Travel blog photos

30 Before 30

It’s no secret that I love a good list.  Whether it’s my bucket list that is constantly being added to, the list of destinations we’ve visited so far, or a meticulously detailed itinerary of our next adventure.  So, in honour of me turning 29 earlier this week (she says as she weeps quietly in the corner), I thought it was about time for another list!

Despite all the celebrating, cocktails and cake that have been involved in trying to forget I’m another year older, I can already feel the big 3-0 lurking just around the corner.  Maybe it’s because I’m soon to be leaving my wild(ish) 20’s behind or maybe it’s because being in your 30’s just seems a whole lot more grown up – even though we’ve been married for 8 years, have a mortgage, full time jobs and all those adult responsibilities already, both Mr Ayla and I still firmly put ourselves in the children’s category and bustle in with younger siblings and cousins at family parties. But I’m not so sure I’ll get that privilege when I’m no longer in my 20’s.

So, to take my woeful mind off my looming 30’s, and of course to make the last year of my 20’s pretty awesome, I’m taking some inspiration from others who have done this by making a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30.  What better way is there to forget that I’m another year older than to plan lots of new adventures?!

So here is my 30 before 30 list:

1. See a Cirque du Soleil show

I’m super excited that we’ll be seeing a show in a few weeks as Mr Ayla got me tickets for my birthday!

2. Go on a road trip

Road trip South Africa

Road tripping along South Africa’s stunning Chapman’s Peak

3. Try a new activity

My mum treated us to a Segway experience for Christmas so, despite the fact that I already know I’ll be absolutely useless, we’ll be giving this a go next month.

4. Visit somewhere new in the UK

Over the last couple of years I’ve loved exploring more of the UK on short weekend breaks including Dublin, Cornwall, Bath, the Cotswolds, Oxford and Edinburgh. I’d love to visit a couple of new places in the UK this year too.  We already have a Valentine’s weekend planned in Brighton which we’re combining with our Segway adventure.

5. See a wonder of the world I’ve never seen before

6. Eat at Dishoom in London

I’ve been in search of proper authentic Indian food since returning from India two years ago and I’ve heard that this is the place to go.

7. Camp under the stars

Camping in Africa

Camping out under the stars in Namibia

8. Relax on an exotic beach somewhere without getting fidgety feet and wanting to go explore

9. See another musical in the West End

We saw Bend It Like Beckham last week but I’m sure there’s room for another one over the next year with Matilda being at the top of my list!

10. Eat healthier Eat more cake

And on that note…

11. Try a new themed afternoon tea

My sister and I went to the Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea at the Sanderson Hotel last week so this one can already be ticked off the list. Keep an eye out for my write up on it soon.  Spoiler: it was extremely weird but extremely wonderful!

Mad Hatter's Afternoon Tea

12. A cottage stay somewhere like the Lake District

13. Explore more of London

Despite living here my whole life there is still so much of this fabulous city I haven’t seen. Primrose Hill, Notting Hill (when the Carnival isn’t on) and the colourful Mews houses would be my first port of calls.

14. Visit Amsterdam

Only an hour’s flight away and I’ve still never managed to go, but this will be rectified in May when we finally get to visit.

15. Redecorate our bedroom

A boring one I know but it’s something I’ve been planning in my head for months but still haven’t got round to.  I now have all my favourite travel memories printed and ready to hang up so there’s no excuse to keep leaving it!

Travel blog photos

16. Get festive at a European Christmas market

17. Attempt to ride a bike

This is something that hasn’t been done in a very long time and I’m on a mission to join Mr Ayla in at least one of his sporty hobbies!

18. Go to dance classes with Mr Ayla

If I’m trying out one of his hobbies then he needs to reciprocate by doing one of mine!

19. Take a trip back to Sub-Saharan African

The place that we both fell in love with 6 years ago

20.  Witness a gorgeous sunset somewhere around the world

Le Havre sunset

21. Watch the entire Grey’s Anatomy box set

22. Sample delicious foods at Borough Market

I’ve only ever walked through and never actually stopped.  Such a terrible Londoner I am.

23. Go on a family holiday

24. Visit the Harry Potter Studio Tour when it’s covered in snow and decked out in decorations at Christmas time

Yes, okay, I know I’ve already been 3 times but I’ve not seen it at Christmas and it’s obviously totally different then!

25. Stay up all night partying

Or at least part of the night because I already feel too old for this!

Full moon party Thailand

Having fun at the Full Moon Party in Thailand many moon’s ago!

There is SO much more I’d love to include such as taking a trip to Iceland, spotting wildlife in the Galapagos and visiting the one last continent we haven’t yet been to (Antarctica) but I can’t see any of those happening this year so I’ve tried to include things that are actually achievable in the coming year.  You may have noticed that my list is missing a few numbers at the moment and that’s because I’d love some more suggestions from you lovely adventurous lot!

I can already see that this is going to be a year full of fun and plenty more adventures.  And you never know, maybe I’ll start a 40 before 40 goal once I hit 30 and add in those slightly bigger dreams!

Have you ever made a similar list?  What’s on yours?  Let me know what else I should add to mine in the comments below or at:

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60 thoughts on “30 Before 30

  1. jogonmum says:

    Awesome list! I’m too old for a 30 before 30 (*sobs*) but love all yours – I recommend a trip to Cheddar Gorge for more exploration of the U.K.! The hubby and I are currently going through the Grey’s Anatomy boxset – we’re on season 8 – it’s so good (and addictive).
    I can assure turning 30 is not anymore grown up – I’ve even got two kids and still classify myself as playing at houses!!! Haha!!!
    Look forward to the photos of dance lessons! 😄xxx

    • Ayla says:

      The list isn’t ageist! Just change it to your next big birthday and add some more wishes on! I’ve already worked my way through almost 2 series of Grey’s Anatomy since last week so I totally understand the addiction!

      Haha oh yay does that mean we can be big kids for life?! 🙂

      • jogonmum says:

        Definitely big kids for life!!! That’s never going to change!
        Hubby and I have just started season 9 of Grey’s! The characters start to feel part of your life… Or is that just me?
        I suggest seeing Phantom of the Opera and Wicked if you haven’t already, also if you ever get the chance to see Avenue Q do – it’s hilarious and rather naughty, unfortunately it’s not on in London anymore!
        I’ve been inspired – I’ll be doing a list soon! xxx

  2. Lucy Dodsworth (@lucydodsworth) says:

    Great list! I did a really good Borough Market food tour where we met loads of the producers and ate a ton of food which is definitely recommended. Sadly I’m too old for a 30 before 30 but do have a 40 before 40 list that I’m slowly working my way through (about 10 done and the end goal is approaching scarily fast!!).

    • Ayla says:

      Food tours are always a good idea so I’ll definitely be checking that out Lucy! It works for any age and of course makes approaching the big 30 (or 40) a lot more fun 🙂

  3. Shikha (whywasteannualleave) says:

    If you want to eat at Dishoom before you’re 30, you better start joining the queue now from my experiences! This is a great and nicely achievable list. You will love Matilda and I’d love to see if you can persuade Mr Ayla to try out a dance class!! Hope you’ll be uploading the results for us all to see on here 🙂 And you haven’t been inside Borough market?! Right that’s it, I am going to drag you out one weekend to get that one ticked off asap!

    • Ayla says:

      We’ve actually done dance classes before a few years ago – and we even won some trophies! Need to drag him back again though! Okay, deal, Borough market can be our next date! 🙂

  4. kashacapetown says:

    What an excellent bucket list, Mrs Ayla – and good thing so many of these are confirmed for the year already 😉

    I need to do something like this before I hit the big 3-0! I’m sure you’ll get through all of these in no time at all ❤

    • Ayla says:

      You best start making your list soon then 😉 Haha joking I’m not far behind you! Make your list and we can work our way through them together!

    • Ayla says:

      Those are three I will DEFINITELY be doing! Actually the cake and Grey’s Anatomy has been pretty much happening every night since I made this list haha! 😀

  5. Char Taylor | Taylor Hearts Travel says:

    30 isn’t *that* bad, promise! I always forget that you’re still in your 20s!

    We should definitely try to get in at Dishoom again. I still haven’t been either. And well done, Alex. We saw a Cirque du Soleil show in San Fran and it was AMAZING. Jay totally thought it wouldn’t be his thing and he loved it. We’re both desperate to see another one (or five)! X

    • Ayla says:

      Yep, I’m a young chick me hehe! So glad you both loved Cirque – I absolutely cannot wait. And Dishoom should definitely be our next date 🙂

  6. Jo says:

    Yes! If you try his hobby, he should try yours =P what kind of dance do you do?
    I’m still at the kids table with my family and I am pretty sure some of the kids are more grown up than I am haha

    My suggestion for one of your finial five is to cliff jump!

    • Ayla says:

      I grew up learning mainly latin, ballroom, disco and street dance. I do miss it a lot but Mr Ayla has two left feet so it’s not always quite so easy haha!

      Cliff jump?! Hmm that’s quite a daring one. Going to need to get my brave face out for this one! 😉

  7. Cassie @ Cass Travels says:

    Happy Birthday!!! This is a fantastic list! I’ve got six months to go myself 🙂 You must eat at Borough Market! And stop at Pate Moi for the best best mushroom pate – we go practically every weekend. It’s basically our local market :):)

  8. The Vagabond Baker says:

    Great list Ayla! More cake, yes that’s what life is all about and preferably global cake eating!
    I should do I list for the last few years of my 30s (oh my gawd!), maybe not, best not to dwell on it! 😉

    • Ayla says:

      Global cake eating sounds awesome! This is definitely my first target for the year!

      Haha you can do it for any age Rachel! And maybe it will take your mind off any impending big birthday 🙂

    • Ayla says:

      I’ll admit that it was a little scary when we camped out in Australia and Namibia as you can hear wild animals and things rustling all around you! It’s a pretty amazing experience though.

      PS. Cake is definitely always a good thing 🙂

  9. Steph says:

    Dishoom is awesome! Service, food and cocktails all perfection – they even give you chai tea whilst waiting in the queue! 🙂

  10. Tori herbert says:

    Ayala- Thanks so much for posting this, it popped up on my news feed and has completely inspired me! I don’t turn 29 for a few more months but might get going on a list straight away (and crib a load of yours)! I’m desperate to go back to Africa and do the Namibia and SA bit that I didn’t join you guys on so that may well make me do it! Other ones from me will be doing a volunteer project, visiting the colombia road flower market and wine tasting in France not sure if any of those would make your final 5 but have an amazing year – looks like you’ll be busy! Tori x

    • Ayla says:

      I so hope you do go back – Namibia and South Africa were two of our favourite countries on the trip. Although everywhere was fantastic! We’re hoping to go back to Tanzania as that’s the first place we fell in love with and we have so many great memories there with you guys!

      Sounds like you already have some amazing ideas for your own list and there’s no time like the present to start it Tori 🙂 xx

  11. Packing my Suitcase says:

    I LOOOOVE this list 😀 such a great idea to do that!
    Yess, please do explore a bit more of London! And I’m sure you will love Amsterdam 😀
    If not now, I hope you visit the Galapagos Islands, it was the most wonderful place I have ever been to 😀
    I think you should add “visit Allane in Munich” 😀

  12. Laura @ Sometime Traveller says:

    Ooh, what a great idea! I’ll also be turning 30 next year (sob), so I might try and come up with my own 30 before 30 list. I’m already hoping to celebrate/commiserate by staying in a ridiculously lavish and expensive hotel (should probably start saving now) – hmm, what else can I plan…

    • Ayla says:

      Something lavish and expensive sounds like the perfect way to celebrate and forget about hitting the big 3-0. Start planning now and you can add it to your own wish list 🙂

  13. beequeenbeady says:

    Oh my goodness, I’m so excited for you to travel to my favourite city, Amsterdam in May. I could bang on about it all weekend – I really could! Some amazing ideas here. I’ll need to start thinking of something like this in a year or two? I could start now I guess….
    Bee |

  14. emilycharlotteray says:

    Woo, fab list – and completely achievable, I have every faith in you to tick off every single one of these 😀 it’s inspired me to start my own 30 before 30 list (after my 25 before 25 list expires next month!) But there’s so much I want to include ahhhh xx

  15. akuanakkreatif says:

    a visit to Africa is a journey that is extraordinary .. It feels absolutely incredible . Not to be forgotten , moreover looks unique and interesting …. .

    • Ayla says:

      Thanks Lizzy 🙂 Ooh I’ve already seen Mamma Mia but I agree that it is such a fun musical! You’ll have to try to get to Amsterdam some time soon as well.

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