It’s my birthday today and I’ve turned the big 3-0. I don’t feel it and I get told I don’t look it which are both great in my opinion! My birthday has got me in a bit of a reflective state – more than any other birthday that I’ve had. I think it has something to do with the fact that my age has a “3” in front of it now, and lots of big life changes happen in your thirties. There are a lot of people getting married (Andrew and I are still in the midst of planning our wedding!), having babies, buying houses etc. You get the gist. I wanted to write this post to reflect on the lessons I’ve learnt thus far. I originally thought that this would be a difficult task but I’ve actually had to cut down the list. Here’s my list and please feel free to let me know what you’ve learnt about life so far, no matter what age you are.
1. One quote that I will always remember was something that Raya from @rayawashere mentioned during the Live the Adventure Summit that Andrew and I went to earlier in the year. She said, “you can be the ripest, juiciest peach in the world, and there’s still going to be somebody who hates peaches.” This quote was originally said by Data Von Teese and resonates so much with me. When I was younger I used to act in ways that would help me ‘fit in’ but over the years I’ve learnt that you should just be yourself.
2. I will remember the experiences not the things I owned. Do I remember that jumper I really wanted at the time and told myself that it would be my favourite jumper forever? No. Do I remember the time I jumped out of a plane at 12,000ft during sunset in Queenstown, New Zealand? Of course! I’ve learnt over the years to collect memories and not things.
After my skydive in Queenstown, New Zealand
3. Surround yourself with the people that lift you up and bring positivity into your life.
4. I don’t have to have everything figured out. Everyone else is also still figuring it out.
5. I am more like my parents than I think I am. As I grow older and observe my Mum and Dad, I see more and more of myself in them.
6. I don’t really look like either of my parents. Growing up, some people would tell me that I don’t look like either of my parents, some would say I look like my Mum and some would say that I look like my Dad. I actually look like my Grandma. I’m pretty much a spitting image of her when I compare photos of her at my age.
My Grandma and I at her surprise 80th birthday several years ago
7. It’s important to have a sleeping routine. I used to have trouble sleeping and would lie awake 1-2 hours every night before falling asleep. I’ve now established a consistent sleeping routine which will put me to sleep in approximately 10 minutes. Winning! Mind you, it is a little harder when travelling.
8. Be myself. My true friends will accept me for who I am, quirks and all.
9. I love coffee. It’s not that I rely on it, it’s that I enjoy the experience and ritual of it. I enjoy researching cafes and/or roasters, finding an amazing coffee and recommending it to others. This is part of the reason why I have started writing coffee guides here on the blog.
Coffee at Proud Mary
10. I don’t need as much as I think I do. I’m mostly referring to materialistic things here. Nothing has made me realise this more than travelling and moving into a small studio flat in London with Andrew. When you’re travelling you realise how little you need in life. I mean, I can live out of a carry-on suitcase for a month. How many lipsticks do I really need?
11. “The expert in anything was once a beginner in something”.
12. Sunscreen is important. I still get asked for my ID and I’d like to still be asked for my ID in another 10 years time haha. I cringe at all the moments I used to hang out at the beach as a teenager and not apply sunscreen. Sunburn is not fun.
Looking out at Dubrovnik Old Town from the city walls
13. I am enough.
14. “Whatever you choose, brace yourself because someone is always going to say you’re wrong”.
15. Do everything you do with intention.
16. Hiking is actually fun. If you knew me when I was younger, this fact would surprise you. I’ve learnt to love hiking. I love discovering new places that you can get to only by foot. Hiking Trolltunga in Norway will go down as the most epic hike I’ve ever done so far. It was a 28km round trip but so worth it for those views.
Trolltunga in Norway
17. Everyone’s definition of success is different.
18. My definition of success will change as I grow as a person.
19. Change is inevitable so embrace it.
20. No matter where I live or where I travel, Adelaide will always be my home. I’ve lived in Melbourne and now London but Adelaide will always be home to me, and I’m proud of that. Radelaide all the way!
Henley Beach in Adelaide aka the best beach ever
21. What I value in life will change as I get older and as I experience different things.
22. My parents were right (most of the time). It has only taken me about 25 years to realise this. In addition to that, they will always have my best interest at heart.
23. In saying that, Mum was right. I will and have regretted the choice to discontinue Mandarin (Chinese) school. I wish that I was able to speak another language, especially given the amount of travel we do. I can still remember some Mandarin, but not a lot.
Me when I was 3 months with my Mum, Dad and (other) Grandma. Seriously, look at all that hair!
24. There is more to life than work. Moving to London and making travel a priority has made me realise this. When people get older, no-one ever wishes that they worked more. Well, I’ve never come across anyone anyway.
25. Friends will come and go and that is okay.
26. It’s important to make time for myself and to look after myself both physically and mentally.
27. Everyone has their own story. Be kind to one another.
Streets of Menorca
28. “If you’re not happy with what you have now, you may never be happy”. It’s important to have goals in life but it’s also important to be content with what you already have.
29. Value your time but also respect the time of others.
30. Long distance relationships can work and if it’s meant to be, it will be. Andrew and I went through our ups and downs when we were younger but many, many years later we are still together and I couldn’t imagine anyone else by my side.