Why You Should Travel in Your 20s, from Krista Aoki a lifestyle & travel blog | wanderlust, traveling, traveler, budget, vacation, trip, inspiration, life advice

Why You Should Travel in Your 20s

March 17, 2017

Spending my free time both reading and writing about travel has kicked my wanderlust into full gear. Do you experience these feelings? Daydreaming of all the possibilities of places you can visit and see. Spending hours creating inspirational boards on Pinterest of all the beautiful places others have gone. Counting down the days until you get the chance to leave your day-to-day grind for an adventure. If there is one thing you should do, you should strive to travel in your 20s.

I write this as I plan my first trip to Europe. During the first couple weeks of May, Mike and I will be spending two weeks in France.

I am so, so excited to embrace the romanticism walking around the streets of Paris. Enjoy crepes and omelets in cafes. Stay in a flat by the river in Strasbourg, the French city of art and heritage. Go down the Alsatian wine route and spend an evening in the middle of Colmar’s picturesque Petite Venise. Cross the border into the principality of Monaco, a small municipality along the French Riviera.

Ugh. Just writing about it makes me want to drop everything and move there. AmIright?

In either case, you seriously need to find ways to travel in your 20s.

You seriously need to find ways to travel in your 20s. Click To Tweet

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It opens your mind to different perspectives.

Fortunately, while growing up, I had the opportunity to visit my mother’s home country, the Philippines. Driving around the capital city of Manila was the first time I witnessed poverty, particularly in a third world country. This experience helped shape my commitment to social justice and honestly helped the selfish teenager in me learn the importance of caring for others.

As an alternative, last year I moved to work in the mountain town of Vail, Colorado. Being in Vail has surrounded me with an extreme culture of affluence – something I have never experienced before. Watching how the upper-class lives has presented me with bewilderment on every corner. People head out to face the cold weather sporting their fur coats. Others spend hundreds of dollars like it doesn’t matter. Don’t even get me started on the conversations I’ve overheard with an affluent person talking down to someone behind the counter.

Don’t get me wrong. Regardless of economic class, I’ve also met some very kind people here.

A common phrase is “people of the same feather flock together.” But traveling gives you the opportunity to meet and interact with people who have differences from what you might be used to – whether it’s a difference in economics, ethnicity, nationality, culture. This exposure to different perspectives truly helps you grow as a person.

It makes you appreciate everything more.

When writing this article, I turned to my boyfriend, Mike, who spent much of his 20s traveling. I asked him, why should people travel in your 20s? He offered, to build appreciation for what you have. His words of choice were, “I appreciate running water, and American toilets.”

Sometimes we take for granted our day-to-day amenities or surrounding. So, getting to experience another culture or the way another community operates can make you appreciate your everyday lifestyle.

I’ve made some mistakes in life (okay, who hasn’t?). Even though I made an irrational spur-of-the-moment decision to move to Los Angeles, the very short period of time I lived there (FYI I lasted three months) helped me appreciate the slower pace of life.

Travel advice from the girl who lasted 3 months in Los Angeles #otb Click To Tweet

You will stand out from the crowd.

If you’re determined, you can make the budget to travel in your 20s. While some of your other peers may be throwing away their money at the bars every other night, or chasing the American dream of paying a mortgage and raising a family, you’ll be walking the streets of Paris. Snowboarding down the slopes of Vail. Or even taking unique staycations.

While everyone else throws money at bars every night, you'll be walking the streets of Paris. Click To Tweet

You learn the ways different communities operate.

When you’re visiting another place or country, you can immerse yourself in the community. Volunteer for a local non-profit. Build your resume and find a skill-building internship.

You can go to Hawaii, or another Pacific island, and learn the hard work and community that goes into maintaining kalo lo’is (taro fields). Or, you can visit the city of Chicago. There, you can learn from a diverse community about a significant part of American history. A city formerly the Center of America during the Industrial Revolution.

What I’ve learned over the years is different communities have different goals and values. When you immerse yourself in a community, not only do you learn from the way you operate. But, you also have the opportunity to share your knowledge and benefit a community.

You don’t have to travel luxuriously.

Later in life, you might become accustomed to the amenities a fancy hotel or all-inclusive resort offers. Or you might have a family that wants the amenities a hotel offers, like a pool or a spa.

But in your twenties, you’ll want to stay in hostels. Or, multitask and spend your vacations housesitting (and it’s possible through websites like Trusted Housesitters). Your accommodations can be minimal because you’re just grateful to be spending your time outside of the cubicle.

Trust me: I know money can be tight in your 20s. Use these 8 simple ways to make and save money in your 20s.

You’ll make relationships based on sincerity.

The friendships you make, whether while traveling or at home base, won’t be based on security. They’ll be based on sincerity.

If you’ve read my story, you know that I spent much of my life moving around. Constantly moving frustrated the socially awkward teenager in me. However, in retrospect, I appreciate it.

Why? Well. I’m sure you know the feeling: reconnecting with a friend, and the conversation begins as if you saw each other yesterday. I have so many of these friendships, and they wouldn’t exist if I hadn’t spent my life moving from place to place. The same relationships can be made when you travel in your 20s.

Those sincere friendships you make, whether at home, or traveling around, will last a lifetime.

I see people who come to the American mountain town of Vail to reconnect with their college roommates or childhood friends.

So, it goes to show that you shouldn’t stay in one place just to maintain a friendship. Trust me: your real friendships will last forever.

Don't stay in one place just to maintain a friendship. Your REAL friendships will last forever. Click To Tweet

It’s never goodbye; it’s a hui hou.

In Hawaiian, “a hui hou” means “until we meet again.”

No matter where you go, and where you make friends, you know that it will never be goodbye. Because those connections you make are real connections, you know in your heart that you will cross paths in the future.

No matter where you go, you know it'll never be goodbye. You will cross paths in the future. Click To Tweet

The time to travel in your 20s…is now.

Why You Should Travel in Your 20s, from Krista Aoki a lifestyle & travel blog | wanderlust, traveling, traveler, budget, vacation, trip, inspiration, life adviceMany of us will eventually grow to become parents, tied down by the chains of a career, a mortgage, or a family.

Travel in your 20s before you have a family of your own to take care of. While you don’t have a spouse whose accommodations or opinions you have to consider.

Travel in your 20s, even if you have to plan your trip on a budget. Because it’s okay to skip the luxurious parts of vacations.

Travel in your 20s regardless of whether or not you feel comfortable staying where you’ve been raised. Because how can you see how amazing the rest of the world is if you stay in one place your entire life?

Travel in your 20s to learn about others. To learn what makes a community work. To see how relationships are made somewhere else.

Don’t forget to pin or share if you need this as inspiration to travel in your 20s.

For those of you in your 20s, where are you going next? For those of you not in your 20s, what advice do you have for others who read this article?

Why You Should Travel in Your 20s, from Krista Aoki a lifestyle & travel blog | wanderlust, traveling, traveler, budget, vacation, trip, inspiration, life advice
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  • Lea

    This post just said it all! I complete agree with you. Traveling is so important to see different aspects of different lives and cultures plus you grow as a person. Loved reading through your thoughts. Thanks for sharing.
    Lea, xx

  • I have traveled a lot so far in my twenties with many more places to go. Right now, I am visiting beaches in Florida! Hope the next big trip is to st.kitts or to Ireland!

  • Hey Krista, thanks for sharing your view on this! Growing up, my parents tried to take us on as many trips as they could for exactly this reason– they wanted us to have some perspective and recognize that not everyone lives the way we were lucky enough to. And I’m quite a homebody- I love having my own space, and particularly my own bed and shower, but in the end I’m always grateful for the experiences they pushed me to have. It’s exactly what you said: when I get home, I appreciate my bed and shower even more 🙂

  • It is so essential to travel and experience new environments and cultures. This is so good!

  • This is a great post! Although I haven’t travelled alot in my twenties, I regret not taking the courage to get out of my comfort zone. But my goal is to be traveling full time in the next 5 years! ☺

  • I love this! It’s definitely important to see the world. I backpacked through Europe and learned so much how other countries worked. I feel like people in America don’t know much of how other countries work but other countries know so much about our politics and news. Maybe because the US is not like Europe with so many countries close by. I’m going to be going to Mexico on a cruise and maybe Japan (if I can save enough money. LOL)


  • Love this! I’m going to Europe this summer too, and it’s my first time ever planning my own trip! I’m so excited 🙂

  • You hit the nail on the head. My husband and I are total travel bugs now! We have definitely learned you don’t need a whole lot of money or a lot of time to take adventures! The next goal is INTERNATIONAL. This breakdown is such a great inspiration for those on the fence or someone who thinks they have to be established and rolling in the dough to hit the road.

  • Amen to this post!! I have been so fortunate that I have travelled most of life because of my father (we live in Australia but we are from Portugal) and he encourgaed it with me. You learn so much more about life and about yourself.

  • Hi Krista! It’s so cool that you’re part Pinay! I’m from Manila, too 🙂

    And I couldn’t agree with you more. I think travelling is the best eye-opener, and can teach us a lot about ourselves and the world in ways that none of the classroom courses ever will. I especially like that bit about making lasting connections with the people you’ve met and the places you’ve been, the only downside sometimes is having to leave your heart in many places! But it’s a good problem to have. 🙂

    Thanks for the insightful post, Krista! Xx

  • Girl, I wanted to write about the exact same topic! It is SO important to travel when we’re young because, like you said, we would need to learn to budget and get out of our comfort zone. Also, we just need to be physically fit for some of the more adventurous things — can’t imagine hiking those damn mountains at high elevation when I am 60 years old!

    LOVE your blog layout by the way <3

  • Everything about this post is so true! The world is so much bigger than the little corners that we’re familiar with. I’m still in my 20’s but I always encourage even older to go out and travel. I’ll be doing a little road trip in a few weeks and am just so excited to be getting a break from life’s hustle!

  • Totally agree with all of this! I had the good fortune of being able to study abroad in Ireland this past January and it was my first time being out of the U.S. and it was INCREDIBLE. I’ve become so hungry for travel that I’m looking for affordable adventures basically everywhere now, haha!

    Jasmin // http://www.macaronsandmascaraonline.com

  • I couldn’t agree more, Krista! I started traveling when I was 16 and haven’t stopped since. It’s definitely shaped who I am today, I wouldn’t trade it for the world!

  • I completely agree with this post! I’ve study abroad and traveled a little bit here and there but plan on traveling so much more! I think that it’s so important to get out of our bubble and see what else is out there in the world. I also liked your point about not having to travel in luxury. If you save money, but cutting out little things like coffee, one can easily save up to travel!

    xoxo Olivia

  • I am so stinkin’ lucky my parents instilled an importance of travel in me even from a young age. I got to go on vacations when I was little, studied abroad and now we take a few trips a year. It’s opened my eyes to different cultures, taught me humility and tolerance, and has been an all-around amazing and valuable educational tool!! AND… it inspired me to finally dive in and start my blog. Love this post so much!!


  • Couldn’t agree more!! The budget thing is my favorite thing ever. I don’t know how many times I’ve made the argument to my friends that why would you choose to travel once or twice a year but stay in 5 star hotels when you could travel 8-10 times a year by doing hostels? Majority of your time isn’t even spent in the room anyways!

  • Kay

    I wholeheartedly agree. I recommend this path not because it’s easy but because IT’S WORTH IT.

  • I love this post! I’m currently planning my first European trip as a post-graduation trip so this really spoke to me. Growing up my step-dad was a truck driver, so he was all for me travelling the states and other countries to interact with a variety of people and cultures. This last school year I’ve taken just about one trip a month and I have loved every minute of it.

    Can’t wait to read more about your travels.

    xx ,
    Aitza | petitelypackaged.com

    • Aitza, your post-graduation trip is something I wish I had done after I graduated! After that, we have so many commitments to attend to. I can tell that you are so on the right track. I’m excited myself to read about your future adventures!

  • This all rings so true and can also apply to those of us in our 40’s. I am starting to get the travel bug and just took a weekend trip with my girlfriends. It was so much fun, and made me realize that I need to continue to do it with or without my family!!! LOL Mom needs a break too. Am I right or am I right? LOL

  • Krista,
    I love this post. I am in my 30’s now and wish I would have travelled more earlier on. I guess I am catching up now on what I missed out earlier in life.


  • I love this post Krista! I believe we should all experience the world! It was hard for our friends and family to accept us leaving the country to live abroad for a year. Like you said ‘It’s not goodbye it’s ‘See you later”. I’m so glad so many people our age our taking the opportunity to do so. There’s so much of the world I would like to see, and that is part of the reason I too began a blog. After quitting my job, it’ll be hard to ever want to work 9-6 again. I know a lot of our family will look down upon it but I have to overcome their doubts and set goals for myself.
    I absolutely love your site, if you’re ever interested in guest posting I’d love to have you or maybe do a Q+A.

    • YES! I’m just vibing with every word you said. Right now I’m in the last few weeks of working a traditional job…it’s scary, and at the same time it’s very very exciting. Nichole, we should 100% connect!!

  • I love this post! I love how you share your experience. I hope someday i can go traveling with my friends and do some new experiences together. It is a bit hard for me,myself, to leave my house because I don’t traveling to new places as much as people do with their friends or family. My mom and I would love traveling, My dad.. not really lol. So.. That’s why leaving house to a new place will be a big deal.