30 Things To Do Before I’m 30

As today is my birthday (yay for cake and candles and birthday love!), this marks the first day of the last year of my twenties.

I firmly live by the motto that life is mostly what we make it. For me, a life well lived means pursuing big dreams and placing an emphasis on daily small pleasures along the way.Β It saddens me greatly to hear people say “I always wanted to do X but never got around to it…” or “you’re so lucky to do that! I wish I didn’t have X holding me back so I could too”. So I say, stop dreaming and start doing.

I’m not suggesting you all go out and quit your job and move to another country tomorrow with no backup plan, but if there are dreams you genuinely want to pursue, why not start finding a way to make them happen today? If you don’t know where to begin, just put pen to paper and making a list of what it is you want; maybe that simple step will give you the motivation you need to make those dreams a reality.

For me, I’ve decided to take this milestone of being a year from entering a new decade to make a list of 30 things to do before I turn 30, and attempt to tick them all over over the next 365 days (in no particular order). Some are grand lifelong dreams, others a continuation of things I’m already enjoying, others silly and frivolous but happiness-inducing all the same. I won’t bore you with the whole list of 30, but here are 10 items on my list I’m particularly looking forward to:

1. Set in motion concrete plans to live in Paris for six months (though perhaps more realistically, one month). Rent an apartment, enrol in intensive language classes during the day, and spend the afternoons exploring and experiencing the city I’ve fantasised about forever.

2. Be able to hold an adult conversation in another language (see point 1).

3. Visit Japan during cherry blossom season.

4. Learn how to make macarons (probably my favourite food group, but I’ve always been too scared to make my own).

5. Spend a summery weekend in the glorious English Cotswolds.

6. See a Shakepeare play in Straford-upon-Avon (slightly random, but oh so wonderful).

7. Have just one more all-night party at a fantastical Cambridge May Ball (the kinds of parties so elaborate, they belong in a Fitzgerald novel).

8. Visit the Mediterranean for a delicious dose of azure waters and Vitamin D.

9. Work up the courage to begin pitching stories to the serious glossy magazines.

10. Spend at least one weekend a month properly exploring London (can you believe I’ve never been to Columbia Road?!)

What grand plans do you dream of yourself? I hope I’ve inspired at least some of you to make a few of them happen this year!

Love, Miss B xx

Edit: Read Part 2 of this post here


71 thoughts on “30 Things To Do Before I’m 30

  1. Macarons are tricky little buggers. I made a batch of 20 once and only 2 looked like actual macarons. Patience and a good oven are the key.

    It sounds like a fun list. You’re first goal sounds lovely. I hope you get the opportunity to set it into motion. I would love to read about your daily adventures in Paris.

  2. I am also 29, I actually did just quit my job (actually taking a 12-month career break, so I guess that’s a back-up plan) and I will land in Paris in 12 days with at least 2 months accommodation pre-booked in the heart of the city and a plan to live in France for a whole year. My French isn’t fabulous (I did intense French studies for 8 months so I’m hoping it will all come back to me), but I can order food and ask for directions. It’s a little scary, but sometimes you just need to go for it. Love your blog by the way and good luck with that list… all sounds fabulous!

  3. I’ve been living in 4 different countries only in my twenties, the last one being the US, unfortunately I had to wait 2 years to get a green card – so I couldn’t do much like travelling, nor driving a car etc, so I kinda wasted 2 years…and these being the last ones before 30…sad…
    Did your numbers 1, 6, 8, 10, except 1 was a bit different as French is my mother language :).

    Anyways, glad you think about enjoying your life a max, plenty of people live through TV or their kids – which is so sad.

    Happy Birthday!

  4. I just found your blog today and I love it! I dito everthing on your list, especially 1,2, and 5. You have inspired me to make a dream list of my own.

    Great photos too! Thanks for the inspiration : )

    Danielle xo

  5. Happy Birthday! @pontecarloblue and I are doing a macaron making class with @theboywhobakes on 15 March. We’ll let you know how it goes. Also, if you go to Columbia Road, please take me. I’ve never been!

    LBB x

  6. Happy Birthday Missy
    It really scares me that we have the same dreams. its always been my dream to go live in Paris for some time. and here I see it on your list. Hope all your dreams come true.

  7. so fabulous that you have a plan and so many wonderful dreams! i think the hardest plan, making macaron! so if you are want to travel between london and paris, maybe you can make a stop at brussels (perfect to learn french too)! anyway, enjoy your b-day and i hope all your dreams come true

  8. Happy Birthday Briony! and such a wondewrful post to read first thing today, an inspirational one (I’m having a bad day already so this coincided perfectly!) I love your list of things to do and can one be checked off already, those macarons look seriously tasty! X

  9. I share your opinions exactly! Complaining about what you wished you were doing, or envying others is far too common because it is far too easy to do. But finding the energy and the time to achieve your personal goals is so much harder, and it does come with compromise. My personal life-long dream is to open up a little boutique shop selling jewellery (my own, others’) and gifts, cute things. It probably does not sound like the most fulfilling job for most, but to me it represents freedom. I know that I can not do it just yet (too young, finances problems, not actually knowing where I want to open it), but I am thinking about it most days, imagining what it will be like, and starting building the first few achievable steps of making my own jewellery.

    Thank you so much for being so inspiring, always.

    Happy birthday Miss B x

  10. Happy Birthday!
    No. 1 is also my plan. Paris is such a beautiful story and my auntie used to live there, so I spent a lot of time there in my childhood. It has changed a lot since the 90s, but it hold so many memories that I don’t think I can ever stop loving that city.

  11. Happy Birthday!
    No. 1 is also my plan. My auntie used to live in Paris when I was a child and although it changed a lot since the 90s, it still holds so many precious childhood memories that I don’t think I ever can stop loving that city. Its charme is amazing.

  12. This post is so gorgeous! I read it first thing this morning and it was the most positive and encouraging thing to wake up to. I hope you achieve all 30 of things your after this year Bri! Can’t wait to follow along and see you tick them off.


    p.s. I want to read the other 20 items!

  13. What an inspirational post, definitely something to print off and remind me to go for my dreams and make my own list too! So Happy Birthday B, have a fabulous day! xxx

  14. Happy Birthday! I hope all your dreams will become true.
    Learn how to make macarons is the best things in your list. All your friends and family will enjoy that : ) there a lot of classes in France to learn that!

  15. Ah wow!! Your post me made me so happy and so sad at the time!!

    You have such an amazing outlook on life that I can help but feel happy and smile when I read your blog. But, I am definitely one of the dreamers you mentioned that always wants to do things but never does! I am 30 in August and as it approaches am I feeling more and more unsettled as I have not achieved or experienced any of the things I imagined I would of when I was in my teens. I need to make a list but feel I would no longer know where to start!! This needs some serious thought!! πŸ™‚

  16. Happy Birthday! It was my birthday last week and though I have a year longer than you before hitting thirty, I’ve been thinking about making one of these lists too. Time goes so quickly, I don’t want to waste a moment of it!

  17. Happy Birthday!! I’ll be reaching your milestone in a few months and am slightly getting nervous! You haven’t been to Columbia Road?! Oh it’s beautiful! There is a great little vintage store at the start and amazing print stores at the end and lots of flowers in between! x

  18. Happy birthday B! I love that these are all about going out there, making some wishes happen and taking advantage of what is around. Looking forward to hearing about you achieving them!
    P.S. forward on some macarons when you do them!?

  19. Happy birthday Miss B. When I was 20 I imagined I would’ve had two children, be married and by working at a fashion magazine by the time I was 30. At 31, I can report I’ve done none of those things! But I do still like a good list of goals and inspiration to make the dreams a reality x C

  20. Happy Birthday!!!! This is such a great list! πŸ™‚ I am already jealous of the list by itself let alone if all of these things happen for you in the next year! πŸ™‚ xfingers crossedx! I definitely plan to do something similar when I turn 29 next year!

  21. Happy Birthday!
    Macarons take practice. My first batch was quite awful to look at but tasted wonderful, so half way there I suppose! I saw Taming of the Shrew in Stratford-Upon-Avon, such a lovely experience.
    All your posts of Cambridge make me incredibly nostalgic, I studied at Pembroke in the summer of 2008. I miss it dearly!
    My dreams for this year: throw a dinner party at least once a month and to go on at least one vacation out of state (I’m in California, so there are quite a few lovely in-state locales as well!).

  22. Hope you had a glorious birthday and somehow I have every confidence you’ll succeed in ticking off everything on your list. And it’s such a great idea to make one …. It’s got me thinking so thank you for the inspiration!

  23. Happy Belated Birthday! I’ve been reading your wonderful blog for a while,but haven’t commented! I cannot endorse seeing a Shakespeare piece in Stratford-Upon-Avon enough: I saw ‘A Midsummers Night Dream’ last September. It was the most beautiful piece of theatre I have ever seen: and champagne in the interval is essential!

    Goo luck with the list πŸ™‚ xxx

  24. Happy Birthday Miss B!

    On the macarons, if you’re tempted to add food colouring to make them pretty, make sure you use gel not liquid as the mixture ends up too wet (as I learned from bitter experience). There’s a lovely recipe for Mocktail Macarons in The Great British Bake-Off Cookbook, if you’re looking for a simple starting point.

    Love Columbia Road, one of the things I really miss about East London. Instagram will explode, so many little shops and beautiful blooms! There’s also a wonderful little window selling hot calamari that’s a must. If you’re heading that way, also check out Victoria Park and it’s lovely cafe by the lake – legendary breakfasts and cake.


  25. #1 – I love this! I would love to go to Paris for a month and take French language classes as well!

    #4 – Macarons are so good, I love them as well. I don’t want to scare you even more, but it’s a pain to make them because it is really hard to get the shape of the sandwiches right. I highly suggest acquiring a good recipe as well as the right tools for it, it will make the job more tolerable. Good luck!

  26. Love the list. I’m doing a similar thing, 21 goals for my 21st year.
    If you want to see Shakespeare in Stratford, I’d highly reccomend seeing Shakespeare at The Globe in London too, if you haven’t already, and see if there any pre-show talks going on. I’ve been to a couple and they’re always fascinating. The Globe is mental inside, painted to look like marble, but actually looks like streaky bacon.

  27. L’atelier des Chefs on Wigmore St, W1 does a good macaron class and Columbia Road on a spring day has to be my favourite place in London. Either go very early when it’s not too crowded, or at 2pm to get fistfuls of beautiful peonies, roses, daffodils for an absolute steal. A flat white from the little cart off Ezra St is a must too. Enjoy!

  28. As someone who also just turned 29 in December, I’m with you! I don’t quite have a list of 30, but I do have a few bucket list goals to tick off before the big 3-0.

    Also, as a Bostonian who adores London from afar (and not so secretly dreams of relocating), go to Columbia Rd! I went the last time and would love to have stocked up on beautiful flowers. Just go early, it’s small and gets terribly crowded!

    x Jessica

  29. Making macaroons was also the step I needed to make to open myself to a whole new cooking knowledge and experiences. Some not very good but plenty were great.

    Cooking macaroons or doing things we want to do before any certain age only needs courage and determination.

    Good luck and God bless you girl.

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  32. I’ve ALWAYS wanted to visit Japan during cherry blossom season (nice to know I’m not the only one with this on a list!). Lists are great for moving you toward your goals as long as you don’t get too hung up on them. It’s funny because I actually just turned 30 and wrote a post about trying not to obsess over the things I didn’t get done on my list and instead, celebrate my achievements. (You can check it out here: http://stylesizzle.com/lifestyle/thoughts-on-turning-30) Good luck on your list and if it doesn’t all happen, just remember it’s not the end of the world because you’ve still done great things!

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