Did you just bid goodbye to your teens? Or have you a crossed the first quarter of your life and anticipating how things would be in your 30s? Doesn't really matter, as long as you live life to the fullest during your 20s, then you’ll have no regrets!
Just before I turned 25, I made a long checklist, quit my job, and set out with a backpack to tick off all the places that I wished to see. And for the last two years, my wanderlust has fed me quite well. Now that you too are free and independent, you shouldn't postpone travel for later. You should get your hands on planning the things that you must do before you turn 30.
Based on my own experience, here are seven reasons why you should travel in your 20s—it’s the best (trust me, you’ll be amazed with the things that you’ll learn).
Why does traveling in yours 20s RULE?
1. You have more energy and enthusiasm.
No one can deny the fact that with age, your level of energy starts decreasing (although I've seen older people opting for highest altitude Himalayan Treks! (*Respect*) However, your 20s is the time when you are all full of energy and enthusiasm to set out for journeys beyond your comfort zone. It's the age when most of us are usually adventurous and curious to try out new things, to dive into the unknown, and to find a path rather than getting lost. It's that age when we can try and fail, and try again, without being bothered too much about wasted time. And yes, all of this is likely to happen to you while traveling in your 20s.
2. You don't have many responsibilities to deal with.
Once you bag a stable job, step into your 30s, get married and/or have kids, life will start getting complicated. You'll have the responsibility to take care of your family, pay off the loans, meet the deadlines, and so on and so forth. If you decide to travel in your 20s, you can just pack your bags and get going - no one's gonna question you about anything or try to pull you back! And in case your parents are worried too much, you can tell them about your urge to travel the world (and a few little white lies won’t hurt too), and about where you see yourself 10 years down the road. Trust me when I say this, they'll understand you.
3. You are not afraid of meeting new people and making new friends.
It's the age when you have just wrapped up your college days and you’re all set to explore the bigger world! You can opt to stay at hostels, hop into random parties, or go for hitchhiking, but no matter what decide, you are sure to meet more people from different walks of life and make friends out of strangers. That's one of the most exciting things about traveling in your 20s - you get to widen your social network, beyond your high school and college friends!
4. You will learn to appreciate the finer things in life.
Before this stage, you either got everything very easily - thanks to your parents - or you didn't get to enjoy them, since you weren't in a position to afford them. Once you start traveling in your 20s, you'll learn to value little things and appreciate the finer things in life. While traveling in a cold country, you'll realize that getting a warm bath is equivalent to luxury. Similarly, if you take up volunteer work abroad, you'll get to know how lucky you've been and feel more grateful for everything you've received since childhood. Traveling in your 20s will make you a more sensible person, for sure, and help you to see the world like never before.
5. You'll be able to learn from occasional mistakes and be a better planner.
Most millennials are choosing to take a career break, or what is now popularly known as a “gap year” in Western countries, in order to travel abroad and gain valuable life lessons from practical experiences. As you travel and explore on your own, you'll make a lot of mistakes along the way, and eventually end up learning something important that will help you in the long run. You might land in a mess, pick a fight with the wrong person at a bar, hop on the wrong plane, or get robbed for being careless - but all of these experiences will help you to be a better planner in the future.
6. You'll have your own stories to share with others, and you can even make a career out of it.
How wonderful would it be if you can sell your travel stories to make a better career for yourself? No kidding on that note, but being a well-traveled person will help you to stand ahead of your peers. Your future employers will know that you are confident, independent, and have good management skills, which you've spent a good deal of time polishing during your journeys. Even better, you can share your travel stories and experiences with others, and encourage them to explore the paths less traveled. Traveling in your 20s will also endow you with opportunities to gain other skills, like photography, blogging, learning a foreign language, etc. Remember, the world is your oyster!
7. You'll get to know yourself better!
One of the best things about travel in your 20s is that you'll get to know yourself better. It's the best time to figure out your strengths and weaknesses, what you like and what you don't. You’ll get to explore your passion and indulge in learning new things. You'll learn how to take decisions without someone's guidance, stretch your boundaries, take up challenges, and experience and successfully overcome culture shock during your journeys! Surely, there can be no better time to travel than now!
Travel in your 20s & live it up, baby!
To put it in the words of H. Jackson Brown:
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
What are you waiting for? That’s why you should travel in your 20s. Pack your bags, choose your destination, and set out that journey that's gonna change your life forever!
This article was contributed by Go Discover Abroad, the perfect one-stop-solution for all gap year travelers and career break planners.