The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30.

At the end of this year (2021) I, Rebecca – aka, The Curious Environmentalist, will be turning 30. When I turned 27 at the end of 2018, I decided that there were certain things that I wanted to achieve before I hit the ‘big 3-0’ – a sort of, but less morbid, bucketlist! 

A big motivation for me to take the time to think about what I want from the remainder of my 20s was the fact that I have spent a large portion of my 20s trying to combat my various mental health issues – which has been important but not particularly fun!! Managing our mental health is a lifelong project but, thankfully, I am in a much better place right now and I am determined to live my life to the full.

My 30 Before 30 Ideas:

I have a great support system around me, both family and friends. I am truly lucky to have my wonderful, supportive, long-suffering boyfriend who is always on my side and cheering me on. Plus, he is up for any adventure, so together I think we will be able to make the below dreams come true! 

COVID-19 2020 Update

Due to the COVID19 pandemic and associated lockdowns, I have decided that I will allow myself to keep doing this list throughout my 30th year. I don’t want to rush these experiences, so I will have until my 31st birthday to try and get through as much of this list as I can!

The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

1) I want to go whale watching!

First on the list is whale watching – this is something I have always wanted to do. I’ve asked around and it seems like Canada is the place to experience this! But if you have any other suggestions then please let me know via social media!  The more documentaries I watch about life in the sea the more I want to see these beautiful creatures in the wild. They are so beautiful, so calming and so huge! I cannot wait to experience them in real life!

whale-watching
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

2) I want to climb the highest mountain in England – Scafell Pike!

I love nature (no shock there!) and I love to get out into it and challenge myself. Hiking is not something that comes naturally to me but what I lack in talent I make up for in enthusiasm. I love the views you get when you hike and the various different plants and animals that live in the different terrains.  I want to continue to challenge myself and hopefully pick up some talent along the way if possible! I am all about a healthy body, healthy mind approach to life, so climbing any mountain or achieving any destination is a big tick off the list for me. Scafell Pike – here I come!

Scafell-pike
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

3) I want to graduate my degree!

As I put this list together (early 2019) I was approaching the end of my second module. This meant that I was almost a third of the way through my degree. I am studying with The Open University and my degree is a BA (Hons) Environmental Studies. I want to use the upcoming years to increase my practical experience and get the most out of my, slightly late, foray into higher education!

graduate-studying

The Curious Environmentalist is still studying…

laptop-studying

I am currently (Spring 2021) approaching the end of my third module – which means I will soon be halfway through my degree! Those of you who are doing the maths will see that I am not on track to graduate before I am 30, but I have come to terms with that. I am getting really good grades in my assignments and exams, and I am really working hard to expand my environmental knowledge and get the absolute most out of my Environmental Studies degree. I have three modules left to complete, all running October through to June every year, so I am currently working towards finishing my final module during the Summer of 2024 – I believe!? That seems a long way off, but I am excited with what else I can achieve during that time.

The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

4) I want to learn to scuba dive!

I find the thought of scuba diving a little bit terrifying; however, I like a challenge and I think if I can get past the initial fear then I would really love it. I love watching underwater documentaries – it’s just a fascinating, alien world down there are I would love the chance to see it for myself! I have also recently got a little video camera that I believe I can use underwater, so I’d love to shoot some footage for use on the blog whilst I am exploring!!

scuba-dive
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

5) I want to make money from blogging!

I love this blog. I love writing and having a creative space that is mine to use as I like. I believe that having this space has really helped me with my mental health and environmentalist journey. I would love to be able to make this outlet a way of earning a living and really take this blog to dizzying heights of success! I believe that as a community, we are building something great here and between now and 30 (and beyond) I am going to do everything I can to make it the best it can be!

blogging-money
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

6) I want to trek to Machu Picchu!

This was always on my dad’s bucketlist, but unfortunately due to health reasons, it is unlikely he will ever get to achieve this dream. Me and my sister have since vowed that we will do it on his behalf and share every detail of it with him, so that he can experience it in some way. This is probably one of the more important items on my 30 Before 30, it will likely be a once in a lifetime opportunity and something that will mean a lot to both myself and my whole family.

Machu-Picchu

Trekking Machu Picchu.

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Well, we did it! Me, my boyfriend, my sister and my brother-in-law successfully trekked and camped for 4 days and completed the Inca Trail. We arrived at The Sun Gate to watch the sunrise over Machu Picchu; we saw hummingbirds, wild jungle turkeys, orchids, rain, sun, mist, steep drops, lots of steps, sweat but also, smiles. It was exhausting but incredible. It was the hardest physical thing that I have ever had to do in my entire life! I am not ashamed to say that I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my wonderful boyfriend – he was amazing!

Through tears, altitude sickness and rain and panic over heights, he was there helping me along and never doubting that I would make it to the end. This is a huge thing for me to be able to tick off my 30 Before 30. It was an incredible experience that I am so happy that I have been able to do, but equally happy to not have to do again!!! My advice for anyone who wants to trek the Inca Trail and see Machu Picchu is that you should 100% do it but do not underestimate it. It was so much more challenging than anyone prepared me for!!

Hopefully this was the first adventure of many and if I can have my boyfriend (not forgetting my incredible sister and brother-in-law) by my side then I cannot wait for what the future holds!

The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

7) I want to go skinny dipping!

Getting cheeky for number 7 of my 30 Before 30 – I have never gone skinny dipping before!! I’d love to have the confidence and care-free nature to be able to do this! I’ll let you know how I get on with this one… not sure if there will be pictures though!! 

skinny-dipping-naked
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

8) I want to complete a 30 days of yoga challenge!

I have recently started exploring yoga practice as a way to maintain a positive way of mind and to try and reclaim my body. I’m really enjoying it and find it a great way to stay calm and start the day on the right foot. Number 8 for my 30 Before 30 is to complete a “30 days of yoga challenge”, I’m working towards this and learning the foundations first, but this is something that I want to keep as part of my routine moving forward.

yoga-challenge
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

9) I want to climb Snowdon!

With my mum having grown up in Wales, we spent a lot of time there as children. I’d love to explore the nature that is found in Wales and getting to the top of Snowdon would be an incredible experience. Love me some adventure! I believe, as children, we were taking up Snowdon on the train, but I would love to feel the achievement of hiking and reaching the top on foot. I love to challenge my body and remind myself how lucky I am to be physically able to attempt things like this!

The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

10) I want to learn to knit!

I remember my nan knitting when I was younger, and I’d love to be able to recapture those memories and make some awesome knits along the way too! My nan used to knit squares for charity and my dream would be to make some of those squares and make a huge patchwork blanket to remind me of her and my granddad. I have always loved doing arts and crafts ever since I was a child so it would be great to be able to make time for those things in my adult life.

learn-knit-wool
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

11) I want to have a piece of writing published!

Over the past few years, I have really discovered a love for writing and I would love to have something that I have written be published and out there. I have been honing my style and will do my best to make this dream a reality! This could be an article or an essay, or maybe a guest blog post or series – the world is my oyster, so if anyone has any suggestions of where I could submit my work to then get in touch on social media.

publish-writing
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

12) I want to treat myself to a full body massage!

It’s important to take some time out and treat yourself- I am very ambitious and sometimes I can forget to take time off and relax. I’ve never had a professional massage (occasionally I can convince my boyfriend to give me a back rub – but really he does enough already!) so I’d like to treat myself to some proper me-time and unwind!

massage-relax

Treating myself to a Thai Massage!

thai-massage

Whilst I was travelling with my boyfriend in late 2019, we met up with a mutual friend of ours in Chang Mai, Thailand. Whilst there we took full advantage of the massages that are on offer there! Not my boyfriend’s cup of tea, so whilst he sought out a pub, me and the gorgeous Heather, went for a bit of a pamper. There are great massage parlours that are set up to help support female ex-convicts to build better, independent lives for themselves. A great cause and so we treated ourselves to a traditional Thai massage – which was really incredible! We were bent over into all sorts of shapes but, by the end of it, we felt amazing! Great massage ladies! I recommend taking the time to pamper yourselves whenever you can!

The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

13) I want to run 5km in 30 minutes!

I did my first ever ParkRun in 2018 and I managed 5km in just over 43 minutes – it was tough, but I got across that finish line and I was still smiling (… just about!) I may never run the London marathon, but this is an achievable goal which will help my physical and mental health. I have been trying to do Couch to 5k, which I am yet to complete but I am hopeful that this is something I can achieve.

run-5km
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

14) I want to go on a solo holiday!

I love going on holiday with my friends, my family and, of course, my boyfriend, but I think it’s an important rite of passage to go away for a few days by yourself, explore a city or lie on a beach. Just do whatever your soul wants to! I’ve always been happy in my own company, but I feel like I have lost some of the confidence that my younger self had – so I’d like to push myself to try and recapture this part of my personality. 

solo-travel-suitcase
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

15) I want to stand on top of Ben Nevis!

There is something equally terrifying and thrilling about seeing proof of how small we are compared to nature. I’d love to stand on the top of Ben Nevis and be humbled by the majesty of nature. Adventure can be found anywhere. Ideally, I’d like to hike to the top so that I can feel that sense of achievement – I’ll see if I can rope the other half into hiking it with me!

ben-nevis-mountain
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

16) I want to go to a Michelin Star restaurant!

I love food. I think that good food is one of the great joys of life. I have never eaten in a restaurant with a Michelin star – I would love to try a tasting menu! Better start saving those pennies! If anyone has any recommendations, then please let me know on social media!

michelin-star
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

17) I want to be able to do 50 push-ups!

Those of you who know me will know that I have ZERO upper body strength so this will be a challenge of epic proportions, but I will give it a good go! I’m trying to focus on being strong, not skinny as I try to get in shape and get healthy – any advice welcomed! 

strong-muscles
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

18) I want to perform at a spoken word night!

It has been a long time since I set foot on a stage but it’s something that I once loved above everything else. I’d like to face the fear and get back out there in a new way! This is something that I have been thinking about doing for a while, I’ve been working on the content but now I need to work on the courage to actually do this!! 

perform-poems
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

19) I want to create video content!

As I have said before – I LOVE doing this blog! I have wanted to create bespoke video content for a while now, so I am pledging right now that you need to watch this space! Great things are coming! I’ve dabbled in Facebook Live, but I want to create some more edited content on specific, relevant issues.

video-content-vlog
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

20) I want to visit The Louvre Museum in Paris!

I love the romance that comes with a really good museum or gallery. I have a great interest in learning about the past and seeing the way they expressed themselves creatively. The Louvre is somewhere that you always see in movies and I’d love to actually experience it for myself. Have any of you been? Let me know your thoughts on social media!

culture-art
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

21) I want to start my own business!

The truth is that I have experienced periods of regular panic attacks when I am in full-time work. However, when the fog clears, and I am having a better day, I am ambitious, and I am determined to take control of my life. I have big plans. I would love to have a business that allows me to work on my own time and from anywhere in the world. Having this freedom would help me to counteract the effect of the panic attacks and help me fulfil my potential, despite my mental health challenges.

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My Virtual Assistant Business.

virtual-assistance

In January 2019, I left my job as Philanthropy Manager at NSPCC and started my own business called RedKite Assist. This is a business that offers remote business assistance and allows me to work freelance for different small businesses and websites etc. I offer services such as social media management, email marketing, content writing etc. It’s been a steep learning curve but so far so good. It’s definitely something that I want to keep doing whilst I finish my degree as it gives me the time and space to study and focus. Whether it will be a long-term thing only time will tell but for now I am loving the freedom that it is giving me and the fact that it is allowing me to learn new skills that I can transfer to other aspects of my life, such as this blog!

The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

22) I want to make my own flavoured gin/alcohol!

Me and my boyfriend moved in together at the end of 2018 and we have an impressive bar to dip into on a Friday night! I’d love to make bespoke flavours to share with friends and family. I don’t drink that much do but when I do I want to drink delicious things! Any flavour suggestions then let me know via social media!

gin-alcohol
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

23) I want to learn to code!

I am trying to get to grips with technology and teach myself new and useful skills. Learning to code would definitely be outside my comfort zone but you’re never too old to learn a new skill – right?! Plus, I have loved building this site and I would love to have the skills to take it in any direction that I need it to go as it grows and progresses.

learning-code
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

24) I want to write a book!

I am definitely an all or nothing kind of person. When I want to do something, I will not do it by halves. Therefore, I would love to write a book – they say everyone has one in them, so let’s see if that’s true, shall we?! I have a few bits and pieces that I have started over the years, so I’d love to really dedicate myself to these projects and complete them. 

book-author
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

25) I want to learn to use a sewing machine!

Don’t you love a good craft?! As a child, I loved making things, but as you get older you get less and less time to be able to do stuff like this. I’d love to find time again and learn to use a sewing machine so I can get crafty! Maybe I could even start making some sustainable products that I can sell on this blog!? That would be great!

sew-sewing
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

26) I want to visit Ireland & hike up Carrauntoohil!

Despite it being so close by, I have never been to Ireland. Whilst I am there, I want to climb its highest peak (Carrauntoohil) to complete the set before I am 30 – the highest peaks of England, Ireland, Scotland & Wales. Life is too short not seek out adventure from wherever you can! Maybe I can celebrate with a Guinness at the top!

ireland-travel
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

27) I want to go on a jet ski!

Number 27 of my 30 Before 30 is to go on a Jet Ski!! I tend to always worry about things and overthink outcomes and I’d love to be able to let that go and just enjoy the thrill for once! Sometimes the best thing you can do is push yourself out of your comfort zone and see what happens!

jetski-adventure
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

28) I want to celebrate the Summer Solstice!

Ok – so Number 28 has changed since I started this list. It was originally to go to a Full Moon Party. However, when I visited Thailand, I learnt more about what this was, and it just didn’t appeal to me!!! So – I have changed it slightly, but it is on a similar theme. I want to celebrate the Summer Solstice and harness the energy that comes from this special time of year. I feel like this will be a great experience!

summer-solstice

Celebrating despite COVID-19

stonehenge-summer

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we found new and innovative ways to celebrate and spend our time in inventive ways! In the spirit of this, me and my boyfriend celebrated summer solstace with thousands of others online through a live streaming of the sunset and sunrise. It wasn’t quite the spectacle of the usual celebrations at Stone Henge but we made it feel special in our own way. I still want to go physically to the event in the future but, given the way the world is currently, this was a great substitute and a lovely evening despite the pandemic.

The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

29) I want to take up kickboxing!

I have wanted to start kickboxing for a long time, and it has become one of those things that I never quite get around to doing. I think it’s so important to be strong and healthy, and also as a woman, it would be great to feel like I could look after myself if needed. So, Number 29 is to take up kickboxing!

power-strength
The Curious Environmentalist: 30 Before 30

29) I want to visit Germany! (again!)  

When I moved to Germany for a year I had never been there before. I got on the plane, pretty much at rock bottom and I had no clue how my life would unfold in the coming months. Germany is so many things to me including a beautiful, friendly country; a fresh start and the place I found love and acceptance with my wonderful boyfriend – my life changed in Germany and I am aching to go back now that I am on a path to a brighter future.
Mickey – I love you so much, and I don’t care that this is soppy and public. You helped me to change my life and I will always be grateful for that.

travel-plane

Written by Rebecca Hansell.

Originally written 1st July 2019 for Small World, Big Cause – revamped April 2021 for The Curious Environmentalist.

do-great

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3 Comments

  1. The Curious Environmentalist

    Do you have any more suggestions to experiences that I should have? Comment below and let me hear them! I’m sure I will be putting together a 40 Before 40, 50 before 50, etc, etc, so all recommendations welcome!
    Keep living your life to the fullest, and enjoy the blog 🙂
    Stay Curious. x

    Reply
    • Rhiannon (All walks of wildlife)

      The Galapagos Islands are an absolute Must-See in my Opinion! Conveniently the most incredible place to learn to scuba Dive! 😉 The underwater life is absolutely indescribable it was the best experience of my life x

      Reply
      • The Curious Environmentalist

        Amazing! Yes, I would love to see The Galapagos Islands. Love that you have been there… not jealous at all 😉 x

        Reply

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