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25 before 25: an update

So a few months ago, my 25th birthday came and went! It wasn’t special by any means; I know reaching a quarter of a century is a big deal for some people, but with restaurants still closed during lockdown, my options for celebrating were pretty limited. Not that I minded much anyway… I’m pretty sure I’m way past the age where birthdays stop getting exciting, and start making me reconsider what I’m doing with my life!

Anyway, that’s not actually what this post is about. If you’ve been around for awhile, you might remember that I wrote up a 25 before 25 list a couple of years ago. Time flies, huh? Now that I’ve reached the grand old age of twenty-five, I thought it’d be fun to revisit my younger self’s goals and see what I’ve crossed off my list. Spoiler alert: turns out twenty-three year old me was little too optimistic about what my future self would achieve!

      

1. Go back to Japan

Not long after writing this list, I actually did end up ticking off this goal! I went to Japan again in December 2018, and it was my first visit since studying abroad four years ago. Of course, it was amazing. While I’d seen most of the tourist spots already, I had a great time making memories with friends, both old and new. I’m already dying to visit again, so naturally Japan is #1 on my list when international borders open again.

2. Visit Europe

Well, I think it’s pretty obvious that this didn’t end up happening! I had my hopes up for a trip in 2021, but everyday those chances are looking more and more unlikely. It’s unfortunate because I’d love to visit family over there, but I’m sure I’ll be able to eventually.

3. Meet up with a blogger I’ve never met in person

This one did happen! I met up with the lovely Nat, who is also from Sydney. 

4. Get my damn driver’s license!

I hate to admit it, but this goal is one that I still haven’t achieved! There are many reasons why I haven’t gotten my license yet, but the main one is that I’ve just never made time to practise driving. As embarrassing as it is, I guess there’s an upside to waiting this long. I don’t need to accumulate those pesky driving hours now that I’m old enough!

5. See another musical

As much as I love musicals, I haven’t seen one in years! None of the shows in theatres lately have really caught my eye, which is a bit of a shame. Musicals are quite an expensive affair, so I only splurge on the ones I’m interested in seeing. On the bright side, Hamilton is coming to Australia next year, so maybe I will get to see a show soon!

      

6. Get back into using watercolours

If you follow me on Instagram, you’ve probably already seen my watercolour creations. While I haven’t had as much time to paint as I’d like, I’m actually pretty proud of my progress over the past year! I’ve gotten a lot more confident with watercolours, and even started experimenting with gouache recently.

7. See the Australian Open again…

8. … and by extension visit Melbourne again!

Okay, this was a big fat fail. As much as I love Melbourne, I’ve always put off making another trip there! I guess I’ve always taken advantage of the fact that it’s so close to Sydney, which is laughable considering Melbourne’s a no-go zone right now. Nonetheless I’d still love to travel there eventually, so we’ll see how it goes!

9. See Uluru

I think I was a bit overly ambitious by writing up all these travel-related goals, haha! Uluru is still definitely something I want to see in my lifetime, so this one’s staying on the bucket list.

10. Visit an outdoor cinema

With the intense bushfire season we had last summer, this goal was kind of impossible to achieve. But honestly, I hardly enjoy watching movies indoors, let alone in open spaces where I can’t hear anything. So I’m not quite sure how this one ended up on my list!

11. Save up for a new laptop

Wildly enough this haven’t happened yet, because my laptop is still trucking along after seven years! Hopefully I haven’t jinxed anything, but I’m definitely hoping to get a replacement in the near future.

12. Go to New Zealand

Once again, I didn’t get to tick this one off! I’d still love to visit New Zealand though, and there’s a good chance us Australians will be allowed to soon.

      

13. See snow again

This is actually one goal I didn’t think I’d accomplish, but I got lucky during my last Japan trip! I managed to see snow in Nagano, which is right up in the mountains. I’d never seen so much snow at once before, but it was every bit as magical as I imagined it’d be.

14. Go to a concert

Mission complete! I saw Mahalia in January this year, aka before everything went haywire. It was incredible, and I’m not just saying that because it was my first concert experience. I’ve been a fan of Mahalia for awhile, but never knew she had such a big personality! She was so charming too, and told the funniest stories between songs. In any case, it was the best fifty dollars I’ve ever spent.

15. Sew an item of clothing

Do masks count as clothing…? Besides that and the occasional alteration, I’m still a little intimidated to make something from scratch!

16. Be able to hold a conversation in Lao

Sadly, this one was a fail! At one point I tried to study the language on my own, but that never really works out for me.

 17. Make a blog schedule and stick to it

Nope, nope and nope! This is a goal of mine that always seems to go wrong, and honestly? I don’t really care anymore, and that’s okay. I’ve come to realise that I prefer putting effort into blog posts I’m proud of, rather than rushing to making multiple posts just to fulfil a schedule.

18. Go fruit picking

Once again, bushfires thwarted my plans to go fruit picking last summer! I really do hope I get a chance to make up for it this year though. All those summer fruits are calling my name…

19. Successfully make macarons

I did make macarons successfully and haven’t baked them again since, haha! Sadly I don’t have good photos, but they were matcha flavoured, from the meringue shells to the white chocolate and matcha ganache inside *chef’s kiss*

20. Improve my video editing skills

I haven’t gotten around to it yet, but this is still something I’m really keen on doing! I’ve actually been thinking of bringing back video content for awhile now, so who knows… my dead YouTube channel might make a comeback one day.

21. Move the blog over to WordPress

Done and dusted! I made the switch a couple of years ago and have no regrets. My blog used to be over on Blogger, and the difference is like night and day. I just find WordPress much easier to work with, and there are way more options when it comes to themes.

22. Make a Lao dish from scratch

This one’s still a work in progress. The annoying thing about Lao food is that while it’s delicious, it takes a lot of time and effort to make! Once I convince my mum to hand over her recipes to me, I’ll definitely be sharing them here.

23. Wake up early enough for brunch

Tick! Okay I know this goal sets a pretty low bar, but it used to be rare for me to go out for brunch. Luckily it’s much more achievable now, considering almost every cafe offers all-day brunch menus.

24. Read at least 5 more books in Japanese

It takes me a long time to read books in Japanese, but I did end up accomplishing this! I cheated a little by reading short story novels and manga, but I managed to read the following:

  • The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying up – Marie Kondo
  • Convenience Store Woman – Sayaka Murata
  • The Second Bakery Attack – Haruki Murakami
  • A Perfect Day for Kangaroos – Haruki Murakami
  • Please Love Me – Aya Nakahara

25. Have one of my tweets go viral

I am sad to report that I did not go viral in the past two years.

And overall that adds up to… 9 out of 25 goals completed! I have to admit, it was pretty amusing to read back on my original post. Past me was so young and naive to think that traveling so much in two years would be feasible, with or without the pandemic wreaking havoc.

Anyway, for now I’m not sure if I’ll make a similar 30 before 30 list. Thirty is a much bigger milestone loaded with expectations, and frankly, I’m a little intimidated by the idea of writing a list for it! If anything, I’ll probably end up setting a few big goals to keep to myself, which is actually something I do quite often.

Does anyone out there also keep a bucket list? I’d love to hear what’s on yours!

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