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5 trips you really need to take in your 20s

Wanderlust logoWanderlust 14-08-2015 Wanderlust

© Hero Images Inc./Hero Images As I officially leave behind my 20s and embark on the great journey into the next decade of my life, I have begun to wonder whether there are some types of trips you really should take in your 20s – when you’re old enough to be independent and legal for most things, yet young enough to really have a ball and recover quickly from it!

1. A budget backpacking trip

Set yourself a modest budget for your travels and stick to it – squeeze your belongings in a backpack and sleep in a shared dormitory with ten other people so you can afford an extra few days of travelling; scout out freebies and bargain on everything you can to stay within your daily budget; survive on street food and the cheapest booze you can find so you can afford to fly home.

Technically, you can do this at any point in your life, but you’ll probably weather it best in your 20s, when you’re young and foolhardy enough to gloss over too-thin mattresses, bumpy tuk-tuk rides and sour tasting wine.

The benefits? Well, for one thing, you'll appreciate the value of getting what you pay for when you can afford it. And you'll value the simple pleasures of good service, cleanliness and a full stomach so much more when you’ve experienced what it’s like to do without. You’ll also learn much more about yourself as you quickly figure out what are necessities to your way of life and what you can do without.

2. A trip where travelling time is 12-hours or longer

© Pete Leonard/Corbis It’s all about the journey, not your destination. Whether it’s an ultra-long bus and train ride or a cross-country road trip, just hop into your desired mode of transport and watch your day go by. You’re young and have all the time in the world, right? Also when you do finally reach your destination, you can toss your bags aside and start exploring the new place immediately, a thing your body will find it harder to do as you get older.

Long journeys provide you lots of free time to ponder life and its mysteries – and give you the patience to appreciate the slow ride. Or perhaps, if you're lucky, you'll learn to sleep anywhere at anytime – a great skill to have as a traveller.

3. Spend time in a place with a completely different climate from your own

© AP Photo/Dar Yasin Nothing says ‘You’re not in Kansas anymore, Dorothy’ like a climate that you’ve never encountered before. Beach bunnies, look for snowy mountains and chilly winds for a change. Eskimo types, try a desert or a rainforest.

The weather is one of those fundamental things that you don’t notice when everything is going well, but can wreak total havoc on your travel plans when it's not. Cancelled flights, closed attractions, or just general discomfort – not everyone adapts well to a change in weather, but you’re definitely likely to handle it better while you’re younger and stronger.

4. Go someplace where you don’t understand the language at all

© Hugh Sitton/Corbis Visit a place where you can’t read the signs nor speak the language – where even the simplest things like asking for directions becomes an adventure in itself. You may end up lost for hours, ordering something you didn’t intend or simply not speaking for days because there is no need to.

It will teach you to be adaptable and creative as you figure out how to make yourself understood. It will keep you humble as you learn to put your trust in strangers and how to trust your gut when nothing else makes sense. You will also learn that some things are universal and very much the same throughout the world, no matter how foreign it may seem or what language we speak, and it’ll keep your mind open as you move on in life.

5. Do something epic

© AP Photo/Petar Petrov Imagine that one cool story you want to leave behind for your hypothetical grandchildren to remember you by – whether it’s hiking the Amazon or going to your first music festival, going bungee jumping or just travelling out of your country for the first time. There is no better time for being awesome than in your 20s. You’re old enough to be independent, yet young and foolhardy enough to take up any challenge that comes your way.

Push your limits and find out what they are, because you’ll never know until you try! Besides you need some great memories to enter your 30s with!

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