We often refer to our twenties as the best decade of our lives. But in 2018 and for the modern millenial, this might be piling on a bit too much pressure. With all the increasing expectations placed on us, is it any wonder that many of us are choosing to prioritise travel in our twenties?
On getting your shit together
One of your friends is getting married, the other has just got a promotion in that great corporate accountancy job and another has just conquered Mt Everest. Sound familiar? I wish these were all made up stories but they are the genuine experiences of friends in my pretty immediate circle.
I, on the other hand, am spending my days eating a lot of shortbread biscuits and temping before I head off to Cambodia to volunteer for 3 months (blog post on this coming soon!). Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love my job and cannot wait to head back to South East Asia. But I can’t help but feel that those of us who choose to prioritise travel in our twenties over our careers or settling down don’t half get some stick for it…
When are you going to get a proper job? Why don’t you just travel when you retire? Is anyone still going to want to hire you after you’ve taken a gap year?
So. Many. Opinions.
All the time in the world
With our life expectancy growing and the average marriage age getting increasingly older, it’s clear that us millenials are trying to avoid full on adult responsibility for as long as possible. I mean, it’s no surprise that we’d rather prioritise avocado toast over saving for a house, right?!
In my humble opinion, it takes a damn good while to figure out what you want to do in life in the first place. What’s the rush?
I’m all for learning new skills and gaining new professional experiences but do you really want to be 50 years old, stuck in a job you hate and wishing you’d travelled the world when you had the chance?
Put your health first
Believe it or not, travel has been scientifically proven to reduce stress levels. According to a recent study, 86% of those who travel are more satisfied with their outlook on life than the 75% who do not. As an anxiety prone generation, it’s no wonder that more and more of us are choosing to travel in our twenties. Moreover, it’s about more than just relaxing on a beach and catching some waves.
The satisfaction that comes from planning your own solo adventure and having the balls to go for it does wonders for your self confidence. On a more serious level, wandering the streets of places like India and realising how simply some people have to live in this world is truly humbling.
As someone once very neatly put it, “people travel because it teaches them things they could learn no other way.”
Life is meant to be lived
We weren’t brought into the world just to pay bills and die. Of course, we all have bills to pay and they get more and more important the older we get. We get married, have kids, get a mortgage and our accumulation of responsibilities never seems to slow down.
In your 20s, you have relatively few of these responsibilities – no kids, no mortgage, no career demands. Go out and explore. Pursue happiness. After all, to travel is to live.
What’s the best piece of advice you’d give to anyone in their 20s? Sound off in the comments below!