This year has been fantastic, life-changing in so many ways. My bucket list makes sure that I am accomplishing what I set out to do, but a lot of life seems to be looking forward to the next big adventure. This year we sent our son off to school, my husband started college, my daughter outgrew her toddler stage completely and is a full-on big girl, and I finally published my first book. Dreams that felt years into the future. As happy as I am to be starting this new journey, I feel a little sad that it’s over in a way.
My next big adventure is turning 30 but feels like a deadline in the same way. I only have 4 years left of my 20s and want to finish them out with a bang. I went through my bucket list and compiled 30 items to complete before I am 30. What did you want to do before the big 3-0?
1.) Go skydiving
I have had this on my list forever and am very excited. I love roller coasters but don’t mind them because the ride is in control, and I just sit through it. Having to jump and let myself fall feels like the most free thrill ride in the world. My husband is terrified of heights, so I convinced him to do this as a way to celebrate his 30th, which is almost two years before mine.
2.) Go skinny dipping
My husband and I went streaking once when I was 19, and it was one of the funniest experiences of my life. My husband was caught completely off guard, and I had the opportunity to be spontaneous in a way even I didn’t expect. This kind of bucket list items feels like something you only do in your 20s. I am very modest, so this is a big act of trust and self-acceptance on my part.
3.) Name a star
Looking at the stars was one of my favorite things to do with my grandparents when I was a little kid. We would lay out on a blanket on a warm summer night, telling stories, and my grandma always said that her mom was in the evening sky. I love the idea of naming a star in honor of a loved one so that we could always find them.
4.) Go dancing all night
I am timid, so this would just be a matter of letting my hair down enough to enjoy dancing in front of people without being self-conscious the whole time. Letting go in this way is not easy for me. The one and only time I ever did karaoke with my sister I had a complete blast but felt like I was going to vomit through most of it.
5.) Try every drink at Starbucks
I am in the process of this, and it has been enjoyable so far. I love trying new drinks, it’s something I try to do in the fall especially when there are so many new combinations to try. Aside from my caramel macchiato and white chocolate mocha staples, I love frappes in the summer and Cinnamon Dulce lattes during Christmas gift shopping.
6.) Read 100 classics
I am 27 books into this challenge. I love classics, I love the different dialects and learning about social customs based on the time periods. These are worth reading from the library, but one of my favorite parts of this is second-hand book shopping and looking for vintage covers. Finding the perfect book that’s next on my list at Goodwill is a very funny feeling of satisfaction. Animal Farm was the last one I read, Orwell is amazing!
7.) Visit 10 different states
I have only visited 5 states including Washington. I have gone to the beach in Oregon multiple times, went to Silverwood in Idaho, visited my Aunt Rosie in Nevada, and had a layover in California. I wouldn’t really count California, but while in Nevada my aunt helped me cross off “Be in Two Places At Once” by straddling the Nevada and California state line with me. It felt too special to not include. I would love to visit Yellowstone in Montana and swing through Wyoming, I want to sightsee in Boston, go to a festival in Ohio, watch Broadway in New York, and go fishing in Alaska. Soon!
8.) Learn to use a sewing machine
I am terrible at sewing. I am okay with hand sewing if it’s something small, but the last time I tried to use a sewing machine was in Junior High. My friend Jessica and I were taking home economics, and I had to pay for a sewing machine after my project got stuck inside of one and broke it. I haven’t tried since but would love to learn.
9.) Try archery
This is something I have never tried but like the idea of. I have been shooting with my husband but am not a fan of how loud it is. I think this would be an excellent compromise. We have some archery ranges in town that we plan on going to together for a date night before the end of the year.
10.) Take the kids to Disneyland
We are in the process of preparing for this. We have been saving money for a while now and think we are going to visit in 2019. I never got to do more than going to Chuckie Cheese as a kid, so I am excited to go myself. Also, one of the best parts of being a parent is getting to see this once in a lifetime kind of magic through your kid’s eyes and knowing that you made that happen. I want to watch Mason high-five Woody and take Torie on a big roller coaster. I wouldn’t mind meeting Belle and wearing mouse ears for a day either.
11.) Rescue a puppy from a shelter
My husband is insanely excited for this. We love to go to our Humane Society and walk puppies but he always leaves feeling so depressed that he can’t take one home. We are looking to begin buying a home in the next couple years, and I am pretty sure he is going to bring a puppy home before we even finish moving in.
12.) Sleep somewhere haunted
For my 19th birthday, we went on a ghost tour in Nevada with my aunt and her husband. It was one of the most fun but scariest things we have ever done. I was pretty sure I was haunted afterward, and we captured a terrifying photo at the Washoe Club. I would love to stay in one those historically haunted hotels for a night.
13.) Swim with sharks
This sounds like so much fun to me, and I would love to do this in the Caribbean. However, my husband is terrified of sharks and refuses to do it if it means going out on a boat and being dropped into the ocean. A zoo in Tacoma lets you go into their shark tank, and that’s probably as far as Thy will go so I will have to settle for that. Once we are in the water I will probably be glad we went smaller though.
14.) Inspire 10 people to create a bucket list
This is pretty self-explanatory. This is not about thinking you are going to die tomorrow. This is about making sure that you are where you want to be in life. If you are unhappy, shake things up. If you have big dreams, go after them. Being able to cross them off a list is part of that excitement for me, for me to have a journal that reminds me of our past adventures and forces me to dream even bigger. I want to share this with my loved ones!
15.) Make a dent in childhood hunger
Childhood hunger is probably the cause closest to my heart. I grew up very poor and going
Through that forces you to see the issue in another way. Hunger is shameful, asking for help makes you feel small. I want to take part in a massive community service project that is focused on childhood hunger or maybe even head one myself. I was once that family that had to visit the Salvation Army bread bank. I want to help kids who are in the same place in life because it’s often not a situation caused by bad choices, only bad circumstances.
16.) Ride the highest roller coaster in the country
Right now the highest roller coaster in the country is Kingda Ka from Six Flags Great Adventure in New Jersey. It stands at 456 ft.! I have no idea who will agree to go on this with me. I usually have to talk my husband into it, but my brother in law Kasidy is generally open to pretty much any ride. My daughter is growing into such a daredevil, so maybe she will be my roller coaster buddy. Six Flags here we come!
17.) Participate in 101 Operation Shoebox
This is a charity event that runs through Samaritan Purse. Every Christmas they encourage people to decorate and fill a shoe box with presents, hygiene items, and school supplies. These are picked up by volunteers then distributed to over 100 countries along with a gospel message. Not only is this an amazing way to make another child’s Christmas amazing, but it’s also a good habit to start with my kids to teach them about spreading the word of God and importance of activism.
18.) Go whale watching
Whales are one of my favorite animals. They are beautiful, and when I was younger, I found them so mysterious. I read Songs of the Humpback Whale in high school and learning about their songs only made them more awe-inspiring. They have whale watching trips in San Juan, I would love to make a weekend out of visiting Sa Juan and going on one of the boats with Thyler.
19.) Stay in Leavenworth
Leavenworth has been on my travel bucket list forever, and we never seem to remember to take the trip until it’s too late. My grandpa is German, so I would love to experience the Bavarian town and take part in one of their yearly festivals. The Oktoberfest and Christmas celebrations look like the most fun. Anyone who has traveled there before, any planning tips?
20.) Run a 5K in 30 minutes
This might not actually be that impressive, but would be very difficult for me. I love Pilates and Zumba but have never been a huge runner. My best friend and I love doing Color Runs, but I am so out of shape when it comes to cardio. One summer I would like to focus on training for a marathon and being able to run it in 30 minutes or less. I am always at the back with my cheeks crazy red and my husband telling me to hurry up. This would make me feel like a superhero.
21.) Read the entire Harry Potter series with my kids
Harry Potter is big in our household. We watch all of the movies in one day around Christmas every year complete with themed crafts and snacks. This has been one of my favorite series since I was in 3rd grade and is still so important to me. It really shaped who I was growing up. My son and I have read one of the books together so far, but I would really like to share the whole series with both of my kiddos from beginning to end. Reading them out loud has been more fun than just giggling to them by myself.
22.) Read 365 books in one year
This is every bookworm’s dream! Being able to read all day every day. I actually set this goal every single year and made it 180 last year. I will get there, I just have to stop trying to read 8 huge Stephen King books in a row before tackling anything short. I love to do this along with reading challenges with themes. Trying to find a book that fits a topic has helped me find so many amazing books and authors I wouldn’t have given a shot otherwise.
23.) Visit the real Halloweentown with Vi
Halloween Town is still my favorite Halloween movie. Halloween is my sister Vi’s favorite holiday, and I have so many amazing memories of watching the Disney channel with her and trading each other’s Halloween candy. When we found that Halloweentown was filmed in Oregon and that a lot of the set operates as an actual town we could not wait to go. The last couple of falls have been very wet, and last year they had a storm during the events, so we are waiting for a drier season so we can make the trip down together.
24.) Watch a meteor shower
I have seen a blood moon and watched the recent total eclipse, but I feel like a meteor shower is more about being the right place at the right time. I think this would blow away the kids.
25.) Crowd Surf
I am very quiet. I love music but enjoy being on the edge of the crowd, nodding my head and singing quietly. Even at Warped Tour and seeing Simple Plan, the craziest I get is clapping and dancing a tiny bit. Just once, I would like to push myself to immerse myself completely and crowd surf. Warped Tour is a very welcoming group, so the hardest part would be getting up the guts to ask for help and follow through. The best way to get dropped is to half-ass trying to crowd surf.
26.) Give 100 compliments in 1 day
Sometimes a smile from a stranger or random text from your best friend can make a terrible day better. Sometimes the smallest thing can change someone’s life when they are at a place where they feel alone. I want to spend one day telling everyone I know, and maybe even strangers, what I love most about them. I read a quote once that said, “Hearts are often broken by words left unspoken.” I don’t want to have this regret. Also, having a day of spreading kindness feels like the most rewarding thing in the world.
27.) Travel alone
I never got to go off to college and explore the world. I don’t regret the journey I have walked with my husband and family, but I do crave the kind of power that comes with going on a trip alone. One summer, I want to take a train from Seattle to New York, writing and experiencing the world a little bit. I have a million things planned with my family, but I feel like I need to have this brave experience on my own at least once.
28.) Publish 4 more books
Now that my first book is published, I want to stick to a publishing schedule. I am currently writing the second book in the Shaw sister trilogy to be published next fall. I am also working on a lighter young adult novel when I need a break from the Shaw sister world to refresh myself. Next summer I should have two manuscripts to play with. Every year I plan on publishing my next novel in the fall. By 30 I will have 5 books to my name at least!
(link to book!)
29.) Gain 100 blog subscribers
I never thought I would be a blogger, but I love it. I love getting to connect with so many people and getting to write about whatever I am going through at that moment in my life. If you haven’t signed up for my email list yet, please do! The bigger my subscriber list, the higher I am in google search results!
30.) Complete 30 acts of kindness on my 30th birthday
This is how I plan on celebrating my 30th birthday, completing 30 acts of kindness. I am not a big fan of having a big party for myself or people singing to me, so this is perfect for my personality. I am compiling a list already so I will be ready to go. Any ideas?