30 Before 30 Bucket List

bucket list northern lights

Lately I’ve been thinking about my 30 before 30 bucket list! I’ve still got a few more years before I turn thirty, but I have always been conscious of time and its passage. I want to spend as much of my time not only making wonderful memories but also taking advantage of the opportunities still available to me. After all 30 is not the 20 (TED Talk by Meg Jay)! I’ll admit most of mine will be related to travel!

1. Working Holiday in Australia or New Zealand

Bucket list: Melbourne

So, I still haven’t decided whether I will do this working holiday in Australia or New Zealand. As an American, our options for working holidays are limited. But since I’ve spent a significant amount of time in East Asia, I think it’s time to head to Oceania! Melbourne is particularly attractive to me because of the art scene and everything I have heard about this lovely city.

Bucket list: new zealand
Sheep grazing near Lake Wanaka in Autumn, South Island, New Zealand

But it’s hard to decide between Australia and New Zealand because I also want to herd sheep. I can’t explain why. It’s just one of the challenges I would like to face.

2. Run a (Half) Marathon

3. Explore the Bazaars of Istanbul

Bucket list: Turkish bazaar

I love pretty much everything related to Turkish design. At the crossroads of so many cultures and beliefs, Turkey has the most beautiful patterns and colors. I can already imagine myself getting lost in the stalls amidst bowls, coasters, lamps, and scarves.

4. Exercise At Least Three Times a Week

5. Ride a Donkey in Santorini

Bucket list: donkeys in santorini

Donkeys are my favorite animal! And once upon a time, in the movie version of The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants, Alexis Bledel was perched atop a donkey in Santorini. I hope to do the same soon!

6. Find a Pair of Jeans Perfect for My Body Type

7. Write and Draw a Picture Book

Bucket list: picture books

I have a lot of ideas for picture books that I hope to one day make a reality. I am not sure if it will be before I am 30 or not, but I will see what I can do!

8. Read all of A Thousand and One Nights

Bucket list Arabian Nights

I have always wanted to read it in its entirety since I only know a few stories. I hope to find an edition that is as close as it can get to the original version!

9. Learn how to make a delicious egg custard pie!

Bucket list Custard Pie

Since I live in Hong Kong now, one of my favorite desserts has become the ubiquitous egg tart! So I hope to learn how to make an egg custard pie some time soon.

10. Cycling along the Coast of Taiwan

Bucket list: cycle taiwan

I lived in Taiwan for about ten weeks altogether. And I have visited friends there every now and then. We have often spoken about cycling along the coast of Taiwan. I hope to make that a reality before I turn thirty!

11. Skydive over some Beautiful Terrain!

Bucket list skydiving

This one might be a little cliche, but I don’t care because it looks like so much fun! I would most like to skydive in either New Zealand or Hawaii! Perhaps when I go to my kid brother’s graduation ceremony!

12. Go to Disney World

Disney World

I’m a native of California so I had been to Disneyland many a time when I was younger and tickets were about a third of the current cost. But I have still yet to visit the Disney World in Florida! I love Disney! I don’t care how old I am or was supposed to have stopped loving Disney. I will always be a fan 🙂

13. Get the N1 (Top Level) on the Japanese Language Proficiency Test

14. Go to Art School in Some Capacity

bucket list: art school

I have always loved art and felt at home with paintbrush or clay in hand. So one of the hardest choices I’ve made in my short life has been choosing between the study of culture and anthropology and art. I hope to learn a few more techniques on a more intense level than every-now-and-then.

15. See the Northern Lights

bucket list northern lights

It’s just magical!

16. Visit Alaska


This has to do with the Northern Lights and just the fact that I am not a night person! I love waking up early and enjoying the sunshine on my face. So one of the things I definitely miss about home is the sunshine. Not exactly the heat but the sunshine. I hope to visit Alaska or somewhere else so far north that I get sunshine for hours and hours! And ride this train!

17. Hug Koalas in Australia (they are just so snuggly)

Bucket list: koala hug

18. Wander the Streets of Naples and EAT PIZZA

Bucket list streets of Naples Bucket list Italian Pizza

Yes, I want to eat pizza in Italy!

19. Watch All Three of the Godfather

bucket list: the godfather

Speaking of Italy…By 25, I finally watched the original Star Wars. So now I’d like to tackle the next classic trilogy.

20. Run through a Field of Sunflowers in Andalucia, Spain or Tuscany, Italy!

Bucket List Sunflowers

They are so beautiful and happy! I am currently a gloomy, gray season in Hong Kong. So all I can think about are sunflowers and sunshine!

21. Learn How to Throw (Clay)

Bucket list: throwing

22. Visit Moominworld in Finland

Bucket list: Moominworld

I’ve only recently started reading the Moomin novels by Tove Jansson. Her novels remind me of the Winnie the Pooh novels by A. A. Milne, telling us little secrets about hidden nature while written for an audience that includes both kids and adults.

23. Kayak A Lot

bucket list: kayaking

I have plenty of opportunities to kayak in Hong Kong, but I haven’t been yet. I think it would be a great way to get out and explore wherever I happen to be located. And a great form of exercise for these arms that make me so sensitive!

24. Improve upon my nonexistent swimming skills!

25. Relearn France and Smell Lavender in Provence!

Bucket list: Lavender French

I took French in high school, but I never actually learned it. After studying languages in uni, I realize that I really do have a knack for language. I hope that if I actually immerse myself in the culture, I can come away from French under my belt! And what better location than the south of France?

26. While I am in France, visit the French Alps!

bucket list: French Alps

27. Go on a Quest for the Best French Cheese

28. Visit Every Continent

29. Visit the Donkey Sanctuary

Bucket list: donkey sanctuary

So I mentioned before, I LOVE donkeys. I hope to spend a few days volunteering at one of the donkey sanctuaries! And just look how happy these cuties look!

30. Have a Gilmore Girls Style Birthday

Bucket List: Gilmore Girls Birthday

Feather boas and plastic tiaras. Ring pops and flashy pink.

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