For most of us, our twenties is when we experience some of the most important events that have the biggest impact on our lives.
A lot of us are graduating from college or university, getting our first real jobs, meeting the people that we might eventually get married to, buying a house or leasing a car, or maybe even having kids.
These are huge events, milestones pretty much, that just about everybody goes through at one point or another.
The problem is, or at least for me, is when I was in my early 20s I still had no idea what I wanted to do with the rest of my life and I couldn’t even begin to guess what was coming in the future.
The good thing was, I had just graduated, and apart from my car payments and phone bill I didn’t have any other responsibilities or big monthly expenses.
To me, this seemed like something I wasn’t going to be able to enjoy forever so I did what any other sane person would do and I decided to head to Europe and do some travelling.
I realized much later that people in their 20s, especially those of you with a tendency towards wanderlust, should definitely make traveling a priority before the responsibilities start to pile on.
Regardless of what you have planned, I think that if you’re in your twenties right now you should definitely find ways to explore the world and get some traveling done before you consider settling down for the long haul.
Why You Should Travel in Your 20s
You Don’t Have Many Responsibilities
Unless you decided to start a family already or you began a career, you shouldn’t have too many responsibilities in your twenties.
It’s likely that you have independence in abundance and at the moment you’re either living at home with Mom and Dad or you’re paying rent on a cheap apartment somewhere.
Either way, this is an important time to book a plane ticket and head abroad before you start having to deal with mortgage payments or a working all the time to start off on the right foot when it comes to developing a career.
I remember in my early twenties I don’t even have any car payments and, apart from my student loans, I had very few responsibilities keeping me tied down.
This meant I could travel the world without having to worry about anything going on back home and I knew that there was always going to be jobs available for me so I didn’t want to start working right away and ran out of time in my twenties to do something fun.
You’re Not Tied Down Financially
Unless you have a big student loan or a lot of credit card debt, you probably don’t have a mortgage that you need to deal with or any child care expenses just yet in your 20s.
Maybe you graduated and you already have your first job – this is a good thing because you can live below your means, work on a side hustle, and start saving money from each paycheck that you can put into a travel savings account.
Being this young, it’s the best time to live on a budget and spend money on experiences rather than on buying things that you really don’t need.
It’s a lot easier to travel on a budget when you’re younger as well when you can stay at hostels and take an overnight bus.
I know a lot of people think that travel is expensive, but if you make it a priority when you’re younger there is a lot of the world that you can actually see before you get bogged down with expenses and other responsibilities.
It Exposes You to Different Ideologies and Mindsets
Before heading abroad in your 20s, it’s likely that you only traveled with your parents beforehand, if you travelled at all.
Travelling after university or in your twenties really helps to give you a new perspective on life and introduces you to a wide range of new cultures and people.
It doesn’t matter if you’re travelling solo or with your friends, you’re bound to meet other people from different walks of life that will introduce you to varying outlooks.
This exposure to different cultures and mindsets will definitely help you mature into a more well-rounded and open minded individual, making the transition into adulthood a lot easier for you.
Travel Gives You a New Appreciation for Everything
Unless you’re from Western Europe or North America, it is very likely that you’re going to experience things when you’re travelling that you would never run into back home.
For example, in Eastern Europe it’s common to see crumbling buildings, the sidewalks falling apart, stray dogs everywhere, and plenty of other things that you would never see back in Canada or the US.
These different occurrences and lifestyles will make you appreciate the things you have back at home that you have taken for granted over the years.
It also makes it easier for you to realise that not all of your problems are as big as it seems, especially when you look at how much easier it is to be living in the United States, Canada, or Europe, compared to places that aren’t nearly as better off.
You Don’t Have to Travel Like Royalty
I know that when my parents think about travelling that it’s all about hotels, fancy restaurants, taking taxis, and just living it up.
This is because I think they have become accustomed to these fancy amenities and when you get a certain age you want to be more comfortable rather than having to tough it out every now and then.
In your 20s, you can stay in hostels, grab a shared room with your friends, take a 12-hour bus instead of a 2 hour flight, travel with a lightweight backpack instead of a heavy suitcase, and you’re a lot more open to trying out different things.
As you get older, you might want to relax somewhere rather than spend day after day exploring somewhere new, so it’s better to check everything out when you’re young and energetic rather than waiting until you’re not as able to do everything the way you want.
You Learn More About Money
When you’re travelling while you’re still young, it is very likely that you’ll quickly realize that money isn’t everything in that you just need a little bit to make you happy.
Being able to experience things like seeing the sunset behind the Eiffel Tower or riding a hot air balloon above Cappadocia is more important and better for your long-term development than buying a new car or spending half your new paycheck on clothes.
The material possessions you require will come and go but the memories that you gain while travelling in your 20s are going to last you the rest of your life.
This can be incredibly fulfilling and can help to shape who you are as you continue to get older and develop as a person.
You’ll Meet Amazing People
Whenever you go travelling it’s almost impossible to not meet somebody new.
Meeting new people from around the world with the same interest in travelling that you have helps to open your eyes to new cultures and gives you a better perspective on how different people live.
These friendships that you develop can be a lot more honest than relationships that you build with people at work, because they are connections that you choose to strengthen.
Also, you never know when you might be traveling again and you’ll have a free place to stay because of the friends you met or if you meet somebody that could have an impact on the future business you want to start.
You’ll Run Out of Time if You Wait
One of the most important reasons to travel in your 20s while you’re still young is because eventually you’ll run out of time if you keep putting it off.
A lot of people seem to wait until they retire before they start travelling, but by then are you still even going to?
When you’re in your 60s and 70s it’s very likely that you’ll have new interests, and it’s possible that you might experience some health issues where travelling will no longer being option.
The planet isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but I can’t say the same for all of us, so it’s important to take advantage of your youth and experience all that you can before it’s too late.
Just remember, nobody in their old age ever wished that they worked more and travelled less.
The Best Time to Travel in Your 20s is Right Now!
Hopefully, this post has given you some reasons why you should start travelling as soon as you can if you’re in your 20s at the moment.
That’s not to say you can travel in your 30s and beyond, but it definitely becomes a lot harder to spend a week or more away from home as you get older and as you get more and more responsibilities.
The best time to experience all that the world has to offer is before you start building a family, buying a house and taking out a mortgage, starting a new job that you want to develop into a long-term career, or having a baby and starting a family.
All of these things will make it harder for you to travel, even if you do make it a priority, so it’s a good idea to travel while you’re young before all of your responsibilities start to build up.
The time that you spend travelling is time that you definitely won’t regret spending.
How about you guys – do you plan on doing any travelling in your 20s?
For those of you that do plan on travelling, where do you plan on going?
For those of you that have already left your 20s, what advice do you have for young people that want to travel?