IT’S MY BIRTHDAY (21 is NOT old, okay?) | 22 Things to Do Before I’m 22

WHAT AN EXCITING DAY! Guys, I turned 21 years old today. Isn’t that scary? I feel like I’ve never truly been obsessed with my age but recently, I’ve been thinking about it more. Turning 21 is probably not as big of a deal in Belgium than it is in some other countries, because we use the legal age of 18 here. YES PEOPLE! If I’m not mistaken, you can drink beer from the age of 16, and hard liquor (and learn to drive) by the age of 18. Yet turning 21 still feels like a big deal to me!

SO today I’m writing a list of 22 things I want to do before I turn 22, inspired by the post Cait @ Paper Fury made on her birthday in January!

22 things #1

In the summer, I went to London for a work experience in Pan Macmillan. I went there all on my own, and absolutely loved it. There is something so freeing and interesting about travelling on your own! But I don’t really count that trip, because it was mainly for “work”. So before I turn 22, I want to take a trip on my own. Entirely for myself. 

22 things #2

Nope, I still don’t have my driver’s license. I had a permit because I passed my theoretical exam, but that expired in April. I know… 3 years, and I didn’t take my practical exam. Driving just scares me people! But it’s really important, especially for getting a job. So before I turn 22, I want to get my driver’s license. 

22 things #3

This may end up being a bit too ambitious. But I want to try! At the moment, I think I have about 80 unread books on my shelf. Hard copies, I mean. I want to get that down, and 45 seems like a good number. No?

22 things #4

I’ve only been (indoor) snowboarding once and severely hurt my left knee then. But that was because no one taught me how to stop! Staying on the snowboard wasn’t super difficult after a while. But I didn’t know how to brake. NOT GOOD PEOPLE. So I want to actually learn.

22 things #5

It is not a secret that I despise running. Why? Because I can’t. I can’t run. I know that sounds ridiculous, but it’s true. I need to remedy that though. Why? WELL. What if there is a zombie apocalypse? I don’t want to die (first). And a 5K seems like a good goal to me. 

22 things #6

Before I turn 22, I want to revamp my blog. I want a new design, and to get off of It’s a good platform, don’t get me wrong! But I’ve always wanted to self-host at one point. I just don’t know how to get started. If you guys have any tips on how to get started, let me know! It could be a person you worked with, things to keep in mind and so on. 

22 things #7

I love yoga. But I’ve never been able to stick to a program for 30 days! After a week, there’s always a day where I’m like “nah, don’t feel like it” and then the cycle is broken. So I want to complete one!

22 things #8

The ultimate bucket list item! I just had to put this one on the list. It just looks so scary but awesome too! One day, I will have the courage and opportunity to do this.

22 things #9

Is this cheating? Ah, who cares. I normally should be graduating with my master’s degree in June/July 2016. So if nothing goes wrong, I should definitely accomplish this before I turn 22.

22 things #10

I just need to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Truly, any Harry Potter location would count for this list item, in my opinion. I was doubting between this and visiting the Lord of the Rings locations in New Zealand but I don’t think a trip to New Zealand is probable in the next year.

22 things #11

I’ve already got wool in the right colors, so I just have to learn how to knit and then do it. My mom and grandmother “regularly” knit, and usually scarves. We love scarves. So I really want to do this one!

22 things #12

I know this may not seem like a lot, but I have a bad history with classics. So I want to read some more before I’m 22! 

22 things #13

THIS IS SCARY. I am definitely a meat eater. I love it. But I want to challenge myself to try a new lifestyle. It will inspire me to try different recipes and ingredients, which is always exciting. So I definitely want to give this one a go. (Some people would go for a vegan challenge, but that is just way too terrifying for me). 

22 things #14

HOW AWESOME IS THIS. I don’t know, it’s just something I’ve always wanted to do. It seems like an incredible experience! Plus, think of the amazing landscapes I’ll see.

22 things #15

I’ve only read a few books on this list. WHICH IS SO SHAMEFUL. Fantasy is my favorite genre, so why haven’t I read almost any of the Top 100 list they made? So I want to make it a task to read more -or all- of them.

22 things #16

This goes in line with graduating university. It means I’m going to go look for a job, and rent my own place. Hopefully. This may not happen before my birthday, depending on when I graduate and find a job. But it’s an important milestone in becoming an adult and I’m looking forward to it. 

22 things #17

I’m getting really close to 300 followers on my blog, which is mind-blowing to me. I’ve only been doing this for about a year now, so knowing that almost 300 lovely humans are following my blog is awesome. I want to reach 500 before September 25th, 2016.

22 things #18

I want a tattoo. Not a giant one, but I do want one. I’ve been thinking about this for a long time and I’ve got a few ideas. Maybe I’ll get a quote from one of my favorite books? Who knows!

22 things #19

Because I live in Belgium, I don’t often get to go to signings of my favorite authors. Or ever, actually. But I do want to go to one before I’m 22! I’ve never met any of my favorite authors, how sad is that?

22 things #20

Now this could be any book fest. Like BEA or Bookcon! Just any (big) get together of authors, bloggers, vloggers, publishers and so on. I want to meet all of you bookish people!

22 things #21

I often get overwhelmed with blog posts. I won’t be able to look at them for a few days, after which I’ll have 200 unread ones in my Bloglovin’ feed alone. Then I get so overwhelmed that I barely comment. So I want to comment more on all the wonderful blogs I follow, or the ones I have yet to discover.

22 things #22

I love cooking and baking. Absolutely adore it. And when I have the time, I try out a new recipe. However, when I go to university, I find myself getting stuck in a rut. I eat the same dishes all the time because they are quick and easy to make –and delicious, obviously. So I want to spend more time cooking and baking, and discover more delicious recipes!

So that was my list of 22 things to do before I’m 22. I’m really excited about my birthday! Tomorrow, I’ll be celebrating with my friends and tonight, I’m having dinner at my favorite restaurant with my parents. Unfortunately, I also have 6 hours of class on my birthday – how rude


20 thoughts on “IT’S MY BIRTHDAY (21 is NOT old, okay?) | 22 Things to Do Before I’m 22

  1. Happy Birthday (a bit late but still)!

    This is a very cool list. I’d adopt some of these resolutions myself… I checked that list of the top 100 fantasy/sci-fi books and I’ve read about 10-15, I think. Not a lot, in any case… I wish you luck with these goals, if you manage to cross them all off, you’re going to have a magnificent year! 🙂


  2. Happy birthday and good luck!
    Don’t worry, 21 totally isn’t old – says the girl who only remembers 21 as a distant memory in the rearview mirror. 😉

    There are a lot of great vegetarian recipes out there (I was a vegetarian for many years before I quit because of health reasons) but you’ll need to be careful to combine your foods right so you still get all the nutrients you need. Some recipes do that already, but there’s also tips in some vegetarian cookbooks and on some websites. Really hope you find some awesome recipes to try.


  3. I think this is an awesome list, and many of those, I want to do as well! Like getting a tattoo, and go bungee jumping, and travel on my own… I’ve been meaning to do the 30 day yoga challenge by Yoga With Adriene. I went halfway a few months ago and then dropped it. Maybe we can do it together?

    Happy birthday! You’re still on the early end of 20, so you’re still young…ish 😉


  4. Jolien, that’s a very impressive list. But it seems manageable.
    And to help you along:
    5. run the 5K: my wife used the Start-To-Run podcast and last May she succeeded in running the 16km between Tongerlo and Averbode (“Abdijentocht”)
    13. Good luck on the vegie-thing. My view: the only way to grill tofu is to chuck in the bin and get some meat on the BBQ 😉
    14. Helicopter ride: did that once. Not what it’s cracked-up to be.
    and finally:
    22. new recipes: here’s a perfect “student-op-kot”-recipe: get 2 cans of tuna (try Rio Mare, they have some great flavours), put them on the coocker, add two cans of pealed tomatoes, some fresh (or dried) herbes like basil/oregano, let it “pruttel” a bit. Cook some pasta al-dente. Serve with grated pecorino cheese. Voila, a fast and tasty meal in less than 15 minutes.

    I hope you succeed in your endeavour. Looking forward to some updates in the coming 12 months.

    Buon compleanno ed auguri !


  5. Happy birthday!!!
    I really like your list. It’s a good mix of big and small things.
    As for the signings and bookfest ones: in July there’s YA Lit Con in London (or yalc_uk on Twitter). You might want to check it out 😉 The gent and I went for just one day this year but we’re planning to go the whole weekend in 2016. Would be awesome if you could come along too!


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