I was cleaning out some files in my old external drive when I found something I’d typed up the day I turned twenty. It was a bucket list I’d titled “25 by 25”, and I decided to post it here for posterity’s sake since I’m three years away from this age milestone (and quarter-life crisis). I thought it’d be cool to see if I’ve managed to do any of these things yet, and maybe even start making concrete plans for those things I haven’t done yet.
(For ease of access, those that I’ve done will be highlighted in this color, and those I haven’t will be highlighted in this color.)
1. Go to Japan.
Going to Japan has always been a childhood dream of mine. It started with an obsession with anime throughout my teenage years that eventually evolved into fascination with the culture and history.
Yes! In 2014, I went backpacking through Osaka and Tokyo with three friends. I plan to blog about the trip soon, even though it happened over a year ago. The experience was nothing short of amazing.
2. Climb a mountain.
I used to think you needed to be in peak physical condition to climb a mountain, or that you needed to be one of those hardcore types with special backpacks who can make a tent out of dental floss and toothpicks. I’ve since learned that all you need are sweat-wicking clothes, a water bottle, good shoes, and a willingness to learn and try new things.
Four times! (Read about them here.) Planning a fifth hike sometime soon this April. If anybody out there can suggest a trail, please do!
3. Have my own car.
This was wishful thinking back then, but…
YES. My mom gave me a car for my 21st birthday. No other gift she gives me can possibly top this. I didn’t deserve it. Still don’t. But I’m hella glad and grateful for it.
4. Visit Palawan.
Palawan is one of the most beautiful destinations in the Philippines, and it’s been a subject of so many travel blogs. In fact, one of my favorite travel blogs, Teacake Travels, has written so much about her time in Palawan. With all those exposure, I figure it’s high time I visited the place.
Yes! I went to Palawan for my 23rd birthday with my boyfriend! To see posts about it, click on the Palawan tag.
5. Travel with friends.
There’s something special about the first time you travel with just your friends, not a single parent in sight. Not only do you get to do more fun and crazy things which a parent would not necessarily approve of (I’d apologize to my mother, but she still has no idea of some of the shenanigans that went on when I was in Japan with my friends…)
Multiple times, both in and out of the country!
6. Maintain a blog and/or journal for more than a year.
I love to write, but a huge flaw with my writing is my ningas-kugon tendencies. ‘Ningas-kugon’ is a Filipino idiom which describes someone who’s very enthusiastic at the start of a project but then whose interest wanes. I’ve tried keeping diaries throughout the years, and eventually I’d get lazy and stop writing in them. My mom hates this habit of mine because she thinks I’m wasting money buying notebooks (she’s right though…).
So far, I’ve started both a blog and a journal, and I’ve managed to maintain both – if not religiously, at least with frequent updates.
YES! As of March 3, 2017, WordPress has informed me it’s officially been a year since I’ve started blogging!
7. Get tattoos.
I’ve always loved body art. I don’t think I can ever get the truly huge and beautiful pieces, such as sleeves or back tattoos, due to the nature of my job. (Ever see foreign service personnel covered in tats that can’t be hidden by clothes? Yeah, not at all. Makes me sad, but them’s the breaks.) I’ll have to be contented with medium to small tattoos that can be hidden by my clothes, but I’m okay with that. As long as I can indulge in this love of body art!
So far, I have three tattoos (thinking of blogging about them, actually…), but I’m looking to add more. It’s true what they say – getting tattooed is addicting.
8. Adopt a cat or dog.
This one is pretty much a no-brainer. In the market of a furry member of the family? Adopt, don’t shop.
Yes! I adopted my cat, Bing, from a couple in my neighborhood that fosters cats. He was named after their favorite character on Friends, Chandler Bing.
(No pictures of the little demon because he doesn’t sit still long enough for them.)
9. Treat my mom to dinner at a really nice restaurant.
This wouldn’t be nearly enough to pay my mom back for all the crap I’ve given her through the years. But then again, that’s what parents are for, right?
Nevertheless, I am supremely grateful to my mother, and I’ve always dreamed of treating to her a really nice dinner at one of those swanky restaurants you actually have to get dressed up for. She more than deserves it!
Yes! Treated the whole family to dinner last Mother’s Day. The feeling is indescribable.
10. Travel to another continent.
My travels so far have been restricted to Asia, due to work and money constraints. But before or by the time I turn 25, I hope to have traveled to another continent. I’m partial to South America (at least I won’t look out of place, brown girl that I am) but I wouldn’t say no to a Eurotrip!
Hell naw. Working toward it though!
11. Get PADI certified.
It’s always been a dream of mine to dive with sharks. In fact, it’s on my lifetime bucket list to do so. But of course, I can’t do that unless I’m certified to scuba dive. I’ve done some research and I think I’ll take the PADI Scuba Diver program first since I’m kind of short on time, being swamped with work (perils of being the new girl), but I plan on eventually taking the PADI Open Water Diver course.
No. *insert sad face here* But ever since I found out about the plethora of diving schools in Anilao which is a relatively short drive from my place (compared to driving to Makati – UGH), this is definitely in the near future.
12. Take up yoga.
At first, I wasn’t too interested in taking up yoga. Most yoga studios are in BGC, Makati, or Ortigas, and while I was intrigued with the idea of yoga, like hell I was getting up at the ass-crack of dawn and driving all the way to the CBD just to twist myself up like a pretzel.
But then a friend of mine introduced me to her uncle, who has a studio located right in Parañaque, where I live. I went to scope out a yoga class and was utterly entranced. And since the studio was pretty much a fifteen-minute walk from my place, I was sold. It’s also a giant plus that the studio doesn’t just offer yoga, it also has a wide variety of classes like Zumba (for the #titaofmanila in you), TRX, and aerobics.
Yes, but still an ongoing project. Which reminds me, I have to renew my membership!
13. Cultivate a taste for wine.
As a kid, I thought there was a stage in life where adults magically started liking coffee and wine.
Then I learned the sad, hard truth. There comes a point in your life where you can either turn to caffeine and alcohol, or turn to God. And prayer just won’t help you get through the day without slugging that asshole who stole your cab, pushing an annoying coworker down the stairs, or setting a terror prof on fire.
Gladly. White wine is da bawm diggity, and sangria is the whitest of my white girl guilty pleasures.
14. Open a savings account and deposit regularly.
Because, you know, #adulting.
Yes, thanks to the good offices of my mom. It’s kind of hard not to take money seriously from a very young age when your primary caregiver is an accountant.
15. See more of the Philippines.
“My country, ‘tis of thee,” says the song about the good old US of A. My country? Tis of beaches, mountains, rolling hills, open fields, blue skies, clear water, islands, palm trees, and drinking coconut milk right out of the shell.
We are the island paradise. We are the exotic destination that westerners pay thousands of dollars to visit and ooh and aah over. Time we started doing our own ooh-ing and aah-ing.
Sort of, in the sense that I’ve made the effort to focus on traveling around the Philippines rather than jet-setting across the globe. But I’m nowhere near finished! The thing I like the most about the Philippines is that there is no one place that is indicative of what the country as a whole is like. You get the white sand and crystal water of places like Palawan, Puerto Galera, and Siargao; but you’ve also got cold and rocky mountains like Apo, Pulag, and Ulap where you have to wear protective gear and windbreakers; and let’s not forget the LOTR-esque hills and pebble beaches of places like Batanes; not to mention the veritable time machines sending you back to the Spanish colonial era that Vigan, Pila, and Intramuros are. We’ve got a little bit of everything, and any trip you take here in the Philippines is sure to be a brand-new, exciting, and eye-opening experience.
16. Travel with the significant other.
Because we’ve traveled so many times with friends but have yet to take a trip with just the two of us.
Like I said in item four, the SO and I went to Palawan for my 23rd birthday. It was amazing.
17. Invest in a really nice high-quality piece of clothing.
Forever 21, H&M, Zara, Topshop, and Mango will always be my go-to places for cheap, easily replaceable basics and trendy items that I want to try out. But one day I’m gonna have to put on my big girl shorts and
splurge invest in a really quality piece of clothing that won’t conk out on me. I’ve been told a designer bag, watch, pair of shoes, or coat is a good idea.
On a government employee’s salary? *rolls away into the sunset laughing*
18. Establish a skincare routine.
Super important for maintaining youthful twenty-something skin, even when I’m well into my fifties and sixties. My mom doesn’t like a day over thirty, and she’s fifty-one! She attributes this to a skincare regimen she’s religiously followed since she was a teenager, and insisted that I find one that works for my skin type.
OH MY GOD, THIS IS SUPER IMPORTANT.
I was so disappointed in myself and ended up regretting it when I didn’t vote in the 2013 senatorial elections. But now that it’s 2016 and the presidential elections are just around the corner, I think it’s high-time I got myself registered and had a say in the future of this country.
I voted last May 9, 2016!
20. Learn how to speak another Asian language fluently.
I’m multilingual – I’ve spoken Tagalog and Bisaya since I was a child, and learned English and Spanish in school. But it makes me ashamed that I speak two western languages and no other Asian ones aside from my native tongues! So I’ve promised to learn to speak another Asian language this year. I’m leaning towards Bahasa because people tell me it’s structurally similar to Tagalog.
No, but getting there!
21. Create a physical photo album.
There’s only so much Facebook posts can do.
No, I can’t seem to find the time! But I’ve enlisted the SO in helping me out with this, so hopefully it’ll get started soon.
22. Play in the snow.
Dear people who live in places where it snows and think that people who live in warm places are idiots if they want to see snow,
This summer, the heat index in Manila hit 49.4Cº. That’s a 120Fº for you Americans. That temperature is on an oven. I have preheated my oven to that temperature to make meringue, sauce, and pie filling.
It’s hella fricking hot, is what I’m saying.
No. Also, an aside: when it’s cold, you can just keep piling on layer after layer. Here in Satan’s asscrack, there’s only so many clothes we can take off before we’re arrested for indecent exposure.
23. See my favorite artists perform live.
Nothing, ever, will compare to live music. And live music by the original artists? Bliss.
So far I’ve only seen Pentatonix, Imagine Dragons, Maroon 5, and Up Dharma Down perform live. I still hope to see The Sam Willows, Muse, and Walk the Moon.
24. Dye my hair a crazy color.
Sadly, I feel like this is one goal that I will never achieve because of the career path I’ve chosen.
Hear that? That’s the sound of my heart breaking.
Foreign service and government work require “normal” hair colors, so I might be able to dye my hair burgundy or ash blonde (which are both colors I’ve wanted to try) but denim hair? Aqua hair? Blue ombre hair?
Totally out of the question.
25. Work at my dream job.
Funny thing is…I don’t exactly know what my dream job would be yet? I just know it would involve helping people, traveling, and a lot of learning.
I can’t really say yet, but so far my job entails all three, and I’m loving it to pieces. Do you know, I don’t get that dreaded Sunday feeling, and I’ve never dragged myself to work yet. I mean, sure, I get tired and bored, but overall, all I’m feeling is this general sense of contentment. So I’m gonna go ahead and call this one done!