Side Street Style

A family lifestyle, interiors & travel blog


My 40 before 40 List and making it happen


Having turned 32 last week it's reminded me how fast time flies by, it feels like only yesterday I was celebrating my 30th in the South of France with family and friends. I was pregnant at the time with my youngest who is now nearly 19months old and it feels like our feet have not touched the ground since he came on the scene.

Having always had itchy feet and following on from my fathers passion to travel I managed to fit a whole lot of living into my life before turning 30 including celebrating New Years in more than 4 different countries and travelling to 25 countries as well as learning to drive, having a family, taking a cargo ship from Africa to the UK and loads in between. Although things did slow down slightly after having kids and traipsing around Europe with a backpack working at hostels as I went along was not so much an option anymore, now things need to be planned and thought out far more in advance. I do think putting pen to paper and making plans is the first step to realising them, so I have curated my 40 before 40 list, one or two of things I have already done post 30 and others are sightly wishful thinking as it would only happen if finances allowed, but we can all dream right?

South of France
My 30th was spent in Paris and the French Riveria 

Fitness and Outdoors and outdoor experiences

1. Climb Pen Y Fan, South Wales Tallest peak
2. Canoe down the river Wye
3. Take a picture of the sunrise and sunset on the same day
4. Try Paddle boarding
5. Run, not walk, a 5km charity race
6. Do a tree top Zip Line adventure
7. Surf an Artificial wave
8. Go Hiking in Yosemite
9. Do a long distance bike ride
10. Start a camp fire without a match or a lighter
11. Take part in the Bog Snorkelling championships in Wales
12. 4x4 Land Rover experience
13. Rope swing into a river or lake
14. Find a four leaf clover
15. Take the family Geocaching

Learning and cultural experiences

16. Learn to sail a keelboat
17. Have a basic conversation on a foreign language
18. Complete Forest School Assistant training
19. Take the kids to the Opera or Ballet (done many theatre shows but none with a full orchestra)
20. Watch tennis live at Wimbledon
21. See a movie at a drive-in
22. Participate in a Flash Mob
23. Swim at the thermal roof top spa pool in Bath

Share the love and giving back

24. Raise £250 for charity
25. Volunteer 10hrs to a charity and cause I believe in
26. Buy Coffee/lunch for someone who really needs it - DONE
27. Take my mother of for an indulgent 3 course meal and say Thank-you for everything.
28. Adopt a pet from the animal shelter
29. Plant a family tree together

Travel and seeing the world

30. Ride the Orient Express
31. Take a Gondola in Venice (have visited Venice but never did the Gondola)
32. Take the Skybus to the Isles of Scilly- DONE
33. Spend a night in a Treehouse
34. Buy a camper van - DONE
35. Eat a Danish pastry in Denmark
36. Spend a night on Mont St-Michel, France
37. Celebrate Johns 40th birthday with coffee and bagel at Ralphs in New York
38. Take a cruise - either Transatlantic, Med or to the Norwegian Fjords
39. Touch a Redwood
40. Take a picture crossing Abbey Road Zebra crossing with the kids

Isles of Scilly

There are two more things I really want to do but feel these may only become possible when the children are older as they will appreciate it more 1. Walk the Camino Santiago and 2. Take the TranSiberian railway - these will be on my list of things to do before I'm 50.

I always use to think that you make your own luck and to an extent that is certainly true although there also has to be a combination of being in the right place at the right time as well as taking an educated risk and I have found at times jumping in at the deep end has certainly reaped amazing rewards for myself in terms of friendships and life experiences.

A few of the things on my list are very doable on a small to zero budget such as geocaching with the family while others will require luck more than anything such as finding a four leaf clover although some however will take a considerable amount of savings such as my dream to hike through Yosemite national park in the US or ride the Orient Express (I am passionate about trains and train travel so this really would be a dream come true), even if we saved for a few year I would probably fall short on some of these excursions.

Camping Scotland
Me wild camping in Scotland a few years back

One of my favourite travel inspired films Eat Pray Love she mentions this story - There's a wonderful old Italian joke about a poor man who goes to church every day and prays before the statue of a great saint, begging, "Dear saint-please, please, please...give me the grace to win the lottery." This lament goes on for months. Finally the exasperated staue comes to life, looks down at the begging man and says in weary disgust, "My son-please, please, a ticket."

That has stuck in mind ever since, I don't believe in waste but I also believe in taking a chance, even though I am not one for gambling at all I do think instead of having that bar of chocolate one or twice a week why not buy myself the chance of a life changing win from the lottery? Only problem is I have a mind like a sieve these days and always forget to pop into my local corner shop in time for the draw and then I lose the enthusiasm to wait another week and plus with the cost going from £1 to £2 with less chances of winning has left me a little uninspired.

So when Lottoland invited me to try out their easy solution to this problem I was quite excited to give it a whirl. It's basically a website where you can purchase your Euromillions tickets online anytime of the day but also have the opportunity to take part in Lotteries from all over the world including ones you would normally not have access too such as The Swedish Lottery, French Lotto, Polish Lotto and some with as little as 80p to enter with just as high jackpots and equal chances of winning. It also means that there is one happening every day of the week so if you want a quick flutter without having to wait days you can.

Bucket list

I have often thought what I would do if I had a huge windfall as I am not a very materialistic person at all. I know I would still work because that gives me purpose but it would certainly take the daily stress away and allow even more family time. I know I would also donate a large proportion to charities and random acts of kindness as well as being able to finish my bucket list with ease. What would you do if you won the lottery?

An associated post 


  1. WOWSERS! I am 40 and I have only done a few of these things. Eeek! However, I don't want to do bog snorkelling. So that makes me feel a bit better. I think I am going to have contruct a 60 things to do before 60 because it won't be til about 55 that we will have the freedom or finances to do most of the things i can think of! :D I've been to NYC but i'd love to go back and have a pastrami on rye. Even tho I am veggie. heheh! I've never heard of Ralphs!

  2. Yay! I have a list like this of my own and it's always fun to see other people's :-)

  3. Such a lovely idea to create a list like this Laura - and brilliant things on your list! I think I might steal this idea myself to do my own list. I'm 33 next month and feel like there are many things I could put on my list!

  4. These are really achievable but still exciting and fun goals. Theres loads on here that I really want to do too- for example I have always wanted to do geocaching and do something like go ape. xx

  5. Good list! I've always wanted to do the Orient Express or Trans-Siberian railway. There's something about sleeping on trains and the feeling that you're seeing lots of the world in an economic way. Does that make sense? There's so much of the world I worry that I'll never see! xx

  6. I really like your list and i've been meaning to write one myself! i think you've just inspired me! x

  7. Such a lovely post! I remember before I started blogging you did a talk at a conference in Swansea and you were so inspiring. It's so nice that your blog has grown with your family and it's always a great read!
    Christy X

  8. I would so love to ride the Orient Express. Some fabulous ideas here. If I won the lottery I would do Route 66 for sure.

  9. I've got a list like this and may have to pinch a few of yours - you've got some really lovely ideas here!

  10. Wow! Such an inspiring and ambitious bucket list. I did one of 30 things before 30 and to my shame have not done them all - not even nearly. You seem motivated, though, so I'm looking forward to following your journey as you get through them. x

  11. I love this list! Can I do the Bath Baths with you? I've never been either! Number two, by the way, is the best fun ever. Just take a bottle of rum and no kids, it makes it even more fun :)

  12. I love this list! I want to do something similar and I think it's good to give yourself a bunch of time..OK I have nine years..I think I better start ticking off mine! x


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