I checked everything off of my 30 before 30 list! Relive some of the highlights with me. This is part 1 of 2 posts.
I turned 30-years-old on December 15, 2019, and for some reason, it took me about a year to realize that I actually managed to check everything off of my 30 before 30 list. I originally created this list at the beginning of my blogging venture back in 2013. Turning 30 seemed so far away back then, and it felt like I had so much time to get everything done, but, as I’m sure you know, time moves so much faster than we think it will.
I’m so grateful for all of the experiences I was able to create because of this list. Some items on my 30 before 30 list have changed, and the list itself evolved over time, but each of these things was so important to me in the moment that I put it on the list.
I was planning on making this one big post, but when I was writing it, I realized that if I did that, this post would be entirely too long. I decided to split it up into two posts. This post will have everything I accomplished in 2013 and 2014. Part 2 will have everything that I accomplished in 2015-2019.
MOVE OUT OF MY PARENTS’ HOUSE | SEPTEMBER 6, 2013
Even though I spent a four years living away from home in college and I lived on my own for few months after college, when I was in a low place after graduating, I ended up quitting a decent-paying job that crushed me so much mentally, and I moved back in with my parents while I earned an hourly wage. This felt like such a low point to me, but it ended up being exactly what I needed at the time.
On September 6, 2013, I moved out of my parents’ house to move in with my then boyfriend. I loved our little house, and it was the beginning of me falling in love with hosting parties. I also rescued my dog, Molly, while living there, which I’ll write more about later.
RUN A 5K | SEPTEMBER 7, 2013
I use the term “run” very loosely. When I lived in Shreveport, my friend, Claire, and I decided to do a 5k called Run or Dye, very similar to The Color Run concept where you run a 5k and people throw powdered dye at you. We probably jogged a total of 20 feet before we decided to walk the rest of the way. We celebrated finishing by eating Chick-Fil-A. I haven’t done a 5k since.
ATTEND A BOOK FESTIVAL | SEPTEMBER 28, 2013
I’ve always been in love with books, so when I found out that my favorite author from middle school was going to be just one state away, I knew I had to find a way to get to the Austin Teen Book Festival. My sister and I went to the book festival together, and it was incredible. We saw so many panels and met some amazing authors, but Sarah Dessen was not one of them. She ended up leaving the festival early unfortunately, but years later, I managed to get a signed copy of one of her books, and then I ended up meeting her during her book tour for The Rest of the Story when she was in Dayton, Ohio.
I can’t say enough about how much I still love YA, even as a 30-year-old woman. This was one of the coolest things my bookworm self has ever done. At this particular festival, I saw panels with Sarah Dessen, Rob Thomas (the creator of one of my favorite shows, Veronica Mars), and Jenny Han, and I also discovered new favorites, such as Marissa Meyer, Leila Sales, and Bill Konigsberg.
My sister and I ended up traveling to Austin again the next year to attend the same festival, which was renamed the Texas Teen Book Festival. I was so excited to see authors like Scott Westerfeld, Lauren Oliver, Gayle Forman, Marie Lu, and James Dasher, and fall in love with new authors like Frank Portman and Ransom Riggs.
MEET ONE OF MY FAVORITE AUTHORS | SEPTEMBER 28, 2013
This goes hand-in-hand with the one above. Some authors that I’ve gotten the pleasure of meeting include Sarah Dessen, Scott Westerfeld, Jenny Han, Leila Sales, Siobhan Vivian, Lauren Oliver, Bill Konigsberg, Frank Portman, Kass Morgan, Julie Murphy, Bill Joyce, and Lauren Myracle.
ADOPT A DOG | JANUARY 23, 2014
I had so many pets growing up, so when I finally got a place of my own, I was excited to adopt a dog. I fell in love with a dachshund named Molly who was a senior dog at a local rescue in Shreveport. They actually tried to talk me out of adopting her, but we just had a connection, and I had to take her home.
She ended up living with me for about two years until she passed away from just being old. It literally broke my heart, but I’m so grateful that I could spoil her for the last two years of her life. She was loved by people who hadn’t even met her yet, and those who had absolutely loved her. I still keep her dog collar on my keys, and she has an ornament on my Christmas tree.
GO KAYAKING | JUNE 7, 2014
Back in the day, my high school friend group and I would took a vacation to Gulf Shores, Alabama two years in a row. On our second summer vacation there, three of the four of us decided we would do something off the agenda and go kayaking. This was my first time in a kayak, and I had so much fun! I’ve been kayaking a few times since, and even though my arms always get so tired, I always have a blast.
GO TO EUROPE | JUNE 23, 2014
This was a big one that I was way too excited to check off. Fun fact: I was actually born in Germany, but we left when I was two. So even though I had technically been to Europe before, I had never actually been at a time when I could remember what happened. My sister and I went to London, Paris, and Rome with a travel group that was called EF College Break, now renamed EF Ultimate Break.
VISIT PLATFORM 9 3/4 | JUNE 23, 2014
When we visited London, my sister and I were among the first ones to get there, along with two other girls. The four of us decided to go on an adventure, and we went to Platform 9 3/4. At the time, when I took the Pottermore test, it said that I was a Gryffindor. Even though I felt like this was wrong in my heart, I still took a photo with the Gryffindor scarf. When I eventually go back, I definitely want to remedy the situation and take a photo with my true Hogwarts house, Hufflepuff.
GO TO HARRY POTTER STUDIOS IN LONDON | JUNE 25, 2014
This was such a priority for me when we visited London. I actually did this before I ever got to go to Harry Potter World at Universal Studios. We spent about three hours there, and I could’ve stayed even longer. It was so cool getting to see the behind the scenes of some of the movie magic.
PICNIC IN FRONT OF THE EIFFEL TOWER | JUNE 26, 2014
This was seriously such a dream. I know it may seem like eating outside in front of a tower wouldn’t be that exciting, but honestly, it’s one of the best picnics I’ve ever had. We walked to this little grocery store that was close to our hostel, and then we took a train to the Eiffel Tower and had the most lovely picnic. I know this is beyond tourist-y, but 10/10 would do again.
GO TO BOURBON STREET IN NEW ORLEANS | AUGUST 7, 2014
I lived in Louisiana for over a decade, but the first time I went to New Orleans was back in 2014. My girlfriends and I were actually just driving through from a trip back from Gulf Shores, Alabama, and we decided to stop for lunch and beignets. We didn’t actually go drinking on Bourbon Street though. The first time I went to Bourbon Street was for work. I don’t remember much about the trip, not because I drank a lot, but because I have a bad memory. I’m so thankful I took some pictures and short videos though. One thing I do remember is getting carded twice when I went to a bar by two different bouncers.
Since then, I’ve taken several trips to New Orleans, and each time I fall even more in love with the city, even though the streets are pretty dirty and there is that smell in the air that you just can’t shake.
MEET SOMEONE FROM HARRY POTTER | OCTOBER 19, 2014
Okay, some days I seriously can’t believe this happened. When my sister, Bre, and I went to the Texas Teen Book Festival, we ended up cutting our time in Austin short so we could drive to Dallas and go to the Dallas Fan Days ComicCon. I have no idea who else was at the ComicCon, but we went to see James and Oliver Phelps who played Fred and George Weasley in the Harry Potter films. We saw their panel, and we spent some money to get a photo with them. We seriously felt so small. They were so cute in person and also super nice in the ten seconds we got to spend with them.
RIDE IN A HELICOPTER | NOVEMBER 8, 2014
I didn’t think my helicopter experience would be quite like this one. I thought it would be in an exotic location to see some beautiful sites. I ended up taking a helicopter ride at the Louisiana State Fair. The pilot tried to make the flight more exciting, so I ended up getting a headache from all the twists and turns he did. We were in the air for about two minutes, and all we saw was the state fair happening below us. I’m glad that I could cross this off of the list, but I’d like to have another helicopter experience somewhere more exciting.
FINISH THE FIRST DRAFT OF MY BOOK | NOVEMBER 25, 2014
Back when I thought that I was going to be an author, I decided to participate in NaNoWriMo, and I wrote a book in 25 days. I didn’t end up doing anything with it because, trust me, it’s not good, but I’m glad that I crossed this off of my list. It was something cool to do even though I have no desire to be a published author at the moment.
OWN OVER 500 DVDS | NOVEMBER 27, 2014
Back in the day, one of my goals was to have a huge DVD collection so that in my future house I could have a movie theater with tons of DVDs for people to choose from. Now with streaming services, I don’t feel the need to have over 500 DVDs. My collection has dwindled down to maybe 20 or so DVDs, but Kyle and I also have Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, Amazon Prime, and tons of other things on our smart TV, so no need for all the DVDs. It was fun collecting them though. It was pretty much the only thing I looked for on Black Friday.
Don’t forget to check out part 2 tomorrow!