Between July 9th 2014 and July 8th 2015, I am undertaking an incredibly ambitious 30 challenges before I reach 30 years of age (read more about the 30 before 30 idea)
I will be documenting my progress on this page – a living document of how I’m progressing towards my goals. I’ve tried to incorporate the number 30 into as many challenges as possible. In no particular order, the challenges are:
1. Build a pizza oven
This has been on my agenda for good few years now. I have a good deal of the materials and the tools to build it, so I’m making it a commitment to complete before I’m 30.
2. Give blood
My mum has always given blood and has now given an amazing 64 times! This has inspired me to add it to my challenge list, a finally ‘do something amazing’.
3. Travel abroad
Many people can’t believe I’ve not been abroad and this something I intend to change this year. Destination as yet unknown…
4. Write and record a 30 minute EP
I’ve always been into my music and I play more of my own music than covers. I want to pull all of my musical ideas together into a self-produced EP of 5 or 6 songs this year.
5. Build a chicken run
We used to keep chickens in the back garden and it was very fulfilling seeing them roaming around. So the plan is to build a new run so we can get some more.
6. Do the 3 peaks challenge
This challenge is to climb Scarfell Pike, Ben Nevis and Snowdon – the tallest mountains of England, Scotland and Wales, in 24 hours (including travelling between them). It’s no mean feat and will require lots of training!
7. Learn to play 30 new songs
Running on from challenge 4, I want to learn to play (and dare I say, sing) 30 new songs. I’m currently developing this list.
8. Embark on 30 new walks
I love walking and this challenge is designed to push me further afield in search of some new walks as well discovering some local walks I’ve never got round to walking.
9. Cycle 30 bike rides
I used to cycle voraciously and my bike is still in very good condition, so this challenge is to get back out there on the bike and cycle 30 bike rides of at least 10 miles each.
10. Cook 30 meals outdoors
Challenge 1 will certainly assist me in the particular challenge – simply cook 30 meals outdoors, yummy!
11. Build something with Arduino
I’ve tinkered with Arduino for some time now, but I want complete a specific project using this technology.
12. Snap 30 astro-photographs
If you read my blog, you’ll know I love astronomy and that I own a wonderful 8″ telescope. This challenge is to set it up and take 30 astro-photos and process them as best I can to produce some beautiful images.
13. Contribute 30 hours to open source project(s)
As an avid user and advocate of open source software, I want to give back at least 30 hours by helping out 1 or more projects using my own skills.
14. Taste 30 new ingredients
There are easily 30 things I’ve never tasted, and this challenge is to try some of these ingredients and incorporate them in a meal. You never know, I could be really missing out on some culinary delights.
15. Perform 30 random acts of kindness
A random act of kindness is a selfless, none pre-meditated act that that will help someone out. Big or small, I plan to carry out at least 30 of these in the next year.
16. Participate in a mud run
Just before I started the 30 before 30 project, I witnessed some good friends of mine take part in the JCB mud run, which I turned down as I thought I wasn’t fit enough. Seeing the expressions of jubilation on their faces after the run was enough to convince me to put it on the list.
17. Support 30 charities
With this challenge, I don’t only aim to send money to my selected charities but also to support them by volunteering and taking part in sponsored events.
18. Read 30 books
This is a toughie (due to the length of time it requires to read a book), but I’m determined to read 30 books from a vast array of books that have been building up in my house for years.
19. Play 30 different sports
Another difficult challenge – I aim to take part in 30 competitive activities through the year from traditional sports to not so traditional (is Scrabble a sport?)
20. Watch 30 classic films
It has become strikingly apparent is recent years that I’ve not watched many classic films. Therefore I aim to pick 30 of them (I’m still working on the criteria for classifying a ‘classic’ film – I’ll probably use the IMDB top 250 list)
21. Save £3000 towards a campervan
One of my dreams for as long as I can remember is to own a campervan. This is of course a very big financial decision, so I intend to save £3000 towards to the dream in the next year.
22. Write 30 articles for thegreenvillage.co.uk
I have been running thegreenvillage.co.uk for a very long time, but to give it the kick start it deserves, I’m going to dedicate my time to write 30 articles for the site over the next year.
23. Discover 30 new bands/musicians
It’s sometimes difficult get out of the rut of bands you’re used to listening to, so this challenge is for me to find 30 new bands/musicians to add to what I would call, my favourite artists (not necessarily brand new – they can be older bands I’ve just never listened to)
24. Learn a language
My better half is very good at German, so I would like to dedicate this challenge to learning German as a second language.
25. Achieve 85% average for my university modules
In order that I don’t dedicate too much time away from my university studies to complete other challenges, this one is here to make sure I still do well (I’m taking 3 modules this year instead of the normal 2 I’ve done for the last couple of years)
26. Perform live
One of my life long dreams, despite being petrified by the thought of it, is to perform my music live. Once challenge 4 is complete, I aim to perform them in front of others…eek!
27. Launch TechUp
I aim to launch a 3-month crash course in front-end web development. If you’re interested, take a look at TechUp and maybe sign yourself up.
28. Stop speeding
One of my many flaws is that, when driving, I often speed – rarely intentionally, but it is a habit I wish to break.
29. Go sea fishing – catch and eat a fish
I’ve wanted to do this for a long time so why not add it to the list? I’ve no real preference, but mackerel are quite abundant on the British coastline. It would be nice to catch, cook and eat my own fish.
30. Complete 30 DIY projects around the home
Some DIY projects in my house have needed starting or completing for quite some time, so this task is complete 30 of them at long last.