I’ve been lucky enough to have always been able to go on holiday – my first trip abroad was at five years old, when my parents and I went to Ibiza. I loved that trip, although I think that might have had something to do with the all inclusive buffet and massive pool rather than anything else! I’ve always loved exploring different places, but I guess now I’m technically in my mid twenties (a fact that I am choosing to pretend isn’t true) I’ve realised that this is the perfect time to go travelling. Here’s why you should travel in your twenties…
Hostels don’t seem quite so bad
Am I still going to be staying in hostels when I’m in my fifties? No, 100% not. Now though, the thought of staying in a room with 11 strangers seems quite normal and not at all horrific, but I’m well aware that when I’m older I’m gonna want a little more luxury. I’ve written before about how I love meeting new people in hostels and some of my favourite memories involve those people, so I want to fit as much of that in as possible whilst I still can.
You (probably) have less responsibilities
Obviously this is a generalisation, and working for a charity which supports young people who have a family member with a life theatening illness I’ve seen first hand the sort of shit which some people of my age have to deal with. Usually though, people in their early twenties don’t have to worry so much about children, caring for older family members or mortgage repayments (let’s be honest, we wouldn’t be able to worry about mortgage repayments even if we wanted to…). Yes saving for a pension is important but so is living life, and your twenties are the perfect time to leave everything behind, have a break before you settle into a career and go out and see the world.
You can learn a lot about yourself
This one is important; travelling teaches you a hell of a lot about what you are capable of, who you are and what is actually important to you – so why not experience this as early as you can? Your twenties are the time to start ‘finding yourself’ (I can’t believe I actually just wrote that) and travelling can shape the person you want to be. On my first solo trip, after a bizarre incident with a drunk guy and a blade, I had to make my way back from Slovakia on my own thanks to good old Ryanair. I realised when sat in Brussels airport 24 hours later that I can cope with unexpected situations in a calm manner even if they’re not ideal, which has actually made a big difference to me as a person.
Travelling can also help you decide what’s important to you, and can have a big knock on effect on the rest of your life – I know a few people who realised they loved going abroad so much that a normal 9-5 just wasn’t for them, and they changed their careers to the work in the travel industry.
You can hook up
OK, so this isn’t gonna be for everyone and I’m aware that a lot of people do have relationships in their early twenties. But, for those who don’t, chatting to like-minded people over wine tasting in the hostel can be a pretty good introduction! You never know who you’re gonna meet when you’re on the road – sometimes you just click with people, and who knows where that might lead…
You can make lifelong friends
As I mentioned earlier, new friends have really been the highlight of some of my trips; I’ve caught up with a few people that I first met on the road which has led to me meeting more new people – it’s like a really good ripple effect! I really do believe that the people you meet can make you look at the world in a new and exciting way, and can inspire you to do things you wouldn’t have thought about otherwise… so why wait, go out and meet them as soon as you can.