30 before 30

I will be turning 30 years old on October 20, 2017. Here are the 30 things I want to complete before then!

  1. Get out of financial debt and completely pay off my student loans
  2. Pass the Japanese Language Proficiency Test Level N3
  3. Write a short story
  4. Get back down to my very brief college weight of 130 lbs, or 59 kg (note: right now while writing this I am about 65 kg, or 143 lbs)
  5. Have my portrait professionally taken (particularly after I #4)
  6. Run a half marathon
  7. Finally learn how to swim
  8. Make a new series of artwork
  9. Display that new series of artwork in a gallery
  10. Try skydiving
  11. Zip-line through the rainforest
  12. Stay in a treehouse in Laos
  13. Hot air balloon over the Bagan temples in Myanmar
  14. Disconnect and do a no-technology retreat for at least 5 days
  15. Go back to karate and memorize 5 kata
  16. Read Infinite Jest
  17. Watch Gone with the Wind
  18. Watch Doctor Who, X-files or Seinfeld (all of those are massive TV series, so I’ll settle for finishing at least one of them)
  19. Eat at a Michelin-rated restaurant
  20. Travel around the Philippines
  21. Travel around Okinawa
  22. Visit Shikoku and do the hachijuuhakkasho (pilgrimage to 88 Buddhist temples) and collect a goshuin (temple calligraphy and stamp) at each one
  23. Visit Kyoto in the fall during koyo season (when the Japanese maples turn bright red) (finished – see here)
  24. Visit Kitakyushu and go to Kawachi Fujien (the famous wisteria tunnel and garden) in April when the flowers are blooming
  25. Visit Yakushima (the island whose forests inspired Mononoke no Hime‘s setting) and go hiking/camping (maybe meet a forest spirit)
  26. See a Noh or Kabuki theater performance
  27. Wear yukata and dance at a natsumatsuri (summer festival) (finished – see here)
  28. Resist the temptation to cut my hair (note: trims are fine and necessary, but my hair right now while writing this is barely able to touch my shoulders, so let’s not make negative progress) <– I couldn’t stand it and totally cut it!
  29. Start a flower and herb garden and keep it alive
  30. Stop biting my nails! I realized that as I sat here thinking of what my last thing should be, I was gnawing on my fingers like an animal; it is a nasty habit that I’ve never been able to shake, but I really want to quit.
Note: This list was written and published here on July 20, 2016.