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41 Things To Do Before Turning 41

bucket list items

Checked off #16 just this month!

I had a serious post ready to go today, but since it’s my birthday, I decided to do something a little more fun. I honestly have a hard time saying that I’m 41 years old today. It sounds so old, but I feel awesome and I’m more excited about the future than ever. That doesn’t mean it isn’t fun to revisit the past. I came up with 41 things I think people should do before age 41.

  1. See the Grand Canyon
  2. Have a snowball fight
  3. Max out an IRA
  4. Go to Europe or the US if you already live in Europe
  5. Compete in an organized run or triathlon
  6. Foster a dog or cat
  7. Watch the sun set over the Rocky Mountains
  8. Order a meal in a foreign language
  9. Give a sandwich to a homeless person
  10. Eat cake for dinner
  11. Pay off credit card balances forever
  12. Make homemade soup
  13. Binge watch a whole series on Netflix
  14. Go down an alpine slide
  15. See tropical fish in their natural habitat
  16. Go ice skating
  17. Earn more per year in interest and dividends than contributions
    # Old Faithful

    # 22 Old Faithful

  18. Ride your bike to work
  19. Anonymously buy someone’s lunch
  20. Read a book to a child that you loved when you were little
  21. Have a tropical drink on a beach before noon
  22. Watch Old Faithful erupt
  23. Eat a vegetable that you grew yourself
  24. Watch a show on Broadway
  25. Work on a political campaign
  26. See a live volcano
  27. Ask an elderly person about their past
  28. Skip in public
  29. Go to a church service for a religion you have no knowledge of
  30. Watch a collegiate sports event at a school with a big time sports program
  31. Read a book so good that finishing it makes you mildly depressed
  32. See fire flies in action
  33. Make s’mores over an open fire
  34. Know you’ll never wear uncomfortable shoes again
  35. See giant redwood trees
  36. Travel by train
  37. Quit a crappy job
  38. Do something that requires a helmet
  39. Hike to the top of a waterfall
  40. Make money from a side hustle others think is insane
  41. Drink sweet tea in the South
Multnomah Falls #39

Multnomah Falls #39

Yes, I have done all of those things and I highly recommend every one. What are some things you think people should do before their next birthday?


About Kim Parr

Kim Parr is a private practice optometrist, freelance writer, and personal financial blogger. You can follow her journey to 20/20 financial vision at Eyes on the Dollar.


  1. Great list Kim and happy birthday! I hit my 41 last Wednesday. On one hand I don’t like getting older…of course, but I feel the best I have ever have in my life and excited about the future so I’ll take it. 🙂 Having lived in California for the first 25 years of her life, Nicole has never seen the Redwoods and I really want to as well so that’s definitely a trip we’re planning on once the kids get a little older.

  2. Happy birthday you old lady!!! HAHA Just kidding! I hope you have a great day!

  3. Happy birthday, my friend!!! I’m heading towards 50, and I can tell you that it only gets better. 🙂 Super cute pic of you two ice skating. We went ice fishing this weekend – so fun!

  4. That’s a pretty cool list. Happy birthday.

  5. Happy Birthday Kim! I like the “ask an elderly person about their past” one. I think not only is it interesting to hear the history of the story, but I really think it does brighten their day that someone is interested in their life. One of my big goals is to complete a documentary. Not sure if it will happen by 4 cough 5, but I want to make that happen in my lifetime.

  6. Thank you for this! Being well over 30 myself I kind of sigh when I see those “30 before 30” lists 🙂 I’ve done the majority of these, glancing through the list, but I’ll have to consider what I can do about the rest in the next five years…. Happy birthday!

  7. Happy Birthday, Kim! I’m closing in on the big 5-0, so you are still a younin’. 🙂 I’ve done quite a few things you listed, although I’m not sure about the sweet tea. I liked iced tea but sweet tea is so, you know, sweet! LOL! I like #34 too. Being 6′ feet tall I wear a lot of flats so I rarely ever complain about uncomfortable shoes!

  8. Haha. I love #40. Nothing more cocktail party worthy than telling people how you built a website devoted to toilet paper coupons and made $400/mo off of it.

  9. I love this list. #40 will only be insane to everyone until they see you making $$$. Then they will want in as well or try to copy you! 🙂

  10. Happy Birthday Kim!!!!! This is an awesome list!!! I have done 17 of these things, but have now discovered lots of activities I need to add to my list. I hope that you enjoy accomplishing every one of these!

  11. Awesome goals. Good luck with your goals. Hope you get most of them achieved this year!

  12. Happy Birthday Kim! What a list here. I have done quite a few of them, but there are many that I want to get accomplished myself.

  13. First off, happy birthday! And great list to share with everyone – from the big stuff down to the every day, seemingly insignificant, activities that add up to give your life real value. To add to your list, I’d include making bread from scratch – water, flour, yeast, and salt. No bread machine either – roll up your sleeves and knead it. That extra effort tastes so much sweeter!

  14. Happy Birthday!! The list really makes me take a look at my life and see what I’ve accomplished and what I still want for my future. Thanks for sharing!

  15. Hmm.. Great list. I haven’t done watching a show on broadway and seeing a live volcano, that would be awesome and perfect! Have you tried bungee jumping? That would really test your guts and you should try it before turning 42.

  16. Happy belated birthday! That is one awesome list, Kim! I had a “to do by 30” list, but it was nowhere near as adventurous and fun as your list. I like the idea of interspersing aspirational/exciting things with the more humdrum to-do’s.

    I think everybody should go on a hike in the woods and pet a greyhound before their next birthday! But then, I might be a bit biased… 🙂

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