You’ve either got your paper qualifications or you’re in the midsts of mugging for them, but are you ready for life? The schools can only teach you that much, but trust us when we say travelling is the best way to experience and learn about yourself and the world we live in. Get out and explore the less-travelled, and make your next yearly holiday both a surprise and also your best lesson.
Before drowning in the usual adult talk about savings, insurance, and signing those nuptials, here's 7 ways how every 20-something year old should be spending their youth.
#1. Being Humbled
Leaving the confines, relative safety and comfort of your hometown – you soon realise that you aren’t so important. Most people won’t care about your “1 star review” and lack of good selfie lighting, so let’s demand less and be willing to give a little more.
For example, getting back to a homestay in the middle of the night from a town was a few dollars more than the fare I was used to. After trying to haggle for a bit, a couple of drivers told my friends and I that we could go back when the sun rose for the price we were asking for… before having a good laugh at us. Eventually we gave in, there wasn’t really any choice – and after a 20 minute drive down a winding road in the mountains, with no street lights mind you, it was kinda hard not to feel like a little shit for haggling… with the driver still having to make a trip back up.
It’s always great when things get put into perspective.
#2. Cultivating Culture
Nothing like good ol’ culture! The farther and wider you travel, the more you begin to understand how different and similar we all are. Cliché, yes. But that doesn’t make it any less true. Cross every border with an open mind, and you might find yourself falling deep in love with your host country’s culture. Anywhr's Experience trips take you to unchartered destinations where you can truly live like a local, so you can no longer use 'I don't know where else to go' as your next excuse to start a siam diu (Thai club) love story,
Cultivating culture has a dual meaning – to me at least. There’s no better way to build a cast-iron gut than to eat far and wide as well. Expect it to get messy every now and then, but food will always be worth it! Always remember to pack po chai pills (TCM pills for the runs) because charcoal pills do diddly squat.
#3. Developing Empathy
First world problems, meet real problems.
You won’t really know what living with less is like till you decide to step out of your comfort zone. While most of us will never experience the true plight of poverty, hopping on that rickety bus with the locals for a few hours, or staying in a backwater region with regular brownouts will go a long way to making you a little more conscious.
Three hours of electricity a day – you quickly realise the phone is unimportant, the fan is a luxury and what you really needed was light… so that for those three hours once the sun had set, you wouldn’t need to cook, eat and do everything you had to before sleeping enshrouded by the black of the night. The best part? All the stars you could ever wish for in the night sky.
#4. Facing Challenges
Imagine climbing a mountain...
Travelling never fails to throw a challenge or two your way, and how you deal with them is pretty much a good indicator of how you deal with your problems back home, and an even better way when preparing for “adulting”.
Now imagine finding out there isn’t anymore transport back to town after you descended.
How you deal with language barriers, a friend that’s whining and being a pain (ditch them), food poisoning, getting lost, making your way across a country, etc… .
A friend and I climbed a mountain assuming we’d jump on a bus back to town once we finished. One tropical storm and eight hours later the two of us and a Scandanavian couple found ourselves guests at a little mangrove village. The villagers gave us a ride back to town, drank with our new friends and we’ve even kept in contact with said Scandanavian couple ever since.
The moral of the story? Wifi should be the least of your worries on the road… and trials and tribulations usually end up giving you truly unique travel experiences. After all, every profile picture against that #1 Tripadvisor location looks the same, but the personal memories and experiences are truly yours.
*Don't waste anymore precious holidays mindlessly shopping, and start your own Adventure here
#5. Igniting Passions
Trees that have stood 1300 years, the real OGs.
See the world, have fun, meet new people, have conversations and demolish the preconceived ideas of what your adult life has to be like. You just might find something, someplace or someone you’re truly passionate about.
Maybe adventures become your thing, hell, make a career out of it, trek across a country or continent. Perhaps travel stokes the fire within and you decide start a business that’s all about travelling done right. ;)
#6. Learning Without Textbooks
Theory is great and all, but it’s the practical that’s the fun part. Travelling is like every subject rolled into one great practical lesson. You’ll either learn quickly, or be in dire need of travel insurance with more comprehensive coverage.
For anyone with the slightest interest in history, remember this, “History is written by the victors”. Don’t trust everything your textbooks tell you – you owe it to yourself to visit historical sites, yes that includes the “touristy” ones if it interests you and even speak to people that lived certain events.
*Read about other Travel Tips, Guides, and Experiences here at: PROJECT #GOANYWHR
Life’s more interesting when your drinks come in plastic water bottles.
No one really wants to think about it, but we’re not guaranteed a long and full life. So why put something as great as travelling on hold? When if not now? The time is now for surprise getaways, adventures and experiences – you don’t even have to be “young”. All you need to do is to start and go Anywhr. Because “YOLO”, it’s as sagely as it is reckless… and it’s one of our generation’s greatest mantras.
The best way to do all 7 things in this article if you haven’t already figured out, is to venture into the unknown and just travel. Because if “time is money”, why spend it slaving for someone else at a desk? This isn’t new advice, and you’ve probably come across it a few times during the relatively short period of time you’ve been around. And this is just my take on why travelling should be a big part of your youth.