Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Recap of my "30 things to do in 30 days before my 30th birthday"

That's me. In Hawaii doing something "crazy" before 30. #trashmydress
I have been 30 years old for 12 days (okay, no more counting days hereupon) and I would like to take a look back at this LIST I created 30 days before my birthday and see if I was being too ambitious!

1 - Steal other people's 'Things to do before 30' list. 


2- Write 5 handwritten letters to new and old friends or even lost acquaintances. Wait, does writing 150 Thank You cards count?

I wrote one handwritten letter (3 pages long so it counts as 3 letters right?) and mailed a couple of postcards from Hawaii. No wedding 'Thank you' cards have been sent out .... nor purchased as a matter of fact :(

Hawaii inspired part of the list:

3 - Do something that scares me: 
-Hiking this trail at Kalalau Trail in Hawaii.  So, we found out there were not giving out anymore permits on the days we are visiting so we won't be able to hike the whole trail...to our relief? We will attempt doing the trail anyway but no walking over eroded trails where one slip leads you straight down into the Ocean.

Doing other scary things? I can also add skydiving but I don't think I'll ever do that so maybe swimming with sharks?

Okay, so we did end up hiking the first 6 miles of the Kalalau trail and back on the same day but did not get to sketchy mile 7 because we were not staying overnight at the park. Hiking 12 miles in total on the most arduous part of the trail which includes the first 6 miles was quite challenging but not so much scary...except maybe when Dave's blood sugar level was low and he felt really sick. I was scared because I didn't know how I would get us out of there if he end up fainting!

I did not swim with sharks!

4- Hike a volcano. With flowing lava will be even more awesome!

The lava was not flowing on the Big Island and the flow was actually declared dead during our visit. We did drive up a volcano and did a few trails even if they were only 10 minutes long but technically, we were on top a volcano (two including Mauna Kea). We simply did not have time to hike them.

Lava lake on top of Kilauea, Big Island

5- Meet a sea turtle. I will actually try to shake his hands flippers and ask him how old he is.

By Hawaiian laws, no one is allowed to touch these endangered sea turtles nor get too close to them so that 'shake flippers' was out of the question. I did meet several sea turtles...like all over the place as you can see here.

Just a note: This turtle came to us (being pushed around by the waves) and at that time I took this picture, I did NOT know about this rule of keeping at least 15 ft away from a turtle. OOPS!

Sea turtle feeding on seaweed

6- Drive a Jeep or anything bad-ass to ride off terrain in Hawaii.

Nope. We drove midsize rides and a compact car to save some money and those cars were not allowed to go off road. In Kauai, driving off terrain could have led us to desolate beaches and incredible ocean views so maybe next time!

7- Swim naked by a desolate beach.

Nope!!! A little bit disappointed about this one and thought I could maybe sneak out at night (if I wasn't sleepy) by the hotel's beach to skinny dip however, the waves were too dangerous at night for me to do anything.

8- Shower under waterfalls or simply just BE under any type of waterfalls would be amazing. Naked under waterfalls?

YES! Kept bikini on!

via my instagram

9- Make really great videos of our trip with our new toy (more on that later). Dave ordered my new ram for the laptop just for that!

I made two videos during the trip since I was so inspired. Here's one of us snorkeling at Waimea bay and here's one of us touring down the Na Pali coast

I will spend more time on making other videos since you know, I won't be making them while I am vacationing! 

10- Swim with dolphins. My original desire would be to swim with whales but I know I am not in the right season to do this in Hawaii so let me swim with at least dolphins?

YES! YES! YES! When I wrote this, I did not think that I would really be able to swim with wild dolphins just like that i.e. without paying for a boat that would take us out there to find them. But here I am, swimming alongside dolphins and crossing this off my list and my bucket list!

11- "Stop doing things for the pictures, but start doing things for the memories". This one is hard. I always HAVE to take pictures or else it is like the event never happened. So weird. 

This was a hard one for me. In Hawaii, I couldn't put all my 3 cameras and iphone down! Oh well..now I have low disk memory space and tons of pictures to share!

12- Go on a long road trip with people I love. This one I am not sure about. I'd love to do a road trip in the West coast but who would I want to spend 24/7 with without becoming crazy or even driving them crazy?! Well, since we're planning a trip to Hawaii soon, this one will have to wait until the near future.

Nope! Not before 30! Though we did a LOT of driving in Hawaii just me and Dave. We drove over 1000 miles on the Big Island alone! I actually like driving in Hawaii and Dave loves napping!

13-Learn how to cook one fancy dish. I'm thinking something French and I need to cook meat more.

Um...I guess the ratatouille I make is okay but that's not fancy. There's not any dish I can make that I want to show off...except my homemade popcorn which I garnish with fancy paprika and garlic powder and fancy sea salt. I just made a delicious beef noodle soup today too so that can count as well :)

14-Find something you are really good at. 

Um..I'm really good at finding sales and deals...and bragging about it! ...I also am good at complaining about stuff!

This list is getting difficult. Maybe finishing this list before I turn 30 should be one of my goals. (okay, I am counting it in as my #15).


16-Try to give one good advice. Key word is TRY. Here's one: Don't let age be a motivator for your life's bucket list such as what I am doing now. Just chase your daily or long term goals every single day and you'll be dandy happy with no regrets. I know, easier said than done but just thinking about it will make you feel better.

17- Send my mom a photo album with flowers to thank her for being her. (oops, I'm not suppose to add my regular to-do list here but since it is an on-going project, it counts...).

Will be working on this VERY SOON! My mom's birthday is coming soon!!

18- Purchase a classic grown up lady bag. I had the Proenza Schouler PS11 on my mind for a while but I don't think it is a real classic classic bag. So, a real classic bag for me now is a Chanel purse which seems to withstand trends and time like no other bag. This one might be placed on hold and wait until we make a trip to Paris where supposedly, the bags are a bit cheaper.

As mentioned, this is on hold until money flows out of my... but mainly, finding the RIGHT bag I will love forever. Still not sure if it's going to be a Chanel bag.

19- Do something new with my hair. I am going to try a digital perm next week. Wish me luck so that my hair does not end up in a hair horror story post. 

Yup, I did it and it burned a big hole in my wallet. Was it worth it? Maybe! It actually almost flattened out a week later but it's still a bit curly at the tips which is not so bad and I got the beachy wave I asked for (when I was on the beach...).

On Sunset beach, Oahu

20- Lose 5 pounds (in a healthy way!) to achieve my goal weight which is the weight I had in my 20s. This will not only make sure I can look somewhat decent in my bikinis in Hawaii but also make me feel turning 30 isn't so bad for my body.

I didn't lose any weight or try too hard but the first week in Hawaii, Dave and I got some major body workouts with all the snorkeling and hiking we were doing! I was totally checking him out and I was totally checking myself out in the mirror too! We kept pointing at each other's bellies saying "abs" because they would magically appear after our outdoor activities.

The last 5 days of our trip, we had multiple burgers, fries and steaks and with no intense physical activity like we did earlier on our trip, our good ol' buddha bellies were back.

After the Kalalau trail hike. Okay, I sucked in my tummy for the pic.

21- Once I reach my goal weight, I will take nudie photos. I want a professional photographer but I am not sure about a stranger taking nude shots of me....hmm, maybe Dave can do it!!

Um nope..but maybe I can ask my wedding photographer when I am ready. Wedding photography is just his "other" business, THIS is what he loves to do. Click here!

22- Purge material things from my 20s that I do not need in my life moving forward...basically, another closet cleanse. 

Nope, did not do this yet but since Fall is here, I need to store away my Summer clothes and it's going to be a good time to donate pieces I have not touched all year or plan on wearing ever again!

23-Finish books I have started but did not finish. I have "Dreams from my Father" by Barack Obama I want to finish. I can finish it on the beach or during the 11-hour plane ride...yay

I didn't even bring a book with me on our trip! I did see all the movies I've wanted to watch on the plane though! Yay!

24-Care for a plant. I acquired a new plant from Dave's aunt a couple of days after our wedding. I want it to flourish for years to come. 

It kind of died a bit at the tip of the leaves but I was away for two weeks. It is now slowly revived and losing it's brownness.

25-Mix one good gin cocktail. Learn how to make gimlet which is THE drink I order at fancy bars.

Bah...why was this really on the list in the first place? Dave knows how to make it and he can make one for me if I ask nicely! 

26- Bake a pie. I have never baked a pie before! I like apple pies ..or blueberry..or rasberries...mmm

A colleague went apple picking this past weekend and is going to give me some apples soon! Oh wait, missing apples was not the reason I didn't bake a pie...It is because I don't have a mixer. Not even a handheld one! I actually bought most of the ingredients to make the Momofuku's crack pie before our vacay but never got to it because of the MIXING part. 

27-Make a donation to a new charity I have never donated to before. Any ideas? I have always donated to WWF and that's about it. The documentary Chasing Ice has really made an impact on me. 

I totally forgot about this one!!

28- Calling my in-laws "mama" and "papa" without feeling weird about it. 

I still feel weird about it and when I say it, I feel like I'm not being serious. 

29- Create something new or make something from scratch. My DIY wedding table numbers and cake topper I made from scratch was gratifying (hello, can you believe I made cement from a powder mix?). I have creative A.D.D.

Nope, did not have time to make anything but now, I want to make this concrete diamond! Looks so simple and it's a good way to finish up the cement powder I have. 

30-Swim laps non-stop for 1 hour straight. I think I'm doing 30-40 minutes now but that's almost always because I have to stop to un-fog goggles or to prevent from bumping into slow pokes.



So, it looks like I was a little too ambitious and also planted some things in the list which I knew I probably would not have accomplished on time. I did get a kick out of writing this list and it did actually push me to do some things I would otherwise have not done ... especially in Hawaii. Like, hiking more than 12 miles to see the Hanakoa Falls because I absolutely wanted to see falls and swim under one! We were told the fall was dry so we didn't even make it there.

Turtle at the Black Sand beach

This turtle is taking a rest on the beach. It is him alone against the big vast ocean with unpredictability lurking all around him but if he doesn't go in, he can't survive or live! 

I don't know why I'm trying to compare myself to this turtle but I guess I see the ocean as my life and even though we don't know what life has in store for us, you still got to dip your toe (and try not be scared) and jump in whether you're ready or not. You just have to live life at its fullness (within your limits) despite all the obstacles you may (or may not) encounter. But if you don't do it, you'll never know! I always feel exuberated after I do something spontaneous and out of the ordinary and rarely regret doing it. Okay, maybe that one time I volunteered to get axes thrown at me. Here's a video of it. (WTF was I thinking?! I wasn't. My mom was soooo pissed).

The list was just a starting point. I really pushed some of my limits in Hawaii and I am so thankful to have been able to spend our honeymoon and my birthday there.

Thank you for reading as always!


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1 comment:

  1. Beautiful shots ! Your red attire made me think of Baywatch :D