Thoughts on turning 30 and living the life you want

Back in September 2017, my friend Naomi and I set off on a three–month trip through Latin America. One year on – I’m still travelling; and I’m now also working remotely as a freelancer, and living out my dream of being able to earn money whilst seeing the world. 

Sunrise at Lake Atitlan
Sunrise over Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, with Naomi

I never set off to ‘find myself’, and as with all my previous trips, for me travelling has always about seeing new places, experiencing new cultures and meeting new people. And eating new foods. All the food… Anyway, I didn’t set out to find my third eye, or my second belly button, or whatever. Having said that, during the last year, I have realised a few new things about myself and how I want to live my life. You do get a lot of time for reflection on 10-hour long bus journeys.

So here’s a few of my thoughts about it being ok to live the life that you want to. If you’re having doubts or a wobble (let’s be honest, who doesn’t?), then I hope this can help you think “I’m doing good, I’ve got this”, without comparing yourself to others.

I turned 30. The biggest problem? My hangover the next day.

30th birthday
Spending my 30th above the clouds

One of the realisations happened around the time I turned the grand old age of 30. I had an amazing day and was totally spoiled in Sapa, Vietnam (although it’s far from my favourite country, but more on that another time). I was away from family and friends, but still felt their love on the day, which was super special (thanks guys!).

In the weeks leading up to my birthday, I’d had lots of questions running through my mind…. Would turning 30 make a difference to how I feel about travelling? Was I supposed to live my life differently in my 30s? Where is my life heading? Am I supposed to be ‘settled down’ now (whatever that even means…)? I don’t own a car, a house, even furniture, but at the moment, none of that matters to me.

I was also wondering about how I wanted to spend the day itself–where did I want to be? What did I want to do – be adventurous and hike? Chill out and relax? Get drunk? Turns out, all of the above; and I realised, when I stopped to think properly , that I am doing so much of what I want to do on this trip, that one ‘special’ day didn’t really make all that much difference. Yes, I wanted it to be memorable, but when I am already living and experiencing what I want to on a daily basis, then one day isn’t the be-all and end-all.

Life is continuous and we have created these milestone ages, but do they really matter? Everyone is different and wants a variety of things from life. There are lots of lists which suggest ‘things to do before you’re 30’. Why 30? Why not 35.5 years old? Life is to be lived and I think, wherever possible, you should be doing what you want to do, when you want to do it. Go skinny-dipping aged 75 if you bloody well like!

Having a list of goals and dreams is a good thing, but I don’t think there’s a need to add an age to it. “You’re only as old as you feel” as the saying goes, and I’ve honestly met people in their 70s who are super fit and healthy, and able to do whatever they want.

There are no rules in life. There’s no set path.

Society can pressurise people to follow a set route in life, but that route is never usually straightforward. From my own experience, and from that of my friends, I know that life isn’t perfect, and it continually takes unexpected twists and turns. I’ve experienced those and whilst it’s tough at the time, I’ve come out stronger and knowing more about who I am and what I want from life.

Inner compass
This was on a wall in a hostel. A bit cringe, but I like it!

“After the rain comes a rainbow” and “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” are a couple of phrases that have stuck with me, sent to me by friends at one point. I truly believe that the challenges you face in life are what shapes the person that you are today. 

I could not have got through these times without the support of my friends and family. I’ll be forever grateful to those close to me who have helped me during the past year or two. It doesn’t matter where you are in the world, close friends and family are always just a WhatsApp/phone call or flight away. Travel life is definitely not always just the beaches, mountains, wildlife and coffee shops, that you see on Instagram. So sometimes, a message from a close friend or family member is all you need to feel okay again.

 

Working with a Bintang
Working with a Bintang

We are all different and I know people who would never consider doing what I am doing. For me, I am exactly where I want to be right now; I know where I am going next week, but I don’t know where I’ll be in a month. I’ll decide that soon. This lifestyle won’t last forever, but for now I’m happy, and that is all that matters.

So, try to make sure you are living your life the way YOU want to. Not the way anyone else says you should. Stick two fingers up to anyone who tells you otherwise. No one has room for nay-sayers like that in their lives. Ain’t nobody got time for that.

Thanks so much for reading and if you have any thoughts, please leave a comment below.

Keep up with my journey – follow me on Instagram here.

17 Comments

  • Nem

    Lucy!

    It’s Nem!

    Just wanted to say how much I loved reading your blog and I think what you are doing is wonderful and I hope you continue to have an incredible time. You got a bang on life philosophy haha.

    My best buddy’s husband has got a travel blog called Jumping Jazza (http://jumpingjazza.com/) Him and Catherine have just done a year around Africa with a month or so in India on the end – in case you were interested in some other’s adventures and tips. I will certainly be passing your blog onto them – they’ll love it.

    Lots of love

    Sorry this is very out of the blue haha

    Nem xxx

    • Lucy Fisher

      NEM! SO awesome to hear from you! Thanks so much for leaving a comment, it really made me smile and I’m so glad you enjoyed reading it.

      Thanks for sharing your friends blog, I will have a read now.

      Hope you’re doing well.
      Love Luce xxx

  • Jill

    Loved this post Lucy! Has absolutely made my day. The big 3-0 is approaching for me too and I feel inspired by your message of “stick two fingers up to the nay-sayers”! I agree – Ain’t nobody got time for that!!
    Miss you pal, xxx

    • Lucy Fisher

      Aww thanks Jill pal! I’m so glad what I’m saying is striking a chord with others – who knew?!

      Thought you would like the ‘ain’t nobody got time for that’ too. Haha. Please take this message into the next Sha’bam or body pump class… and I’ll see ya there soon!

      Big love from one Shababe to another… xxx

  • Laura

    Lucy,

    What a beautiful post. As I was reading it, I had in my head a quote (erroneously attributed to F Scott Fitzgerald, but actually a line from the script of The Curious Case of Benjamin Button):

    “For what it’s worth: it’s never too late or, in my case, too early to be whoever you want to be. There’s no time limit, stop whenever you want. You can change or stay the same, there are no rules to this thing. We can make the best or the worst of it. I hope you make the best of it. And I hope you see things that startle you. I hope you feel things you never felt before. I hope you meet people with a different point of view. I hope you live a life you’re proud of. If you find that you’re not, I hope you have the strength to start all over again.”

    You, my dear Lucy, have strength and courage in spades and, because of that, you’ll always feel at home in the world.

    Love from rainy England,
    Laura xx

    • Lucy Fisher

      Thank you so much for your kind words Laura. So lucky to have friends like you to help me along the way! I love that quote, so very true!
      Lots of love xxx

  • Erin

    I always love it when I see pics of someone with Bintang! 🙂 I’m lots older than you and I agree…just go for it and do what makes you happy! People will always find something to complain about, so you just have to get out there and live your best life and put good vibes out into the world. 🙂

  • Monique

    I resonate with this article so much. I turn 30 in January and I have been surprised by how many feelings of running out of time and feeling behind have been cropping up. This post made me feel really good about my unorthodox life choices, because they really do make me happy and that is the most important thing!

  • Laura

    Ahhhh I turn 30 on Wednesday so its reassuring to know that someone else has had those thoughts of WTF should I be doing with my life! You are right, you just gotta live your life the way you want and do what makes you happy.

  • Arunima Dey

    I turned 30 and I cannot relate more. And I ended up starting a blog on my birthday haha. I travel a lot of more relaxed now. I am still all about budget but now I can afford to go eat at a nice place if I want to so thats always good haha.

    • Lucy Fisher

      Good to hear you can relate Arunima! My travel style has changed massively since I first started backpacking. Now, I just think it’s nice to treat yourself now and again!

  • Kimaya

    I have stayed in the same place for most of my life and I have started traveling recently. I agree with your thoughts, numbers should not define us as they might leave you frustrated. Thanks for sharing with us. 🙂

  • Lisa

    Bloody good post Luce (if I may say so myself 😂) I’m so glad you went travelling because it means you got to come and see me! I’m super proud of you and everything you’ve achieved xxxx