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

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

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.

1.  Skydiving

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

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 for Kaleb’s birthday next year.

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.

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.

5.  Road Trip Iceland

Iceland is Kaleb and I’s dream country (at least for the moment) and we plan on going next summer and tying it in with Sweden and Norway.

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

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.

7.  Visit all 55 Tennessee State Parks

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

8.  Go to Halloween Horror Nights

This mixes three of my favorite things – Halloween, Horror films, and Theme Parks.  Universal Studios has been known for having one of the best Halloween attractions and I’ve been dying to go. (pun intended)

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.

10.  Travel Route 66

One of the most epic US Road Trips possible.

11.  Complete 30 Random Acts of Kindness

12.  Go 100% Paleo

Well, actually I’d like to live by the 80/20 rule because I still need some things in my life.

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.

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.

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.

16.  Complete the Rory Gilmore Reading Challenge

17.  Watch IMDB’s Top 250 Movies

18.  Take a ‘Throw a Dart at the Map’ Trip

Always wanted to do this.

19.  Write a Novel (or, at least start one)

Always been one of my biggest goals.

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?

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.

22.  Bungee-jumping

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.

24.  Complete a 365 Photo Challenge

Tried to start this on New Year’s this year and made it about two months.  Going to start it again on my 29th birthday this year.

25.  Spend New Year’s Eve in Times Square

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

30.  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!

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.

6 Comments

  1. Awesome list, I might be able to help with 3 and 5. I could try to teach you my language Icelandic but just to let you know it is almost impossible to learn in 15 months (maybe in 15 years). But when you come to Iceland I have a lot of inside information that most tourist don’t know about (like how to find the elves and trolls). If you need any advice let me know.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      June 1, 2015 at 11:38 AM

      I would love that! I know Icelandic is very hard and something I won’t accomplish for many years but I’d like to bust my butt to see how much I CAN learn in 15 months 🙂

      I’ll definitely be in touch as I start planning my trip there!

  2. Amanda C @ UnrestingSea

    June 8, 2015 at 7:14 PM

    Hey Ashley! I just started learning basic Icelandic in preparation for my upcoming trip to Iceland! Do you know how you’re going to try to grasp the language? I’ve started using Mango Languages & it is helping a LOT so far. If you have any other tips, I’d love to hear!

    Hope you accomplish everything on your list.

    • Ashley Hubbard

      June 8, 2015 at 9:29 PM

      I ordered a Beginner’s Icelandic book/cd off Amazon that had really good reviews. Waiting to get it – I’ll let you know what I think when I do 🙂

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