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A to Z of Experiences
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Meet the locals
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Visiting the Poles
Career breaks and BIG trips
Body and soul
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Australia, East Coast
Everest Base Camp
Trans-Siberian and Trans-Mongolian railway
Blog of the week
10th August 2015
Blogger Jaclynn Seah hits 30 – and ponders whether some types of trips are best undertaken in your twenties...
As I officially leave my twenties behind and embark on the great journey into the next decade of my life, I have begun to wonder whether there are some types of trips you really should take in your twenties – when you’re old enough to be independent and legal for most things, yet young enough to really have a ball and recover quickly from it!
Set yourself a modest budget for your travels and stick to it – squeeze your stuff into a backpack and sleep in a shared dormitory with ten other people; scout out freebies and bargain on everything you can to stay within your daily budget; survive on street food and the cheapest booze you can find.
Technically, you can do this at any point in your life, but you’ll probably weather it best in your twenties, when you’re young and foolhardy enough to gloss over too-thin mattresses, bumpy tuk-tuk rides and sour tasting wine.
The benefits? Well, for one thing, you'll appreciate the value of getting what you pay for when you can afford it. And you'll value the simple pleasures of good service, cleanliness and a full stomach so much more when you’ve experienced what it’s like to do without.
Hitchhiking – a rite of passage (Shutterstock)
It’s all about the journey, not your destination. Whether it’s an ultra-long bus and train ride or a cross-country road trip, just hop into your desired mode of transport and watch your day go by. You’re young and have all the time in the world, right? When you finally reach your destination you can toss your bags aside and start exploring the new place immediately – something your body will find it harder to do as you get older.
Long journeys provide you lots of time to ponder life and its mysteries – and give you the patience to appreciate the slow ride. Or perhaps, if you're lucky, you'll learn to sleep anywhere at anytime – a great skill to have as a traveller.
Nothing puts you out of your comfort zone like a climate you’ve never encountered before. Beach bunnies, look for snowy mountains and chilly winds for a change. Eskimo types, try a desert or a rainforest.
The weather is one of those fundamental things that you don’t notice when everything is going well, but can wreak total havoc on your travel plans when it's not. Cancelled flights, closed attractions, or just general discomfort – not everyone adapts well to a change in weather, but you’re definitely likely to handle it better while you’re younger and stronger.
Could you decipher this sign in Moscow? (Shutterstock)
Visit a place where you can’t read the signs or speak the language – where even the simplest things like asking for directions becomes an adventure in itself. You may end up lost for hours, ordering something you didn’t intend or simply not speaking for days because there is no need to.
This teaches you to be adaptable and creative. It will keep you humble as you learn to put your trust in strangers and how to trust your gut when nothing else makes sense. You will also learn that some things are universal throughout the world, no matter what language we speak. It’ll keep your mind open as you move on in life.
Take on an epic trip (Shutterstock)
Imagine that one cool story you want to leave behind for your grandkids to remember you by – whether it’s hiking the Amazon, going bungee jumping or just tackling a big trip on your own. There is no better time for being awesome than in your twenties. You’re old enough to be independent, yet young and foolhardy enough to take up any challenge that comes your way.
Push your limits and find out what they are, because you’ll never know until you try! Besides you need some great memories to enter your thirties with...
Do you agree with Jaclynn? Are there some types of trips that are better done when you're young? Or is your age irrelevant? Tell us in the comments below...
Jaclynn Seah | The Occasional Traveller
Jaclynn Seah is The Occasional Traveller, a Singaporean girl with a full-time day job who loves to travel. She started her blog in 2010 to encourage fellow deskbound wanderlusters like herself to remember to get away, even as they labour away in their daily lives.
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Don't just do all those things in your 20s, keep doing them. In my 50s I spent 10 weeks on a volunteer project in Kenya with no running water or electricity - one of my best experiences and the memories keep me going when I am having a bad day:)
I guess my wife and I like to break all your rules. Both nearly 60, but feeling more like 40, we have been travelling non-stop for the last 2 years and still loving it.1. We are on a budget, still!2. We flew over 30 hours to start our latest jaunt and didn't mind it at all: free food, free wine and 6 latest release movies3. One Christmas went from 30 degrees plus in Australia to 30 degrees minus in Canada!4. We travelled to China to teach English in a city with only a handful of English speakers in our mid 50's5. Does running with the bulls in 2012 count?See more in our blog, www.teachorbeach.com
Ha ha - love this! As someone fast approaching 40 I agree that these sort of trips probably do need to be first done when in your 20s but I'm sure many people will be like us and find you carry on holidaying like this. It's just a confidence thing. Sure we don't stay in big dorms, but then we never did. And if we do need to share a room whilst backpacking in Torres de Paine it's not a big deal as we know what to expect. Our first true trip where we didn't know the language was downtown Hong Kong last year on our honeymoon. Ok so we stayed in a hotel where they spoke English so could get good advice and get Chinese characters written down for us. But certainly we would happily then venture into restaurants where no English was spoken by anyone and find ourselves eating things that there was no way we would have ordered!And for anyone already out their 20s, my mum and dad didn't start doing epic trips until their 50s.
It's all about attitude of mind - I skydived in my 40s, learned to scuba dive (to advanced cert level) in my late forties, went backpacking for the first time aged 50 and went to live and teach in a refuguee camp in the West Bank in my early 50s.
Yep. Done them all. As a teenager, in my twenties and thirties. I have just started my 40s and celebrated my birthday traipsing all over Japan - from Sapporo to Kyoto. Hope to keep doing all five for all long as I can.
I resisted until I was 47 before tackling the above (including 28 hour bus journeys), and was much the better for the wait. Most of the twentysomethings I encountered always seemed to have something to whinge about (particularly the Aussies - why should you be able to get Vegemite at Annapurna Base Camp?). Kept going as well - currently at the age of 63 teaching English in Thailand, where after 4 years I still can't speak the language.
What a great perspective to look at travelling from. It totally gives a whole different meaning to the term “adventure” itself. Sometimes you just have to get out from all the norms and experience something completely diverse for a change. I guess it is time for me to get out of Gold Coast and head somewhere I am not familiar with at all to gain new experiences.
I totally agreed, when you're young you can travel at discount price because you don't need to book expensive hotel or flight for children for example. When you have a wife and a couple of children it's more complicated to go the bag on your back to the adventure :)
Fortunatly, sometimes can have get travel at discount price. Last month, I get voyages tickets at 50% off. But you can't have that kind of deal all the time. Anyway, thanks for the share ;)
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