30 for 30 // March's Progress Report

When I sat down and wrote my '30 for 30' list at the beginning of the year, "travelling solo" - for financial and emotional reasons - did not make the cut. It just wasn't something I anticipated being able to do in 2018. Fitting it into March - much to my surprise and delight - meant that the month felt exciting and full of accomplishments, but that hasn't translated particularly well in terms of items ticked off.

With that in mind, here's how the month saw me get on...

For starters, March saw me successfully: 

- Take a(nother) Spanish class, finishing a twelve week block. ✓

Unlike the Spanish class, many items on my list will take longer to complete, gradually progressing as the year goes on. Here's how those shaped up this month..

Sample a List of Food and Drink I've Never Tried Before

I had the opportunity to try a few new foods on my travels at the beginning of the month.

The first was a distinctly non-Slovakian side of kimchi - a Korean dish of fermented vegetables - at a restaurant in Bratislava. It didn't make me jump for joy and I don't think I'll be rushing out to stock up, but it was nice enough and I would eat it again if someone put it on my plate.

In Budapest I was able to track down and sample some vegetarian versions of traditional Hungarian food. First up were some lángos - a street food dish of deep-fried dough, topped with sour cream, cheese and (in a step away from tradition) caramelised onion, which was so messy but so bloomin' good! Continuing on the street food theme, I tried a cinnamon kürtőskalács (or chimney cake) - a sweet dough wound around and baked on a turning spit - which was a pretty tasty treat, especially for the single euro it cost me. Last up I tried a vegan version of a paprika-based stew and nokedli - which were described as dumplings, but seemed more of a gnocchi-noodle mash-up. They were unusual, but I actually really liked them and they accompanied the stew perfectly. 

I also sampled a red velvet latte - very much not a Hungarian staple - while in Budapest, which was beautiful to look at but nowhere near as exciting to drink. Given that a red velvet cake is chocolatey, I think I expected the coffee to be the same. It wasn't. I'm presuming they just added some food colouring or something? But hey - it was a decent coffee and it looked Instagram-good.

Back at home, I finally got around to visiting Bonobo in time for breakfast where I got to sample the tofu scramble I've been eyeing up for goodness knows how long. The whole Scottish breakfast was delicious and I would highly recommend trying one! 

Read 36 Books 

I read 5 books this month, bringing my total for the year to 18:
  1. 'Happiness' by Matthieu Ricard
  2. 'No One Belongs Here More Than You' by Miranda July
  3. 'The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*ck' by Mark Manson
  4. 'Stand By Me' by S.D. Robertson
  5. 'Help' by Simon Amstell

Visit 12 Coffee Shops/Restaurants I Haven't Yet Been to in Aberdeen/shire

I visited my third venue this month when I went to the Waterfront Cafe in Stonehaven. Truth be told it was a bit of an unintentional choice after a nearby venue turned out to be closed and, while the food we had was nice enough, the menu was pretty uninspiring, especially for vegetarians. Let's just say I had chips and a can of diet coke and leave it at that. (We made up for it with a trip to Aunty Betty's later on.)

Cultivate a Daily Relaxation Practice 

Travelling and staying in hostels at the start of the month threw my routine way off and I completely failed to pick it back up, only managing a relaxation exercise on 10 days. My mental health hasn't been at its best throughout March and I know that all these tiny little daily things can really add up, so I'm hoping to be a lot better about committing to some relaxation time in the month to come.

Sample 30 Gins

This month I drank some delicious Stirling gin - a Christmas present from my sister - as well as sampling some Berry Bros. and Rudd London Dry and a Caorunn gin at this year's North Hop, bringing my total for the year to seven.

Increase Work Hours (Employed or Voluntary)

Thrown off by both my holiday and my shoddy mental health, I only volunteered 8.5 hours in the cafe this month. A disappointing effort and another area I hope April will allow me to improve on.

Visit Aberdeen's Maritime, Tolbooth and Zoology and Peterhead's Prison Museums

I visited Peterhead's Prison Museum on a wild and windy Sunday afternoon this month.  Having grown up in Peterhead, there were plenty of stories and myths surrounding the prison (and once an escapee that got us all sent home early from school!), but I knew very little about what actually went on behind those walls. It was fascinating to hear more about prison life, both historically and in recent days, and the museum is enjoyable and presented very well. I'd definitely recommend a visit, though if you're going on a cold day make sure you wrap up warm!

Keep a Journal (At Least Once a Week)

I pretty much failed at this, picking up my journal only once or twice during March, and it's yet another routine I hope to re-establish in coming days.

All-in-all, March wasn't a total disaster, but I think I'm going to have my work cut out in April, trying to pick up all the little things I've inadvertently dropped. Bring on another month! I wonder what'll be next to be ticked off?


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