Now here we are in 2014 and I’m turning 30 in a matter of days. As I sit here drinking my coffee, I’m faced with the question, “how did this happen?” Where did those 30 years go? Minus a few wrinkles starting around my eyes and some aches after a long day that didn’t used to be there, I don’t feel like I’m almost 30.
In fact, some days I feel like I’m still a child, happy to watch my Disney movies and dreaming of being a mermaid.
On others, I feel like I should still be 16 years old, just getting my license, buying my first car and getting my first real job in my struggle to be independent.
Or 19, legally able to enjoy my glass of wine, going on my first trip without my family, (to England), and graduating from high school.
Or maybe my early 20s, studying musical theatre at the Randolph Academy, mending a broken heart, traveling to Barcelona alone to meet a friend for reading week, and going to Costa Rica on a Habitat for Humanity build and falling in love with volunteer travel.
Digging the foundation for our Habitat for Humanity house in Buenos Aires, Costa Rica
Or 24, leaving on my birthday to head to Kenya to volunteer in an orphanage while the country was in the middle of a post-election crisis.
The beautiful children in my orphanage in Kenya
Then, extending my stay after falling in love with the country and my kids and going on safari, climbing my first mountain, Mt. Kenya, and traveling around Uganda and Rwanda as well.
Mangos and Machetes in Kenya
Or even 25, having a breakdown in New York City on my 25th birthday, trying to figure out how I’d gotten to that age without accomplishing more off my life ‘to-do’ list, buying a plane ticket instead of paying rent (not for the first time) and celebrating our 25th birthdays with two of my closest friends in Italy, before heading back to school to do a post-grad in journalism at Humber College.
A gondola ride in Venice, Italy
Indulging in a gelato diet in Italy
Or 26, spending my summer on another Euro-trip before journeying back to Kenya and then onto Tanzania to climb my second mountain, Mt Kilimanjaro.
Made it to the summit on Mt. Kilimanjaro
Hanging out with the Maasai in Kenya
Or maybe 27, graduating from Humber with honours after doing an awesome internship at CTV’s Canada AM and then celebrating by traveling to Portugal and then onto Alaska and the Yukon for a great family trip.
Collecting shells on the beach in Cascais, Portugal
Or 28, exploring more of Europe and the London Olympics before getting a job that paid me to travel and becoming a flight attendant at Canjet.
Ready to fly!
Maid of Honour duties in St. Lucia
Or even 29, flying constantly, standing beside my best friend as she got married in St. Lucia and traveling around Asia with my sisters, where they’d both been living.
Trying on kimonos in Tokyo, Japan
All of these life events have come and gone with lots more travel, friendships, ups, downs, challenges, disappointments, successes and adventures. Now, here I am at the beginning of 2014, my 30th birthday waiting just around the corner to pounce and I still don’t know what I’m doing. Still have a list of a million and one things to see and do and accomplish, adding more daily and not crossing them off nearly as fast as I’d like to be.
I keep getting told “30 is just a number,” “You’re only as old as you feel” and “The best is yet to come!” I know it’s just a number and I usually feel somewhere between 5-25. But how do you know the best is still coming?? The only thing certain about life is its uncertainties. Maybe this explains why I choose to buy plane tickets instead of paying rent, my general disdain towards routine and stability, and why at 30, the thought of a steady job with limited vacation time still makes me want to cry.
So, this year, my 30th year, I’m going to work a little harder at crossing things off my “Life to-do List” and more specifically off my Travel List.
Here’s to 2014 and my 30th year being full of love, friendship, fun, travel and most of all – adventure!