Warning: Imma going all big-sister, preachy on you. So if you’re not in the mood for some un-solicited advice, move on.
You’ve probably read one of those posts – you know the viral ones with the gorgeous photos and trust-fund whiff of bottomless funds: the travel bucket list. As in ‘10 Bucket List destinations in Europe/Africa/Asia/Etc You MUST visit‘ style posts. This topic is so so subjective.
This bucket list post is a little different, because I’m not going to share my list with your per se, because it’s still evolving. My travel bucket list is changing as I get older and take on more adulting, more driving, less flying, less palm trees, more local campgrounds. You get the picture. My travel maps are a little more local these days. And that’s okay.
Because I’ve knocked a few things off my bucket list in my 20s and early 30s. Before all the adulting started. I wanted to learn to surf (check), sail through the Great Bear Rainforest (check), live South Africa a second time (check) and take the train to Jasper (check) plus many more. Whenever my travel jets are fired up by a great travel blog post, a New York Times travel feature or even Instagram/Facebook photos of friends in far off climes, I just need to close my eyes and draw from my OWN deep well of nostalgia. I picture those country/world maps that I’ve drawn on, those guide books I’ve marked up with notes, the postcards on my friend’s fridges. Or even better, I spend a quiet night scrolling through my external hard drive or (gasp, they still exist) photo albums.
So this post is for all my readers in their 20s or at the beginning of their travel careers. Before you settle down, work in a real job, have real bills and do all that real grown up business – travel. Please travel. You don’t have to go far, you don’t have to go somewhere expensive. But for pete’s sake, just travel.
Make your travel bucket list, start knocking it off. Revise it, knock a couple more things off of the travel bucket list. Keep working on achieving those adventures – maybe it’s one a year, maybe it’s three. Maybe you travel every other year. Frequency doesn’t matter, it just matters that you try.
You will not regret one moment. I don’t. This is the furthest emotion from what I feel when I look at photos of my girlfriends and I learning to surf in Tofino or tour environmental projects in Soweto. These and many many more memories are my reserves, my adventures past, my spark when I miss the impetuous wanderlust of years gone by.
Make that travel bucket list, start plotting and darn it, slay it.