After all the talk of the 30 challenges, I never did post the final list when I finished, so here it is! I didn’t do this to prove anything or for people to say it’s inspiring. I didn’t do this to prove that I can do things eeven though I’m blind. That couldn’t be further from the truth. I did this because I wanted to learn new things and put myself out of my comfort zone a bit. But more importantly, I did it for fun!
Thanks to anyone who helped to make any of these 30 things possible, whether by organising, participating, or encouraging me to do them and not thinking I was crazy! Getting to spend time doing fun things with so many different people during the year was fun. I definitely learned a lot, and it has made me think about things I want to do in the future. It was definitely an interesting and fun 30th year!
1. Raise money for guide dogs on my 30th birthday
I had a coffee morning for guide dogs which raise €1,750.
2. Visit a city that I’ve never been to before
Krakow in Poland (30th birthday present from my family.)
3. Eat traditional food associated with a particular country
Dumplings in Poland, Welsh Cakes in Wales. Nepalese food.
4. Bake a cake
My friend Francina helped me to make nephew Danny’s 9th birthday cake.
5. Do a short course to learn something new
Intro to Cognitive Behaviour Therapy in the NWRC in Derry.
6. Take part in ‘darkness into light’ on 7th May
Guide dog Sibyl came too. I would really recommend this.
7. Do something historical in Belfast, since I lived there for three years and did nothing!
I did the titanic tour (part of my birthday present from the girls.)
8. Find Bruce Springsteen tickets for a Croke Park concert!
People said I wouldn’t. They were hard to get, but I got them a month before and it was great!
9. Educate myself more about mental health
Learned lots through a transcribing job and some courses and talks that I attended.
10. Touch an animal that I’ve never felt before
I held a bearded dragon and a blue tongue skink, two types of lizards. Fed a lop-eared rabbit.
11. Attend a musical performance that’s not really my type of thing
I went to Beyonce in Croke Park on 9th July with my best friends for Cheryl’s birthday.
12. Go on a rickshaw
This was unplanned but it was our transport to Croke Park when we missed the bus!
13. Gut a fish (an idea my 9-year-old nephew challenge me to do)
I only managed to chop off the head and tail and was nearly sick!
14. Listen to 30 inspiring Ted Talks during the month of August
Some of these were great.
15. Go surfing
This was one of the most amazing things I’ve ever done, even though I’m afraid of waves!
16. Spend time in a recording studio
I got to have a look around Neill McGrory’s studio in Culdaff.
17. An activity at a spa that I’ve never done before
I went in an outdoor hot tub in the Galgorm with some of my friends.
18. Make something from wood
I did some woodturning and made a bowl. This was a brilliant experience.
19. become self-employed
This wasn’t part of the original plan, but now I have my own audio transcription business.
20. Learn a useful life skill
I did my first ever first aid course with the RNIB.
21. Eat vegetarian food for a month
I started on 25th of November and ended by eating turkey on Christmas day.
22. Make and drink a wheatgrass shot
This was horrible!
23. Do more voluntary work
I became a volunteer with the Foroige club working with children, and have plans for other things.
24. Post a song a day online for a month and the reasons why I like it
This was easy but good fun!
25. Learn to make homemade cosmetics
I learned to make some simple scrubs and face masks. Still want to try soap making sometime.
26. Walk the two bridges in Derry
I walked across the Foyle Bridge and the peace bridge with my friend Julie.
27. Go on a motorbike
I went on a motorbike from Buncrana to Bridgend with my uncle Denis.
28. Work in munchies sweet shop.
I made mixes, stocked sweets and served customers. First time ever working in a real shop.
29. Shave someone’s head.
My cousin Evan allowed me to shave his head, and his brother Denis helped me to do it.
30. Go gliding.
I ended the year on a high!