30 before 30

Thanks to L at Toutes Directions pour la France for her great post around her 30th birthday. It inspired me to make my own list of 30 things I’m proud of having done before this 30th birthday. Some of them are the same as hers, I have to admit straight away!

  1. Graduating from Macalester
  2. Living through four Minnesota winters
  3. Driving solo from Minnesota to Texas
  4. Moving to France and somehow managing to stay
  5. Passing the CAPES
  6. Becoming a teacher, especially sticking it out through my stage year
  7. Buying a house
  8. Learning to speak French fluently
  9. Traveling in Poland solo
  10. Sleeping in the Moroccan desert
  11. Visiting the Alhambra (even though my allergies attacked me head-on in the gardens)
  12. Wandering around Ireland (also solo)
  13. Learning to play the violin
  14. Learning to compose violin parts to songs
  15. Getting my masters degree with a 4.0 GPA
  16. Getting to know Paris
  17. Getting to know London
  18. Celebrating Christmas in England and in France
  19. Hosting and surfing couches with Couchsurfing
  20. Driving around Provence, first with my brother + girlfriend, then with my parents
  21. Falling in love with someone who makes me happy (I guess I’m not so much proud of this since luck was involved, but I am proud I had the good sense to recognize something good when it came my way)
  22. Renovating a house (okay, so it’s not done yet… but it will be!)
  23. Visiting some great museums: the Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam; the Musée d’Orsay and Centre Pompidou in Paris; the British Museum, Tate Modern, and National Gallery in London; the Walker in Minneapolis
  24. Wine-tasting in the Bordeaux and Provence regions (still need to get to Bourgogne)
  25. Voting in three presidential elections (and a few others)
  26. Giving a toast at a good friend’s wedding
  27. Somehow keeping up a blog for nine years, and hanging on to lots of memories that way
  28. Introducing a loved one to Texas
  29. Seeing a lot of fantastic live music (Austin City Limits music festival 2007, Tegan & Sarah 2006 + 2008, Band of Horses 2007 + 2013, The Decemberists in 2007, Festivété 2010, Les Soirées de la Montgolfière this year at the Blaiserie in Poitiers, Josh Ritter in Manchester, Bénabar in 2009, Pauline Croze in 2008, …)
  30. Learning to speak some Spanish

Things I still want to do:

  1. Be better at rock-climbing
  2. Go to Alaska
  3. Have bilingual kids
  4. Help my brother’s kids learn French
  5. Learn to play the banjo
  6. Learn to speak Spanish better
  7. Have a good vegetable garden
  8. Adopt a dog
  9. Go to New York City
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12 thoughts on “30 before 30

  1. Lots of great great things! Happy happy birthday!! I hope you have a great day!!

    (And yes, adopting a dog is a great thing to have on your list. It’s great always coming home with him or her wagging their tail a mile a minute!)

  2. I’m dying to wine-taste in Burgundy as well. I don’t really like Pinot Noir, but I think that’s just because I don’t know Burgundy wines at all. That’s the downside to living in Bordeaux!

    That’s a great set of achievements and it was nice to learn more about you. You’ve had this blog for 9 years, that’s no easy feat. I wish that I had started a lot earlier.

    Happy birthday.

    • Glad you liked it! I’ll have to wait for new visitors to get over to Burgundy I think. Both wine-tasting trips were with my parents!
      The blog has changed a lot in 9 years, but then, so I have I, so I guess that’s normal.

  3. Happy birthday! (I’m not usually a big FB birthday person, so glad I could say it here!)
    I don’t think I’ve ever done an entire trip solo, usually just the travel part to meet someone. It’s awesome you’ve done a few! Husband did a boys trip to Bourgogne and loooved it, I think they mainly stayed around Beaune.

    • To be honest the solo trips happened because I got tired of waiting for friends to get organized and realized I had to go alone or never! It was fine with couchsurfing and good hostels, because you don’t feel alone.

  4. Happy birthday, I like the idea of celebrating your achievements so far rather than another impossible list of stuff you should have done by an arbitrary age!

  5. L says:

    Thanks for the link!
    Nice picture of Howth btw. I walked around the peninsula too when I went to Dublin. And definitely go to Alaska. There are direct flights to Fairbanks from Frankfurt in the summer, although I could understand the attraction of going in winter for aurora borealis. In the summer it’s crazy how it never gets dark.

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