30 Before 30,  Personal Stories

1 Month Left: How My 30 Before 30 Goals Shaped The Past 2.5 Years

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This is the first time I’ve done an update about my 30 Before 30 project where I won’t really tell you about the goals.

At this point, the goals themselves are either done – or they aren’t. There will be a few last minute ‘surprise’ accomplishments, and some goals I’m bummed still won’t happen despite my best efforts. With just one month left, the writing is on the wall, so to speak.

Looking back over the last 29 months, there are some curious lessons to learn. I’ll be back in one month (30 days!) to report on my final success – and share the big goals I have set to accomplish before I turn 40!

How Setting Travel Goals Helped Me Travel More

We already know setting goals is crucial to actually accomplishing them. If you don’t know where you’re going, how will you know if you’re there?

The travel goals I set in my 30 Before 30 challenge were extensive. From swimming with dolphins to visiting Africa, spending time hiking in Alaska to living abroad – I wanted to accomplish a lot of travel. In the last 2.5 years, I did travel a lot, but it wasn’t all the travel I imagined.

Inspired by some of my goals, I spent eight months traveling last year. I constantly sought to explore new worlds, see new countries and cities, and meet new people along the way. While they weren’t all the destinations I hoped I would visit, the act of travel itself is inherently valuable. By setting a goal to travel, I traveled more.

Given that I write a travel blog, this is obviously a good thing!

How Setting Business Goals Helped Me Grow My Blog

When I set my business goals in November 2014, I had no idea how far my blog would go – or how rocky the road would be to get here!

Being a travel blogger is hard work; anyone who tells you otherwise is lying or selling something. I love my blog, and I work very hard to make it good for my readers, but there are times when I’m frustrated and depressed and struggle to continue writing for you. Add on the other responsibilities (social media, PR, partnerships, oh my!) and I won’t lie: I’ve wanted to quit a fair number of times in the last 2.5 years.

Part of me could never quit, because I set goals to accomplish with my blog, and I held myself accountable for accomplishing them – and reporting back to you about them.

Because of that, I’ve accomplished almost all of my business goals, and my blog is blossoming. Thanks for sticking it out with me!

How Setting Personal Goals Helped Me Achieve More

We all set personal goals, right? Lose that extra weight, eat better, exercise more, complain less, etc. etc. etc…

One thing I have learned from setting goals and resolutions in my life is that you have to be concrete and descriptive. Setting vague goals never works! As such, I set really specific goals as part of my 30 Before 30 challenge… and failed to accomplish most of them!

That’s okay – everything in life is a trade-off (as my mom says!). I accomplished some amazing goals in traveling the world and growing my blog. I have plenty of time left to keep setting goals and reaching for them in years to come.


Goals are funny things. We set them, we do them, and then we imagine our lives are significantly different because this one thing went from ‘undone’ to ‘done.’

What I’ve learned is that it’s wonderful to set goals: they help us achieve and strive and reach for what we want in life. In the end, it’s the process of setting and accomplishing the goals that matters far more.

I’ll be back in one month to report on the final results of my 30 Before 30 challenge!

Help others discover this post too!

I was born on the East Coast and currently live in the Midwest – but my heart will always be out West. I lived for 15 years in Alaska, as well as four years each in California and Washington. I share travel resources and stories based on my personal experience and knowledge.


  • Robert Stukowski

    Congratulations on meeting your goals. I had a few of my own, but failed most of them. Traveling sounds fun. A bit of my price range at the moment, but I love to do some of it myself.

  • Stephanie Lee

    What a nice post! Congrats on achieving such great goals. And I love that setting goals actually made you accomplish more. Awesome job!

  • Danielle Moore

    This is awesome! Congrats on meeting your goals 🙂 I am a new travel blogger trying to make my way in this crazy blogging world. Would love any advice you have to give!