I recently came across a year-old blog post by Nic Haralambous of Medium.com, where he wrote about the 11 things that he wish he knew when he was 20. I guess Nic was evaluating his 20s when he realised how many mistakes he’d made, and things he’d learned in a decade of life.
Number one on his list struck a chord: Travel
I have been thinking about this a lot and there are some things I wish I did in my 20s when it came to travel. Having met travellers from all walks of life, varying age groups and purpose, I’ve since began making a mental note of what I should’ve/would’ve/could’ve done.
Take that gap year
I was raised by very strict parents, where studies and work always had to come first. So as soon as I turned 13 years and 6 months of age (legal working age in Australia back years ago), I decided to take on my first job. And I have been working ever since. Granted, I have had some time off to travel, but I wish I had taken a year (or two) off after graduating from university/college.
Save for a travel fund
Rather than spending all of my hard earned cash on weekend benders and partying (as you do!), I should’ve saved HARD for at least a year to fund long term travel.
Make memories that last a lifetime, not forget them
When you’re young, everyone expects you to make mistakes and eventually, learn from them. I once went on one of those Contiki tours and to this day, I have very little recollection of my six weeks in Europe.
Step out of the deadly comfort zone
Whenever I meet other travellers who’ve done and experienced so much, I always find myself wishing I had enough courage to step out of my comfort zone – go off the beaten track, get off the grid even for a few days, more backpacking adventures, etc
I applaud – even, envy – those who have managed to do solo travel, especially in their 20s. The though of being young and “alone” in the world is daunting enough, but to have the courage to see and experience the world…that’s a whole new level of bravery.
Make a travel bucketlist sooner
My life bucketlist grows longer with every day. If only I had made a travel bucketlist earlier in life, I probably would’ve ticked most of it already and added some more!
Nic summed it up best:
Don’t just travel to the obvious places.
Travel to the tough places.
Travel to learn.
Travel to discover.
Travel to the places that will challenge who you think you want to be
You can read Nic’s the full post here.
What’s one advice you would like to give your 20 year old self?