Original photo via Flickr
For the next four weeks, we will be taking a break from our regularly scheduled programming and our A World Of Wanderlusting posts to share a special series with you: The Twenty-Something’s Guide to Traveling.
Have the itch to travel but don’t know where to start? This four part series will help guide you in making your travel dreams a reality.
First up in this series is Part I: Making the Commitment.
Having the hunger to explore, to find yourself, to step outside your comfort zone, is a pretty amazing feeling. Whether the dream was put on your bucket list a long time ago or after finishing Eat, Pray, Love, (and you’re officially convinced you need a toothless medicine man to tell you your fortune), the time to travel is now!
Abroad, cross-country, a weekend road trip – no matter how big or small the venture, let your free spirit offer you some excitement and fulfillment in your life.
Moving past the initial excuses is the biggest thing standing between you and your boarding pass. Making the commitment to travel is the first step; we will walk you through the rest. Despite the worries of money, or work, or relationships, the best time to travel is in your twenties. Traveling gives you the opportunity to make this decade of your life one of the most rewarding. If you need to ask why, the reasons are pretty simple:
10 Reasons Not to Be a Weenie and Travel in Your Twenties:
- No one likes a weenie, so don’t be one.
- Your knees don’t hate you yet. You are young, healthy, can bounce back reasonably well from a hangover, trust us when we say your body is more up for climbing Everest now, than it will be in another 20 years.
- Minimal responsibility. If the only things that really depend on you are a car payment and maybe a cat, then it’s pretty hard to blame Fluffy for holding you back. You can travel light with no children to keep track of, or a mortgage to think about, so take advantage of it – it won’t last long.
- NO FOMO! Live without the fear of missing out. What better way to cope with that quarter-life crisis than to do something fun and spontaneous. If you don’t do this now, you might look back on your life with regret and wish you had the guts to. Live a life of “oh wells” instead of “what ifs.”
- You are old enough to make your own damn decisions. “But my parents say traveling is dangerous?” Well, so is ice skating and driving to work, so stop always listening to what mom and dad say. You are old enough to have a license, own a passport, and if you’re not yet of age to drink in America, you are legal to just about every place else in the world, so all the more reason to make this time about you. You can do this completely on your own.
- Educate yourself. You will learn things from experiences while traveling that you could never gain from sitting in a classroom. What better way to learn than to see things you have only read about in history books or on the internet? You can absorb the nature of new places from the locals and land right in front of you.
- Eat, drink, and be bloated. Right now is the fastest that metabolism of yours is ever going to run, so even though Olive Garden breadsticks sound really good right about now, how about experiencing some real Italian cuisine? Try a crepe in Paris, pasta until your pants unbutton, an Irish coffee or two or three.. try it all.
- Meet new people. Expand that circle of friends to different corners of the world. Finding relationships with people who have different ideals, languages, culture, and stories is priceless. It’s possible you could make a new best friend or even find romance. You’ll find there are “more fish in the sea” than in your backyard pond after all.
- To appreciate home. Sometimes it takes being away from home to make you appreciate your everyday life. While traveling you may find yourself missing something you had all along. To see life in other places worse off, you become grateful for the circumstance you have and realize those things should not be taken for granted. Maybe it’s a loved one, a job, or even a cheeseburger that makes you see how good life really is.
- To see the world differently. There is a new perspective you gain while exploring the world; one that is likely to be more open-minded and curious. You will grow from it, we promise you that.
What is keeping you from traveling to the destination of your dreams? Here, we have complied a few questions to ask yourself as you begin to commit to you trip:
- Will you be traveling alone? If not, who will be going with you?
- How long will you be gone?
- What transportation will you take to get there?
- What are your must-do activities while at your destination?
- Do you speak the language of your desired destination? If not, will you make an attempt to learn?
- Do you prefer independent travel or guided travel through a tour company?
- What season do you want to go in? (Keep in mind the off season is cheaper and less-crowded).
- Will you stay in hostels, hotels, with friends or family, or will you take another route and rent through airbnb?
- Is money your biggest obstacle? (Funding and discounted travel can happen in a myriad of ways which we will cover later on).
- Are serious responsibilities – financial or otherwise – keeping you from you leaving home for an extended period of time?
Answering these questions will help you get a clearer picture of your travel goals and the obstacles that stand in your way. Take some time to think about these questions this week. Stay tuned for Part II of our series where we will go more in-depth with deciding where to travel.
P.S. Have a question? Let us know in the comments and we will answer it later in the series!