Think back to your 10-year-old self’s daydreams about your 21st birthday. Maybe you were convinced you would be living it up at your dream school, learning by day and partying by night. Perhaps you fancied yourself a world traveler, backpacking across the globe and spending your days sipping wine with the world’s most fascinating people.
If your dreams didn’t quite turn out as planned, it’s OK! You should still be cracking open that wine-in-a-box and celebrating your twenties. Being in your twenties is a time for adventure and whimsy. Many of us will settle down someday, create beautiful little families and become permanent fixtures in our neighborhoods of choice. But for me, that day is not today.
To fill my time between now and thirtydom, I’ll be attempting to be a little bit reckless and a little bit responsible, to fix my undeniably bad and self-destructive habits, to make goals and surpass them and finally, to make memories I will never forget.
Here is your Bucket List: 30 Things to Do Before You Turn 30:
1. Travel somewhere you don’t know the language.
Going somewhere you can’t easily communicate with other people is terrifying. But not only would it enlighten you and make you savvy to another culture, it would also force you to really learn the language — something we’re rarely forced to do.
2. Date someone who isn’t your “type.”
You will learn and grow from being around people who are different from you. Maybe the relationship won’t work out in the end or maybe you’ll meet your future spouse. At any rate, you’ll either have a great time or a terrible time, but you will learn from the experience.
3. Start saving.
Retirement might be a blip on the map but it will be here before you know it. Do yourself a favor and start saving now. Especially if your company offers matching. Grow money, grow!
4. Take a risk: Go bungee jumping or skydiving or swim with sharks.
I’m talking to you non-adrenaline junkies and typical stay-at-homers. Get outside, put yourself in the hands of trained professionals, and experience that exhilarating feeling of being thisclose to staring death in the face.
5. Start investing.
This is a risk in itself. Learn enough to invest some money or have someone else do it for you. No risk, no reward.
6. Form your political opinion.
We live in a politically turbulent time. It’s up to us to educate ourselves and advocate for what we believe in.
Many people shy away from political discussions but by having them, you’ll come out with new, more well-rounded knowledge and, hopefully, will get to know your own opinions better.
7. Stop holding grudges.
Past grievances are overrated. You don’t need negativity in your life and you definitely don’t need it over something that happened years ago.
If you need to, unfollow of block the involved parties on social media. Don’t “hate follow” someone just for the heck of it. A grudge only affects the person holding it.
8. Start a collection.
Something fun, quirky and totally you. Be passionate about it but don’t be a hoarder!
My collectable of choice is mugs. They take up a lot of space, but they are something I use daily and always bring back memories from places I’ve visited.
9. Take a cross-country road trip.
Particularly if you are in the United States. You’ll get to experience many different nuances of the country and you can support local mom-and-pop businesses.
10. Pay off your credit card debt.
No one wants this to begin with, but you have a chance to start off your thirties with a clean financial slate if you play your cards right (or in this case, not at all).
Debt can not only be financially devastating for building the future you dream of, but it can also be tough on your confidence.
11. Go see live music you love.
There’s something so special about seeing your favorite artists live. They aren’t going to be on tour forever, so buy the tickets and make the drive. You won’t regret seeing them live.
12. Set an annual reading goal.
I could bore you with the list of benefits of reading, but I won’t (but if you’re curious, we’ve got some right here). Go make yourself a Goodreads account and set yourself a reading goal to accomplish each year.
13. Overcome a fear.
Sometimes your fears hold you back, but don’t let them. Take steps to overcome your fear of public speaking or heights. Once you know you what you are capable of, anything is possible.
14. Be the first person to apologize.
It’s hard to admit when you are wrong. But it’s usually for the greater good.
Saying “I’m sorry” is something we learn as children but don’t often implement as adults. Apologize when you’re in the wrong.
15. Pay it forward.
Ever had someone help you out when you didn’t ask for it? Even if you haven’t, you can still start a chain of positive events by paying for someone’s coffee or helping them change a flat tire.
Positive momentum is a powerful thing, people!
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