Skip to main content
30 Before 30Life

30 Before 30: The List

By May 6, 2017May 21st, 20183 Comments

As I’m writing this, I’ve got about 50 weeks until I turn 30. My twenties have been amazing – I have no regrets, I’m happy, and I feel no need to “find myself.” But I do feel a need for fun and adventure. So I’m dedicating my 30 before 30 to having more fun and appreciating how amazing life is.

1. Cultivate an opinion on which region of the world has the best wine
I’m excited to pursue this one. I think it means drinking plenty of wine.

2. Jump off a cliff (literally)
Because why not?

3. Jump off a cliff (metaphorically)
When I look back at the times I’ve taken a leap of faith and jumped off the cliff, I don’t regret any of them. I’m taking this to mean I should do it more.

4. Go the the Pyramids
Yep, this and the next three might be cliche, but I’ve always wanted to see the Pyramids.

I went to Egypt, went to the Pyramids, and made it out alive!
(And even had fun!)

5. Visit Petra
If Indiana Jones went there, it has to be pretty awesome, right?

I visited Petra! After Petra, I have just two wonders to go – Pyramids and Colosseum!

6. See the Taj Mahal
There are always rumors they’re closing it to the public. Better get there soon.

I visited the Taj Mahal with G Adventures!

7. Go to the Colosseum
Numbers 4 – 7 are really about something else: keeping a promise I made to myself that I’d given up on.

When I was 24, I promised myself that I’d see all eight wonders of the world before I turned 30. Last year, I gave up on that promise to myself and said “well, I’ll see all eight sometime in my life, no need for a time limit.”

I decided to go back to the original plan.

I did it! Seeing all 8 wonders was totally worth doing!

8. Watch the sun rise… after staying up all night
I don’t know what I’m going to do for that night, but I can only imagine it’ll be a great story. There’s something magical about greeting a new day before you’ve really finished the last one.

So this did NOT happen like I planned when I added it to this list. But alas, I did see a beautiful sunrise after being up all night!

9. Eat something crazy
I think southeast Asia will come through for me here.

10. Learn to surf
There’s something about the surfing lifestyle that just makes me want to join.

I learned to surf in Siargao!

11. Go on a trek
Sometimes the best revelations come from the steepest mountains. It’s time to go trekking and find them.

12. Grow some grass
Exactly as mundane as it sounds. But I can’t keep grass alive for the life of me. I take it as God’s sign I’m not ready for parenthood.

I’m cancelling this one. I met a guy in Greece who owns a sod farm in Georgia… and after hearing about my woes with growing grass informed me that in Florida, with my shady backyard, it’s just not going to happen. So apparently it’s not really a “me” issue.

13. Surprise myself
I’m not good at surprises.

I’m honestly surprised I had the nerve to go scuba diving.

14. Enjoy being wonderfully lost
Literally and figuratively, I make the best discoveries when I’m lost.

15. Go on a hot air balloon ride
Yes. Yes. Yes. Preferably at sunrise. Preferably somewhere incredible. Bagan, I’m looking at you. Or maybe Cappadocia?

Sunrise hot air balloon ride over the Valley of the Kings. I think that fulfills this item in every possible way.

16. Spend a night outside. No tent.
Enjoy the stars allllllll night long.

17. Re-read Seneca’s Letters from a Stoic
I think I should do this every year – it’s full of wisdom.

18. Thoroughly and completely relax
I’m so wrapped up in the American lifestyle and the go go go mentality, I’m not sure I know how to completely relax. I feel confident I can figure it out.

19. Finish Kon-Mari-ing my house
We all have too much stuff. I don’t think it’s all bringing me joy. It’s certainly not all coming for a 14 week trip around the world.

20. Go a week without the Internet and my cell phone
I’m not sure it’s possible but I’d like to give it a try.

21. Write a series of handwritten notes to the people who have changed my life
I’m lucky enough that there are a lot of people who have invested in me and shaped my life. I’d like to spend some time making sure they know how grateful I am.

22. Treat myself
Not sure what this one looks like, but we shall see.

23. Watch 3 classic movies
I’m super behind on movie watching. I feel like Rocky, The Sound of Music, and Casablanca maybe? And yes, I have never seen any of those three. I feel like the flight to Hong Kong could be useful on this.

24. Island hop in Greece
I feel like this one could help with #18.

While not exactly like I originally expected, I did head out to the Greek island of Agistri.

25. Find a tiny little town off the beaten path to fall in love with
Somewhere to appreciate a different way of life.

I don’t think it’ll be off the beaten path for long, but the town of Kalambaka, Greece was amazing. It’s the town at the base of the Meteora monasteries, and it’s just so incredibly perfect I fell in love!

26. Watch the sun rise over the ocean and set over the ocean in the same day
I need to be somewhere with a thin strip of land for this one.

27. Be completely and totally alone
Safely, of course. But maybe find a desert island?

28. Decide on a personal theme song
We can’t all be baseball players but I feel like we should have a song that’s the rhythm of our lives, right?

29. Find a place to stargaze
Nothing better than gazing into the heavens, and it’s too light to do it properly most places.

Wadi Rum was one of the most incredible places ever… and the stargazing there is INCREDIBLE. I saw the Milky Way for the first time!

30. I’m leaving this one open… one to grow on


  • Chris Hachey says:

    Love your list, and consider your movie list approved by the guy who used to curate your movie list. 😉 Although I can’t recall if you’ve seen The Godfather. If not, swap out for either Sound of Music (my vote) or Rocky (if you must). Or watch all four for extra credit!

    • Amanda Plewes says:

      You made me watch The Godfather in advance of my first review. 😉

      But Sound of Music stays… I think Salzburg just got added to the itinerary, so alas… probably need to see it. 🙂 But I could go for broke and watch like four movies…

Leave a Reply