28 Things I’ve Done Over the Years Leading To My 28th Birthday

It’s my birthday and I’m turning 28 years old. 28 is a big deal to me, guys because that’s how old my mom was when she had me. Don’t worry, I’ll talk about children and such in another post, but for now, rather than mope about the fact that I’m still single with no children in my future, or even a potential lover, I thought that I would take a look at all the accomplishments that I’ve done in my 28 years of living.

  1. Age 9 Learned how to play the cello and as I advanced I performed jazz concerts as well as with the Santa Cruz Adult Symphony. Today, I suck.
  2. Age 13 Acted in the play The Princess Bride as Inigo Montoya. My brother was Miracle Max and our improv together was perfect.
  3. Age 16 Was recommended by a teacher to be an American Ambassador by joining People to People and sent overseas to travel for the first time through France, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria. According to my parents, I returned a changed person like I took shorter showers and actually cleaned up after myself. These changes were short-lived.
  4. Age 16 Visited the Colosseum in Rome, my first of the 7 Wonders of the World.
  5. Age 17 Was Assistant Director of the play The Crucible which was a hit.
  6. Age 18 My loser ass was somehow on the homecoming court. I didn’t win, but the fact that people actually knew my name was surprising to me.
  7. Age 18 Taught myself Spanish through conversation with Spanish speakers. I still suck, but I can at least communicate like a child.
  8. Age 19 Moved to San Diego where I changed my style to be a little more feminine.
  9. Age 22 Attended San Diego State University. Thought about joining a sorority and even attended some introductions to choose a sorority. After about 20 minutes of watching groups of girls present their sororities to me, I found that sorority life was not for me.
  10. Age 23 Took a random 5 day trip to Puerto Rico where I stayed in my first hostel.
  11. Age 23-24 Interned at a Poetry International Publishing company. Realized publishing wasn’t the world for me.
  12. Age 24 Worked at a hotel where I booked some rooms for Dancing With The Stars and met Alfonso Ribeiro (Carlton from Fresh Prince of Bel Air) and that dancing hunk, Valentin Chmerkovskiy.
  13. Age 24 Graduated from San Diego State University with a degree in English Literature and Writing, but I didn’t want to be a teacher.
  14. Age 25 Moved to Japan to be a teacher.
  15. Age 25 Learned basic Japanese and how to read Hiragana.
  16. Age 26 Promoted from single subject English language teacher to a kindergarten teacher of Japanese children learning to speak English. For some reason, they thought it was a good idea to put me in charge of teaching children math.
  17. Age 26 Wrote for a Japan travel website.
  18. Age 26 Traveled to Taiwan on my first real solo backpacking trip.
  19. Age 26 Hiked Mt. Fuji and Mt. Iwate. Completing grueling hours of sweat and exhaustion without stepping foot into a gym proved to myself that I could do anything.
  20. Age 26 Walked the 1000 torris in Japan all the way to the top where I made my first traditional Japanese prayer (the clapping and the ringing of the bell and such). Except I forgot to wash my hands beforehand so I’m not sure if my prayer was actually valid.
  21. Age 26 Traveled to Southeast Asia to do my first long-term, solo backpacking trip through Vietnam, Laos, Thailand, and Cambodia.  
  22. Age 26 Rode a motorbike from the south of Vietnam to the north of Vietnam in 21 days.
  23. Age 27 Kayaked in Halong Bay.
  24. Age 27 Rode a bicycle to Angkor Wat. Longest bicycle ride ever, but I did it.
  25. Age 27 Lived, bartended and assisted with running a pub crawl on Koh Rong Island, Cambodia. I also ate a lot of Turkish food there.
  26. Age 27 Successfully hitchhiked and communicated with Vietnamese people without actually speaking Vietnamese.
  27. Age 27 Visited Machu Picchu and only spent $1 to get there.
  28. Age 27 Flew to New York because it’s New York!

Happy birthday to me! Let’s see what kind of bucket list items I can start ticking off this year!


My name is Tuliyani, traveler, adventurer, dreamer, and bartender. I’m slightly obsessed with finding cheap flights to anywhere and doodling. 


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