Today is my 30th birthday.

In an alternate universe, I would have woken up in the very fancy hotel I had booked for myself on the Almalfi Coast in Italy. I'd have put on an amazing outfit, had the most decadent breakfast of my life, enjoyed a day of sun lounging and jumping into the glittering Mediterranean Sea from a private boat, and topped it all off with an indulgent pasta dinner & ALL the gelato, of course.

Alas, the universe had different plans. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't mourning my 30th birthday celebrations, but I'm also VERY aware that in the grand scheme of things my birthday means nothing, and helping protect people's loved ones means everything. I have not for even one second been anything but grateful for my privileged position during this crisis. I am healthy, employed, sheltered in a lovely warm apartment with food in my cupboards and a private outdoor space to enjoy. Life is good.

This time has made me quite introspective, to say the least. Every day I've been in quarantine I've thought a lot about the things I want to do & change once this nightmare is over. It's also let me dwell a lot on all of the things I have already done! I'm ambitious by nature so I tend to always be looking forward to the future, making myself feel down bout all the things I haven't done yet as opposed to all of the wonderful things I HAVE done. So I thought it only appropriate on my 30th birthday to reflect on the last decade of adventures.

1. Backpacked through Europe (18 countries in 3 months!)

2. Spent a month living in Paris with my best friend

3. Graduated with my Master's Degree from my dream school

4. Achieved financial independence

5. Moved to Ireland

6. Zip-lined above a forest in Alaska

7. Watched a musical on London's West End

8. Explored the souks of Marrakech

9. Visited the Blue Lagoon in Iceland

10. Found someone special to spend my life with

11. Hunted for the Loch Ness Monster in the Scottish Highlands

12. Rode the craziest rollercoaster at Oktoberfest in Munich

13. Adopted a Pet

14. Went clubbing in Las Vegas

15. Bathed in the Széchenyi Thermal Bath in Budapest

16. Went backstage at a concert (multiple, actually!)

17. Drove a Jeep through the Yukon in Canada

18. Saw the fireworks at Disneyland, DisneyWorld, and EuroDisney

19. Sunbathed on the beach in Barcelona

20. Ran through a lavender field in Provence

In this (hilarious) video I made with my friend Julie in 2013, we detailed all of the things we wanted to do before turning 30. If you've watched it, you'll notice I actually accomplished some of the things I wanted to do! Some of my goals are still pending (haven't seen the Northern Lights yet and DESPERATELY still want to go to Giraffe Manor in Kenya) aaaaand some of them I can nix (riding an elephant, blowing something up in the desert - WHY did I want to do those things?)

Very proud of my 20s, yet am feeling totally content to leave them behind and jump into a new decade. I hope my 30s are just as chock full of adventure, growth and fun!