This is a collaborative post but all thoughts and opinions are my own
When I first set up my 30 before 30 list I was single and had no real plans to move so I had a bit more disposable income to allow myself to travel a lot. Since then my life has changed so much but my 30 before 30 list has still progressed pretty well considering I have almost 18 months left to tick off some more places and experiences. I hope that I’ll still be able to tick some more off especially if I can find some good prices on flight tickets.
10 out of the country
Since posting my 30 before 30 list, Hawaii was the first place which I managed to tick off my list. I went to the Big Island for an eight-day tour at the beginning of April 2017 with Trek America who basically organized the whole trip for me and a group of four other girls who I met when I arrived. During our time we camped on beaches, snorkeled in the spot which inspired Finding Nemo, hiked into a volcano crater and experienced the stark contrasts of the island. You can see my photo diary and read about my adventure in more details.
In September 2017 I headed to Prague to spend three days in the city with my best friend. I had wanted to visit for years after seeing images of the bone church which was absolutely stunning and so unusual and the experience was incredible. The rest of the city was architecturally very interesting and the St. Vitus Cathedrale was breathtaking – literally, as we climbed hundreds of steps to the viewing platform at the top – but I didn’t fall in love with the city as much as I thought I would. If someone asked if I’d like to go with them to Prague I’d say yes but I wouldn’t chose to go back there over somewhere new.
I headed back to New York for my fifth trip over Luke’s birthday in March 2017 where we had a tightly packed four days in the city. We planned quite a bit as Luke had never been to New York, or America at all in fact and I wanted him to see as much as possible. I absolutely loved every second of it as I knew I would and we were really lucky with the weather as it snowed before we arrived and snowed the day we left so I count that as very lucky. I did a four day itinerary here which showcases pretty much what we got up to.
Ever since first visiting back in 2010 I had been itching to go back to Rome and me and my boyfriend headed here as part of our Italian adventure to celebrate our first year anniversary. We decided to go all out and stayed in a 5-star spa hotel as an indulgence (plus it was out of season so a much more reasonable price), and it was such a great trip. We managed to do a day trip out to Pompeii which I had been itching to do for years, we explored the city a lot, had a couples massage on our anniversary and ate plenty of good quality pizza and pasta.
Me and my best friend had been talking about going to Romania for years and over the first weekend of August we finally headed there on a Dracula Experience tour. We spent a little time in Bucharest and travelled around to different towns with Untravelled Paths who were our tour operator. You can read more about my trip here.
We’ve booked our flight tickets for Cologne to head there in December for the Christmas markets and I am so excited for our long weekend there. We’ll get to see a bit of the city and then get super festive.
Bali, Barcelona Reykjavik and Africian Safari
These four haven’t been ticked off my list yet and in all honesty I don’t think they will before I turn 30 (especially as two of them are huge trips). As we’re going to be saving like mad for our house I don’t think we’ll be taking any holidays after St Lucia in March so these aren’t realistic for the next 18 months.
10 within the country
I headed back to Edinburgh for the early May bank holiday in 2018 and showed Luke around the city for the first time. We managed to do a handful of things I hadn’t done but had been meaning to such as climbing the Scott Monument, doing a Ghost Tour and getting ice cream at Mary’s Milk Bar. It was a lovely three days and you can see my ultimate itinerary here. The main reason we did this trip was because the wonderful team at Haymarket Hub Hotel invited me to come and stay there so thanks so much to them for making the trip possible.
I made my first trip to Oxford in early 2017 but didn’t get to properly see much of the city as it was more of a catch up with a friend, but after my spa weekend in August 2017 me and my friend spent a whole day exploring the city and it was stunning. We managed to see so much in an afternoon from the beautiful Christchurch College to the Cathedrals and University buildings. I am totally in love with the city and am so happy that it’s not too far away from me so I can head back and see more that’s on offer.
In June 2017 I booked to do a quick weekend trip to Liverpool with my parent’s for our annual weekend away in the UK. We managed to squeeze quite a lot in during the Saturday and Sunday which you can see in my guide to the city. I got a train from Euston straight up on Friday evening and it was a nice easy journey and I really fell in love with the city especially the musical connection with The Beatles. I know for a fact that I’ll be going back to the city sometime soon.
I managed to head to Manchester in December 2017 to see Good Charlotte on tour although sadly I didn’t really get a chance to see much of the city other than a Premier Inn hotel, a Nando’s and the music venue. Being December the weather wasn’t very nice but the city did look really festive which is always nice to see, it’s definitely somewhere on my hit list to go back to.
For August bank holiday weekend I headed up north to Blackpool with my other half. We timed it with Livewire Festival where we got to see Will Smith and DJ Jazzy Jeff playing alongside exploring the city. I’m going to be honest and say I don’t think I’ll be heading back here as I did find it a bit much and pretty tacky. I left there feeling like the most intelligent person in the world as sadly the other patrons of the city left something to be desired. We did do some cool bits in the city which I am glad we did like the zoo, heading up Blackpool Tower, going to the Star Trek experience and playing amusement games but once is enough.
The Isle of Wight
I don’t know how I managed to go 28 years without visiting the Isle of Wight but I did. It’s somewhere I’ve wanted to visit for ages and I made my first quick trip over the end of April 2018 when I found a great spa hotel on offer through Secret Escapes. We didn’t get to see too much of the island other than Osborne House but I know I want to go back and spend a full day doing more of the sights like Carrisbrooke Castle and The Needles but for a first trip I was very happy. You can read more about my trip here.
Over the early May bank holiday weekend in 2017 I headed to Belfast with my other half to spend three days exploring the city. We didn’t cram too much in so there’s definitely a return trip needed but we got to see an overview of the city, explore the Titanic Experience and of course do one of the Game of Thrones tours exploring the Winterfell locations. Having stayed in a beautiful hotel we had an amazing time and it reminded me how great it is mixing busy exploring with relaxation on weekends away. You can read more about the trip itself here, and the Game of Thrones tour here.
Canterbury, Bath and Cornwall
These are three UK spots which we haven’t managed to explore quite yet but I think there’s every chance that we’ll get to them before we turn 30. Canterbury should be pretty easy for a day trip and Bath should be fine for a weekend, Cornwall is the only one which might be trickier as I’d want to spend 4-5 days there if possible due to the distance.
Have a spa weekend
Finally, in August 2017 I had a proper full on spa weekend at the Oxford Belfry where we had treatments, swam, lounged by the pool and ate like queens. It was so nice to relax and I am pretty sure that it’s now going to be an annual tradition with my friend as it was good value for what you got as well. I think it’s so important from time to time to switch off and relax and spa weekends are something everyone should do.
See Taylor Swift live
Ever since Taylor Swift did her last tour years ago I’ve been itching to see her live and finally on Friday 22nd June my wish came true. She played Wembley Stadium and the whole stage show and setup was totally incredible and made me remember how amazing pop shows are. I actually think I’d go and see her again and not even make it a one time thing.
Go to Comic-con
In October 2017 I finally got to live out my Comic-Con fantasies when I headed to the London MCM event. I cosplayed as Sally from Nightmare Before Christmas and I was so impressed at the effort that some people went to with their costumes. We arrived pretty early and spent our whole day looking at the other cosplayers, spending quite a bit of money and just enjoying the feeling that everyone there had some common ground. You can read more about my experience here.
Go to a wedding
This one was a little bit of a cheat because when I wrote this list I knew I had a wedding on the horizons. On the later May day bank holiday, 2017 I attended the wedding reception of my friend’s Zahra and Mike in Reading. I was with the pair the first night I met and it was such a pretty day. Then over the first weekend in July 2017 one of my best friend’s got married in traditional Sikh style which included us getting our henna done at the Mendhi party and an explosion of colour across the whole weekend. Despite her being the fourth person in our school group to get married she’s the first one to do it in the UK so the whole group was able to celebrate which was nice.
Do a street art tour
Me and my friend had been meaning to do a street art tour for years’ but we always struggled to get a day together so I booked a day off work and we headed into London on Friday 24th March 2017 to do the four-hour long street art tour in Shoreditch. Four hours might sound like a long time walking around London looking at things but the time went super quickly and it was such an inspiring and interesting tour. We saw loads of original artwork, saw some in the making and it was interesting to find out how often some of the artwork changes. Ever since doing this tour I have found myself noticing street art so much more than I ever had before. I wrote about the tour right here if you want to find out more.
Go Ape, Scuba Dive outside the UK and learn to surf
These are three experiences which I have yet to do but I am pretty sure that I will tick off by the time I am 30. Next March we’re heading to St Lucia so I expect to tick off scuba diving and surfing while we are away, and I am determinded to tick off Go Ape as I’ve been meaning to go for years.
Sleepover at the Natural History Museum and ride a motorcycle
These two experiences that I don’t think I’ll be able to complete, the former because it’s quite pricy and I don’t think we could justify the expense, and the later because I don’t know anyone who rides a motorcycle.