Hey, you twenty-something, you. If you’re reading this, it’s probably because you already know that traveling in your twenties is well worth it. You understand that it ain’t worth waiting your whole life to start exploring, because the world is a big place, and even a full 85 years will hardly be enough. The consolation that the Louvre and Torres del Paine will (hopefully?) still be there in 30 years isn’t the solace you need to stop you from going tomorrow. And if not tomorrow, you’ll go next month. If not next month, next year. And if not next year, well… you’ll definitely need to go by next year. Somewhere in you, you have the will to overcome the last of your excuses and just go. And if you’re 30+ you’re not off the hook either — it’s never to late to start.
We named our blog once we’re young because we were weary of the arbitrary “someday” that we are told to wait for. Our parents are super cool, but everyone remembers how great it is the first time there is no one around to tell you no, right? We spent our early twenties drinking, dating, and journeying to places afar, expecting life on our terms would continue to be one big, raucous adventure. Then alongside everyone else, we moved to a city we couldn’t really afford, and started jobs that kept us busy, and just like that, our once unbounded existence became stifled — not by our mothers or our history teachers or our government, but by our own damn selves. We couldn’t help but feel like we were still waiting for someday. So we started this blog, and got back to traveling– not once we’re older, but once we’re young.
We’re loving our home in San Francisco, so while it’s just traveling for a few weeks at a time for now, we’re slowly inching towards the “let’s go tomorrow” point. Eventually, we’ll sell the farm, turn our rent money into adventures, and get the f*** out. You with us? We know you are, but in case you need any more convincing, here are our 20 reasons to travel in your 20’s.
1. There will never be a time less complicated. If you’re without a mortgage, cat-less, and haven’t promised to be someone’s maid of honor, you’re in the clear. The longer you wait, the more elaborate leaving becomes.
2. You’ll get uncomfortable and stretch yourself too thin while you’re traveling. That’s invaluable.
3. Backpacking and budget travel is easiest before you’ve known anything more luxurious. Too many nights of fresh towels, an infinity pool, and an omelette bar can make even us drifters into snobs.
4. Budget hostels cater towards younger travelers. If you’re still relatively accustomed to dorm beds, vodka shots, and communal toilets, the rest of the hostel experience won’t come as such a shock.
5. Your body is most resilient while you’re young. Have you noticed your hangovers getting worse each year? Yeah, that kinda happens for everything.
6. If you’re still a student (or at least if your student ID says you are) you have access to discounted flights, fares, and entrance fees. Use em!
7. Some work and student visas are exclusively available for travelers under 30. If you’re from a Commonwealth county, you’ll definitely want to take a working holiday before it gets a whole lot harder.
8. If you don’t have kids yet, but want kids in the next few years, GO SOMEWHERE RIGHT NOW. Diaper bags and little tempers can really slow your roll.
9. Believe it or not, you can still pick up new languages. Meet people from different backgrounds, and learn about them in their first language. Open up your world (and job prospects) by becoming fluent.
10. Travel experiences will influence your worldview. See how big the world is while you’re young — you will learn with certainty that you’re not the center of it.
11. Travel will put your little problems into perspective and make your big ones seem more manageable.
12. You’ll learn the self-reliance it takes some people decades to learn. Negotiate in a foreign language, hitchhike when you miss your bus, and innovate when your wallet gets stolen — with no one else to solve your problems, we swear you’ll get good at it.
13. You’re probably still low on the corporate ladder. When you come back seeking work, it will be easier for you to re-enter at a similar level and pay rate. The higher you climb, the further there is to fall, and you may really just find you’re not into the climb.
14. Making friends with other travelers is easy when you’ve bonded on a terrible train ride and are sharing a bunk anyway. Young travelers tend to be open to picking up companions along the way, and find themselves in situations that facilitate camaraderie.
15. Travel is life experience in hyper-speed. Why wait?
16. It’s the best time to become the type of person you admire. If you find yourself jealous, grow into someone more interesting rather than resenting the experiences of others– an adventure is a great way to start!
17. Healthcare is expensive. Travel now while you’re healthy (besides all those onion rings) and your insurance premiums are low.
18. You probably don’t own that much stuff yet. And if you do own a lot, we bet it’s nowhere near as much stuff as you’ll have 10 years from now. Pack what you need, store what you want, sell what you can, and donate what you can’t.
19. Did you know you can defer your student loans right out of school? Take some time to enjoy the world on $10/day before committing yourself to a steep monthly payment. We’re not saying that avoiding your debt is the best thing to do, but you’re going to have a whole lot of time with those bad boys, and you might as well enjoy it while you can.
20. The world is a big and fantastic place. If you start now and go until you’re gone, you may just get to see some of it.
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So what’s your reason to travel? Tell us about it in the comments below!