30 cool things that happened while I was 30

Well, hello from the right side of 31!

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I enjoy birthdays. I treat them as my personal new years - measuring myself against who I was, and where I was the years before at this time. The week leading up to my birthday generally consists of a lot of reflection, introspection and alone-time. It's been a roller-coaster of a year. Lots of highs, and lots of lows. Traveling, falling in love, falling out of love, breakups, injuries, burnouts, resignations etc. 

So, in the days leading up to my 31st birthday, I made a list of 30 cool things that happened while I was 30. I tried to put them in chronological order as much as I could.

Here they are:

 

1. Winning the Freedom Swim on December 16th, 2016.

 Pre Swim Focus

Pre Swim Focus

 

2. Spending Christmas and New Years with my parents in Abu Dhabi

 Selfie at Bab Al-Shams

Selfie at Bab Al-Shams

 

 

3. Yas Island fireworks on New Years

 Crazy firework show!! This photo does not do it justice. 

Crazy firework show!! This photo does not do it justice. 

 

 

4. Running on the Abu Dhabi Formula 1 Track

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5. Road trip to visit all the remaining UAE states I haven't been to.

 On the highest point in the UAE.

On the highest point in the UAE.

 

 

6. Having one of my best friends become my flatmate.

 Clinky!

Clinky!

 

 

7. Walking the Vegas strip 

 Yes!

Yes!

 The Strip.

The Strip.

 Trump Tower Selfie. 

Trump Tower Selfie. 

 

8. Visiting the favelas in Sao Paolo

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9. Sleeping in a houseboat on the Amazon River

 Sunset from the houseboat. 

Sunset from the houseboat. 

 Our houseboat. My hammock out in front. 

Our houseboat. My hammock out in front. 

 Houseboat office. 

Houseboat office. 

 

10. Seeing the meeting of the rivers on the Amazon

 That's our boat. Photo credit to Rich Hamman and Kelvin Trautman.

That's our boat. Photo credit to Rich Hamman and Kelvin Trautman.

 
 

11. Just being in the Amazon (!!)

 

12. Meeting an Aboriginal Elder in Australia

 

13. Seeing the 3 Gorges Dam - the biggest dam in the world

 I know it looks small. It's not. 

I know it looks small. It's not. 

 

 

14. Visiting the Yichang and seeing the Yangtze River gorge. 

 Busiest river in the world.

Busiest river in the world.

 View from our house. Insanely beautiful!

View from our house. Insanely beautiful!

 Hello Yangtze river!

Hello Yangtze river!

 

15. Visiting my friends Dawid & Gussie in Shanghai

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16. Dinner with David Fenton and his wife

 He is the founder of Fenton Communications.

He is the founder of Fenton Communications.

 

 

17. Traveling the length of the Thames River

 

18. Running 100km for water awareness with Kelvin in Cape Town

 Meeting Mayor, Patricia De Lille, during our 100km run campiagn

Meeting Mayor, Patricia De Lille, during our 100km run campiagn

 Finishing our 100km run, 24 hours after we started on top of Lion's Head.

Finishing our 100km run, 24 hours after we started on top of Lion's Head.

 

19. Solo Mountain Getaway

 

20. Presenting the #RunningDry100 campaign at Love Our Trails Film Festival

 Pre presentation selfie.

Pre presentation selfie.

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 Presentation. Thanks Rory for the photo. 

Presentation. Thanks Rory for the photo. 

 

21. irst art exhibition at First Thursdays in August

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22. Getting Mina verified on Twitter

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23. Running my 1st ever marathon

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24. Becoming the co-founder of JOLP

 

25. Solo trip to Turkey and finally seeing Istanbul for the first time

 

26. Visiting Cappadocia: trail running, cave exploring etc.

 

27. Hot Air Balloon Flight in Cappadocia

 

28. Seeing Josh, one of my best friends from university, get married

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29. Deciding to go completely gluten- and dairy-free 

 
 The last pizza I ever ate. 

The last pizza I ever ate. 

 

 

30. Getting into bio-hacking, complete with blood-markers

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There were LOTS of lows too. And I've learned plenty from all of them. So, here's to 31. A new year, with new opportunities, and new challenges. 

LearningHeleen Mills