31 Wishes for my 31st year

I didn’t have much time to contemplate my 30th birthday last year, as I had just moved back from Berlin and all I wanted to do was settle back quietly with my little network of friends and family. But I love birthdays. I never know why people don’t celebrate them. It’s a constant surprise to me that I’ve survived another year on this planet.

It’s been heck of a rollercoaster, and I’m actually looking forward to fewer big transitions in the year ahead. Here are 31 things I hope to accomplish in the year ahead!

  • Here’s something awesome: as an early birthday gift to myself, I PAID OFF MY STUDENT LOANS! Hoorah! 10 years in the making!! You can’t imagine how good that made me feel. But now in my 31st year, I’d like to get rid of that unsightly credit card debt too. It’s a plague. Credit cards are the devil.
  • Travel somewhere new. I have a habit of revisiting the places I love, and there’s nothing wrong with that. But it’d be great to explore somewhere new this time around. Maybe Asia? Costa Rica? Back to the Balkans?
  • I want to make the most of the good weather in Newfoundland. Hikes, camping, kayaking, etc. Sun is rare. Make the most of it.
  • Learn to better manage my time, and trim my workload.
  • But also start writing narrative again, because holy hell, I miss it.
  • Finish my Newfoundland guidebook because it’s NEVER GETTING DONE!!!!
  • Go back to Berlin.
  • Go back to Ireland.
  • Potentially start my own business. More on that soon. (Funny, when you’re working two full-time jobs, it’s a little hard to write a business plan.)
  • See more of my family. It’s been hard to juggle work and family time, seeing as how my parents and brother live 600 kilometres away…and I don’t drive. But my mother was quite ill this past year, and family time is precious.
  • Conquer my fear of driving in this god forbidden nightmare of a city.
  • Take more time for myself, rather than saying “yes” to every social engagement that comes up. I have the worst case of FOMO in the history of mankind. It’s ruining me.
  • Cultivate the close relationships around me, rather than stretching myself thin for acquaintances.
  • Take at least one day of the week every week where I don’t even look at my freelance work, cuz…right now, I’m working about 60 hours a week and it’s way too much. On the other hand, bling bling.
  • Keep better on top of this blog. It’s hard to be an interesting human when your life is 90% work and house sitting and then work some more.
  • Keep better on top of my friends’ blogs, especially in the travel scene. I’ve been (unintentionally) distancing myself from the blog scene these days, as I’m not thrilled with the atmosphere in most Facebook groups/conversations. But my favourite travel bloggers continue to churn out amazing content, and I want to support what they do.
  • Go on another epic walkabout. It’s unlikely I’ll be able to do the Camino again anytime soon, but man, even a few days of trekking would really heal my soul right about now.
  • Participate more in the local arts scene. I participate quite a bit now, seeing as how I work in the arts. But I rarely go out seeking shows or art in my own personal time.
  • Get better at celebrating my friends’ birthdays. I expect them to do a lot for me when my birthday rolls around, but I’m not particularly good at reciprocating.
  • Have more fun with less money! Hiking, friends potlucks, camping, movies, game nights, you name it. It’s far too easy in St. John’s to drop $80 on a simple meal and a few drinks. (Guilty.)
  • BUT also appreciate those splurges from time to time, whether it’s a delicious meal at Raymond’s or a spa day of self pampering.
  • Be a little more generous, and volunteer my time. When I have it.
  • Continue on with my German language practice, even if I probably won’t be returning to Berlin for a while yet.
  • Start doing more hands-on things, like gardening. I spend entirely too much time in front of a computer.
  • Keep up my mean reading streak. I was doing excellent with reading at the beginning of the year, and now I’ve slacked off due to overworking. (Best read so far, I think: Life After Life, Kate Atkinson.)
  • Be more honest on this blog. Less self-censorship. Even if I’m aware that my mother reads this.
  • Don’t screw things up with this delightful new guy I’m seeing.
  • Stay better in touch with my friends from abroad, or relatives I haven’t spoken to in awhile.
  • Start doing more to improve my health, because I’m far too susceptible to Haribo gummy bears (see also: Skor bars, nachos, white cheddar popcorn, cool ranch Doritos, etc.). I don’t have the metabolism of a 25-year-old anymore and it’s painfully obvious.
  • Do more things that scare me…like riding a motorcycle. Maybe. We’ll see. Ugh.
  • Perfect my washer toss game so that I can dominate all backyard lawn tournaments while waiting for the BBQ to cook. I mean, these can’t all be serious.

My 31st year kicks off tomorrow. Cheers to the year ahead!

  • July 09 2017

    Happy Birthday Candice!!! I hope all your wishes come true (except that you still get some nachos on the regular, because nachos). ❤️
    Mel Hattie recently posted…Nuts Huts in The Philippines

    • August 03 2017
      Candice

      Hahaha, thank you! I’ve definitely had nachos since then :P

  • July 09 2017
    Tamara

    Great goals! I just got my license this year (I’m 26) after having Mega anxiety about driving forever. I took nearly 10 professional lessons and it cost me a fortune but so worth it! Honestly if I can do it anyone can. Best of luck and Happy Birthday! X

    • August 03 2017
      Candice

      Definitely worth it! I have my license already and I still might take drivers lessons! Lol

  • July 10 2017

    ha ha ha thats a comprehensive list. May God bless for your travels and other plans.

    You don’t need to start a business. This travel blog can be your big business.
    Rekha Rajan recently posted…Fun things to do with kids in and around Miami beach

    • August 04 2017
      Candice

      Thanks Rekha, but blogging is definitely not the business for me! :)

  • July 11 2017

    You can have free reign to do what you want with that bit of garden above the retaining wall in the backyard. :P Right now it’s just mulch and climbing vines that need to be destroyed. I’m also not opposed to container gardens in the backyard.
    Melissa recently posted…A Convertible Travel Dress That Doesn’t Suck

    • August 08 2017
      Candice

      I should have started months ago! That would have been such a good idea!

  • July 23 2017

    Your list is great! I particularly liked the reading streak one – I’m a big reader – and the one about participating more in the local arts scene – there’s a local art show here I’ve been swearing to attend FOREVER.

    Just be careful you don’t set yourself for trying too do too much – that can be really stressful too! It’s an amazing list – but it’s more like my lifetime to-do than my one-year to-do.

    HAVE AN AMAZING 31ST YEAR!

    • August 08 2017
      Candice

      Totally agree with you! And get out to that art show!

      Thank you! :)

  • September 09 2017
    Logan probasco

    A very belated Happy Birthday to you! What a great list to challenge yourself with, I may borrow a few of those for my own list.

    Just found your blog and beautiful written voice while checking into Cape Breton island (in very dire need of Holliday/ walkabout). I always long to return to Ireland, but I am being inexplicably drawn to Cape Breton.

    • September 19 2017
      Candice

      Thank you so much for your kind words, Logan! :) Cape Breton is dreamy. You’d love it there.

  • November 02 2017

    Happy Birthday! May all your dreams and wishes come true! :)

    That’s great that you paid off your student loans.

    It will be my 31th birthday too.
    Andrew recently posted…Top 20 Exciting International Destinations to go on vacation. Adventure places to go

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