Travelling is one of the best ways to spend money. It opens our eyes to new cultures. It helps us see new traditions, meet people, learn histories we were never taught in school, and enjoy different foods. Some people devote their lives to travelling. Some people constantly save in order to travel for one week out of the year. To travel is to dive head first into a new culture. It's a time to relax away from home, and sometimes it's just the opposite - a trip can give you a new shot of life, that we didn’t know we needed until we were there.
There are some places and activities, while travelling, that have an expiration date, meaning you should do these before the age of thirty. Why thirty? Because once you hit a certain age, these trips just don't seem in the cards, whether it be for recklessness, physical activity, or because it is simply a young person's game. There are just some things you don't do when you're over the age of thirty, and some places you can only go once and never return due to what you did there. Here is a list of some of my personal favorite places to visit while you're young.
15 Adult Summer Camp
Have you guys heard about this yet? It is literally the best invention in the entire world. It’s just what it sounds like. It’s a summer camp, much like the sleep-away camp that your mom signed you up for when you were a child. There are cabins where you sleep in bunks with strangers. There are water sports and hikes and games. But here is where the adult part comes in - alcohol. All the best things about camp as a kid highlighted by the fact that there is an open bar, and you are more than encouraged to take advantage of it.
14 Swim in the Devil’s Pool
You know how we love infinity pools? Yeah, well this is a natural one in the Victoria Falls, which borders Zambia and Zimbabwe. Guys, this seems so cool. Jumping into a waterfall is absolutely a must before you turn 30, there’s such a thrill in falling into water, not knowing exactly how deep it is. But this is so much cooler, jumping into what looks like it going clear off the edge of a waterfall is something else entirely.
13 Oktoberfest in Munich, Germany
You could totally do this in middle age. But will you go all out then? Will you get as drunk? Will you wear a dirndl or lederhosen? Or will you get pissed off because there are drunk people everywhere? Yeah, it seemed like a better idea to do this when you are still a little reckless and don’t mind spending quite so much money on what is basically a bender in a different country.
12 Holi Festival in Mumbai, India
Holi is a sixteen-day Hindu festival that celebrates new beginnings and divine love. Oh, and they throw pigments at you, and not just color run pigments, I’m talking a lot of dye thrown at your person. There’s dancing, there’s music, there’s a lot of fun. This is a perfect example of just how colorful the Indian culture is. What better way to get a feel for a culture than to see one of their most famous festivals?
11 Near Year's Eve in Times Square
I feel like the older we get, the less patience we have for things like this. There are so many people around, they are drunk, it is dirty, and you’ll never forget it. To do New Year's Eve in Times Square more than once just seems insane. And once I turn 30, there is no way I would want to spend my New Years with thousands of strangers in the old of Times Square. But when I’m in my twenties - why not?
10 The Songkran Festival in Chiang Mai, Thailand
Have you ever heard of the Songkran Festival before? I hadn’t either. And while it isn’t the most famous festival on this list, it might be one of the most underrated.
The Songkran Festival celebrated the Thia New Years, and do you know how they celebrate this holiday? With a giant water fight. That’s right; they take Super Soakers, buckets of water, hoses, basically anything that can hold water and be used to dump it on another person. Why do they do this? Well, traditionally in Thailand sprinkling water on another person is considered a blessing and positive wishes. This escalated into one of the biggest water fights in the world.
9 Carnival in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil
You know who knows how to party? The Brazilians. Carnival happens annually and is basically a giant festival that takes place right before Lent. It has been happening in Rio De Janeiro since 1723. This long-standing tradition allows the samba schools in the area into the parades, with floats, flamboyant costumes, and tons of music. These parades are nothing like your average parade.
8 New Orleans, Louisiana for Madi Gras
You could go to New Orleans any time - but it will not be the same as when you’re in your twenties. When your young, and you don’t care about how dirty Bourbon St. is. When you’re more than willing to walk around drunk all day, and I do mean all day. When you lift your top off for nothing more than some plastic beads.
7 Las Vegas, Nevada
6 Cape Town, South Africa
There are tons to do in Cape Town, and if the first thing you think of isn’t Safari, then I just don’t even know what to say. If you go to South Africa, and you don’t take a safari, you’re definitely missing a huge reason for going. But if that doesn’t seem as thrilling or adrenaline pumping for you there is always bungee jumping off the Bloukran Bridge, which is the highest bungee jumping bridge in the world.
5 The Inca Trail in Peru
The Inca Trail is about a four to five-day hike that leads to Manchu Picchu. There is an option to take a train straight to Manchu Picchu, but why do that when there is a trail that the Incas themselves designed for you to see the scenery and beautify that is this trail? Why is this considered one of the best hikes in the world? It isn’t just because the ending is Manchu Picchu, but the way that the Andres collides with the rainforest, creating a very dramatic and beautiful landscape.
4 Zipline in Costa Rica
There is a lot that Costa Rica has to offer; you could lounge on their beaches, maybe swim under a waterfall, but if you’re really daring you’ll zip-line. If you hate heights, you might not like this one. Take a minute and just imagine this - speeding through the canopy of a lush jungle, the wind in your hair, birds chirping, and the sound of you yelling. It sounds pretty awesome, doesn’t it? Yeah, you can take tours in the jungle. Of course, you can see local markets, and enjoy the local cuisine. But I think the real gem of Costa Rica is the zip-lining.
3 Hike Pacaya Volcano in Guatemala
Hiking a volcano is an amazing experience, one you won’t soon forget. Hiking a volcano is an amazing experience, one you won’t soon forget. When I was twenty, I hiked Pacaya for a sunset hike. We roasted marshmallows on the hot rocks and saw the sun drop behind the other volcanoes and mountains. It was one of the most beautiful sights I have ever seen in my life.
Why should you do this when you’re young? Hiking a volcano isn’t quite the same as hiking a mountain. The terrain is a littler harder to climb. At first, it had the consistency of sand, and then there were the volcanic rocks which are airy and felt as if we were skiing down them. I was on my butt more than I was walking, but the good news is that it didn’t hurt when I fell. Until I sprained my ankle (I couldn’t see the path, it was a sunset hike, and no one thought to bring a flashlight).
2 Amsterdam, Netherlands
Do I even have to explain this one? Of course, you should go to Amsterdam in your youth, when you can just blame your bad decisions on your youth and naivety. Do you have to partake in the drugs and red light district? Not if you don’t want to. But it is kind of their thing. There is also a rich history in the city as well, but those walking tours will probably be filled with older folks - the youths will be enjoying the debauchery down the street.
1 Spring Break (Either Panama City Beach, Cancun, or Punta Cana)
I took this rite of passage at the age of twenty, and I promise you I will never step foot in Panama City Beach again for as long as I live. The things I did, the things I saw, are just not what a respectable adult would do. Ideally, you would do this trip in college, and maybe it isn’t too weird the first or second year of post-grad life but, after that, Spring Break is kind of out of the stars for you. At least the kind of Spring Break you would have as a gross college kid.
And while it is insane, and kind of gross, and just ridiculous, I urge you to take this trip. The memories will last a lifetime. The friends you go with will share these times with you for years to come. And you’ll have the time of your life - even if you never go back to that place ever again.
Sources: Huffington Post, Buzzfeed, Time, Smarter Travel, Business Insider.
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