My Twitter feed reminds me daily that I'm not in my 20s anymore, mostly through the travel articles that wistfully imply if I didn't hit the road when I was 24, I've literally missed the plane. But I am going to disagree with all of the millennials who so adamantly steal their decade for travel, and proclaim: travel is so much better in your 30s.
As someone who has done both 20s and 30s travel, I can tell you doing it later in life is far more rewarding. I will even venture to say it is far more fun. You may not be able to quit your job, or leave for months with a one-way ticket in your pocket, but you can have a hell of a time on an adventure of your choosing. So why is traveling better in your 30s?
1. You can splurge on the hotel and dinner
You have most likely been at your job for a few years now, with a little bit of padding in your bank account. Good for you. When you travel in your 20s, you are living the hostel life, capped off with $1 beers and street food for dinner. A necessary and exciting part of 20's travel, but now you don't have to do that unless you want to. You can spend the time and money to have a comfy bed and a beautiful, decadent meal. You can even splurge on one (or two, or three...) of the regions best glasses of wine. Food and travel go hand in hand, so you should enjoy every last bit(e) of it. The beauty of your 30's is that you have more financial stability, so you don't have to compromise on the things you love.
2. You have a wide range of interests to explore
Your interests have grown and evolved since your 20s, in the same way you have. Traveling will allow you to see your hobbies in a whole new light, and maybe even gain a few new ones. When I traveled in my 20s, I was more hesitant to try something new, both because I was intimidated and because $40 at a Dublin bar sounded more interesting than $40 at a cooking class.
At home, you probably love dancing, museums, art classes, and yoga. Why not try all of these when you are in a different country? Your interests take on a whole new shape when you do them in a different language, a different environment, and in a different state of mind. You will be completely and utterly out of your comfort zone, and you can explore the things you love in an unlikely way. It can reinvigorate the love you had for the Spanish classes you took 15 years ago, or the secret passion you have for vintage shopping. You can explore them all!
3. You welcome solo travel
As you get older, you really begin to appreciate the precious alone time you have. This wasn't always the case in your 20s, when traveling consisted of meeting and interacting with your latest and greatest nomad buddy. You always had people around, and you probably liked it that way. Now, you may have kids, a spouse, or someone or something you feel like you "need" to take care of. But remember you are allowed spend dedicated time away from them. The errands, the brunches, the baby showers, and work events, they can all wait. You will welcome this time you have to yourself, with your own thoughts and ideas. Traveling solo can do this for you, and make you happy to spend time with the best person you know: you.
4. You have a greater appreciation for life
You might have a thriving career, new mortgage, or a family to support, but this is what is so beautiful (and hectic and terrifying and wonderful...) about life. As you get older, you start realizing how precious and glorious this life is. If you only get one of them, why not make it the very best it can be?
So go. Right now. Wherever you are in life, whether you are turning 30 or pushing 60. Maybe you are in your dream job or debating a big life decision. Traveling can help you work through all of that, and help you appreciate the little things you have. It is never too late to begin an all-consuming obsession with travel. Whether it is across the state or across the world, take that trip now.
For more stories on travel and self-discovery, visit my blog aLittleBitAdrift.com