Well, shoot, friends. How did I get to be on this side of 30 already? I’ll be 33 in March. The past two years have felt a little bit like a blur, what with a global pandemic and everything.

I turned 30 the year before the pandemic – thankfully, I suppose, because I was blessed to have a huge birthday bash to ring in a new decade of my life and commemorate my “Golden 30.” Turning 30 also marked the conclusion of my #30Before30 bucket list challenge. While I only completed about half of the items on that list before I turned 30, I have come to realize that I did SO MUCH beyond what I listed…and that deserves to be celebrated, too.

For example, from my original list I managed to:

  • See Stonehenge
  • Visit Disney World and Harry Potter World in Orlando
  • Visit Hawaii (which *technically* I did after I turned 30 – but only 6 weeks after! I’m counting it! And I’ve been back a second time since then!)
  • Swim with dolphins (and sea turtles!)
  • Visit Italy and Cinque Terre
  • Get my first tattoo (and second and third)
  • Go ziplining in a rainforest
  • See the James Bond restaurant in Switzerland (also SEE SWITZERLAND)
  • Fly in a hot air balloon
  • Progress at meditation (I’m not sure I have “mastered” a 30-min session, but I could definitely practice mindfulness for 30 minutes)
  • Participate in a sky lantern festival
  • Do something that scares me (I’m pretty sure I did several, but I think the primary one was quitting my independent contractor job to work my clothing business – previously a side hustle – full-time. And I did this the month of my 30th birthday.)
  • Celebrate my 30th birthday in style

But just because there are 17 things left on that list, I don’t really consider it a failure. Because I also got to have the following adventures before I turned 30:

  • Spend 3 weeks in Italy (hello, Roman Coliseum! Capri! Sicily! Milan!) with my best friend
  • Spend a week in Portland, Oregon (also with best friend)
  • Road trip through Utah (with best friend and my dad)
  • Get MARRIED (that took up a good year of travel time in order to plan and save)
  • Honeymoon in Barbados (have my first all-inclusive resort experience!)
  • Party in Lake Havasu with friends
  • Camp in Joshua Tree with friends
  • Cruise to Ensenada

Sure, there are items on my #30Before30 list I still want to accomplish…but there are also some I don’t particularly feel a draw to complete anymore. Either I’ve had other adventures that sufficed, or I simply no longer have interest in them. And you know what? THAT’S OKAY. I think it’s important to present the concept of a bucket list as “more like guidelines than actual rules” (channeling Pirates of the Caribbean.)

So, I hereby present the next chapter of my master bucket list: #40Before40. This one is a dynamic, fluid, “living” list that can be altered and leave room for all of the other grand adventures on which I know I will embark before my next decade. In no particular order:

  1. Start our family/become a mom
  2. Buy a house
  3. Explore the Pacific Northwest
  4. Take a cross-country road trip in the U.S. and Canada
  5. Visit Scotland
  6. Visit Croatia
  7. Visit Greece
  8. Visit Japan
  9. Hike in the Colorado Rockies
  10. See the Greek Parthenon
  11. See Neuschwanstein Castle in Germany (and ride the toboggan)
  12. See the Christmas markets in Germany
  13. Visit Scandinavia (we also want to go back to Iceland and road trip the interior!)
  14. Take a multi-day hike
  15. Sleep in an igloo
  16. See the “real” Little Mermaid in Denmark
  17. Ride the Glacier Express/see the Norwegian fjords
  18. See the Milky Way in a Dark Sky Park (and get a cool photo of it)
  19. Go back to Australia/New Zealand with Trevor
  20. Go back to NYC with Trevor
  21. Go back to Yosemite National Park with Trevor
  22. Go back to Canada (with or without Trevor)
  23. Take a Disney cruise
  24. Float in the Dead Sea
  25. Cliff-dive somewhere
  26. Visit another Polynesian island (Fiji? Tahiti? Samoa?)
  27. Stay in an over-water bungalow
  28. Visit 5 new states (so far, I’ve been to 22)
  29. Fly first class (done – we flew JetBlue Mint on the first leg of our honeymoon! But I want to do it again!)
  30. Publish something in a mass consumer publication
  31. Master that 30 minute meditation session
  32. Improve my flexibility through yoga so I can achieve more difficult poses (like the tripod headstand or handstand scorpion…!!)
  33. Improve my Spanish
  34. Learn the Thriller dance
  35. Learn how to skateboard
  36. Fly on the fly (I’m going to count this as done – in January 2020, I booked a trip to Hawaii with 4 days notice. Booked the flight Tuesday night, flew out Saturday morning!)
  37. Sky dive
  38. Complete my castle tattoo (I haven’t yet decided if I want Hogwarts or the Disneyland castle)
  39. Get my commercial drone license
  40. Start a travel business

I encourage you to create your own bucket list – it will motivate you to go out there and book that trip, take that adventure, do that thing. And if you remain open to it, it will help you see all the other blessings and adventures that come into your life that you never thought to write down in a list.