That’s right. Come this July, I’ll be turning 30.
Now, on the surface, the big 3-0 doesn’t really bother me. I’ve got a lot to show for three decades, including, in no particular order: a loving husband, two cuddly cats, three degrees, an amazing family, lots of pounds gained and then lost again, a surprising array of hairstyles, experience in three very distinct fields of work, and an ever-expanding list of visited locations. My goals have evolved over time, and I’m learning how to push past my fears and my introversion to do the things I really want to do. My bucket list is getting longer every day, instead of shorter, but I chalk that up to endless curiosity rather than failure to accomplish things. I still need to see a live volcano, and eat vindaloo in Mumbai, and perfect my selfie game!
If there’s one thing that I do struggle with, it’s that unshakeable feeling that I’m running out of time. Not in any kind of morbid sense, mind you. I struggle with the idea that at some point in the very near future, someone is going to tell me to grow up. That I’ve used up my time. That I’m not 21 any more, and should really think about how the heck I’m going to save that down payment. That as a woman, with that ever-looming Biological Clock, I really need to start thinking of when I’m going to start a family.
And unlike a lot of blogs I’ve seen around, I want to emphasize here that I want those things. I still want babies, and a house to put them in, and all the trappings that go with those things (ok, maybe not all the trappings). I have no intention of using travel as a means of running from reality, but it’s definitely a priority among all of those other big picture things. But realistically, will I have to compromise my travel ambitions?
I resist the idea emphatically, which means I just have to get shake off the doubt and figure out a way to do it all. Thankfully, I don’t think I have to completely break new ground here. The Traveling Canucks have already been hugely inspirational to me proving that it is possible to have non-Disney family adventures, squeezing the most out of the few vacation days you get out of a standard full-time job in Canada. Budget travel blogs abound. I particularly like Nomadic Matt (the guru himself) and The Poor Traveler. It’s humble and it features two writers that I can relate to. Add in a little inspiration, such as that provided by Milk the Pigeon, and suddenly I don’t feel so alone.
Compromise will come only in the form of how those dreams look, not whether they materialize. Future house, yes, but perhaps the kids will have to share a room (shocking, I know). Forget living in the biggest cities; smaller, cheaper ones will do, provided it has a university (suburbs need not apply). We’ve already resisted buying a car for years, and while I think that will be an avenue we’ll have to explore at some point, there’s no reason we can’t keep up a predominantly pedestrian lifestyle. We are already well on our way to becoming seasoned budget travellers, it might be time to get creative about it.
I’m fully aware that I’m not providing a lot of answers here. I do have a few tricks up my sleeve, which I’ll share in other posts. I just felt it was important to share some of my motivations early on. And really, the urge to share some of these thoughts was probably at the core of why I started writing. Starting a blog is another thing I can now cross off of my bucket list!
I’m not naïve. It will be hard. I don’t know anyone personally who’s pulled it all off, but thanks to the magic of the interwebs, I know it can be done. And I’m going to do it, writing all the way. Bring it on, 30!
I know I’m not alone here, coming up to this milestone. How do you feel about the idea of turning 30, or getting older in general? How have your goals changed?