The panic list of 30 before 30

Being an obsessive list maker and panicking about turning 30, here’s the inevitable: a list of 30 things I want to do before I turn 30! This list was started on my last birthday but I never finished picking 30 out of all the things I want to do. And of course not much happened since I didn’t publish and commit to the list. So here we go: my panic list of 30 before 30.

A little bit about the process

Yes there’s a process, or rather, some basic rules of what made the list:

  • I try to only pick topics I truly love and care, and balance the number of things in each topic. The categories I have includes traveling, food, design, writing, fitness, etc.
  • I also try to mix things that takes long term efforts(e.g. learning a language) with bucket lists like “dye my hair”.
  • Every goal should be SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Time-bound. So instead of something general like“leaning a new language”, I phrase it like “pass Japanese language test level 4”.
  • I use 3 or 30 a lot, not for anything specific, but just to make coming up with a number easier.

The 30 before 30 list!

1. Visit 30 countries. #travel

This was inspired by a co-worker of mine and is probably the hardest on the list. I love traveling and 30 is only 15% of 195 countries in the whole world!

Done! December 2017. Been to: Australia, Austria, Belgium, China, Canada, Costa Rica, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Netherlands, Nepal, Norway, Morocco, Portugal, Slovakia, Singapore, Sweden, Spain, Thailand, United States, United Kingdom, Vatican City.

2. Camping outdoor for 3 days. #travel

3. Work in a farm for 3 hrs. #travel

4. Go to Burning man. #travel

5. Eat at 3 three-michelin star restaurants in 3 different countries. #travel #food

Done! May 2017. Alain Ducasse in London. Kikunoi in Kyoto. Eleven Madison Park in New York.

6. Publish 30 articles on Medium or other blog. #writing

Progress: 7 on Medium.

7. Finish writing a book of some sort. #writing

8. Run a full Marathon. #fitness

9. Do a headstand and hold for 30 sec. #fitness

10. Go on a 3 hr bike trip. #fitness

11. Learn and surf at least 3 times. #fitness #learning

Done! Dec 2016.

12. Learn Japanese & pass Japanese Test(JLPT) N4 level. #learning

Progress: Took N5 test. Dec 2016.

13. Learn Ukulele. Play and sing 3 songs. #learning


14. Read or re-read 100 books. #learning

15. Watch or re-watch 100 movies. #learning

16. Finish 100 pages of sketching or painting. #design#learning

17. Shot & edit a 30-min short film. #design #learning

18. Speak to an audience of more than 100 people. #learning

Done! November 2016.

19. Build a mobile app. #design

20. Participant in a silent retreat. #life

21. Buy a property. #life

Done! May 2017.

22. Take my parents on a trip. #family

23. 30 hours of volunteering work. #dogood

Progress: 6 hrs in total. 4 hrs with Holy Apostles Soup Kitchen. 1 hours with YAI. 1 hours with MSF ‘Missing Maps’ with Doctors Without Borders.

24. Donate blood. #dogood

Tried and can’t.

25. Skydiving or Bungee jumping or some other extreme sport! #adventure

Done! Paragliding in Nepal.

26. Fly a plane! #adventure

27. Get a tattoo! #adventure

28. Dye my hair! #adventure

Done! Dyed it brown.

29. Get a Scuba diving license! #adventure

30. Ride a hot air ballon! #adventure

Here’s the list and let’s see what happens. Happy Birthday to myself!

Like what you read? Give Zhenshuo Fang a round of applause.

From a quick cheer to a standing ovation, clap to show how much you enjoyed this story.