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19 Aug 2019

30 Things to do Before You Turn 30 – A Review

Rich Else - Articles, General - 0 comments

Until I was asked to write this article, I hadn’t given turning 30 much thought. As a 28 year old close to my next birthday you may have thought it’d be on my agenda but I’m still far more interested in playing Pokemon and laughing at toilet jokes than most late-twenty year olds would care to admit. Due to this, I thought it’d be a bit disingenuous to write a reflection piece or to pretend that I’d been stewing over it for months. A couple of people suggested writing a ‘30 things to do before you’re 30’ list which I immediately baulked at. Never having read one before, I assumed they’d be full of cliches and unrealistic suggestions. Having now read several, I can confirm that’s exactly what they are. I thought rather than contribute to the thousands of blogs suggesting very similar things, I’d take one and “critically review” it. 

  1. Swim with Dolphins/Sharks – This was one of the most frequently suggested things to do. Judging by how many people have it listed, what you’d actually be doing is swimming with 10 other people trying to tick something off their own to do list. 
  2. Visit Disneyland – I went to Disneyland Paris once and got told off by Pinocchio for touching his head. Aside from that it was fun but I’m not sure you’re getting the most out of it if you’re going as a late 20-something.
  3. Go Skiing – Skiing is really, really hard. I went once, fell off a lift and then got hit in the head by it. It’s great once you get the hang of it but before then it’s just a test to see how resilient your bones are.
  4. Fly First Class – I really don’t get this one. Save your money for when you’re at your destination!
  5. Travel Solo – Boring. 
  6. Practice Daily Meditation – This is a really popular one. If I found a spare hour in my day though, I’d likely end up playing Football Manager though.
  7. Go Camping – Always better in your head than in reality in this country. You go there to get closer to nature and stare into the starry sky. You end up huddled in a sleeping bag at 8PM hoping the rain doesn’t get in or the wind doesn’t blow your tent away.
  8. Eat Alone – I tried this one from the age of 18 to 24. Not all it’s cracked up to be.
  9. Go Sky Diving – This is actually something I’d really like to do. Probably a lot safer than most people think as well. Unless you have enemies that might like to sabotage your parachute. 
  10. Go Bungee Jumping – Same as above but on a rope.
  11. Overcome your fears – This is a good idea if a little woolly. Also, if your fears are rational then keep hold of them. However, if you live in Warwickshire and have a fear of leopards, it’s probably time to let go.
  12. Learn an instrument – The world does not need more people (travelling solo) poorly playing Wonderwall on an acoustic guitar.
  13. Give Blood – A very worthy cause. I’d need to conquer number 11 before I could do this one though.
  14. Get a Psychic Reading – Absolute nonsense. 
  15. Start a pension – Fortunately, this is now mandatory in the UK so I do this one already. Winning.
  16. Learn a Foreign Language – I did GCSE French, does that count? Non? Sacré Bleu!
  17. Go to a Music Festival – One I actually agree with. However, the one you go to really matters. In the UK it can be a fine line between idyllic carefree paradise and swimming in a quagmire of filth and getting trench foot.
  18. Read More – An absolute cop-out. Every self improvement list on the internet includes this. When I’m 70 I don’t want to be telling my grandchildren about how many books I read when I was their age. 
  19. Learn to Cook – This one is second only to swimming with dolphins for its frequency on these lists. I don’t understand how so many people have reached their late 20s without being able to cook.
  20. Go on a Blind Date – Not sure my partner would be too happy with this one.
  21. Get a tattoo – I’ve done this one too. The tattoo artist kept taking breaks to swig on a can of Carlsberg as I sat there trying not to look at the needle. 
  22. Live in a house share – So dependent on who it’s with. I’ve been very fortunate in my life to share houses with people I’m genuinely friends with. There are some absolute horror stories out there.
  23. Get a pet – Having recently overcome a fear of dogs, I wouldn’t be too adverse to this. 
  24. Build a personal brand – Rich Else would never be shallow enough to brand himself.
  25. Overcome Heartbreak – Being a fan of Yeovil Town and the England Cricket team, I’m well versed in heartbreak. I’ve not quite mastered how to overcome it though.
  26. Learn a Magic Trick – I can’t help but find magic a bit nerdy. 
  27. Buy a house – In London? You’ve got to be kidding, I’m a millennial! Far too interested in brunch and craft beer.
  28. Quit a job – Hmm. Hopefully my current employers aren’t reading this.
  29. Do a Family Tree – I’m from Somerset, I’d be genuinely worried this would end up looking more like a Family Hedge.
  30. Pay off your debts – Let’s be honest, if you’re doing all the other stuff on this list, this one is pretty unrealistic.

Obviously a lot of these things are very worthwhile and life enriching, I’m only joking by criticising them. Except the psychic reading, that one really is rubbish.

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