Travel Realistically In Your 20’s

I honestly can’t stand all of the articles I read that are like “You’re in your 20’s! Quit your job and open up an ice cream shack in the Bahamas!” or “Don’t worry about getting a job – backpack through Europe and find yourself!”

Come on, I live with my parents and barely saved any money in college. I need a job and can’t just up and go anywhere without money therefore I need that job. Also, I really like where I live – why do I need to go live somewhere completely foreign to me just because I’m in my 20’s?

Most of the things I read are so unrealistic. They make me feel bad because I’m not a free spirit obsessed with wanderlust.

But there are some realistic things you can do and should do in your 20’s and travel is one of them! Just not to that extreme.

You’re working your first real job and living at home. You’re saving more money than you’ve ever saved and spend a majority of your time at work. You don’t live with your friends anymore and only see them on occasion. The time after graduating college is your first real and true taste of monotony.

So you need to break it up. Chances are, you don’t have a party planned every weekend. Chances are, you spend a lot of weekends alone doing nothing. It’s just the circumstances. I don’t think you need to fill every weekend to the brim with fun and friends – but you should take advantage of this open time.

You can travel locally. Go to a different state you’ve never been to before, you don’t even have to stay overnight if you don’t have the cash! Or go to a different country – Canada and Mexico border the United States and you’re probably not too far from either. Go for a weekend, do some research, and make it cheap!

Go on a road trip, you’ve probably never even seen your own country! You get paid vacation time now, you need to take advantage of it. Yea, you could take off a week around the holidays to hang out with your family. Or you could go on a kick ass vacation. And if you plan it right, you can totally afford it!

Even if you can’t travel – you need to do something new. Jump in the ocean in the winter. Run a marathon. Learn a new hobby – bake or knit or paint! Don’t let your life become the 9-5 bore that you dreaded all four years of college.

Everyone always says “do it while you’re young.” Well, now’s that time! Sure – a lot of things seem impossible. Up and moving to Hawaii or traveling through Australia for months. They’re fun ideas, but way out of reach. Find the things that are within your reach and grasp them. Instead of blowing $50 or more at the bar you always go to, put it towards a new experience. You’re in your 20’s, you’re resourceful and able, take advantage of it.

86 thoughts on “Travel Realistically In Your 20’s

  1. Exploring in your 20’s doesn’t always mean on foot. Sometimes its exploring who you are by, as you suggested, trying new things. If you’ve never painted before, how do you know you’re not amazing at it?

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I’d do Montreal over Toronto, because of the cultural differences (it’s like a little France in Canada)…but if you decide Toronto, I’m happy to give you recos of what to do/eat/see if you like (since I live here). I’d recommend Vancouver or Halifax over either of those, though – the coasts are fab!

        Liked by 2 people

  2. YES. These bloggers who travel the world without a care must be fortunate enough to not have student loans or not have any health issues whatsoever that would require health insurance. They can’t possibly have regular jobs, because most jobs for post grads give about 2 weeks vacation starting out. I figure most travel bloggers have wealthy parents who paid for their degrees and fund their little “adventures” and the bloggers earn some spending money with side jobs while they travel. It’s not realistic for most people and it’s kind of patronizing to read these articles about how I’m “wasting my youth” by having a 9-5 job. They also assume that traveling is the single most fulfilling thing in life, which also isn’t true for everyone!

    I agree that smaller weekend trips can also be exciting and they also happen to be easier on the wallet!

    Liked by 3 people

  3. You are so grounded for being a 20 something. I was never one to quit my job and start a shack in the Bahamas, but I was pretty clueless about life then. You just seem to be so ahead of the curve when it comes to figuring out life.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I don’t have a subscribe button on my page but if you go to your reader and click “manage” next to followed sites there’s an option to sign up for email notifications there! It’s on my to-do list to redo my page and I’ll add a subscription button then but I’ve been toooo busy haha

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great post, Rosie. This can apply at any age, not just in your 20s. It’s all about making the most of our time, whether it’s a long weekend away, a day at the beach or in the mountains, a bike ride or getting out of our comfort zone and just trying something new. Enjoy life πŸ™‚

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for writing this!! I just graduated myself and its been hard not having all the time off that I’m used to getting at school. I expected to have more free time without the homework to factor in, but it turns out that in order to survive in the real world you have to work, like, ALL the time! It’s nice to know that I am not the only one who can’t even consider going on an expensive vacation right now. And you are right, instead of dropping all my money in one night at a bar, I have been trying to find fun activities in my city that my friends and I can try. I have been making a lot more fun memories this way, mostly because I can actually remember the fun I had since there is not as much alcohol involved haha!

    Thanks again for the post, it was very well written!!

    Liked by 2 people

  6. I’ve used the reverse model. Work hard from your 20’s through your 50’s and then do what you want to do. I may move more slowly, but I don’t have that nagging feeling that I need to figure out what comes next.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. You can also fly to another country for less than the price of gas. You mentioned driving to Mexico but flights here can cost $50 depending on where you live. Same with Colombia. And the cost of living are much less there! The US has plenty of cool spots to check out too though! Great ideas

    Liked by 2 people

      1. No problem, I felt like I had absolutely to. Sometimes blogs and people like to fantasize traveling and being in your 20’s and the reality of life sometimes makes you want to give up on it all but I like how you have realistic ways not to. 😌

        Liked by 1 person

  8. I love this, I want to travel loads but it’s not realistic that I can just quit my job and disappear for months. I’ve been doing things little and often to mix up my months – that’s the best way to do it to suit my life!

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Good advice Rosie. Planning little micro-adventures is what life is all about. They don’t have to be round the world trips, just things that are slightly out of your normal routine. Exploring your own country is a huge one and definitely something people need to do more of.

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Love road trips!

    I first started travelling in 1985 and solo-backpacked around the world for 12 months. It was much harder and more challenging than these days as remember, there wasn’t any internet with instant information at your finger tips, not even mobile phones…think about it… πŸ˜‰
    I worked 70+ hours for 2.5 years whilst living away from home and saving enough money to travel for the 12 months. It can be done, even today.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. This is really good advice, I left my 20’s this year and I worked super hard in order to be able to travel at least once a year. I mean people in their 20’s have a lot of responsibility. also…

    Liked by 3 people

  12. Thank you sooo much, I’ve been at a crossroad of whether or not I should travel more or save my money. After being broke for so long, money does give us sweet sweet freedom. But along with that is responsibility, almost like a whole new list of “adulting things” pop up, and we would stop to decide should I make the most of my youth or be smart for my older self. This is such a great balance to both extremes.

    Liked by 3 people

  13. I wouldn’t say unrealistic, just difficult. Case in point. I’m from a third world country. Money is a much bigger issue there than here.

    Yet, after 2 years in corporate, I did quit my job to travel and write. 4 years later, I’m still travelling and writing.

    It can be done, but it’s a huge risk and you need support. For me, the support came from my parents. They live in the U.S. and told me I could crash at the house in-between trips rent free and they would also feed me. My friends also thought I was fabulously insane and offered up their places as crash pads too.

    I ended up moving to Atlanta from Jamaica and started my business here. Next year, I’m leaving Atlanta for California.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. I did and it could definitely have gone south. One particular aspect of it did, but I’ve managed and everything else worked out great. I’ve told people that when you think you’re at rock bottom, it’s the best time to take chances, because you have nothing to lose. πŸ™‚

        Liked by 5 people

  14. Great post. Very relatable. We were the same through most of our 20s and started doing the backpacker trips when we hit 27 and had paid off our loans and saved some cash. By 30 we were ready to travel full time and quit our jobs. Gotta earn it! πŸ‘πŸΌπŸ˜Ž

    Liked by 3 people

  15. It’s so often super damaging to have this extreme idea of what travel “should” be when you’re in your 20s. Just because you’re not financially/emotionally able/willing to solo backpack through rural India doesn’t mean you shouldn’t travel. I wasted so long waiting to be to travel “properly” that I’m just now (at 28) beginning to find out that a) I can just go somewhere close for a couple days b) I’m okay with that!

    Liked by 3 people

  16. I’m more of a long-term, expat traveler. Every time I’ve lived abroad it’s been as either a student or a full-time, working employee. And that’s my version of realistic. I think the world of perfectly-curated travel content has glorified the idea of wanderlust and drifting for younger generations. And behind our screens, we’re all jealous of one another and thinking that the grass is greener on the other side. In the end everyone has to be the author of their own destiny, whether that means backpacking around the world, luxury resorts and island-hopping, deep cultural immersion, or exposing ourselves to new experiences in our own native countries.

    Liked by 3 people

  17. So true.. living a wonderful life doesn’t always mean to do things extremely, or if we decided to live that way we have to take consequences along with it.

    Liked by 3 people

  18. Sometimes I feel bad that I’m not a “free spirit obsessed with wanderlust” either. For awhile, I thought I wanted to travel but the more I did it, even out of state or to a faraway city– the more I realized I’d rather spend my time at home & my money at the bar lol.

    Liked by 2 people

  19. Totally agree!! When you travel in your twenties, you burst the bubble that you’ve been living in for the first two decades of your life and realise that there’s more to life than what you know. You find out that your place in the world is ever so small and with that comes an overwhelming, calming sense of humility

    Liked by 1 person

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