For some, their 20s were their crazy years – one big adventure. You were free and reckless and could do pretty much what you wanted. This wasn’t the case for me. While the rest of my friends were globetrotting the world, working at meaningless jobs and figuring out what the hell they wanted to do with their lives – I already knew. I was focused. On what you ask? The future. My future.
While my friends were drinking till 3 in the morning I was probably writing some paper for class. I went from graduating high-school to being an officer in the army for 3 years to architecture school for the next 5. I was with my high-school sweetheart and had all things figured out- good career, marriage, 2.5 kids, a house and a picket fence. ooh and a dog in the backyard.
Don’t get me wrong – I had my good times. I went out, made some great friends, traveled quite a bit here and there and really liked what I did but I was always thinking of what’s next – What’s in the future? I couldn’t wait until I could cross off finishing school, getting a job, getting married off my to-do list so I could “start living” – missing out completely that this was life.
You see… Since I was very young, I was the serious one, the one who always knew what she wanted. And then one day I woke up and I was 30. Hmm… guess time sure flies when you’re having fun. I had already finished my degree, landed that dream job, (boyfriend was long gone along with my suburban fantasy if you were wondering), and finally now – when I was in this future I was dreaming of for so long I could start living it.
But now, in this future life – you’re in your 30s, you want to get out there and explore the world… but you’re scared. You might feel like “it’s too late”. Almost everybody around you has settled down, maybe had kids, you have nobody to go with and everyone around you probably think it’s a crazy idea to just up and leave in the middle of your “life”.
Nowadays more and more people are taking their time settling down, getting married and having children. You know us millennials – 30s are soooo the new 20s, am I right?
Also, more and more people switch careers or jobs every couple of year- something that wasn’t as popular in the previous generation. Moreover – the growing pace of location independent jobs – makes it easier to travel – leaving a lot of 30-year-olds with no real hold to one place.
Altogether, this makes the notion that ‘the best time to travel is in your 20s’ a bit obsolete. As Adam Galinsky, a professor at Columbia Business School, mentions in “The Atlantic“: “Foreign experiences increase both cognitive flexibility and depth and integrativeness of thought, the ability to make deep connections between disparate forms”. So Wanderlust doesn’t stop at 29. It all just gets better in your 30s.
Here are 7 reasons why traveling in your 30s is a great idea:
While backpacking, taking 15-hour bus rides and sleeping in crowded and crummy dorms might seem wonderfully nostalgic to you now, let’s face it- it sucks.
You might still not be Kim-Kardashian-5-starts-hotel-rich yet, but you’ve been working your booty off for the past couple of year and sure is in a better financial position than in your 20s.
You can now afford a nicer hotel (with a privet shower), delicious food in a nice restaurant instead of a food vendor or homemade sandwiches and all that little perks that make your travels easier and more convenient. Of course, now you would surely splurge on a short flight instead of taking every transportation possibility known to man to get somewhere because now you understand that time is also money.
Yes, grasshopper, with age also comes great responsibility. In your 30s you become more risk-averse. Moreover, being in your 30s means that you have moved on from the pressures of society, and no longer have to prove anything to anyone.
These two combined makes you take smarter and more calculated risks – Well, most of the time… Avoiding altogether risky situations that you probably weren’t even aware of in your 20s or didn’t stop to think them through.
And the best thing? because you don’t give a damn on what others think, you can do exactly what you want on your trip and won’t be dragged into other people decisions. You learn how to say NO and do what’s best for YOU.
In your 20s, doing shots on the house is a must –” because everybody is doing it and it’s cool”. In your 30s? Hell no. You don’t want to be all hangover for your morning guided tour or early yoga class, right? Moreover, you won’t be caught drinking that moonshine tequila when you can order yourself a nice glass of wine instead.
In your 20s, you have a long list of must-sees. Being somewhere and not crossing off ALL the experience a place has to offer isn’t an option. You had FOMO. So you HAD to do it all – even if you hate museums or tracking up a mountain or you think every south-east Asia temple looks exactly the same as the other.
In your 30s you don’t do all the things only the right things. You know what you like and what you don’t. Maybe you prefer a chill visit to a museum with a stop for a wine glass in the afternoon rather than going to 3 museums in one day just because they were on your list and it’s a shame to miss them. Know what else is a shame to miss? A nice nap in the afternoon on those comfy hotel pillows. Yes, especially on vacation and especially if you’re planning to stay out past 10 pm to hit a bar or two.
By the time you’re in your 30s, you are much more relaxed and cool about your vacation. And also – remember mentioning not giving a F***? You can now peacefully admit to whomever it concerns that you were in Rome and didn’t go to the Coliseum. Just because.
A lot of people are pretty terrified about traveling alone, especially when they’re younger. Most give up their traveling dream if they don’t have the right traveling partner at the right time or follow someone else’s journey just for the company.
As you get older, you understand it’s ok to travel solo and it’s actually kind of amazing. Making your own schedule, your own decisions, having the freedom to do whatever you want is awesome. Also, it’s a rare opportunity to spend some quality time with a special someone – you. Who knows… you might actually enjoy the company lol
Just because you’re traveling alone doesn’t mean you’ll be lonely – if you do want the companion, it isn’t that hard to find – staying in hostels, signing up for day tours or group activities, language exchange – Could all be great opportunities to meet people doing the same things as you.
Still anxious about traveling all alone? maybe Traveling solo in a group might be the answer for you – try to find a group of people with the same interest as you – surfing, yoga, foodies, digital nomad and search for half organized travel groups for those communities. There is nothing better than traveling with likeminded people – especially the ones that allow you the freedom to be together when you want and alone if you wish- no questions asked.
As I mentioned – in your 30s you no longer wish to impress people and certainly not lacking in close friends waiting for you back home. So the relationships you do make aboard are strong, meaningful ones. Instead of making meaningless connections with drinking or party buddies (which is also fun and necessary, don’t get me wrong), you can spend more time having profound conversations about life with people. And eventually, these mutual experiences abroad and long-night talks will turn into long-lasting (worldwide) friendships.
By now you already had your fair share of travels and have probably mastered the art of planning a trip, booking and ordering the best deals and packing smartly (hmm… well, smarter at least…).
You’ve also probably acquired some major “adult” skills like getting better in finding your way, conversing to strangers and the calm flexibility it comes with plans changing along the way. All of this should make your travels more easy and more fun.
In your 20s you don’t have a care in the world and you think this is how life is going to be forever. Well, this might not be totally true but let me be dramatic for a second ok?
By the time your 30, you have experienced some hardships so once you travel you learn to fully appreciate and give thanks to the little things. These precious little things are what counts in the end of the day – sunsets, fresh air, starting your day with a good cup of coffee, experiencing new things, food, drinks, people, and views.
If your heart desires to travel. Do it. You only get one life to live so might as well live the best one you can. No matter how old you are or what’s your working/personal status – if you really want it you can find the right way for you to do it. It doesn’t matter if it’s a big or a small trip, close by or across the world – as long as it lights your soul – do it. Go and book your dream trip right now.
In the end… We only regret the chances we didn’t take, the relationships we were afraid to have,and the decisions we waited too long to make | Lewis Carroll
Would love to hear about what you think about traveling in your 30s! Please leave me a comment below!
Not quite convinced yet? Follow my Instagram account to see my latest adventures.
Want to travel but not sure how or need some extra encouragement? Feel free to message me and I will answer all of your questions about traveling… (whether you 20, 30 or 60).