Happy Birthday! 28 Things To Do in Honour of my 28th Birthday

Today is my 28th birthday and for some reason, I am having a tough time coming to grips with turning a whole year older. I wish time would slow down as it seems to quite literally be flying by! It feels like just yesterday I was living in the US when Ciaran flew over to propose. It feels like just yesterday we were getting ready to say ‘I do’ on the Isle of Wight. How was our Bali trip six months ago!? 27 was one of my best years yet, filled with so many amazing memories, so 28 has some big boots to fill! As I inch one year closer to 30, I’ve created a bucket list of 28 things to do before I turn 29 that I wanted to share with you guys.

1. Look to cook a few great dishes

Truth be told, I’m a horrible cook and have been saying for years now that I will get better, but this year, I actually want to stick to my word. I’d like to take a few cooking classes and learn some great dishes I can cook at home. I know my family will read this and laugh, but I will prove you guys wrong!

2. Get in shape

As I get older, the pounds seem to come and stick…I am a small person and I’m not by any means overweight, but I would like to get in shape and live a healthier lifestyle. I would like to find a workout routine and stick with it. Working in the hospitality industry, we eat out a lot, so I want to find a healthy balance between exercise, clean eating yet still indulging when out for dinner. My goal by the time I am 29 is to feel more comfortable with my body through exercise.

3. Travel more!

I’d love to see more of Europe! I have a little bucket list going of all the destinations I want to visit in my lifetime, but before I turn 29, I’d like to explore more countries in the EU including Germany, Spain, Greece, the Netherlands, etc. We’ve done a few big trips the last few years, so next year, I would prefer to do some smaller weekends away.

4. See my family more

The last four years, I’ve been lucky enough to see my family twice a year but as I get older, the heartache of not seeing them as much as I’d like to has really begun to weigh on me. My goal by the time I turn 29, is to figure out a way to see them much more. I haven’t quite worked out what the solution is, but I am going to give it my all to figure it out.

5. Take a wine course

This is something I wanted to do when I turned 27 and never ended up sticking to it but I would love to take a wine course and become more educated on different varietals and tasting notes. If anybody knows any great courses in London, please leave me a comment!

6. Grow my blog!

I would like to continue to grow my blog over the next year. I’d like to provide more useful tips and advice for those visiting or moving to London and be more of a resource that Americans can rely on. If you have any questions at all about what it’s like to be an American expat living in London or have any questions before you visit, please drop me a line at colleen@blondeacrossthepond.com. I will do my best to answer!

7. Volunteer

I would like to find an organisation that I’m passionate about and volunteer more.

8. Finish decorating our flat

Decorating a home properly takes time! We’ve lived in our flat for nearly three years and while it’s almost complete, I’d like to finish it all off before I turn 29.

9. Improve my photography skills

I’d like to take more photography classes and improve my skills.

10. Take a hot air balloon ride

Something that has been a dream of mine to do my whole life, but I haven’t had the chance yet!

11. Plan a trip to India

A dream destination on my travel bucket list is India. It may not happen in 2019, but before I turn 30, I’d love to take a three-week trip to explore India, a country I have always been fascinated by.

12. Continue to put money into my savings

13. Study and pass my Life in the UK test so that I can become a British Citizen in December 2019

I have a little bit of time to do this, but seeing as I can take the test at any time between now and next December, I’d like to start studying and pass the test before my 29th birthday.

14. Get my UK driver’s license

I would love to learn how to drive in the UK.  I need to pass the theory test, followed by the road test and then I will be well on my way to mastering the many roundabouts in this country!

15. Explore more of the UK

The UK is stunning and I’d love to get out of my London bubble and see more of it! The great thing about living in London is the wonderful transport links that can take you pretty much anywhere in the UK in under five hours. There are so many great day trips to take and I want to start taking advantage.

16. Brush up on my Spanish and even pursue learning Italian

I took Spanish for 20 years of my life in school. You’d think I’d be fluent by now, but it’s true what they say – if you don’t use it you lose it. It wasn’t until we were in Italy a few weeks ago that I realised how much I wished I was fluent in a foreign language and really felt the urge to brush up on my Spanish and learn the basics of Italian. It is such a beautiful language.

17. Be more positive and present

I have been reading a lot of books lately about the power of positive and how to face certain fears that life throws your way and it’s really been helping! My goal is to continue to find the good in every day, spend less time on my phone when I am spending quality time with others and be present.

18. Explore London more!

London is my favourite city in the world and I used to love getting out on the weekends and exploring back in the day. Life gets in the way and we’ve settled into a routine of Netflix and chill come the weeked but I’d like to break out of this habit more often and experience all that this wonderful city has to offer!

19. Learn to make a Chicago-style pizza

OK so this one is more for my husband, but I’d love to help him try to make authentic Chicago-style deep dish pizza at home as it’s our favourite. If anyone has any tips, let me know!

20. Stop Comparing

There’s a reason they say “comparison is the thief of joy.” I find that looking at people’s lives on Instagram can sometimes drive me insane whilst I sit there and wonder why mine isn’t the same, which is actually insane in retrospect because A. it’s not healthy and B. I am an incredibly happy person with where I’m at in my life, both personally and professionally.

21. Move slower and enjoy life more

Life seems to move so quickly and my mind is constantly going in all different directions. I am not the type of person who can easily sit back and relax, I find that I always have to be working on something, but I’d like to take the time to unplug more often by turning off my phone, closing my laptop and really take the time to enjoy a movie on the TV or take a walk outside without any distractions.

22. Get into yoga

I took a yoga class for the first time at the beginning of the summer and I can’t even begin to tell you how good I felt afterwards! I totally understand why people find it life-changing and it’s something I would really like to do more! Reasons that I haven’t yet are A. time and B. money! Classes can be expensive and a lot of them are at awkward times that don’t work with my work schedule. Come September, I am going to take the plunge though and join a lunchtime class down the street.

23. Wake up early and watch the sunrise over London on Primrose Hill

This is something I said I would always do with Ciaran but neither of us are morning people so we’ve never done it. This is our year!

24. Attend more networking events

I’d love to go to more networking events with like-minded people who share a passion for travel, food and creativity.

25. Make more time to see friends

I’d love to see my friends more and make more time to do fun things together!

26. Spend New Year’s on a beach

This will technically be after I turn 29, but for I’d love to ring in 2020 on a remote island somewhere with Ciaran, a glass of champagne in hand.

27. Learn to be more spontaneous

I love a routine and mapping out my days, which can drive Ciaran nuts sometimes! My goal is to become a bit more spontaneous, take more day trips, take a walk through London and just explore without having a place in mind for lunch or dinner and just see where the day takes us.

28. Celebrate all that I’ve accomplished over 28 years

Happy birthday to me!