A year ago I made a list of 30 things I wanted to do or accomplish by the time I’m 30. I called it my 30 Things Before 30 List and said “I’m 29 today and I thought now would be a good time to embrace my last year in my twenties with a “30 Things Before 30” list”.
I embraced the last year of my twenties with all my fingers, arms, legs, feet, toes, eyes and ears. A few months after I turned 29 I realised that the year and the universe maneuvered its own plans and that my pre-scheduled thoughts did not stand a chance next to the amazingness they had up their sleeves.
As I forgot about the list and turned my focus to what the universe maneuvered…
Now, for the list.
30 Things Before 30 – An Update
#1 Study Indonesian (X)
It has been a slow year in terms of studying Indonesian but the basics are not forgotten. The connection I feel for Bahasa Indonesia and the joy I experience when I hear or speak it is unexplainable.
#2 Learn How to Drive a Motorbike (X)
Not a lot of manual motorbikes crossed my path in 2015 but I hope to learn how to ride a motorbike in 2016.
#3 Visit a Volcano (X)
No lava for 2015.
#4 Stay Alcohol Free until 30 (YES)
When you tell people that you’re not drinking for a year they immediately assume that you are (or were) an extremely heavy drinker. Not taking a sip of alcohol for 618 days turned into a social experiment. It became a thing for some people when I ordered coffee instead of a drink; they called me a “party pooper” and couldn’t understand why I didn’t want to drink anything. Other people had nothing to say. To those, I want to say “cheers”. I honestly don’t understand why it should be a thing and why it’s frowned upon to order coffee instead of a beer or cocktail.
#5 Experience the Holi Festival (YES)
The Holi Festival blew my mind and expectations and I rate it as one of my Top 5 travel experiences. To read more about my Holi experience in Nepal, click here.
#6 Photograph 31 Sunsets in a Month (X)
I’ve seen my fair share of beautiful sunsets this year but due to all the travelling I could not finish this project. It’s definitely still something I want to do. The South African skies are too beautiful to miss.
#7 Make an Action Painting (X)
I still need to get all Jackson Pollock on a piece of canvas.
#8 Attend a TBEX Conference (YES)
I did it! I attended my first (and Asia’s first) TBEX conference in Thailand and met some amazing Travel Bloggers from around the world (and SA). Visit their blogs: The Incidental Tourist, Cape Town Diva, Wandering iPhone, Traveling Honeybird, Bleh Loves Food, The Tiny Taster, Indohoy, Minority Nomad, Mo Travels and Adventures around Asia.
#9 Be a Vegetarian for a Month (X)
The meat won this round.
#10 Write a Book (X)
I removed all my first blog posts about my bicycle trip in Indonesia because I wanted to turn it into an e-book. One day. Hopefully in 2016.
#11 Become Self-employed (somewhat) (YES)
I’m starting to achieve this.
#12 Learn How to Edit Videos (YES)
It still feels like I know nothing, but I’m learning.
#13 Have an “above (or between) the clouds” experience (YES)
One afternoon on the Ghorepani Hill Trek in Nepal I stared into the clouds and mist and had no idea what the view looked like until the clouds disappeared. The clouds disappeared and there it stood. Proudly phenomenal. The Fishtail Peak.
#14 Read More (YES)
Not as much as I wanted to read, but at least some.
#15 Write More (YES)
This year I spent hundreds of hours in front of the laptop, writing.
#16 Get an Article Published (YES)
#17 Volunteer (YES)
I volunteered in Nepal.
#18 Learn How to Cook an Indonesian Dish (X)
Any chefs out there willing to teach me how to make Martabak (or Murtabak)? At least I learned how to make two Thai dishes…
#19 Take Another Bicycle Trip (X)
I was without Koos the bicycle, from March until October this year and planned to do a bicycle trip in South Korea but it rained for about 18 of the 21 days of my visit.
#20 Stay at a Funky Hotel/Hostel (YES)
I stayed at the Royal Hotel in Bethulie during a #MeetSouthAfrica road trip in September. The Royal Hotel is the dream of any book lover because the walls are covered with books. Read more about the hotel on The Roaming Giraffe’s blog.
#21 Live in Bali for a Few Months (X)
#22 Attend an Asian Festival (YES)
The Holi Festival in Nepal.
#23 Go on a Road Trip with my Parents (YES)
I had a wonderful two week road trip with my parents to Kruger National Park, Golden Gate Highlands National Park, Clarens and Mountain Zebra National Park in Cradock.
#24 Go 24 Hours without Technology (YES)
Thanks to the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek I went without technology and social media for 3 days. Liberating.
#25 Send Postcards to Random Addresses (YES)
The first one I sent to New Zealand from Nepal and I got a friendly e-mail from the receiver. The second one went from Singapore to Australia about two months ago.
#26 Take a Risk and Apply for an Amazing Job (YES)
#27 Go Slow with my Camera (YES)
#28 Explore Java by Train (X)
The plan was to visit Indonesia this year and spend some time in Java, but instead of visiting Indonesia for a fifth time I explored five new countries this year.
#29 Visit the Himalayas (YES)
I did the Ghorepani Poon Hill Trek and climbed to the height of 3200m (also one of my Top 5 travel experiences so far).
#30 Figure 2016 kind of out (YES)
2016 is sorted. I will be in South Africa; I will do my postgrad in Corporate Communication and still blog, write and travel.
In the end I only did 19 of the 30 Things Before 30 List and I wouldn’t change a thing.
The last year knocked my socks off, it blew my mind and left me in awe. My passport got a bit heavier with stamps, my feet explored South African small town gems, I climbed to the top of mountains and joined crowds in festivals, found my blogging family, somehow landed in front of the camera of Arirang TV, got heaps of opportunities and discovered new passions.
When I look back at the last year I realise that my ideas got overshadowed by the hand of the Universe and like an eclipse my lucky stars and planets lined up and passed through a shadow of another heavenly body.
A friend once said: “thank you Universe, for always bending everything in my favour”.
I thank you Universe, I thank you from the bottom of my heart.