jillianne hamilton - blog

30 (Well, 23) Things To Do Before I’m 30

April 18, 2024

I’ve been rearranging my office and trying to get rid of some things to make space for a better arts/crafts supplies shelf. I was shocked to find a notebook from when I was in high school, probably around 2004 or 2005 maybe?

Later I found a notebook from way before that, from when I attended Bible Camp. I couldn’t tell you when that was but the notebook has a calendar for 1999 and 2000 in it. After camp was done, I used the notebook for random things—lots of story and character ideas (including some historicals!), websites I liked, songs I liked, etc. Teen girl stuff.

I found one list entry that made me laugh a lot. Keep in mind, I’m 36 now.

30 Things to Do Before I’m 30

  1. Visit England
    I did! I managed to get there twice before turning 30. Yay! The picture above is a friend of mine, Amanda, and myself (the one with the very red hair) at Versailles. The trip was in high school and we visited London, Paris and Madrid and it was incredible.
  2. Visit Scotland
    Not yet.
  3. Visit Hawaii.
    Nope. Many Indigenous residents of Hawaii are concerned about the over-tourism of the area and have asked tourists not to come so I intend to respect their wishes but I don’t judge others who do, this is just my personal choice.
  4. Eat at a 5-star restaurant.
    This is such a weird one. No. I have no idea why I would have put this. I’ve never been a foodie. I would live on food-in-pill-form if it was an option.
  5. See a show at the Just for Laughs comedy festival in Montreal.
    Yes! Colby and I visited Montreal and Quebec City in 2017. We got to see shows for Mike Birbiglia and Jen Kirkman, and several other comedians at the Rick Mercer gala. Fingers crossed Just for Laughs comes back because I’d love to go again.
  6. Learn another language.
    When Mom and I planned a trip to Paris and London in 2020 (…yeah…), I tried to improve my French with Duolingo. It didn’t go well. That’s a big ol’ nope.
  7. Have at least two novels published.
    Yes! Molly Miranda: Thief for Hire, Molly Miranda: Thick as Thieves, and Molly Miranda: Honor Among Thieves were all published while I was in my twenties.

  8. Learn how to belly dance.
    Sadly no! I wish!
  9. Get a tattoo.
    I had six tattoos before I turned 30. 😉 My first one was the masks of comedy and tragedy when I was 18.

  10. Go to a drive-in movie theatre.
    This one is so funny because I live maybe 20 minutes from a drive-in movie theatre and I’ve never gone!
  11. Go to a really posh spa.
    I think this is one of those things I thought adults would do. I used to get gel nails at what I would call a fairly posh spa but I’m going to put this one in the no column.
  12. Try at least 5 different caffeinated drinks.
    Again, WHY DID I WRITE THIS DOWN? Oh, adults drink coffee, I should put that on my list. I worked very hard to overcome my addiction to Awake caffeinated chocolate and I haven’t looked back.
  13. Swim with dolphins.
    Nope. I learned some things about dolphins and now I’m not super into the idea. Although I’ll be honest, if I had the chance, I definitely would.
  14. Go on a cruise.
  15. See Grease live.
    Unfortunately not. I’ve seen The Phantom of the Opera, The ProducersWickedChicago, Hairspray, Mama Mia!, Beauty & the BeastCatsFootloose, Little Shop of Horrors, A Chorus Line, Kronborg: The Hamlet Rock Musical… I know I’m forgetting some. I have tickets for Jersey Boys for this summer but no, I have not seen GreaseHamilton and Book of Mormon are at the top of my list for musicals I’d love to see.
  16. Own a pair of leather pants.
    Haaaaaaaaaaa! Whyyyyyy? (I do love my pleather jacket though.)
  17. Spend an entire summer in a cottage on the beach.
    No. That sounds expensive. I’m not good at cottaging. Whenever I stay at a cottage to try to relax, I get very bored and guilty for not doing something “productive.” (It’s a problem.)
  18. Own an exotic pet.
    My husband tells me a corgi counts as an exotic pet. Good enough.
  19. Attend a poetry reading.
    I think I did in high school. I’m putting a checkmark on this one.
  20. Go to a concert for someone I actually want to see.
    Yes! I saw Joel Plaskett, David Myles, Rah Rah, The Wooden Sky, and Dan Mangan (and probably others I can’t remember right now) while  in my 20s.
  21. Have all of Johnny Depp’s movies on DVD.
    Wow. That didn’t age well.
  22. Learn some kind of self-defence technique.
    Does gripping my keys between my fingers count?
  23. Know at least 10 words in 10 different languages.
    Given how successful my attempt at improving my French was, you can likely guess how well this one went. Again, not sure why this made it onto the list. I’m guessing I couldn’t think of anything interesting at the time.


And that’s it. The list ended at 23 because I didn’t finish the list which seems very on-brand for me.


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Jillianne Hamilton writes delightful historical fiction and historical romance featuring rebellious heroines and happy endings.

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