Thursday 6 April 2017

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

Whilst we were away on Honeymoon I turned 36 (gulp!) and was suddenly hit by the realisation that I'm not far off 40. I don't even know how that happened because it seems like only yesterday that I was leaving high school.

Sometimes it feels very much like life is passing me by, I have a never ending list of things that I'd love to do "one day" yet never seem to tick anything off. There's always an excuse - we never have enough time or money and are forever saving things "for another time".  No more!  To help me on my way I've decided to set myself the challenge of completing a wish list of 40 things before I hit my 40th birthday.  

Some are dream vacations and some involve simply popping down the road. Grab yourself a cup of tea, this is going to be a long one!

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List

1. Fly in a hot air balloon

Let's start with a dramatic one. Although it makes me a little nervous my love of great views has made me want to experience a hot air balloon flight for many years now. I was lucky enough to fly in a helicopter when I visited Australia 10 years ago, and the hot air balloon would make my dizzy heights experience complete.

2. Enjoy a freak shake

Freak shakes are all the rage at the moment and we have some truly epic creations in Newcastle thanks to the Great British Cupcakery and The Brownie Bar. It never seems like the right time to indulge (how will I ever justify all those calories!) so it needs to make the list to ensure that I do it!

3. Shop in New York

I've been wanting a trip to New York for over 10 years now but it never seems to get beyond the planning stage. It is my ultimate dream destination and I am desperate to tread those beautiful streets lined with shops, take in a show and follow in the footsteps of Carrie Bradshaw.

4. Have a spa day with the girls

I love a spa day and have enjoyed a few visits over the years, however I'm yet to enjoy a day at the spa with a small group of very close friends and I absolutely love the idea. Gossiping in the hot tub over Prosecco, sharing magazines and having massages. This needs to happen!

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

5. Go shopping at Bicester Village

Luxury shopping in a beautiful designer shopping village? Yes please!  I definitely don't have the budget to shop there but for some reason that's never stopped me wanting to visit Bicester Village. With endless designer shops to nose in and some bargains to be found I'm desperate for a visit. The fact that it's all the way down in Oxford makes me want to go even more!

6. Gamble in Las Vegas

I've travelled to the US a few times but am yet to make it to the adult playgrounds of Las Vegas. I want to see the lights, I fancy meeting Elvis, I'd kinda love to see Britney and I hear they have rollercoasters inside hotels. Someone take me!

7. Buy a designer handbag

I lust after so many designer handbags! I think on my last count there were about 5 I wanted but they are so very far out of my price range. I've dipped my toe in with the more affordable end of designer with Michael Kors and Kate Spade but I feel like I'm ready to play with the grownups now!

8. Sleep in a tree house

I want to sleep in a tree house! Is that odd? I think you'll understand when you take a look at the luxury tree house escapes at Chewton Glen which, coincidentally are actually located in a part of the country that I'm desperate to explore. It's like fate right?

9. Ride a bike at Kielder

Kielder really isn't that far away from us so it really shouldn't be that difficult to drag ourselves up there, yet for some reason we've still not made it. Ever since our beautiful Centre Parcs holiday where we spent our week riding bikes like big kids I've been wanting to get back in the saddle again and quite fancy a nice long ride round Kielder Lake. I definitely wouldn't say no to a stay in one of the new luxury lodges that open next month either!

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

10. Have a weekend in Brighton

I kick myself quite often that I didn't head down to Brighton for a weekend when I was living in London for all those years. Now that I'm living hundreds miles of way it's all I can think about. Brighton is the ultimate British seaside destination with miles of colourful bunting, independent eateries, sandy beaches and cute shops. I need to go!

11. Walk Hadrian's Wall

Hadrian's Wall is one of the most impressive landmarks in the country and is right on my doorstep so why on earth haven't we been yet?

12. See a puffin

Every Summer I say that we'll get a boat off the Northumberland coast so that I can finally see a puffin but for some reason it never happens. We are very fortunate to live pretty close to the Farne Islands where thousands and thousands of puffins live during the Summer so it would be so silly to not go and see them.

13. Go on a girl's holiday

Before meeting Simon I would enjoy holidaying abroad with a girl friend. Days exploring Europe, weeks in the sunshine sipping cocktails and the most amazing laughs that make up some of my favourite memories. It's thanks to these holidays that I've managed to tick so many great locations off my travel list. Yet when I met my husband it stopped. I love having Simon as my travel buddy but I secretly dream of going on another girl's holiday before I hit 40.

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

14. Drive a golf buggy

I have absolutely no interest in playing golf but for some reason I'm desperate to drive a golf buggy!  I'd love nothing more than to hit the gas and roar down one of the grassy hills at top speed (although I'm guessing that's not allowed?) Anyone need a caddy?

15. Climb Roseberry Topping

Another local wish that I could so easily tick off.  Roseberry Topping is a giant hill in North Yorkshire that I've been wanting to climb ever since I relocated to the North East. I hear the views are amazing and we all know I love a good view.

16. Try Spinning

When I was losing weight I lost count of the number of people who told me to give Spinning a go. The thought terrifies me, mostly because I've seen very fit people looking absolutely exhausted after a class. I'm not sure how I'd ever be able to keep up, but it feels like something I should try one day.

17.  Make s'mores on a campfire

I think my obsession with this started when my friend Ashlie did a blog post about making s'mores. Featuring some of my most favourite things - biscuits, marshmallow and chocolate is it any surprise that I want to build a campfire and get cooking?

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

18. Go to Wales

Simon and I have been talking about spending a week in Wales for a while now and I'm hopeful that it could actually happen very soon. Simon spent some of his childhood living in Anglesey and nothing makes me happier than learning more about him by spending time in places that he loved as a kid.

19. See the Northern Lights

We are very lucky in the North East that we have amazing dark skies that allow us to enjoy the odd glimpse of the Northern Lights. One day we will venture to the Observatory at Kielder or a beach in Northumberland to hopefully catch a glimpse of the colourful lights. 

20. Run 10k

Last year I fell in love with running and managed to regularly do 5k runs, improving my time every week. The most natural challenge now is to run a 10k and I was gearing up to it at the end of last Summer before I got injured.  Although I now feel like I'm almost back at square one again with my running I'm still clinging to the dream that I'll complete a 10k before I'm 40.

21. Visit the Cotswolds

I've heard that Gloucestershire is beautiful and that a short break to the Cotswolds offers everything you could want from an idyllic break - discount designer shopping at Bicester Village, plenty of country pubs and chocolate box villages.

22. Go on a proper picnic

Call me an old romantic but I have always wanted to go on a proper picnic like the ones you see in the movies. I'm talking checked blanket, picnic basket, glasses of fizz, strawberries and cakes - it sounds like heaven. We got the picnic basket of my dreams as a wedding present so we're definitely half way there.

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

23. Sing in Salzburg

One of the most embarrassing facts about me is that I love the Sound of Music!  It must be my most watched film of all time. I've watched it so many times over the year that I've completely fallen for the beautiful Austrian landscape and for years I've wanted to visit Salzburg and retrace the footsteps of the Von Trapps, the promise of schnitzel and fairytale castles definitely helps too!

24. Stay in a fancy London hotel

Whenever I go down to London for a visit I'll always stay with my sister which is, of course, lovely as accommodation in the capital is notoriously expensive. But one day I'd love to stay in a really fancy London hotel, somewhere with beautiful rooms in a central location. I dread to think how much that would cost but if we save our pennies maybe the dream can become a reality for a weekend.

25. Try Yoga

I can't say I know too much about yoga but I'm definitely curious and the little bit of reading that I've done on it I can definitely see the benefits of giving it a go. I've always been nervous about going to a class, I'm not very flexible and I worry that the quiet class will give me the giggles!

26. Launch my YouTube Channel

I have been thinking about this for the longest time!  Having enjoyed sharing the blogging side of my life on Snapchat I love the idea of having a go at vlogging my way round the North East. We go on so many great adventures and I'd love to share them on my YouTube channel.

27. Do a photography course

When I first got my DSLR camera I was determined that I wouldn't be one of those people who never bothered to learn how to use it and just shot in automatic all the time. Guess what's happened? I very quickly became incredibly lazy and I'd love to go on a photography course to learn more about how to use my camera and capture better imagery.

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

28. Experience Seaham Hall

Seaham Hall is a luxury spa hotel on the North East coast that I've heard so many good things about. It looks absolutely beautiful and one day I'd love to go all out and stay over, enjoy a spa day and of course indulge in some afternoon tea.  The ultimate way to celebrate a special event, I need to get this organised!

29. Dine on a train

Ever since I was a little girl I've been obsessed with the idea of dining on a train (no I'm not talking about a sandwich on Virgin East Coast!). The Pullman Dining Train on the North Yorkshire Moors Railway would be the perfect way for me to indulge in my dream.  Hosting afternoon tea, wine and cheese and pie and pea events - dining in their plush carriages would be fantastic.

30. Stay in a Windmill

I have always wanted to stay overnight in a windmill and Cley Windmill in Norfolk is the ultimate dream.  It is so beautiful, the rooms are picture perfect and I bet the views are spectacular.  It's not a cheap weekend away but I'm convinced it'd be worth every penny.

31. Eat clean for a week

Having watched endless documentaries about clean eating and the benefits it can have I've been wanting to give it a go for the longest time. It's no surprise that I've put it off, in our world of easy to grab processed food I know it wont be easy!

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

32. Stay at Soho FarmHouse

If you read as many blogs as me you're probably familiar with Soho Farmhouse where the most successful bloggers get to enjoy the most picteresque weekends away. The private members house in Oxfordshire is available to book for non members and it looks so dreamy I'm desperate to enjoy a luxury escape there.

33. Explore the New Forest

My Dad grew up in Southampton yet I've never really spent much time in that part of the country and exploring the nearby New Forest is something I've been meaning to do for ages. I want to go on lovely long walks in the forest, see the ponies and explore the nearby towns and villages.

34. Discover the secrets of Aldwych Tube Station 

A little known fact about me is that I have a fascination with abandoned sites. I can actually lose hours looking at photographs of abandoned theme parks (my absolute favourite!) When I lived in London I always meant to go on a tour of the closed underground station Aldwych which is boarded up on The Strand. Frozen in time, it looks like a fascinating place to explore.

35. Finish our house and garden!

This is a bit more of a chore than something fun to do but nevertheless it's something that really needs to be sorted. We've been living in our house for over 18 months now and we still have a room that's a complete dumping ground and a garden that just sits there unloved. Our house can never truly feel like a home until these two jobs are ticked off the list.

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

36. Become a Mum

I don't want to put too much pressure on myself for this one as we really don't know what the future holds, and I'm very much a believer in fate but I would love to be a Mum before I'm 40 - whether that's to our own baby or something furry with whiskers, only time will tell.

37. Go on a day long walk 

I love the idea of heading out of the house in the morning, going somewhere beautiful and spending the day just walking and walking and walking. Walking for hours, covering miles and, of course, stopping in lots of cute pubs and tea rooms along the way to rest our weary feet. Living the dream!

38. Travel on a canal boat

Growing up on the Broads I've been on a fair few boat trips but I'm yet to adventure on a canal boat. I love the idea of exploring the canals in Manchester, driving the boat and tackling the locks. It seems like such a fantastic way to travel. The Wandering Duck offer fantastic experiences that look like so much fun!

39. Dine in a Michelin Star Restaurant

I almost got this ticked off our list earlier this year when we stayed in the Gilpin for our Minimoon. The restaurant were awarded a Michelin star a few months after we'd been (damn it!) There are a fair few options for us to visit across the North East, The Lake District and North Yorkshire - if anyone has any recommendations I'd love to hear them.

40. Be spontaneous for a whole day

I am probably the least spontaneous person you could ever meet. Everything in my life is planned, usually with accompanying notes and maps. I love the idea of being spontaneous yet can't quite bring myself to do it. I'd love to hand the reigns over to Simon for a whole weekend and let him plan a spontaneous day where I have no idea what we're doing or where we're going (as long as we left the house of course, otherwise he'd just play xbox!)

40 Before 40 - The Ultimate Bucket List!

That's it!  Does it sound do-able? Let me know if you have a similar list and what your ultimate dream is!
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