A Realistic 30 Before 30 List – 11.5 Months To Go

I’ve been seeing a lot of bucket list type posts from people in their twenties, things they want to do before they turn 30. Given I turned 29 last month, thirty is coming up fast on this side. Lots of these “30 Before 30” lists seem to include things like skydiving and quitting jobs to travel broke around Europe, which don’t really fit with the life of a mum of one with a chronic illness, never mind adding a pandemic into the mix. However, I’ve never been one to let a challenge pass me by too easily and have a few ideas to substitute in the place of jumping from a plane (NEVER going to happen regardless of my back unless I was physically flung from the plane).

So, without further ado, here is my much more realistic 30 before 30 bucket list.

I’ve completed a few of these since I started writing the list and left it in my drafts, TWO YEARS AGO, so the one’s I’ve done have asterisks beside them!

1. Get A Tattoo

This one is on a lot of lists and it’s one I’ve been thinking about a lot lately! I’m 99% there on the design of what I want, it’s just biting the bullet and going for it now! I’ve got the pain threshold anyway, so that’s one worry down!

2. Return To College And Get A Masters Degree *

I returned to my Alma Mater University College Cork in September 2018 to study for a Masters in Public Health and graduated in February 2020 with a 2.1 masters degree, after doing a thesis on the impact of the age you hit puberty on your cardiovascular risk as you get older. From the girl who gave up science at Junior Cert, this was definitely an upward learning curve that more resembled a straight line, but I DID IT.

A photo of me and Dad at my graduation.

3. Pass My Driving Test *

I passed it in November 2018, on my SIXTH attempt. Basically, if I can do it, anyone can.

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So, this happened yesterday. Six tests, many many more lessons than planned, lots more practice time, two cars in, but I am now the proud owner of my N plates! I’m a good driver but I get very nervous during exams of any kind. Driving tests appeared to be the epitome of this challenge, I was so conscious of the tiny mistakes and would completely freak myself out. The reverse around the corner was the bane of my existence. I managed to fail three tests in a row for being, I kid you not, too careful. But it’s over. It’s done. I am free. And so goes another tick off the list of Things To Do. Yay grownupdom. #learningtodrive #ificandoitanyonecan #passedmytest #passedmydrivingtest #fullylicenceddriver #ontheroadagain #ipbig #corkireland #corkblogger #ndls #ipassedfinally #watchoutworld #drivingmissdaisy #irishbloggers #corkbloggers

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4. Visit New York City *

This had been on the list for a few years. I’d already seen Seattle, and technically being in JFK airport for a few hours means I was in New York but I’d love to visit the city that has inspired so many! We finally got there in December 2018, the day after my exams ended for my winter semester of my Masters, where we spent five days discovering incredible Japanese food, that based on the smell they seem to be growing cannabis in the subway, how awesome a Broadway show is and experiencing the city that never sleeps! (I have a post half-started about this as well, not that anyone is getting to travel again any time soon, but I’ll pop it up if people are interested!).


5. Master Liquid EyeLiner

Seriously. It’s a skill I haven’t managed yet and I am so envious of women who have it DOWN.

6. See A Show In The West End

Still want to do this one but it’s currently on hold as a result of Covid-19 shutting down the entire theatre world.. oops. I DID get to see Mean Girls on Broadway though, which was incredible.

7. Figure Out Mindfulness

There’s got to be more to it than colouring books, right? This is something I’ve been working on this year, as it’s been rather anxious, but calming my brain when it’s going a million miles an hour is a TASK.

8. Give Yoga A Proper Try

I did Yoga in college – not willingly, it was a module in our Drama course where we spent three hours on a Tuesday being instructed how to contort our bodies into positions I couldn’t manage, before pairing up to get the two for one deal in Hillbillies for lunch with our classmates. Ah, simpler times, 2009. I was terrible at it and resented it, and as someone whose body makes sounds that I don’t willingly initiate by normal movements, it’s not likely that’s changed much. However, going on my Instagram feed, it appears I am the last of the millenials to embrace Yoga. And it might be good for the joints, which I’m definitely all for, given that I would happily sell my soul for them to cop onto themselves these days. So, yoga. Proper try, perhaps a class. Any suggestions?

9. See The Northern Lights

There’s a lot of travel in this list, like most 30 before 30 lists. With child in tow, it’s probably a bit harder to manage the whole lot of it, but the Northern Lights are definitely on the Must-See list. They’re a phenomenon for a reason. People rave about them for a reason. Now lets just hope Covid-19 calms down so we can get a bit of it in.

10. Travel Solo *

I did do this! In September 2019 I headed off to Scotland by myself for three days, where I saw Redhanded Live, wandered the National Museum of Scotland for hours in a trance of happiness, had tea in the cafe where it’s claimed Harry Potter was written, saw Russell Howard live and just enjoyed some time with my own thoughts in gorgeous Scotland!

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Today’s skies are dark and filled with rain, so there’s no outdoor wanderings to find today’s #magicofoctober prompt “Green” – instead, this shot of Victoria Street in Edinburgh (and a few more of it looking all Diagon-Alley-esque) will have to do. I only had seven hours in Edinburgh but I made sure to make the most of them – aside from time wasted waiting for train delays to get back to Glasgow. Definitely a much sunnier day than it is here in Cork while we wait for Lorenzo to do his worst! #edinburgh #visitedinburgh #diagonalley #victoriastreet #magicalplaces #greenwalls #goldenwriting #solotravel #instatravel #octoberinstagramchallenge #instagrameverydayinoctober #harrypotter #theboywholived #hpobsessed #myanklesdiedinedinburgh #bringwalkingshoes #scotland #visitscotland #scotlandinseptember #edinburghdaytril #ipbig #irishblogger Are you taking part in the #magicofoctober challenge with @theclotheslineie ?

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11. Start A Youtube Channel

I’ve done the blogging thing for the last four years and it’s doing pretty well for itself. I’m not exactly Zoella, but it’s my creative outlet and I like it. So I think trying the Youtube thing might be a next step to try. I think it will hopefully help with some self-image issues that I’ve been tackling, increase my confidence and hopefully provide a new outlet. Still no sign of this one happening, and it may just become a Tik Tok, given that that one is more “down with the kids”. Note: I am in no way down with the kids.

12. Write THE book.

This one is realistic because I know I CAN write it, if I actually sit down and do it. Whether anyone else will like to read it is a whole other question.


13. Start My Pension

Planning for the future is probably something I should get onto, given that we never know what lies ahead, right? I should probably wait to get back into a workplace now though…


14. Read As Many Of The Top 100 Books As I Can

I’m currently on 19 out of the 100 – which gives me a big long list to add to my already huge To Read List… let’s see how this one goes.

15. Learn A New Language

I hear Duolingo is how the cool kids are doing it these days. I’ve got fluent English, a good smattering of the Gaeilge and the world’s most basic French (thank you six years of learning it).

16. Try Out Cooking Lessons

Or at the very least, learn how much pasta to put on for two and a half people for ONE MEAL, not to feed the 5000. Anyone got that one down?

17. Do As Many Fear-Of-Heights-Defeating Things As Possible *

I am terrified of heights, and it’s something I have been working on for the last few years. On one of our first dates, Dillen made me cry by bringing me up Shandon Bell Tower (how he stuck around after my hysterics at the idea of having to go back down the bloody steps is beyond me). But I’ve challenged myself a bit more over the last few years and hope that this is set to continue – let’s count this one as a work in progress. In the last few years, I’ve gone on a cable car up Table Mountain, stepped out on the edge of the Cliffs of Moher and gone to the top of the Space Needle, so it’s all an improvement. So, sort of done?

18. Manage To Keep a Plant Alive

Yes, I know I’m managing to keep a CHILD alive, but I’ve managed to kill an Aloe Vera plant before, and I’m told they’re bloody hard to kill. So yes. Plant PLUS child is a challenge. (Obviously if it comes down to it, child has discovered how to forage for food in the fridge and I’ll keep that well stocked…)

19. Go On A Cruise *

We did this one JUST BEFORE the world closed down. And it was incredible. Last October we headed for a week long cruise around the Caribbean on the Royal Carribean Allure of the Seas. I ignored all the true crime horror stories about cruise ships and had an ABSOLUTE blast. And then forgot to blog any of it. I did put it in an Instagram story, but I was planning to write it up – not that anyone is getting on a cruise ship any time soon… (oops).

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We’re just home from the most incredible week away on @royalcaribbean @allureoftheseasofficial sailing around the Caribbean – the jet lag has been real, but I’m back to work tomorrow, back to reality. It was a week of relaxation – thank you Adventure Ocean Kids Club for allowing us to not only parent in another location but to also actually have time to relax, have date nights and enjoy ourselves without commentary about Pokémon for a few hours! These are just some of the photos I took during the week, and I’ve compiled the stories I put up through the trip (they’re not quite complete so may be added to!) into a favourite. It’s been my favourite family holiday yet, and I look forward to trying another cruise some time in the future! Just some gorgeous shots of what we saw (and one of Baby’s First Mocktail – the face is because it was so heavy, not that he disliked the taste!) Have you ever been on a cruise? Got any tips, tricks or recommendations for any future trips? #cruiselife #allureoftheseas #allureoftheseas2019 #caribbean #caribbeanlife #caribbeanadventure #familycruise #familycruise2019 #familyholiday #instatravel #travelgram #royalcarribeancruise #royalcarribean #ilovetocruise #instacruise #traveltheworld #wanderlustfamily #ipbig #instacruises #bonvoyage #cruiseblogger #instaship #cruiselover #takenoniphone #thoseviews #notanad #godiwishthough

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20. Skinny Dip

Sure, why not?

21. Half-Marathon

I’m not allowed to run, thanks to my pesky facet joints, but I am allowed to walk – so I think doing a half marathon walk would be a good. Still on the list two years after writing this!

22. Go On Holiday With A Friend

I’ve never done the Leaving Cert holiday, or the J1 Summer away, and while it’s not something I look back on feeling hard done by, it’s definitely something that other people have as a “memorable” thing which is missing in my life – travel with people who aren’t family or romantically linked! It’d be nice to fit in a girly trip away, even for a weekend, before my 30th birthday!

23. Attend a Live Recording of a TV Show *

We did do this when we were in New York – we got to see Trevor Noah’s The Daily Show recorded live and it was BRILLIANT.

24. Marie Kondo My Life

I am in dire need of clearing out a ton of clutter but my energy levels really never seem to sync up. But it NEEDS to be done, so I vow to only keep the things that spark joy and GET IT DONE. I’ve now also watched The Home Edit so I can add colour coding to the list that already had learning the folding thing and only keeping what sparks joy to my to-do list.


25. Get Into Fitness

Note: This is not a “Get to a certain size”. Yes, I want to lose weight, I am not a fan of being the size I currently am. However, that’s more down to the fact that I’m repeatedly told that all my health issues will be solved when I lose the weight, and there’s a part of me that wants to prove those idiot doctors (not my normal doctors, just the ones who barely know me and put everything down to my weight) wrong. I’ve gained quite a bit of weight in the last few years as a result of injuries, medications and a serious biscuit habit. And discovering sourdough bread with apricot jam in Lockdown likely didn’t help. But, fitness. I have NO upper body strength, it’s actually fairly pathetic. So I want to be able to lift weights, and have a strong core, and be thrilled with my “gains” instead of caring what number is written on a label. Work. In. Progress.

26. Do A Photo Shoot

This one sort of goes with number 25. Once I get the body confidence from being strong, I want to have it memorialised – whether that’s in a blogger-esque photo shoot or a boudoir one that’s just for me to admire when I’m 70 and able to go “Girl, you HAD it”.


27. Plan A Wedding/Perhaps Even Do It

I got engaged on Leap Day this year, and while we’re not planning anything super soon, it would be nice to have the plans at least to go from. I know people with excel spreadsheets and Pinterest boards and I’m not exactly there – I’ve an Instagram saved folder with ideas but that’s about it. With everything that’s happened this year, the wedding planning is definitely DEFINITELY on the back foot but it would be nice to think of doing something.

28.Visit Canada

I’ve been looking at gorgeous images of Canadian mountain walks and gorgeous spaces, particularly on the West Coast and have stuck it on my list to get there by the age of 30. This one is made a bit harder by the whole “countries being closed because of a pandemic” thing but hey, 2021 is looking promising.

29. Record a Podcast

The ladies of Redhanded referred to podcasting as this generations lower back tattoo, so why not? Myself and a friend have been discussing the idea of a chronic illness based podcast for a while so perhaps that may be a runner!

30. Eat at A Michelin Star Restaurant *

We did this one at the end of last year in the fantastic Bastion in Kinsale. It was AMAZING. We had a tasting menu experience with wine, which had us trying out what seemed like tiny dishes but it was SO filling and full of stuff that I likely never would have chosen off a menu if it was put to be to choose. Highly recommend.



So those are my more-realistic things to do before I turn 30, in just under 12 months. I’ve already got eight of them done, so I’ve got my work cut out for me. Is there anything I’ve missed that should be in there, or anything you consider completely mad? Let me know over on Instagram or Twitter!