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Travel can be a sore subject. Some people wish they could afford to vacation while they watch their friends galavant around Europe. Others feel that they don’t have the time to dedicate to sightseeing when their job and families beckon back home.

That’s the thing about your twenties; they’re the best decade for traveling purely because they’re the most chaotic. Everyone is in different stages of their lives and there’s not yet a defined place for you in society. Your brain is developing, your lifestyle is forming, and you’re excited to take on the world. When you are looking into the best trips to take in your 20s, just remember that now is the ultimate time to pack your bags and hit the road – for you might not get another chance.

Not convinced? Consider the following.

1. You’ll Never Be as Free as You Are Now

 Guys on the Edge

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From the time you finish school until you turn 30, the years are ones of constant change. You might be hunting down the best career, working on your love life, deciding where you want to live, or simply going with the flow. Never again will your life be quite as up in the air as it is currently.

Although it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the lack of rigidity in your schedule as a young millennial, there’s also something incredibly freeing about living a life that’s in flux. Your twenties provide the perfect platform for experimentation, and for many of us, that process comes through travel.

Once you have children, a spouse, a mortgage, and other responsibilities tying you to one location and lifestyle, throwing caution to the wind become substantially more challenging. Use your precious twenties as a time to embrace spontaneity and maximize your years of freedom. Once you’re older and more committed to one lifestyle, you’ll be glad that you took advantage of these exhilarating years.

2. You Need to Experience Cultures That Are Truly Different

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According to a survey conducted in 2018, 11 percent of the American respondents have never traveled outside of their home state. Another 32 percent say they don’t even own travel luggage or can’t remember buying any, and 13 percent have never flown in an airplane before.

A whopping 40 percent of the American respondents have never left the country, and yet 76 percent of those surveyed say they wish they could travel more than they currently do.

As a country, we have fewer passport holders than most other places. The sheer size of our country, as well as its position in the world, leads many of us to live with blinders on. Travel is one way to rip those shields off and expose yourself to places that are very unlike your home.

Now, this doesn’t mean you need to run off to India to find yourself or spend a year volunteering in Kenya, but it doesn’t hurt to push yourself a little outside of your comfort zone. Consider signing up for a short volunteer trip to a third-world country or simply buying a plane ticket to a place where they barely speak English. Not only will this broaden your personal horizons, but you’ll also become a more well-versed member of the global community.

3. Your Standards Are Lower

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Let’s be honest; by the time you’re forty, will you really be okay with sleeping in hostel beds or booking the cheapest AirBnB on the list? Probably not. As we age, our standards seem to climb, which makes traveling for cheap increasingly difficult.

In your twenties, you’re more willing to bend the rules and compromise your comfort while traveling. Taking a flight at 1 AM? Sure. Sleeping on a questionable cot in a Moscow hostel? If it saves you money, yeah. After all, you’re just excited to have the opportunity to travel. You haven’t yet experienced the finer things in life, so you’re okay with a little sacrificing every now and again.

4. You Begin to Realize That There Is No “Later”

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We’re all guilty of kicking problems, goals, and dreams down the road. We tell ourselves that we’ll tackle everything “someday,” then pat ourselves on the back and focus on the tasks at hand. The problem with that mentality? There may not be a someday.

Sure, the average life expectancy of humans is growing, but there are no guarantees in life. Maybe your health will fail you or your children will you need you home. Maybe your job will grow more consuming and limit your time spent away from your desk. You never know what life will bring, so assuming that “later” is the best time to travel is a risky move.

Right now in your twenties, you have the two biggest things you need to travel: your health and time. Sure, money is also a necessity, but its value is often outweighed by your sheer ability to leave home with an able body and years ahead of you.

It’s All About Taking That First Step

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Whenever I tell people about my various trips and explorations around the world, they always ask, “But how did you start traveling so much?” Many people feel stuck, and when it comes to booking that first exciting trip, but the biggest piece of advice I could give would be to simply go. There will never be a perfect date on your calendar or just the right amount of money in your bank account for you to start seeing the world. Remind yourself that you’ll only be young and free once, so tuck some cash away in a savings account, then buy that plane ticket.