Taking time to travel in your 20s is always a good idea. The decade is a sweet spot in life — when endless doors hiding fresh experiences suddenly open up to you. Independence is at a high. The whole world is waiting. It’s a beginning. The memories, successes, and failures you collect along the way will be with you for the rest of your days.
But where, oh where, to start the journey? We’ve compiled a list of some of the bucket list-worthy, iconic life moments we should all aim for in our wanderlusting 20s. These are the trips and journeys that can come to define us going forward. These aren’t specific places or destinations. They’re experiences.
While we don’t put too much credit into the old axiom of using travel to “find” yourself, we do put a lot of merit in using travel to winnow away your biases and fears, pushing you to become a fuller, more open version of you. Let’s dive in.
BACKPACK THE ‘TRAILS’
The backpacker trails in SE Asia, the Surfer Trail down the Central American Coast, the Banana Pancake Trail through Thailand, the Hippy Trail from Pakistan, the Grand Tour through Europe, the Gringo Trail tracing the Carribean…. there are a lot of well-trod trails that’ll help you launch your first adventure. Theoretically, you could start the Grand Tour of Europe in Lisbon and end up in Istanbul, then take the hippy trail across the Middle East and Central Asia to Delhi then jump on the Banana Pancake trail until you end up in Bali. You will not be the first to do it and you certainly will not be the last.
The point is that traipsing across well-worn paths means you’re going to see an incredible amount of the world. Seeing the entirely of the Eurasian continent from the brisk Atlantic all the way to the warm waters of the Pacific is a great place to start a life of travel. You’re also going to find plenty of worldview-sharing, experience craving vagabonds like yourself.