My 40 By 40 List

Today is my 36th birthday, which means I have 4 years to finish my 40 by 40 list! A bit of a stretch, but totally doable. A few years ago I took on a 35 by 35 list before my 35th birthday and the results were pretty good, so let’s give it another go, shall we?

This time I’ve split my list into loose categories; Travel, Self, Family, Food, Work, & Life. I’ll add a blog post for each as I completed the item. Click on ‘done’ to read more. 

My 40 by 40 List

  1. Explore Paris  Done August 2017. 
  2. Start a yoga practice
  3. Walk the Great Wall of China
  4. Watch the sunrise over Emerald Lake in Banff
  5. Splurge on Prada sunglasses
  6.  See the Northern Lights
  7. Watch a Broadway play in New York –  Done. Total transparency guys – I didn’t watch a Broadway play and chose to wander Times Square and see the Christmas lights instead when I was in NYC, but it’s my list so I’m checking it off. No one should be a slave to their bucket list, priorities shift. 
  8. Celebrate New Year’s Eve in a foreign city
  9. Take a cooking class
  10. Move my business to a creative studio space  Done March 2017
  11. Read 52 books by South Asian authors – Working on it, see my progress here!
  12. Master hand lettering
  13. Sew a dress for Zara
  14. Make a 3 tier cake
  15. Commit to a weekly video series on YouTube for 52 weeks
  16. Perfect the art of making dahi (yogurt)
  17. Learn how stocks work [& maybe make an investment]
  18. Make scrapbooks of my kid’s art/school projects
  19. Visit Portland (and the bookstore everyone keeps telling me about!)
  20. Learn how to make an embroidered phulkari flower – in progress, I’m so close
  21. Get in the best physical shape of my life (not very difficult, since I’ve never worked out!)
  22. Camp in Pacific Rim National Park
  23. Treat myself to a designer bag – Done December 2017. 
  24. Take a trip that requires a plane ride with Mr. T
  25. Buy a tea set I love
  26. Epic Canadian road trip with the kids
  27. Write [and submit] a book proposal
  28. Ride in hot air balloon
  29. Learn photography
  30. Grow fresh herbs
  31. Watch a movie alone – in a movie theatre. –  Done August 2018. 
  32. Wander a market in Morocco
  33. Commit to one family night each week and honour it religiously
  34. Take an intensive Ayurveda course
  35. Learn to make naan
  36. Spend a summer re-reading all of Shakespeare’s work
  37. Blog consistently for one year
  38. Record my family tree
  39. Organize my digital pictures – making progress, slow & steady! 
  40. Buy a home

Are you a bucket list kind of person? I also did a 35 by 35 list, which I thoroughly enjoyed working on. 



  1. October 13, 2016 / 9:42 pm

    Such a great list! Good luck with it and happy birthday <3

  2. October 14, 2016 / 5:27 pm

    What a great list! I too turned 36 earlier this year. Happy birthday!
    Been a reader of your blog for some time, but commenting for the first time. Love the desi vibes on your blog!

    • November 7, 2016 / 9:48 pm

      Hi Shuchita! Thank you for taking the time to comment & for the kind words 🙂

  3. October 22, 2016 / 7:03 am

    Wow Raj! Happy Birthday! And I LOVE this list! And you are doing No. 40 well so that’s one down =)
    Keep the pink chai spirit going!

    Aamna –

  4. February 9, 2018 / 3:02 pm

    Great idea – I turn 36 this year and I’m going to come up with my own list. Thanks for sharing 🙂

    • February 10, 2018 / 7:03 pm

      Can’t wait to see what you put on your list! I love following adventures 🙂

  5. March 5, 2018 / 1:30 pm

    You go girl! I did a 40 before 40 and and 50 before 50. Because I decided to to take voice lessons, I’m now a singer/songwriter and cutting an album. I love birthday challenges and am so grateful that just by being brave and trying new things that scared me, I’m now doing and living my passion. ( All that being said, YOU GO!!! I always did mine the year before, but having extra years isn’t a bad idea. Be sure to add “Try 40 new things” in there too. I also had “see 50 live bands” but in Austin, that was not too hard! 🙂 Best wishes!

    • March 22, 2018 / 7:37 am

      That is amazing Sarah! I love how your 40 by 40 inspired such a big life change!

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