27 things I’ve learnt in 27 years

1. Feeling scared about something is a sign that I need to do it. The most valuable experiences of my life have happened when I’ve stepped out of my comfort zone.

2. People need less than they think they do to be happy. Crusades India taught me that. I met so many wonderful people who were excited to show me their (one roomed) house and insist I take the only chair while we had a cup of chai.

3. I always almost instantly regret having a fringe cut, and spend at least the next two years desperately willing it to grow.

Harriet and Kate
Demonstrating both a regrettable fringe and a best sister.

4. The best friends (and sisters) are those I can manage not to see for months and months, but within 5 minutes be chatting and laughing as if we see each other every day.

5. Half-marathons are more difficult than expected.

6. However shitty the job might be, I always learn things, like not to try and fix a cello part with a hammer.

7. I will not want to wear clothes that you buy travelling when you get back to the UK.

8. It’s best to forget what you “should do.” Pick children’s craft activities over drinking at a carnival, take the more interesting job even if it pays less, start planning a wedding within a year of meeting someone.

Sasha makes the best carnival masks.

9. Always apply make-up before starting to drink.

10. If the car doesn’t start, just call the RAC.

11. I always vomit when I drink vodka. I could have spared myself and my friends a lot of inconvenience (not to mention soggy socks) if I had learnt this earlier.

12. You don’t need to be having a mid-life crisis to buy a sports car.

13. Taking all you clothes off in a room full of strangers can make you feel better about your body.

14. Sometimes I need to do more and think less. My best decisions are those I make within 20 seconds of being posed the question. (Which of these gigs should we go to, London or Amsterdam? Amsterdam. Will you marry me? Yeah okay.)

15. Never let fear of what others think stop you from doing what you’ve always wanted to do. (Sorry about the tattoos Mum).

16. Yes I do need to take my shoes off and paddle almost every time I see water.

But you don’t have to take a photo of me doing so.

17. Even if the world feels as though it’s falling apart around me, sometimes all I need to feel better is a cooked meal.

18. Bacon is a surprisingly good milkshake flavour.

19. There’s nothing wrong with staying in and going to bed at 10pm.

20. Hiding things might feel safer, but being open and honest always makes me feel closer to people.

21. It’s okay to change your mind about anything (people, food, jobs, hobbies, political viewpoints). It’s a sign that you’re can learn and take on board new experiences and information.

22. Having said that, I should trust the gut instincts that I have about people. They always turn out to be true.

23. I could never be a nomad. The stints I’ve spend living out of a suitcase have shown me how much I need my own space to come home to.

24. Guy will have a song for almost any point you’re trying to demonstrate.

25. Just do it (but don’t buy it). I never regret spending money on experiences. I quite often regret spending money on stuff.

26. You can never have enough sunshine, cuddles or tea.


27. With a few notable exceptions (caused by ignoring point 22), things always turn out to be better than I expect them to be.

27 things I’ve learnt in 27 years

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