I officially turned 24 years old today. I’ve been doing birthday lists for two years now and I’ve gotten more accomplished each and every year. This year I crossed off 11 items from the 24 Before 24 List: bungy jumped (#4), scuba dived the Great Barrier Reef (#5), gave blood for the first time (#6), learned how to surf (#7), finally setup WordPress for my blog (#8), got below 500,000 Alexa ranking (#9) even if only temporarily, reached 1,000 followers on Twitter (#13), filed my own taxes in Australia (#14), donated money to the College of Charleston and attended an alumni event (#15), went one month without drinking (#19) and visited my fifth brewery (#22).
This year’s list has a lot of fitness goals. I’ve always hated running, but I push myself to do it anyways. I don’t really care about my times (I’m at about a 12 minute mile these days) but I feel good for doing it in the first place. As with last year, blog and career related items are in bold, life items are in italics and travel items are in red.
1. Spend my 25th birthday somewhere fabulous. Ever since I read about Andi’s sneaky 25th birthday trip to Cuba, I’ve been trying to think of the perfect place for me to hit the quarter century milestone. I’m still taking suggestions :)
2. Get my advanced scuba diving license. I’m very proud of my open water license and I’d like to get my advanced certification so I can do deeper and wreck dives in places like Mexico and Egypt.
3. See three more states in the US. I can’t believe how little of the United States I’ve seen. I’ve never even seen Kentucky or Texas, let alone everywhere in between the coasts.
4. See at least three new countries. So far it’s Portugal and Austria plus one more. I’m going to Portugal for the Travel Bloggers Unite conference and to Austria and Germany to visit my friend Christine and experience the madness of Oktoberfest.
5. Run a race every month for a year. I’ve already started on this goal, so I just need to keep it up for 8 more months! Here’s what I’ve done so far.
- March: Shamrock n Roll 5K, March 11, 2012
- April: Sweetwater 420Fest 5K, April 21, 2012
- May: Susan G. Komen 5K Race for the Cure, May 12, 2012
- June: Run Zulu 5K, June 16, 2012
- July: Peachtree Road Race 10K, July 4, 2012
6. Compete in a triathalon. Two of my friends did one this year and even though I haven’t ridden a bike in years, I think I could at least manage the swimming and running bit.
7. Move to (another) new city just for the hell of it. I’ve been toying around with a few places but the one currently on my mind is New Orleans. I haven’t been since I was 15 and love old Southern cities.
8. Get my TEFL certificate. I know lots of folks who have taught English abroad and it seems like a good thing to if I want to work abroad again.
9. Camp out at Bonnaroo. This has been a Life List item for at least three years and I still haven’t made it happen!
10. Fly business or first class. I either need to get bumped up for once in my life or shell out the money. Slump class just isn’t cutting it anymore.
11. Land my first press trip. I’m slowly but surely learning how to work with companies and PR to leverage hostel stays and gear to test out, but I will really feel like I’ve “made it” when I go on a press trip.
12. Launch my Southern travel blog. It’s been my dream for a while now to start a travel blog purely devoted to the region I’ve lived in for most of my life and that I love dearly. International travelers barely scratch the surface of the South and I would love to change that. If you want to be involved, send me an email!
13. Get a tattoo overseas. It sounds like a bad idea to most people, but I’ve seen some really great work from tattoo artists overseas.
14. Take a trip out west. I’ve only seen bits of California and Nevada and I would love to visit Oregon and Washington.
15. Run a half marathon. I know I’ve said this in the past, but now that I’m getting back into shape, there’s no reason why not.
16. Learn some grown up tasks, ie. changing a tire, learning to drive stick shift, paying my credit card balance in a timely manner.
17. Earn at least $300 per month on my blog. The month to month income is pretty hit or miss. I really just want to cover my costs of hosting and such. It also makes it difficult that I turn down so many offers because they’re either poorly written sponsored posts or insultingly low offers. But I’m going to diversify my income streams.
18. Have this blog professionally designed. I know what my strengths and weaknesses are. CSS and coding looks like gibberish to me, so I’m leaving it in the hands of an expert. I’m for real putting down a deposit this time and making it happen.
19. Work at a hostel. I’ve always thought it would be fun and there are plenty that offer free accommodation if you help out.
20. Meet even more of my blog readers in real life. One of the highlights of writing this blog is the emails I get from people telling me that they want to travel. I got to meet up with one of my readers on a trip to Charleston and it literally made my year. So don’t be shy! Track me down!
21. Become better at networking and marketing myself. I get super shy when I start talking about my blog and it’s something that has to change. I need to be more confident and vocal about what I am passionate about, which is this blog and travel.
22. Take AmTrak somewhere. I’ve never taken the train in the United States because it’s expensive and not very direct, but I’d like to see all the small town Americana.
23. Go on another sailing trip. I was obsessed with my Croatia sailing trip and am reliving it now that other bloggers are visiting the country. BusAbout has sailing trips in Greece and Turkey that look AMAZING.
24. Host a Couch Surfer and Couch Surf for the second time. I wanted to host someone but since I’ve been living with my parents for six months, they might not be as keen on the idea.
25. Spend less time stressing over unimportant details. I’ve had anxiety for as long as I can remember and this year I just want to relax and enjoy all the great things that are happening in my life.
*This post contains an affiliate link, but I fully endorse BusAbout as someone who has traveled with them on her own dime.*