30 Before 30

I love making lists. Sometimes I make lists of the most mundane daily activities just so I can cross them off. It gives me a sense of accomplishment.

After my post-trip France funk, I made seasonal leap lists that have forced me to experience and appreciate the fun and beauty surrounding me in small town Ohio. With that in mind and recently inspired by the book The Happiness of Pursuit by Chris Guillebeau, which focuses on the art of creating and completing life quests (Chris’ quest was to visit every country in the world before his 35th birthday), I’ve decided to make my own sort of quest list. As my 29th year begins today, I find it appropriate to give myself 30 mini quests to complete before my 30th birthday on October 10th next year.

I broke the list into four categories: travel, experience, grow, and serve. I expect every item on my 30 Before 30 list to help me grow in some way, but those that focused primarily on pushing my comfort zone and learning were compiled under Grow. Travel is self explanatory, and it was impossible for me to compile a list that didn’t include traveling. Experience includes items that I feel are essential for me to experience at some point in my life – so why not before 30?? And Serve is an important category. It is short, but it is open ended, as one community service project usually leads to future opportunities.



1. Visit 30 states before 30. I’ve been to 28 so far, 2 more to go this year.

2. Visit ground zero. I saw the towers up close (and from afar) in March of 2001, just 6 months before the 9/11 tragedy. I haven’t been back to the site since but think it’s an important trip to make.

3. Traverse 3 famous bridges. **Bonus points if each bridge is crossed by different travel method. I don’t love heights so this is almost a Grow item too!

4. Watch a sunrise at the beach

5. Watch a sunset at the beach (I understand that one must be on opposite sides of the coasts for this feat, don’t worry, I’m prepared.)

6. Visit 3 waterfalls. Nobody ever said not to chase waterfalls. Oh, wait…

7. Travel to a new continent. If I want to see 6 in my lifetime, better start venturing beyond Europe.



8. Go fishing with my dad. I’ve been saying I wanted to do this for the past 5 years, time to actually get it done.

9. Watch a baseball game in a different MLB ball park. If my ultimate goal is to see a game in all 30, better get on it since I’m only at 4 so far.

10. Take a hot air balloon ride.

11. Go zip-lining.

12. Go to a midnight premiere of a movie.

13. Sleep under the stars.

14. Test drive my dream car.



15. Run a 10k.

16. Climb a mountain. We’re not talking about Everest here, folks.

17. Take a creative class.

18. Learn to drive stick shift. It’s a skill I should have had long ago, time to buck up.

19. Watch 10 classic movies. Suggestions welcome.

20. Read 3 classic novels. Suggestions welcome.

21. Cook a Thanksgiving dinner by myself (on a random day).

22. Grow a mini garden or herbs.

23. Learn how to change a car tire.

24. Learn how to parallel park (the proper way).

25. Become conversational in Spanish.

26. Learn a new dance.

27. Try a new food.

28. Learn to play a new song on the piano.



29. Pay it forward at Starbuck’s

30. Volunteer with children


Stay tuned for updates on my progress!



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