Although I have 6 months to go before I turn 24 (seriously. where is the time going?!), I am feeling very nostalgic for my younger days and all the memories and experiences I’ve made during these past few years. I suppose it is why I keep this blog: it’s a record for my daily life and all the photographs and exciting memories, mishaps and lessons I’ve had in my youth. I choose to not forget them, and writing and creating videos is a way for me to reminisce.

These were my top 24 items that I believe everyone should do before turning 24. There is something really exhilarating about skinny dipping and I’m a big believer that you should have a professional portrait of yourself in your late teens and early twenties (because it’s all downhill from here, folks). Becoming independent and courageous are personal values I hold deeply. Figuratively being able to stand on your own two feet, without assistance from others, and going off on your own are things I have had to learn since I was a child. And it is something we all have to face. Whether that’s treating yourself to a table for one or hopping on a plane to another city or country. Being brave is being afraid of something and doing it anyway. I am afraid every time I venture out alone to another country by myself. I become socially anxious when families and couples look at me in surprise when I walk into a fancy restaurant and eat by myself. But because it brings me joy,  I choose to do it anyway. Again and again.

Treat yourself to a lavish meal at a restaurant that you can’t afford. Alone. (Because you are worth it.)

Experience the wonders of the sea and go scuba diving or snorkeling

Write a list of 25 things you’re grateful for

Stay out all. night. long.

Foster a sick animal

Go wild camping

Create a project you’ve always wanted to start….and finish it.

Buy a one-way ticket to a country you’ve always wanted to visit

Open up an IRA Roth Retirement account and start a financial portfolio

Go skydiving

Plan a day of urban exploration

Eat an exotic new food

Observe the stars

Volunteer at an organization that resonates with your values

Go to Disney World with a group of friends

Take a trip to a new destination by yourself

Climb a mountain or volcano at sunrise

Create a financial budget for your future self

Get yourself a passport

Express your thoughts in a journal or blog as a creative outlet

Go skinny dipping

Take a sleeper train across the country

Have your portraits professionally taken

Fearlessly pursue your heart without hesitation

What are some courageous things you dream of doing? Let’s chase our fears, together.

<3 Helena

24 Courageous Things to Do Before Turning 24

December 14, 2017


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I'm Helena! As a creative storyteller, I document magical moments through my lens and my pen. A lover of childhood, fairytales and natural light, I'm inspired to share the light around me. I'm the ultimate Disney nerd, and I'm obsessed with cats and expressing my love for the simple joys of slow, daily life.

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Helena Woods is a destination newborn and family photographer based in France and New England and travels worldwide. She is known for her natural light, modern classic, and emotive photography style.