Getting older (and travelling)


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Next week I turn the ripe old age of 29 and I am not happy.

I know what a lot of people say, a lot of my friends say this to me a lot of the time, 29 isn’t THAT old. Well it feels old right now, 30 feels faaaaaar to close for comfort.

Although I have heard that life begins at the age of 30. Right?

I’m at the stage in my life where friends around me are starting to get married and have babies. And it has made me even more sure that I don’t want that. Right now. But the thing is, I do want it at some age and I am just worried my time is running out a little.

I still have so much more I want to achieve before my life gets mundane and I am panicking I don’t have enough time.

The only goals I set myself are travel related (oh and that small one of starting my own event management company – 2018 is set to be an INCREDIBLY busy year). And the list keeps getting longer and longer before I managed to actually achieve any of them.

The one thing I am not stressed about is reaching 30 countries before turning 30 years of age, I achieved that nearly 2 years ago. Thank you Guatemala. I am trying hard to get to 40 countries and this could be more of a challenge.

The thing is, I am worried I came to this travel game a bit late. When I was 24 and casually swanning my way around South East Asia, I had no real goals and setting myself a 30 country target seemed great fun. 30 seemed like an awfully long way off. It wasn’t until last year I realised exactly how much travel meant to me and how important it was in my life.

What would have happened if I had realised this earlier? Think how much I could have achieved!

Likewise with this blog. I realise how much time and dedication it takes to make a blog successful and how much I have to learn. I have so far to go! Am I too old to really be able to get it where I want it and then enjoy the rewards?

So, onto more exciting things, what are my travel plans?

Well my 29th year is fairly planned out, I just need to find some money and do some booking.

Then the year after, turning 30 means I get to plan a fun birthday weekend away. After that I want to finally climb Machu Picchu, explore the Amazon a little bit and then do some volunteering in Bolivia. That’s the hope anyway.

But I do need to find the funds! Again at the ripe old age of 29 should I not be more together financially? Perhaps even have a house? Or even finally not be single anymore? I feel like I am a 23 year old trapped in a 29 year olds body!

See! So much to do and so little time. Help a girl out, panicking over here!

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Mistress Victoire March 15, 2018 - 10:46 pm

I’m 31, single and I have just started traveling so don’t panic. I want all the same thing as you the family the perfect life but I also want to explore and live life before I’m too old. Plus just think of all the cool stories you will be able to tell your kids. STOP PANICKING you still have time.
Good luck. I look forward to reading you stories.

Charlie - Reaching 30 before 30 March 15, 2018 - 11:21 pm

Thank you, words I need to hear! I absolutely do need to calm down. Enjoy all your travels!

Charlie Elliott (@charliedistrctd) March 16, 2018 - 1:30 pm

The main thing is that you know what you want and that’s more valuable than any societal expectations you might have. The last thing I’d want for you is to be in a situation that you feel you HAVE to be in! I was in a relationship for at least two years longer than I should have been because I thought I should be engaged or whatever before 30. Instead at 27, I quit my job, dumped my boyfriend and went travelling and have never looked back since!
Charlie, Distracted

Charlie - Reaching 30 before 30 March 16, 2018 - 4:16 pm

You are absolutely right, thank you for these words! Very inspiring – I’d love to go travelling again!

Jasmin March 16, 2018 - 5:59 pm

I totally feel your anxiety – I’m 30 in 3 months!! I feel sad when I think of all the places I’ll never get to experience (hashtag such a millennial!) but thankful for all the ones I have. I’m intrigued as to why going to ‘x’ number of countries is a goal of yours. Is having that idea of a number adding to your stress, maybe? Would focusing on the experiences rather than the numbers be more beneficial? Can you tell I’ve been having these sorts of chats with myself lately?? 😀

Charlie - Reaching 30 before 30 March 17, 2018 - 10:19 am

That’s an interesting thought, I hadn’t thought of it like that. I think I count because I like to set my self goals, I like a to do list! But I think my bigger panic is more that I have so many “big” trips I still want to do (Oman, Peru, Jordan, Israel) and can only realistically afford one a year (if that!!). So if I did want to have kids, I don’t have enough time to see them all. the world is so big!

WonderHereWanderThere March 21, 2018 - 9:38 am

Happy Birthday for yesterday! Please stop panicking about being 30 😁 I turned it in Dec and although I am married life really is far from mundane, 2018 is probably going to be the most I’ve ever travelled for starters ! Life isn’t about numbers or ages, it’s about experiences and these will happen whenever you want them to happen so don’t focus on being 30 or 40 or 50 and having done this and done that, there’s no rules in growing up!

Charlie - Reaching 30 before 30 March 23, 2018 - 9:49 am

Thank you so much. Very wise words and I will absolutely take note!

indiarodgers March 23, 2018 - 11:16 am

I think life is about what you make it. Everyone is on their own time lines, so what feels right for them might not be right for you. I think its wonderful what you’re doing and experiencing! I’m turning 26 soon and my sister is turning 28 this year. This blog inspired me to tell her about the 30 countries before 30 idea and has given us some goals! You’re inspiring so don’t feel lost 🙂

Charlie - Reaching 30 before 30 March 23, 2018 - 12:31 pm

Oh wow! That has made my day, thank you so much. Don’t think I have ever been called inspiring before 😊. Best of luck with 30 before 30 – you’ll smash it.

thesolivagantwriter March 25, 2018 - 6:36 pm

I’m in the same boat, regarding starting this blog. I felt like I wasn’t confident enough or gave up too easily because I didn’t have the tools to make it successful. While I hope to marry someday, I dream of traveling around Europe on a budget and telling my story.

Charlie - Reaching 30 before 30 March 26, 2018 - 8:43 am

Good luck with travelling around Europe – it will be amazing. And never give up on your blog, if you want it. Go for it!

Anna April 15, 2018 - 12:12 pm

I felt absolutely the same about turning 30 (I’m 32 now!), it’s really scary, especially when you feel like you “should” be in a place you’re not yet. Even though I feel like I should want kids and marriage at this point I just don’t and it’s taken me some time to accept that that is completely fine. I’m just enjoying the freedom my boyfriend and I have now to do whatever we want and feel really lucky to be able to do that. As long as you are doing what makes you happy you are on the right track.

Where Charlie Wanders April 15, 2018 - 4:40 pm

I think that’s exactly right, its the thoughts of what you “should” be doing. I feel my life is exactly where I want it, if I was 4 years younger!


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