New Zealand Oceania Travel Stories

30 Things to Do Before You Turn 30

Turning 30 isn’t so bad is it? It’s all a matter of perspective. Honestly, I actually look forward to turning 30. More so than I probably did when I was in my 20’s. Back then, 30 seemed like an age that’s old — an age when you start to get boring with the responsibilities of life — but it doesn’t have to be that way. Turning 30 isn’t about having everything figured out (yes, mom I will eventually have a family of my own) but about knowing what makes you happy and living the life that you want.

There are a lot of things I am grateful for and a lot of experiences that I’ve gained the past few years. I didn’t make this list of “30 things to do before you turn 30” when I was 20 but I thought it would a great way to capture my personal experiences and somehow inspire others to do the things they’ve always wanted to do before they hit the big 3-0.

Here are 30 things to do before you turn 30:

Learn a Foreign Language

Break barriers and interact with people in a foreign country by learning to speak the language. In places like Latin America, learning how to communicate in Spanish really changes the entire experience — you get to interact more with people and embrace the culture better. An awesome way to learn a language is to study while travelling.

Walk along Old Towns - Couples Travel Bucket List - Top Experiences to Share with Your Partner 

Live Overseas

Living overseas allows you to appreciate other cultures, meet new people and get a better perspective of the rest of the world. It’s also a great way to learn more about yourself. I lived in Singapore for three years, in Vietnam for three months and currently, I live in New Zealand.

RELATED POST: What’s It Really Like to Live in New Zealand

Go on Getaway with Your Best Friends

I will never forget my first trip overseas with my two best friends, Karen and Pau in Hong Kong. We had to share a tiny room and eat cup noodles often to save money but we had a wonderful time travelling together. After that, we had other getaways in Kuala Lumpur, Seoul and Hua Hin (Thailand). This year, we plan to meet in New Zealand.

Fall in Love

One of the best things that happened before I turned 30 was my engagement with Jon! It’s incredible when you finally find that person who understands your little quirks, who shares your passions and who loves you. I am lucky to have my “first love” as my last but it doesn’t have to be the case for yours. Fall in love. It’s a wonderful feeling.

RELATED POST: Our Travel Themed Wedding in Central Otago, New Zealand

Travel with Your Partner

Travelling as a couple helps strengthen your relationship and tests your compatibility. It is also a great way to build lasting memories together.

READ MORE: Couples Travel Bucket List: Top Experiences to Share with Your Partner

Wonder of the World Taj Mahal - Couples Travel Bucket List - Top Experiences to Share with Your Partner 

Go Volunteering

It’s always good to share every now and again to those in need whether it’s money, time or talent.

RELATED POST: My First Overseas Volunteer Experience: Water for Life at Siem Reap Cambodia

Travel to Another Continent

Don’t get stuck in one place. The world is a big place, go out there and see as much as you can!

Learn How to Cook Your Favourite Dish

I really loved the food we had in Budapest so I promised to try cooking Hungarian Goulash when we had a new place to call home. I have made it a few times now and I am so glad I can have it anytime I want!

Hungarian Beef Goulash Recipe

Go on a Coffee Tour

I love coffee! I’ve always looked forward to trying the different types of coffee from various parts of the world. In Colombia, we went on a coffee tour and had the best coffee ever! Even Jon, who doesn’t drink coffee enjoyed it.

RELATED POST: Coffee and Tea Plantatioun Tours from around the World

Appreciate Wine

Many places in the world offer great wine and it’s never too late to appreciate the art of it all.

RELATED POST: Local Kiwi Eats and Treats: 20 Must-Try New Zealand Food and Drinks

El Mirador Castelo de Sao Jorge Lisbon Portugal

Climb a Mountain

I remember the darkness, the cold and the fear when I hiked to the low’s peak of Mount Kinabalu. Climbing a mountain is a big challenge but you get a great sense of accomplishment once you’ve reached the top.

The Climb Low's Peak Mount Kinabalu Malaysia

Drive on the Wrong Side of the Road

Go for a drive where the rules are different (left-hand and right-hand drive). I have a long way to go when it comes to driving but I just managed to drive us to our destination when I had to drive while in Rotorua. New Zealand.

Wai O Tapu Thermal Wonderland Rotorua New Zealand Surreal Destination

Visit Somewhere You’ve Always to Wanted to Go

I never thought I’d get to see Machu Picchu before 30. I was ecstatic when I saw it! It remains  my favourite archaeological site and truly deserves the title; Wonder of the World.


See Snow (if You’re from a Tropical Country)

“Go out in the snow.” My fellow travellers were thrilled when I told them I had never experienced snow fall. I saw it during the three day Salt Flats tour in Bolivia. It was like magic!

Perito Moreno Glacier - Natural Wonder in Patagonia, Argentina - Up Close

Try Exotic Food

Your palette changes when you get older so it’s good to try other cuisines that you are not familiar with. Who knows, maybe you’d like it. Also, don’t be afraid to try some unique food that are part of other cultures. It’s an experience! During our travels, we tried fat-bottomed ants in Barichara, Colombia and scorpions in Bangkok, Thailand.

RELATED POST: How Travelling Made Me Less of a Princess 

Trek through a famous Mountain Range

Trekking among impeccable mountain views is an experience of a lifetime.

RELATED POST: Torres del Paine W Trek in 4 Days: One of the Best Treks in Patagonia

Trek through the Mountains - Couples Travel Bucket List - Top Experiences to Share with Your Partner 

Walk across a Land Border

Travelling across Latin America was particularly memorable because we did most of it overland (apart from boat rides). Between borders in most countries, we had to cross foot bridges with a sign that says you are leaving one country and a welcome sign to another — it was awesome.

Go Somewhere No One You Know Has Ever Been

It’s good to be able to share an experience in a new place. It’s great to see an area beyond other people’s recommendations and explore at your own pace.

RELATED POST: Exploring Transylvania: A Week in Romania

One Week in Romania - Exploring Transylvania - Brasov Bucharest Rasnov Bran Sighisoara

Get Your Ears Pierced

I’m not one to get a tattoo but I had some piercings done in Seoul, Korea. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and I’m glad I finally did it.

Start a Journal or a Blog

I have three journals that I never finished writing cover to cover so I had given up on that. Blogging on the other hand is a great way to capture your memories whether it’s for personal record or for sharing it with the world.

Scratch Map - Unique Personalized World Travel Map

Find Your Inner Artist

I started making polymer clay accessories when I was 21 and it has always been something I wish I had more time to do. Whether it’s painting, photography or making crafts — find joy in creativity.

Jam with a Band

If you enjoy karaoke as much as I do, you’ll have a blast jamming with a live band. I did this with a Filipino band in a small bar in Hong Kong during my birthday a few years back and it was such an awesome experience.

Be Treated Like a Celebrity

You don’t need to be a star of a TV show to be a big hit with the crowds in India. They simply love tourists there so don’t feel odd when they start asking if they can have photos with you.

Woman with local people while travelling in India - What to Wear in India - Fashion Tips for Female Tourists

Watch a Musical

I’ve watched Wicked in Singapore and that was incredible! I definitely want to watch one on Broadway one day.

Conquer Your Fears

I am not great with water so I was quite scared when we were told to jump in a tiny waterfall during our caving trip in Guatemala. It was pretty scary but we made it.

RELATED POST: Semuc Champey: A Not So Off the Beaten Track Destination in Guatemala

Semuc Champey Not So Off the Beaten Track Destination Guatemala - Tourist Destination

Get Drunk among Friends

I am a lightweight when it comes to drinks but I had never been properly drunk until our visit to Vienna, Austria when we visited two of Jon’s friends. We drank a whole bottle of absinthe and a few shots of schnapps. Apart from the hangover the next day, we had a lot of fun. Loosen up!

Go to a Major Sports Event Live

I am not a big fan of cricket or rugby but I really enjoyed watching the Cricket World Cup and the Super Rugby games when we were in New Zealand.

See Your Favourite Bands Live

The music I listen to has evolved throughout the years but I’ve always made it a point to watch the concert of my favourite artists when I get the chance. One of the best concerts I watched recently was Tame Impala’s. Jon and I were lucky enough to be in Singapore during the time of their concert. The show was incredible! If you love to travel, music festivals are a great way to see your favourite artists.

Watch Classic Movies

It’s never too late to watch those movies that everyone’s been talking about. Jon has great taste when it comes to movies so I was introduced to a lot of good movies since we got together. Here are five movies to start with: Fight Club, Apocalypse Now, Pulp Fiction, The Prestige and Full Metal Jacket.

Get Fit

This is still a work in progress but I definitely have been more conscious of my health and I have been more active the past few years.

Follow a Dream

I have always dreamed of travelling around the world and I finally did it! For nearly two years, Jon and I travelled across some of the world’s most incredible sights. If you have the means to follow your dreams, do it.

RELATED POST: Travel Tips for Your First Trip around the World 

Backpacking Trip - Couples Travel Bucket List - Top Experiences to Share with Your Partner 
Here are some things I haven’t done that I would like to do in the coming decade:

Build a Tiny House

Go on a Road Trip 

Learn to Play an Instrument

Read More Books

What’s on your 30 things to do before you turn 30 list? Do you have anything to add to this list? Let us know.


About the author

Gia Kristel Algie

Currently based in New Zealand, Gia grew up in Manila, lived in Singapore for three years and travelled the world for nearly two years. From watching sunsets to hiking mountains, she loves the outdoors. She enjoys living in big cities but takes pleasure staying in quaint, small towns. An aspiring photographer and budding writer, she is the voice behind Mismatched Passports, a travel blog dedicated to the journey around the world with her husband, Jon.

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