20 Things You Wish You Had Done When You Were Traveling in Your 20s

People dancing at the Full Moon Party on Haad Rin beach Koh Phangan Thailand
AlamyDon't skip out on a Full Moon party.
Remember the days when all you had was a backpack and a map that was held together with a couple of pieces of scotch tape? If you traveled in your 20s, then you're probably nostalgic for when exploring the world seemed just a little easier. While you can't go back in time, you can at least give someone in their 20s the advice to go out and do what you never did. And if you are in your 20s: make sure that you don't look back on this travel decade with regret. With that, here's a list of things you wish you had done back when you were traveling in your 20s.

1. Sent more postcards
Especially to people that would have kept them and shown them all to you 10 years later.

2. Traveled alone
It's hard, but it's rewarding.

3. Wrote more letters
Processing your travels through words, and written words that happen by putting pen to paper, is a beautiful thing.

4. Bought a one-way ticket
No one regrets jumping into the unknown.

5. Arrived to a destination with absolutely no plans
It's just as important to plan for serendipity as it is to craft a detailed itinerary.

6. Got yourself on the crew of a sailboat
Everyone wants to tell a good sailor story later in life.

7. Had stayed long enough in a place to learn the local language
You'd be fluent now.

8. Taken a foreign lover
It would have added some spice to your memoir.

9. Packed less
You didn't need those four pairs of shoes, did you?

10. Went to a Full Moon party
You really didn't do this?

11. Bungee jumped
And done all those other extreme sports that you nowadays feel way too old for.

12. Taken a U.S. coast-to-coast road trip
Once you're in the real world, finding the time to do this and do it well gets harder and harder.

13. Bought a cheap VW bus in one country and driven it to another
Because rolling on fumes into an auto shop where you have to explain your car troubles in hand gestures is always a good learning moment.

14. Cared less about being broke
The best travel stories often come from the moments when we have little money.

15. Cared less about being on time
So you miss a bus, boat or flight. There are much worse things that can happen.

16. Stopped in a place and gotten a job
What would have happened if you had put that backpack down for a few weeks? You'll never know.

17. Be less concerned about the future and more focused on the present
You may not have a job lined up when you get home, and you may not know what you want to do with your life, but that doesn't matter. You're traveling and you're learning. Focus on that instead.

18. Been more adventurous in your eating
The chances of you trying fried crickets nowadays are getting slimmer and slimmer.

19. Learned to let go of control
Trying to maintain control over every situation when you travel rarely works. Learning to let go in the early stages is a good thing.

20. Traveled more
No one lies on their deathbed and says, "I wish I worked more."
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