30 things to do before you’re 30

You guessed it, the big 3 0 is approaching and honestly, I couldn’t be more excited!!! I know that doesn’t tend to be the usual reaction to hitting this particular milestone, but I have a theory that proves it’s the best year ever!

You care less about what people think;

Me and my grandma regularly have chats about that fact that although her body is ageing, she still feels as though she’s in her mid-twenties. Her thoughts are the same, she still swears at the tv when watching Love Island, she treats herself to new things then hides it from my aunties and pretends she’s had them for ages. She’s hilarious, and she’s content in herself. As you age, you care less about the trivial things and what people think, and focus more on the here and now.

You’re much better off now;

It’s so easy to underestimate how much you can physically learn and grow from life experience in that decade between 20 and 30! I could never have predicted the past 10 years of my life, and I imagine the same applies for the next 10 years. During your 20s you’re still finding your feet, many are still studying, and lots have no idea what they’re doing. As we approach 30, there seems to be less of the scrambling panic, and more clarity of which direction you’re heading

Your friends are real;

This one is so important, and I was one of those super naive people who thought I could be friends with every person forever – hate to break it to you, but this is NOT the case. As you grow and develop, the cracks will show and those weak friendships find it too difficult to handle the turbulence. By the time you’ve hit 30, you know what you need in a friend and what they need from you. You’ll escape your caterpillar cocoon and your solid friendships will lift you up like a butterfly 🦋

In light of my impending age, I decided to put together a bucket list of things that I’ve done that have made the biggest difference to my life in the past 10 years. I hope this list inspires you to tick some of these things off – or if you’re feeling brave go for the full list! There’s still some things I’m yet to do, I’ve got 5 months, let’s see if I can do it! Here we go….

1. Skydive

I’m terrified of roller coasters! I absolutely hate that feeling in my stomach 🙈 so naturally skydiving was never top of my list. However, a bit of peer pressure and yolo attitude and did it! I’d never ever repeat it – willingly stepping off a moving plane once is enough for me thanks. But wow, it’s a magical experience

 

2. Visit the at least one Wonder of the World

It’s so easy to live in the here and now and forget that we live a matter of miles away some of the most incredible wonders in the entire universe. Seeing them in person makes you believe the unbelievable

3. Spend a day in a museum by yourself

I did this recently and I vouched to make this a regular occurrence. When your mind has no distractions, it can imagine the most wonderful things. It’s surprising how long you’ll stare at something when your mind connects with it.

4. Take a solo trip

I’ve taken many trips by myself, but I realised that I’ve always had a purpose for them. Usually I would meet my friends over there, or be working abroad. I’ve decided that I need to visit somewhere on my own with the sole purpose of visiting. Let’s see if I can manage it before I’m 30

5. Have a girl’s trip

(Or a lads trip) Going away with a group of friends is a story that you would be crazy to miss! It’s chaos, unity and comedy all rolled into one. You think you know your friends now? Go on a trip with them and make memories that you can only talk about with each other 🤣

6. Go on a Tinder date

I’m afraid of online dating (maybe even all types of dating!) I just can’t handle the cringe 🙈 However, I’ve listened to far too many hilarious tinder date stories, and even had two friends marry their tinder dates – so I’m definitely missing something here. Whether I get a marriage or a story, it has to happen

7. Work abroad

I’ve done this a few times, the first time being when I was 18! I packed my bags and booked a one-way ticket to Greece where I had my first professional dance job. It taught me a lot about independence, and how to interact with all different personality types. Plus I made a lot of memories and friends that I still visit all these years later

8. Live away from your home town

Most people experience this through university as it’s a great opportunity to move to a new city and try out independence whilst working towards your big goals. I’d actually already lived away from home before I went to uni but it was truly a life-changing experience living my day to day life in a new place. You learn a lot about yourself and you’re forced to grow. You don’t have to study to live in a different city, why not spend a year living in London or Newcastle or Birmingham to experience something new and figure out where you’d like to settle down and why.

9. Try Floating mediation

This is awesome!! It’s also known as a Sensory Deprivation Tank because it blocks your senses – You’re in the dark, you wear earplugs, you float in body-temperature water so that you can’t tell where the water ends and your body begins, the lid in closed so you get used to the subtle salty smell – this ultimately allows you to completely relax. The experience keeps you in that strange phase between being asleep and waking up which I think feels really magical.

10. Book a mystery holiday

When I was younger my mum used to collect vouchers in the newspaper and we’d end up paying next to nothing for a family weekend in a UK seaside town. The catch was that you didn’t find out where you would be going until you had paid for it. SURPRISE! I know this probably fills lots of people with anxiety and dread, but I really would recommend it! You get to experience a place that you may never have visited otherwise. I did this recently with a European break and found out that I’m going to Venice in November! Other ways you can do this is through flight comparison sites, there’s usually an option that says “Can’t decide where?” then it gives you a list of all the locations that are cheap to fly to from your nearest airport. Alternatively, you can do it the old-school way, close your eyes and stick a pin in a map.

11. Ask your grandparents about their childhood

I know that I am extremely fortunate to still have three of my grandparents in my life, and many of you know that my grandma is my best friend. We cook together (well, she cooks and I eat it), we watch Jeremy Kyle (and she talks all the way through it) and we talk and talk and talk. Somehow, she always brings everything back to some story from years ago and talks about a life that doesn’t even seem real to me now. I used to roll my eyes when she’d go off topic and wonder what this had to do with what we were talking about at the time. As I’ve got older, I’ve become more and more fascinated with her childhood and I’ve learned so much just by listening. It doesn’t have to be your grandparent, but if you have somebody in your life that has lived three times as much life as you, I’d encourage you to listen to them. It could be a neighbour, or a family member, somebody you look after. Anybody, but it could change the way that you not only see them, but the way you see the world and the value of life itself.

12. Write a journal

I wrote a diary as a form of therapy when I was a teenager. Everything that happened each day went into my daily journal – all of my interactions, feelings, plans and thoughts filled book after book of my teenage years. Reflecting on your day is important as it helps you gain clarity, and when you look back you can see how much you have grown. When I started to feel more in control of my emotions, I stopped journaling, however I think that now is the best time to write. Time for some stationary shopping I think 😊

13. Read the Harry Potter books (again)

If you have never read any of the Harry Potter books – where have you been for the past 20 years!? Even if you don’t see yourself as a reader, or if you’re not a fantasy person, or if it’s just not your thing – I would encourage you to just read one of these books! They are some of the most imaginative, descriptive and beautifully written books I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading. So much so, that they really help to bring out your own creativity. Give it a try, and if you’ve already read them, read them again – it will be like reading a brand new story as you’ll pick on things that you missed the first time.

14. Be a tourist in your home town

I don’t think anybody does this because it’s so awkward! But the one thing that made me realise I need to be a tourist of my home city was when my friend came over to visit from America. She was absolutely obsessed with Leicester city centre. It was hilarious to me, but she was fascinated by the old buildings and the tiny side streets, she kept taking photos and asking questions about Leicester that I had no idea how to answer. Through her eyes, I saw the beauty of my city and once I got over the initial awkwardness of it, I took the most incredible photos that didn’t even look like they’d been taken in the Leicester that I knew.

15. Go to one of the world’s biggest parties

I love a party so it will probably come as no surprise that I have jumped on planes to travel to some of the world’s best parties. The Moon Party in Thailand, Rio Carnival in Brazil and Mardi Gras in New Orleans! These experiences each deserve a blog of their own because I had the best time experiencing them. I still have many more that are on the list, so think about where you would like to go and add it to your bucket list.

16. Write a letter to your future self

If you want to experience something extremely powerful, you need to try this! Write a letter for a date in five years time, or in 10 years time to yourself describing what your perfect day would look like. Describe your day from start to finish, including where you wake up, who you spend your time with, what you do with your day, how you feel – include as much detail as possible. You’ll learn a lot about what you want for yourself and you can start taking the steps to get there from now.

17. Read “Your Best Year Yet”

This is an annual activity that I’d recommend to everybody, but especially for a big milestone year like 30 – I can’t tell you how important this exercise book is. It will help you to decide what you want out of your year before it even happens. It will prompt you to think and plan and ultimately ensure that each year is better than the last.

 

18. Do that one thing you’ve always wanted to do

We all have that one thing that we want to do, whether it’s applying for a new course, changing career, starting your own business, reaching out to somebody you’ve not spoken to for years. It could be anything! I know it’s sitting at the back of your mind and occasionally causes you to think “what if?” For now, those two words are harmless, however, life is extremely short and later on down the line, this could lead to regret. Do it! Whatever it is, just go for it. I tried out for an NFL cheerleading squad and I made the team! That was my “what if?” – and now that I know the outcome, I don’t have that niggling feeling.

19. Find out your ancestry

This is something I really want to do, I think it’s so important to have an understanding of where you came from. Almost instantly people will notice that I have green eyes and although I know that my Bajan grandad had light eyes and light skin like I do, I would like to know why. There’s a story there somewhere and I plan to find out what it is

20. Take a personality test

We all have different personality types, and whilst we think that we know ourselves very well, many of us go through life not knowing what personality type we are, therefore not understanding what we need more of or what we need to avoid. A YouTuber that I follow recently did a personality test and watching her video inspired me to want to do it. She said that everything made so much more sense after.

21. Get a pet

It’s so funny that I’m saying this, as most people at the age of 30 probably already have a pet, or even a child! But for those who don’t, get one. Even if it’s a hamster or goldfish, having somebody to look after helps you to be consistent and you will definitely get to know your soppy side

22. Make a photo album

In an era of Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram, nobody prints photos anymore! I’ll probably sound ancient when I say this, but I remember my first girls trip (to Magaluf at 18 years old) we had a disposable camera each and they’re some of the funniest photos I’ve ever seen. I made this into a photo album (physically, not on Facebook) and I’ve made lots of albums since then. I’d recommend it, especially for any significant trips and experiences that you’ve had.

23. Learn a new skill

We get older, and sometimes we think that we know it all. Sorry to break it to you, but that is far from the truth – you could have studied Scientology for 45 years and you’d still have the brain capacity to learn a lot more. Whether it’s playing an instrument, learning a language, baking, gardening or astronomy, stimulating your brain will keep you mentally younger for longer

24. Physically challenge yourself

This is a great way to turn 30 in style! I’m not one of those people who like pain, even the thigh burn after a gym sesh is not for me. However, challenging yourself physically and putting your body through something that you didn’t know you could do will give you an incredible sense of achievement and your body a kick up the backside. I have climbed the beautiful Mount Fuji, completed the Tough Mudder Half and cycled from Leicester to Paris (400miles) in four days. Doing these things has played a huge part in getting me through a gym session or even a tough day at work. I can say to myself “Well, at least this isn’t as hard as cycling to Paris!” Challenge yourself, you won’t regret it.

25. Cleanse your body

I know that your 20s are for living life to the fullest, but years of partying, eating junk food, being around smoke, alcohol and pollution can cause toxins to build up inside your body. These toxins can cause all sorts of subtle reactions to your body, including tiredness, weight gain, skin breakouts, the list goes on. You wouldn’t buy a car and expect it to survive forever without being serviced and looked after – the same with your body. A cleanse can work wonders for clearing out the toxin build up and give you the boost you need.

26. Do some public speaking

Most of us would prefer for the ground to swallow us whole than to speak in front of a room full of people. It’s an introvert’s worse nightmare! I love to speak, but publicly? Nah thanks! I talk way too fast, stumble over my words, pronounce everything wrong and lose my train of thought. However, they’re exactly the things that make us human and relatable. I recommend you try it, you never know how your words might make someone’s day.

27. Volunteer for charity

This is the generation of giving; it’s becoming increasingly popular for us to give back – it’s is a huge part of millennial culture! Do something to raise money for a cause that’s important to you – not only does it feel great to do, but you’ll be helping the cause directly with their mission. Side note – don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty. That makes it more fun!

28. Scuba dive

Ok this is something that I never thought I’d be saying – mainly because I can’t swim and I’m terrified of water that is any deeper than 1.5 metres. However, I was lucky enough to scuba dive in the Great Barrier Reef and it was an experience I’ll never forget. Everything is in slow motion down there and it reminds you that no matter how big you think the world is, it’s twice as big down there! (And I only saw a teeny tiny bit)

29. Go on an African safari

This is still yet to be ticked off my list, but I’ll be visiting Kruger National Park in November this year, so squeezing it in just before I’m 30. I’ve never met a person who didn’t find their safari experience life changing, and I can’t wait to see it too! I just wish David Attenborough was coming with me….

30. Go to a Disney theme park

It surprises me any time I meet an adult who has never been to a Disney theme park! I think a lot of people think they’ve missed the boat by the time they get older, and I can’t tell you how untrue that is. I enjoy Disney parks more and more the older I get. It’s a sweet escape from reality, the attention to detail is insane and you cannot HELP but fully immerse yourself into the theme. I’d highly recommend you visit it, I know adults who have cried when they visited! Feel free to take a child with you if you’re not sure it’s your thing 😏

I’m not saying that you shouldn’t enter your 30s without completing this extensive list, but these are the things that I believe have helped me to grow the most, as well as some things I know it will only get harder to tick off as I get older. Life is supposed to be a wonderful adventure, so I believe it’s important to experience new things when you have the opportunity.

Have a think about what you might like to do before you hit your next milestone and enter your next chapter in style 😊

Lots of love, Sherilyn

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The most interesting foodie hotspots abroad

If you’ve ever had a conversation with me for more than 5 minutes, it would probably become very apparent that my passion for food is high up on my list. I love food, and I’m not ashamed to admit that I have planned entire holidays around cultured food experiences. It still surprises me that there are people in this world who eat purely to stay alive – not for pleasure. That may sound extremely naïve of me, however if you’re a foodie, then you may also have difficulty understanding the same thing.

In my opinion, food is the one thing that we all have in common – love it or hate it, we all must eat to stay alive. So my question is, why doesn’t everybody make it as pleasurable an experience as possible? I thought of a few reasons why this may be the case;

  • Food can be a sensitive subject – the big reason is that not everybody can get their hands on food as easily as the rest of us can. Sometimes it’s extremely difficult for westernised people, with our 24 hour supermarkets and convenience cooking to fully understand how lucky we are. And when we are reminded that not everybody can enjoy food the way that we can, we may feel an underlying sense of guilt and helplessness.
  • Additionally, we all have different ways of coping with stress and our mental health – food can play a huge part in our emotional experience, whether it’s overeating or undereating, we can very easily look to food as a way to take the edge off of whatever we might be going through.
  • With plant based diets becoming increasingly popular, a strong divide in personal food choices has created a cultural shift. I believe there is now hesitation and reluctance for people to truly enjoy meat or dairy publicly out of fear of offending others.

Don’t worry, we’re not about to get into a huge debate about who should eat what and how to make food a positive experience for everyone. Preferences and choices are different for everybody. However, as a “self-certified foodie”, I wanted to pick out of few of my favourite dining experiences that I’ve had around the world and hopefully prove the point that food is not only about the taste, it’s so much more than that – it’s all about the experience.

🇺🇸America is a country that has my heart when it comes to the best greasy roadside cafes, homecooked southern food as well as glamourous restaurants with a view and a chance of spotting celebs. For that reason, I’m going to start with The Big Easy, The Birthplace of Jazz, The Voodoo Capital of the World, Paris of the South, The Home of Mardi Gras, N’awlins – or to translate, New Orleans. A mixing pot of southern charm, a disturbing past and natural disaster survival. This really was a place that I knew would be one of my favourite cities before I’d even booked a flight there.

I arrived, armed with a list of things to do and dishes to try and boy did that city deliver!!

Coops Place – The Taster Plate 😋

Coops Place

If you would like to experience the authentic taste of New Orleans all on one plate, I cannot recommend this dingy, hole in the wall enough. The chalkboards on the wall list everything from gator-on-a-stick, to real southern fried chicken, to the city’s famous dish – red beans and rice. To make it easier for you to decide, the taster plate has it all, and compresses what would be 6 individual meals into one incredible dining experience. Wash it down with an ice cold beer and you have passed your New Orleans initiation

My other personal favourites;

Crawfish boil

Homemade gumbo

Courtesy of the wonderful Brian Webber

Café Du Monde’s sweet AF beignets

🇯🇵 Japan has been on my bucket list ever since I used to trade shiny Pokemon cards in the primary school playground. I am proud to say that it is one of my favourite places on earth and I do not say that lightly. Landing in Tokyo felt like a dream and so did the rest of my visit for the next 10 days. Everybody is so polite!! There, you will find the most eccentric outfits, incredible nature and some really unusual experiences.

Let’s take Maid Café’s for example; many tourists flock from near and far to visit these cafes that are so secretive, you are unable to take photos of anything other than your plate of food. (They are very strict about this.) We queued on a cramped staircase for almost an hour with a combination of tourists and locals. The queue was worth the wait as my curiosity to visit revealed that these maid cafés were even more incredible than I could have expected.

To cut to the chase, my Maid Café experience consisted of all the maids singing a Japanese welcome song as we were walked to our table, our waitress (maid) calling me Princess Sherilyn all the way through the meal, she turned the pages of the menu for us, we were summoned on stage for a photograph where we were made to pick out bunny costumes and props, and our food and desert was presented and decorated in the most hilarious and adorable way.

My other personal favourites;

Robot Restaurant

Nakano Broadway Ice Cream

🇹🇷 My friend lives in Istanbul and she has told me time and time again that I would absolutely love it there. It just so happened that dates just didn’t seem to line up for the longest time and I’ve only just visited her there for the first time this year! My only regret is that I hadn’t visited sooner! It’s an incredible city to visit, full of culture, full of food and full of beauty. Honestly, I don’t even know where to start, because there was so much good food, but I’ll start right at the beginning with my very first Turkish meal – breakfast.

My friend, Yaprak, asked me what I would like for breakfast, I said “you choose” and she reeled off a 5-minute-long list to the waiter (who didn’t write it down). He just nodded repeatedly then disappeared. 15 minutes later, I was in foodie heaven!

My other personal favourites

Anything in the Grand Bazaar

The Wet Burger

🇦🇺 I spent a year backpacking around Australia and I knew that there were 3 things I definitely had to do during my visit; dive the great barrier reef, learn to surf and try the local Aussie delicacies. What I didn’t realise until arriving in Australia is that kangaroo meatballs are just casually stocked in supermarkets next to the chicken and beef. It really surprised me! If my non-foodies made it this far into the blog, they’re probably thinking that meat is meat and why should I be surprised that a particular animal is eaten there and not back home – honestly, I don’t know. I suppose it’s just local human conditioning. But I found it super weird. Although I knew that when I got a bit more settled I would do as the Romans do and give it a try.

That “try” came when me and some friends took a road trip up to the Cape Tribulation.

We stumbled across a little café called Masons, and it was like stepping onto an old movie set. A beaten down roadside café in the middle of the rainforest – what more could we ask for? On the menu featured the infamous “Roadkill Burger” This was basically a mixed burger that contained a combination of all different meats minced together and then BBQ’d on a grill. My only concern looking back is that I don’t think I ever got a clear answer about whether it really was roadkill or not. We all gave it a try, along with the mini sliders which featured the Aussie classic delicacies; Kangaroo, Crocodile and Emu. Surprisingly good, although it probably wouldn’t be my first choice on the menu.

My other personal favourites

The Queen Victoria Night Market

The Tramcar Restaurant

I guess the point I’m trying to make with this (super long) blog post is that food not only fuels our bodies, but it fuels our lives. Some of my most memorable life experiences have happened over a meal 😊 I want to inspire you not to limit your food experiences and to try new things when given the opportunity. I’m a strong believer that anything can be enjoyed in moderation, so use those taste buds and start your foodie adventure

Thanks for reading,

Sherilyn xx

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