40 things to do before I turn 40

A few months ago, a friend of mine who created This Renegade Love (which, if you haven’t checked out, you totally should!) wrote an inspiring article about 35 things she wants to do before she turns 35. While I’m nearly a year past my 35th birthday, it got me thinking about the things I’d like to do before I’m 40. So I made a list of 40 things to do before I turn 40.

40 things to do before I turn 40

Making this list was a lot harder than I expected it would be. I didn’t want to be negative or stifle my creativity, but I also wanted to be somewhat realistic about what I could achieve in four years. For example, there are some travel related things I’d like to do, like visit every continent in the world. This unfeasible in the short-ish time period and limited budget, so I included two of the four continents I haven’t been to, leaving the other two to visit before I turn 50.

So without further ado, here’s my list of goals for the next four years. I feel like I have dreamed big enough to make all of these a challenge to complete.


40 Things to do before I turn 40 - Wellness

1. Feed myself (partially) through a vegetable garden. Our apartment has a small outdoor space where I experimented (unsuccessfully) with container growing last year.

2. Run regularly. Which leads to my next goal:

3. Run a half marathon.

4. Meditate daily.

5. Eat vegetarian a minimum of one day per week.

6. Regularly practice yoga.

7. Get out into nature. I think the David Suzuki Foundation 30 x 30 Challenge is a great starting point: 3o minutes a day in nature should be possible, considering we live in a more rural part of the Netherlands. Now I just need to find a job in an office near a park…

Low-Impact Living

40 things to do before I turn 40 - Low Impact Living

8. Create a personal carbon footprint/sustainability report & aim for reductions every year.

9. Buy as much local food as possible.

10. Buy only high-quality items.

11. Make mayonnaise that RB likes. I like a challenge!

12. Bake bread rather than buying it.

13. Make yogurt rather than buying.

14. (Successfully) Make lip balm. I tried it once, and it was a disaster

15. Clean my house with home-made and/or non-toxic cleaning supplies.

16. Make a tasty tomato sauce from scratch. Stop buying it from the store


40 things to do before I turn 40 - Travel17. Go on a safari in Africa.

18. Visit the countries of my roots: Scotland and Wales.

19. Walk El Camino Santiago in Spain.

20. See the northern lights.

21. Take a last minute trip to a random location.

22. Visit the beaches of Normandy.

23. Experience Thailand.

24. Experience Greece.

25. Travel from Vancouver to Toronto (or vice versa) by train.

26. Surprise someone in Canada with a visit. I suppose by putting this on the internet I’m making the surprise part a bit harder…


40 things to do before I turn 40 - Learning

27. Speak Dutch fluently. I’ve signed up for classes that begin January 11th.

28. Earn a Masters degree.

29. Speak French fluently (again). I am a graduate of the French Immersion program, and it drives me a little crazy that I have so much trouble speaking French.

30. Read 50 books.

31. Complete 15 Massive Open Online Courses. I’m currently taking a few courses with Coursera and am enjoying them.

32. Start an Education Fund for my niece.

33. Listen to podcasts regularly. I’m a little hooked on Serial, Undisclosed, the TED Radio HourStartUp and PodQuiz. They’re great to listen to while walking or commuting.


40 things to do before I turn 40 - Other

34. Host a Halloween party in the Netherlands.

35. Go to an Ajax match (or another Dutch football match).

36. Ride a Segway.

37. Volunteer at a local charity.

38. Spend as much time as possible with my family.

39. Make a difference in people’s lives.

40. Live as if I am fearless. I know that picking up my life and moving overseas seems incredibly daring, but there are times feel like fear keeps me from doing great things. While I think a certain amount of fear is good, I don’t want it to stop me from living my life.


Do you have a list of things you’d like to accomplish before a certain time?
Leave a comment to let me know what’s on it!

4 thoughts on “40 things to do before I turn 40

  1. I help you with any of the travel goals 🙂 Many of those places are on my list as well. Plus, I’d love a surprise visit 😉

  2. You are an inspiration! I am with you anytime you’d like a partner to accomplish these goals (particularly the travel ones 🙂 )

Leave a comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.