Of course, every list about what you “should” do before you turn 30. or 40, or any other decade should be taken with a grain of salt. And, that’s because everyone’s goals and perspectives on life are different. One person might want to travel the world while another may want to open up a pie shop. Different strokes for different folks. However, one of the top regrets of the dying is not following one’s dreams. It doesn’t matter how old you are; you can still achieve whatever you desire if you have the willpower and passion to do so.

As they say, it’s better to fail at something and say you tried than remain stuck in your head dreaming about doing things. Dreams require action to get from Point A to Point B. As humans, we are creatures of habit and comfort. We don’t like doing things that get us outside our normal routine, unfortunately.

However, studies have shown that stability is the enemy of learning. In other words, getting out of the comfort zone is the only way we can keep our brains sharp and adapt to changes. So, the key is to push past that initial discomfort and continue putting yourself a little more outside your comfort zone. That way, you can make some progress without getting too overwhelmed by your feelings.

With that said, let’s go over some common regrets people have about things they wish they’d done before turning 30.

“In the end, we only regret the chances we didn’t take.” – Lewis Carrol

3 Things Everyone Should Do Before They Turn 30

1. Travel

Before you turn 30, think about doing some traveling, even if it’s just to another state. Studies have shown that traveling abroad, specifically, offers benefits such as:

  • boosting your immune system because you’re exposed to new bacteria and organisms
  • increasing cognitive flexibility and depth
  • becoming more culturally aware
  • boosting emotional stability and openness

If you can’t afford to travel all over the world, even doing a cross-country road trip with a loved one or by yourself can offer numerous benefits. Many of us get wrapped up in our own lives and become complacent after a while, so why not use your one or two week vacation and expand your horizons? You have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

If you need some more encouragement, here are some words from Quora users about their regrets surrounding travel:

“My father worked for Qantas and I only discovered recently that I had Staff Travel discounts available to me up until I was 26.

I never used it.

Not once.

I have been fortunate in the fact that I have traveled the world since then and even in my high school days I did some travel.

But, I squandered a major chance on some real adventures before I took on life`s responsibilities and started to settle down.

Your 20s are the perfect opportunity.

You have the time and innocence to spread your wings and go explore.

There are so many wonderful places, people, and things to do out there in our big, amazing planet.

Do it.

Don’t wait!” – Quora user Michael Bosman 

“Travel. Ask people at your workplace what they would be doing if they had significant time off, and the answer is almost always the same—traveling. Then they look to their 20-something colleague and look at them with such envy about how much time they have. Many regretted as singles not doing it more often. There was more time, lessobligations, but many did not do anything about it. In fact, many admitted they would have been happy to increase that credit card balance for the sake of travel.” – Quora user Ahmed N. Muneeb

2. Follow your passion

In life, there’s a lot of pressure to follow a certain path, and you can easily go down the wrong one if you’re listening to the crowd. Instead of following in others’ footsteps, don’t be afraid to blaze your own trail. Create your own story. Too many people are staying inside the lines instead of venturing outside their comfort zone, and this leads to stagnation and discontent.

Everyone has different passions in life, so don’t ever listen to people who want to squander your dreams. Only you know what your heart longs for, so don’t hesitate to answer that call and take the leap of faith. When we’re following our bliss, we raise our frequency and allow the universe to move through us effortlessly. Any discontent we feel about our current situation creates energetic blockages in our bodies, and this will only compound the more we turn away from our joy.

Here’s what one Quora user has to say about following your passion:

“With rising student debt and declining job security, those in their 20s are panicking. Again as someone who fits in this category, I can attest to this.

This is why I’ve started to work on my skillset outside of my traditional 9-to-5 job.

Personally, I love to write. I hope to eventually earn a full-time salary as an author and freelance writer.

Every single day, I write for two hours.

Every single day, I read for an hour.

I’m not great but through discipline and consistency, I’m slowly getting there.

I love my 9-to-5 job, but anything can turn on a dime. One conversation with HR and I could find myself unemployed within a matter of weeks.

It’s important that you explore now, when you’re free of serious commitments (i.e. children), to explore whatever craft you’ve chosen and work, slow and steady, towards mastery.” – Quora user Jennifer Chan

3. Try new activities

Before you turn 30, try to get involved with as many things that bring you joy as possible. Even if you have kids or a demanding job, take some time on the weekends to learn a new skill or hobby. You can even bring your kids with you! Let’s say you want to learn how to crochet. Maybe you can find a local class and learn from others – it could even turn into a business if you really enjoy it! The sky is truly the limit when it comes to taking on new activities.

Learning a new skill creates new pathways in the brain which help you perform better and retain all the incoming information. Therefore, if you aren’t actively learning things, your brain remains the same. Every day, try to work on a skill that you consider important. Even if you’re only working at it a few minutes a day, your brain will start to absorb the information.

Here’s what a Quora user says about learning:

“Your brain is like an engine.

The more you take care of it, the smoother it runs.

The more you work on it, the faster and more powerful it, and you, become.

When you stop using it for long periods of time, it becomes slow and rusty.

I don’t know about you, but I want a smooth, powerful engine.

The sad thing is that many people don’t think this way.

Instead, as soon as they stop school, they stop working on their brains.

Personally, I’ve learned more in the last year since I graduated college than I did in most of my schooling.

Real learning happens outside of school.

Real learning happens when YOU decide what you want to learn and how.

This is where life gets awesome.

There are an infinite amount of things to learn. More than anyone can learn in one lifetime. But that is what is so exciting.

You can learn everything and anything you want.

And with each new thing you learn, your experience of life changes.

Simply put, life is more fun when you learn new things!” – Quora user John Michael Domingo 

So, how can you get started on your goals?

Basically, you need to work on one major goal at a time. Need job experience? Volunteer to feed the homeless or coordinate a fundraiser. If you want to travel, make a list of places you want to see and figure out a ballpark estimate of how much money you need to make it happen. You don’t have to have a concrete plan, of course, but knowing some of the basics will help bring your plan to life.

Life is about learning, so as long as you make an effort to keep your dreams alive and go for it when the time’s right, everything will take care of itself. Don’t overthink it too much; just do what your heart desires and life will unfold as it should.

Final thoughts about things you should do before you turn 30

We spend a lot of our days doing things we don’t really enjoy, and that’s a real shame. Life should be about experiences, not just responsibility. Sure, we all have bills to pay, but there’s no one right way to go about that. You can pay the bills working as a comedian just as you can pay them working in finance. It’s all about what you want to be doing with your time. Choose wisely, and always follow your heart. Before you turn 30, make sure you’ve done at least one thing that brings you pure happiness.

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