The Dirty Thirty Challenge Update

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The Dirty Thirty Challenge Update

The Dirty Thirty Challenge : 30 Travel + Other Things to do Before 30

I’ve always thought 30 would be my really hard age to accept.  I don’t know why – it’s not even that it seems old to me.  Even 40 doesn’t seem old to me anymore.  It just seems like a really important decade of my life is going to be over.  Maybe one of the most important decades.  There are things I wish I would have done in my 20s, like study abroad, that I didn’t do.  In ways, I’m extremely grateful for what I’ve been able to see and do, but then in other ways, I’m always craving more.

As I get closer and closer to 30, it feels a bit surreal.  Am I going to wake up on the morning of September 4th, 2016 and feel completely different?  Are opportunities that were once available to me the day before going to be obsolete?  Of course not.  But, in my head, I feel that way for some reason.

Nevertheless, I want to go out with a bang in the last year of my 20s (or the last 15 months rather) and that is precisely what I intend to do.  My Dirty Thirty Challenge is going to be epic.  And, I’m writing about it here so that all of you can help me stick to my challenge.  Anyone who has read my blog knows that I’m notorious for changing my plans so I need some accountability because I’ve carefully chosen each of these 30 things as they are all things I’ve long wanted to do.

There will be photos and/or video to prove each one and frequent blog posts to update.

I’m going to be giving monthly updates on my progress now that we are officially in my 30th Birthday year – YIKES!

1.  SKYDIVING √

Skydiving has been on my list for as long as I can remember.

Status : Completed!

2.  LAS VEGAS

Can you believe I’ve never been to Vegas?!  I feel like this should definitely be experienced once in my 20s and so I’m hoping to make it there sometime this year – waiting for a great flight deal!

3.  LEARN ICELANDIC

I’ve been wanting to learn a second language – really learn one.  I took Spanish for three years in highschool and another year in college and can barely speak Spanish.  I realized that’s probably because I never really had a passion for learning Spanish – at least not then – I was just doing it to fulfill a class credit.  So, I started which language had always intrigued me?  And, of course, it has to be one of the hardest languages to learn in the world – Icelandic.

I know full well that the likelihood I can be fluent in 15 months (even if I was actually living around Icelandic speakers) is so incredibly slim but I’m still going to try.

Ordered and received my Beginner’s Icelandic book.  Now, to get started!

Status : Actually using my book now.  I will definitely NOT be fluent by September but I hope to know some Icelandic.

4.  GET FIT//GET BACK INTO CROSSFIT

Once upon a time before I tore my ACL skiing, I loved Crossfit.  After I tore my ACL, had surgery and went through excruciating physical therapy, I’ve been terrified to tear it again.  But, it’s been two years and I really need to get back into shape.

Status : Pending…

5.  ROAD TRIP ICELAND

Iceland is Kaleb and I’s dream country (at least for the moment) and we are still trying to decide on when to go.  We have to space out our big trips due to our moving business.  We were originally thinking the summer but it may be pushed back to September/October.  We shall see!

Maybe I’ll be able to speak, or at least read, some Icelandic!

Status : Here’s the deal with owning your own business and being in the early phases of doing so – it’s hard to get away and trust someone while you’re gone.  Therefore, Kaleb and I have made a compromise – I plan the ENTIRE Iceland trip and we will end up going on a whim basically when we miraculously hire someone trustworthy and we can get away.

6.  MULTI-DAY HIKE WITH MY DOG

I want to start training myself and my dog to do longer and longer hikes – starting with day hikes and then moving to a 1-3 week long hikes.

Status : pending…

7.  VISIT ALL 56 TENNESSEE STATE PARKS

I’ve started and have visited a whopping ONE park thus far.

Status : going to knock out a lot this summer, I hope!

8.  PAY OFF DEBT (CHANGED FROM HALLOWEEN HORROR NIGHTS)

I’m having to replace this one.  We were going to Disney World + Universal Studios last fall, but we just couldn’t swing it with Kaleb’s work so it’s not happening.  I probably should have had pay off debt on here anyway. ha.

Status : work in progress

9.  SEE THE SYNCHRONOUS FIREFLIES IN THE SMOKY MOUNTAINS

This only happens two places in the world and only two weeks out of the entire year.  Already have my campsite reserved and super excited!

Status : Headed there Thursday! Look out for posts!

10.  TRAVEL ROUTE 66

One of the most epic US Road Trips possible.

Status : Still trying to make this happen and will probably be a solo adventure which is fine!

11.  COMPLETE 30 RANDOM ACTS OF KINDNESS

Update : I’ve realized I do Random Acts of Kindness on a regular basis without planning them.  But, I still want to do an organized list at some point before my birthday.

Status : Pending…

12.  GO 100% VEGAN (CHANGED FROM PALEO) √

Paleo is something I’ve done off and on for several years and I seriously mean very off and very on.  I tried to do it again because it’s what I thought was right for me but once again, it just wasn’t clicking right.

Randomly, for about a month timeframe, I constantly was thinking about Veganism for the first time in my life.  After a month, of only talking to myself about it (yes, I do that), I mentioned it to Kaleb (my meat-eating boyfriend) who instantly said he thought it was perfect for me!

Two days later, I started and haven’t looked back once for a month!  Nothing has ever clicked so well before for me.  I feel better in every way and I now realize that this has been a long time coming.

Status : Completed!  Look for only Vegan food related posts from me from now on!

13.  DIGITALLY DETOX FOR ONE WEEK

Not sure if I’ll survive, but it’ll be good for me.  I’m sure my entire family would agree.

Status : Kaleb seems to think this is impossible for me but I’ll show him.

14.  EXPLORE MY OWN CITY

I already feel like I’m a pretty decent expert on Nashville but even I find myself realizing I don’t know what someone is talking about sometimes.  Nashville is growing SO MUCH, it’s hard to keep up.

Status : Working on this daily.  Always new blog posts on Nashville!

15.  LEARN TO COOK FOOD FROM OTHER COUNTRIES √

I’d love to do a challenge like this family did – one recipe from a different country every week.  Obviously I can’t do that many by the time I’m 30, but I’d love to say I can cook a several dishes from around the world.

I started this challenge and have completed Afghanistan, Albania, Canada, AustraliaNorwayIndonesia, Ireland, Argentina and Russia.

Favorite so far has been Norway for sure, followed closely by Indonesia and Australia.

Status : still a work in progress but I would say as far as the goal of learning to cook other countries’ food, completed!

16.  COMPLETE THE RORY GILMORE READING CHALLENGE

See full list here.

Status : HA! I’m not sure why I thought this was a possibility to finish in a year.  Still working on it though!

17.  WATCH IMDB’S TOP 250 MOVIES

See the full list here.

Status : pending…

18.  TAKE A ‘THROW A DART AT THE MAP’ TRIP

Always wanted to do this.

This may be the most challenging one mainly due to time and where that dart will actually land.

Status : lacking possibility.

19.  WRITE A NOVEL (OR, AT LEAST START ONE)

Always been one of my biggest goals.

Status : Started!  But, going very slowly.  Time to carve out some writing time daily.

20.  LEARN TO PLAY GUITAR

I’ve always claimed to be ‘musically un-inclined,’ but maybe this is because I’ve never believed in myself musically.  Maybe it’s time to find out?

Status : Guitar purchased (actually ended up being free!) and Kaleb has started giving me lessons!

21.  TAKE A POLE DANCING CLASS

Hope my grandma(s) aren’t reading this!  If so, calm down – it’s not what you think.  It’s actually a beautiful art form that is really great exercise.

Found a few local places – now to get to it!

Status : Kaleb said I would never do it and I said yes I would and then he proceeded set it up and pay for it so I have no choice now.

22. ??? (CHANGED FROM BUNGEE-JUMPING)

Anyone know of any places in the Southeast to do this?  Otherwise, it’ll have to wait until I get out West because that seems to be where they all are.

Status : I CAN NOT find a place close to me – they are all on the West Coast and I don’t know if I can make it there before September so looking to change this one.

23.  FINISH THE MATADORU WRITING + PHOTOGRAPHY CLASSES

Yep, I signed up for and started the classes years ago and never finished.  Good thing there is no expiration date on those.

Status : work in progress.

24. START LEARNING A MARTIAL ART (CHANGED FROM COMPLETE A 365 PHOTO CHALLENGE)

Kaleb used to fight MMA and when we first met, the first thing I said to him was “Will you teach me Muay Thai?”  Here we are 2.5 years later and I haven’t learned one thing – my fault, not his.  I think it’s time though.  Just need to decide which one is for me!

Status : pending

25. VISIT A FARM SANCTUARY. (CHANGED FROM SPEND NEW YEAR’S EVE IN TIMES SQUARE)

 

NYE in Times Square wasn’t possible last year so I’ve changed this one to visit a farm sanctuary.  I’m specifically planning on visiting the Gentle Barn in East Tennessee!

26.  TAKE UP A SPIRITUAL PRACTICE

Yoga, meditation, something…

27.  LEARN THE THRILLER DANCE

Because, it would be awesome, duh.

28.  SING KARAOKE (SOBRIETY OPTIONAL)

This is more of a fear thing for me.  I don’t do well in front of crowds at all – as in major panic attacks.  And, I don’t think I sing well.

29.  INCREASE MY SUCCESS AS AN ARTIST

A daily struggle!  I do have another art show coming up in June however!

Status : Need a more definitive goal here.

30.  WHITE WATER RAFTING ON THE OCOEE (CHANGED FROM ATTEND BURNING MAN)

My 30th Birthday just so happens to fall right in the middle of Burning Man 2016.  What could be a more amazing end to my 20s and beginning to my 30s?!  And no, I’ve never been!  I did NOT get tickets this time around so we are going to Disney World for the week of my birthday instead which is very exciting for me anyway!  Can’t wait!

Changed to white water rafting on the Ocoee River!

What do you think of my list?  Am I insane or do you think it’s possible?  What would be on your list?

Ashley is the mastermind behind A Southern Gypsy, a travel blog focused adventure, outdoors, wildlife and Vegan food! In between bigger trips, she is delivering the best of her hometown, Nashville. Hates mustard & pickles. Needs coffee to function. Other passions | activism, minimalism, zero waste, books + writing.

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