Ideas for Adventures to Experience in Your 20's
Let me state this from the beginning- I'm all about going on adventures throughout one's entire life. Regardless of if you're 21, 37, or 64, I believe we should seek out interesting challenges to expand both our world view and skill set. But for all of my readers in their twenties, why not do it now? We'll only have more and more responsibility as we grow older, and who actually wants to experience all of the big adventures in their life only after they retire? Not me! I want to hike through New Zealand without my knees and back killing me the entire time.
The question becomes: "How do we do these things when we're young and penniless?" While I'll go into that more in future posts, I'd like to point out that nothing on this list costs more than about $5,000, and many are much less than that. One of them actually pays you! The point is, it takes effort and financial budgeting, but it's entirely possible to save money for your dream adventures. If you're passionate about doing it, you'll find a way.
Without further ado, here are some of my favorite ideas for life adventures to experience:
1) Intern at Kalu Yala in Panama
Kalu Yala is a sustainable community that's being created by a passionate team of interns in the gorgeous jungle of Panama. As an intern, you go for a semester and focus on working in your area of interest, such as Community Outreach & Education, Agriculture, or Business Development. Not only do you get to hangout with inspiring individuals who're working towards a better world, but you also get to learn a variety of new skills that will be relevant beyond just the beautiful jungle surroundings.
2) Experience National Outdoor Leadership School or Outward Bound
Both of these groups are outdoor education schools that take you on crazy adventures throughout nature in both the US and abroad. You get to learn skills such as outdoor survival techniques, wilderness medicine, sailing, rock climbing, and much more. Some programs last for as little as a week, but others span a few months and several countries. All you have to do is figure out what outdoor skills you'd love to learn and what type of natural environment you'd enjoy being in- and then apply! I've always wanted to take part in one of these programs, because I'd feel so proud of myself if I learned how to survive in the wild!
3) Bicycle the world- or just one country
If you love to move your body and enjoy a slower pace of travel, then going on a bicycle tour abroad would be perfect for you! Tour groups like Explore Worldwide offer biking trips that span anywhere from 4-20+ days depending on your budget and the amount of sights you'd like to see. A few of the countries on my cycling wishlist include Turkey, Spain, and Ireland! Learn even more about why you should use a bike the next time you travel here.
This one is for all you wannabe DIY goddesses- learn how to grow plants and become a maker of awesome things! Using HelpX to search anywhere in the world, you can find different types of work to do weekly in exchange for free housing and food. It's a fun way to get immersed into the local culture and meet interesting people with a variety of backgrounds. Some of my favorite HelpX postings have included needing help with caring for sled dogs in Scandinavia, cheese making in Italy, and helping to run a surf hostel in Costa Rica. WWOOFing is a very similar exchange concept except that their postings are only for working on organic farms.
5) Teach English abroad
Though I could write an entire post about teaching in another country, today I'll just leave you with this tiny blurb. If you've ever been simultaneously interested in the teaching profession and living in another country, teaching English is one of the easiest and best ways to combine the two. In many countries, all you need to get a paying job is either a Bachelors degree in anything or a TEFL certificate which takes a few months to earn. When I taught in Vietnam, I worked with adorable children and really enjoyed the teaching job itself. Though there are a bajillion difficulties with living abroad that each person will handle differently, the experience will teach you amazing things and give you crazy memories to remember forever.
6) Take an in-person class that will give you awesome new skills
I'm pretty much addicted to learning. If I could stay in school for the rest of my life then, without hesitation, I would. Since that's not a realistic possibility, taking condensed but super interesting classes is the next best option. Two courses that teach kick butt skills are the GoPro classes in Costa Rica which last from 1-4 weeks and then the web developer/ coding bootcamps which teach how to build things from scratch online.
7) Try cross country train travel
Though most Americans don't seem to realize it, we have an Amtrak train system that runs throughout some of the most gorgeous areas of the country. I'm going to write a longer post about train travel in a couple weeks, since I'm taking a train from San Francisco all the way to Miami at the end of January. I'll pass through scenery such as the Sierra Nevada mountains, the Rocky Mountains, Donner Lake, and much more on my way back home. I'm a big fan of slow travel and savoring the views of nature, so hopefully this will be an amazing trip! But don't let American train travel be all you consider- there are gorgeous routes to explore throughout the world.
8) Begin on your own personal quest
What you feel drawn to choose as your big quest is entirely up to your passions and obsessions! A quest is a long term goal that takes regular action and sacrifice, but the reward is an adventurous life full of meaning. In Chris Guillebeau's book called the Happiness of Pursuit, he talks about a variety of quests that everyday people have taken on- traveling to every country in the world, knitting 10,000 hats, walking across the entire United States, and more. Figure out a quest that you'd be worthy enough to pursue, and go for it!
9) Do a language immersion program
I've always wanted to do this! One of my goals before I turn 30 is to learn Spanish fluently in Antigua, Guatemala. I believe that immersion courses are the absolute best way to learn a new language, because you're forced to speak, think, and live the language all day for your program duration. While this is undoubtedly a huge challenge, you get to truly take part in the local culture and learn so much in a small period of time.
10) Create a purposeful life based around your values and dreams
This last idea is up for personal interpretation. What do you want your life to be all about? I'm tired of people creating their lives based entirely on societal expectations and pressure from others. You do you! Do you want to build a tight-knit community of friendships and go on retreats together? Do you want to have kids and go camping around the world with them? Do you want to stay single and form a ukulele band that tours the US in a renovated school bus? The world is yours! Be brave and create your own version of awesomeness! Or better yet...
Email me below & I'll help coach you through the process. Let's go on an exploratory adventure together!
I hope you enjoyed my list of adventures for in your twenties! Please share with your friends who'd enjoy the post, and leave a comment to let me know- what big adventures would you love to go on in the next few years?
Have a wonderful weekend,