On Going Back to Asia and Other Life Goals

This year has been full of firsts for me. First passport, first mission trip, first time overseas, first flight lasting more than 3 hours, first time in the ocean, first time paragliding, first time boogie boarding, first road trip, first big Christian conference. I was thinking about all the new things I’ve done this year and in the years since I graduated college, and it got me wondering what else I want to get accomplished before I turn 30. I’ve seen a lot of 30 Before 30 lists, but never really thought to make one for myself (30 still seems a long way away, you guys). So, without further ado, here is my list of things I want to do before I turn 30:

  1. Return to Thailand
  2. See the Grand Canyon
  3. Learn a new language
  4. Take a Perspectives class
  5. Take a painting class
  6. Start playing the flute again
  7. See the Pacific and Atlantic oceans (not from the window of a plane)
  8. Disciple 6 young women
  9. Run a 5K (if asthma clears up like I hope it will) or walk a 5K in less than an hour
  10. Take an advanced cooking class
  11. Read at least 1 classic book a year
  12. Ride in a hot air balloon
  13. Go hiking
  14. Get some form of ESL certification
  15. See the redwoods in California
  16. Try one new recipe a month
  17. Learn to sew
OK, so it’s not exactly a 30 Before 30 list, but it is definitely a list of feasible goals I can accomplish in the next few years.
Out of all the things I listed, going back to Thailand is the one I most want to see happen. Ever since I got back from my mission trip, I’ve been missing Chiangmai like CRAZY. I ordered red curry and mango boba last month and almost cried, you guys. I’ve had dreams about Thailand and the people I met. Curry is now my official comfort food. It’s bad ya’ll.
I don’t know what it is about Asia and Thailand in particular, but it calls to my soul in a way I’ve never experienced before. I honestly think God has placed a passion in my heart for the people of Asia many years ago, and actually going to Thailand and seeing the great need for Christ firsthand only solidified what I already knew: my heart is irrevocably tied to that part of the world. I don’t know if I will become a missionary or minister to Asian-Americans here in the States, but no matter what happens with my life I know I will always hold a special love in my heart for Chiangmai.