Thinking of 40 things to do before I turn 40

My birthday is creeping ever closer, and even though I’m definitely not going to complete all the items on my 35 before 35 list, I’ve enjoyed it so much that I decided to make a new list, of things to do before I turn 40 – even though the idea that my next milestone is forty makes me feel slightly sick. HOW CAN THAT BE? I am still very far from having 40 things on my list – it took me long enough to think of 35 last time never mind an extra 5! But I thought I would share with you what I have so far.

Toblerone cheesecake
Cake just seemed like an appropriate photo…
  1. Go to the festival of lights in Lyon
  2. Beat Jan at mini golf – he always wins, but just once I would like to beat him
  3. Make flour soup (a staple of Basel Fasnacht)
  4. Watch 10 films in German – I hate watching dubbed English films, so this will probably also mean finding 10 German films!
  5. Read the rest of the books from the BBC Big Read Top 200 – I’m not going to finish this by August, but I do want to read them all so I’m rolling it over to my 40 before 40.
  6. Learn basic Ukrainian – get to at least level 3 on Duolingo
  7. Visit Ukraine – this was on my original list, but I changed it due to safety concerns. I’m hoping in the next 5 years things will calm down a bit…
  8. Go out for afternoon tea
  9. Build a snowman – surely at some point in the next 5 years there will be enough snow for me to do this?
  10. Visit Auschwitz
  11. Look for dwarfs in Wroclaw
  12. See the leaning tower of Pisa – it’s probably not even that impressive, but I just want to see it
  13. Read 25 non-fiction books – apparently 50 was too ambitious last time, but 25 should be doable, right?
  14. Read a book published in each year of my life, so one book each from the years 1983 until 2023 (I don’t have to read them in order!)
  15. Give at least 100 pounds or euros to three separate charities

I do have a couple more, but I think 15 is enough for one post. I don’t havy anywhere near 40 though, so please let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas for things I could do. I will at least consider anything that isn’t bungee jumping!

25 thoughts on “Thinking of 40 things to do before I turn 40

  1. The Ukrainian goals are such a good idea! I’d also like to see the festival of lights in Lyon one day. If you want more ideas one of my plans for the future is to walk on a glacier, at les diablerets hopefully. I’d also like to go up the funicular from montreux to the hotel where agatha Christie based the main part of the labours of hercules.

      1. I thought you might be! I am too ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the real name is roche-de-naye (or something like it)and the funicular and hotel at the top are supposed to have inspired the setting for rochers neige in the book, with stunning views of the lake to boot.

  2. Hi Bev your list sounds doable. And fun too! The festival of lights will be lovely and Wow, the leaning tower of Pisa. I hope you get to see it. I have only about 6 months to complete my 25 before 45 list. Things yet to do include swim in a lido, stay in a mountain bothie, watch an open air film and learn to crochet. Better get a move on! Really don’t want to be 45. 40 was fine. Your still along way to go! Get an afternoon tea booked. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. The Festival of Lights in Lyon is incredible. But there are so many people there that you do get carried along in the crowd. If you need recommendations of where to eat let me know, one of my best friends is from Lyon and when I went there we ate some incredible food!

  4. Great list! I never thought of that – reading one book published in each year of my life. What a trip that would be! I may seriously consider that one, and I just searched Goodreads for books published the year I was born. I even have one on my shelf – “Inside, Outside, Upside Down” (one of the Berenstain Bears books)!! Ha!
    German movies!! May I recommend a few? One of my next blog posts will be exactly about that. There are many more than 10 German films that I really like.

      1. I’ve heard of “Nirgendwo in Afrika”, “Jenseits der Stille” and “Das Wunder von Bern” but haven’t seen them. The ones I know and have seen are Sonnenallee, Goodbye Lenin, Wer frรผher stirbt ist lรคnger tot, Almanya โ€“ Willkommen in Deutschland, Kurz und Schmerzlos. I can’t think of any others right now.

  5. I took my time creating my 40 x 40 list and when I went back to add more I realized I had crossed off some things! These are my favorite kinds of lists to dream up and accomplish, good luck on completing yours!!

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