I truly believe that EVERYONE should travel in their 20s, as far and as wide as possible (well, as you can possibly afford). Your 20s are the time to go, read on to discover why.
1. In your twenties, you have fewer responsibilities and commitments. Go before you get that boring desk job, children, pets, a partner or a mortgage.
2. Saving in your 20s is easier. Living at home while you save for your adventure around the world is totally acceptable in your 20s, not so much when you are 35.
3. The younger you are, the more time you have. Imagine if you went to Canada and fell in love, deciding to get a visa to live and work there, only to later discover you can’t get a visa after the age of 32 (at least not with ease). Going when you’re young allows you time to stay longer and if you choose, you can go from country to country on a working holiday visa, you have time.
4. You can do it cheaper in your 20s. Get a bed in a hostel for a fraction of the price of a hotel. Meet new friends and stay up all night exploring. The older you get, the less likely you will be to enjoy experiences like this.
5. You’ll have exciting stories to tell and irreplaceable memories that will last a lifetime.
“Travelling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.” – Ibn Battuta
6. You’ll get to know yourself. There is no arguing that everyone struggles with their personal identity as they enter adulthood. Travelling is the best way to get to know yourself and your interests.
7. You will gain confidence. Travelling in your 20s teaches you so much about yourself and it gives you confidence in your ability to make decisions, adapt to new situations and make friends.
8. You will improve your social skills. Travelling will teach you to be able to spark up a conversation with almost anyone, anywhere.
9. You will make lifelong friends from all around the world and who knows, you may even meet that special one.
10. You have more energy. Whether you’re trekking for hours with a backpack or partying till late, chances are you will deal with this better in your 20s.
11. Job recruiters prefer candidates who have life and world experience. Despite what you may think, going straight from high school to university then into a career isn’t always the best path. Recruiters like people with life experience and an understanding of other cultures. Taking some time off to travel will NOT affect your career.
12. Travel will open your eyes and change your life. Better you experience this while you are young and have your whole life ahead of you.
If your 20 something and reading this, today is the day to start saving for your next adventure. Stop worrying about your degree and career, that will always be there. Remember, money and success aren’t everything and you can never guarantee that working hard now will buy you happiness and freedom in the future.
Lucy is a 23-year-old Australian who started travelling the world alone at 18. She runs her own travel blog A Travellers Footsteps where she shares her journey, inspires other people to travel and provides information on the best ways to travel. You can also follow along with her adventures on her Instagram account @atravellersfootsteps.