A while back, Rochelle from Adventures from Elle wrote a post about some bucket list items she wants to accomplish before turning 30. I was inspired by some of her goals (e.g. visit Cuba, see the Northern Lights, own a home…) that I likewise would like to achieve, and I felt compelled to give my own take on the “30 Before 30” bucket list. After all, I only have two-and-a-half more years before I hit the big 3-0!

I present to you the 30 goals I hope to hit by age 30. Some are travel-related, others of personal lifestyle. Some are realistic, others idealistic…but one can dream! Should I end up accomplishing some on the list, I will strike them out in this post (expect updates). Here they are!

30 Before 30 Bucket List

1. Visit the Ukraine. Besides hitting the major cities of Kyiv, Lviv, and Odessa, I would love to explore the smaller sites like the Tunnel of Love and Chernivtsi.

2. Hit at least half of the US states (i.e. 25). I’m currently on 14, so I think it’s feasible!

3. Explore Singapore, including its airport (with the world’s tallest indoor waterfall), and eat good food at the Hawker Centres.

photo of lighted city buildings during nighttime
Photo by Ansel Lee on Pexels.com

4. Go to Hong Kong to get incredible dim sum, explore the urban jungle, and hike up to the Tian Tan Buddha.

5. Check out the Uyuni Salt Flat in Bolivia, especially during its rainy season (December to April).

6. Wander the streets of Buenos Aires, Argentina and have good steak and Malbec in the process.

7. Journey to the Middle East for the sand dunes of Oman, Petra in Jordan, and the cosmopolitan flair of the UAE and Qatar.

8. Put enough on down payment to own my own home, however big or small it is (because prices are so expensive in Los Angeles, I’ll be happy if I can hit at least a quarter of the down payment!).

person rock climbing
Photo by Анна Рыжкова on Pexels.com

9. Learn how to rock climb.

10. Monetize my blog to assist others who desire to travel the world on a 9-5 job.

11. Train and run more 5Ks. Continue running, no matter how busy life gets.

12. Revisit cities like London, New York, Saint Petersburg, Shanghai… I had short and/or lackluster experiences the first time, and I’d like to give them a second chance!

cloud gate chicago
Photo by Alex Powell on Pexels.com

13. Road trip the US. At the moment, I’m brainstorming ideas for ones in the Midwest (encompassing the Dakotas, Iowa, Minnesota, and Illinois) and the South (the Carolinas, Tennessee, Georgia, Louisiana). Not an easy feat, because the US is huge!

14. Return to New Mexico for the annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October, as well as head south to check out the White Sands National Park near Alamogordo.

15. Dip my toes into the wonders of Southeast Asia– Malaysia, Cambodia, and Indonesia are at the top of my list.

16. Reach 60 countries. Currently on 52, so it’s possible!

viewing northern lights
Photo by stein egil liland on Pexels.com

17. Experience the Northern Lights.

18. Learn Spanish and Portuguese; I would like to up my multilingual game!

19. Visit another of the Seven New Wonders of the World. So far, I’ve seen three: the Roman Colosseum, Machu Picchu, and the Great Wall of China. Realistically, it would have to be Chichen Itza in Mexico, as that’s the closest one to me geographically.

20. Take three months to a year off from work to travel. Doesn’t matter where.

21. Find a job that allows me to transfer overseas, even if only temporary. I’d love to live in another country again!

group of penguins on ice
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

22. Visit Antarctica (and see my penguins!).

23. Venture around the otherworldly landscape of Patagonia.

24. Train for and do a hike to one of the highest mountains in the world (looking at you, Mt. Kilimanjaro!).

25. Travel to more countries in Africa. I especially am interested in Egypt, Namibia, and South Africa.

purple flower field during sunset
Photo by Venelin Dimitrov on Pexels.com

26. Rent a summer home in France, ideally in the south or southwest. Those in the Luberon and Charente regions appeal to me, as they’re the laid-back countryside perfect for a peaceful, idle summer.

27. Discover and learn more about the history and culture of Central Asia, especially Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, and Kyrgyzstan.

28. Venture to more natural parks in the world– the Rocky Mountains in Canada, Gorges du Verdon in France, and Gorbea Natural Park in Spain come to mind.

person riding on zip line
Photo by Artem Beliaikin on Pexels.com

29. Take a ride at the End of the World swing in Ecuador.

30. Hike around the Lake District of England.

What do YOU hope to achieve by age 30 (or in your next milestone)? Let me know!

 

— Rebecca

70 thoughts on “30 Before 30 Bucket List

    1. Thanks for reading! Sounds like you’re quite the adventurer, especially with scuba diving…I visited Machu Picchu two years ago, and I can vouch it’s a worthwhile trip. Hope you achieve your goals in due course!

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    1. Yes, I think “bucket list” became a term thanks to the 2007 film starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman…not everyone needs to have a bucket list (just as not everyone needs to make New Year’s Resolutions every year), but as long as you aim to have a fruitful life, that’s all that matters. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Turning 30 is such a beautiful milestone. And as with any big milestone approaching, people can’t help but wander where their life is v where they expect things to be. Best of luck with your bucket list especially with learning a new language. Thanks for sharing and have a good day. Can’t wait to see what you’ll be able to accomplish. Aiva 😊

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    1. It’s true that comparing your current life situation to what it could be is certainly one to ruminate on, hence why some people feel the pull of the quarter-life/mid-life crises…but it’s important to be grateful for what one already has done in terms of accomplishments and deeds to move forward and continue growing into someone one wants to be. I hope to start my learning of Spanish and Portuguese soon, and I hope you achieve whatever goals you have for yourself!

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    1. Yes, I think many of us twenty-somethings have similar goals, just because we’re in similar points in our lives more or less. The pandemic will definitely make it a bit challenging to accomplish these goals sooner than later, but we’ll have to take it slowly– one goal at a time! 🙂

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  2. Great list, though I’d just like to point out numbers 3 and 15, and perhaps help you tweak them a little.

    It’s a running joke that Singapore’s menu is pretty ‘meh’, especially in Southeast Asia, and if you’re going to do #3, you might as well take the 1 hour trip across the border (3 more hours if you want to go to Kuala Lumpur) and savour some of the best dishes in the region.

    Failing that, your trips across Indonesia or Cambodia will also uncover tons of rich local cuisine. Myanmar and Thailand have amazing food as well.

    Wishing you the best for your bucket list!

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    1. That’s a surprise about Singaporean cuisine, as I’ve heard it’s a blend of Chinese, Malay, and Indian. All the same, I’m open to trying any cuisine out there– likewise those in other SE Asian countries. Thanks for the advice!

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      1. Officially, that’s what the dishes are, but in all practicality, I’ll let you try these dishes in both countries and you can decide which you like better:

        Asam laksa, nasi lemak, Hokkien mee, wanton noodles, banana leaf rice, char kuey teow.

        Would love to read your take on it someday!

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  3. Knowing from your blog how much you travel, I bet you can finish the list in your lifetime if not by age 30 ; ) By my next decadal birthday I’d like to show my family around Spain and go to Thailand. If money and time are optimal, I’d also like to finish my tour of Latin America (9 visited 12 to go).

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    1. Realistically, I probably won’t complete everything on this list by age 30, but hopefully within my lifetime (as you wrote)! It’s great that part of your bucket list involves family, as they’re a huge part of our lives to want to share adventures with. Hope you can also finish your tour of Latin America (I’m currently on eight)!

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  4. As Gandalf famously said: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time given to us”.
    That’s a very cool and ambitious list! I think that owning an LA home would be an amazing achievement, especially before 30. As for me, though not a fan of bucket lists (nor the film that propelled said phenomenon), I do consider how to best use the time I have. South America, The Balkans, Jordan are some of the big travel plans. Settling down and making a home is probably a priority for the next year, given the state of the world. Best of luck in fulfilling your goals. Perhaps we’ll meet you somewhere in Antarctica or road tripping through the USA.

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    1. Wise words from Gandalf! Realistically, I won’t be able to own a home in LA by age 30, just because it’s ridiculously expensive…but it’s the dream! The pandemic makes it harder to accomplish the goals set out for the next couple of years for me, but they’ll get achieved at some point in this lifetime. Hope to meet you in Antarctica some day, or anywhere else in the world!

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  5. Does that mean I need 50 goals to hit before I turn 50?
    Random questions and comments…
    Have you done a post with pictures of New Mexico for the annual Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta in October?
    Experience the Northern Lights? I’m totally with you on that one!!
    Luberon and Charente regions: good choices but you need to learn to drive before going there otherwise that’s going to be tricky!

    As always, thank you for the inspiration!

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    1. I have experienced neither the Albuquerque Balloon Festival nor the Northern Lights yet…hence why I decided to make this list! I visited Luberon briefly last summer, and I absolutely fell in the love with it (especially Gordes and Roussillon). Have not been to Charente yet, but it’s a corner of France I’m keen on visiting the next time I return!

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      1. Oh sorry, since you said “Return to New Mexico”, I thought you had done it already.
        Yes Gordes and Roussillon are pretty special. You’ll love the Charentes too.

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      2. I’ve been to NM before back in 2015, but I didn’t attend the Albuquerque Balloon Festival. That’s why I want to return to experience it!

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  6. This is so ambitious and all so amazing!
    I turned 30 a year ago, and am still lamenting the fact. My biggest goal at the moment is just to be able to travel again – I’m going to start small and do some trips to near-Europe (Germany, France etc), and then hopefully next year be able to travel further afield again!
    Hope you get to tick off some of those items soon 🙂

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    1. 30 may have passed, but you have other milestones to hit that’ll keep you busy for the rest of your life! You’re fortunate that you can travel to other countries, however small the trips may be…it’ll be a while before the US normalizes to allow its citizens to go internationally, so we’ll have to wait and see! Happy travels to you soon. 😊

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    1. Glad to read that the Albuquerque Balloon Festival is on your bucket list! I’m dying to visit White Sands National Park, and it’s incredible that you did. Never been to Minnesota, but I’d be interested in going; send any recommendations along!

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  7. crikey! 2.5 years to do all that??? You’d better get cracking Rebecca! My next milestone is… 50! so ummm… yeah I’m not sure I’ll do a 50 before 50…. im not sure I can think of enough things! But if you can get all that travel in and also secure enough for a home deposit, that really will be an incredible achievement. Although I dont know how much homes costs where you are. but here, well, for a house in a decent suburb you are starting prolly at 600,000….

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    1. 2-1/2 years isn’t enough to do everything on my list at all– however, I’m keeping it for posterity for the decades to come! I’ll see if I can achieve at least some on my list by 30…although I’ll say that the home deposit will be the challenge, given that one in a “decent” suburb in LA would actually be closer to $1 million! Alas, one can dream…

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  8. WOW! I love it! So many of these are also on my bucket list, especially Petra, Mount Kili and the Northern lights (which I was supposed to see in Iceland a few weeks ago). I hope you can reach several of these milestones in the next few years. You know where to find me when you plan a trip to SA or the Middle East 😉

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    1. I appreciate it, Nadia! Given the current pandemic, it’ll be a challenge to achieve these goals within the next couple of years, but there’s always a lifetime to do so. We’ll get to them at some point for sure– and I’ll definitely let you know if I’m ever in your neck of the woods! 🙂

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  9. What an engaging post, Rebecca!
    I’m sure many of us, myself included, have some notional idea in our heads about our bucket lists. But to commit into writing, and in the public domain, must surely improve your chances of fulfilling it within your timescale or even in later life.
    Sadly I’m about twice your age, but that does mean we’ve been fortunate enough to already have visited several of the places you’ve mentioned. Fantastic experiences! Equally, there are things on your list that we also still hope to achieve in our lifetimes. Maybe I’ll do my own post on the same subject! Good luck with your own endeavours, and thank you for a thought-provoking piece!

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    1. Thanks for your comment, Stuart! Yes, given the current state of travel (thanks, pandemic), it really is a blessing that we were already able to see so much of the world before we couldn’t. This list I wrote is definitely going to hold me accountable in the years to come, so we’ll have to see if I keep that promise! 😁

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  10. I love your list! Many of them are on my bucket list too. The “priorities” are learning Spanish and the US road trip for me. Although the road trip seems impossible with the current situation (as I live in Europe), I don’t give it up! 😀 Anyway, they all are great experiences and I hope you can accomplish all of them before or after 30.

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    1. I think a road trip throughout Europe (or at least, within your country) should work, too! I have been hearing of travellers venturing within their home countries, e.g. UK, Ireland, and that’s proved just as enriching. Hope you get to do some of it!

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  11. Hi Rebecca.

    My hat! Your list is excellent. I like this in your list: “Learn Spanish and Portuguese”. I have learnt Brazilian Portuguese. Its sound is very beautiful. Because you have travelled so much, you know how valuable the knowing of languages is. In Finland, we have to know many languages. In addition of those languages in which I make my posts, I know Swedish and German. My wife knows all these and Russian. She started learning Italian las year.

    Happy and safe travels!

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    1. That’s really awesome! I’m especially keen on learning Portuguese, as my dad grew up in Brazil and I really loved my trip to Portugal several years ago. You and your wife are truly polyglots, and that inspires me to up my language game, too!

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      1. Wow, your dad grew up in Brazil. I have been there twice and on both trip I visited the Finnish colony nearby to Rio de Janeiro. People there keep up our traditions and culture. For example there you can dance Finnish dances and meet Santa! In this post I have old about it with links at the end of the post.

        Airing national costumes1

        Have a great day!

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    1. Of course! Feel free to make your own “30 before 30” bucket list. Dim sum is a sort of “brunch and tea” that’s from Hong Kong. You get a bunch of small dishes to eat with your tea and socialize in the process. I HIGHLY recommend it!

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  12. Wow. That’s quite the list! Singapore was a really awesome place, you will love it. As for rock climbing, we did our first outdoor climb in Thailand, check out Railay Beach in Krabi. The views are incredible!

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    1. I’ve never been to Thailand, but it is a popular destination for tourists all over the world. If I’m ever in Malaysia and Singapore, I’ll be sure to swing by!

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