Anti-Bucket List: A Look Back At The Decade

A couple weeks ago, some of my Philly friends and I went to New York for a day trip. I went to college in the Bronx, and a lot of my college friends still live in and around the city. For work, I also commuted from Philly to New York pretty frequently. So it had been a long time since I had gone to New York without any obligations — just to walk around and explore with friends.

The day was good for the soul. It’s always nice to have some quality, offline time with girlfriends.  It also reminded me what I love about New York, and brought back a ton of memories from my early 20s.

It’s easy to feel sentimental and nostalgic at the end of the year, and even more so at the end of an entire decade. The 2010s also coincided with my 20s — I was 19 at the start of 2010, and I’ll be turning 30 in the fall. So much has happened over the last 10 years.

Taking cues from some of my blogger friends, I thought this was a good time to share an “anti-bucket list” — basically a look back at what I did accomplish over the last decade:

  • Started this blog! (2010)
  • Went on two Global Outreach trips (2011, 2013)
  • Visited Italy & France with my family (2012)
  • Graduated Fordham (2013)

  • Moved to Philadelphia (2013)
  • Adopted two dogs: Zamboni (2013) and Arya (2015)
  • Was a bridesmaid for high school friends (2015, 2016)
  • Switched jobs three times (at least)
  • Visited my mom in Colombia (2015)

  • Went to Canada and the PNW for the first time (2016)
  • Visited my dad in Costa Rica (2017)
  • Lived by myself for the first time (2017)
  • Started therapy (2017)
  • Helped plan the PHLblogger’s Blog Connect Conference (2017, 2018)

  • Went to the Home Run Derby (2017)
  • Fostered senior dogs (2017, 2018, 2019)
  • Got my first tattoo (2018)
  • Bought a house! (2018)
  • Saw Dwyane Wade’s last game (2019)
  • Did a reading at my friends’ wedding (2019)

It’s crazy to think about how much has changed, how much hasn’t and what stands out years later. Not every year was great — like, I’m sure cool stuff happened in 2014 (I just can’t remember what) and 2016 and 2017 were particularly hard years as well. The last decade had its share of highlights and lowlights, but I can confidently say I’m happier now than I was ten years ago. I’m grateful for that, for the lessons I’ve learned and friends I’ve gained along the way.

Cheers to a happy and healthy 2020!

~ Sarah

13 Before 30

Hello friends! I can’t believe fall is almost here, but a pretty great way I get to end summer is by celebrating my birthday. I turned 29 on the 13th, so I guess I can’t deny that I’m in my late twenties now! It’s pretty wild when I look back and see how different my life is now compared to a year ago. I loved being 28 — it was a landmark year in a lot of ways, and hopefully 29 is just as wonderful.

Because I a) love lists and b) I’m a blogger who has to overshare, I decided to put together a list of things I want to accomplish before I say good-bye to my twenties. Why 13 instead of 30 before 30? Well, I couldn’t come up with 30 things and also Jenna Rink.

In no particular order, in the next year I hope to…

  1. Get a tattoo. I got my first a week before 28, and another one after I moved into my house. I’ve been itching for another one since!
  2. Pay off my credit cards. Or at least a credit card? Post-closing expenses add up quick. I don’t even want to talk about this, being a responsible adult can be annoying.
  3. Visit a new city. Getting settled in a new place and going to a lot of weddings meant there wasn’t a lot of time for exploring this last year. Hopefully this will change soon!
  4. Go abroad. I try to get out of the country once a year — I just feel like it’s good for me! Chances are though if I manage to visit another country this year, it’ll be one I’ve been to before though, like Canada or Costa Rica (where my dad lives).
  5. Go camping. So I’ve never been camping, but it’s something my partner really loves. I don’t come from an outdoorsy family, but I’ve grown to like hikes so maybe I’m ready to sleep outdoors?
  6. Foster a dog. We fostered a sweet senior pup this summer, and we were close to “foster failing” and adopting him. Luckily, he found a great home and I’m sure we’ll foster again once things slow down.
  7. Have a girls’ weekend. This is actually my plan for my 30th birthday. I’d love to celebrate with my friends who are across the East Coast and have them all in one place.
  8. Donate blood. I hate needles and I hate blood, so I always told myself if I got a tattoo, I’d have to donate blood first. Well, that didn’t exactly happen (see #1), but better late than never right?
  9. Learn how to ride a bike (again). Listen, whoever said you never forget how to ride a bike did not go 15+ years without riding a bike! My new neighborhood is less walkable, but I’d love to learn again so I wouldn’t have to rely on my car so much. (It’s a Prius, but I still feel guilty every time!)
  10. Get a facial. In the words of Donna Meagle, “treat yo’ self.”
  11. Go to the shore. I went once this summer, and no boardwalk ice cream was involved. A travesty that must be corrected.
  12. Be a bridesmaid. One of my dear friends, Cortney, is getting married next August, and I’m lucky enough to be a bridesmaid. I’m very excited to be a small part of this special day!
  13. Celebrate 10 years blogging! Dude, I don’t even know where the last decade has gone! I’m awful at keeping up hobbies, and my interest blogging has definitely ebbed and flowed. Still, ten years is a big deal!

And that’s it! We’ll see how this year shapes up, but I think this list is pretty doable. I’m all ears for any advice though — being in your twenties is a total roller coaster, but I’m excited about the next chapter.

~ Sarah

P.S. Thank you Camille for these snaps!

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Wrap: Five Below | Tank: Kohl’s | Shorts: Target | Sneakers: Old Navy | Earrings: Lou Lou’s | Bag: eternally borrowed from my mother

Reintroductions

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Hola Chica Cactus LoafersMany, many moons ago, Julia tagged me in this post to answer 11 things about myself. Now that The Blog Connect is over (more on that later), I figured I might as well answer these questions (and share some photos from…last summer??). Better late than never! 😉 In case you are new-ish around here, these are the basics: my name is Sarah, I’m a Miami native living in the cold Northeast, I love all dogs (especially mine), and I’m accumulating plants at an alarming rate. Now, onto Julia’s questions!

What has blogging taught you?

Ugh, so much. There are skills that are actually practical: self-revision, photography, SEO. Mostly, I am grateful that blogging has opened up a lot of opportunities for me. I interned at a lot of cool places in college, and my blog definitely set me apart from other applicants. Now, I’m on the board(?) planning committee(?) of PHLbloggers, and we just hosted our third Blog Connect Conference. A crazy amount of my friends in Philly, well, I met them through blogging. I’m not sure if starting a blog was my ~sliding doors~ moment, but it has definitely changed my life.

What was your favorite blog post to write?

The first one that comes to mind is when I got to visit the set of American Ninja Warrior! Outfit photos are fun, but I also really like writing about sports (like I did here and here).

What are some of your favorite blogs to read?

Lucky for you, I still have an entire page dedicated to my blogroll!

Where do you live and what do you love about it?

I’m coming up on five (!!!) years in Philadelphia, which is crazy. I did not expect to fall in love with Philly the way I have, but here we are. So what do I love about this city? I love the neighborhoods, the walkability, the food, the people, the history, the culture, the beer gardens, the weather from May through October. I decidedly do not like the Eagles or winter, but nothing and nowhere is perfect.

What was your college major?

I double-majored in communications and American studies (basically the study of American history and culture). While not always  relevant, most of my classes were interesting.

What is your dream travel destination?

This is so dull, but London. I’ve always loved English history, and I still haven’t been! Also on my list are Prague, Montreal and Vancouver (again).

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had traveling?

Luckily, I’ve had mostly positive experiences traveling. My trip out West was great (even though I still have to finish blogging about it!). I’ve been blessed to go to Colombia and Costa Rica numerous times and learn more about my family history and heritage. One of the most meaningful experiences though? Probably my service trip to Esperanza in the Dominican Republic.

What is your favorite season?

In Philadelphia: summer. In Florida: winter. Basically, I aspire to enjoy my retirement as a snowbird.

What have you been reading lately?

The Internet? Is that not a legitimate answer? I did go on a tear of James Patterson books this winter in an attempt to clear out my bookcase.

What is the most meaningful souvenir you’ve gotten when traveling?

Such a good question! There are definitely some pieces of jewelry and clothing I’ve purchased while traveling that mean a lot to me. I also collect postcards, so those are always fun. Nothing beats personal photographs though.

What is one thing few people know about you?

This is so hard. I think I am a pretty open book, so nothing came to mind easily. Despite all my traveling, I’m actually petrified of planes and heights — but I think a good amount of people IRL know that about me. I also cannot ride a bike! I 100% used to know, but guess what, after ten years without riding a bike, you do, in fact, forget how. I wish I had some secret fun facts that make me sound less inept, but not today!

~ Sarah

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Top: Primark
Jeans: Gap Factory
Flats: H&M
Necklace: InPink (RIP)
Woven Bag: Thrifted? Hand-me-down? No idea.