I’ve officially hit my late-twenties, and it’s as exciting as it is terrifying. If you’ve been a reader here for a while, you’ll know that each year I create a bucket list of things to do in the following 12 months before my next birthday. My first was ‘22 before 22’ and with each trip around the sun, the list has been getting longer and longer.
I always find that this time of year there can be a pressure to reinvent yourself in ‘New Year, new me’ style, or a guilt with having felt like you’ve not achieved as much as you wanted to. For me, I absolutely feel that, but I still love to reflect on my year each December, because it gives me a chance to go over memories shared, and really take time to appreciate the things I’ve done and the people I’ve spent time with, not dwelling on the things that I haven’t got round to doing.
This year, I ticked off 11 of my 26 challenges, such as going on holiday abroad, which included a planned trip to Portugal, but also a last-minute jaunt to Prague, too. I may not have read a book a month (I made it to 10), because clearly I was spending all of my free time in the theatre, having caught 27 shows, surpassing my goal of 20 (read more on my theatre highlights of the year here). I also attended well over 10 music concerts, from some of our favourite big bands like Blink 182, Arctic Monkeys and Paramore, to some fantastic emerging artists, having relaunched my local music blog The Leopheard in February (which wasn’t actually on the bucket list, surprisingly.)
I’m sure you’ll all be pleased to know that I finally got a bra fitting after it was on the list for five years – I definitely recommend the Marks and Spencer free service, by the way. Another thing that’s been on the list for a few years now is to pass my 100 words-per-minute shorthand exam, which I did, also becoming a senior journalist in the process.
When it came to finding an amazing foundation, it turns out that I already had – I bought a different shade of the Estee Lauder Double Wear (this is my most read blog post, by the way) and now it’s literally a dream match. Other events ticked off included buying a new laptop, attending Crufts, throwing an engagement party, and taking a pottery class, all of which have filled my weekends with utter joy in 2023.
This list is by no means one I feel I have to tick everything off of, but are instead small, meaningful and achievable goals that I can work towards throughout the year. After all, some incredible experiences I’ve had may not have made it onto the list at the start of the year, such as becoming an aunty again, or launching a successful fashion series with my mum, or securing over 10 beauty advent calendars for review. There are also things on the list that I can carry over to next year, or I’ve felt like I no longer need to achieve. For example, did I really need to eat at a Michelin Star restaurant after visiting Feasted? Absolutely not. Nor did I feel the burning urge to do a gin distillery tour after a fun day out to the Titanic Brewery tour.
But as I turn 26, I have, as always, crafted a list of things I want to do in the next 12 months ahead of my next birthday. So here’s my list of 27 things to do before I turn 27.
- Go to a Bottomless Brunch
- Relax at a Spa Day
- See 20 theatre shows
- Visit five National Trust properties
- Read a book a month
- See the polar bears at Peak Wildlife Park
- Save money for a house
- Be consistent with the gym
- Buy a new car
- Go to a comedy show
- Be a bridesmaid
- Visit a sunflower field
- Photograph a festival
- Actually upload the giant pile labelled ‘for Vinted’
- Learn how to recreate my favourite meal out at home
- Book in for an eye test and get some new glasses
- Go to a wine tasting event
- Find an incredible Sunday roast
- Organise a reunion for my dog and his siblings
- Watch The Devil Wears Prada
- See an international band live
- Donate a hamper to the dogs home
- Eat at every restaurant on Piccadilly
- Book a European city break
- Buy a piece of vintage jewellery
- Bag a designer bargain at the charity shop
- Go on a day trip to Liverpool