30 Before 30,  Personal Stories

30 Before 30 – Goals to Accomplish Before My 30th Birthday

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As of yesterday, I am officially 30 months away from my 30th birthday. While I’d like to think that this milestone won’t seem like a big deal, I have a feeling that in two-and-a-half years, I might feel differently. To preemptively make my 30th birthday a celebration rather than a commiseration, I’ve decided to make it all positive. With 30 goals to accomplish before 30, I’m hoping that I can look at my 30th birthday as a pathway forward to another awesome decade, rather than a window looking backward on a decade that could have been more awesome.

Whenever I accomplish one of these goals, I’ll be sure to add a post about it–so we can all celebrate together, and I can hopefully inspire you to start setting and accomplishing your goals too!

Travel Goals

  1. Finish the ‘Around the World’ calendar: Cairo, Moscow, Athens, Sydney, Tokyo, New York
  2. Swim in the Mediterranean Sea
  3. See Punxsutawney Phil on Groundhog’s Day
  4. Take a Caribbean Cruise
  5. Scale a wall of the Grand Canyon (NB: on mule-back!)
  6. Hike Symphony Lakes Trail (Alaska)
  7. Bike to Eklutna Glacier (Alaska)
  8. Go swimming with dolphins
  9. Visit Africa
  10. Spend at least one month living abroad in the same place

Business Goals

  1. Get an article published in an outside publication, online (Completed 12/3/14)
  2. Get an article published in an outside publication, in print
  3. Have someone outside of my family pay for one of my canvas prints (Completed 1/22/15)
  4. Have my photography displayed in a gallery
  5. Purchase a new digital camera (Completed 12/8/14)
  6. Have 500+ email subscribers
  7. Run a print ad in a magazine for the site
  8. Purchase a new computer for work/travel
  9. Begin a long-term brand partnership (>1 year)
  10. Cross 5,000 Twitter followers (Completed 3/9/15)

Personal Goals

  1. Re-run my personal London 10k route
  2. Run my personal Seattle 10k route
  3. Plan and execute the ultimate destination 30th birthday party
  4. Pay off all my credit card debt and pay down the rest of my car
  5. Begin writing a book of short stories, memoirs, etc.
  6. Become a dual-citizen with Croatia
  7. Become intermediate to proficiently fluent in a foreign language
  8. Sell one of my canvas paintings
  9. Invest >$1000 in a new professional & travel wardrobe
  10. Buy a really, really nice set of sheets

Do you have any big milestones coming up? What goals have you set, if any?

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.


  • Malia Yoshioka

    Cool! I’m a big fan of lists and I actually did a 30 before 30 as well! I blogged it my30before30 (dot) wordpress (dot) com. It was fun picking out things to take myself out of my comfort zone! Good luck with your list! =)

    • Valerie

      Malia, I love your 30 Before 30 site! It’s super inspirational, and really helpful for me to think about how I should write about mine! Thanks for sharing it 🙂

  • Lea Grbavac

    Liked it. I’m almost 20 so I should make a list too 🙂 It’s funny how you have a goal for swimming in the Mediterranean Sea, and I’m swimming in it my whole life and obviously don’t appreciate it enough. I live in Croatia, we’re small but have over 1,000 islands. I don’t know if you heard anything about it, but it’s a beautiful country and I suggest you come and see 🙂

    • Valerie

      Lea, hello! Thanks so much for commenting all the way from Croatia! I am half Croatian and would LOVE to come visit! What area of the country are you in?

      I like lists because they help me keep focused and know if I’m accomplishing my goals. If you make a list, please share it with me, I’d love to see 🙂 Maybe yours will include ‘swimming in the Pacific Ocean,’ which is right next to me here in Seattle 😉