Seeing as I’m very nearly 25 and a half, I think it’s probably about time I had a look back at how I got on with my #25Before25 challenge. (Fun fact: the only thing on my ‘To Do’ list before my 26th birthday is to write this darn blog post FINALLY.)
My #25Before25 list was a little different to the usual ‘Bucket Lists’ you see on many travel blogs, mainly because I had only given myself around 11 months to complete everything on there. The challenges I set myself ranged from the ambitious (‘visit 5 new countries’) to the ridiculously easy (‘Go to Richmond Park to see the deer’). I wanted to give myself an achievable list that would make me feel a little bit proud about myself once I’d managed to tick it all off.
So did I manage to complete it all? Ha…no chance. It was a slight failure, but a fun one at least. Let’s take a more detailed look…
The Ones I Managed to Complete
1/ Have afternoon tea somewhere posh (like The Ritz)
So, I didn’t quite make it to The Ritz, mainly because I haven’t yet won the lottery. But I did make it to the gorgeous 5* Sanderson Hotel with some fellow bloggers for a Mad Hatters Tea Party. The level of care shown towards every last inch of the afternoon tea was beyond incredible, and you can really tell the difference between that and a generic afternoon tea at your local cafe. Definitely an experience everyone should invest in at least once.
2/ Remember to send birthday cards to each of my friends
Yes, I managed to send birthday cards to all of my three friends. Jokes. I think I managed to get everybody? Apologies if not…
3/ See a sunrise/sunset in a foreign country
I was beyond lucky to see multiple sunrises and sunsets in many different countries, including Cyprus, Austria and the US (the latter of which produced some particularly stunning sunsets, thanks California). The sunrise I experienced in Seefeld, Austria (above) was particularly special, as I had arrived in the dead of night – watching the sun wake up and reveal just what was all around us was absolutely breathtaking!
4/ Participate in a Go Ape activity day
Oh my gosh this happened. I did it. It’s put me off zip lining for life, but I did it.
5/ Go skiing
One of the very first things I ticked off, thanks to that trip to Austria in March 2015 with Inghams! I had two mornings of skiing lessons which nearly broke me, but which made me realise what I’ve been missing out on over the last 25 years.
6/ Take my mum away – even for just a day trip
I am so grateful to my 24-year-old self that I put this on my list. It’s always been something I’ve wanted to do, but with my mum not holding a passport I have to get creative with where I can take her. In the end, we went to Dover Castle and Kent for a day trip – and since turning 25 I’ve also taken her on more day trips to Brighton and Bletchley Park.
7/ Go Up the O2
Thanks to a Groupon deal, I got to climb over The O2 for next to nothing! And it wasn’t even that terrifying. A little bit exhausting, though…
8/ Visit a new Christmas market
The lovely folks at trainline.com send me along to Manchester’s gorgeous Christmas market last December. It was the third time I’ve been to Manchester, so it was great to see it from a different festive perspective. The weather wasn’t any better this time round though 😉
9/ Learn how to cast-on…and knit
YES! This happened! And I started knitting a scarf. Hopefully it’ll actually be completed before my 30th birthday…
10/ Make a YouTube video I’m proud of
My YouTube channel, bless it, is looking horrendously abandoned and unloved. But I did make a couple of videos that I really enjoyed at the time – even if they’re not the most professional of edits! My Seefeld video in particular gives me all the happy feels.
11/ Stay in a five star hotel
This happened TWICE! Once at The Grange Tower Bridge Hotel in London (I treated myself after a rough fortnight at work…), and once at Las Vegas’ Venetian Hotel. They both had their plus points, but the Venetian was something *completely* unreal, with a suite overlooking the Italian-style outdoor pools, a bathroom bigger than my entire house, and a bed that has basically ruined every future bed for me.
12/ Visit five new countries
Y’know what? I’m going to give myself a big fat tick for this one. I officially visited three new countries within the timeframe (Cyprus, Austria and Denmark), but I opted for a return trip to the USA late last year so I could tick off some MAJOR wanderlust items. A few days after my 25th this March, however, I took a birthday trip to Prague and Budapest with my boyfriend. So, for the sake of an extra week, we’ll call this one done.
And The Ones I Failed To Do
- Go to Richmond Park to see the deer
- Climb Snowdonia
- Go to a salsa dancing lesson
- Improve my German
- Go snorkelling (preferably somewhere warm…)
- Go glamping
- Visit the Sunday flower market on Columbia Road
- Go boating on the Serpentine Lake in Hyde Park
- Win an award for my blog
- Actually finish the three Jules Verne books I’ve started – (1 down, 2 to go)
- Go to the Emirates Aviation Experience in Greenwich
- Make a blanket fort and just watch movies/TV shows for a day
Long Story Short…
I pretty much managed to do all the really difficult/expensive ones, and neglected the simple goals – like reading a couple of books or visiting an exhibition. Well done, me. However, if this is an indication of what I can hope to achieve in the future, my #30Before30 list is going to be full to the brim with all the pricey/impossible goals. No point in aiming low, eh?