Things to Do Before You’re 30

Let me preface this post with two things: 1) This is not particularly geeky. 2) While I am not of the opinion that 30 years is the peak (or end) of life, I do agree that it’s a milestone age that inspires a bit of reflection and a flurry of future-planning, at least for me. My 30th birthday fast approaches, and while I didn’t expect to care at all, it seems there’s a bit of OMG I’M A 30-YEAR-OLD LOSER happening. I don’t mean to say that not being crazy famous or rich or whatever before 30 makes a person a loser — that’s absurd. I just meant that there are things I thought I would already have accomplished, and yet the Internet is loaded with lists of things one should do before completing a third decade of life, and invariably these lists contain things I have not done. Like some of these, actually:

Books to Read Before You’re 30

This is an admirable list in that it contains both classical works and newer classics, and even a book on etiquette. I have read four of the 10 and while I think mentioning that Marcus Aurelius is easily consumed in bathroom-break length bits, I’m probably never going to touch it. What are your suggestions for other pre-30s reading?

Amazing Things You Should Do Before You’re 30

I’ve done 12 of these 29 things, and no way in hell am I telling you which ones. Trust that jumping from a building is not included, but add .5 for once having pet a dolphin at SeaWorld. I already work my dream job — thank you, Internets — and have written a letter to my future-self, which arrived a year ago and was spot-on. Too bad “be totally psychic” wasn’t on that list, because then I’d have another thing to cross off. As far as activities go, which new thing should I try this month?

Must-See Places

BuzzFeed’s list of 20 amazing places to see before you die has both my feels and my bank account weeping quietly in the corner. I have been to zero, though I did once watch an episode of Digging for the Truth wherein Josh Bernstein (the sexiest real-life approximation of Indiana Jones, IMO) went to Petra. (I realize that this does not count.) Have any of you been anywhere incredible or un-missable that you would recommend to someone? 

Foods to Try

Okay, here’s an area in which I excel. Of  TIME’s 7 recommendations, I’ve had 7. But these are great regional American foods or items that I can make at home (mmm, bread). What crazy-but-available food should everyone try at least once?

Songs to Hear

Here’s a weird list: 1000 songs to hear before you die. Scanning just the first 17 — which is how many I can see without actually scrolling — I think I might be okay here. I give myself a predicted 50% completion rate, anyway. But this list seems bizarrely incongruous: Beyonce ended up mixed in with The Beatles, and where the hell is Nirvana? Anyway, drop your music recs in the comments. I’ll listen to them all. 

So as I scramble to shoehorn base-jumping and eating a durian fruit into the next couple of weeks, tell me how you guys celebrated/plan to celebrate your big 3-0s, or any other important birthday. (Except the 21st — we all know how everyone spent that day.)

[image from the always-rad someecards, which is pronounced “some ecards” and not “so me cards,” which I recently heard just before my brain exploded.]

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