I turned 26 last week! Yay!

Last year, when I turned 25, I made a 30 before 30 list — that is, a list of 30 goals I want to accomplish before I turn 30 years old. Now is the time to check in and see what progress I’ve made!


1. Finish my Master’s degree
Currently writing my thesis! Assuming I pass, I will definitely be able to check this off by next year!

6. Read 100 books
Last year, my Goodreads profile was at 56 books. Now I’m at 71, which means I’ve read 16 books in the past year. That’s not a lot, but it’s mostly because I have had to focus so much on academic reading (i.e. journal articles) that I haven’t read very many books and novels. This should pick up soon.

10. Read 30 books in German
I’ve only read two non-academic books in German this past year: Der Marsianer & Die Flüsse von London. Progress is progress, I suppose.

11. Visit 10 different Christmas markets
This past year I visited the Flensburg Christmas market, which was a new one for me. Not particularly large or nice, but new.

15. Learn to drive stick shift
Over Easter this year, Marco gave me my second lesson in driving stick shift (almost one year after the first one). A couple days later, I drove for four hours on Autobahn! Then, just two weeks ago, I was the designated driver for a bunch of drunk Germans (again), and I went through at least four stoplights without ever stalling the car!

Learning to drive stick shift in Germany

16. Grow a vegetable garden
This year we grew cucumbers, tomatoes, and lots of lettuce on the balcony! I’ll wait cross this off until I grow a successful vegetable garden, though. Our cucumbers were inedible this year, and as of writing this post, we have not yet harvested a single tomato 🙁

20. Enjoy black coffee
Marco and I got a Nespresso machine for Christmas 2015. Since then, I drink almost exclusively espresso (but only in the afternoon), and I love it. Crossing this one off!

22. Get a massage
My sneaky cousin Renee took me to get a massage when I was visiting my family in the U.S. in September 2015. I was super nervous, but actually ended up enjoying it! Not sure I need to go again anytime soon, though…

23. Master the German language
I feel like I could cross this one off, but there is still one thing that makes me very nervous: finding a job. Since my future job will likely require me speaking and writing in German, I want to see how I handle adjusting to this situation before I cross this one off.

24. Run 5k in less than 30 minutes
I restarted the C25k program in May, and coincidentally, I reached the last week of the program on yesterday! Below is the review of my last run, where I ran 4.93 km in 31 minutes. Close enough! I’m crossing it off, and I’ll start working towards my second running goal on my 30 before 30 list – running 10 km in under 1 hour!

That’s four goals crossed off the list! Let’s hope I can pick up the past in the coming years…