30 Before 30: Travel, Personal Growth, and Creative Goals for the Next Five Years
As of tomorrow, I’ll be 25, and I thought this was a good time to write out my 30 before 30 list (I got the idea from Hannah Witton’s Youtube video of the same name. As Hannah does, I’m going to check back with these when I’m 29 to see what I’ve accomplished, what no longer interests me, and what I’m still hoping to do – then I have a year to get my butt in gear to finish the list.
Now, I’m not a sporty person by a long shot; in middle school, I faked sick nearly every week to get out of playing dodgeball, and I have never played on a team sport. However, skiing combines two of my absolute favourite things: snow and going fast. I can see myself gliding down a snowy hill, dodging between evergreens while fat flakes fall from the sky. Maybe I’m romanticizing it, but it sounds lovely regardless.
Publish a novel
This has been a goal of mine since I was a teenager, but I let it fall to the wayside for the last few years. Now that I’m almost done university, publishing a novel is a priority.
Publish a poetry book
But not as much of a priority as publishing my first book of poems, which I started working on last year and had to put on the back burner when things became too much. As soon as next semester is over, my poetry book is the top priority.
Publish a book of short stories
This is not nearly as important to me as the poetry book and the novel, but it would still be a lot of fun to do a themed book of short stories.
Tutor in creative writing
Honestly, helping people learn to improve their writing skills sounds like the dream. Showing people how to write beautiful poetry and craft the perfect scene? Sign me up.
I’m deathly afraid of confined spaces, but I’m also all about saying “screw you” to fears. And really, climbing through a cave to find a secret swimming pool sounds amazing.
See the Northern lights
Out of all the natural phenomena in the world, this is at the top of my list. I don’t really care where I see them from, I just want to see them (and maybe take some cool pictures).
Go rock climbing
Another “let’s tackle this fear” item on the list. I’m terrified of heights, and will probably panic three feet from the ground, but I want to be able to say I did it.
Road trip across B.C.
I have a vision of taking a summer off and driving all around B.C., taking pictures of ghost towns and forgotten forests. If I’m lucky, I’ll be crossing this off my list this summer.
Take painting classes
I love painting, but I’ve never had any formal training, and would love to learn some basic techniques from a professor who’s passionate about their work.
Take graphic design classes
Same goes for graphic design. I just think it would be a really neat skill to learn.
Backpack across Europe
I want to see all of Europe. Mainly Germany and France, but I’m down to go pretty much anywhere else, too. Neuschwanstein Castle is at the top of my list, but I’ll check pretty much anything out.
I feel most at home near the ocean, but I’ve never surfed. The dream is to surf at Big Sur, but I’d settle for the B.C. coast as well.
Visit Machu Picchu
There’s something about the ruins of a forgotten city that make my skin tingle, and my inner explorer longs to experience it first hand.
Re-learn to play piano
I played piano briefly when I was a kid, and have dabbled off and on over the last five years, but I want to get serious and play on a regular basis.
Get a masters in creative writing
This kind of spring boards off wanting to tutor people in creative writing — spending two years surrounded by people who are just as passionate about writing as I am sounds amazing. That, and I’d get to improve my skills even further, and maybe even teach in the future.
Hot springs in Iceland
Again, another really cool natural wonder I’d like to see up close.
Live somewhere other than B.C.
I’ve lived in the same city since I was born, and now that I’m almost done university, I think it’s time for a change.
Do the TEFL course/teach abroad
Which may very well happen sooner than I think, as I’m going to start my TEFL certification as soon as I’m done my last semester. Right now I’m aiming for Germany, but who knows where I’ll want to go when I’m actually done.
The ultimate life goal: make a living from freelance writing. I’m not the kind of person who enjoys regular 9-5 hours; I’d much prefer to make my own schedule, and take on projects that I enjoy doing, not that I have to do. Having said that, I know I’ll love pretty much any writing or editing job I’ll take on as a freelancer.
See St. Basil’s Cathedral in Russia
I’ve recently become obsessed with Russian architecture, and I’m particularly consumed by St. Basil’s Cathedral. This is probably the most far fetched item on this list (because taking a trip to Russia scares me because of the current political climate, but I’m still aiming for it.
Learn to play ukulele
Who doesn’t want to be able to play their favourite songs on this cute little instrument?
Work/volunteer at a lit magazine
I’m passionate about writing (obviously), and working or volunteering for a lit mag sounds perfect for someone as obsessed with words and stories as I am.
Throw a Fancy Dinner Party
I’ve been going to a lot of Christmas parties this season, and I’d really like to try my hand at throwing a fancy dinner party someday (formal attire required!) with a full three course meal, as well as snazzy drinks.
See the hobbit village in New Zealand
I’m a huge LOTR nerd. End of story.
Go to the Van Gogh museum
I’ve been in love with Van Gogh’s paintings since I was a teenager; there’s something so whimsical about impressionist painting, and I’d love to see them in person.
Visit Easter Island
Again, weird mysteries of the earth – my kind of thing. Also, they have some really potent liquor that, apparently, no one wants to drink straight. I’d like to challenge that.
Work in a ski town
Even if just for a season, I think it would be fun to live in a dorm-like situation with other adventurous people, all while being surrounded by snow and forests.
Work at a coffee shop (again)
I’ve worked in three coffee shops throughout my life, and I’ve always loved the atmosphere. Plus, walking into your place of work to be greeted by the smell of espresso and fresh baked muffins is my definition of heaven.
Start a book review podcast
I read. A lot. And I have friends who read. A lot. Having a dedicated space and time to hang out, talk about books, and drink tea sounds perfect.
Do you have goals you want to reach before your 30th birthday (or another milestone)? Let me know in the comments!