30 Before 30: Travels.

Ever since I can remember I have loved to travel. I love to explore and find ‘hidden gems’ in every city that I visit.

Now, when I say that I love to travel, I acknowledge that there is a difference between traveling and vacationing. For me, a vacation is a week at the beach, vegging out while catching up on some ‘fluff’ reading. Travel is different. While both can be relaxing, traveling is much more adventurous; it focuses more on the sights, the history, and the culture.

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon a travel ‘bucket list’ and decided to see what I had done and what still needed to be ‘checked off’.

Thirty Things Every Traveler Must Do Before Turning Thirty

While I still have a few years (five-ish) to complete this list, I was surprised by how many I can already cross off (though, I’m not sure how I’ll end up crossing off number thirty or six. We’ll see. We’ll see...)

The Challenge: 

1. Jump off something.

2. See one of the Seven Wonders of the World. Last summer Marty and I saw the Grand Canyon 🙂

3. Party in Las Vegas. 

4. Take a vacation that isn’t Spring Break. 

5. Attend at least one large celebration. 

6. Hit up a nude beach.

7. Spend several days with only what will fit in a backpack.

8. Swim in the ocean. I’m not sure the first time that I went swimming in the ocean. Maybe I was five or six?

9. Sleep somewhere where you have to light a fire to stay warm. Another thing checked off on our honeymoon last summer!

10. Do some sort of adrenaline sport. Repelling in March of 2009.


11. Hit up one of the Caribbean islands.

12. Take one ultimate road trip. I would definitely say we crossed this off our list during our honeymoon last summer.

13. Go somewhere alone.

14. Take a train somewhere.

15. Go to a music festival. On the weekend that Marty and I got engaged, we were actually visiting Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival.

16. Have one iconic Americana experience.

17. Go to at least one of the Smithsonian museums.

18. Summit a mountain. Marty and I hiked up to one of the highest points in Olympic National Park.

19. Be able to name your top five dream vacations.

20. See a game at a classic ballpark.

21. Visit a neighbor to our north or south.  I ventured to Mexico in 2010!

22. Do something so adventurous that it requires a doctor’s visit. In 2009, I traveled to Africa for a mission trip with E3Partners Ministry.

23. Save pennies to go somewhere you really want to go.

24. Go to New York City. My most recent trip to NYC with Marty!

25. Sleep under the stars. We slept under the stars several times throughout our honeymoon trip!

26. Eat an iconic city meal. The first time eating deep dish pizza was in Chicago when we got engaged there in July 2011.

27. Know all of the best places to take tourists in your home city.

In my opinion:
Best Beer: The Elevator Brewery and Draught Haus. This is one of my favorite bars/restaurants in Columbus. Delicious beer. Delicious food. GREAT happy hour. Gorgeous building (originally built in 1897!)
Best View: Milestone 229 Restaurant. Another great restaurant with beautiful views of the city. It’s along the Scioto Mile in downtown Columbus.
– Best Museum: 
COSI. A wonderful children’s science and industry museum. There is something for everyone to enjoy here.
Best Coffee: Stauf’s Coffee Roaster’s in Grandview, Ohio takes the cake on this one. So many roasts, delicious teas and a really laid-back feel.
– Best Movie Theater: The Gateway Film Center. I LOVE this theater. It offers a more ‘artsy’ list of films (along with other more popular films.) They also have Friday Night Friday Night where an ‘old school’ horror film is screened. So many fun events at this theater in the campus area.
Best Mexican Food: Local Cantina. Another Grandview gem. Free fresh salsa and chips. Vegetarian options available. Reasonable prices. Some of my favorite servers in town.
Best Vegetarian Meal: Northstar Cafe. Hands down. They offer a great, fresh menu. My favorites Buddha Bowl (Pan seared organic tofu or roasted chicken, long-grain organic brown rice with peanut sauce and bright veggies) and the Northstar Burger (brown rice, black beans and beets, topped with white cheddar, lettuce, tomato, pickle and onion + simple salad)
Best Sweet Treat: Jeni’s Ice Cream. If you’ve never heard of this Columbus based ice cream shop, do yourself a favor and 1) Google it 2) get yourself a pint!

28. Have one close encounter with a wild animal. While in Africa, I got up close and personal with a ton of animals while on safari in the Masai Mara!

29. Parachute out of something that is working perfectly fine, for no legitimate reason. I have been sky diving twice. The first time was in July 2008 and I went again at the beginning of August that same year.

30. Know a dance well enough that you could keep up with the locals.

What have you accomplished on this list? Is there anything you wouldn’t do? 

12 thoughts on “30 Before 30: Travels.

  1. Northstar and Jeni’s are two of my FAVORITE THINGS! I’m glad you mentioned them 😉 I’m bringing my boyfriend home to meet my parents in May, and I’ve already told him we will be going to Northstart and Jenis 😉

  2. This post was just as amazing as you are! I really enjoyed reading and seeing photos of all the places and things you’ve been able to do over the years. The fact that you went to Africa on a mission trip just shows what an incredible & beautiful person you are ❤

    1. Looking back on it I think to myself – what was I thinking!? I’m not sure if I’d go a third time but at the time I couldn’t wait to go a third, fourth and fifth time! I think age and more responsibilities will do that to ya. 😀

  3. Way to go Di! You have been living very full 🙂 I love it! I can cross off quite a few of these and I’m 28 now. I am not super keen on hitting up a nude beach though 🙂 I think I could do without.

  4. You…are amazing. I think of all my blog friends, you and I would get along the most. I would LOVE to meet you and hangout with you and TRAVEL with you!! This list is amazing, and the things you have already accomplished are inspiring!!! I would KILL to have done half this stuff!! I need to get started making a list of my own!

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