I turned 29 a little over a week ago and already I feel like I’m hurtling at breakneck speed towards 30. So lately I’ve been thinking if I should do one of those ’30 before 30′ bucket lists. The only problem is I can’t think of 30 things I’d like to achieve or do and really, why should 30 be a cut off date?! I feel like we focus so much on the things we’d like to do and the places we want to go, we rarely pause to think about what we have achieved.
A few weeks ago I caught up with a wonderful friend from my exchange student days. As we reflected on our semester of exploring Viennese castles, scoring ridiculously good opera seats and partying far too much, we both agreed that doing a university semester abroad was one of the best things we’d ever done.
I’ve made plenty of mistakes, but there are things in my life that I just know were the right thing to do. That despite the risk, the financial or emotional cost, turned out to be some of the best things I’ve ever done.
Things like leaving Melbourne to move almost 3000 kilometres to Kalgoorlie; a small mining town on the edge of the West Australian desert. That place was my home for three and a half years, it gave me lifelong friends, valuable work experiences, bizarre and amazing life moments. Oh, and my relationship with Andy! This experience completely challenged and changed my perspective and I know I’m better for it.
Quitting my job and selling most of my possessions to travel the world for 16 months is an obvious best. When I sit at my desk at work, with photos from the trip plastered all over my cubicle, I still can’t quite believe Andy and I pulled it off. That we went so many places and had so many experiences.
Going back to uni after my poorly executed ‘gap year’ (read: year of boring office work and two internships) was one of the best things I’ve ever done.
I’ve picked fairly grandiose examples but the small or intangible things count. I love that I’ve maintained such amazing relationships with both my parents and my siblings. I’m proud that at one point in my life, I got really damn good at making cheesecakes.
While it might seem self indulgent to sit and think about all your wins, it sure is a nice break from constantly looking forward.
So what’s the best thing you’ve ever done?