I’m always making lists of one sort or the other. I’m a planner so lists keep my thoughts organized, allow me to keep track of how many goals I’ve accomplished and remind me of my dreams and aspirations. My lists range from simple things like what chores I need to take care of that weekend (which sometimes by Sunday night stares back at me without a single tick) to as fun and exciting as my travel goals and life’s aspirations.
On my 24th birthday last year, I realized I’d hit my mid-twenties and while my life has been pretty decent up to this point, there are still a lot of things I’d love to experience, many of which would now be within reach since I’ve completed my medical degree and landed my first job and salary. I’ve heard people joke that by time you turn 25, your age goes up in 5’s thereafter and that’s actually terrifying. I don’t want my years to just fly by. I see way more for myself than school, graduation, getting a job, work, getting old and death (not that we’re even guaranteed old age). Since I create lists for everything else in life, I thought making a 30 before 30 bucket list would give me a chance at adding life to my years. A lot of these goals are scary for me, your average girl next door, BUT if your goals don’t scare you are they really worth it? A lot of my past accomplishments have scared or shocked me too, and helped me grow into the person I am today. So with that said, here are the 30 arbitrary things I’d love to accomplish by 30.
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- Own my first home. I’ve had my fair share of living arrangement issues in my lifetime, and I’ve only ever lived in rentals. Thus, it’s a goal of mine to purchase a house, even if it will be bought mainly for my mom and not necessarily the house in which I’ll raise my future children. It’ll be the greatest feeling ever to see my mother’s years of binge-watching HGTV and home improvement videos and ideas come to life. This is the most important goal on my list.
- Complete a 5K in under 30 minutes. This is the ultimate fitness goal for me right now. Maybe in my 30s I’ll take on bigger goals like a half marathon or marathon.
- Visit all the waterfalls in Jamaica. Waterfalls are my favourite part of nature so it’s a goal to see all the beautiful ones my country has to offer. I’m currently about halfway through.
- Get married. Wearing a beautiful white dress with a long train is still one of those little girl dreams I harbour deep inside.
- Become a strong swimmer. Would you believe I visit all these beautiful waterfalls and beaches yet can’t really swim? I need to work on that.
Go parasailing.I did this in November last year and it was well worth it. 10/10 recommend.
- Go scuba diving. I know, I know. I need to work on the swimming first.
- Be confident enough to bare it all at a nude beach/resort. I’m a relatively reserved person and far from the most body confident (you’d never believe how long it took me to feel comfortable enough in my own skin to wear a bikini), so visiting a nude beach resort like Couples Tower Isle or Hedonism is intimidating. Nonetheless, I hope to do this with a partner before I’m 30 and not feel too self conscious, enjoy the sunshine on my skin and get an even tan.
- Spend some time at a wellness retreat. I planned to do that this month in Portland for a weekend, disconnecting from technology and immersing myself in the natural beauty of my favourite parish, but 2020 had other plans.
- Go rafting on the Rio Grande. I’d love to go rafting for the first time in general, but something about rafting on the Rio Grande with all its history from the 1900s banana trade and the start of Jamaica’s tourism industry is more appealing than rafting on all the other rivers in Jamaica.
Become a millionaire. That’s in Jamaican currency so it’s more realistic (about US$7,100). Go horseback riding. (August 2022 at Chukka Cove & Cliffs Llandovery, near Ocho Rios).
- Play mas in Trinidad. Now, I’ve never even played mas in my own country. Jamaica Carnival has grown in leaps and bounds since I was a child but it’s a copycat of Trinidad Carnival, the birthplace of Carnival. Carnival in Jamaica originated at UWI, the Caribbean’s regional university, as other Caribbean nationals carried their culture to Jamaica with them and it has since been mainly adapted by the upper classes and university educated. There’s no history here– we only have fete and paint and powder and sequins and feathers and wining. Trinidad Carnival has existed since the Emancipation bill was passed in 1833. There are traditional characters and competitions– blue devils, Dame Lorraine, jab jab, moko jumbies, steelpan, Panorama and Soca Monarch. Hence, Carnival in Trinidad or even the eastern Caribbean appeals to me way more than our local watered down version but perhaps I should give my country’s own roadmarch a try first. It’s certainly way cheaper.
14. Play mas in another island’s carnival. That will most likely be Grenada’s Spice Mas. It’s dark and messy and spooky but I love it. Check out this video for a quick explanation. I’m not sure if I’ll actually enjoy being splashed with oil and paint and mud, but I’m willing to try jab at least once and watch the other revellers who take it serious.
Eat doubles at a doubles stand in Trinidad. Doubles is life– tamarind sweet sauce with channa (curry chick peas) wrapped in between two barra (fried flatbread), yum! Don’t mind how it looks, it tastes delicious.
16. Visit Cuba. I admire this country’s resilience and brilliance very much, plus something tells me I’m going to enjoy exploring the historic city capital streets of Havana.
17. Take a cruise. Coronavirus has rocked the cruise ship industry but it hasn’t dimmed my desire to take a cruise one day in the distant future.
18. Take a solo trip overseas. I think that’s the ultimate test of self sufficiency. I’m still terrified of the idea of being in a foreign land alone as a Black woman but with enough research, I know I’ll be fine.
19. Take a girls’ trip overseas. I hope I can kill two birds with one stone and take on Trinidad Carnival in 2021 or 2022 with my best pals.
Take a couple’s trip overseas. They say travelling to a foreign land with your partner is the ultimate test of a relationship.
Visit another continent. I’d love to visit every continent, including Antarctica, but I’ll start small. I’ve never left North America before so just setting foot on another continent before I’m 30 will be enough. (May 2022 Update: I visited South America!)
22. Visit Disney World again. I actually went as a child exactly twenty years ago, but of course I have very limited memory of the trip. I’m a fully grown adult now but I’d still love to visit the most magical place on Earth again.
23. Experience snow. In fact, I really want to experience the other 3 seasons of spring, fall and winter. In Jamaica, it’s always summer.
24. See the hot air balloon festival in Albuquerque, New Mexico. I’m so fascinated by hot air balloons. Seeing hundreds of them colouring the sky at the same time would be an experience never to forget.
25. See the Northern Lights. I still think the Northern Lights look like something from a Sci-Fi movie so seeing them in real life would be a dream come true.
26. Visit Iceland. I guess I can check off #23, 25 and 26 in the same trip if I plan this well.
27. Visit Niagara Falls. The tallest waterfall in Jamaica is perhaps 120ft. tall, so seeing something as large and thunderous as the Niagara Falls would certainly be exciting!
28. Visit Paris. Every girl dreams of visiting this romantic city at least once and I’d love to see the Eiffel Tower, easily one of the most recognizable man-made structures in the world.
Visit one of the world’s seven wonders. I’d love to see all seven in my lifetime but I’ll satisfy with one before I’m 30. I’ll most likely see Chichen Itza in Mexico first just because it’s the most accessible from Jamaica. (May 2022 Update: I ended up visiting Machu Picchu in Peru! Maybe Chichen Itza will be next 🙂 ).
30. See the Statue of Liberty. Lady Liberty guards the New York Harbour and has brought hope of a better life to millions of people entering the United States for more than a century. It would certainly be a joy witnessing that beacon of hope.
Do you have a 30 before 30 bucket list? How far have you reached in accomplishing yours? Perhaps this post will encourage you to create one if the answer was no, and don’t be daunted if you’ve already passed 30. You can always create a 40 before 40, a 50 before 50 etc. and the goals don’t have to be this lofty and extravagant. Basically if it excites you, challenges you or will help you grow in some way as a person it can be added to the list. It will be fun to reread this post on my thirtieth birthday in 2025 and see how I’ve done.
Walk good! 👣
August 2022 Update: So happy to have finally made some progress with this list! I’m now at 7/30. I have three years left until my 30th birthday. Let’s see where I make it.