I am currently in my early 20s, and I have to admit that everyone and their mum’s uncle will tell me that, “your 20s are your time to experience life”. I can now say that I believe in that statement 100%. Yours 20s are a time where you have very little responsibility, and you have the time to see the world as a traveler. And by traveler I mean, meeting other travelers, backpacking trips, sleeping in hostels, and even at a point where you’d have to sleep on floors. Andrew Zimmerman once said, “Please be a traveler, not a tourist. Try new things, meet new people, and look beyond what’s right in front of you. Those are the keys to understanding this amazing world we live in”.
So I would say, travel in yours 20s. Travel with family, friends, new friends, and even alone. Travel to see your friends that live in different countries. Seeing familiar faces in a foreign land will be quite reassuring. When you’re in your 30s or so, you might want to travel slightly differently. You might (well I definitely do) want to stay in The Peninsula in Paris, or dine at Usine in Stockholm.
You’re going to make everlasting memories
“I’d rather look back and say, ‘I can’t believe I did that,’ instead of saying ‘I wish I did that.’”
When you travel, you’re going to fall in love. And I don’t just mean by the people you meet there, but you will also fall in love with the beauty, architecture, and even the culture. You will be so in love; you’d actually feel inspired. Inspired to do what, you may ask? I can’t say. That is too personal a question- everyone would feel different about it so it could be anything.
You’ll also then realize that the memories you make while traveling will last longer than anything else. Life is a wonderful gift and everyone should experience it and live it. If you’re like me, and you constantly daydream about a life where you can finally escape, do it. Just get up and do it. On your deathbed, you’ll remember the memories. It’ll be the stories you’ll tell your kids, it’ll be the life you look back on when you’re older. Experience true beauty and fall, madly and deeply, in love with it
You’ll push your limits
“Fear is a manipulative emotion that can trick us into living a boring life” – Donald Miller, A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing my Life
Now I have to say, I’m the kind of person that thinks about my future way too often and too extremely (I’m serious here, I wouldn’t even research too much on a celebrity in the hope we might become friends one day). I’m also the type that doesn’t break the rules, or does something I’m not supposed to. It’s a fear that I’ve developed since young- to do everything according to a plan, which is to appear perfect. As I grew up, I realized that this is absolutely ridiculous and that my life is utterly boring. It hit me especially hard when I asked my friend, “If you could keep one memory, just one, what would it be?” and I realized I couldn’t really answer that. I’ve lived a very planned out life, and nothing seemed to be overly exciting. And please don’t get me wrong- my parents never pressured me to do anything I didn’t want to do; it was me who pressured myself.
Something I really want to do (and from listening to my friends who often travel) is to travel alone. That may seem like a scary thought but if your reason is fear, then fear will stop you from doing everything you want to do in life. Traveling alone will allow you to get to know yourself, learn more about yourself, and you’ll love yourself even more. And besides you won’t really be alone. You can always make new friends. Friends are just strangers you haven’t met yet, right? I’m not really used to making friends on my own but I’m starting to- it changes you. You just need to get out of your comfort zone. You’ll then realize humanity is interconnected and it’s SO easy to make friends.
Stop holding yourself back because you’re too afraid to bring your dreams to reality. Be the main character in your life story- do whatever you want, and live your life the way you want it to be.
You’ll appreciate life
“Enjoy life today, because yesterday is gone, and tomorrow is never promised.”
The main excuse I hear is that traveling takes up too much money. It’s true it’s not cheap but it’s not as expensive as you think. All you need is to make a few sacrifices, plan these things out, and control your finances. But please do not get me wrong; you still need to plan out your future. Don’t use every single penny on traveling, and when you’re back home, you’re broke. No, that’s never a good idea. Plan everything out, and do not neglect your future. You don’t need that much to travel. Live on the cheap side- with friends, in hostels, and eat cheap. Money does not equal to happiness. It may sound like a lot of work but trust me on this, it’ll be the greatest invest you’ll ever make.
When you travel, you’ll fall in love with everything- the country/city, the people, or even someone in particular. It’s an experience worth having because it changes you, and even how you view the world. You’ll realize that not everything is about you, and there’s a bigger world out there. You’ll truly understand what the world is really like.
And with that, I can honestly say traveling the world is something you will never regret. I know I won’t. I will travel in my 20s and continue to travel even after my 20s- just slightly differently.