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Notes on turning 29

Notes on turning 29

Several years ago, I spotted one of those inspirational quotes on Pinterest: “You only have 10 years to be in your 20s.” I’ve kept it in mind over the years: am I making the most of these (supposedly) carefree and fun years of my life?

Christine Amorose at Longwood Gardens, Pennsylvania

As I enter the last year of my 20s, I’m mostly pleased with how I’ve spent the last decade. I’ve lived in three countries and traveled to dozens more.  I’ve made lots of impulsive choices and plenty of mistakes. I’ve made some money and spent some money and saved some money. I’ve gone bungee-jumping and skydiving and hot air ballooning, and frolicked through flower fields and watched the sun rise and read more books than I can count. I’ve come to terms with the fact that even with three decades of life experience under my belt, I still can’t keep white jeans clean.

A wise professor once told me it’s impossible to plan your life on a timeline. And in many ways, I believe that’s true: you can’t plan or predict the twists and turns and opportunities life might throw your way. But somehow, I’ve managed to enter the last year of my 20s in many ways how I would have dreamt it: I have a pug and a husband, a good job and a beautiful apartment, a community of friends in my city and across the globe. The future is bright, with good things and big changes on the horizon.

That said, my life is far from perfect. I’ve lived out my 20s on the internet, with maybe more than my fair share of agonized self-reflection and outside criticism. I struggle constantly with comparison and feeling like I’m always falling short—that I don’t travel enough, that I don’t work hard enough, that I’m not the wife or daughter or friend that I want to be. I wish I could say that more of that self-induced stress has faded into calm confidence with age, but I’m starting to accept that some of that that anxiety mixed with ambition is an impermeable part of my personality.

But as I get ready to finish out my 20s, I’m most proud of keeping a promise I made to myself 10 years ago. I’ve celebrated every birthday this decade in a different country, even when it’s been expensive and difficult and logistically challenging. The memories of adventures in new cities, perfect beach days, stunning road trips and laughter with new friends, old friends, best friends have been worth the trouble. 

I’m celebrating 29 today in Copenhagen, Denmark–a city of cobblestone streets and incredible design that I’ve long wanted to visit. In a fateful twist, I’m here with my friend Renee: I met her on a bike tour in Munich the summer after I graduated from college, the solo backpacking trip through Europe that sowed the early seeds of adventure. We ended up paragliding over the Bavarian Alps the next day. A few years later, she welcomed me to Australia with open arms (and a couch to crash on, and plenty of beers) and then roadtripped across the USA with me when I decided to move to New York City.

We’re going to catch up over gin and tonics and a roller coaster ride, and indulge in all of the open-faced sandwiches and beautiful bookstores and design stores we can find. I’m thrilled to be here, and so excited to see how this year unfolds. 

In case you missed it: 21 in Las Vegas22 in France23 in Australia24 in Croatia25 in Iceland26 in Turkey27 in Curacao, 28 in Aruba <3 

  • Briel79

    Happy birthday Christine! Copenhagen is definitely on my list of places to visit (along with Amsterdam and Prague. Hopefully next year!) I hope you have a great time and I look forward to your post about it when you return.

  • Natalia Cooke (The Petite Expl

    I have just turned 29 and feel proud as well! It’s nice not to have felt anything was wasted! celebrating your birthday in a different country is such a nice idea! I might steal it for my 30s. Have a great time in Copenhagen. Such a cool city!

  • Dana

    Happy Birthday Christine, enjoy Copenhagen and keep being you- you rock! x

  • Meredyth

    Happy Birthday Christine! I’m turning 29 in 9 days and have many of the same thoughts and feelings as you. Here’s to many more adventures and all that the next year and decade will bring :). I sometimes wish I didn’t live in Toronto – I feel like we’d be friends!

  • Audrey

    Happy birthday, Christine! I’ve been reading your blog since 23 in Australia. Have a wonderful time in Copenhagen!

  • camorose

    Yes! That sounds like such a fun summer trip. Scandinavia is simply lovely!

  • camorose

    Yes! I think I might keep doing it through my 30s–it’s such a nice way to make sure I’m going somewhere new every year!

  • camorose

    Thanks lady! So lovely of you to say! 🙂

  • camorose

    Happy early birthday! I’m hoping to visit Toronto at some point–I’ve heard such great things!–so would love any tips when that finally happens 🙂

  • camorose

    Haha how funny–seems like a lifetime! Thanks so much for reading and the continued support, really appreciate it 🙂

  • Anđela Ćenan

    Happy birthday, Christine!! :)) SRETAN ROĐENDAN! 🙂 I wish you good books, good friends and a sleepy conscience, as the saying goes! 😀 also, of course, lots of love, health and patience! and a forever happy pug and husband! oh and lots and lots of excellent gin and tonic in the next year! I’m happy to have stumbled upon this blog many years ago and I still come and I still visit (although I admit I’m lazy to comment more often than not) and I wish that it/you forever stay(s) c’est Christine! nothing else matters! 🙂 a big bisous from Croatia

  • camorose

    Yay! Thanks so much Andela! So glad you’re still reading and enjoying! 🙂

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