30 by 30 – A Wonderful Way to Wrap Up My 20s

With one more year left in my twenties, I'm going to celebrate by going out with a bang. From big things to small here is my list of 30 by 30. I turn 29 this week, and I am excited. So far in life getting older has meant getting better. It is true for life, but even more, for the person I continue to develop and grow into. I’ve loved my twenties. The challenges, the growth, the amazing memories, and the adventures. I’ve accomplished a lot and am very happy with where I’ve gotten to. I’ve decided to celebrate my twenties by having one last amazing year before I head into my thirties.

Now don’t worry I am even more excited for my thirties. I can only start to imagine the possibilities of what those ten years will hold, everything I will accomplish and who I will grow to be. But for now, I am making a list of big things and small that I want to do. Some are things I’ve put off with excuses, some are things I want to do one more time, and others are goals I’d like to achieve in the next year.

I’m sure this isn’t the comprehensive list of great things I will accomplish in the next year, but here is my go at a 30 by 30 list.

September Update Update – Only one month left on this adventure and it sure has been a great one. Nine items left on the list, four of those are things in progress, two are already booked, I’m working on scheduling two others, and the last one will be pushed to doing while 30 for a good friend’s 30th celebration. Have to say I’m gonna complish many more of these than I thought I’d get done in just a year. Read below to see what I’ve accomplished so far!  Also, take a look at my half way report here

1 – Go to Bali

This is the big ticket item. I have wanted to go to Bali since I read “Eat, Pray, Love” over a decade ago. Now it’s time to stop thinking about it and go. I had a blast in Bali, two weeks exploring and relaxing on the island. 

2 – Get scuba certified somewhere amazing

Another thing I’ve wanted to do for too long. I started the process back in high school and have always wanted to finish it. Snorkeling has never been enough for me, and I am excited to get certified so I can make it a part of my traveling for the future. I’m certified! Spent my first couple days in Bali working on it. Now enjoying more fun dives around the island. 

3 – Bake a souffle

I love chocolate souffle but have yet to try and make one. Always up for a new culinary adventure. Success! And on the first time. 

4 – Cook an artichoke

Everyone says this is simple, but I keep chickening out on buying them in the store. So this year I’ll do it. Done! And can’t wait to do it again. 

5 – Go apple picking, which will, of course, lead to baking an apple pie

I live just down the hill from an amazing apple picking area and after six years I haven’t made it. Time to stop the excuses. Done on the first day of November & going back again in September. Might become an annual trip!

6 – Take a knife skills class

I love cooking and I’m pretty good at it. The one thing I really want to learn how to do better is using knives properly. Will take a class or two to learn some more of the tricks. Working on finding on when I’m in Southern California next month. They are oddly hard to come by. 

7 – Host Thanksgiving

I love Thanksgiving, the food, of course, but even more the time with my family. Since I knew I wasn’t traveling home this year, I’ve decided to host. Had a blast with my family and ate some delicious food.

8 – Go to a Winemakers Dinner

Now on to the eating! I love doing food pairings and have always wanted to do one of these specialized dinners. Tickets purchased for an event in September. 

9 – 11 Go to Seattle, New Orleans, and Nashville

These are the top three cities in the U.S. that I haven’t been I yet. I’m hoping to get to all three but will at least do two. Nashville will the last stop since I’m planning a trip with my sister for my 30th. Spent a weekend exploring Seattle in November and flight booked for Nashville! New Orleans is being saved for next year for a good friend’s 30th. 

12 – Visit Point Reyes

Now into California activities and places I somehow haven’t done yet. Six years in Northern California and I haven’t explored Point Reyes yet. It wasn’t the most successful trip since the park was so very busy but still got to see some of the sites. 

13 – See the Sequoias and/or Giant Redwoods

I’ve gotten to see some of the small (oh only 200 feet) Redwoods, but I have yet to explore the giant trees in California. Will try and hit both areas but will make it to at least one. Spent three days in Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks in August. It was a great getaway and I got to visit General Sherman the largest tree in the world. 

14 – Drive the PCH (HWY 1) from Carmel to Ventura, the piece I haven’t done

This is one of my top California items I want to check off. I hate that there is a chunk of the coast, which many would argue is the most breathtaking, that I haven’t seen. Had an amazing trip and now it’s a series on the blog. 

15 – Go sailing on the San Francisco Bay

Because why not. I love to water. I love San Francisco. Had an amazing adventure on the Freda B. Read about it here

16 – Stand Up Paddle Board on Lake Tahoe

The water is so crystal clear that I just have to get out and float around on it. Spent a morning in August paddle boarding around the lake, and then a week latter on the San Diego Bay! Working on making getting out on the water more of a habit. 

17 – Send postcards on each trip I take

I want to make this a new habit. Send a postcard to myself and one to another person. Send  fun notes to friends & family, but also create a great collection to enjoy this year later on. Still going! Loving receiving one after every trip. Although some I send never seem to make it home. Weird. 

18 – Watch a beautiful sunrise

I’ve seen countless amazing sunsets, but very few sunrises. My goal will be to get a couple in this year. Check! Got to do this in Cabo San Lucas. Added more while in Bali. Get some sunrise wanderlust here.

19 – Watch a meteor shower somewhere amazing

I haven’t watched a meteor shower somewhere I can really see it since I was teenager up at camp. I’m sure there are some scheduled for the next year and will have to plan a trip away for the city lights for it. Staying up in Truckee for a shower later this month!

20 – Go swimming in a waterfall

Again! I’ve done this a couple times, the best yet in Puerto Rico in El Yunque Rainforest. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t find another one or two to swim in over the next year. Got my feet in one and that might be the gyst of it, but we’ll see if I can make it to another. 

21 – Be debt free

Working to finish up that student loan debt. Excited to know I’ll be done by thirty. I’m blessed and was able to accomplish this much earlier than expected. 

22 – Complete the “Read Harder” book challenge

I love to read and want to challenge myself to read more and different things. I’ve decided to go for Book Riot’s “Read Harder” Challenge. I wanted to find something that would be challenging, stretch myself, but also fun. This looks just about right. I’ll be working to check off all 24 items. Two left and to be honest I just can’t get into them, let’s see if we can make it!

23 – Find a type of cardio exercise I like

I love Pilates and I go three times a week. I feel stronger and healthier than I have any time other than maybe being a serious athlete back in school. With that, I want to add a more cardio based activity to my routine. The problem is I haven’t found one I actually enjoy doing. My goal is to change that. Ahh! Haven’t been on top of this as I’d like, hoping to make a routine when I’m back from Bali. 

24 – Get better at photography

I take some awesome photos, but I take million more bad ones. I want to spend some time working on getting better at taking that quality shot and getting the photos I want to have for both the blog and my memories. Took an initial class and working on learning how to shoot in manual before I hit 30!

25 – Break 20,000 unique viewers in a month on the blog

The goal for the end of my first year of blogging is 10,000 and I’m getting closer and closer to that. My goal for the next year will be to continue to grow that and 20,000 sounds like a great number. I’ve had two months 20,000 visitors to the blog! Now it’s time to get them coming back and making that number my average. 

26 – Go on a fully sponsored trip

I’m slowly starting to get some great opportunities from my writing. I want to keep expanding that and hopefully take a fully sponsored trip. Got to kick this off with my Ambassadorship with Visit Cambria. More to come as the year continues. 

27 – Get paid to write something

Whether it is a sponsored post on my blog, or an article for a newspaper or other publication I’d like to get paid to write something this year. Had my first article published that I got paid as a write. Take a look and I’m sure it won’t be the last. Going to the Olympics Was My Dream. Here’s Why I Gave It Up.

28 – Meet other travel bloggers

I’ve already got my ticket to the Women In Travel Summit with Wanderful next spring. I’m excited for this but hope to find some more opportunities to meet and get to know some other travel bloggers/writers in person. I made it to my first Travel Massive this month and had a blast chatting with other travel bloggers. Excited to head down to WITS later this month. 

29 – Try at least five new types of cuisines

I’m not the most adventuresome eater. I’m picky, really don’t like weird textures, and can’t always get past the look of things. With that, I want to start breaking some of my bad habits and try at least five cuisines I’ve never had before. Getting started with Balinese/Indonesian food, have now added Peruvian, Ethiopian and Lebanese. Only one more to go!

30 – Love turning thirty!

The amount of women that stress out over turning thirty frightens me. That we haven’t accomplished certain things by a certain age is not okay for society to keep placing on people, especially women. I have no doubt I’ll hear “wait you aren’t hoping to get married, buy a house or have a kid yet” a lot over the next year. What I want more than anything is to be excited to enter my thirties. I expect them to be the best decade yet and will beat down all the other voices out there telling me otherwise. No doubt I’m on the right track, it’s weird that it’s coming up so quickly but I can’t wait at the same time. So much to do in this next month!

If you were to make a list of things to accomplish in the next 365 days what would they be? Let me know. Maybe I’ll have to come up with 31 next year.

With one more year left in my twenties, I'm going to celebrate by going out with a bang. From big things to small here is my list of 30 by 30.

About Megan

Megan MacNee is the founder of Traveling Nine to Fiver. From nine to five she works in the non-profit world in California. She focuses on exploring the world from her own backyard to across the globe. You'll find her sharing about explorations through food, books, travel, and more.