30 Before 30,  Personal Stories

On My 29th Birthday: A 30 Before 30 Checkup

My blog posts likely contain affiliate links, including for the Amazon Associates program.
If you click, book, or buy from one of these links, I may earn a commission. Read more in my Privacy Policy.

I’m having an issue where some images are not appearing properly; I’m sorry if you encounter broken or blurry images in this post. I’m working to get this fixed and appreciate your support.

Wow. It’s hard to believe that an entire year has passed since my last 30 Before 30 checkup – I felt so old turning 28 last year, and here I am now, turning 29! Time’s a-flyin’, and now there are only 12 months left to complete my goals!

Turning 29 is an interesting experience, for those of you who haven’t done it. I have no doubt that a part of me will be much more distressed next year, as I look at evaluating my life over the past three decades, but I feel a minor sense of that same feeling now. If I only have one year left, what can I do now to ensure I accomplish goals that make me proud this time next year? Will I feel liberated from being in my 20s, more comfortable in my own skin, and happy with who I am?

Luckily, the year ahead promises to be an amazing one: tons of travel, lots of great work opportunities, an amazing travel partner at my side. Whether or not I accomplish all of the goals I originally set out (spoiler: I most likely won’t!), I’m going to look back this time next year, and be really proud of this year.

Goals Accomplished

From my first year:

1. Get an article published in an outside publication, online. I was published in Lonely Planet on December 3, 2014. I’m still working with them, and am also working on my first piece for Yahoo Travel.

2. Purchase a new digital camera. I bought a new digital camera on December 8, 2014. I’m still getting the hang of it, and of shooting with my phone, my GoPro, and my Pentax, but it’s getting better!

3. Have someone outside of my family pay for one of my canvas prints. I shipped my first canvas print on January 22, 2015. Thanks again, Wendy!

4. Cross 5,000 Twitter Followers. I crossed 5k followers on March 9, 2015, and haven’t looked back. We’re now 6,700 strong and counting! If you have Twitter, join me there!

From this past year:

5. Buy a really, really nice set of sheets. I actually don’t have to accomplish this one! To prove how amazing a partner Mr. Valise is, he has an outstanding IOU to give me “a really, really nice set of sheets” from our first dating anniversary. Yep, he’s a keeper!

So there’s definite work to do here – I didn’t accomplish a single goal last year! But, I laid the groundwork for a whole bunch of goals in progress.

Goals in Progress

6. Swim in the Mediterranean Sea. I mean, I’m pretty sure somewhere between sailing in Greece, living in Croatia for four weeks, and living for a month in Barcelona, I’ll be able to tick this one off.

7. Take a Caribbean Cruise. I’m currently chatting with a cruise provider about hopping on a ship to the Dominican Republic in June. It won’t be a “typical” cruise, but it will be amazing!

8. Spend at least one month living abroad in the same place. I currently plan to spend 28 days in Dubrovnik, and 30 days in Barcelona. I think that will count in my book.

9. Get an article published in an outside publication, in print. Mum’s the word on which, but I am expecting to see my writing in print for a June/July issue from a local print publication here in the Pacific Northwest.

10. Have 500+ email subscribers. I’m at 478 subscribers today… so close. Yet so far. Are you a subscriber yet? Sign up here. Help a blogger out! (I only email once per month, and no spam!)

11. Re-run my personal London 10k route. Though I’m not visiting London until August, I’m already training with this run in mind.

12. Pay off all my credit card debt and pay down the rest of my car. I paid down (and sold) my car, and I only have one credit card outstanding. It will be paid off this year!

13. Begin writing a book of short stories, memoirs, etc. I have the idea, I just haven’t launched it yet.

Goals I Won’t Complete

As I mentioned, it’s very unlikely I’ll be able to complete all of the goals I set out. Some were just too ambitious based on my lifestyle, and others are prevented by location or legal means. Here are the ones I don’t expect to be able to tick off next year.

14. Finish the ‘Around the World’ calendar: Cairo, Moscow, Athens, Sydney, Tokyo, New York. Too many destinations, not enough money! I will have visited Athens and New York though.

15. Visit Africa. I shouldn’t write this one off entirely, but I don’t predict having a chance to hop down to Africa this year.

16. Run a print ad in a magazine for the site. I’m not sure I’ll make enough money on this blog to justify the expense, though it would be so cool.

17. Run my personal Seattle 10k route. I don’t know that I’ll be in Seattle at a time of year where I will be able to run a 10k.

18. Become a dual-citizen with Croatia. The laws seem to have changed, and I’m not sure I’m eligible anymore.

19. Become intermediate to proficiently fluent in a foreign language. This could happen overseas, but I’m not sure there will be enough time.

20. Sell one of my canvas paintings. It could happen, but as I’m not bringing any art supplies on this trip, it’s highly unlikely.

Goals Left

By my math, that leaves only 10 goals left to accomplish, on top of the ones currently in progress. Some of them could be quite easy, others will take a bit of conscious effort once I get back to the U.S. in December.

I’ll probably do a 6-month update too, just to keep myself accountable for my progress. Wish me luck!

Help others discover this post too!

Avatar photo

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.