Whether you’re a younger millennial or part of the “iGen generation,” you seriously need to make the most of your youth and take some risks in life. The reason for seizing this moment is that travel risks are much easier to take when you’re young. Right now, there’s more freedom in your life and less at stake, especially if you’re not married and have no children.
One of the best ways to take risks and make memories is traveling. Not only is travel a great way to learn more about the world in which you live, but it’s also a great way to:
- Try new foods
- Experience other cultures
- Meet new people
- Learn to navigate difficult situations
- Boost self-confidence
- Improve stress-management skills
- Understand yourself and the world better
Additionally, it’s been scientifically proven that traveling offers mental health benefits, such as enhanced creativity, greater happiness, and a lowered risk of depression. Most important, traveling can broaden your horizons in every facet of life, inwardly and outwardly. So, ready or not: Here are 8 travel risks worth taking while you’re in your 20s and 30s.
1. Spend a whole year traveling
Taking a much-needed vacation is essential for your well-being, but if you’re really serious about traveling, why not do it for a whole year? You’ll trade the expenses of home for expenses of the road, and the lessons you’ll learn can be priceless.
If you think you can’t go because you’re tied to owning a home or leasing an apartment, then try renting out your living space while you’re gone. This is a great way to earn money while you’re having the time of your life traveling across the country or around the world. If you’re concerned about managing a rental property while you’re away, rest assured that today’s technology makes it feasible to do so remotely.
2. Cruise America in a rented RV
You might think RVs are for older, retired people, but they are actually a great way for people of all ages to travel the country. Cruising America in a rented RV offers many advantages. You won’t have to pay for hotels, plus you’ll be able to prepare your own food.
You’ll even be able to use the bathroom while you’re on the go! If you’re serious about seeing the country, a few of the best routes for RVs include:
- U.S. 83, which covers the U.S. north to south from Canada to Mexico
- The Jefferson Highway, another north-south route from Winnipeg to New Orleans
- The Lincoln Highway, an east-west route starting in Times Square and ending in San Francisco
- U.S. Route 6, which crosses the northern U.S. from Cape Cod to California
There is also a way to hit all the tourist spots and roadside attractions across the country, from Miles the Monster in Delaware to the Corn Palace in Iowa to Cadillac Ranch in Texas. Or you can choose to be spontaneous with your travel risks and not plan a route at all.
3. Become a nomad
People who don’t stay long in one place and don’t keep a permanent place to call home are considered nomads. If the risk and freedom in this thought intrigue you, why not put your stuff in storage and become a nomad for a while?
Living a nomadic lifestyle has plenty of advantages. Not only will you live a clutter-free life, but you’ll have minimal needs and be free to live and visit anywhere you want. Plus, it’s a great way to immerse yourself in new cultures. (And don’t sweat the disconnect: With the ubiquity of wifi, you won’t have to entirely sacrifice your attachment to the online world.)
4. Train your body harder
Even if you’re not currently in the best of shape, when you’re young is an ideal time to get into the best physical condition of your life. Take this opportunity while you can to make the most of your youth and physical vitality. Not only can it help you stay active into your later years, but it could also connect you to a new community of people.
For instance, you could start training for an Ironman Triathlon. This long-distance triathlon consists of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bicycle ride, and a 26.22-mile run. People from all over the world participate.
For beginners, training for the Ironman competition usually takes about 13 solid weeks. Competing in an Ironman competition is a great way to see the world, as past competitions have been held in South Africa, New Zealand, Mexico, Greece and Peru.
5. Go to school in another country
If you’ve yet to finish (or start!) college, you might want to consider getting your degree in another country. Many universities throughout the world offer courses in English, so you wouldn’t need to learn another language to enroll — although you’d likely learn the language of the locals while you’re there.
Besides enjoying the experience of studying abroad, you might also be able to save money. Some schools actually offer free tuition for international students. These countries include Germany, Norway and Luxembourg. Other countries that charge minimal tuition include Austria, France and Spain.
6. Book a one-way ticket
Has there always been a certain country or culture that you’ve been curious about? If so, why not book a one-way ticket to that particular destination and go check it out? You’ll never know what will happen when you arrive.
Maybe you’ll make some lifelong friends or discover a new direction or sense of purpose in life. The good news is that once you get tired of staying in one place, you can simply book another one-way ticket to the next destination that calls you.
7. Deduct more from your paycheck
This might not sound like it has much to do with travel risks, but if you don’t currently have the funds to travel, this is an easy way to change that. This method definitely feels like a risk, because who doesn’t want as big a paycheck as possible? It’s a risk with a clear reward, though, as you’ll see clearly after a year or so of saving.
Especially if you’re not disciplined about saving on your own, deducting more money from your paycheck is a simple route. Try consulting an online tax calculator to figure out the necessary deduction that will yield you a sizable tax refund at the end of the year, then put that chunk of money toward the travel experience of a lifetime.
8. Move to a new city for a better job
One more way to seek adventure is to move to a new city for a better job. Even though it would be more exciting taking a job on the other side of the country, or another country altogether, any new place offers a wonderful experience.
Moving to a new city offers the perfect opportunity to declutter your life and experience a change of scenery. If you can’t afford a house right away, renting an apartment is a great way to settle into your new life. And if you choose to move to a cheaper city than the one you left, you can always put the savings into a travel fund. You’ll get a lot more for your rent dollars in Omaha than in New York City.
Don’t worry, there will still be plenty of time to do things like settle down and start a family, advance your career and save money. In fact, some of these travel risks taken now can eventually help you along in that direction. But for now, it’s time to live a little (or a lot) and have some adventures that you’ll remember for the rest of your life.