The clock’s ticking, gents. But how many of the following have you ticked off in your thirties?
Ah, your roaring twenties. Kicked off with a big, brash twenty-first birthday party, it’s a decade that begins with such promise. But then, as you graduate, delve into the world of work and inevitably settle down, it’s common to find yourself approaching the big 3-5 as a shadow of your former self.
Thankfully, to combat these late-twenties blues, we’ve amassed a list of things that you can do to spice up this exciting decade. From buying a tailored suit to climbing a mountain, these are the 20 things every discerning gentleman should have done by the time he’s 35. So get ready to tick off, and make plans to complete those that have as yet evaded you…
Climb a Mountain
We may as well start with a big one — literally. Climbing a mountain takes patience and skill, as well as physical strength, so it’s a good test of your mettle, and something every self-respecting gentleman should tick off his list before 35.
And we’re not talking Everest, necessarily. Any old mountain will do. Just make sure you do the obligatory hands-on-hips take-in-the-view sigh when you get to the top.
Invest in a Piece of Art
Art is eternal and life is short — or so they say. We’d argue that it’s more than that. Today, art is a global currency and the right piece can fetch tens of millions.
So what are you waiting for? Be it a whirl around a local art fair or a big spend at a high-end auction house, make your investment. In ten years time, you could be thanking us…
It’s said that if you haven’t bungee-jumped or skydived before you’re 35, you never will. Our advice, then, is simple; do it. Skydiving would be our chosen pursuit — throwing yourself out of a plane and falling two miles to the ground. You’ll feel just like an action hero and that’s what we all secretly want…
Buy A Tailored Suit
Because nothing looks as good. And, even if you’re only going to invest in one tailored suit in your lifetime, it makes sense to get it early on. That way, you can make the most out of it. But remember: Keep it simple. You’ll regret that floral pink print the first time you have to throw it on for a funeral…
Travel To At Least Three Continents
Europe, Australasia and Africa? North America, Antarctica and Asia? Africa, South America and Europe? There’s seven to choose from, and if you’ve visited at least three before you hit the big three-o, you’re well on your way to conquering the world.
Plus, with the different cultures, peoples, food and landscapes you can find, there’s truth in the maxim; travel really does broaden the mind.
Ride a Horse
Who doesn’t watch HRH Prince Mateen playing polo and feel a twinge of jealousy? We know we do. Be it Prince William or Khairy Jamaluddin, whenever anyone canters across the polo field, we all have secret desire to saddle up and ride off into the sunset ourselves. So why not do it? Just leave the chaps and spurs at home…
Read a Great (Though Not Necessarily Celebrated) Work of Literature
No-one’s going to be impressed at a dinner party if you tell them you’ve read Ulysses or War & Peace. They’ll likely just think you pretentious — and thoroughly predictable.
Instead, when the conversation turns to literature, ensure you can surprise them with a little-known classic — anything from Wilde to Dante, Conrad to Kipling.
Win a Game of Chess
This is harder than it sounds. Not only do shockingly few people under 35 even know how to play chess, but the game’s popularity has waned since the seventies heydays of Spassky vs Fischer.
And then, even if you do find someone who has knowledge of the rules, a chess set and a want to play you, you have to win. Thought this was a simple one? Checkmate.
Reach Out To One Of Your Heroes
They say you should never meet your heroes, but we disagree. If you admire someone, they should stand up to scrutiny — and offer you advice that will better your life.
So, whoever they may be and however you may contact them — even a letter is better than nothing — reach out and reaffirm why you respected them so much in the first place.
Become a Mentor To Somebody Else, Even If Just For a Week
One of the key parts about growing into a man is assuming responsibility and imparting knowledge. With a whole new younger generation beginning to their mark on the world, it’s a key time to take someone under your wing and show them the ropes of a hobby, career or skill.
Doubtlessly someone did the same for you and you wouldn’t be where you are today without them…
Go To The Opera, Even If You Never Return
Opera. It’s a word that can strike fear into even the most cultured of hearts. But, if there’s one leap you should take before you turn 35 — the skydiving above notwithstanding — it’s a trip to the opera.
From Mozart to Puccini, Tchaikovsky to Strauss, it may be a case of closing your eyes and picking one, but it’s worth taking the chance, even if you never return… That being said, many people who even claim to hate opera fall in love once seeing it live. Afterall it was music written to be seen and felt, not just heard.
If you’re not already a blood donor, you should be. It’s an incredibly important public service to undertake and you tend to get a free cup of tea after you’ve given up some of the red stuff. It’s a no-brainer.
Go On A Shoot
Put on your Shooting Jacket, pull on your boots and head to the fields — for every gentleman has to go on a shoot every once in a while.
Travel On Your Own For A Week
There’s nothing quite like getting away from it all to clear the mind. And that goes double if you travel on your own. Book your flights, take a trip and really get to know yourself.
But choose your destination carefully; a week alone in Sipadan Island might do you more harm than good…
Own A Pair Of Goodyear-Welted Shoes
First up, let’s explain. A Goodyear welt is a strip of leather or rubber that runs along the outside of your outsole.
It’s the mark of a reliable, hard-wearing shoe — and the next pair of shoes you buy simply must have one. If you are unsure where to purchase head out to the nearest Italian Brand near you (Zegna, Ferragamo, Boggi, etc).
Buy A Property
If there’s more of a mark of adulthood, we’d like to see it. Granted, you’ve been living on your own for a while now — or we certainly hope you have been — so you’re a dab hand at household chores and paying bills.
But you should aim to actually buy before you hit 35 — unless you live in Singapore, of course…
Invest in Unit Trust / Stocks
Growing your money is fundamental skills for any man. The aim is always to make your money work hard for you, to ensure you beat the God-damn inflation. It is recommended to consistently invest (monthly or quarterly) for a period of 5 years or longer…you’ll thank us
Find Your Signature Scent
It’s another way that you build a persona during your twenties — picking out that singular, signature scent that will stay with you and define you for years to come.
Obviously, this is a dangerous assignment; choose wrongly and you’ll be remembered by it for years to come.
Learn At Least One Song On Piano Or Guitar
Not Wonderwall. Just to make that clear. But if you sink your time and effort into learning one song on an instrument, whenever the party is dying down, you’ll come to the rescue and look highly-skilled doing so. Just not Wonderwall. Never Wonderwall.
Own A Swiss Watch That Will See You Through The Next 30 Years
Like your signature scent, your watch is an important part of your identity. So invest in the best and find a design you really love. Who knows; it might become an heirloom that gets passed down for generations to come.