Where did my 20s go, and where I’m I going for my 30th?

This year, I will turn 30.

Turning 30 is a milestone often celebrated with lavish parties and with a large gathering of friends.

For some, it is a milestone that they’d rather not reach. It can suddenly make you feel old, and reevaluate your life. 

Being in your 20s is exciting. You feel youthful, vibrant and that you can achieve anything. However, you can also feel like you need to prove something to yourself and the World. You’re still in a state of discovery. 

In your 30s, society preaches that we should have it all together. We should be settled both in career and relationship status. 

However, so far I’ve managed to defy this, and at times I’ve gone way off the path of what people would think is normal, but I’ve had an amazing time, and even though I’m now moving closer to wanting to feel a bit more settled, I am still not done with travelling. 

All this reflecting got me thinking about where my 20s actually went, where I travelled to and what I achieved. So I thought I’d share my past decade with you, but also encourage you;

Whether you are 21, or 51 you don’t have to have life altogether, know where you are going, or what you want. The key is to enjoy where you are at, at this very moment.

So where did my 20s go?

2006/7 (age 20) – England/USA/Italy 

2006

I left home 1 month prior to my 20th birthday, to move to Lancaster in England, to study Occupational Therapy. This was a year of self discovery and I did a lot of growing up. I travelled throughout the country by myself and this was ultimately the beginning of my independent streak! 

Visiting London for the first time (as an adult) in 2006
Visiting London for the first time (as an adult) in 2006

During my first year at university, I took 2 trips overseas; one to Venice in Italy, and another to Chicago in the US.

Kayaking in Italy with my sister in 2007 (just before my 21st birthday)
Kayaking in Italy with my sister in 2007 (just before my 21st birthday)

cheese

2007/8 (age 21) – England/Scotland/Ireland 

rugby
Supporting Ireland play rugby in Murrayfield, Scotland.

I continued living in the North of England and travelling through the country during my second year of university. I visited Scotland, Ireland and various other places in the UK. 

Still loving adventurous activities at Blackpool Pleasure Beach
Still loving adventurous activities at Blackpool Pleasure Beach

williamsons

2008/9 (age 22) – England/Greece 

grad
Finally graduating, after three long years. Pictured with my mum (one of the most inspiring people in the World!)

This was a big year for me – I graduated, moved out of my university digs, and started my first real (paid) job as an Occupational Therapist.

Little did I know - I'd soon get used to moving my stuff around the World
Little did I know – I’d soon get used to moving my stuff around the World

 I took advantage of being that little further South of England, and took many trips down to London to see my sister.

london

I travelled to Rhodes in Greece on my first package style holiday. 

Soaking up the sun in Rhodes, Greece - June 2009
Soaking up the sun in Rhodes, Greece – June 2009

 2009/10 (age 23) – France/Spain

Exploring Paris, France for my 23rd birthday (October 2010)
Exploring Paris, France for my 23rd birthday (October 2009)

I took a few more European trips away when I was 23 (perhaps as I was earning more money!) I travelled to Paris for my 23rd birthday and later went to Fueteventura in Spain as a winter sun break. 

Biking
Mountain Biking in Fueteventura, Spain

2010/11 (age 24) – Belgium/Australia/New Zealand/Italy 

Exploring Belgium
Exploring Belgium

At the end of 2010, life took on a different direction. I ended a long term relationship and decided to focus on other life goals, which included looking towards working overseas, and more travelling. 

I went to Brussels and Bruges in Belgium as a weekend trip with my eldest sister for her birthday. I later went on a trip to Australia and New Zealand and got my first taste of backpacking and loved it. This then led onto the next chapter in my life.

Discovering the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia
Discovering the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia
skydive
Skydiving over Lake Taupo in New Zealand (2011)

2011/12 (age 25) – New Zealand/Australia/Fiji 

Packing up my life to move to the other side of the World at the end of 2011.
Packing up my life to move to the other side of the World at the end of 2011.

2012 was a massive year for me. I started this travel blog, just before I moved to New Zealand. I was 25,  and left behind all that I knew in my homeland, to see a little more of the World, and pursue my career further an an Occupational Therapist.  

Enjoying the sunnier weather in new home of Christchurch, New Zealand (Jan 2012)
Enjoying the sunnier weather in new home of Christchurch, New Zealand (Jan 2012)

I loved discovering my new home country, and covered a lot of ground in the first year there. I enjoyed seeing the changing scenes of the Earthquake stricken Christchurch

qt

I took a break to Fiji to escape the New Zealand winter, for a bit of rest and relaxation, as well as a time of discovery, and adventure. 

Hiking in the Yasawa Islands, Fiji
Hiking in the Yasawa Islands, Fiji

Later in that year I travelled back Australia; to Sydney and Melbourne to celebrate my 26th birthday. 

Exploring Sydney, Australia October 2012
Exploring Sydney, Australia October 2012
Travelling for the first time on my birthday (October 2012 - Melbourne)
Travelling for the first time on my birthday (October 2012 – Melbourne)

2012/13 (age 26) – New Zealand/South Korea/England 

Getting muddy running in Christchurch, New Zealand
Getting muddy running in Christchurch, New Zealand

I continued living in New Zealand and discovered so many beautiful places! I learnt to Snowboard, as well as took up running, and completed my first (and only so far!) Half Marathon.

Teaching myself to Snowboard in Canterbury, New Zealand
Teaching myself to Snowboard in Canterbury, New Zealand
At the finish line of my first (and only!) Half Marathon, Christchurch, New Zealand (2013)
At the finish line of my first (and only!) Half Marathon, Christchurch, New Zealand (2013)

I returned to England briefly for 3 weeks to see a friend get married. On the way I stopped over in Seoul, South Korea and had my first taste of Asia.

Street food in Seoul, South Korea
Street food in Seoul, South Korea

2013/14 (age 27) – New Zealand/Australia/South East Asia 

At the end of 2013, I celebrated my 27th birthday with a delightfully spring BBQ at my house, where a number of people I had come to know over the past few years hung out with me for the night. I was made an incredible World Globe cake; little did I know, I’d be adding many more flags to this cake within the next 9 months!

27th birthday celebrations in Christchurch, New Zealand
27th birthday celebrations in Christchurch, New Zealand
Hobart
Flying into Hobart for Christmas 2013/New Year 2014

At the end of 2013, I travelled back to Australia for a bit of backpacking in Tasmania and Melbourne. I spent 10 days there and got to drive a very wet and rainy Great Ocean road. 

Exploring the Great Ocean Road with my friend in, Australia 2014
Exploring the Great Ocean Road with my friend in Australia 2014

Halfway through 2014, I decided to leave New Zealand (permanently), even though I was a few months from gaining permanent working visa. The desire to travel was much stronger. I spent the remainder of my time ticking off many New Zealand bucket list items, including doing a few hiking trips in the mountains. 

Hiking the Mueller Hut: A New Zealand Must Do - April 2014
Hiking the Mueller Hut: A New Zealand Must Do – April 2014

I left New Zealand in June 2014 to go backpacking around South East Asia for almost 5 months, covering Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia, Brunei, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam.

P1010622

Cambodia - August 2014
Cambodia – August 2014

I turned 28 in Indonesia (were my sister joined me), by splashing out at a 5* hotel. 

Asia

cake

2014/15 (age 28) – Europe/USA

My travelling didn’t stop as I returned to live in England. 7 weeks after I returned, I took my youngest sister backpacking in Slovakia and Austria.

Backpacking with my youngest sister in Austria
Backpacking with my youngest sister in Austria

I had some temporary, but well paid work for the earlier part of this year, so it was flexible enough to  allow me to travel.

I later travelled to Germany for a friends wedding at the beginning of 2015. Then took my youngest sister to New York for her 21st.

Travelling to New York with my youngest sister, who was just beginning life in her 20s
Travelling to New York with my youngest sister, who was just beginning life in her 20s

I then travelled around Turkey, hit up Copenhagen in Denmark and  the headed to Portugal to celebrate my 29th birthday. 

Paragliding in Turkey (June 2015)
Paragliding in Turkey (June 2015)
Meeting up with fellow blogger Jonny Blair (from Don't Stop Living) In Copenhagen, Denmark
Meeting up with fellow blogger Jonny Blair (from Don’t Stop Living) In Copenhagen, Denmark (August 2015)
A birthday meal with family at the intercontinental in Porto for my 29th birthday
A birthday meal with family at the intercontinental in Porto for my 29th birthday

In the middle of 2015, I finally got a permanent job, and a home, but still set my heart of travelling, as much as possible!

2015/16 – Europe/South America 

12509863_570380882207_3881251749241796058_n

The last year of my 20s was not going to be lax on the travelling front. I had a lot planned and have been travelling a fair amount already. I started off my visiting Luxembourg for the first time, to see a few friends I hadn’t seen in years. I took my first snowboarding holiday to Bulgaria and then set my feet on South American soil in Brazil and Argentina.

A view from Yas Peak (2369m up) - attempting to look like a pro snowboarder!
A view from Yas Peak (2369m up) – attempting to look like a pro snowboarder!
A first glimpse of the Iguacu Falls (Brazil side)
A first glimpse of the Iguacu Falls, Brazil.

Most recently, I took a trip over to Amsterdam in the Netherlands for a long weekend away, which I loved – especially exploring the wonderful Keukenhof gardens, with all the vibrant Tulips.

IMG_2205
Image Credit

So far I’ve raked up visiting 37 countries. 

The Czech Republic is next up! 

So in 2016 (age 30) in October. Where should I go? 

This is where you come in! 

I’d love if you could all suggest a country that I can travel to for my 40th. The most popular will be put to a vote and I’ll go wherever is chosen.

Ideally I’d like to get to Africa as a 6th continent, but it’s up to you! 

Leave me some comments below.

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

CommentLuv badge

12 comments

error: This content is my work and is protected