30 Before 30 Update

Two weeks before my 30th birthday and three years after making my list, I can announce that I’ve done nearly nothing on my 30 Before 30 list and I’m OK with that.

I shouldnt’ve made it a “thing” and I shouldnt’ve tried to jump on the 30 Before 30 List bandwagon because stuff like this is just not my style. I like to let life happen. Yes, I plan but I’m willing to accept new opportunities and ditch old plans.

This list did inspire me to be intentional about doing new things and I did some very cool things that happened organically.

Here’s what I did complete on the list:

8. Complete 2 years of Peace Corps: As a Peace Corps Volunteer I built fish ponds, planned a girls empowerment camp and became a Coordinator for Malaria Projects. Kenya suspended it’s program right at my close of service so I’m extremely grateful to have completed.

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12. Raft the Nile: I wrote about this one HERE.

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17. Move to a Place I’ve Never Lived: I am the Communications Manager for Peace Corps’s first and only continent-wide malaria initiative. I wanted this position so badly and I got it. VICTORY. I live in Dakar Senegal which I document most regularly on Instagram.

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22. Be a Bridesmaid: You know the Dynasty right? My group of best friends from Howard University. We had our 1st Dynasty wedding on NYE. I was an honorary bridesmaid. Our next Dynasty wedding is in September and the whole Dynasty will be bridesmaids..YAY!

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28. Make Steps Toward Opening a Boutique: I’m reading this in complete disbelief that this is on the list. It’s confirmation that this is indeed what I should do. My 27 year old self knew it enough to write it and my nearly 30 year old self is doing it. It’s not in a place for me to publicly announce but yes, something is brewing.

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Now for the cool and unlisted.

1. Go to Goree Island: I wanted to go to Goree on my 2013 trip to Senegal and there just wasn’t time. I went and I stepped in the door of no return.

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2. International Birthdays: I celebrated my 28th birthday in Kenya, my 29th birthday in Ethiopia and I will be celebrating my 30th birthday in Spain and Morocco.

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3.  Take a Solo Trip: My birthday trip will also be my 1st solo trip.

4. Be a Wedding Makeup Artist: Kenya and I were the makeup artists for Krystina’s bridal party. We had an absolute blast and everyone looked incredible.

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5. Had an Intuitive/Psychic Reading: I loved this experience. It revealed a future of heavy travel, love in the next year and a half, a grassroots career path that will still make me money, that my ancestors are protecting me, a connection with an unknown Native American people with African roots, and confirmation that I’m currently doing what I should be doing.

6. Test Dated a Really Good Friend: What does that mean? We spent a couple weeks together and went on a ton of dates and we were our true selves. After 10 years of friendship we were curious if we were each other’s person. We were not but it was fun. We also oddly never took a photo together during this but here’s one of me from one of our dates.

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7. Make a Homemade Pizza: I made my 1st homemade pizza with Sarah, one of my girls in Dakar..I then independently made myself pizzas for the next 2 days. Had to stop myself.

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I’m about to rock my 30s because I have amazing women in my life who have been displaying how to do your 30s right for as long as I can remember. I’ll keep you guys updated.

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30 Before 30: #12 Raft the Nile

I am a die hard non-swimming water sport fanatic. Give me a life vest and maybe a nearby safety boat and I’ll be perfectly content for hours. I’m not super into zodiacs but I’d be lying if I didn’t contribute some of my natural love of water to being a Pisces.

I wanted to go white water rafting. I would’ve been content with any rapid in the United States…but Peace Corps has opened a window of opportunity I would’ve never imagined. Was my initial thought thinking too small? Either way I did indeed raft…THE NILE.

It was incredible.

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30 Before 30

I’m 27 and in Peace Corps. People generally embark on a 2 year stint abroad fresh out of college…well I guess I’m a late bloomer. However doing this now sometimes makes me feel invincible. It makes me believe that the hardest part of achieving a goal, no matter how crazy, is starting.

Well I’m a few years shy of 30 and I’ve been seeing so many of these lists that I thought I’d jump on this bandwagon.  Here are 30 things (in no particular order) I want to accomplish by: March 15th, 2015. Feel free to hold me accountable. I’ll give updates as I complete the items on this list.

  1. Dance in a Carnival parade in full costume
  2. Maintain a savings account
  3. Complete a marathon
  4. Be conversational and comfortable in a language other than English
  5. Travel to at least 4 continents
  6. See a play on Broadway
  7. Learn how to swim
  8. Complete 2 years with Peace Corps
  9. Send letters of appreciation to the most influential people in my life
  10. Master preparing a 5 course gourmet meal
  11. Keep a journal
  12. Raft the Nile
  13. Attend NY’s Fashion Week
  14. Travel across West Africa
  15. Watch the sunrise and sunset in the same day
  16. Do a 365/Photo-a-day Project
  17. Move to a place I’ve never lived before
  18. Buy a car
  19. Change my hair color
  20. Successfully pull off an outfit with 4 different patterns
  21. Do a cross-country road trip
  22. Create my own line of jewelry
  23. Read the top 25  novels of all time (BBC The Big Read List)
  24. Eliminate debt
  25. Become a better proofreader
  26. Be a bridesmaid
  27. Submit writings to be published
  28. Make steps towards opening a boutique
  29. Start a collection
  30. Have photography included in DC’s Artomatic