Embracing 30

Within the past month, I’ve celebrated two of my friend’s 30th birthdays.  Two friends that I’ve known for over a decade have gracefully entered the big 3-0.  After ringing in their induction into this milestone year with them (thanks guys for being the guinea pigs), I thought about how much they have accomplished in the past year leading up to 30 and how much more they will continue to achieve this year.  (Side note – I have other friends who are also doing amazing things with their lives but they aren’t 30 yet so I won’t call them out in this post).  One of these friends recently left on a trip around the world with her husband and the other will be paying off a mountain of student loans which will finally make her debt free.  Two huge goals realized for both of them in their 30th years.  Thinking about this and how proud I am of both of them, made me start to question where I’m going.  What will I achieve in the last precious months of my twenties AND when I’m 30?

Meg sipping wine in Ljubljana, Slovenia this past week.


Celebrating Nina’s 30th wine hopping in Michigan. 


For the past 3 years, I have had this enormous goal that constantly motivated me: save as much money as you can so you can travel the world with your husband, try a new lifestyle, find balance, and learn a ton about yourself through mental freedom.  Now that I’ve achieved that, I need something else to work towards.  I need new goals and focuses for this next stage of my life; post-trip.  I refuse to let life slowly pass me by unintentionally anymore.

I, personally, achieve a goal better if I have a timeline tied to it, if it isn’t arbitrary, and if I have a plan of how I’m going to realize it.  All of these steps help keep my head in the game and not stray from what I’m supposed to be doing.  Coincidentally, I will be hitting a pretty big age milestone at the end of this year, my 30th birthday.

This is not a freak out about entering a new decade and feeling the pressures of getting older (although talk to me in a few months when I’m closer to the date and I may be singing a different tune).  Pretty much since I’ve turned 28, I’ve been telling people I’m 30 so I’ve had good practice on what it’s like to say it out loud.  This is more about setting an end date to new goals that I’d like to achieve in the next year or so. I’m assuming it will be so fulfilling to enter a new, monumental year of my life with some of these things realized or under way.

Because writing things down for the whole internet (mostly my 3 readers) to see keeps me honest, here is the list of goals I’d like completed and/or under way before December 23rd, 2016.

Become more in tune with my spirituality and intuition.

I truly thought I’d be able to do this while traveling.  Honestly, it was harder to do than it was before I left.  Constantly being on the move and in various uncomfortable or unfamiliar situations did not leave room for me to grow in this field.

My plan is to schedule a tarot reading this month to get things started.  Then, give myself a reading at least once a week.  A good, slow start to help me grow in an area of my life that I feel is very undeveloped right now.

Stop talking like a college student. 

“Like”. “Just”. “Kind of like”.   They all have got to go.  It’s time to move past them.

I don’t like the way other people  sound when they say these sorts of words too often and I know I sound the exact same way.  “I just kind of like don’t like think it sounds like good, you know?”  You know what I mean.

I tend to use these words as fillers or when I’m not confident about what I’m saying.  So the plan to stop using these words is to try harder to think through what I say before I speak and work on my confidence.  Also, please call me out, punch me, whatever if you hear me say them.

Say goodbye to the Italy belly.  

I know this is such a cliche for any goals or resolutions list.  BUT my weight gain from Europe, yeah, not funny anymore.  Not only do I want to be healthy but I also would like to fit into my BT clothes again.

To achieve this, I’ve cut out many carbs, bad foods out of my diet, am eating out less, and make sure to bring a homemade salad lunch each day.  I also rejoined a gym near my work and apartment to motivate me to work out 5-6 days a week.  I decided not to set a number to this but a feeling.  I’ll know when I’ve hit this goal and not be told by a stupid scale.

Create a video of the trip.

This must be done by the end of the year (not when I’m 30).  Dan and I owe ourselves a great way to remember the adventure we took.  Not only will it be amazing to have a video, but it will be therapeutic for us to relive our journey again.

The best part about completing this task before the end of the year, is the fact that the software program we are going to use gives you a free 30 day trial.  Once we pull the trigger to start it, we only have 30 days to finish it!

A glass of wine a day.

This isn’t as fun as it may sound (or as alcoholic for that matter).  Basically, I want to become that person that doesn’t over drink often (special occasions of course) enough so that I would feel comfortable to have one glass of wine each night.

This doesn’t actually mean that I’m going to have wine every night.  However, there have been countless times over the past years that I have over indulged and feel the need for a detox.  I want to stop feeling the need for constant detoxes.

Upgrade Painting my Spirit Gold.

This blog has been so important to me over the past year.  It’s been there for me through tough times, life lessons, and incredible memories.  It’s been my platform to not only share my experiences but it’s been there for me.  Painting my Spirit Gold has been one of my best friends and I feel the need to nurture this relationship.  Take it to the next level.

For my 29th birthday, my friends sent me the funds to upgrade my account and redesign my website.  My motivation comes from the fact that I don’t want to waste their money and great intentions.  Also, how great would it be to use something from my 29th birthday in order to achieve a goal for my 30th?!

Enjoy Chicago to the fullest. 

We have been given this incredible chance to temporarily live in Chicago again.  Dan and I have pretty much done everything in Chicago that we’ve wanted so there isn’t really much to do there. However, I’m going to force our friends and family to spend as much time as humanly possible with us (sorry guys).  I want to take advantage of this time to reconnect after spending so much time away.

Boozy slushies at Expat on a Monday night is exactly what I’m talking about. 


Take a trip to SE Asia.

I’m traveling again.. I’m sure that isn’t a shock to anyone and you all get how much I love to travel.  Some kind of trip or adventure will always be on any goal or bucket list of mine. Although this is true, this trip is more about visiting our best friends who are taking an adventure of their own to Europe and Asia.

Dan and I already miss them terribly (even though it hasn’t even been a week yet) and want to see them and be there for a small snippet in their adventure.  Secondly, I never want to miss an opportunity to do something like this.  This goal they realized is so huge and important and I don’t want to miss being a part of it with them!  Not to mention the delicious food, beautiful scenery, motorbike adventures, and crazy memories we will be able to share together in Asia.

Set a plan for what’s next. 

This is probably my biggest goal yet the one that scares me the most.  Dan and I have an end date in Chicago (March 2017 when our lease is up).  Fortunately, I’ve been okayed by ITA to work remotely once we leave, so this really helps relieve some of the worry of relocating to a completely different state. But, it doesn’t bring with me all of our friends and family that we’ll be moving away from.

About two months ago, Dan and I took a trip to Denver, CO and really fell in love.  Not right away, but slowly after the course of spending a few days there.  Yes, we realize that there are downsides to living in Denver as with any city.  However, we are not totally happy with the lifestyle in Chicago anymore and owe it to ourselves to try something different.

As of now, we are strongly leaning towards making the move out to Denver sometime early next year.  Strongly leaning isn’t a plan, though.  My goal is to set a plan for what we will do come March before I’m 30, and execute it afterwards.

Beautiful hike only 30 minutes outside of Denver. 


Some of my goals are small, some more important than others, and some are life changing.  Some are concrete and some more objective.  I can’t run, hide, or simply sit and wait for life to happen to me.  30 is coming no matter what I do.  I might as well embrace it, welcome it, and tackle it head on.  I’m coming for you, 30!

6 thoughts on “Embracing 30

  1. One of my goals is to spend as much time with you as I can – get ready!

    I also think that YOU are so inspiring – the fact that you have this incredible blog, consistently write, take on new challenges, and make goals that you achieve is so cool!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Nina, we’re famous!!!!

    This was such a good post. All of your goals are so spot on and I can definitely relate to almost every single one. I, too, have been trying SO hard to not talk like a college student, and the result is that I tend to speak with really uncomfortably long pauses while my mouth and my brain battle it out with words that I would normal use (and then when I start drinking the ‘like’ and ‘kind’ of words see their opening and fly freely). I hope that we will get there eventually.

    Anyway, I have no doubt you will achieve every single one (and because two of them are very closely aligned with me seeing you, so I am slightly biased to you doing them). I think 30 is going to be your year!

    PS I am dying to see the completed video!


  3. Great post, Wist! These are healthy (achievable) goals that I’m sure you will easily accomplish before December; especially travelling to SE Asia!! Can part of my goal be to welcome friends who are travelling to SE Asia with a cold beer?


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