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40 Things I Want To Do Before I’m 40

I celebrated my 34th birthday this week, so to honour the occasion I thought I would compile a list of the 40 things I would most like to do before I am 40. 

This was actually quite a difficult task as I have already achieved many of the items on my Bucket List: I have seen the Northern Lights; I have flown in a helicopter; I have lived in a foreign country; I have taken a hot air balloon ride; I have visited the Taj Mahal, the Great Wall, and Machu Picchu; I have slept in the Amazon Jungle, swam in the Dead Sea, and cruised in the Caribbean—in short, I have been very, very lucky.

But, if I am going to turn 40 in the next 6 years, then I am going to do it in style. To be honest, I would be extremely happy if I manage to do even 5 of the things on my list; but it doesn’t hurt to be ambitious, does it?

How many do you think I will manage?

#1       Watch orcas in the wild

#2       Visit every European country

#3       Skydive  (Edit: I wrote this list 6 years ago and I don’t think I want to do this anymore!)

#4       Take my parents to see the Northern Lights

Green Arctic Circle

Achieved: February 2014, Porjus, Northern Sweden

#5       Visit the Himalayas


Achieved: November 2015 . Annapurnas, Nepal.

#6       Go on Safari


Achieved: December 2015.

Okay, I was referring to an African safari when I wrote this, but as that is not looking too likely before I’m 40 then I’m going to count Yala National Park instead.

Achieved: February 2018. I went to Tanzania.

#7       Get paid for writing a freelance travel article

#8       Achieve my target weight

Achieved: 2018. See #31

#9       Celebrate a large festival, like Holi or Sonkran

design (3)

Achieved: February 2015

#10     Visit the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

Achieved: November 2013

#11     Wear a red dress

#12     Swim under a waterfall

#13     Ride a Chicken Bus

#14     Dance in the rain

#15     Throw a travel-themed party

#16     Fly First or Business Class

Achieved: June 2015 I used my Qatar points to upgrade a flight from Doha to Mumbai. It was a disaster – first, I ended up wearing my champagne when the plane hit turbulence, then I dropped my phone down the back of the seat and had to wait for an engineer to come on board at the end of the flight to retrieve it!

#17     Stay in a fancy hotel


Achieved: September 2015  This is me posing on the super-comfy bed of our suite in Four Seasons, Mumbai. Not long after we went to the hotel’s Aer rooftop bar and ran up the biggest bar bill in my life! I liked the hotel experience, but I won’t be giving up hostels for a while yet.

#18     See a Broadway/West End show

#19     Visit Nepal


Achieved: November 2015

#20     Own a pair of designer shoes


Achieved: July 2015. Okay, so since writing this list I have decided that not only would designer shoes cost too much valuable travel-money, but they would also be completely impractical. Does a £60 pair of Havaianas count?

#21     Take a photography course

#22     Visit an active volcano

#23     Go on a spa retreat

design (14)

Achieved: September 2015

#24     Dance all night long (edit: clearly I was much younger when I set myself this goal. At the moment I don’t feel like I could dance for an hour, let alone all night!)

#25     Visit Petra

Achieved: February 2018

#26     Read 5 books that have won literary awards

#27     Cut in a fringe (bangs) or do something very different with my hair.

Achieved: 2018 I don’t want a fringe anymore, and my hair is already pretty short. However, I have gone platinum blonde – is that a dramatic enough change?

#28     Ride the Trans-Siberian express

#29     Return to India

Making a colourful effort at the Taj Mahal.

Achieved: July 2014 – June 2016

#30     Conquer my fear of flying

Achieved: 2018 I haven’t particularly done anything to conquer this, but when the fear was at its worst I downloaded the SOAR app to track turbulence on a plane. It helped me to realise that even when the plane seems to be shaking quite a lot, the turbulence is actually very mild. I have also used meditation apps and Xanax. I have analysed when I feel most uncomfortable on a plane, and I noticed that short-haul flights make me more nervous than long haul. This is because the plane is smaller, so shakes more and makes more noise. Now I put on my headphones and play loud rock music to drown it out. I find that getting to the airport early helps me to control my anxiety too. I have taken all of my flights this year without using Xanax, which is a big improvement on last year!

#31     Learn to love working out – or at least try to!

Achieved: 2018. I’m not going to lie; I don’t love working out, but I do work out now. This year, I have started running, and I go to Yoga/Cross Fit a couple of times a week. I even did a 12km run shortly after first starting! This has helped me to achieve #8.

#32     Attend a blogger’s conference

Achieved: 2016 I went to TBEX Stockholm and had a great time!

#33     Visit Istanbul


Achieved: June 2013

#34     Get (another) tattoo

Achieved: July 2018 It was raining one day in Thailand, so I went to get a tattoo on my ankle.

#35     Read a novel in another language

#36     See more of the UK

Achieved: There is still plenty more of the UK I’d like to visit, but since writing this post I visited Scotland where I had never been before. Also, when my parents moved to Cornwall, I had the chance to explore this region too.

#37     Send a postcard from Tibet

#38     Go to Norway

#39     Drive into the Scottish Highlands

Spectacular scenery on the way to Skye.

Achieved March 2013

#40     Throw a huge 40th birthday party to celebrate achieving my goals!

Do you have a list? What is on your list? How many have you crossed off?

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  1. says:

    Great list! I have no doubt you’ll accomplish at least 5 (and probably then some).
    Jennifer recently posted..Flying in a Seaplane Over the MaldivesMy Profile

    1. Thanks. I’m going to get started on it as soon as possible!

  2. #8 – Don’t we all!

    #23 – I so want to spend a long weekend eating, sleeping, and getting massaged!

    #35 – I hope to be able to do this someday in Spanish.
    Dana @ Time Travel Plans recently posted..Rio’s FavelasMy Profile

    1. Are you learning Spanish now? I would like to learn Spanish too, but have to focus on Swedish for the time being. The spa/massage will hopefully be one of the first things I cross off.

  3. says:

    Admirable list. #28 is exotic and exciting – Siberia. And for more info on Chicken buses in SA, check out Lisa @ Chicky bus – she can give you the ins and outs.
    Maria recently posted..Your Breath at My EarMy Profile

    1. I just hope that I can get some of them ticked off at least! Have you been on a Chicken bus? I’m both curious and a little afraid…

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