This year, I will turn 30.
Turning 30 is a milestone often celebrated with lavish parties and with a large gathering of friends.
For some, it is a milestone that they’d rather not reach. It can suddenly make you feel old, and reevaluate your life.
Being in your 20s is exciting. You feel youthful, vibrant and that you can achieve anything. However, you can also feel like you need to prove something to yourself and the World. You’re still in a state of discovery.
In your 30s, society preaches that we should have it all together. We should be settled both in career and relationship status.
However, so far I’ve managed to defy this, and at times I’ve gone way off the path of what people would think is normal, but I’ve had an amazing time, and even though I’m now moving closer to wanting to feel a bit more settled, I am still not done with travelling.
All this reflecting got me thinking about where my 20s actually went, where I travelled to and what I achieved. So I thought I’d share my past decade with you, but also encourage you;
Whether you are 21, or 51 you don’t have to have life altogether, know where you are going, or what you want. The key is to enjoy where you are at, at this very moment.
So where did my 20s go?
2006/7 (age 20) – England/USA/Italy
I left home 1 month prior to my 20th birthday, to move to Lancaster in England, to study Occupational Therapy. This was a year of self discovery and I did a lot of growing up. I travelled throughout the country by myself and this was ultimately the beginning of my independent streak!
During my first year at university, I took 2 trips overseas; one to Venice in Italy, and another to Chicago in the US.
2007/8 (age 21) – England/Scotland/Ireland
I continued living in the North of England and travelling through the country during my second year of university. I visited Scotland, Ireland and various other places in the UK.
2008/9 (age 22) – England/Greece
This was a big year for me – I graduated, moved out of my university digs, and started my first real (paid) job as an Occupational Therapist.
I took advantage of being that little further South of England, and took many trips down to London to see my sister.
I travelled to Rhodes in Greece on my first package style holiday.
2009/10 (age 23) – France/Spain
2010/11 (age 24) – Belgium/Australia/New Zealand/Italy
At the end of 2010, life took on a different direction. I ended a long term relationship and decided to focus on other life goals, which included looking towards working overseas, and more travelling.
I went to Brussels and Bruges in Belgium as a weekend trip with my eldest sister for her birthday. I later went on a trip to Australia and New Zealand and got my first taste of backpacking and loved it. This then led onto the next chapter in my life.
2011/12 (age 25) – New Zealand/Australia/Fiji
2012 was a massive year for me. I started this travel blog, just before I moved to New Zealand. I was 25, and left behind all that I knew in my homeland, to see a little more of the World, and pursue my career further an an Occupational Therapist.
I loved discovering my new home country, and covered a lot of ground in the first year there. I enjoyed seeing the changing scenes of the Earthquake stricken Christchurch
I took a break to Fiji to escape the New Zealand winter, for a bit of rest and relaxation, as well as a time of discovery, and adventure.
Later in that year I travelled back Australia; to Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate my 26th birthday.
2012/13 (age 26) – New Zealand/South Korea/England
I continued living in New Zealand and discovered so many beautiful places! I learnt to Snowboard, as well as took up running, and completed my first (and only so far!) Half Marathon.
I returned to England briefly for 3 weeks to see a friend get married. On the way I stopped over in Seoul, South Korea and had my first taste of Asia.
2013/14 (age 27) – New Zealand/Australia/South East Asia
At the end of 2013, I celebrated my 27th birthday with a delightfully spring BBQ at my house, where a number of people I had come to know over the past few years hung out with me for the night. I was made an incredible World Globe cake; little did I know, I’d be adding many more flags to this cake within the next 9 months!
Halfway through 2014, I decided to leave New Zealand (permanently), even though I was a few months from gaining permanent working visa. The desire to travel was much stronger. I spent the remainder of my time ticking off many New Zealand bucket list items, including doing a few hiking trips in the mountains.
I left New Zealand in June 2014 to go backpacking around South East Asia for almost 5 months, covering Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.
I turned 28 in Indonesia (were my sister joined me), by splashing out at a 5* hotel.
2014/15 (age 28) – Europe/USA
I had some temporary, but well paid work for the earlier part of this year, so it was flexible enough to allow me to travel.
I later travelled to Germany for a friends wedding at the beginning of 2015. Then took my youngest sister to New York for her 21st.
I then travelled around Turkey, hit up Copenhagen in Denmark and the headed to Portugal to celebrate my 29th birthday.
In the middle of 2015, I finally got a permanent job, and a home, but still set my heart of travelling, as much as possible!
2015/16 – Europe/South America
The last year of my 20s was not going to be lax on the travelling front. I had a lot planned and have been travelling a fair amount already. I started off my visiting Luxembourg for the first time, to see a few friends I hadn’t seen in years. I took my first snowboarding holiday to Bulgaria and then set my feet on South American soil in Brazil and Argentina.
Most recently, I took a trip over to Amsterdam in the Netherlands for a long weekend away, which I loved – especially exploring the wonderful Keukenhof gardens, with all the vibrant Tulips.
So far I’ve raked up visiting 37 countries.
The Czech Republic is next up!
So in 2016 (age 30) in October. Where should I go?
This is where you come in!
I’d love if you could all suggest a country that I can travel to for my 40th. The most popular will be put to a vote and I’ll go wherever is chosen.
Ideally I’d like to get to Africa as a 6th continent, but it’s up to you!
Leave me some comments below.