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I'm turning 25 tomorrow. 5 years away from 30.
February 28, 2013 5:40 AM   Subscribe

So what are 30 things to do before I'm 30? (practical & non-practical)

So from your experience can you help me out? What are 30 things I should do before I'm 30

They can be practical, non-practical, adventures to have, short and quick, long and time consuming.. anything that is life affirming, life changing, exciting..you get the picture.

Just some facts, I am a female, loves to travel, locally, nationally, and internationally, have a doggy I love, am not athletic but enjoy exercise (like yoga, pilates, cycling), BIG foodie, enjoys soccer and boxing sporting events, long walks along the beach (haha.. thought I should throw that last one in there for giggles)

Refuse to jump out or off of something (bridge, airplane, building.. No.)

All I have now and subject to change:
1. Attend a World Cup
2. Week long yoga retreat (preferably some place awesome)
3. Submit an entry to Postsecret
4. Volunteer at an animal shelter
5. Read at least 50 books (suggestions welcome!)
6. Go to a major music festival (suggestions welcome!)
7. Have the most extravagant afternoon tea (somewhere in the UK or Russia, suggestions welcome!)
8. Attend a masquerade ball (suggestions welcome!)
9. Mardi Gras in NOLA or Carnival in Brazil
10. Visit the most amazing beach (suggestions welcome!)
11. DIY installation of hardwood flooring at home
12. Write my will (estate-planning)

Thanks!!
posted by xicana63 to Grab Bag (50 answers total) 78 users marked this as a favorite
 
Get in the habit of flossing every day. This should be on everyone's "do this year" list.
posted by Rodrigo Lamaitre at 5:42 AM on February 28, 2013 [10 favorites]


At the risk of sounding like your mom, get into the habit of flossing daily.
posted by Specklet at 5:42 AM on February 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


13. Coffee in Minneapolis
14. Cruise on the Mediterranean
15. Write a novella
16. Stay up all night watching a meteor shower
posted by DoubleLune at 5:43 AM on February 28, 2013


Say "I love you" to someone important in your life and really mean it. It doesn't have to be a romantic partner. It could be your mom, a sibling, the aunt/uncle who always takes the time to listen to your nonsense at family gatherings, etc. (In my late 20's and early 30's is when I first started to lose those older people in my life, and now I wish I had told them how special they were to me.)

I would skip Mardi Gras and do Jazz Fest instead.
posted by SuperSquirrel at 5:52 AM on February 28, 2013 [4 favorites]


Since flossing has been covered, what about writing X# letters/cards to friends and family?
posted by Pax at 5:55 AM on February 28, 2013


"Put away 20% of your income for retirement."

Sorry. So boring! Even I hate myself for saying it.
posted by RJ Reynolds at 5:56 AM on February 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Suggestions for afternoon tea in London - I think Claridge's is where the Queen Mother went.

17. Visit the Louvre in the springtime
18. Learn a dance - I vote for the Tango
19. Visit a nudist beach (while its all still pointing northwards...)
20. Sing in public
posted by billiebee at 5:57 AM on February 28, 2013


spend a period of time (week/month?) in complete silence
posted by mrmarley at 5:59 AM on February 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Start paying in to a pension.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 5:59 AM on February 28, 2013


1. Save for retirement.
2. Do a year of cognitive behavioral therapy, whether you need it or not - it's like college for one's emotions.
3. Buy one REALLY good light jacket and one REALLY good pair of boots, so that you can use 'em for years and feel like a million bucks each time you do.
4. Donate blood as often as you can, if you can, and register as a marrow donor.
5. Spend 24 hours straight awake, active and having fun in NYC.
6. See the aurora borealis.
posted by julthumbscrew at 6:03 AM on February 28, 2013 [8 favorites]


Lift weights. Take up yoga and Pilates to become more flexible.
posted by discopolo at 6:04 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


If you're considering making some big life or career change that will render you poor or living somewhere you don't want to for the transition suck it up and do it now. Down the road you'll be sacrificing a lot more and it probably won't be worth it.

Also get and stay in good shape. I've seen a lot of friends who were Greek gods on their early 20s pack on the pudge in a matter of a couple years and since they never had to battle with their weight or fitness before having to work at staying fit is a very hard adjustment.

Take care of your skin.
posted by whoaali at 6:04 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Why can't the tea(7) be in Japan or China?
posted by Confess, Fletch at 6:05 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


And nthing flossing.
posted by discopolo at 6:05 AM on February 28, 2013


Oh and for "coffee in Minneapolis" -- you want Kopplins.
posted by DoubleLune at 6:07 AM on February 28, 2013


(not to threadsit)

Confess, Fletch - Good catch! Already had a lovely tea ceremony in Beijing a few years ago. But open to Japanese tea ceremony suggestions!
posted by xicana63 at 6:07 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Totally floss, but before you do that, take a photo or a few of yourself naked or almost. I wish I could see how great I looked back then now that I am in my 40s!

And use sunscreen. Drink lots of water.

Go surfing, I've dreamt of it, but never did it. I've been told it's more amazing than sex.

Try food from different countries once a week (my dad took us to eat dinner once a week at restaurants and I have experienced Pakistani food, Indian food, Korean food, Japanese food etc, by the time I was 12.)

Swim in every ocean.
posted by Yellow at 6:11 AM on February 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


Learn to ride a motorcycle.

See if menstrual cups work for you. I did that when I was 40, found that they do, and I bitterly regret not having more time left to use them.
posted by Too-Ticky at 6:14 AM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


If you are at all interested in experimenting sexually -- doing something you haven't already done, or with a different gender than you normally do it with -- do it now.
posted by OrangeDisk at 6:17 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Re: tea, how about getting high tea here?
posted by charlemangy at 6:23 AM on February 28, 2013


If you have a good relationship with your parents and/or grandparents, go spend time with them NOW. Call them. Visit them. Visit them again. Let them buy you dinner. Ask them all sorts of questions about their lives. Help them around the house, or let them help you around the house, whatever. Tell them you love them. It's not guaranteed that they'll be around forever, so get your quality time in early.
posted by Metroid Baby at 6:24 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


As a Canadian, when we're under 30 (or maybe a bit older) it's easier for us to get a visa to live in other commonwealth countries (Australia, England, etc.) temporarily. Not sure if the US does something similar, but I'd take advantage of that and try and live somewhere abroad for a while. Even if it's not easy, I'd consider living abroad for a year - perhaps by teaching English somewhere?

Invest

If you procrastinate - stop (asking for this list may indicate that you don't)

Oh, and happy birthday.
posted by backwards guitar at 6:25 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Climb Mt Fuji.
Climb Mt Kilimanjaro.
Visit Yosemite in the spring, when the waterfalls are running and the wildflowers come out.
Meditate.
Talk to your relatives about your family tree. I guarantee that you are related to some real characters.
Keep a journal.
Create something every day.

I second the suggestion to get a photo of yourself naked or nearly so. It will be useful later on if, heaven forbid, the doctor needs to diagnose a blemish.

And floss.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:29 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Swim with dolphins
Run with bulls
posted by cazoo at 6:33 AM on February 28, 2013


Save $6,000 each year, for a total to match your age.
posted by jgirl at 6:46 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Parachute at least once --- dual while strapped to an instructor counts!
posted by easily confused at 6:48 AM on February 28, 2013


Think of enjoyable things you can afford to do now that you would not be able to do because of age, or future commitments (eg marriage, kids), or future monetary limitations (eg marriage, kids), or things which will not be around in the future (snow on Mt Fuji, Western Lowland gorillas).
posted by skywhite at 6:49 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Realize that life doesn't stop at 30.
posted by walla at 6:52 AM on February 28, 2013 [19 favorites]


A friend of mine is donating to 30 different charities before her 30th. Most have some special connection to her or a friend/family member, and a lot are smaller or local charities where even a small donation can have a big impact. I thought this was a great idea.
posted by maxg94 at 6:52 AM on February 28, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hike Milford Sound in NZ or any other hiking trail that sparks your imagination, even if it's just for a day.

Spend a week in Paris, walking the streets and drinking coffee and pretending to be French.

Buy one awesome over the top expensive will last you a life time piece of clothing, be it a bag, a pair of shoes or a beautiful coat.

Swim with dolphins (it's bloody amazing).

You can have a traditional afternoon high tea in the Russian Tea Rooms in NYC. I've always wanted to do that.

Learn to do one craft well enough to make something you think is beautiful. I want to learn stained glass making and woodcarving for example.

Go to the Holi the Festival of Colours in India.

I parachuted for my 30th birthday, yes it was a tandem and I was absolutely terrified, the great part was while I didn't "enjoy it" per se as I was so scared I learnt a huge lesson about facing fears that saw me in great stead in my 30's so if not parachuting pick something that terrifies the shit out of you and do that thing.

For music festivals may I suggest a womad being from South Australia I can attest that the one held in Adelaide is the best way to spend a long weekend I can think of but I imagine any of the others are just as good. You'll see and hear music you never imagined.

Write a will and a living will. If you don't already learn to budget, make plans for saving. Remember you can always retire early if you start now.

Buy a beautiful work of original art that speaks to you and makes your heart sing and put it someplace that you can see it everyday. By another one when you are 40, 50 etc and see how your tastes and what moves you has changed.

Be kind to your feet and knees, wear comfortable well fitting shoes, you will thank me later when knees and feet start to go.

Do thirty small random acts of kindness, or try and do one every day from now until you are 30.


OK can you tell I'm having a midlife crisis as most of these suggestions are from my things to do before I'm 45 list.
posted by wwax at 7:07 AM on February 28, 2013 [3 favorites]


About the tea, I'd make it an excuse to vacation in Paris, as the teas (the drink and the spread of edibles) at Mariage Freres is just... mmmmmm. :)
posted by acm at 7:11 AM on February 28, 2013


Since you mention travel: go spend a few months completely immersed in a foreign language.

That sort of full immersion is the best way to learn a language. (In fact, it's basically the only way.) And the older you get, the harder it is to do, because you pick up commitments that make it hard to get away from the Anglo world for a long stretch of time.

(Since you mention Carnival and beaches: I nominate Brazilian Portuguese!)
posted by Now there are two. There are two _______. at 7:53 AM on February 28, 2013


Write three poems, and perform them in a poetry slam.

Submit a short story or article to a magazine, and frame the rejection letter.

Find a type of music you previously had no interest in, and go see it live at a small venue.

Try a cuisine you've never tried.

Learn to identify different varieties of red wine (merlot, malbec, etc.) by taste alone.

Learn to identify every spice in your spice drawer by smell alone.

Collect the entire run of a canceled comic book series you find interesting.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:55 AM on February 28, 2013 [5 favorites]


All of the things that require physical endurance.
posted by pracowity at 9:26 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


burning man, definitely.
posted by changeling at 9:36 AM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


My twenties are long gone but if I had a second round I'd: go to more music festivals (or live music in general), do more travelling and I would have started running earlier.
posted by piyushnz at 10:01 AM on February 28, 2013


As a soccer fan, in addition to (and perhaps better than) the World Cup, I would recommend attending some real local club "derby" matches abroad, like Arsenal/Tottenham in London, the Manchester Derby, el clasico (Real Madrid/Barcelona), Milan derby, Boca Juniors vs. River Plate in Argentina, etc.

The next World Cup in Brazil will surely be a great experience but even there you won't likely get that insane, slightly dangerous feeling atmosphere that you get between two major local club rivals in a smaller, purpose built stadium. Just go with someone who knows what they're doing and don't walk into the wrong pub with an opposition jersey on.

This would also be a great way to structure some foreign travel.
posted by the foreground at 10:32 AM on February 28, 2013


Find a real life community where you feel at home. It can be a church, a professional, political, or social group, etc. Someplace where you interact with a group of 20-100 humans at least once a month. This will be useful.
posted by steinwald at 11:19 AM on February 28, 2013 [6 favorites]


Also: stay up all night dancing as often as possible.
posted by steinwald at 11:20 AM on February 28, 2013


You mention boxing -- why not start attending boxing classes? I started doing combat sports in my 30s and one thing I regret is that I didn't start when I was in my twenties.

While I'm still feeling as if I'm twentyfive, some days my knees and my endurance level definitely remind me that I'm not.
posted by Bearded Dave at 11:49 AM on February 28, 2013


Also, use sunscreen on your hands, arms, and chest as well as your face!
posted by jgirl at 12:53 PM on February 28, 2013 [1 favorite]


Ooohhh! Good question! I'd say be adventurous (but physically safe) with your sex life. If you get into a long term monogamous relationship its nice to have some adventures to look back on and smile about. Also seconding Paris and throwing in Corsica (gorgeous island off the coast of France and Italy), but plan at least part of your trip to travel solo, you meet more people that way. I also enjoyed traveling to Argentina. In Ushauia (the sothern-most city in the world) it is sometimes possible to book last minute tickets on cruises going to Antarctica for vastly reduced rates. I think Lonely Planet's web site might have more info about how to do that. I did it about 8 years ago and loved it!
posted by WalkerWestridge at 1:05 PM on February 28, 2013


In line with the Mardi Gras and Carnival, my impression is that any big electronic music/rave type events are geared more towards younger folks.
posted by forkisbetter at 2:03 PM on February 28, 2013


Do something physically difficult but rewarding, like, say, cyclotouring. Even better, combine it with something hedonistic, like wine tastings.

... says a person who's gone bikepacking in Napa Valley.
posted by vulgar_wheat at 2:52 PM on February 28, 2013


Building on what walla says:

1) Get a good job that you enjoy
2) Save your money
3) Plan to have a child
4) Have a child when your 30
5) Spend your 30's raising said child
6) Hit 40 and realize that: (a) you are still able to do all of the incredible stuff listed above and (b) you have a wonderful child who is now at an age to do all of the incredible stuff described above with you, making it all even better.

Oh, and the flossing of course.
posted by oclipa at 3:08 AM on March 1, 2013


Happy birthday!

(This may or may not be of interest to you, but...) If I were your age, I would look at signing up for one or two night school courses every semester. You'll learn things, you'll meet people, and, if you choose the right set of courses, you could have another degree before you know it. You might want to consider signing up for one serious course and one fun one, like Statistics and Pastry Making.
posted by Multicellular Exothermic at 6:20 AM on March 1, 2013


Sweet baby Jesus! All are fabulous suggestions! Some made my list others, moved to my 40 before 40 list. I'm so excited, thank you all for your fantastic recommendations. Here's the ultimate cut: (I may have to come back in five years and post the next one)

xicana63's list of 30 things to do before I'm 30
1. Volunteer at an animal shelter
2. Write a will and a living will and schedule routine estate planning review.
3. Fine-tune my skin-care regimen, my exercise routines, and other plans for dealing with those few other facets of life that don’t get better after 30 (already begun with clean eating and to continue with "cleaning-up" my cosmetics then removing all other toxic products.)
4. Have Mami teach me to tailor my own clothes
5. Build my personal brand / my black book
6. Live a more minimalistic lifestyle (reducing the crap and only allowing for high quality)
7. Purchase/create a beautiful work of original art that speaks to me (Purchase/create another when you are 40, 50 etc and see how your tastes and what moves you has changed. Already have one from when I turned 20.)
8. Stop slouching! Must perfect my posture!
9. Update my blog more frequently. Set up my content schedule and stick to it!
10. Read 50 essential books
11. Finish our family photo books, digitalize and print copies (1920-present)
12. Fully master 5 great dishes and make my own : A traditional family dish (have my grandmother and mother teach me, tamales!!, an exceptional everyday dish, a complex, gourmet dish, a dessert, a tapa)
13. Do a year of cognitive behavioral therapy (whether you need it or not - it's like college for one's emotions)
14. Learn surfing
15. Go on a week long yoga retreat
16. Go to a major music festival
17. Rent a convertible and drive the PCH between LA and the Monterey Peninsula. (Take your time and stop for lunch along the way to soak in the view. Culminate with a loop of 17 Mile Drive in Carmel followed by dinner and beverages at The Hog's Breath Inn)
18. Have the most extravagant afternoon tea with champagne at The Ritz hotel in London – and then go to the Royal Albert Hall and see Madame Butterfly
19. Attend an elegant masquerade ball
20. Visit a nudist beach (while its all still pointing northwards...)
21. Country hop Europe by train, on the cheap, stay in dodgy hostels, and meet amazing people that will change my life (including Amsterdam, Corsica)
22. Dance my ass off in Ibiza
23. Spend 24 hours straight awake, active and having fun in Miami
24. Face my biggest fear and go parachuting
25. Submit an entry to Postsecret
26. DIY installation of hardwood flooring at home
27. Ride an elephant in Sri Lanka or ride a camel in Morocco
28. Learn Krav Maga or take up kickboxing again
29. Earn my MBA
30. Get engaged, plan a wedding and get married (already in a LTR, we've planned to be engaged in the next 5 years, will replace with speed dating (haha!) if this falls through)

And the prelim list 40 things before I’m forty
• Take a cruise! I would recommend an Eastern Caribbean Cruise. / Cruise on the Mediterranean
• Write a novella
• Stay up all night watching a meteor shower
• Swim with dolphins (it's bloody amazing).
• Hike Milford Sound in NZ or any other hiking trail that sparks your imagination, even if it's just for a day.
• Rekindle an old friendship. Get in touch with an old friend that you grew up with that meant the world to you when you were a kid and whom you have simply lost touch with as time has passed. Check in with them and let them know how important they are to you. Life is too short to lose contact with people that at one time meant so much to us
• Learn a dance - I vote for the Tango
• Buy one awesome over the top expensive will last you a life time piece of clothing, be it a bag, a pair of shoes or a beautiful coat.
• Make limoncello (my own liquor)
• Sing in public
• Gondola in Venice
• Do forty small random acts of kindness, or try and do one every day from now until you are 40
• Buy a beautiful work of original art that speaks to you and makes your heart sing and put it someplace that you can see it everyday. By another one when you are 40, 50 etc and see how your tastes and what moves you has changed.
• Get your blogs put into a book and try to get them published!
• Go to the Holi the Festival of Colours in India.
• See the aurora borealis. Northern Lights and a big whiff of fresh air at Banff NP Canada
• Learn to do one craft well enough to make something you think is beautiful. I want to learn stained glass making and woodcarving for example.
• spend a period of time (week/month?) in complete silence
• Hike the Grand Canyon
• Be at the base of the Eiffel Tower at New Year’s Eve
• Run a Marathon
• Visit the Great Wall of China
• Go scuba diving
• Attend a World Cup
• Carnivale in Brazil
• Flossing every day (kidding! Already do that! Phew!)
• Kick boxing classes
• Run with the bulls
• cyclotouring
• In Ushauia (the sothern-most city in the world) it is sometimes possible to book last minute tickets on cruises going to Antarctica for vastly reduced rates. I think Lonely Planet's web site might have more info about how to do that. I did it about 8 years ago and loved it!
• Signing up for one or two night school courses every semester. You'll learn things, you'll meet people, and, if you choose the right set of courses, you could have another degree before you know it. You might want to consider signing up for one serious course and one fun one, like Statistics and Pastry Making.

And finally, through sifting through everyone's responses and suggestions from friends, co workers found out there were a number of things I have done before reach 25 that others should do! So my suggestions

- Ride the merry-go-round in the city center of Alcalá de Henares in Spain. Home of Cervantes, see the sights
- Get lost in Vienna. Amazing city
- Go on a culinary tour of Beijing, your mind will be blown.
- Go shrimp fishing in Brittany (France)
- Visit Omaha Beach in Normandy - heartbreaking but vital reminder of history (France)
- Visit the local marketing in Rio (Brazil) see the art, buy some handmade crafts then go have a caipirinha or play a friendly game of volleyball on the beach with the cariocas
- Must visit the Tate Modern in London
- If your parents/grandparents/relatives are from other countries, go visit and experience sights they fondly remember
- Learn to make a paper crane. Make a 1000, make a wish
- Visit India, have a traditional Indian fest dress made for you (Mine is the most beautiful gold and purple)
- Build something (anything) elaborate with your hands from scratch (furniture, sculpture/art..etc)
- Learn some magic treats, will always save you in a pinch/awkward situation/ice breaker
- Explore your city as a tourist
- Milk a cow. Everyone must milk a cow
posted by xicana63 at 7:21 AM on March 1, 2013 [5 favorites]


Be at the base of the Eiffel Tower at New Year’s Eve

Been there. Done that. Got the t shirt. It sucked. the French government cancelled new eve fireworks in Paris. Until they re-instate them, I wouldn't bother.
posted by sockpuppetdirect at 11:05 AM on March 1, 2013


Whoa. You'll have a busy five years ahead of you, from the looks of your list. It makes me tired just to read it, personally, but to each hirs own!

Just be careful you don't get a burnout. You don't need to do ALL THE THINGS. Above all, take the time to enjoy the things you do!
posted by Too-Ticky at 1:38 AM on March 7, 2013 [1 favorite]


I know I'm late to respond (and I love your final list above), but I still wanted to chime in since I posted a similar question a few years back: http://ask.metafilter.com/106995/Life-To-Do-List

Since then, I've taken the hive mind's suggestions and traveled many times abroad and domestically, started up several hobbies I never would have thought to try back then (I didn't even know aerial arts was a thing you could learn!), and generally followed my passions.

My best suggestion for trying new things is to always say "yes" when an opportunity presents itself (within reason, of course). I got that advice from here and this had led to spontaneous weekend trips, cutting my hair off for Locks of Love, and learning professional scientific illustration. All of these suggestions above are great, but I'm sure in your life, you'll come across even more opportunities as long as you're open to them :)
posted by karyotypical at 6:07 PM on March 17, 2013


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