On Saturday, February 23, at 5:11pm, I turned 30. (Whoa! Madness. How did that happen?)
As you may have noticed, I didn’t make it to Tanzania after all. (In a nutshell: The trip briefly got canceled due to funding reasons, during which point I took on a whole lot of magazine assignments and some new clients for Odinn, and by the time they got the green light, I was swimming in work. Not a bad thing!)
But before you feel sorry for me, know that I’m OK with that—Kili will be there when I have the time to devote to it in the future, and as a consolation, I managed to squeeze 10 full days out of celebrating my birthday, from a surprise party at my parents’ house to a brunch in Nashville with my local pals to a weekend in Asheville with my Semester at Sea friends to a day in Chattanooga with my #1, SVV.
Not a bad way to welcome a new decade, right?
In honor of 30 kick-ass years, here are 30 things you might not have known about me…
1. I’m not one of this people who has ever dreaded leaving her 20s behind. In fact, not only have I been lying about my age for years—there’s an age stigma in my industry, and people don’t respect you when they think you’re too “young” or “inexperienced” to be an ace reporter—but I have been looking forward to 30 for years! It’s the first time SVV and I have been in the same decade since we met eight years ago. Bring on the adventure, I say.
2. While I try to keep my blog clean, my daily speak involves a whole lot of four-letter words. Sorry I’m not sorry; it’s a means of venting and self-expression for me.
3. I try to smile at everyone, always, no matter how bad a day I am having.
4. I have no qualms with airing out my dirty laundry on Twitter if it concerns airlines. Man, I hate the airlines, don’t you? (Virgin Atlantic/America and Southwest aside.)
5. I am a terrible sleeper. Those of you who ask how I do so much and guess “you must sacrifice sleep,” hit the nail on the head. My mom says I’ve been like this since childhood. (I attribute SVV’s relentless snoring with my difficulties sleeping as an adult.) But! After years of requiring a sleep aide, as of Jan. 1 this year, I am medication-free. For that, I am thrilled.
6. Most times, I won’t lock the lavatory door when flying. Even greater than my fear of a plane crash is my fear of getting locked in the loo.
7. My least favorite country I’ve ever visited is China. Before I went, I never had a desire to visit, and sadly, it met every expectation I have. But I will forever name House of Nanking as one of my favorite San Francisco restaurants regardless.
8. Speaking of San Francisco, while I miss my (dwindling number of) friends and SVV’s family who dwell in the area, I don’t actually miss living there one bit. Been there, done that, never again.
9. I really don’t want children of my own. People don’t seem to believe me. Many of you guys don’t even seem to believe me. So I’ll tell you again: Childless by choice. My life, my uterus. (Read my essay in Cosmo on the topic in the April issue.) Though I do want at least a dozen nieces and nephews to act as my surrogate kids (because I can then return them to their rightful owner when they’re screaming, teenagers, need a diaper changed or my own wanderlust strikes). Kari, get on that, will you?
10. Despite having worked in the travel industry for nearly a decade, I don’t watch any travel TV shows. I have never seen an episode of No Reservations and the only Samantha Brown specials I have watched were via in-flight entertainment. (And I was even a contributing writer for TravelChannel.com and an on-camera correspondent for a special or two.) Not to say I don’t like travel shows, I just don’t have a whole lot of free time to watch TV, and I already have “my stories” (Nashville, Revenge, Homeland, Dexter and a few select sitcoms like How I Met Your Mother and Modern Family).
11. Similarly, despite my newfound obsession with all things home decor– and DIY-related, I’ve also never seen an episode of House Hunters. I hear Rehab Addict would be dangerous for me, so as of now, I keep all such programs at arms’ length.
12. I really hate abbreviations (see “totes,” “jelly” and even “abbreves”), though sometimes I’ll use an “obvs” or “thx” in an e-mail to make me appear casual (or, uh, caszh).
13. I always sit in the 13th row while flying. Not because I’m superstitious (or rather, the reverse, I suppose) but because other people are, and I feel like it’s the row that’s most likely to be vacant if there are any empty seats on the plane.
14. If I weren’t already immersed in my dream job as a travel writer, I’d want to be a flight attendant or a honeymoon planner or work in the country music industry or be Taylor Swift’s hype girl. Or all of the above. (Though someone oughta warn Taylor that she’s mighty close to being usurped by Jennifer Lawrence. Further proof here.)
15. I hate pants. OK, you probably already knew that, but SVV demanded I throw that in there. (I’m sure the construction crew who works behind our house daily already knows and loves this about me.)
16. I’m not much of a soda drinker, but I would survive on house-made ginger ale or root beer if I could. (That said, the ginger ale is usually more a vehicle for the bourbon than anything…)
17. While I have sustained more sports-related injuries than you would ever believe, I’ve never actually broken a bone.
18. Nor have I ever been in the hospital. (Knock on wood.)
19. Nothing makes me angrier than bad grammar.
20. I hoard Benefit like the Apocalypse is upon us, but I only wear makeup once or twice a month (mainly because I’m lazy and also work from home). I guess I’m just a sucker for pretty packaging. The same applies for Essie and OPI nail polish.
21. I’ve been told I’m stubborn. I refuse to believe it.
22. I have owned two cars in my life: a silver Ford Taurus, which I drove for eight years, and a slate gray Nissan Altima, which I’ve had for five. Even if I won the lottery, I don’t think I’d be the type to splurge on a fancy set of wheels; I’d rather spend my money on travel experiences.
23. I’m sort of glad my birthday month is officially over so that I can get back on the healthy-eating train. What is it about turning one year older that enables you to justify eating all the sh*t you please? I need to go on a water-only cleanse…or something.
24. SVV and I don’t talk about past relationships—is that weird? As far as I’m concerned, I’m the only girl he’s ever dated! And as they say, ignorance is bliss…
25. I’m positive if I were to get clinically-tested, I would test positive for OCD. Asymmetry gives me the shakes, and I wander through the house straightening every last magazine and pile of clutter so that the edges are parallel to the surface on which they rest. Again, totally normal…
26. Another OCD tendency? The inability to end a sentence with a preposition, no matter if it’s on my “informal” blog, in a conversation or in an e-mail. In that same vein, I also can’t send e-mails that aren’t written in AP Style. My journalism professors will be happy to learn this, I’m sure. And Oxford commas make me cringe. Don’t even go there.
27. I have never smoked a cigarette. Not once. Nor have I ever been tempted to take a puff.
28. I’m pretty obsessed with my dog, Ella, and given that she and I spend countless hours alone together each week working from home, I might just have conversations with her as if she talked back. That’s normal, right? As is the making up songs for her I do on the regular… In return, she bosses me around as if she were a 200-pound Great Dane, barking aggressively each time she needs me to come upstairs to the bedroom and put the princess on her king-sized bed (as she’s doing now, actually).
29. I think Howard Stern is pretty much the greatest broadcast journalist on the planet. I only started listening to his show after I moved to the Bay Area and got satellite radio on my Altima; SVV would drive my car and leave it tuned into Howard. I interviewed Howard and Beth in 2007 while working the red carpet in New York, and at the time, my Lucky co-workers listened to him religiously, but I knew nothing about him other than that he was “controversial” (to put it mildly). Then, I started listening the next year and was immediately drawn in by his interview panache and ability to get celebrities to bear their souls. (I could do without the Ronnie Munn crap or the porn star interviews; that’s when I change the station to Sirius-XM’s The Highway instead.)
30. I just know we would be best friends in real life. Don’t you? (You’re starting to rethink this possibility after reading numbers 1 through 29….)
happiest birthday! i know it is trite to say each decade is better than the one before, but it is absolutely true.
i’m glad i’m not the only sailor in the bunch and i am marveling at your cigarette abstinence. fascinating! i wish i would have never tried one.
ginger ale and bourbon are a match made in heaven!
I’m coming back to Sac in August, so hopefully we can get Amy to have us over again so we can all drink ginger ale and bourbon together 😉
My dad has smoked three packs a day from his teenage years through the present. When you grow up with that (and the smell, ugh), I think you’re not as likely to pick up the habit.
Can I just say I am so lucky to have such an amazing friend!! Welcome to 30! 🙂
Reciprocated! I miss you, and Ella wants to meet Ellie!
Happy Birthday! I just had a big milestone- 21. I always thought 21 and 30 were so far apart. But They honestly aren’t- it’s just a number after all. 🙂 Also, it’s so good to hear someone else on the cigarette front- It’s just so much better to never even try, so there’s no risk of getting hooked.
Happy belated to you! I feel like once you’re over 21 (and are legal!), age is no longer relevant. As a teen, 30 sounds so old. At 21, suddenly it doesn’t sound so far off. Then when you reach your mid- and late-20s, you’ll likely find you have an equal number of friends in their 20s as in the 30s, 40s and maybe even 50s. At that point, 50 even sounds “young.” 😉
(At least that was my experience living in SF where, at 25, my friends ranged in age from mine to 52!)
Happy birthday! Us February birthday girls are the best 😉
Purple, amethyst and February are some of my favorite things 😉
Happy belated to you, Amanda!
Happy birthday! Love your list! Welcome to the 30’s, where life truly begins! 😉
Agreed! 20s were stressful; who in their right mind would want to relive that decade again by choice?!
Happy Birthday! I’ll be crossing that age threshold in a few months and it’s nice to see someone who isn’t morning the loss of their 20’s for a change.
Hell no! I’ve been ready for 30 my whole life 😉
Welcome to the club very soon!
It’s a pleasure following along on with your blog.
(I’ve never once used a profanity on my blog either… But, like you, my normal speech is littered with it 🙂 )
Even more of a reason that you and Ella would get along! She speaks mainly in four-letter expletives (true story).
I like my odds.
Also – you hate pants?
You know I do…uh, that came out wrong.
I want to win a tee shirt. I will wrap it around my waist in honor of your anti-pants thing.
Love your blog and the t-shirts are adorable! Glad to hear you had a wonderful 30th birthday. Mine is coming up in about 4 months!
I’m here to hold your hand through that transition if you need—or rather raise a glass of champagne and toast to a flirty, dirty 30! =)
Mmm … champagne sounds fantastic!! Like you, I am also quite excited about venturing into my 30’s. I’ve spent my 20’s getting my career in line and figuring out who I am … now its time for the fun!!
I would absolutely still be your friend. Love reading your blog!
Happy birthday lady! I didn’t know you were younger than me! (Okay, so only by 4 months or so but whatev.)
Love this “soul baring” set of Qs. Makes me wonder what I would put…
Class of 2001/2005 babies representin’! 😉
I could have written at least half of these myself. Bourbon, travel, home renovating, not wanting kids (and no one believing you), not dreading turning 30 (I’ve got 2 months to go), a bit of OCD – not to sound stalkerish, but I think we WOULD be friends IRL. 🙂
However, I will defend the Oxford comma to my death. It makes so much more sense. Guess it’s a good thing the science publisher I work for uses them!
Ha! I suppose I’d have to see the context. In journalism, we try to pare down the loquacious wording and excessive punctuation marks to fit into very small spaces in newspapers and magazines. I just think “red, yellow, and blue” looks SO AWKWARD. Again, with the OCD–what is that random comma doing floating around before the “and?” That said, AP style says you use a comma if the last member of the series is a compound. So “fried chicken, mashed potatoes, and mac and cheese” totally goes 😉
And back to your comment, what is with the no one believing us and thinking they know our uteri better than we do? (Also, “uteri” is officially the weirdest-looking word ever.)
Happy Birthday!!! It was fun to find out more about my favourite travel blogger. (is that suck up enough?)
It makes total sense to me that you are child free – why give up that awesome life? I am child free too and at age 60 absolutely no regrets. I have a much loved niece and have enjoyed my friend’s kids (who are now all getting married it seems!!!) but never had any desire of my own to sprog. There were just too many other things to do!!! So good decision girl – and from a selfish view point I want to be reading about your adventures for years to come!!!
P.S. I have made it 60 years without breaking a single bone in my body – oh man, just watch me go out and slip on the ice tomorrow for saying that!!!!
That makes me so happy to hear—the only one percent of doubt I ever have is the “what if when I’m older, I regret it” voice in the back of my mind. I’m glad you have had zero regrets! Because, really, a child doesn’t fit into our lifestyles AT ALL, and I would only resent it for making me give so much up…
Happy birthday and thanks for all the interesting factoids! I’m totally with you on #24. My husband and I have known each other for eight years and we’ve never talked about our past relationships. Not even once. I think that’s a sign of a healthy relationship!
Past relationships? WHAT past relationships? 😉
Happy belated birthday! I think I love you even more after reading about all of your quirks. Also, my Scott doesn’t like to talk about past relationships either. He won’t even tell me how many people he has slept with. 😀
Happy belated birthday! Loved reading the little known facts…so glad to have you back in TN!
Happy to be here, Linz! Text me when you’re in need of some lunch in our ‘hood 😉
Happy Birthday!!!!!! That’s awesome that you’re excited to be in your 30’s. It wasn’t so easy for me. I’m sooooo sorry about Tanzania! I hope all of your wildest dreams come true this decade. XO
Happy Birthday, loved all the fun tid bits. I agree about China and House of Nanking!
I am OCD to the max. I drive my patients crazy cause of my OCD’ness. “You didn’t need this right? TOSS. That doesn’t belong here! MOVE. Your gown buttons are off one…Must.Fix.It.”
Now I can say… everything I need to know about Kristin, I learned in a blog post 🙂
(oh and from the toasts at her wedding 🙂
Happy birthday my fellow fishy!
Happy 30! How was Chattanooga? I hope you didn’t get food poisoning!
Haha, you remember that? It was great! I love Chattanooga. I find myself heading there for random day trips all the time. We had brunch at Fork & Pie, did some shopping on North Shore (and stopped at Clumpie’s, a must, always), then went to Knitting Mill, Whole Foods and came home!
we have one thing in common, i also hate china..
I just find the government—and how they monitor your every move—so creepy. Also, this Financial Times article will make you dislike them even more (posted on Facebook by a friend about her godbrother):
Welcome to 30! I miss them. You’re great for revealing 30 more wonderful facts about you and I will apologize, now. I’m sorry if my grammar has ever offended you ; )
Not that I can recall, so it must be pretty sharp 😉
Happy belated Birthday!!!
I hope that when you’re in Germany this summer, you might be able to hop over to Vienna for a cup of coffee.
I also can’t stand abbreviations. I get the shakes when I get a text or an email that barely has any vowels in it.
Those are THE WORST. I have never, ever been the type who would text a “c u @ 5?” Writing that out right now makes me cringe!
Happy birthday, to my fellow scribbler!
Happy happy birthday! I’ll have you know my OCD tendencies could give you a run for your money…and I’m totally ok with that! I prefer to think of it as “uber organized” instead of OCD 🙂
I just love learning more about you! Enjoy the thirties, it really is a great decade. I used to have pretty colorful language until Mayhem started speaking …. yet another reason to remain childless 😉 I also have absolutely no desire to visit China so I’m glad to know I’m not really missing anything. And now I’m going to be afraid of being locked in the loo at frightening heights. Crap. Also, I’m pretty sure I’ve never had bourbon. Don’t hate me. Oh, and I’d wear a C&C shirt proudly. Sorry for my horrendous grammar. Happy 30th!
As long as you lend me Mayhem from time to time, we’re good. Other than my cousin’s kids, I’ve never seen a cuter child with more personality (it’s a three-way tie between Margaret, McKayla and Mayhem!).
You have impeccable grammar, so no need to worry 😉
I had the hardest time convincing people that I was so excited to turn 30. Reliving two-thirds of my 20s would be my worst nightmare! I’m so much more mature and fun now, and now I have the money and the drive to pursue the things I want to do and love.
Also, even though I don’t talk about it much in public, I’m also childless by choice. Hear hear!
Hooray for No. 26! We clearly come from the same training ground on that one.
P.S. Happy birthday, and welcome to your 30s!
Oooh, I didn’t know that about you! Yet another reason, we were meant to be friends!
Twenties were rough, yo. Particularly graduating with a journalism degree during the worst possible time to be in the media! I should blog about my early years trying to find someone to hire me in NYC, ha. I couldn’t even get a job at the News-Sentinel!
This past Sunday I turned 63! Just a few years difference (at least physically–but not mentally). Ha! Happy belated birthday and Safe Travels !!!
A fellow Pisces, yay! Happy birthday to you. And age is just a state of mind, anyway. My mom is 63, and she’s the coolest person I know (and often is invited to hang out with my friends and me).
Happy Birthday Kristin! Great list. 🙂
Do you have the link to the Cosmo essay? I’d love to read it since I have similar feelings as you. 🙂
It’s coming out in the April issue, I believe, but I will post it here as it seems many readers have the same feelings.
Happy belated birthday!!! #9? Right with you. Also, I adore the Oxford comma, can we still be friends?
I want to be your friend now! 🙂 I started lying about being thirty when I was 28. It was easier in a lot of situations and I can totally see how the age stigma would affect your professional life. AND I never want to have kids. In fact, babies kind of gross me out, haha.
Birds of a feather! I like kids, but I’ve never seen the appeal of babies (unless they’re related to me…those I love). They’re like little squishy aliens!
I feel like you and I are the same person. All of this is me.
And we both are Pisces gals born a day apart and have super cool jobs (and also dislike one JA with a vehemence)! I have plans to pitch your client, by the way, for upcoming Christmas features–I just have to wait until the appropriate time (most magazines as you know are currently planning early fall issues).
Happy Birthday! Love your blog!
I totally believe birthday months should be a thing – though mine is the first of July so people always forget by the end of the month 😉 Knowing that you are a swearer makes me just love you that much more! [not that I promote this or am free with my swearing, but both my kids dropped the f-bomb on the babysitter last night, which means we could all totally be friends]. Happy birthday – love the list!
Haha, nice! Yeah, there are times when I’m writing a post and I think, “man, being able to say the ‘f’ word would be really appropriate right here,” but I try my best not to offend, especially since so many of my readers are Southern (and thus, quite religious by default!).
Number 9 is me. I love being told “oh Ashley, you’ll change your mind.” Pretty sure I won’t, but thanks for doubting me!
Also, happy belated birthday!
I know, right? Why is it that everyone else knows our minds and bodies so much better than we do? 😉
You’re cute as can be, my dear.
Happy birthday! Also, I love the aviators you are wearing in that picture near the top!
Thank you! I got them on the sale rack at Ann Taylor recently for like $15 =)
1) I think my far-away-girl-crush on you just deepened. By a lot.
2) Your #1 struck me very deeply because I assumed that mine was one of the few industries where that prejudice exists. I don’t lie about my age, but I try really hard not to reveal it. To the point where talking to my boss the other day made me realize that *he* didn’t realize how young I am; he was even more amazed when I reminded him that I was a wee 23 when he hired me as a department head. It’s nice to hear that I’m not the only woman out there who presents herself as older and more worldly than she may actually be.
3) GIMME GIMME GIMME! Partially because those shirts are adorable, but also so I can wear one and be all like, “Oh, this? Yeah, that’s my blogger friend’s website…she’s kinda relly super famous,” accompanied with a look on my face that say, “You want me to explain Facebook, too?”
I remember covering a press event for Newsweek when I was in 25 years old, and I was trying to make polite chitchat with some nearly-70-year-old see-you-next-Tuesday from some no-name, small-town paper who looked at me, scowled and said, “what do you know anyway? You must be, like, 21?” So rude, and at that point, I’d been working at the media for a decade already. Ever since, I’ve lied or given a coy, “you never ask a woman her age.” (True story, you don’t.)
I think the mutual lond-distance girl crush has long been cemented. When are you and Kyle coming down to party with SVV, Ella and me in the Tennessee boonies?
Happy Belated Birthday to you!
This was a fun post to read. I agree with you on so many things and think we would get along like champs if I lived down your way! I can imagine how much fun it would be! We agree on the smoking thing (I grew up with 2 parents smoking), always using correct grammar and spelling, and on and on and on.
I would love to wear a Camels & Chocolate t-shirt and I WILL go on an Enrichment Voyage one of these days (and hopefully meet you while on the Voyage). I am in the process of convincing my high school bestie to come along for a girls trip.
Thanks for taking us all along on your adventures and inspiring others to do the same!
And then when I meet you in person in Lexington, I can coax you to hold off on that EV the next time I get hired back so we can sail together! =)
Welcome to your 30’s! 🙂
I don’t know why but I’ve always loved lists like this. So fun! My stance on kids isn’t quite as definite as yours is. I have always said I want one or none. Ever since my niece was born a year ago I’ve been thinking about it and am leaning more towards one than none now. IDK. I’m not in a relationship now and don’t forsee being in one anytime soon (though I guess you never know) so I’m not going to worry about it. I wish I lived closer to my niece so I could see her more but don’t think I’ll be moving back to NorCal anytime soon.
I know what you mean. My two “nieces” (cousin’s kids) are the cutest, and they are the only thing that has ever made me doubt my decision. Then again, I get to see them enough to treat them as my own–just got a last-minute assignment to Memphis next week so I’ll be seeing them once more then!
Happy (belated) birthday, “kid”. :p I really enjoyed reading that list and love that you were looking forward to 30.
The Ancient One.
Haha, you’re so funny. Age is just an attitude, right? =)
Happy belated birthday!!! You are an old 30, in a very good way…hm, will try to refine this. You’ve accomplished so much so far, I think it’s really awesome!! <— this sounds better. 🙂
Ha! I’ve often been told I’m an “old soul,” which I take as a compliment–then again, I still feel like a child sometime (and my song-and-dance acts in our house would imply this is the case). I just put on a semi-mature front for the public 😉
Happy (belated) Birthday! Here’s hoping this next decade treats you well. I turned 30 this month, too, and I have high hopes for my thirties!
This is why we get along! Numbers: 1, 2, 3, 4, 7, 9, 17, 18, 24, 25 – all me too!
I have never in a MILLION years even thought about #13, that is frickin awesome and I might steal that from you, so watch out if we are flying together!
Belated happy birthday! Hope you’ll have a productive and memorable new decade ahead.
Happy belated birthday, lady! Cheers to a fabulous new decade of living life to the fullest!
happy belated birthday, pretty!!!!! hope that all is well and that Spring is beginning to blossom in the South. x
A) 19. I almost always sit in row 19 when flying. I have no idea why, it’s just become that way. And if not 19, then 21. And typically in the window seat on the righthand side of the plane. Also, 13 is my lucky number, so cheers to that!
2) You have OCD tendencies? That’s strange. *I* do not have OCD tendencies. Ever. Like, at all. (Ahem.) (Whistles and ignores point A.
III) Happy birthday, my sweet friend. When I turned 30, I was STOKED to leave my 20s behind, because by 30, I had more money and I was less stupid. I’m not saying I’m smart, but definitely less stupid than my 20s. 🙂 And so far so good, the past (almost) 4 years of my 30s have been pretty darn good!
Happy Birthday! You look fabulous and young and you probably have those great genes where you will look young forever 🙂
I also air my frustrations about airlines. I just posted about how I hate Hawaiian Airlines.
Happy belated, lovely! I truly believed it was only a matter of a few years before you would have children (I think the tip off was you and SVV buying a house!). But I guess not – good to know! Now all of your secrets are out. Taylor Swift is not doing so great lately. Have you seen the latest Vanity Fair where she subtly tells Amy Poehler and Tina Fey to go to hell? And what was up with her cut-eye/pouty face after Adele won at the Golden Globes? Come on! Mount Kili will be there and I know it will be an amazing adventure for you! xo
happy belated birthday! and bummer about africa but i’m sure you’ll make it another time. and a few notes: 1. i was certain about not wanting kids. then i turned 32 and am on the fence. 2. my husband and i don’t talk about past relationships either. what’s the point? and 3. i never thought about row 13 being superstitious. while i don’t have any fears of planes crashing, i do have fears of desperately wanting to get off the plane and not being able to. my fight or flight response seems to lean toward flight, and it’s hard to flee when you’re at 30,000 ft.
I feel like we could be twins!
-So glad to hear I’m not the only 4-letter word girl out there.
-“Childless by choice. My life, my uterus.” < This.
-No travel TV and lots of DIY/home decor for me too. Same!
-I hate ending sentences in prepositions as well, even if I'm speaking.
We need to cross paths some time. I think we'd get along well. 🙂
HAPPY BELATED BIRTHDAY!