10 Important Things You Should Accomplish Before Turning 30
Life is for living
I will turn 30 next month.
This milestone is fast approaching and I am facing with a mix of excitement and trepidation.
My 20s have been the best decade of my life. I have done things I never thought I would, made some great friends, and been to places I always dreamt of going!
Life moves at a quick rate. It still feels like yesterday, when I stepped off the plane in Australia at the start of my travels!
It’s easy to put your hopes and desires on hold until you’re a little older and wiser, but if you keep putting them off, hopes and desires are all they will remain.
Your 20s are the best years of life. You have minimal responsibilities, you’re at peak health and able to enjoy yourself to the fullest.
It’s a crime to waste those years going around in circles and not living to your full potential.
What you do and achieve in your 20s will set you up for the remainder of your life. Your experiences in this decade will help shape your view of the world and find your place in it
That’s why you must do as much as you can now! The experiences you gain will shape your perspective of the world and allow you to approach later life with clarity.
This is an arbitrary list, but I feel it holds true for the majority of us.
If we achieve just a few of these things before 30, our lives will be all the better for it.
1. Learn A Language
After living in Spain for two years, I had the opportunity to learn another language.
It was a huge struggle at first. My only previous experience of learning a language was studying German for five years at school. A class I didn’t take seriously back then.
Learning Spanish has given me a new outlook on life. It has allowed me to see the world from a different perspective. As a native English speaker, I am lucky my language is the predominant one in the world. However, it comes at a cost.
You can always find someone who speaks English no matter where you go. The motivation to learn another language is tempered because of this.
However, learning a language is important. In an ever more interconnected world, it’s important to learn another language, so we can relate to one another.
A lot of people on the planet are bilingual. If you can only speak one language, you’re at a disadvantage. The benefits of learning another language are huge for your brain. It staves off diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Dementia.
The earlier you learn a language, the easier it is. If you can only speak one now, learn another, it might be one of the best decisions you’ll ever make!
2. Do Something That Scares You
I was guilty of not doing enough of this before I started travelling. I was too content to stay in my comfort zone. Now it’s one of my favourite things to do.
The thought of living on the other side of the world by myself was enough to make me postpone the trip for a year until I found the courage to go.
I was terrified when I stepped on the plane and during the flight. So much so, that I didn’t want the plane to land!
How crazy is that!?
However, as soon as I got off the plane and walked out of the airport on the Gold Coast, I wasn’t afraid. I realised it wasn’t as bad as I thought. I had the freedom to do whatever I wanted.
It was liberating.
By getting close to my fear, I realised it wasn’t the big problem my mind had made it out to be.
Fear gets smaller the closer we get to it. Don’t let your mind get in the way. If you’re afraid of doing something, that means you should do it!
It’s ok to be afraid, be it bungee jumping or simply travelling on your own, fear if utilised, can push us to do things we never thought we were capable of!
3. Learn To Cook
I remember when I went to university and didn’t have a clue about cooking. I could just about cook chicken and that was it.
Since then, my cooking has improved tenfold and I genuinely enjoy cooking. Being able to cook is an important skill everyone should develop. This was true while travelling.
I had no choice but to cook, otherwise, I would have run out of money fast eating out every day! Cooking is such a simple thing to do, yet a lot of us are terrified of doing it.
It may be time-consuming, but it’s satisfying once you complete a meal, eat it, and it’s delicious.
It’s a fantastic feeling!
Also when you want to cook a meal for someone you know that you’ll be able to deliver and impress! Cooking is an essential skill, you have to develop before you reach 30.
It will allow you to develop your creativity and take responsibility for yourself at the same time.
4. Live In Another Country
There is no experience quite living in another country.
Be it, Australia or China, the experience is rewarding and challenging. Even though English is the spoken language in Australia and New Zealand, the culture, climate and may other factors were different from England.
It was a challenge living there, despite the cultural ties to my homeland.
I had no support network, I had to do everything myself. It was scary, but liberating at the same time. Putting myself through this and not only surviving but flourishing, gave me immense confidence in myself.
I firmly believe one of the reasons racism is prevalent is because we are not exposed to other cultures. It’s too easy to live in the same place you always have and develop misconceptions based on media reports about other cultures.
Once you get out into the world and live among different cultures, you realise that we have more similarities than we do differences.
We may do things differently, but we all have the same hopes and dreams.
Living and working in another country makes you realise that you can succeed anywhere in life and that the possibilities of what you can do are endless!
5. Learn To Like Yourself Regardless Of People’s Perceptions
This is something that I have struggled with a lot.
I had a habit of seeing myself how others would see me, which affected my self-esteem and confidence.
Travelling took me away from this environment and made me realise that I don’t have to see myself the same way.
My confidence and self-esteem have skyrocketed since.
Once I realised that happiness was a result of being happy with myself, I have not looked back!
6. Travel Solo
Travelling solo can be hard and lonely at times, but it is also a rewarding experience. You realise that it’s not a bad thing to be alone and to enjoy your own company.
The actual act of travelling solo is a scary thought for many, so doing it is an achievement in itself. It can be daunting going to another country by yourself, without knowing anybody.
It’s easy to let your thoughts run wild and imagine all sorts of crazy scenarios that could happen.
The reality is much simpler.
You will have time for yourself and be able to enjoy yourself to the fullest.
It’s ok to be by yourself for a while. We are essentially by ourselves throughout our lives.
We have all a small support network of family and friends, but only we know our thoughts. Travelling alone will allow time to get used to being by yourself and enjoy your own company.
It’s a good way to meet people. If you don’t talk to anyone during your trip, it will be a lonely one.
You’ll find your social and conversational skills will have improved when you return!
7. Visit A Developing Country
This is such an eye-opening experience if you haven’t done it before, it is a must.
When I backpacking in the Philippines, I had no idea what to expect. I had never been to a developing country and was not prepared for what I saw. The Philippines is a beautiful country, but there are a lot of people who are mired in poverty.
Walking through slums and seeing the abject poverty, filthy rivers and broken streets was en eye-opening experience.
I had never seen poverty like this up close before. It was humbling.
It made me realise how lucky I was to come from a country where you don’t have to worry where your next meal is going to come from. One thing that hit me was how happy the people were despite the poverty they lived in.
They were always smiling, playing and in good spirits. It made me realise that with riches comes problems. When you have more you have more to worry about, but when you’re poor, you have less to worry about.
I realised that being rich and successful will not make you happy. They may be related, but it’s not definite.
8. Take Risks
This is something that we probably all need to do more of in our lives. Risk is an inherent part of our lives. All of our decisions involve some element of risk, some more so than others.
It’s easy to be risk adverse, but is that really living?
If you want to get anywhere in life, you have to take risks.
Whether it be talking to that cute girl/guy you like or booking a trip to a destination you’ve always wanted to visit, taking risks is an essential part of life.
It can be too easy to go through life in a bubble, not taking risks because it scares us.
But that is not living it is existing.
It’s better to look back on life and laugh at the things you’ve done rather than wonder at what you could have done!
9. Be Spontaneous Once In A While
Life can seem very serious at times and it is nice just let go and be weird, silly and stupid at times.
There is nothing wrong with this.
Just because you are grown-up doesn’t mean you have to act like one all the time.
Go streaking, go skinny-dipping, do something outrageous!
Who cares what people think, you are only here for a short time, you might as well enjoy yourself!
10. Get To Know Yourself
This is perhaps the most important item on the list.
By the age of 30, you should have a clear of what you do like to do, the kind of people you like to be around and so forth.
Realising what kind of person you are, and what you enjoy, means you are better placed to spend your time how you want it.
We only have a limited time on this planet. Wasting it on things we don’t want to is a crime. Once you know yourself, you will be able to bend time to your will and utilise in a way that makes your life better.
You’re stuck with yourself for life. The quicker you realise what you want, what you like, and what you don’t, the sooner you will get to where you want to be!