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26 Experiences I Had While I Was 26

Call it over the hill, old as shit, grandma, wrinkle face…whatever makes you sleep at night. Yes, I am getting older and yes, I just turned the big 27! News flash people, aging is inevitable, even if you do have thousands of dollars to spend on slowing the process.

I embrace age because the older I get, the more grateful I am of this wonderful life. The experiences I get to have, the places I get to go, the people I get to meet. It’s amazing, and daunting at the same time. Time doesn’t stop for anyone however, and I am here to make sure that these next 80 years are ones for the books!! (and that I can brag like a MF to my grandchildren about how kick ass I was, and still will be)

That’s why I wanted to highlight some of the amazing experiences I have had while in my ripe age of 26…see if you can keep up 😉

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1) Won a trip!

I’m talking an all expense paid trip to France, where they threw my name off a balcony and caught it! Like who does that happen to?

Read all about it here: Ski Trip

experiences

2) Saw Fireworks in London for New Year’s Eve

This has to be one of the best New Year’s I’ve ever experienced! Between seeing London for the first time to experiencing the fireworks behind the London Eye, it will definitely go down as one of the best! Plus, I got to spend it with my sweet boyfriend, so that makes it even better!

Read all about our experience here: New Year’s Eve in London

experiences

3) Swam with Sting Rays

Not only did I discover an amazing new island that is super close to home, but I got to check a huge bucket list item off by swimming with Sting Rays! First sharks in Dubai, now Sting Rays in Grand Cayman…what can I do next? Swimming with Jellyfish in Palau??

experiences

4) Renovated a Camper

Get you a boyfriend who surprises you with a camper to fully renovate to your liking JUST so y’all can go glamping together. He knows just the way to my heart, and how passionate I am about travel. I have been meaning to write a post on the transformation but everything isn’t complete just yet!! You can have peek at it though. We’ve taken it on numerous trips with and without the dogs, making it one of my favorite projects to date! (PS. for those of you who don’t know, I would be an interior designer if I didn’t love to travel!!)

camper

camper

5) Attended my first bachelorette weekend

Crazy right? I have held off 26 years to deal with this whole marriage things and all of a sudden, this past year I get hit with it all! Can’t say I mind taking all this vacation to party with the girls 😉

Read about the best bachelorette destinations HERE

experiences

6) Went Tuna Fishing

For it being my first time ever, I’d say we did pretty damn good. Our boat (6 people) caught a total of 21 tuna in less than 3 hours! We were home by lunch time with some fresh fish to eat. Great day on the water and can’t wait to go back this year!!

experiences

7) Drove the Pacific Coast Highway

Well, as much as I could since some of it was flooded. From Northern California all the way down to Los Angeles, it’s always been something I wanted to do and finally took the plunge! It’s just as beautiful as the pictures.

experiences

8) Experienced a European Christmas Market

Europe is known for it’s over the top holiday markets filled with mulled wine and decorations galore!! Even though it was shortly after Christmas, I still felt like a little kid.

experiences

9) Hiked the most I ever had in my life

The flatirons in Boulder, CO…the winding paths of Grand Teton National Park…the in and outs of sand dunes and mountains. This is seriously my most active hiking year and I couldn’t be more proud of myself for pushing through! Even if I did have to stop 398473247 times to reach the top! It’s not easy but its worth it.

hiking

10) Drove across the United States…alone

8,678 miles give or take. Yup, I did that all by myself. No one to share the driving or whining with, but one hell of a trip! Some say I’m crazy, and they are 100% right, but who else can say that have the balls to do that by their self? I’ll wait.

Read why there are pros and cons to every solo road trip HERE

roadtrip

11) Snorkeled a shipwreck

Wanna know the craziest part? I went to Grand Cayman right as hurricane season was about to hit the seas. People come from all over the world to photograph and snorkel/explore the USS Kittiwake, and I got to experience it first hand! Almost a week after I left, a hurricane hits, knocking it on its side for a completely new and exciting type of dive! Mother Nature is one crazy bitch.

snorkel

12) Saw a concert at Red Rocks in Colorado

Another bucket list item checked off. For years I have talked about seeing a concert at Red Rocks and finally did. Let’s just say it’s as magical as everyone says! You HAVE to go for yourself!

redrocks

13) Went wine tasting in Napa Valley

Another day another bucket list item. Although I love Georgia’s sweet wine, there is nothing quite like sitting in the California sun while sipping on some of the finest wine on Earth! Or for my sake, sparkling wine!

napa

14) Started my own company

I’ve always wanted to go against the grain, and by not having a college degree, well you have to think outside the box. My decision on starting my own company did not come easy, but with the help of my close friends and family I was able to turn my dream into reality! A social media management company to help me make a side income so I never had to worry about making money blogging! It’s called, Champagne Social Company for obvious reasons 😉

Check it out HERE

champagne social

15) Rented a mountain house with my friends

It’s becoming an annual event for my birthday to rent a cabin in the woods together! Since most of my close friends are scattered throughout the US, I figured this was the perfect way for us all to reconnect while celebrating me of course 😉

16) Camped alone

Another cherry has been popped. I CAMPED alone for my first time ever, then proceeded to do it over and over again during my road trip. I had a pop up tent, air mattress and a lot of mishaps…like breaking into a campground but I’ll leave that story for a rainy day!

camping

17) Visited 8 new states

This year was more about exploring my own back yard so to speak rather than overseas. People think you have to travel far and wide to experience life and that’s simply not the case. The United States is in my opinion, the most diverse country on Earth, and more people should explore it. If only I had way more than 30 days to see it and all of it’s glory.

See my list of overrated attractions though HERE

santa monica

18) Celebrated my one year blogging anniversary

Blogging is my passion. I love telling y’all new stories, and all the real shit that happens while traveling. Seeing it grow daily makes my stone cold heart happy, so I appreciate being able to celebrate another year! Y’all are my lifesavers!

celebration

19) Learned to ski

Learned should be taken lightly in this sense because I cannot say that I would remember if I tried at this moment. While skiing the French Alps I took private lessons, since before I only knew how to snowboard. Well, $800 and 6 vodkas later, I could probably do a blue slope!

cool

20) Visited the Biltmore

I know it might not seem like much, but growing up in North Carolina I knew it was something I always wanted to experience. AND I did. It was eh. Moving on.

Check out the breweries around Asheville if the Bilmore isn’t your thing 😉 

biltmore

21) Had professional pictures done

Being a blogger you would think that this was an everyday occurrence. Nope, but I was lucky enough to have the people @deepblueimages shoot me while I was sippin’ champagne on a yacht. Pretty stoked about the results.

deep blue images

picture

22) Saw some of my close friends get married

Like I said before, somehow I have been dodging this bullet until now. The first real big weddings I have attended in a very long time and I was thrilled to see some of my close friends walk down the aisle to marry their best friends. Makes me excited to think about how my wedding will be cough SINA cough.

wedding

wedding

23) Visited National Parks

This is important because I had never visited any out west! Go big or go home right? You can’t stop at one or even two…no no, you gotta do 8-10 at a time. At least in my eyes!! I got to experience the western National Parks and all I can say is WOW.

HERE are some Tips & Tricks for visiting the parks!

crater lake

arches

24) Took a girls trip

I’ve been slackin’ on these, but now I remember why they are so important. Take your girls, or guys and go somewhere fun to escape the hustle and bustle of life every once in a while! You’ll thank me later.

Here is the ULTIMATE girls guide to Miami

girl trip

25) Attended a new festival

I hate going to the same festival over and over again so every year I try to find at least one new one to attend! This year it was Imagine Festival with my festie besties! Besides having to wait in line for 3 hours, it was amazing!

Read how to avoid festival fuck ups HERE

imagine

26) Saw Bison, Bears, and Moose

Oh my!! I saw bison and moose up close and the bears off in the distance. That was as close as I was comfortable getting. Pretty cool to see animals in their natural habitat, and not locked up in some cage for show.

bison

Can’t say this year didn’t have it’s fair share of shitty parts too. Ones that are too personal to share. It was probably one of my hardest years to date, but the end is near and I am finishing 2017 with a BANG!

Life ain’t always glitter and gold, same with travel or anything really. I urge everyone to look back on their past year…what great accomplishments did you achieve? If none, what stood in your way from accomplishing everything you wanted to? Fear? Lack of motivation?

I live by the quote, “It’s just a bad day, not a bad life!” Let’s conquer 27 years of living together! Until next birthday (when I’ll feel old as shit)…

xo Bonvoyage Bitches

  1. Tony Wilbert says:

    Glad to see the Cayman trip appears everal times here! Happy be;ated 27th, BTW.

  2. Hailey says:

    What a year!!! Can’t wait to see what 27 brings you xoxo

  3. Bhusha says:

    Come on Tatum. You’re 27? You are just making me feel like a old rag!!!! Lolz.
    Best wishes for many more success on your venture!
    The best of this 26, is definitely your solo roadtrip across the US!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      haha don’t mean to make you feel old 🙂 Yes it was definitely the highlight! Everything I got to experience I will never forget!

  4. Samah says:

    26 years well spent! Hope I can accomplish this much by then! Driving across the US by yourself sounds awesome as well as learning to ski. I’m glad you’ve had great years and happy birthday!!

  5. Dada says:

    Ohhh so cool that you managed to tick so many things off your list and that before turning 27! But at the end it is not about what age you are doing them but doing it before you die and hopefully not young!🙏 Like I would be around 38-39 years old the day I will learn to ski for the first time…(my daughter is 2 now so I promised that the day she will have the right age to learn I will learn to!)

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      That’s awesome!! At least you recognize that you want your daughter to have some great things to do in her life!!!

  6. Followingtherivera says:

    Wow, you had a really excellent year! Belated happy birthday and I hope you have just as good a year being 27 as you did 26. I love the camper van renovation, very chic, and well done on winning a trip, you’re a very lucky lady!

  7. Martha says:

    OH MY GOODNESS! So many adventures and that is so inspiring! I’m hoping to swim with stingrays some day and snorkel a shipwreck. (Yes, I’m basically a mermaid outta water). I really appreciate that you focused on national parks and camping, a lot of people think these experiences aren’t “cool enough.” Thanks for proving them wrong! Hope you have a lot more adventures planned for 2018! Happy travels, my dear!

    • Tatum Skipper says:

      That is so sweet! I find those experiences so liberating and amazing! Even if its just by yourself at a campground eating take out haha. Definitely underrated.

  8. Wow, what a spectacular year- I can only imagine what adventures you’ll have at 27! Can’t wait to read more of your travel stories. Happy belated!

  9. Yukti says:

    You had done too many things done before 26. Learning ski before 26 is your greatest birthday gift to you. Also you have covered all aspects of traveling in this year like camping alone, attending friend’s wedding, visiting ski resort, snorkeled the ship wrek which is mind blowing. Hopefully next year you will achieve more next year too.

  10. Erin says:

    What a great idea for reflecting on life achievements so far! I was suprised I haven’t done hardly any of the ones you mention! I would love to win a trip though (who wouldn’t!?) and camp solo!

  11. Soraya says:

    What an absolutely amazing time you have had by the time you were 26! These are such incredible experiences to have already experienced at a young age. Swimming with the sting rays looks so much fun! And to have won a fully paid trip to France – woah! Congrats! I love this post because it’s so beautiful that you have reflected back on the happy memories that you have had, which makes you really value all the things in life.

  12. Winsant says:

    Though it’s not as exciting as others 26th is my favorite.

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