I can guarantee that almost every twenty-something has read the infamous travel quote by Anthony Bourdain. In case you haven’t, he said:
“If you’re 22, physically fit, hungry to learn and be better, I urge you to travel – as far and as widely as possible. Sleep on floors if you have to. Find out how other people live and eat and cook. Learn from them – wherever you go.”
I like to think of life as a journey, and the decade known as our twenties the time we will make most of our discoveries. With this in mind I began imagining life as a road trip and what I would take with me to make the most if it during this crucial decade.
Here are the five things I, personally, would take with me on my road trip AKA my journey through my twenties:
- Map – This may sound basic, and an obvious choice, but I would choose a map for its symbolism and not its purpose. I think it’s vital to get back to basics, to simplify our lives, and to learn to survive and thrive without technology. A map requires time, patience, skill, and understanding, and these are skills that are of paramount importance if we are going to succeed.
- Bible – I remember when I was 18 and I first heard Carrie Underwood’s song ‘Don’t forget to remember me.’ One line that really stayed with me was “…here’s a map and here’s a bible if you ever lose your way.” Sometimes, all we have is blind faith. When we take a wrong turn, or a relationship ends and we don’t understand why, all we have is the belief that there is a bigger plan and that everything happens for a reason. We must learn to trust other people and understand that some things are out of our control.
- Cadbury Creme Eggs – I’m not sure if Cadbury’s creme eggs are available in the US (editor’s note: thankfully, they are), but for those of you who have never heard of them, they are delicious egg shaped chocolate filled with fondant. Sure, each one boasts 180 calories; but they are delicious. We need to stop punishing ourselves, and understand that we all deserve a treat occasionally. Too many days are spent living too carefully, and it’s time to let go for a moment and enjoy something you love.
- Milkshake powder – I’m not strange. I promise. We’ve all heard the expression, “wake up and smell the coffee,” but for me, it’s always been the smell of strawberry milkshake powder that gets me thinking and calm. It allows me to stop for a second to stay still, looking around me, hear things I haven’t heard before, smell something delicious and take a break from this rat-race we call life. I wouldn’t recommend smelling milkshake powder, coffee, or anything really while driving, though. Perhaps, when you’ve stopped and are looking at the sky full of stars, you can contemplate how great life is for a moment or two.
- Mix CD – Music is our safe place. We all have that song that takes us back to a special moment in time; a moment we’ll never get back in reality, but as soon as we hear the song we feel like we’re there again. There will be lots of those moments in your twenties. Your first breakup, your first holiday with friends, your first real relationship, a family member dying, your first job, and perhaps the birth of your first child or your wedding. My mix CD would contain some classical music, some Taylor Swift songs, some reggae tunes – songs that have the ability to see me through every mood and moment. To inspire and encourage and console me. Trust me, if you’re traveling with friends on a long journey, you may very well need consoling.
Your twenties will be challenging, there is no doubt about that. You’ll be laughing one minute and crying the next. You’ll be challenged and questioned in ways you didn’t think possible, and yet you will always look back on this time with a smile and great memories. As Carrie Bradshaw said:
“As we drive along this road called life, occasionally a gal will find herself a little lost. And when that happens, I guess she has to let go of the coulda, shoulda, woulda, buckle up and just keep going.”
What five things would you bring with you to make the most of your road trip that is life?