by Liberty Stembridge, Lifestyle Columnist
Published in Lifestyle on 7th February, 2019
Your twenties are a time for exponential growth, change and adventure. No matter what you're chosen life path is, whether it be career-focused, studying, travelling the world or settling down, there are certain life experiences that you shouldn't miss out on./p>
Travelling is one thing you'll never regret spending money on - it's life-changing, loads of fun and beneficial for the mind, body and soul.
Travelling solo is very scary, especially if you've never done it before and even more so if you're a woman. But take it from me, solo travel can be one of the best things you ever do. It's empowering, fun and you have the ultimate control over where you go and what you do.
While it can definitely be scary and nerve-wracking at times, one you get into the swing of things you'll be a pro in no time at all. There are lots of places that are great for solo travel, if you're particularly nervous, sticking to a country that speaks your own language might be a good idea, but don't feel like you have to. There are solo travellers all over the world, from asia to europe to central america that get along just fine. Push yourself out of your comfort zone to explore a new area, meet new people and hopefully have the trip of a lifetime.
Over 70% of the world's surface is covered in water, and yet so few of us every get to really experience life beneath the waves. If you're looking to truly explore the world, a diving trip is a must. With diving experiences, holidays and instructor trainings becoming cheaper and more accessible every year, now is the perfect time to go and quite literally visit a whole new world. The chance to stay underwater for long periods of time, watching an almost alien other universe go about their day and see extraordinary animals you would never have had the chance to otherwise is an incredible, life-changing experience.
If you truly want to traverse the globe and get a feel for life on the sea, a sailing trip is a must. Get ready to develop some hardy sea legs, an awesome tan and some serious swimming skills with a sailing trip. Sailing experiences such as MedSailors in the mediterranean offer young adults the chance to learn sailing, explore the pristine underwater world and enjoy the sunshine for an affordable price.
South east asia is like a rite of passage for backpackers young and old. South east asia is an affordable travel destination that offers incredible experiences and an amazing quality of life.
The food in particular is a huge draw, each country has a unique and delicious culinary experience to offer. Cheap local street food can be found in abundance, and it'll be some of the best food you'll ever eat. Compared to what you might spend in Europe for example, southeast asia offers incredible experiences at a fraction of the cost.
With the breathtaking beaches, crazy wildlife, waterfalls galore and tropical landscape to explore for free, you'll never find yourself needing to spend money on activities unless you really want to, and you can find accommodation for dirt cheap. Truly a backpackers haven.
What's better than a vacation with all of your best friends. Vacationing with your friends can be tough at times, but you're almost guaranteed to have an amazing time no matter what. A friend's vacation gives you the chance to relax, bond with your besties and have fun without having to worry so much. You have the reassurance that if something goes wrong, you'll have people to look after you and talk things out with.
Thailand is a must for any backpacker, it's the classic first-time backpacking trip, whether you're solo or with friends. It's affordable, diverse, with lots of activities and an incredibly rich culture, plus tons of amazing food options. No matter what kind of holiday you're looking for, Thailand can provide, whether it's a chilled out beach vacay on a tiny island, or a bustling multi-city tour of the entire country.
Since Thailand is such a favourite amongst backpackers young and old, you'll find that there are plenty of well-trodden routes to follow and advice to be given, which will help to ease your fears, especially if you're travelling solo. Overall, it's a safe country with a good transport system and lot's to see and do at cheaper prices than most other tropical paradises in the world. Definitely a must-do.
Having a relaxing, have-fun-and-do-nothing trip is all very well and good, but sometimes you need to give yourself that push to get off your butt and go out and do stuff. A great way to do this is by scheduling in activities, especially ones that pertain specifically to the country or area you're visiting. Pick an area, and either book tours or activities through a tourism agency, or go online to sites like AirBnB and book them yourself depending on what you feel like. Not only do you get out of the house, you get to explore the local culture and environment, and hopefully have a lot of fun.
America is well-known for it's road-trip culture, and rightfully so. An american road trip is the perfect way to explore this huge and diverse country while saving a bit of money and retaining a lot of independence. With the freedom of a car and the open road, you'll get to adventure and explore to previously unknown crevices all around the country, and have complete control over your itinerary, without having to rely on public transport or spending a fortune on cab's or flights.
As opposed to an ordinary tour, a road-trip really allows you to just be yourself and do whatever you want, with the comforts of well-worn roads and plenty of rest-stops along the way. You can either go solo, or have a friend join you for carpool karaoke, and there are plenty of well-known routes to explore whether you're looking for a short two-day trip or a longer three-week multi-state marathon.
You're twenties are your time to be free and have fun, so it would be remiss to exclude the party-trip. If, like many of us, you spent your teenage years worrying more about acne and braces than really having fun, your twenties is the time to make up for that.
You're young, healthy and have all the potential in the world, so take it and get dancing. Grab your best mates (or go solo and make some new besties along the way) and let loose in one of the worlds many (many) party destinations. From Ibitha to Bali to Miami, there's plenty to choose from, and you've got to experience it at least once, right?
Island hopping can be done all over the world, and it's a great way to travel, immerse yourself in some culture and chill out without ever getting bored. When in hot countries, islands tend to be the perfect place not only to get to know the locals, but also to get to know the wildlife. They often boast incredible snorkelling and diving opportunities, as well as rare on-land wildlife you may not get to see anywhere else.
Island hopping can be done on pretty much any continent in the world, with some of the best spots being Indonesia, Fiji, The Caribbean, The Greek Islands, Phuket and many many more. Travel by plane, car, boat or foot and have the time of your life.
Even if you don't think you're a festival person, there's probably a festival for you out there. Whether it's beer, wine, music, renaissance dress-up, vegan food, beach volleyball, surfing, yoga, films or literally pretty much any conceivable topic, there's probably a festival for it somewhere for you to go and enjoy. Festivals are also perfect for the solo traveller and a great way to have fun and meet like minded people, chances are there will also be lot's of other solo festival goers there too.
Even if you're a total beach bum, a ski holiday is still something to put on your bucket list. There's nothing quite like the freedom and exhilaration of swerving your way down a mountainside, wrapped up in fifteen layers of thermal clothing and finishing off with a hot drink and good meal after a fun, but exhausting day. You'll get to experience stunning views, snow-drenched mountains and work on your hardiness as you tackle sub zero temperatures.
Your twenties can get kind of stressful, you're probably either working or studying, you're moving out of home, trying to earn money and stay sane. What better a time then to go on a retreat. There are lots of different types of retreats but the ultimate aim is to get you away from your surroundings and immersed in doing something for yourself, to reset and rejuvenate. Whether it's a yoga retreat, fitness retreat or meditation retreat, there's something out there for everyone.
Working holiday visas are the young backpackers best friend, and oftentimes your twenties are the only years you'll be eligible to get one. They allow you to live and work in in a country for extended periods of time, so you can travel for longer, while also saving up money. They are perfect for anyone who's looking to take a break, go on a gap year (or several) and really get to know a foreign country.
Probably the most famous working holiday destination is australia, but it's not the only one. The UK, Canada, Argentina, New Zealand and many more countries all allow young travellers in their 20's to stay and work in their country for a least a year, if not longer.
There's nothing better than sitting by the beach and sometimes, that's literally all you need. Take a trip to a quiet, beachy town, grab a few towels, some swimming gear and a book and head on down the sea. Switch off your phone, tell your co-workers that you'll be unavailable and seriously relax, you might be surprised by how much you needed it.
Want to make a difference in the world? Why not go and do it? There are so many different ways to travel and volunteer across the globe, and many organisations are always looking for young, fit and able volunteers to come and help them with clean-up operations after disasters, supporting local construction projects, looking after animals Culture Shock.
An overnight hike is one of the best ways to test your fitness, stamina, willpower and build stronger friendships while also being completely immersed in nature. If you've never done one before and are apprehensive about the idea of hiking all day, camping and then hiking again, don't worry- although it can be challenging at times, there are plenty of people who have done it before you and many well-trodden routes ranging from easy to difficult to choose from. Gather a few friends (or go with a group of strangers) and head out into the wilderness.
When was the last time you felt that pure rush of adrenaline course through your body? Rather than just going on any old adventure, really push yourself this time, and go for the fear factor. It could be sky-diving, bungee jumping, canyoning, tight-roping, whatever scares and excites you the most. If you need extra motivation, try raising money for charity as a way to incentivise yourself to complete the task.