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Why I’m Traveling In My 20s and Not Worrying About Relationships

In a conversation with my mother the other day, I literally said to her “I’m just going to travel for the rest of my 20s, and not worry about relationships.”

You know what she said to me? “Okay, sounds good!”

Now I know I am very fortunate for my mother and not everyone would have this type of reaction. But, I work full-time and freelance on the side, I have PTO I make sure I utilize, I have saved a good amount — why shouldn’t I use this time to travel?

Why do I have to feel society’s pressure that I need to meet someone during this decade and settle down with them? I want to see the world, and now’s my time to.

Why I’m Traveling In My 20s and Not Worrying About Relationships

Nothing is tying me down.

I don’t have a boyfriend or a husband. I don’t have children I need to care for. In all honesty, I can decide tomorrow I want to hop on a flight, and I can (assuming I email work first and get clearance, of course).

But only having to worry about yourself is a wonderful thing, and your 20s should be the time for that. You can do what you want, when you want, without having to worry about affecting someone else or hurting their feelings. And if you want to travel, this is the time to do it.

… but this won’t always be the case.

I do eventually want to settle down, meet someone, and start a family — but I don’t want that just yet. Right now, I want to see the world. I know that once I do settle down, it won’t be as easy — and may not even be as possible — to just pick up and go.

There are places I want to see on my own, without having to worry about it being kid friendly. There are also people in this world I want to meet, without having to worry about checking in with anyone at home, or anyone at home getting jealous.

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I still have time for relationships.

I know you can argue that I still have time for travel as well, but do we know this for sure? We don’t know what life has in store for us.

Will I have this same ability to travel in 10, 20, 50 years that I do now? Right now I know that I have the stamina to travel, that I have a job with PTO that allows me to do so, that I have the expendable funds to take advantage. Will I have all of this in the future? The last thing I want is to look back on my past and have not taken advantage of these opportunities.

Speaking of finances…

Right now my finances are all revolving around me. I do not have a significant other I need to worry about sharing things with, I do not have children I need to worry about supporting. Every dime I make comes back to me and goes towards the things that I need/want (and my savings accounts, of course!).

This will not always be the case, but right now, I am going to take advantage of it. I’m going to book that flight and I’m going to go and see some place that I have not seen before.

I want to be able to visit these places again.

You have a different appreciation for things at different points in your life. Things that I took out of my travel experience in a certain place in my 20s will likely be different than when I take out of it in my 50s, and I want to be able to experience both.

I want to see the world, and I want to see certain places more than once. I’d like to learn from these places and cultures and experience them at different points in my life.

I don’t want to feel any obligations.

This applies to both relationships and to travel. I don’t feel an obligation to settle down right now. I’m still young, and honestly, I want to have fun.

But, when traveling, I don’t want to feel any obligations either. I don’t want to feel obligated to text/call my significant other to check in. And I don’t want to feel an obligation that I can’t dance with that beautiful man. I don’t want to feel any sense of guilt for being away when there are people waiting for me at home.

I want to see the world. And because of that, I’m prioritizing travel over feeling this necessity that others my age may feel to get married. I want to fall in love with places and fall in love with myself. I don’t want to hold back. Most of all, I want to meet new people, immerse myself in new cultures, and experience new things. They say that that’s what your 20s are all about, right?

About the Author

Michelle Ioannou

Michelle graduated from Fordham University with a Bachelors of Arts '13 and a Master of Arts '14. She's currently working in corporate America with a side of freelance writing. She wants you to learn from her experiences and mistakes so your 20s can be your best decade. When she's not working, she's likely planning her escape to a tropical island.