How To Complete Your Bucket List In The Most Practical Way

by Kelly Vo

I turn 30 in a few months, and I'm ready to leave my 20s behind. They’ve been great, but I’m looking forward to the maturity and stability that defines your 30s.

One thing I’m not anticipating, however, is reviewing my bucket list of 30 things to do before I’m 30.

There’s an episode of "Scrubs" that sticks out in my mind: J turns 30, and he realizes he hasn’t accomplished any of the things he wanted to do. To make up for missed opportunities, he decides to complete a triathlon without training.

It’s a ridiculous storyline, but I've never forgotten it. Too many of us wait years to take what we want from life because we’re so busy making our bucket lists instead of fulfilling them.

Millennials have such big dreams and plans, but we put everything off to “someday.” Honestly, I’m done with somedays. It’s time to jump off the deep end and do what we want and love now.

There will never be a perfect time or opportunity to take risks, make sacrifices and try something new. Figure out how to complete your bucket list now.

Your Career

It took until my 29th birthday to decide I was tired of talking about being a writer and to actually become a writer.

Don’t get me wrong; it was the most difficult and frightening decision I've ever made. But now, I’m three months in, and I couldn’t be happier.

For years, I talked about doing what I loved, but there was always something holding me back.

I made excuses about money, experience and needing more time. The truth is I easily could have made this same decision a few years ago, and been further along in my new career.

I didn’t need the starter jobs that felt necessary at the time. And in the end, earning more money didn’t matter, considering I gave it all up for freelancing.

Here’s the thing to remember: The further along you get in your career, the riskier it will feel to leave it all behind to do what you love.

If you’ve always wanted to move to New York City and work in finance or publishing, cross it off your bucket list. Make the move.


I love to travel. Almost every item on my bucket list is a travel destination, but I never went anywhere. The excuse this time? “It’s too expensive to travel.”

To be frank, that’s complete and utter crap. You can travel the world on a budget; all you need is planning and preparation.

In 2014, my husband and I took our first vacation in eight years. (Yes, I married young, but that’s another story.)

Our trip was a three-week, around-the-world tour through Europe and Asia. We hit 10 cities, six countries and three continents for around $3,000. How? We researched using a lovely thing called the Internet and looked at travel blogs.

Sometimes, airlines have mistake fares, and last May, a doozy of a mistake got us one-way tickets to Europe and Asia for only $150 each.

Yes, it was a unique circumstance, but it taught us that anything was possible. We’re heading to South Africa in September on another mistake fare, this time for $300 each round trip.

Whether you use mistake fares or not, there is no reason to wait to travel until you’re older or have more money.

I could have seen so much more of the world by now if I worked on checking off my bucket list right away.

Now, I’m making up for lost time and traveling as much as possible. We've already hit Jamaica, New York City and Hawaii this year. I’m done waiting to live.

Your Health

Guess what? Your 20s are the best time to get in shape and learn to live healthily. It only gets more difficult to change your habits the older you are.

The metabolism of my 25-year-old coworkers is vastly different than mine.

One of my bucket list items was to run a marathon. I tried in my early 20s, but I kept putting it off. It took years before I decided enough was enough. This year, I finally ran my first marathon, and I’m hooked.

The only way I was going to run a marathon was to run a marathon. It’s that simple. I just had to make the decision.

Whatever thing is on your health bucket list — be it running a marathon, eating less junk food or becoming vegetarian — jump in now.

It takes a lifetime to build healthy habits, and if you keep saying “someday,” you’ll look back 20 or 30 years from now and realize that someday meant never.

Moving Forward

Let’s ditch the bucket lists. In years past, they may have had their place, but we’re a generation of endless possibilities and huge dreams.

No matter what it takes or what you have to sacrifice, check off your list of 30 before 30, and live every day like it's New Year’s Day.