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31 thing I did for the first time (What happens when you turn 30)

Whoa! Let me just state (once again) how time flies. As a matter of fact, I am pretty sure that, when I’m not looking, it switches to Warp speed. No joke.

Do you ever think about the situations when time seems to be “flying faster”? Many of you will probably say that it is the holidays and/or vacations when days seem like few blinks of an eye. See, I would disagree. For me, it is when I am busy. The more things I have to do, the more dead lines I have, the quicker the hours and days escape me. So, if I tell you that this year I have set my mind to some serious stuff, you might be able to understand why 2016 has been the busiest year for me so far and why I didn’t write as many posts as I wanted to.  As a matter of fact, as I am looking at the date at the bottom of my screen, it comes as a bit of a shock to me that it is already middle of November. Say whaaaat?!

When this year started, I decided to approach my NY’s resolutions a bit differently. Instead of the usual endless list that contains dozens of different, bigger and smaller things, and all that mumbo jumbo, I decided not to write down ANYTHING. Yeeep, that’s right. Nothing. Zip. Zero. Nada. I just had a little convo with myself and I figured that I already know what my goals are. Like, I am talking big now. Life goals. These are what I need to hang on to. These are what I need to eat, drink and breathe in 2016. The rest are just… Stuff. I decided to get sh*t done. For my resolutions I decided to take simple stuff. Because that is what it comes down to: goals=/=resolutions. So, I resoluted (lol) that in 2016 I will read more and I will only buy clothes  I really, really need. Like, that instant. If I am in a foreign country and my only pair of jeans break. That type-a-thing.

Mirror Lake, British Columbia, Canada. My first road trip with a Harley. Wrooom.
Mirror Lake. Places like this make you think about what you want to do in life, Right?

Well, I have to say that my resolutions went (and are still going) well. And my goals are going even better. So, yep, at the age of 31 I am back at Uni. And I am kicking ass.

Speaking of 31… That is my age since few days ago. Last year, somewhere on a beach in Egypt, I turned 30.  Now, since that day, and in this year of 2016, I have obviously done some pretty… Adult stuff. I worked and worked and worked some more. Now, I am getting educated and working on two sides so, oh well, life is a bit… Different than what it was before when it was all just about packing a suitcase and go. BUT, guess what?! Life is still great. Life is going exactly where I want it to go. I still travel. I still have fun. I still do silly stuff (some things will never change). So, even though I chose to do few serious things, one year after entering the 30 club, I can assure you: Life does not stop when you hit that threatening number. You do not fall into a rabbit hole and disappear. Your teeth don’t fall out. Guys still turn their heads when you catwalk out of a hair dresser salon. Regardless of that number 30, life stays great if you decide that way.

Egyptian Pyramids. World's wonder for a reason.
One of he happiest moments of my life. For many reasons.

To prove what I just stated, I have made a list of little or less little or even big things I did in the year when that vicious number thirty became my reality. (Also, I will stop with the sarcasm now, I think you got the point.) I have tried not to put new countries and cities on it but to focuse on experiences. Enjoy.

  1. I started to color. Yes, by now you all know about adult coloring books. I am proud to stay I started coloring when it wasn’t a thing yet. But I am even more proud that I found something that relaxes me so much.
  2. I picked up on snowboarding and I… Fell in love. It took me 30 years to start simply because I never had any friends that wanted to come along. So I went alone. Best thing I ever did. 

    Jasper, Alberta, Canada. Marmot Basin ski resort. Amazing place.
    Jasper, Canada. Possibly my favorite picture of all I have ever taken.
  3. I discovered Instagram. Well, not discovered… But before this blog I was very much against IG. Always like Ohhh nooo, not me. Ewww, all these girls just posting selfies. I see enough duck faces on my Fb bla bla… Then I decided it would be nice to have an account there to follow my blog. Then I became addicted. It happens.
  4. …and theeen I started to follow fashion bloggers. As someone whose sense of fashion involves timberlands (for wet) and uggs (for dry weather) and a hoodie, this is quite of a shocker. I realized I enjoy fashion. I just don’t don’t know how to apply it to myself.
  5. I read my first book in English. I have always been an avid reader. But I would only read in Croatian. Unless it was articles or blogs. So I read my first one in English. Then second. Then third. I think you see where this is going.
  6. I joined my first reading challenge. Ahhh so much fun! I joined Pop sugar’s  reading challenge and even though I am falling behind slightly it has opened my eyes about books I would’ve never read otherwise. Plus, I really think it improved my English!
    Shortly after joining this one, I decided to do a Goodreads challenge! You can be my  friend here.
  7. I have also bought my first e-book. For so long I was resisting  this. I have always been old school about my reads. Pages! I need to turn my pages, I’d say. But with being on the road constantly and always discovering new titles (often not translated to Croatian), that became quite demanding. So I started downloading books to my tablet. So proud. I almost feel like I am tech savvy. Almost.
  8. I put eye lash extensions. I felt so pretty and girly!
  9. I started using oils as cosmetics. A lot of oils. When I eventually took off my eyelash extensions, I started using castor oil for my lashes and my brows. Strange enough, it works! Somewhere along the way, I started using tea tree oil for my face to keep it under control. Then coconut oil for my body and for my hair. That is when I am not putting olive oil in my hair. I think you got the picture.
  10. I got my TEFL.
  11. I took a trip not only to travel but to volunteer. Thailand is an amazing country but I think what made it all that better for me were the kids I met and spent my time with. I also volunteered in an Elephant village, which brings us to number 12.
  12. I spent a week with elephants! Everyone who knows me,  will tell you how much I love them. Doing this was a dream of mine so being around them, feeding them, taking them for a bath to the lake and getting to know their personalities was one of the most amazing things I have ever done.

    I volunteered for a week within Surin Project in a place called Elephant village. One of the most humbling experiences in my life.
    My first dinner date with a gentle giant. We became friends very fast.
  13. I started having proper conversations in German. Now, that was a scary one. Whenever in Germany (and that is often), I would try to talk to people in English and then, if I really, REALLY needed to, I would use a bit of German. This summer I said to myself that it is time to stop with that because I will never learn.  Ich bin so stolz auf mich!
  14. I started learning Greek. You didn’t see that coming, did you? Well, I wanted to start a third foreign language and I didn’t want to chose something just because it was practical. I wanted something beautiful. I wanted to sing along all those sad Greek songs. So, yep.
  15. I started my first adult diary. It is now a place where all my thoughts collect and unwind and I cannot imagine myself going without it.
  16. I finished my first 1000 pieces puzzles. Got a new one the other day. Darn, I do have a lot of hobbies, don’t you think?
  17. I celebrated NY at home. Alone. Eating huge Toblerone, drinking blackberry wine and watching Harry Potter. Because that is exactly what I wanted to do. Toblerone Patronum! Naaah. I doesn’t work.
  18. I have flown First Class. Oh. My. Gosh. It is a whole different experience. Nine hour flight? Yes, please!

    This was taken on a flight to Calgary. Business class rocks!
    That moment when all of your eyelash extensions have fallen out but you couldn’t care less because you are in the first class and your seat reclines fully and they are serving port and cheese. Yasss.
  19. I have learned to eat with chopsticks. Finally.
  20. I bought my first beach hat. Like, you know, those big nice ones. With a bow. Another girly moment.
  21. I had a first ride in a Ferrari. On the wrong side of the road. Well, not really. Because we were in England. But oh my my my.
  22. I went down the hill on the slide. Fast. Or how they call them in Germany “sommerrodelbahn”. Can’t pronounce it? Don’t worry. Took me a week.
  23. I drank an alcoholic beverage in front of my parents. Dad approved my Mojito. Mom felt like my entire upbringing was wrong and she wondered where she failed the most.
  24. I have admitted to myself that I have a coffee addiction and instead of trying to give it up entirely and always fail, I decided to reduce number of my cups. Anxiety caused by caffeine is a real thing and I decided that no amount of work or stress requires four cups a day.
  25. I decided to spend my upcoming Christmas alone. I am all about Christmas. My favorite time of the year. But this year, even though I am not working, I decided to spend it away from home. Though I am sad I won’t be there to put up a Christmas tree, I am sure that Christmas concerts and Strahov Library in Prague will make it up to me.
  26. I got my own apartment! Yesss! For the first time in my life, no roommates, no housemates, no parents, no colleagues, just me.
  27. On that note, I got my very first vacuum cleaner.
  28. I gave away half of my wardrobe. I have always been a bit of a hoarder. And even if I would occasionally donate some of my clothes, through my travels I would always manage to buy new, pretty things. Well, not this year. I have the least clothes in last ten years and I am so happy about it!
  29. I have reduced the number of my friends. It might sound a bit harsh, I know. But you see, all my adult life, every single spare moment I had, I would spent it drinking coffees with my friends. When I started traveling, if I was in Zagreb, I was rushing from one caffe to another. Always there to pay a round, always happy to listen. It drained me. This summer I spent a week in Zagreb and nobody even knew. I colored, read and went for runs. It was perfect.

    View from a beach bar called Carpe Diem, Koh Phi Phi. A place where I sat as I contemplated my future.
    Koh Phi Phi. A place where I made some of the most important decisions of my life. I wish to go back one day.
  30. I got featured on another blog and I poured my heart out at the process. Few months later, it still makes me happy how great the response was.
  31. I rejected the job of my dreams. Now, this is a tough one. It was one of the toughest decisions I have ever made. When I went to Thailand, I couldn’t even imagine I would have the opportunity to stay there as long as I wanted to and pretty much chose the location and people to work with. All while doing good, teaching and volunteering. You know, making a difference. I WAS in the place in my life where I WANTED to make a difference. Yet, after few sleepless nights and some tears in my pad thai I decided to come home, be patient for a while and then go off chasing even bigger dreams. I regret nothing.So that is it, my lovelies. Thirty one firsts to celebrate thirty one year of my existence. I am happy and my heart is full. Happiness is a state of mind. Not a location. Not your age.Take care and don’t forget to smile!

    Love,

    Ana