101 in 1001 Review

By coincidence, my second 101 in 1001 ended on December 31st, meaning I get to start the new year with a brand new challenge. Crazy to think I've been blogging for over 2000 days. In fact, this week was my sixth blog anniversary! When I finished my first set, I wrote a massive review post covering every single goal and whether I achieved it. It was a long ol' post but it was very well received so I'm going to do it again. Strap yourselves in!

Above the clouds

Travel goals
1. Visit Père Lachaise- DONE

It feels like forever ago now but in 2015 I visited the massive Père Lachaise cemetery in Paris and saw Oscar Wilde's resting place. I'd love to go back one day because there's so much more of the cemetery left to explore.

2. Visit Paris Catacombs

Our trip to Paris was a surprise anniversary break organised by Rich. He'd arranged some lovely activities but this meant we didn't have time for the catacombs. Next time!

3. Visit Pakistan

I'd still love to visit Pakistan one day. The majority of the children I taught were Pakistani and they described it so vividly. Adira, if you're reading this, take me to visit your grandparents, yeah? 

4. Visit Las Vegas

We're doing this next year! It will be our fifth wedding anniversary so we're going to renew our vows with Elvis. 

5. Visit Tokyo

Jesus, I was ambitious with these travel plans! How did I expect to visit all these places in under three years?

6. Visit California

Apparently I thought I had a magic money tree.

7. Visit Disneyland Tokyo


8. See the Northern Lights

Still nope, although I know somebody who saw them in Wales so at least this wasn't massively ambitious like my other goals!

9. Visit the Love Lock Bridge in Paris - DONE! (But not in Paris)

Our trip to Paris was just after they took the bridge down. To be honest, I'm not sure this was such an exciting goal. I don't think I realised just how prevalent these locks are in other European cities. Salzburg has one, for example, and we put a lock on last Christmas.

10. Visit Hawaii


11. Visit Wales

How did I not even manage to make it up the M4? What the hell have I been doing for the past 1001 days???

12. Visit Ireland or Northern Ireland

In New Orleans, we got chatting to some Australian guys and they were absolutely flabbergasted that we'd never visited Ireland. I'm hoping to maybe visit this year or next as a day trip. 

13. Visit Disneyland Paris

OK but have you seen the price of it? It's almost cheaper to go to Florida for a fortnight! Someone tell me how to do it on the cheap.

14. Visit Florida again- DONE!

YES! Finally something I have done! My posts on my Florida trip are yet to come but we had an absolutely amazing time at Walt Disney World. We stayed onsite for the first time and it was a dream come true, especially after the stress of my MA.

15. Visit Sweden- DONE!

We managed to land in Stockholm on the snowiest November day in 111 years. I can't lie, it was pretty snowy! 

16. Visit Germany- DONE!

1001 days ago, I'd never been to Germany. Now I've been to Berlin, Hamburg and Munich. It's one of my favourite countries and I intend to visit many more cities in the next 1001 days. 

17. Visit my brother in Manchester- DONE!

Jamie has since moved out of Manchester but once I passed my driving test, barely a month went by without me travelling up there. It's become one of my favourite UK cities and I absolutely love it! I've got a lot of different posts to choose from so I've chosen just one to read below.

18. Visit Whitstable- DONE!

This was a complete fluke. Rich and I were going to Dreamland in Margate but, when we arrived, the place was shut due to strong winds. We'd travelled all the way down to Kent and didn't fancy turning around to head straight home, so we went to Whitstable for the day instead. My grandparents lived there for a few years when I was a teenager and it was such a happy town for me, so it was lovely to spend a couple of hours there.

19. Visit Oxford- DONE!

I went to Oxford with Helen and we weren't massively impressed. Somehow we seemed to avoid all the pretty, historic places and it just seemed like your average English market town. I think I need a tour guide.

20. Visit New York

I can't quite believe how ambitious I was with these. There's still one more ridiculous suggestion to come.

21. Visit Paris- DONE!

I was anticipating Paris to be a bit of a let down. Since it's so hyped, I thought it would be one of those really disappointing places that just doesn't live up to its reputation. I was wrong. It's bloody lovely and I hope to visit again before too long.

22. Visit Salzburg- DONE!

Well I did this and then some which I guess makes up for all the other overambitious ones. I've been four times now and I'm making plans for my fifth visit. I've never felt as at home anywhere else. Good God, I love it!

23. Visit New Jersey

The reason behind New Jersey is because I was hoping My Chemical Romance would reform and I would be able to see them in their homeland. Obviously that didn't happen. It's been almost five years and I'm still heartbroken.

24. Visit Scotland

Just after we got married, we spent a couple of days in Edinburg and I loved it. Unfortunately I haven't been back since. We debated going to Loch Ness for our anniversary in 2018, then settled on Newcastle instead, before downgrading it to London. So that's not happening for the foreseeable future.

25. Visit Liverpool- DONE!

My family live near Liverpool, and once I was able to drive, I headed up a few times. Like Manchester, it's another city I absolutely love. In fact, I'm going back in a couple of weeks.

26. See a narwhal in the wild

To be honest, I'm not even sure where you can see a narwhal in the wild but it hasn't stopped me wanting to!

Personal goals
27. Buy a house

Hahahahahaha we'll just move on from that one

28. Go zorbing

I really, really wanted to do this but then I forgot all about it. I've added it to my next list and I'm determined to get it done this time.

29. Be part of a pantomime horse

Me & Myles made vague plans to do this (they were far more spectacular than the goal suggests), but never got round to it.

30. Get my hair done at Bleach

Although I was lucky teaching in a school where they had a very relaxed approach to my piercings, they weren't about to let me rock up with rainbow hair. When I quit, I toyed with the idea of getting it done but ultimately chickened out. I've put a lot of work into my hair lately and I'm scared I'll ruin it!

31. Visit an auction

Sometimes I read back over my goals and think 'why on earth did I choose that?' This is one of those times. I don't recall ever wanting to visit an auction which is probably why I haven't done it.

32. Try snowboarding

This is one I'm still really keen on, and with the Winter Olympics this year, I reckon I'll be into it again. There's a dry ski slope near me so I've put this on the new list.

33. Give blood

I didn't do this BUT I've got an appointment booked to do so for the day after this post is published. So almost, I guess.

34. Run in a Colour Run

Am I really likely to take part in an event that has the word 'run' in it? Probably not.

35. Get my daith pierced

Far from gaining piercings, I lost one when my conch fell out and I'm absolutely gutted.

36. Get my anti tragus pierced

See above.

37. Get my right conch pierced

Also see above.

38. Go to an ice bar- DONE!

I was starting to think I'd never reach a goal I achieved! I visited the Ice Bar London and it wasn't as cold as I was expecting. Very cool though (see what I did there?)

39. Ride a bucking bronco

I very nearly did this in New Orleans! We saw a bar advertising bucking bronco rides but then completely forgot about it. I'll need to find somewhere else to do it.

40. Sit in a public gallery in court

Another goal that I completely forgot about but I'm determined to make happen in future.

41. Visit a Lush spa- DONE!

I had the Synaesthesia massage in Poole, the original Lush store, and it was absolutely amazing. I'd definitely have another one. Maybe the Comforter. Or Hard Days Night. Or Tales of Bath...

42. Have a keratin treatment- DONE!

Ever since I heard about keratin treatments, I've known I needed one. My hair gets so frizzy and absolutely drives me mad. Finally, just before Florida, I had my first treatment. I've got a post planned all about it but let's just say I'll definitely get another before my next holiday.

43. Have laser hair removal- DONE!

Ok, I still need to have a full course but I had my first session of laser hair removal and I cannot wait to get my whole face blitzed off.

44. Go snorkelling

When I was still working through my first 101 in 1001 goals, I tried snorkelling for the first time in Walt Disney World. I knew I was going to be visiting again before completing this second list so fully expected to have another go at it. However, they closed the Shark Reef exhibit before I returned so I never got the chance. I'm hoping to snorkel in the wild this summer.

45. Swim at the Aquatic Centre

I sailed a swan pedalo past the Aquatic Centre. Does that count? No? OK

46. Learn to drive- DONE!

It took me three attempts but I did it! I can't imagine life without driving now.

47. Sort out the spare room- DONE!

Five years after moving into our house, and using the spare room as a general dumping ground, we turned it into a lovely office so I'd have somewhere nice to study.

48. Get a tattoo- DONE!

Finally, after years of meaning to, I got my first tattoo. It's a teeny-tiny lightning bolt on my finger and I'll have a post all about it soon.

49. Get my teeth whitened- DONE!

I never finished the whole course because I absolutely hated it- it was uncomfortable, painful and just a massive, messy faff. After half the course, however, my teeth looked so much better that I had immeasurably more confidence. I'm going to finish the course soon and I'll be sure to write a post about this too.

50. Have laser eye surgery- KIND OF DONE!

OK, so I've had zero lasers near my eyes. I haven't had to though because for the past year I've been wearing Ortho-K lenses and now I have no need for laser correction. It's absolutely changed my life and, although I am still suffering from problems with glare, I have no desire to go back to regular contacts or glasses.

51. Visit 10 new-to-me cemeteries- DONE!

Oooh this was so close! When writing this, I overlooked a cemetery that I visited two months ago and was kicking myself for missing the mark by one. But I just did it! Over the 1001 days, I visited Adolf Fredriks churchyard in Stockholm, Sebastiensfriedhof and Petersfriedhof in Salzburg, Zentralfriedhof and Kaisergruft in Vienna, Southern Cemetery in Manchester, Arnos Vale Cemetery in Bristol, Odiham Cemetery in Hampshire, Père Lachaise in Paris and Louis Cemetery No. 1 in New Orleans.

Cultural Goals

52. Decorate our house

This was on the basis that we bought our own house and obviously that never happened so... 

53. Write a book

I started writing a book. I had this great idea for a kind of blogging workbook and I actually wrote quite a lot of it but then I got ill, and work got on top of me, and it just fell by the wayside never to see the light of day again. Ho hum.

 54. Start dancing again

I danced Latin American competitively for nine years and I absolutely loved it. Every time Strictly comes around again, I think about how nice it would be to start up but I just don't have the confidence (or a partner).

55. Attend a pottery class

I genuinely think I settled on this goal after watching Ghost. It never happened but I'm adding it to my next list. 

56. Watch 50 new-to-me films- 33/50

I'm not a film person. I just don't have the attention span to sit there staring at the TV for two hours. To be honest, 33 films in less than three years seems like a lot for me so I'm quite impressed with that! Having said all that, the way I recorded this goal and #83 (watch all 100 Greatest Musicals) means I didn't realise I'd actually watched 52 films so it's achieved. See that goal for more information.

57. Try figure skating

For Christmas 2016, Rich bought me a pair of ice skates... and they've sat in the boot of my car waiting to be sharpened ever since. I did make tentative enquiries about a figure skating class but they were fully booked so that avenue was shut down. I will do it one day!

58. Visit London Transport Museum- DONE!

I have absolutely no idea why I put this as a target. I'm not particularly interested in transport and I can't remember ever feeling a desire to visit the museum. I did it though!

59. See Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway- DONE!

We just squeezed in, getting the final two seats in the studio. I'm glad I did as I've applied for tickets since and never been lucky again. 

60. Attend a comedy workshop

I have this idea that I'd make an amazing stand up comedian and could join the likes of Greg Davies and Romesh Ranganathan in the teachers-turned-comedian club if only I could write funny material and get past the crippling terror of dying a miserable death onstage. I figure a comedy workshop would be a nice, fluffy way in although, if I'm honest, I'm too scared to even do that. Anyone want to come with me?

61. See 5 shows- 10/5

Smashed it, mate! Doubled my target! The shows I saw were: A Woman of No Importance, Aladdin (the pantomime, starring Biggins himself), Half a Sixpence, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Chicago, The Rocky Horror Show, American Idiot, The Play That Goes Wrong, The Book of Mormon and Jersey Boys. I'm very proud of myself! 

62. Go to the Affordable Art Fair

Another one added to the new list.

63. Go to Ascot

My mum goes to Ascot every year but I've yet to join her. It's not far from me so I must go sometime.

64. Visit Pennywell Farm

On the way to Leona's wedding, we saw signs for Pennywell Farm and toyed with the idea of popping in to visit on the way home. By that point, however, we were too tired so we just carried straight on home. 

65. Visit Hampton Court- DONE!

Not only did I get to visit Hampton Court, but I visited as a school trip with my favourite class ever. It wasn't quite as fun as I remembered but I was being paid to be there so I can't complain. 

66. See 10 exhibitions- 3/10

How is this even possible? I had absolutely no idea that I'd done so terribly here. I saw Death: The Human Experience, The Crime Museum Uncovered and the Amy Winehouse street art trail but that's all. I've let myself down big time. 

67. Visit Cass Foundation Sculpture Park

I visited this place when I was at uni and always intended to visit when I learned to drive. I've been driving for over two years now and I still haven't made it.

68. Visit Cutty Sark

I stood next to the Cutty Sark when I attended a wedding in Greenwich. That's close enough, right?

69. Visit Tower of London

Likewise, I sailed past the Tower of London on a Thames river tour...

70. Visit London Aquarium- DONE!

As part of a work reward thing, Rich was sent on a day trip to London Aquarium. It was very hot and crowded, and not at all as fun as I was expecting.

71. Visit Glasgow Necropolis

I haven't even managed to cross the border into Scotland.

72. Learn Japanese

Just last week I played with the Japanese course on Duolingo so at least I've started, I guess.

73. Finish Wreck This Journal

Months ago, I put my journal in the cupboard under the stairs and I haven't seen it since. I don't think I've even added to a single page in the past 1001 days.

74. Visit Notting Hill Carnival

You know sometimes I think it would be nice and then I just think about the crowds and how the tube would be an absolute nightmare, and I'm just not sure if I can deal with that.

75. Climb Big Ben

Did you know this is a thing you can do? To be honest, I'm not even sure myself anymore. I'm pretty certain I read it somewhere and thought it would be cool but now I'm doubting myself. Anyway, this is the best time to do it what with their being no bongs for a while.

76. Go to Wimbledon

Can I be bothered with all that queuing and camping? I'm not sure.

77. Visit the V&A properly

The place is bloody expansive! One day I will spend the entire day there without needing to rush around.

78. Walk in Pride

I so nearly did this! When I joined the Lib Dems (yes that's a thing that I did), I was invited to join them in the London Pride parade and was totally up for it. But then I panicked about the fact that I wouldn't know anybody and I bottled it. I wish I hadn't now.

79. See 10 gigs/ festivals- 2/10

I'm just not that into live music anymore. Is this a sign of my impeding old age? Still, the two gigs I did attend were amazing, saying goodbye to some of my favourite teenage bands, Aiden and Funeral for a Friend. (By the way, I think that Funeral for a Friend post is one of the best things I've ever written so please read it).

80. Visit Beamish Museum

Why did I think it was a good idea to choose a museum 300 miles away? I really want to visit but jeez, it's miles away! I have plans to visit Newcastle in the next year though so I can seize my chance then.

81. See Gerard Way in New Jersey

This was originally supposed to be My Chemical Romance but obviously they shot that dream down. I don't think I've ever really had the heart to get fully into Gerard Way's solo stuff, as sad as that sounds.

82. Sing karaoke- DONE!

For Laura's hen do, we hired one of those private karaoke rooms and it was a lot of fun. Job done, I thought. That's karaoke. It might only be in a small group, with no general public looking on, but I had a microphone and I was singing. Sorted. Then this summer I went out with a friend of mine who loves a bit of karaoke. He convinced me to do a duet to the classic modern masterpiece that is Let's Get Ready to Rhumble. Ok, so we were in a half-empty pub where nobody was paying attention and everyone except me was wasted, but I still stood in front of strangers and sang. Then I went to New Orleans. They have a karaoke bar called Cats Meow and lemme tell you, it's the best place ever. This is where I stood on an actual stage, on my own, in front of a bar full of people all watching me and sang Bon Jovi. I absolutely loved it! 

83. Watch all 100 Greatest Musicals- 22/100

I started off doing really well with this, watching seven in one month at the start, but then my motivation just fizzled out. The good news is that I didn't count any of these to my watching 50 new-to-me films, and as 19 of them were films I'd never seen before, I can truthfully say I watched 52 over the 1001 days and tick off goal number 56.

84. Eat in 10 new-to-me London restaurants- 5/10

I cursed specifying London here. I've eaten in so many great restaurants all over the UK and Europe but none of them could count towards my goal. I loved visiting Kipferl, Bibimbap, Cereal Killer Cafe, Bubbledogs and Burger & Lobster, but I wish I'd pushed myself to check out more.

85. Visit the Angel of the North

Hopefully I'll finally do that this year!

86. Visit Finkley Down Farm

I used to go to this place every summer holiday and have such fun. For nostalgia's sake, I keep meaning to go back, especially as it's fairly near me, but I just forgot about it.

87. Visit Birdworld

Exactly the same as with Finkley Down Farm. I'm determined to do it though!

88. Shoot 10 rolls of film- 5/10

This goal worked in a funny way. When I set it, I had my old Diana F+ camera and I intended to shoot 10 rolls of that, before it got lost somewhere in the cupboard under the stairs. Last Christmas, Rich bought me an Instax Mini and I've absolutely loved playing with it this year, so I have shot rolls of film after all. I'm estimating how many I went through- I have 31 photos in my album, plus around 10 in a special Florida album, I've given 4 to other people and then there's the odd shot that didn't work at all. If we say I've shot 50 photos, that's five rolls of film. Not bad for one year really!

89. See My Chemical Romance again

It was wishful thinking.

90. Read 125 books- 143/125- DONE!

OOOH YEAH! If there's one goal I'm always guaranteed to smash, it's a reading goal. I've set my next target to 150 and I think that's perfectly reasonable.

91. Attend a drawing class

I still really want to do this. Who wants to come with me?

92. Read War and Peace

Rich has a copy he bought in the charity shop but I haven't even touched it. I'm afraid of how much it will slow me down and I'll end up reading far fewer books than usual because I'm struggling through this one epic tome.

93. Go on a steam train

I'm really bitter about this one. At work, we had a module on transport and I organised a trip for a steam train. I called up the station, organised everything, lined it all up nicely, and then I was signed off the week before the trip. Gutted isn't the word! Apparently the kids had a good time though and that's what's important.

94. Go to a roller disco- DONE!

Turns out, roller discos aren't as fun as I anticipated. They really hurt your feet!

95. Visit Bounce London- DONE!

A ping pong bar that serves pizza? Yes please! Shortly after adding this to my list, I was invited to an event at Bounce London and it was a whole lot of fun.

96. Visit 10 new-to-me museums- 16/10- DONE!

I'm pretty sure I've missed one or two out but, either way, I've bossed it. I won't list them all here because that would take forever, but from Riga to New Orleans, and all the cities I've visited in between, I've taken in at least sixteen museums.

97. Visit the Coronation Street Tour- DONE!

I'm so glad I got to do this before they closed it down. It was so much fun running around having photos in front of all these iconic buildings.

Career goals

98. Start a master's degree- DONE!

Not only started a master's degree but finished a master's degree. With distinction, no less! It was one of the most challenging, but most gratifying, things I've ever done in my life.

99. Reach 20,000 Twitter followers

As I write this, I'm at 18.6k so I got really close!

100. Go part time at work- DONE!

I went part time for all of six months before I left. I do miss teaching. I miss my school and my colleagues, I miss my kids, I miss what my career was before it all went tits up. But now I'm looking to start a PhD so I can't miss it too much!

101. Reach 5000 Bloglovin followers

Does anyone use Bloglovin any more? I think I got to about 3500 before it faded into obscurity.


Well there we have it! 1001 days. 101 goals. 35 achieved, 5 partially achieved. That's not great is it? Just over a third. I think we've ascertained that I was far too ambitious and also too specific, so I've considered that when writing my new list. It's much more general and achievable. I'll never achieve all of it but I'd like to hit 75%.

In a way, writing this post has made me a little sad, in a bittersweet nostalgic kind of way. I can remember writing up this first list and it's crazy to think how different my life is since then. At that time, I could never have imagined leaving my job but here I am! Just 1001 days and my life is unrecognisable. It makes me wonder what it will be like at the end of my next time period.

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  1. I'm glad you accomplished some of the things you were wanting to! I really love this series of yours.

    Katie | Katie Like Me

  2. I love that you've included Pennywell Farm, somewhere I visited loads of times as a youngster as i'ts close to home! Alice xxx


  3. What was that bridge in Paris? I remember seeing a ton of locks on the bridge behind Notre Dame when I went in late 2016!

    35 goals of this magnitude is a fantastic result, in my opinion!

    1. I can't remember it's proper name now. Maybe people have started leaving locks on a different bridge instead

  4. You certainly were ambitious, but there's nothing wrong with aiming high! I'm very jealous of all the travel you did achieve. x www.aimeeraindropwrites.co.uk x

  5. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this list, you were crazy ambitious but then the list that you did complete is still absolutely fantastic

  6. Wow, that was indeed an ambitious list! You did very well to tick off so many though, you've definitely achieved a lot in the last three years!


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