There’s nothing like traveling in your twenties – the youth hostels, the many layovers you took to get the cheapest airline possible, the feeling of seeing Europe for the first time in your life, and the incredible anticipation that this is going to be the best time of your life thus far. The utter curiosity that comes with having no clue what awaits you, but thinking that maybe you do know, and then realizing you could have never imagined it.
Also, I feel that when I traveled in my twenties, I wasn’t as set in my ways so I was able to assimilate quickly to new cultures and become a chameleon to wherever I was. Every country I entered, they thought I was a local.
I can’t imagine traveling in my thirties will be much different. I still have no idea what Asia is like or Australia or South America. But I might have more connections which will mean more tours by local friends of friends. I’ll be able to see the cities in ways that I could never have afforded to before – for example, in a helicopter or by renting a motorcycle. In my twenties, it was more about hoping I would meet someone who would invite me to do something so adventurous. Now I can do it with or without anyone else, or I could even be the one to invite them to join me.
But the flashiness is not what matters in traveling. It’s the learning of other cultures; the mind opening to ideas and places previously unimaginable; it’s about the conversations that happen without knowing the same language, and the heart opening to humankind.
The biggest thing I think traveling will give me as I get older is a renewed sense of wonderment in a mind that is able to process it in a wiser way.