WHAT IS IT ABOUT TRAVELLING IN YOUR TWENTIES THAT WE ALL FIND SO ALLURING? At this point in our lives should we not be setting ourselves up financially and working our way up the career ladder. The sensible answer is yes; so that in retirement we can become grey-haired nomads travelling the globe like our grandparents.
While that was a dream for the generations before us, Gen-Y is not so patient. We want experiences over materials, we want to live in the now as opposed to saving for a rainy day; as irresponsible as that may sound to those older than us. For us, the allurement of travelling while young and uncommitted comes from the experiences gained that will then shape our more ‘grown-up’ selves.
Some experiences should only (maybe) be done while in your twenties, such as dancing on bars, and others, such as volunteering abroad, can be done at any age but it has the ability to really shape that young persons views. And some are just because you really should just do it when you are young!
Here are 30 travel experiences you should have before hitting the big 3-0.
- Stay in a town where no one speaks English. You will learn the importance of small gestures and that a smile is the key to any language.
- Cry at the departure lounge. To love someone or someplace so much it breaks your heart to leave is truly a remarkable thing.
- Make an international friend for life. They say you can only make new friends up to a certain age; get in there while everyone is young and naive. Plus there is nothing like making a bond with someone from another country.
- Eat at a restaurant on your own. Once you have done it you will realise it isn’t such a big deal after all; you can also go straight to dessert without judgement.
- Sleep in a 12 bed dorm. How else are you going to make friends?
- Have sex in a hostel. Bonus points if it’s in that 12 bed dorm.
- Get a working holiday visa to anywhere. Make the most of the freedom to work in another country and travel at the same time while you have no major commitments.
- Study abroad. Why wait until after university to see the world? Take a semester or two in another country.
- Visit the big three: London, Paris and New York. They are the most filmed cities in the world, don’t only see them through the eyes of a director.
- Have your birthday with strangers. Everyone likes to make a person’s birthday special; even if you have just met and you’re in the middle of the jungle. A birthday with strangers is always one to remember.
- Have an ‘orphan’ Christmas. You will never feel the Christmas spirit more strongly than when nomads come together to celebrate this day.
- Volunteer abroad. Giving back in your twenties will not only be emotionally rewarding but it will provide you with a unique perspective on life that you will take into your future.
- Fall in love with a foreigner. It will be hard, it will be fast and it will be a love you will never forget.
- Stay in a city where you know no-one and go alone. There is no better way to learn to trust your instincts than navigating foreign grounds alone.
- Take a flight for a penny. Life-risking travel you need to experience in your money starved early twenties.
- Go somewhere none of your friends have been before. Because it’s nice to do something different.
- Attend an international music festival. All the biggest names in music enjoyed while on holiday; can’t get much better than that.
- Spoil yourself in a luxury hotel. A treat for your 29th birthday perhaps?
- Visit your Capital and Parliament House. You’ve most likely seen every other countries’ you have been to so don’t forget the most important one.
- Miss a flight. Better to learn from this mistake early than with a family in tow.
- See the Big Five on safari. Before it is too late.
- Have a friend visit you while living abroad. Anyone want to play local tour guide?
- Take the tourist shot. Your kids won’t believe you until they see the photo of you and the Eiffel Tower.
- Sleep in an airport while avoiding security. More so because it is a young travellers’ right-of-passage than an experience of enjoyment.
- Go to your dream destination, no matter the cost. Because if you don’t do it now, when will you?
- Eat the beautiful cheese in France and the mouth-watering pizza in Italy. While your metabolism is still going strong.
- Sleep under the stars. Be it in the outback in a swag or on a beach with nothing but company to keep you warm.
- Road trip without a destination. Why make commitments when the world is your oyster.
- Party at the biggest nightclub in town. And don’t forget to dance on the bar; you’re young, hot and free remember!
- Do something that scares you. Cage dive with sharks, abseil or bungee-jump; your twenties is the time to push your limits.