 2016 / 18:28

    Firstly i have to say – TELL THEM! If i had a blog as good as yours i would be screaming it from the rooftops 😛 I know how nerve-wracking it can be, but you honestly have nothing to fear.

    Oh my goodness ankor wat – the tree temple may be my favourite place on earth! I remember reading your posts with such nostalgia, as i went back in 2014, the most magical place 🙂 xx

    • 6th June 2016 / 16:06

      Haha you’re too kind! Maybe I will be a bit more brave.

      The Angkor temples was a once in a lifetime trip (except I now want to go back again…). I’m glad you enjoyed my posts then, that’s really nice to hear. It’s totally magical, isn’t it?!

  16. 3rd June 2016 / 22:17

    Wow! That is quite a list! And it looks like you’ve accomplished a bunch! 🙂 You should be so proud. You really packed a lot into your time since you wrote the list!

    Don’t feel too badly about not telling friends and family about your blog. I agree with the other commenters that your blog looks wonderful and you shouldn’t be embarrassed! But I also understand that there is online life and then there is life life (for lack of a better description?). Sometimes you say things in your blog to relate to readers that you don’t want to be public yet (like the desire to move to Australia).

    I can’t wait to hear all about your trip to NYC! I have probably mentioned this before, but it is worth mentioning again: make sure to visit the High Line! And the Meatpacking district! Those are my favorite places in NYC! 🙂

    • 6th June 2016 / 16:13

      Thanks! Yes I did actually achieve quite a lot of them, looking back on it. I’m glad I had a list of things to work towards, as I think it did make me do more.

      Thanks for your kind words – yes I totally get online life and life life, the two do not always match up! Mostly because if I wrote about life life here everyone would be bored to tears.

      Thanks for your NYC tips, any more please feel free to fling them my way. I’m on for alllll the tips. I’m very keen to go on the High Line, and I’ll add the meatpacking district to my list as well 🙂

  17. 3rd June 2016 / 23:11

    hehe you know I think you should come live here in Australia, but it’s a big decision to make so natural it will take time! 🙂

    You’ve done so well with your goals, well done on achieving so many! 🙂 I use windows movie maker and it’s shocking, but on the positive side there are so few things you can actually do with it that it doesn’t have a big learning curve! I’ve used it to stick together a few videos of the boys, nothing overly fancy, but if it comes on your computer maybe worth trying? 🙂

    I still feel a little weird when people know about the blog, or reference the blog…even though I’m pretty open about it. I don’t know why that is. Maybe it’s because when youblog you’re (hopefully!) attracting people who like blogs, and when you talk to people offline about blogs you usually have to explain what they are first and it just sounds plain strange, haha!

    Away From The Blue Blog

    • 4th June 2016 / 15:24

      I agree! I think if people are already into the “blogging world” it doesn’t really bother me so much, but if they have know idea what it is it just seems really weird and I hate talking about it!

      • 7th June 2016 / 22:08

        Yes true – you don’t have the initial explanation barrier with other bloggers. They just get it. Glad I’m not the only one who finds it hard!

    • 7th June 2016 / 22:07

      Yes, hopefully I will be able to meet up with you one day and celebrate having made the move! We’ll see. Thanks for the movie maker tips, maybe I’ll give it a go then if I’ve got nothing to lose.

      Yeah the blog weirdness thing… I don’t know. I think it might be the explaining bit – it just all seems so narcissistic when you say it in plain English! Maybe I’ll be more courageous with time 🙂

      • 8th June 2016 / 18:58

        I am overdue a trip to Europe too so hopefully we will catch up no matter what! 😉

  18. 4th June 2016 / 01:44

    I totally hear you on being unsure about telling your friends and family about your blog. I felt the same way, BUT i will say since I’ve taken the time to make my blog look better and it’s been much easier to tell people. it’s truly something I’m proud of, and i’ve had a lot of friends tell me how cool it is, which only made me more motivated. you’ll know when the time is right 🙂

    • 7th June 2016 / 22:09

      Hmm, interesting! Thanks for the perspective, the family I have told so far have been very positive which has made me more open to telling the rest of my family. So that is a good motivator! Your posts ARE really cool too, so I’m not surprised your friends enjoy reading it 🙂

  19. 4th June 2016 / 15:22

    Oh wow you play cello! I played for years while I was at school but stopped when I got to uni. I really miss it sometimes… Maybe I’ll try to pick it up again 🙂 I hope your quartet works out!

    This was such an awesome list and looks like you did a great job ticking a lot of them off! You’ve inspired me to make my own (and I might steal a few of your ideas! hehe) – getting used to my contacts is something I really need to master – I’ve had them for about 2 years now and only worn them a bunch of times!

    I still feel so weird about talking to people about my blog too so you’re not alone in that. We really need to figure out a way to just be like “this is what I do and I’m proud of it” but it’s so much easier said than done!

    Lauren xx

    • 7th June 2016 / 22:11

      Me and the cello is basically the same story as you! I’m suuuuper rusty but I do love playing it so I just need to get back into the swing of things. Playing with others works well for me, as there’s not too many solo pieces for cello!

      Yes please do steal away – and let me know when you’ve done your list so I can go have a snoop 🙂 I do think mastering contacts is worth it, I can hardly believe it when I’m out and about and can actually see what I’m doing, where I’m going without squinting all the time. And my eyesight isn’t even that bad!

      I’m with you on the figuring out a telling way. It’s just so awkward at the moment and tricky to explain to people who’ve never blogged or don’t have a concept of what that even means. I’m working on it…

  20. 7th June 2016 / 13:27

    What an amazing and comprehensive list! So many goals achieved and so many adventures taken and planned! I personally love making lists of things to do because I find it jard to organize otherwise! I’ve actually been thinking of making a Santiago bucket-list soon so I’m more motivated to start checking some things off the list!

    As for telling people about my blog, I completely understand feeling a bit strange about it! It’s hard to explain the process of blogging to people who arent involved! It seriously is a whole other world! And when people reference my blog or social media around me I have to admit I do get a bit uncomfortable- I don’t know why though! Haha

    Thanks for sharing this list Rachel! You may have just inspired me to make my own 30 before 30 considering this year is my bug quarter century bday! Ah 😀

    • 7th June 2016 / 22:14

      Yes I’m exactly the same. If it’s not on a list, it’s not happening! I’d love to see your Santiago bucket list, I hereby encourage you to write it and publish it so I can drool!

      Ok I’m glad I’m not the only one who finds telling ‘normal people’ weird. I can’t really explain it, either! It’s weird when people know stuff you’re sure you didn’t tell them, and they’re like oh yah read it on the blog. But then it’s kind of cool, too! Because it means people are reading and not just when you’re standing over their shoulder going “read this thing I wrote!!! Please??”

      Happy quarter century year!! You should definitely do a 30 before 30, think of all the epic things you could tick off in 5 years. Do it!

  21. 8th June 2016 / 01:49

    You did really well! I have only told my mom about my blog (and my husband, obviously, since he has to be featured sometimes haha), but apparently she only visited once. Not sure whether to be offended or appreciate her concern for my privacy

    • 11th June 2016 / 12:35

      Thank you! Haha that’s hilarious about your mum. It is interesting to see how seriously or not people take our hobbies – but then I’m always surprised when I hear that people have actually been reading it…!

  22. 8th June 2016 / 16:03

    I LOVE this list! And I bet you accomplished a lot more than I would have in the same situation. 🙂 I had a “Top 5 Before 35” list of places to travel, but if I’m being realistic, I really doubt I’ll be able to scratch the remaining 4 off the list in the next 6 years. 😛

    • 11th June 2016 / 12:35

      Ah I’m not sure. We all do our best with what we have! Good luck with your 5 before 35, travelling with a little one is not easy so I’ll be really impressed with whatever you do manage. Looking forward to seeing where you do make it 🙂

  23. 10th June 2016 / 20:29

    Whoa! You did such a great job with your list! I’ll be turning 30 next April and made a simple goal – to lose 30lb by my 30th haha. Also, I’m planning on getting braces at some point and am happy to know there’s another grown woman with braces out there. Can’ wait to join the brace club 🙂

    • 11th June 2016 / 12:37

      Yay fellow grown woman with braces! I’m getting used to them quite well now, and my friends and family who know me really well say they can’t really tell about them any more so I’m really encouraged by that. Good luck with yours, I hope they go really well! And happy birthday in advance 🙂

  24. 14th June 2016 / 17:01

    I haven’t even created a 30 before 30 list, so you’re doing much better than me! I can’t wait to see what you’re overall impression of NYC is. (Hopefully it hasn’t been too hot and doesn’t currently smell like garbage!)

    Facebook is the worst and I really spend too much time on there. I probably would quit, but Erin’s Book Challenge is on there. That and I’m likely addicted.

    Oh my word, I’m so nervous to tell anyone about my blog. I feel like it’s this big secret thing and I’m not necessarily ashamed of it, I just don’t want to talk about it with people in real life. Someone at work found it a few years ago and brought it up in a meeting and I felt like crawling under the table.

    I found a book club with strangers and joined the facebook group, but they kept picking these super depressing books so I bowed out. Mind you, I never actually went to the meetings. I felt like I needed to scope out the situation prior to actually committing and was likely a tad judgmental, just because I was too afraid to actually go and put myself out there.

    • 22nd June 2016 / 21:38

      It’s fine, you still have time! How long do you have left…?? You can totally tailor the list to make it achievable by the time you actually turn 30. That’s what I tried to do – worked out well, clearly…!

      Oh nooooo in a meeting??? I’d have been mortified. I absolutely couldn’t handle anyone at work finding out – I think it’s because unless you’re a blogger too, it all just seems so self indulgent and ridiculous. Actually it probably is but at least if you’re talking to fellow bloggers then we’re all as bad as each other?!

      You know, I’ve decided that I think book groups are incredibly personal things. Some pretty deep thoughts and feelings can come out (depending on the book you’re reading!) and I’m not sure I’d like to air that in front of any old stranger. So maybe a group with strangers isn’t such a good idea after all.

      • 22nd June 2016 / 22:06

        I have about 2 years and 2 months until the big 30!

        Yes, I wanted to crawl under the table. My coworker was complimentary about it, but it does seem SO self indulgent! Like, look at me I’m SO interesting. haha No one has mentioned it since, but I’m always conscious that they know so I’m careful about what I post.

        Agreed! I want to feel comfortable enough to really share my thoughts, feelings and experiences. I just wish I could find a group of people who would commit to doing something like that.

  25. 21st October 2016 / 22:13

    As long as you are happy with what you have achieved (and it looks like a lot to me) then that is the main thing. I’m a mental for putting pressure on myself anyway, let alone with a list. But hey, 1 year 6mths to 30… maybe it’s time? How’s the Oz thing going? I’m going to poke around the blog a bit more and see if I can find out :3

  26. 7th January 2017 / 17:41

    Brilliant list Rachel! I’m currently working on mine.. but it’s not something I’ve posted yet. Yours is brilliant and you’ve achieved so much. Go you. And now I know the answer to the most exciting one – I’m pretty sure this will be your year! 😀


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