The 30 Best Things I Did Before 30

A Girl, A Style _ Best Things Before 30

Today is my birthday, which means I get to eat cake for breakfast, drink pink champagne and get spoiled by people I love. In the year since I reached my 30s, in thinking about what I hope to achieve this decade, I’ve been reflecting on the best things I’ve done so far (and the lessons I’ve learned). Here are my favourites:

Fell in love. No explanation required, but without a doubt one of my favourite things yet.

Travelled the world. I’ve seen the sun set over the pyramids of Giza, climbed to the top of the Eiffel Tower, seen the cherry blossoms in Japan, slept under the stars in the red dessert in Australia, visited temples in Thailand, explored the souks in Marrakech, swum with rainbow-coloured fish in the Great Barrier Reef, and walked through a snowy Red Square at nightfall. I am so grateful for the adventures I’ve had seeing this incredible world of ours, and can’t wait to keep exploring.

Graduated from University. 3 degrees, 8 years, and countless essays later, I am thankful for the knowledge, experiences and life lessons I came away with.

Worked overseas. Half way through University, I went to Washington to intern with a Senator on Capitol Hill. It remains one of the best experiences I had, and was the catalyst for my career in my politics.

Moved abroad. Leaving behind people I love and moving my whole life to the other side of the world (with nothing but 2 suitcases and my boyfriend by my side) was one of the scariest things I’ve ever done, but also one of the best. I see the world from a new perspective, made wonderful new friends, and had opportunities and adventures I never would have otherwise.

Learned to accept and value myself. Like anyone, I am certainly flawed and wish I could change some things about myself, but I’ve learned to make peace with my flaws, appreciate my differences and make the most of my strengths.

Built a circle of friends and loved ones I treasure. I am so lucky to count some incredible people all around the world as my friends and family, and try to make sure they know how much I adore them.

Stretched my talents. I’m still horrible at karaoke and team sports, but I’m grateful I learned to tap dance, took ballet classes, performed Shakespeare and trained in classical piano.

Earned my career. By no means do I have it all figured out, but I’m proud I worked hard to build a career I value.

Ran for Parliament. Even if you know you’re going to come in second place, it’s pretty wonderful to be a part of the democratic process and see your name on a ballot paper.

… And drafted a law. I’ve done many things that I’m proud of, but negotiating a piece of crime legislation through Parliament is up there.

Volunteered. I’ve learned that helping a worthy cause is one of the most valuable uses of my time, and helping others always helps me get perspective on what really matters.

Invested. I don’t yet have a mortgage or own a house, but I’m pleased that I have savings, investments and no debt.

… And learned how to spend my money. When I first moved out of home and started earning money, my approach to shopping was more about quantity than quality. But as I now know the reverse to be true, I know when to save my money and when it’s ok to spend a month’s rent on a bag (hint: only if it’s something you’ll keep for a decade).

Achieved goals. Whether major life goal or small achievement, it’s an incredible feeling when you reach what you set out to achieve.

… And learned it’s OK if life doesn’t work out as planned. When I was 20, I mapped out my next ten years in silly detail, but life sometimes has a way of taking you in a completely different direction. And that’s definitely OK.

Learned to say ‘yes’. Because sometimes the best adventures happen when you’re willing to depart from your comfort zone and accept the opportunity.

… And also ‘no’. I will always have an urge to please people, but it’s important to know when to politely decline that which does not bring joy.

Started this blog. Unquestionably one of my favourite pursuits yet. I’m eternally grateful for the people I’ve met, the adventures I’ve had and the opportunities which have presented themselves as a result of this blog.

Appreciate small pleasures. Perhaps most importantly, I’ve learned not to place all my emphasis on those big life events, and instead to also make time for those small pleasures (buying myself flowers, skipping lunch to have afternoon tea with friends, a spontaneous kiss or a trip to the theatre) which make every day a little more wonderful.

What are some of the best things you’ve learned or experienced? Please do share your wisdom below.

Love, Miss B xx


36 thoughts on “The 30 Best Things I Did Before 30

  1. Happy Birthday and what an amazing post! This is very inspiring and I hope to tackle even half of these things in the next 3 and a bit years (eeeek)!

  2. Happy Birthday, Gorgeous Girl!!
    I feel very privileged to have been able to witness your photos and memories from travelling the world and I’m so thankful there are such optimistic people in the world such as yourself. Your rose tinted take on the world always make me smile when I am feeling low :)

  3. What a great list… you’ve had so many amazing accomplishments! I think one of my most major ones was achieving my goal of becoming a lawyer (that I’ve had since I was 12) but it never really feels like an accomplishment because I’d been working so long at it. Writing it all out seems like a great way to really appreciate all the things you’ve done.

    xo, alison*elle

  4. What a nice post! When I was 22 I went to the other part of the world. Actually it planned for just one year. But now I’m still here 6k miles away from my family. I’m studying now and finishing it soon. That’ll be my biggest achievement on my 30 ;-) This study means a lot to me, because its just like a dream comes true. When I was child, I dreamed to study abroad. I believe in my dreams and that makes everything possible. Happy Birthday! Xoxo

  5. No surprise that I love this list, how grateful and humble it is, but also how you are recognizing and acknowledging your many incredible accomplishments. I think, especially as women, we’re socialized to downplay our successes – but the occasion of your birthday is such a good time to take stock of all that you’ve done, learned, grown, and CELEBRATE it. I’m so proud to call you my friend and am so excited to have a belated birthday celebration with you this week. <3

  6. I hope you had an amazing birthday Briony. You certainly did a lot of great in your 30 years. I’m turning 33 next month and I can tell you 30s really are the best decade. Even though I had quite a few downs in last couple of years I like the woman I have become. I wish you yor 30s will be even better than your 20s and that means pretty awesome :)
    Adela xx

  7. Happy Birthday! I just found your blog this morning over a cup of coffee. Love it. You are such a accomplished , stylish, smart women! I am now following. Now 40…last decade. Finished up a 17 year career as a nanny, remodeled a home, travel the world, found out that diamonds are not a girls best friend once I got my Bernese Mt. Dog Arthur, married the love of my life a few months shy of 39 and now a starting a family(top secret right now) at 40. I learned that good things are very much worth the wait and 40 is the new 30;) Cheers,

  8. Wow! Not many people have a list this impressive by the time they’re fifty let alone thirty!! Very inspiring!! I look forward to hearing of your thirties adventures as they are meant to be your best years! Xxx

  9. What a gorgeous blog! And what amazing achievements you have managed so far! I feel like I had better get going and get some stuff done and I’ve got years on you! It’s brilliant that you drafted a law, that’s a huge accomplishment. Even if you’d done nothing else, that would be pretty great!

  10. Pingback: A Girl, A Style | Birthday Cake Dates

  11. Oh wow, what a wonderful list! You have achieved so much already (though you’re putting us all to shame), so I can only imagine what you’ll do in this decade!

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