Gone are the days when you need to have your life figured out before you’re 30, yet, there’s still societal pressure to nail down your career, get married, buy a house, have babies, and settle down – before you turn thirty.
But come on now. We’re in 2022 – and being in your thirties is still young. I turned 30 last year and discovered Brittany Allyn of ThirtyWaves and felt so connected to her story, her love for travel, and her coined term of “MeMoons” aka a honeymoon to celebrate your love for you.
So we chatted with Brittany all about her mission and why she’s living her best life in her mid-thirties, and you can too! I hope you take away a lot of inspiration here, especially if you feel like you’re starting over in your thirties or want to make a change and feel like it’s too late for you!
Let’s get into it!
@thirtywaves Day 1: my bougie #memoon in the South Of France 🌊🇫🇷 #travelvlog #memoon #solomoon #30s #travelbucketlist #frenchriviera #fyp #foryou ♬ I Love You So – The Walters
Coley: I discovered you through your amazing TikTok @ThirtyWaves from a video talking about how you’re living your best life in your mid-thirties, can you share what the inspiration was behind this account?
Brittany Allyn: Yes, to be honest, I’ve actually been doing this for over a decade!
In my twenties, as a way a cathartic way to work through relationship and life’s problems I’d sit in bed and blog every night. I started a website called twentywaves, discussing the ups and down (the waves if you will) of your twenties. I took a break for a few years, and later developed thirtywaves.
It started as a blog and insta, and then Covid’s Tiktok phenomenon came around and the rest was history! I never loved the perfectly curated image and always wanted to focus on the captions and storytelling, so videos made more sense.
I started getting messages on the daily from other women finding it relieving to see other women on a similar path (alternative in terms of marriage or society timelines), and those sweet messages were, and still are, what keeps me going.
What did you think your thirties would look like when you were younger & what surprised you about them?
Ha! Like many of you: Married, perfect husband, suburb life with 2 kids by 30. 27 was my dream marriage age. I was in a relationship from 21-25 and almost went down that route. Then, when I got closer to that age I realized my soul was pushing me in a different direction. I wanted to see what it was like living in new cities, traveling the world, and expanding life as I knew it. As the years went on, I realized I was always meant to live this more independent life and have never had doubts that I made a mistake by moving away.
You’ve started completely over in your 30s several times. You went to NYC to London, can you tell us about these experiences of deciding to do something completely new?
Yes, I moved to NYC the week I turned 30.
What’s funny is I felt SO young then, and that the world was my oyster. It didn’t feel any different than I was 25, and while it can be a detriment sometimes in terms of avoidant attachment styles, NYC is a glorious little bubble where you don’t feel like you have to “act your age” or pressure to grow up.
Of course, I would sometimes compare my life to friend’s back at home on the marriage/children track, but I focused on enjoying my new experiences. I’ve also always known that I can settle or go on the other track at anytime if I want. I just followed my gut and what felt right…which also led me to London last fall.
What does living your best life look like for you? And how did you figure that out for yourself?
First and foremost, being independent.
For years in my twenties, I didn’t prioritize my career or being financially responsible. I figured I’d get married one day (by 30 at the latest) and it would all work out. I wish I could shake my younger self and tell her that I had so much power to make my mark in the world, make my own money, and make my own freedom.
I grew up in a community where many of my friend’s mothers stayed at home and many women I went to University with followed on that path. I have a lot of respect for raising a family, but I idealized that as being the end-all-be-all best way to live.
And for me personally, it isn’t. As I’ve built my career and seen growth, I realize that I enjoy having my independence and it’s something I work for every day to get more of. With that, I think living your best life of travel, planning fun experiences with friends, and living in a space you love, comes with it.
Can you tell us about “me moons”? What are they, and what did you do for yours in the French Riviera?
Yes! My coined term #memoon is when you stop waiting for the perfect relationship or opportunity for your dream trip, and take it yourself – aka a solo honeymoon!
It’s crazy all the amazing feedback I got after I went on my first one. Some may think it’s depressing, but I promise you, you will feel SO empowered on a fabulous trip with yourself, in a beautiful setting, and it’s still magical.
You do some solo travel, what are your best tips for someone wanting to do that but feel afraid to go alone?
Break up the days with activities in a few hour time slots. For example, morning pick a really cute breakfast spot and people-watch.
Bring a journal or work. Plan something in the afternoon to see like a museum or cool shop. Then it’s already lunch! Go home and get all dressed up and take yourself to a happy hour for sunset, followed by a dinner- and there’s almost your whole day.
If you stay busy and focus on exploring and seeing new things, the chatter in your head is less.
What are your best skincare recs?
I’m constantly testing products on the weekly. If I had to pick one, my favorite skincare product I’ve discovered this summer is the Tulip Dew Sunscreen serum by Bloomeffects. It’s a lightweight, glowy serum with all the vitamins you need that’s also mineral-based SPF 50. I’ve tried so many sunscreens, and this wins hands down.
For bougie skincare, Augustinus Bader Rich Cream and Bilogue Recherche PS50 is a dream combo. For more affordable I love Beauty Pie and Belif. I’ll make a TikTok on my day and night routines soon!
Do you have a life motto? Or a quote you are inspired by?
What would you do if you knew you could not fail? It leaves me feel empowered to make bold moves. Especially when traveling and if I get scared or nervous. If I knew it was going to work out, or told myself that, I’d be SO brave and take on the world.
Lastly, what would you say to someone in their thirties who is feeling “behind on life”?
That even if you got married at 45, you could have 40 years with that partner!
Age is different in society now, and there’s never been a time where women can be independent for 10-20 years in adulthood.
So, try to enjoy it- we are the lucky generation! Also, all the “things” you feel behind on aren’t all perfect or fun, they come with their own positives and negatives and each path is not better or worse than the other.