30 Things I’m Happy I Did Before 30

30 Things I'm Happy I Did Before 30

I guess you could say this blog post was 30 years in the making. Haha, no. It’s not THAT monumental. What it is, however, is a reflection of sorts and a trip down my now 30-year-old memory’s lane. Yes, today, December 4, 2013, is in fact my 30th birthday.

It’s a milestone that we see people both celebrate and fear – I’m just excited and hopeful for what’s next. I’ve never made a bucket list, so I didn’t have a collection of “Things I Want to do Before I Turn 30.” I do, however, enjoy reading those written by others – I think it’s very important to set goals and have dreams. Plus, I’ve always been a person who loves crossing things off a list.

…And we’ve all seen those magazine articles entitled “30 Things Every Woman Should Know Before 30” or “30 Experiences to Have Before 30.” Eeek. These articles can be fun(ny) to read, but there’s also the high possibility that you’ll finish thinking Crap, I didn’t know that or Great, now I gotta go backpacking in the Alps. So, I created a list that goes along with the 30 theme but, since I’m already here, simply reflects on what’s made me happy over the past three decades. I give you, in no particular order –>

30 Things I’m Happy I Did Before 30

1. Lived in Manhattan – probably one of my first dreams.

2. Lived alone – just, yeah. It was great.

3. Got to know myself – from having my own place to taking myself on dates to dinner and movies, there’s something to be said about having “me” time.

4. Visited many parts of Europe – I’m very fortunate to have wonderful parents who enabled me to travel in high school with my friends. We saw London, France, Italy, and Greece. I look forward to going back during this chapter.

5. Flew across the United States, solo – just felt very adult-ish.

6. Earned two Master’s degrees – although I am not currently working in education, it doesn’t mean I’m not using my degrees. You can never know too much.

7. Made a difference – I love thinking about all the students I had the privilege of working with as a teacher. There’s nothing better than receiving a note or picture from a child that says, “Thank you.”

8. Spoke my mind – not always my best quality, but at times it’s necessary.

9. Was on TV – one of the biggest treats of 2013. (Take a peek.)

10. Perfected a sangria recipe – passed down from my father, I obviously had to know how to make my favorite drink.

11. Kissed a boy under the moon, near the ocean – no comment needed.

12. Got a tattoo – something I’ll never regret. (Check out: My Tattoo Changed My Life.)

13. Danced on tables – and chairs for that matter.

14. Got bangs – happy about this only because I know I probably won’t get them again. (Just not me.)

15. Followed my heart – a true Sagittarius right here.

16. Started a blog – Something I truly enjoy.

17. Took risks – in the midst of one right now. Yes, they can be scary but when they’re done for the right reasons, they can ultimately lead to happiness : )

18. Said goodbye – in the words of Madonna: “There’s no greater power than the power of goodbye.”

19. Talked my way out of a speeding ticket – hey, it was fun.

20. Learned the New York City subway system – a very sexy trait, so I’ve heard.

21. Saw Miami and Los Angeles for the first time, in the same year – as a Native New Yorker, it seemed fitting that I visit the country’s other leading cities. #trifecta

22. Removed my belly button ring – nothing against them, glad I had one for a bit, and glad it’s out now.

23. Drove down the Pacific Coast Highway in a convertible – okay, it was a Chevy Malibu…but it still gave me chills nonetheless.

24. Drank coffee at a cafe, in Paris – un grand jour : )

25. Read books – wow, so many good ones! So many that just hit home. My favorites all sit together on my bookshelf.

26. Gave back – donated to charities and organizations like Pencils of Promise. Something to continue doing in the years to come!

27. Was a bridesmaid – twice! I love weddings and my friends, so this was super fun to me. And, unlike the stereotype, both dresses were fab.

28. Took a picture in front of the Hollywood sign – I’ve always been a little starry eyed. (Check it out.)

29. Never did drugs – ok, with the exception of the friendly, green stuff, this is true. Just was never my thing. #proud

30. Made mistakes – and learned from them.


Related Article:

23 Things You Should Actually Do Before You’re 23

19 thoughts

  1. Happy Birthday Natalie! I’d have never guessed you’re 30 based on your pictures – you look younger! I absolutely love your post and the header picture. I had a lot of fun reading through your list, I like that I got to know you a little bit better 🙂 Enjoy the rest of your day! Oh, btw, you gotta share #10 so I can surprise my family when I go to Spain haha ;P


    1. You seriously are the sweetest! I plan on moving to Cali early next year, and I hope that we can meet up one day!! And the sangria recipe is super easy…let me know when you need it and I’ll send it over 🙂


  2. Hi Natalie! I just came across your blog via your comment on LC’s site! I’m a bit of a list lover myself and I really enjoyed reading through your list:) Happy 30th!


  3. Fantastic list! I’m hitting 30 next year, so this really interested me. There’s things you’ve done I’ve dreamed of, such as living alone/in Manhattan and drinking coffee in a cafe in Paris. Very jealous! Also things on this list I wouldn’t have expected to see on many lists that I personally would agree are actually very big/important things. Well done! I think you have definitely made good use of your 20’s!


    1. Thank you! That’s why I like this idea for the list because it just allowed me to think about the things I’m happy about. I’m sure when your list comes out next year, there will be things on it that I’d like to do, too! Thanks for reading…dropped by your blog as well and you have a new follower : )


      1. Well that’s nice. Thanks! Very glad to have a new follower. You know you’ve got one too. The few posts of yours I’ve read have really resonated with me. Fantastic stuff.


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