+ Ideas for a Before 30 Bucket List

Ideas for a 'Before 30' Bucket List - give blood, run a half marathon, grow your own food + more www.jeniwren.com

After turning 29 last Tuesday, I decided to create my very own ‘before 30’ bucket list to make sure I’m staying true to myself and making the most of being young(ish). In the words of Olivia Wilde, turning 30 is your ‘Cut the Bullshit and Go Be Awesome stage’, so why not start a bucket list at 29 and get a head start?

My ‘Before 30’ Bucket List in Full:

Give Blood It’s so easy to do this – you can sign up here if you’re in the UK. They need 70,000 people daily  to donate blood, so I’m committing to doing this every 16 weeks from here on out.

Run a Half Marathon I ran 21km in the Royal Parks Half Marathon and it was one of the best things I’ve ever pushed myself to accomplish. Despite a pretty lax training schedule, I am so proud of my 1:54:08 time 🙂

Grow Your Own Food Ok, so my Alan Titchmarsh gardening book has barely been opened, but I want to be able to cook a meal one day that is entirely down to my own hard grafting. I’ll read through this advice from organic farmer Alice Holden, and a quick way to get started is to follow these tips on how to regrow food from kitchen scraps.  It’s amazing that you can regrow celery, spring onions and leeks just by sticking the leftover root in a glass of water and placing in sunlight for a few days.

Print Out Your Instagram Photos This is a really easy task to accomplish, and I love the idea of printing off my favourite snaps from my twenties in a gorgeous Cheerz box.

Sing to an Audience This one is most likely going to be achieved by dragging my mates to a Lucky Voice venue, but promisingly my local area now has group singing lessons. I have a whole year to find the balls to actually sign up!

Grow Twitter following by x% I recently started using Crowdfire to identify other Twitter followers with similar interests to me. With a 9-to-6pm job I really feel that scheduling social media posts is the best option for me, but I haven’t yet got myself into a proper cadence with this. The Crowdfire blog post explaining the science of getting new Twitter followers is definitely worth a read. This is the kind of goal that requires a shitload of daily perseverance, but with the help of tools like Crowdfire I’m sure I’ll get there!

Take an Evening Class Since I moved to London over five years ago, enrolling on a City Lit course has been on my to-do list and it’s still not been crossed off! From interior design for smaller spaces to the Psychology of Jung, I’m sure there’s one class that will motivate me to finally sign up once and for all.

Go Roller Blading in Your Local Park I used to spend summer evenings as a kid swooshing around my street in a snazzy pair of roller blades, and I can’t for the life of me work out why I stopped. I think attending a London Friday Night Skate is a great start to getting back into the rhythm!

Luxurious Spa Weekend Everyone who’s survived three solid decades on this earth deserves a luxurious spa treat! While I’ve stayed in many hotels with saunas and been on a day visit to the Covent Garden Sanctuary spa, it is 100% my intention to spend a weekend in a Champney’s retreat to revive and rejuvenate.

Write a Kindle Single: Another fab idea is to Write a Kindle Single‘. This is definitely a stretch goal for me –  the length criteria of 5,000 to 30,000 words is definitely achievable and more details of the submission process for the UK are here.

Go Offline for a Whole Week! Since the age of 12 when I could access the internet with a dial-up modem, I don’t think I’ve been disconnected more than a couple of days at a time. I get the shakes just imagining going cold turkey on the internet, but I bet it really changes your perspective on how much time we spend online and if it’s actually a good thing or not.

Begin Your Memoir So I am fully aware that I haven’t lived long enough or intensely enough to warrant writing a full blown memoir, but setting a goal to complete one of these memoir writing prompts is definitely a start.

Accomplish a GoodReads Challenge  For the last two years now I’ve been setting myself a reading goal of ~25 books a year. Before I did this, I think I would get through ten max. While it can be tempting to choose shorter reads to ‘cheat’ your way to completion, I find it really valuable to track my reading habits and it motivates me to set aside time to keep on reading. So far, I’ve read 22 out of my 25 books goal for 2015, allllmost there!

Volunteer Although I’m not exactly a stranger to volunteering, having helped out at a special-needs social club while at university, there’s definitely more I can do.

See the Northern Lights For me, my dream destination is spending a long weekend staying in one of the glass igloos in Finland’s Kakslauttanen Arctic Resort.

Send a Friend a Handwritten Letter I recently went to Paperchase to buy some premium writing paper, and even bought a gorgeous address rubber stamp from Etsy (handmade by Poumi) to sign off my letters.
Poumi address stamp

Draw Up Your Family Tree Technically you don’t even need to draw this up yourself now that there’s a whole host of geneaology apps available to do all the hard work for you. I only know as far back as my granddad’s granddad and I’d love to trace my roots back further.

Make an Awesome Tiramisu This one is on my bucket list for Ned! It’s hands-down my favourite dessert but I haven’t got the foggiest on how to make a halfway decent one. I’m tempted to start off with this ‘easy’ recipe and see how it goes!

Write Up Your Fave 20’s Moments This decade really has been defined by change – in my twenties I’ve travelled the world, started my career, bought a flat, fallen in love and became the owner of cute little Chickpea!

Begin a Memory Jar This sounds an eeeckle bit cheesy to me, but at the same time how much fun would it be to wait ten years and relive moments from the past?! You could create one each year to collect the best things that happened, write a holiday memory on a pebble during each trip, or maybe even write a special moment on a cork from a celebratory bottle of champagne. You could also take a different approach and create a jar with all your hopes for the next year, and then open it a year later and see what actually got accomplished.

Take a Wine Tasting Course I am unashamed in my love for a good glass of red wine, but actually I have very little understanding of what makes a good wine ‘good’. While I’ve been to Napa’s wineries, I have zero knowledge on how to properly taste wine. I’m always so impressed by sommeliers and their ability to pair wine with complex dishes, and to even have 1% of their knowledge would be good enough for me. I think I’ll sign up to the West London Wine School (one of the top workshops/classes in London according to TripAdvisor), or failing that head over to my local Highbury Vintners as they often hold wine tasting events.


While looking for inspiration for other bucket list ideas, I also found the cute illustration above from Buck and Libby. There’s some amazing ideas here, and the ones that I’ll apply to my own bucket list are as to “send snail mail at least once a month”, ‘make a list of things I did in my twenties’ and the super easy ‘print off my Instagram photos’ idea.

Buck and Libby's Special To Do List

Wish me luck as I aim to achieve all of the above on my before 30 bucket list (and hopefully more) in the next 356 days!