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, in my early 20s I lived with my parents and barely saved any money in college. I needed a job and couldn’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.

153 thoughts on “Travel Realistically In Your 20’s

  1. A lot of things are relatable to this post. After college, you don’t have that much money and pretty much looking for a job anyways. The pressure given off by social media can be pretty much. But it’s the way how you manage your time with the important things is I think is still the best. If you have the means to travel, then go. There will always be that allure to travel.

    Liked by 7 people

  2. Rosie! I honestly needed to hear this. My whole senior year has been stressful because I have been yearning to travel after graduation but I’m not 100% sure that I will have the means or companionship to do so. You make a really good point about traveling locally and taking road trips. You are not wrong about many people not seeing parts of their own country. I have probably only visited 1/5 of the states in the US! I feel like many of us feel as though we will never have a long summer break again and like employment is a death sentence… but in reality when we are more established in our career and financially stable we can travel the right way! Thanks for writing this post.

    Liked by 7 people

  3. Sometimes I feel so intimidated by the idea of traveling due to the cost, but there are many ways to travel cheaply and in ways that work with the schedule of a young professional ๐Ÿ™‚ this year I already have a driving trips planned to San Jose and a trip to Florida where we are staying with family/friends

    Liked by 7 people

  4. This is very inspiring! I have a stable and enjoyable job, but I have less social life and I live with my mom. Sometimes I think if I am making things right and it is so frustrating. You just made me realize that there are better alternatives than those idealistic activities mentioned!

    Liked by 7 people

  5. “Go now my friend, it’s later than you think!” – author unknown but it’s a sailing quote ๐Ÿ˜‰
    I first started back in 1985 when I was 22 and solo-backpacked around the world for 12 months, so turned 23 whilst I was still away – never looked back!
    Many thanks for stopping by my Travel and Photography blog.

    Liked by 7 people

  6. Really appreciate this post… I had a hard time convincing my dad to let me travel out of Nigeria… Finally I’m in Togo and I realized that if I didn’t leave home maybe I won’t be able to read this post. To all 20’s learn to leave your comfort zone and do something even if it’s ” jumping into the sea. Do something!!!!
    Thanks again @Rosie Culture

    Liked by 5 people

  7. One size does not fit all. Obviously, you wouldn’t want to just follow on impulse and move somewhere that is out of your element. That’s sensible for you but I definitely wouldn’t discourage those who are built to do it. They’ll do it anyway, no matter what one might advise. And some will experience amazing results and do amazing things. It happens all the time.

    Liked by 4 people

  8. Halfway through my 20s and I have yet to graduate college (medical reasons and family deaths). But I have been to Hawaii, a fluke that I will never take for granted, and I’ve jumped in the ocean at Monterrey Bay, California, during the winter multiple times. Cold is an understatement. Plus I kayaked on the ocean at Fort Bragg, Cali. LOVED THAT. Not much traveling the last year, a family vacay to Disney World (only could afford because my stepdad died and left us some money).

    I do suggest going to Sedona, Az and staying there to see the Grand Canyon at least once in your life. Unforgettable.

    Liked by 5 people

  9. Thank you for this! I can be hard sometimes, everyone telling you to JUST DO IT. But is that realistic? Not with bills to pay! I really think traveling is good for everyone, but only within means so you don’t stretch yourself too thin.

    There’s so much to do, you don’t have to cram it all into one decade.

    Liked by 5 people

  10. OMG, that’s like the best advise I have heard since forever! I just resigned cause I felt that I wasn’t earning enough to travel the way i wanted and i thought it was slowing me down, mind you I am only 23! But reading that just really put me at ease and made me see things a lot better! GREAT POST!

    Liked by 6 people

  11. Great post! I too had to find ways to make travelling a reality, a lot of stress trying to get ‘normal’ jobs and spending hours researching how to travel long term and I have finally managed it! Good tips thanks!

    Liked by 5 people

  12. Great post! It took me 22 years of working my ass off in order to afford long-term travel. And itโ€™s not easy or cheap! I very much dislike the spread of blogs and instagrams that only curate the โ€œperfectโ€ trip.

    Liked by 4 people

  13. I totally agree with you. there has always been this peer pressure that I have to leave everything and just GO. Do I really have to do this? No! And I’m living a very happy plenty life right now! But I totally agree that it’s necessary to take a vacation. It’s a must. But just not that extreme, a little bit of travel won’t hurt and it’s going to recharge your batteries!

    Liked by 4 people

  14. I came across this gem of an article and can’t say enough about how much I relate to it. I was so afraid to travel when I got to college, but I finally let loose and traveled to so many places. But you’re right, staying local is the best. Canada was an absolute blast and I would definitely do it again. Do you have any other travel recommendations? Thanks!!

    Liked by 4 people

  15. I agree with everything in this post! Especially on taking day trips or even a weekend trip somewhere fairly close. Those are my favorite because I always make the best memories with friends and family.

    Liked by 4 people

  16. Australia is an expensive country to visit, although it can be done economically. Staying at hostels, BnB’s or couch surfing. Getting to know a few locals helps find the best places to go. I agree – travel locally first if it is outside of your budget. Save hard – and you will have the reward once all the health crisis has passed by.

    Liked by 4 people

  17. This is such a helpful post. Sometimes people don’t realize how expensive traveling can be especially when in your 20’s when you have to balance so many things.

    Liked by 4 people

  18. Girl I hear you! I’m almost 26 and quit my full-time job last June… almost a year now, and I’m pinching pennies and watching my savings drain. Sometimes, I wonder how I can get a work-life balance. I try to travel full time and work part time. I have been blessed to teach English online whenever I am available to do so which helps generate income. But, yes, realistically: save money, budget, and find things to do that aren’t expensive. Thanks for this post. I thought it was just me who always sees those ‘too good to be true’ posts and thought, “dang, what am I doing wrong?” hahaha!

    Liked by 4 people

  19. “You can travel locally. Go to a different state youโ€™ve never been to before, you donโ€™t even have to stay overnight if you donโ€™t have the cash!”

    Now, to be fair, if you live out west, there’s a good chance that anything in a different state is too far for a day trip. (For me personally, there is one small part of another state that is within day trip distance, as long as it’s not snowing over the mountain passes.) But I think you’re completely right that there is a lot of opportunity for travel not far from home. And a lot of the big states out west have a lot of geographic and cultural diversity within their own borders.

    Liked by 4 people

      1. Definitely… although it also leads to a lot of political infighting and unrest, especially these days. And a lot of people don’t seem to want to visit other parts of the state because of their negative views. I want to explain more, but I don’t say where I’m from specifically on here in order to keep my stories anonymous. I trust you with that information; send me an email or message me on Instagram if you’re curious.

        The bottom line, though, is that, yes, if you’re willing to put those opinions aside and not be a jerk, it is pretty cool having such cultural and geographic diversity within a small area.

        Like

  20. I honestly canโ€™t stand all of the articles I read that are like โ€œYouโ€™re in your 20โ€™s! Quit your job and open up an ice cream shack in the Bahamas!โ€

    The reason you don’t like it Rosie cos it’s likely you are a little bit spoilt,and you are challenged cos you don’t want either to leave or foresake your home and take to the high swelling seas or rocket along in a 747 at 41,000 feet,cos that takes balls….as it does to cross into a militarized zone….no one ever said life was gonna be permanently xmas

    Liked by 2 people

  21. This is an unpopular opinion that we all need. I am in my 20’s. I really want to see the world but there’s no hurry especially if I can’t afford it.

    This post reminded me that there’s no pressure! Thank you!

    Liked by 3 people

  22. I moved abroad alone when I was 18 to be an au pair. I was in a foreign city with like $100 of disposable income and no idea how to manage money. I spent most of my free time then just walking around, writing in my journal, and learning to love myself. 100% would do it again bc I learned so much about myself even though I had to go to another country to do it.

    Liked by 1 person

  23. Thank you for this thoughtful post. You’ve really brightened my day and made me feel a lot better about working so hard as a graduate student and in saving funds throughout my 20s. Local entertainments deserve more recognition, alongside places that are much closer and cost-effective to reach. I’m in my early 30s and feel grateful for having saved what I could then, because it’ll make traveling much easier now.

    Liked by 1 person

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