A retrospective 40 before 40

It seems to be somewhat of a tradition to write a 40 before 40 list. As I’m approaching my 40th year (I’ll be 39 in a few months), I started thinking about what I’d put on my list. But the more I thought about it, the more I realised that there’s not much I want to do that I haven’t already done.

I’m at a stage in my life where a lot of exciting adventures are on hold. The children aren’t old enough to join in and I don’t want to leave them for that long. But for the first 18 years of my own life, I didn’t do much either. So, 40 isn’t a significant number for me. I still have a few things I want to do which I’ll list at the end of the post, but there’s no rush. I’ve lived life to the full so far, and I don’t intend to stop now.

40 things I’ve done

  1. Skydive
  2. Flying lessons
  3. Indoor skydive
  4. Hot air balloon ride (with random strangers I came across in a field)
  5. Sleep in a hammock in the rainforest
  6. Visit an unusual destination (Venezuela)
  7. See the area my ancestors came from (Black Forest in Germany)
  8. Run a marathon
  9. Run an ultra marathon
  10. Do a triathlon
  11. Swim 10km
  12. Swim across the Solent
  13. Swim in a river with piranhas
  14. Swim in a British river in Winter
  15. See monkeys and sloths in the wild
  16. Travel on my own
  17. Scuba dive on the Great Barrier Reef
  18. Cage dive with great white sharks
  19. See Angel Falls
  20. Go up Table Mountain
  21. Swim with wild dolphins
  22. Watch an event at the Olympics
  23. Go to the Rugby World Cup
  24. Gallop a horse along a beach
  25. Eat at a 3 Michelin star restaurant
  26. Whale watching
  27. See kiwis in the wild
  28. Become a mum
  29. Watch a basketball match in New York
  30. White water rafting
  31. Sail around the Whitsundays
  32. Live abroad
  33. Go to Disneyland
  34. Visit Rome
  35. Drive off road
  36. Learn to ride a motorbike
  37. Fly in a helicopter
  38. Learn to Stand up Paddle board (SUP)
  39. See the Hollywood sign
  40. Visit Tokyo
Inspire2Adventure SUP lesson standing on individual SUP

What’s next?

I’m not pressuring myself into doing anything else before I’m 40. Everything will happen when its supposed to. Take it from someone who once started the day digging a vegetable patch in a field and ended up in a hot air balloon. But there are a few more experiences I’m keen to add to my list.

  • Swim with whale sharks
  • See the aurora
  • Do an Ironman triathlon
  • Swim the channel
  • Cycle Land’s End to John O’Groats
  • Go on a cruise
  • Explore Canada and America off the beaten track
  • Go skiing and snowboarding
  • Go hang gliding
  • Take several months out to travel around Europe

What was the most amazing experience of your life so far? I’d love to add a few more ideas to my to-do list.

40 before 40 | It is somewhat traditional to write a 40 things before 40 list and diligently tick them off. Here are a few ideas if you're writing your list. And why writing a list of the things I've done has made me feel better about life as a parent to young children. #40before40 #parenting #adventure

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  1. Oh wow! You have done some amazing things! That is so so cool. It’s inspired me to think about the amazing things I’ve done. I have snorkelled with whale sharks and that was an insanely amazing experience. They really are enormous.

    1. Ahh I’m so jealous that you’ve been so close to whale sharks, that’s probably top of my list of things I want to do. It’s also very definitely on hold until the children get a bit older, not least because Libby is insisting that she’s doing it with me and I don’t want her doing it until she’s a bit bigger!

  2. Wow, you have done a lot with your life! Of those, I’ve become a mum, visited Rome and watched an event at the Olympics. And I’ve been to Disney, but only in Paris! If you manage to do it, swimming the Channel will surely be your most amazing achievement. And if anyone can do it, you can!

    1. Ahh thank you. I’m sure you’ve done lots of things that I haven’t done as well. I’m not sure I’ll ever do the channel. Ironically not because I couldn’t swim it, I’m certain I could. But it’s actually so expensive that I can only dream of being able to afford it!

  3. I love this so much Natalie – you have lead such a full life already. It made me laugh that ‘go on a cruise’ is on your list still to do – it’s positively boring compared to the rest! x

  4. Wow how amazing – you have done so many wonderful things. Indoor skydiving wasn’t for me but at least I tried it (for 20 seconds).

    My boys have not long learned to ski – maybe I should get them snowboarding lessons next!