Inspiration,  Life,  Personal

Things to do Before You Turn 30

I’m inspired by this post by Dimas about what you should do before 30. By reading the title of this post alone, you should know a little bit about my age :)) So here we go, my version of what you should do before 30:

Backpack out of the country

My first time backpacking was when I turn 24. Me and my best girls pack our bag and went to Kuala Lumpur, Phuket, Bangkok and Singapore. I brought a real backpack, which I regret later because it was too heavy. I remember we must eat cheap sandwiches for breakfast because we splurge on seafood dinner the night before :))

My second attempt to backpack was just last March, this time me and friends went to Cairo, Luxor, Aswan, Alexandria. And eventhough I brought a wheeled suitcase, but it was a real backpacking experience. With the budget limitation and all.

I’m a princess. I’m not the ‘adventurous’ type. And I can afford regular way of traveling. But backpacking, especially out of the country, gave me perspective. I came back, a different person. Making more initiatives, becoming more fearless. At least, now I know that I can walk that much and carry 3 bags in the same time in public transport :))

Travel solo at least once

Travel solo. Like truly alone. Three years ago I went to Ubud, Bali, by myself.This is my first time to Ubud, and the driver who picked me up kind of confused that I came alone and has no plan whatsoever to do anything there.

I end up spend time walking, reading in garden, watching Balinese dance, looking at ricefields, eating nice organic food, while listening to Balinese musical chants from nearby temple. It was very peaceful.

I never got the urge to make connection while I’m in Bali. But people seems to get to me anyway. I end up meeting new friends and also meet the famous medicine man from Eat, Pray, Love: Ketut Liyer, and it was one of the most interesting experience I ever have in my life.

Travel totally alone gave you clarity and allow your brain to came up with amazing things. You don’t have to talk to people. You just have to smile and enjoy beautiful moments. I came back recharged and ready for next challenges.

Write a book

I wrote my first book when I was 22. This is the time of your life when you have so many stories and ideas, and you have time to actually write it. So, yeah, write. Make time to write.

I never thought I could finished a book. Turned out, not only finishing a book, I actually make it a bestseller and wrote 24 other books in different genres.

Writing a book, change my life completely. It gave me a sense of accomplishment, a progress, make me understand that everything is possible. People appreciate me, they trust me, they asked for my autograph and a picture with me :)) and that’s the kind of thing that will energized your 20s and make you enthusiast to go forward and ask ‘What’s next?’.

Start your own business

I started my first real business when I was 23. Not necessarily got enough capital or experience, but I got the energy and I can afford it. What I mean by I can ‘afford’ it was, I didn’t have any family to support yet and I don’t have debts yet in any kind. That’s usually what’s happened when you’re younger. You still have less responsibilities. So, starting a business, that full of risks, is totally possible. And completely worth taking.

Teach children

I’ve been teaching children since I was in university. There’s this small Masjid that I went to 3 times a week in the afternoon that I can teach 20 children some English and reading Quran. Kids are active, so you expect them to be all noisy and running around, they might drive you nuts, especially when you handle them alone. But they have SO MUCH LOVE and wisdom that you won’t get anywhere else in adult world.


I’m not teaching regularly, but I’m donating an Islamic boarding school, just so once in a while I can come and greet my kids. They genuinely love to see me and even missing me when I’m not there. I enjoy my time talking with them about life and dreams. It looks like I’m teaching them, but actually they taught me so much more.

Speak in front of at least 100 people

Everybody dread public speaking. Including me. But my activities as an entrepreneur and writer, required me to meet and speak in front of a lot of people. Usually to motivate and inspire them.

I used to choose to speak in panel or talkshow with a moderator, because I don’t get to face the audience by myself. But then I thought, that must change. I must be able to speak alone, presenting something, connecting directly to the audience.

Then I took public speaking class, professional teachers taught me how to do it. Then I start practicing and experimenting. I review my speaking experiences so I can understand how to do it better next time. Now I know how to start my presentation, that I can speak effectively to up to 100 audiences and more than that I should ask moderator to help me (but I always try to improve), and I believe now my teachers proud of me because I’m not only speaking well in my own language, but also in English while speaking in other countries.

Speak in public taught you how to be vulnerable, gain self confidence when you be able to overcome the fear, and it trained you to think in sequence. And it has been improving my communication skills outside the stage as well. So, speak!

Buy a house and a car

I start hunting for the perfect house since I was 21. I didn’t have the money of course, but I dream anyway. Finally I met the perfect house for me and bought it at the age of 26. That’s one of the best financial decisions I ever make in my entire life.

I get a car before a house, because it’s cheaper, obviously :P You still need a car in Jakarta. If you live in Amsterdam then you must get the best bike possible. Live in London, you don’t need to buy anything, the Tube is more than enough. But in Jakarta, a car is something you must consider having for many reasons.

Get an award

It’s not for you, silly. It’s for your parents. In the age where parents have no idea what job you’re doing, you must give them something to brag about to the neighbors. Ok? :))

In more serious notes, an award, especially from a highly reputable institution, will make people trust you more. And believe me, when people trust you, your life will be much easier.

Fall in love so deep you bought plane tickets to pursue him or her

When you’re young, you still have the energy to fly 20++ hours across the globe to get to someone you love, spend all your money on it and people still ‘rationalized’ it saying, “Aww how sweet.”

When you’re older, of course you still can do that. But people will think you’re losing your mind, foolish, and wasting your time and money. LOL. It’s not like I care about what people say. But your 20s’ the best time to go max at it.

So, yeah. LOVE. DEEP. Now.

Thanks for reading this long. And you can also share your own version on what to do before 30 ;)

Have a great day!

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A writer of 30 books. Co-Founder & CMO Storial.co & NulisBuku.com. Initiate StartupLokal, the biggest startup community in Indonesia. Co-Managing Director of Girls in Tech Indonesia.

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