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!)
Achieved: February 2014, Porjus, Northern Sweden
Visit the Himalayas
Achieved: November 2015 . Annapurnas, Nepal.
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
Achieve my target weight
Achieved: 2018. See #31
Celebrate a large festival, like Holi or Sonkran
Achieved: February 2015
Achieved: November 2013
#11 Wear a red dress
#12 Swim under a waterfall
#13 Ride a Chicken Bus
Dance in the rain
#15 Throw a travel-themed party
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!
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
Achieved: November 2015
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
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!)
Achieved: February 2018
#26 Read 5 books that have won literary awards
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
Return to India
Achieved: July 2014 – June 2016
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!
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.
Attend a blogger’s conference
Achieved: 2016 I went to TBEX Stockholm and had a great time!
Achieved: June 2013
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
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
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?