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A New Decade, A New Bucket List

A New Decade, A New Bucket List

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Happy birthday to me! Today I turn 30 and while most people keep asking me if I feel or old if I’m freaked out about it, I’m actually pretty happy.

I’ve always loved birthdays. I find them really exciting whether they’re my own or someone else’s. You get to eat cake, blow out candles, eat your favorite dinner, and turn a year older. But it’s certainly made to be a big number and saying goodbye to my twenties means saying goodbye to one seriously kick-ass decade.

living abroad

This is a photo from my first weekend living in New Zealand way back in 2010!

photos of tori gate in Miyajima

I visited Japan for the first time during my 20’s which has been a dream of mine since I was a kid!

Goodbye to a Fantastic Decade

It’s certainly the end of an era. My 20’s were great. I will always think of that decade as one of immense growth, most of it painful and uncomfortable. There were plenty of cringe-worthy moments (like getting conned out of $1,500 or almost dropping a trailer into someone else’s pool).  There were plenty of times when I wanted to throw in the towel and just live a simpler, more settled life (like those cranky, hot, cramped days in northern Thailand or when I almost ran out of money in Sydney).

But it’s all been worth it. It’s all shaped me into the 30-year-old I am today.

During my twenties, I lived in six different countries that weren’t my own (Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, South Korea, the UK, and Mexico) and I traveled to more than 20 others.

I studied three languages and somehow managed to make myself understood in all of them.

I went skydiving and hang-gliding. I learned how to scuba dive. I rode horses and camels and hung out with elephants. I’ve eaten some weird and wonderful things (fertilized duck eggs, I’m lookin’ at you).

I’ve slept on couches, in the backseat of a car, in the front seat of a car, on floors and tatami mats, in hammocks and some seriously plush beds.

I’ve worked as a city council member, a software marketer, a gardener, a cherry picker (definitely the worst on the list), a research assistant, a shop assistant, an English teacher, and for a good chunk of this decade, I didn’t work at all.

I have met perhaps hundreds of incredible people, all who taught me a little something that I’ll take with me into this next decade.

It’s almost surreal to try to put it all into perspective.

how to make money while you travel

Traveling around Australia is still a massive highlight of my 20s.

travel disasters

I also learned how to ride a motorbike during the 20’s (and I had a lot of really great tans in my 20’s, too!)

vietnam itinerary

I had a pretty great travel partner throughout this entire decade, too.

what to do in oaxaca mexico

I moved to Mexico!

A Bucket List for My 30’s

Luke asked me recently if I think I could possibly top such an outrageous decade as the one just gone. Challenge accepted.

Being in my 30’s brings with it a little bit more financial freedom than I had in my twenties. I can do bigger trips, I can take more time away from my job without having to quit or try to find another while the money runs out.

I’m so excited by the prospect of another decade. A clean slate in which to create totally new adventures. Here are a few things that I have in mind for my 30’s.

1. Do my yoga teacher training (preferably in a fantastically beautifully location like Costa Rica, Tulum or Nicaragua).

2. Buy a camper van and do it up from scratch. Then take it around North America.

3. Take a foodie tour of Europe – I’m thinking France, Italy, Portugal, Spain.

4. Finally go to Eastern Europe.

5. Spend some time exploring Scandinavia.

6. Climb Kilimanjaro.

7. Take a cruise to Antarctica.

8. Walk at least part of the Camino de Santiago.

9. Go back to Asia and visit more of Japan, finally make it to China, and Singapore, too.

10. Move to another country (duh!), maybe two.

11. Get WAY better at Spanish.

12. Explore the western side of Canada

13. See the Northern Lights, preferably while in Scandinavia, but I’ll take Northern Scotland, too.

14. Do an epic, multi-day hike somewhere in the UK like Scotland or northern England (trans-Pennine?)

15. Take a canal boat around England.

These are just a few of the things I have in mind for the next 10 years or so. What else should I add to the list?

Keith Van Sickle

Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Good for you! I wish you many great adventures in the decade ahead.

I don't have anything to add to your bucket list but I'll share a favorite quote from the French writer Colette:

"Faites des bĂȘtises, mais faites-les avec enthousiasme!"

"Do foolish things, but do them with enthusiasm!"

Laura Bronner

Monday 12th of February 2018

Thanks so much, Keith! I like that quote a lot!


Wednesday 7th of February 2018

Happy Birthday (or as they say here in Sweden, Congratulations!) Sounds like you made the most of your 20s and have so many amazing things to look forward to in your 30s. Wishing you all the best - and I look forward to following along on all your fantastic adventures :)

Christina Gentile

Tuesday 6th of February 2018

Happiest of birthdays! So incredibly happy for you and your adventures! Can't wait to continue to follow and hopefully meet up on an adventure one day soon!