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 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.