Spending my free time both reading and writing about travel has kicked my wanderlust into full gear. Do you experience these feelings? Daydreaming of all the possibilities of places you can visit and see. Spending hours creating inspirational boards on Pinterest of all the beautiful places others have gone. Counting down the days until you get the chance to leave your day-to-day grind for an adventure. If there is one thing you should do, you should strive to travel in your 20s.
I write this as I plan my first trip to Europe. During the first couple weeks of May, Mike and I will be spending two weeks in France.
I am so, so excited to embrace the romanticism walking around the streets of Paris. Enjoy crepes and omelets in cafes. Stay in a flat by the river in Strasbourg, the French city of art and heritage. Go down the Alsatian wine route and spend an evening in the middle of Colmar’s picturesque Petite Venise. Cross the border into the principality of Monaco, a small municipality along the French Riviera.
Ugh. Just writing about it makes me want to drop everything and move there. AmIright?
In either case, you seriously need to find ways to travel in your 20s.You seriously need to find ways to travel in your 20s. Click To Tweet
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It opens your mind to different perspectives.
Fortunately, while growing up, I had the opportunity to visit my mother’s home country, the Philippines. Driving around the capital city of Manila was the first time I witnessed poverty, particularly in a third world country. This experience helped shape my commitment to social justice and honestly helped the selfish teenager in me learn the importance of caring for others.
As an alternative, last year I moved to work in the mountain town of Vail, Colorado. Being in Vail has surrounded me with an extreme culture of affluence – something I have never experienced before. Watching how the upper-class lives has presented me with bewilderment on every corner. People head out to face the cold weather sporting their fur coats. Others spend hundreds of dollars like it doesn’t matter. Don’t even get me started on the conversations I’ve overheard with an affluent person talking down to someone behind the counter.
Don’t get me wrong. Regardless of economic class, I’ve also met some very kind people here.
A common phrase is “people of the same feather flock together.” But traveling gives you the opportunity to meet and interact with people who have differences from what you might be used to – whether it’s a difference in economics, ethnicity, nationality, culture. This exposure to different perspectives truly helps you grow as a person.
It makes you appreciate everything more.
When writing this article, I turned to my boyfriend, Mike, who spent much of his 20s traveling. I asked him, why should people travel in your 20s? He offered, to build appreciation for what you have. His words of choice were, “I appreciate running water, and American toilets.”
Sometimes we take for granted our day-to-day amenities or surrounding. So, getting to experience another culture or the way another community operates can make you appreciate your everyday lifestyle.
I’ve made some mistakes in life (okay, who hasn’t?). Even though I made an irrational spur-of-the-moment decision to move to Los Angeles, the very short period of time I lived there (FYI I lasted three months) helped me appreciate the slower pace of life.Travel advice from the girl who lasted 3 months in Los Angeles #otb Click To Tweet
You will stand out from the crowd.
If you’re determined, you can make the budget to travel in your 20s. While some of your other peers may be throwing away their money at the bars every other night, or chasing the American dream of paying a mortgage and raising a family, you’ll be walking the streets of Paris. Snowboarding down the slopes of Vail. Or even taking unique staycations.While everyone else throws money at bars every night, you'll be walking the streets of Paris. Click To Tweet
You learn the ways different communities operate.
When you’re visiting another place or country, you can immerse yourself in the community. Volunteer for a local non-profit. Build your resume and find a skill-building internship.
You can go to Hawaii, or another Pacific island, and learn the hard work and community that goes into maintaining kalo lo’is (taro fields). Or, you can visit the city of Chicago. There, you can learn from a diverse community about a significant part of American history. A city formerly the Center of America during the Industrial Revolution.
What I’ve learned over the years is different communities have different goals and values. When you immerse yourself in a community, not only do you learn from the way you operate. But, you also have the opportunity to share your knowledge and benefit a community.
You don’t have to travel luxuriously.
Later in life, you might become accustomed to the amenities a fancy hotel or all-inclusive resort offers. Or you might have a family that wants the amenities a hotel offers, like a pool or a spa.
But in your twenties, you’ll want to stay in hostels. Or, multitask and spend your vacations housesitting (and it’s possible through websites like Trusted Housesitters). Your accommodations can be minimal because you’re just grateful to be spending your time outside of the cubicle.
Trust me: I know money can be tight in your 20s. Use these 8 simple ways to make and save money in your 20s.
You’ll make relationships based on sincerity.
The friendships you make, whether while traveling or at home base, won’t be based on security. They’ll be based on sincerity.
If you’ve read my story, you know that I spent much of my life moving around. Constantly moving frustrated the socially awkward teenager in me. However, in retrospect, I appreciate it.
Why? Well. I’m sure you know the feeling: reconnecting with a friend, and the conversation begins as if you saw each other yesterday. I have so many of these friendships, and they wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t spent my life moving from place to place. The same relationships can be made when you travel in your 20s.
Those sincere friendships you make, whether at home, or traveling around, will last a lifetime.
I see people who come to the American mountain town of Vail to reconnect with their college roommates or childhood friends.
So, it goes to show that you shouldn’t stay in one place just to maintain a friendship. Trust me: your real friendships will last forever.Don't stay in one place just to maintain a friendship. Your REAL friendships will last forever. Click To Tweet
It’s never goodbye; it’s a hui hou.
In Hawaiian, “a hui hou” means “until we meet again.”
No matter where you go, and where you make friends, you know that it will never be goodbye. Because those connections you make are real connections, you know in your heart that you will cross paths in the future.No matter where you go, you know it'll never be goodbye. You will cross paths in the future. Click To Tweet
The time to travel in your 20s…is now.
Many of us will eventually grow to become parents, tied down by the chains of a career, a mortgage, or a family.
Travel in your 20s before you have a family of your own to take care of. While you don’t have a spouse whose accommodations or opinions you have to consider.
Travel in your 20s, even if you have to plan your trip on a budget. Because it’s okay to skip the luxurious parts of vacations.
Travel in your 20s regardless of whether or not you feel comfortable staying where you’ve been raised. Because how can you see how amazing the rest of the world is if you stay in one place your entire life?
Travel in your 20s to learn about others. To learn what makes a community work. To see how relationships are made somewhere else.
Don’t forget to pin or share if you need this as inspiration to travel in your 20s.
For those of you in your 20s, where are you going next? For those of you not in your 20s, what advice do you have for others who read this article?