Day in and day out I meet a lot of twenty-something. They’re attending lectures or workshops I’m giving in various schools, they’re taking their first steps as freelancers or entrepreneurs, they’re traveling the world…

Sometimes, I try to remember myself before I turned 30 (and moved to the U.S. but that’s a whole different story). I was a very different person back then. I’m like wine, I get better with age. Had I known what I know now, had I had a little bit more self-esteem and self-confidence, I would probably have accomplished some of these things. Some I did, some I did later… But here’s what I believe should be on your bucket-list before you turn thirty.

A bucket-list before you turn 30

  1. Live in another country: traveling is one thing, experimenting life somewhere is an entirely different perception of the country you’re exploring. I was 20-something when I moved to NYC for 4 months, life is different there than from anywhere else I lived. And I’m really grateful I got to experience it.
  2. Quit a job: unless you have found the perfect place to spend the rest of your life working for someone else, chances are you are going to be miserable in a job. Knowing when to quit is part of learning, part of growing. Learn to say no more to a situation that makes you unhappy.
  3. Take a risk: whether it’s bungee jumping (no thank you), swimming with sharks (no thank you either) or sky-dive (I waited to turn 40 for that), or anything else… put yourself at risk (not crazy lethal danger, of course). Even if it’s simply facing rejection by telling someone you like them first.
  4. Travel solo: I fell in love with solo-traveling in my thirties. It’s such a liberating experience. The possibilities are endless and the people you meet are incredible. Start small, maybe a short week-end road-trip in your own country. You’ll learn to enjoy your own company and that’s a strength you’ll probably need later in life.
  5. Pay it forward: you’re never too young to hone your ability to give. Give something without expecting anything in return. Do it for the feeling of accomplishment you’ll get for doing a good deed. Do it because you care. Do it without planning, without thinking and without telling anyone about it.
  6. Set an annual reading goal: I’ll never stress enough how much reading is important in making you the person you’re ought to become. It’s also good practice to set goals and learn not to beat yourself up if you don’t reach them.
  7. Treat yourself to something really expensive: because by now you’re a young professional who’s making a living. Celebrate by treating yourself. What tickles your fancies? Think about it early, save for it and… enjoy!
  8. Be financially independant: this is step one to the road to freedom. You shouldn’t have to rely on anyone to pay your bills. Know how much you can afford, pay your debts, live within your means.
  9. Learn how to cook: another big step toward freedom is not having to rely on anyone to cook for you. You don’t need to be a chef, but master a few dishes that you can whip to impress guests and a few that you can turn to when you’re alone and hungry. You might even discover your comfort food, explore around it. It’s fun!
  10. Eat really expensive food: maybe it’s part of your “treat yourself to something really expensive” item. Food is a sensory experiment that, when done well, can really blow your mind. Try it.

What did you do before turning 30?

There are the things you should experiment as a toddler, the things that will take you through your teenage years and make you an adult. And the world of things that open up when you become one. How did you make the most of your twenties? What were on your bucket-list of things to do before you turn thirty? Did you do them? Tell us about you it in the comments below!

Photo by Candice Picard