I turned 26 a few days ago. 26!! Like what?! It feels like just yesterday I started my freshman year of college and was falling asleep in my Survey of American History class every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. Sorry again to my professor—it wasn’t you, it was me. I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I’m 26. I think this is the age where I start getting wrinkles while still having pimples. Be right back– trying to find a good night cream. 

In all seriousness, I have the most thoughtful husband. This is my first birthday away from home and the people that I love. Amos wanted to make sure that I had the most amazing birthday even while being abroad. First of all, he brought me to Santorini for my birthday! As if that wasn’t enough already, he schemed with the guest relations manager at the hotel we were staying at to get our room decorated and to get me a birthday cake. My heart is melting as I write this. Yes, the cake was as delectable as it looks. 

Every year on my birthday, I make a list of things I WILL accomplish before my next birthday. I use the term “will” instead of “want” because want means that I simply aspire something, whereas will means that I am committed to action. Some years I’m truly horrible at completing my list. Some years I’m crushing those goals. Not only does turning 26 mean that I am getting older, it also means that I have the opportunity to achieve more goals than I did in the past. In the past, I have been guilty of treating some of my goals as options. This year, I am going to treat my goals as a priority and a MUST. Here is my list of 27 things I want to accomplish before I turn 27. Will you be my accountability partner if I tell you what they are? Yes? AWESOME!

1. Travel to a total of 100 countries. (This may be difficult to complete, but there is nothing wrong with dreaming big).
2. Be more intentional about my relationship with others. (I will be more available to my friends and family and be in contact with them more).
3. Volunteer for an organization while I am abroad. (Sometimes I get too caught up in seeing places that I forget to give back to the people there who need help).
4. Go skydiving. (My stomach turned as I wrote this).
5. Mentor someone. (I’ll laugh at all of your jokes in addition to mentoring you).
6. Learn how to speak Spanish fluently. (It’s time for me to learn how to say other words besides tacos, enchiladas, gracias, hola and queso).
7. Learn how to do latte art. (This is so random. I am always mesmerized when I see a barista designing a latte).
8. Go deep sea fishing. (This seems like a real thrill).
9. Find a new mentor. (Mentors are like purses; You can never have too many).
10. Reach 1,000 subscribers for my blog (I want to share my adventures with as many people as possible).
11. Give up soda forever. (I’ll miss you, Pepsi).
12. Become more physically fit. (I run out of breath after I climb four flights of stairs. That’s a shame).
13. Visit a winery. (I love wine. I don’t think I need another reason).
14. Help someone cross something off of their bucket list. (This empowers me and gives me so much happiness).
15. Learn how to do a handstand. (I’ve been intermittently trying to master this since my childhood days. I will conquer this task this year). 
16. Explore a city on a segway. (I saw a couple doing this and it looked so fun).
17. Learn how to French braid my hair. (My Grandma always braided my hair and now my husband does. It’s not rocket science, Disha).
18. Add gratitude to my daily life. (I don’t need to wait until Thanksgiving to express what I am thankful for).
19. Give up dessert for a month. (Number 12 won’t happen unless I lay off the McDonald’s apple pie).
20. Try yoga. (All the cool kids are doing it).
21. Say yes for an entire day. (Because amazing things can happen when I say yes more often).
22. Visit all seven continents. (I’m most excited about Antartica).
23. Make five new lifelong friends while traveling. (I already made two since I wrote this post. Shoutout to Eric and Abigail).
24. Plan a portion of our trip without Amos’s help and book the flights and plane tickets without his help. (Amos is always so generous and does this for us. Maybe it’s because I’m terrible at it. This is way harder than it sounds).
25. Eat something that scares me. (Seafood scares me).  
26. Plan a vacation for someone. (I want someone to experience a stress-free vacation and help them have a great time in a country that I love).
27. Learn how to say “Thank You” in the local language of each country that I am visiting. (Because saying “Thank You” is basically the most important and kindest thing you can say to someone in their language).

Here’s to the next year. It will be filled with many new experiences and lots of growth.

About Author

Disha is a travel and lifestyle blogger who has visited 85+ countries with South Africa and the Maldives being her favorites. She gets butterflies sharing her travel and life experiences through words. She loves freedom, sunflowers, and long walks on the beach with her husband. She's obsessed with helping others live a life they don't have to escape from. Lastly, she makes travel more accessible and attainable for others.

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