As I grow more into my 30’s, I’ve started realizing that I look at the world differently than I did even just five years ago. I look at people differently and I look at travel differently. While in my 20’s I had this passion for just seeing all I could, I’m noticing that small changes in myself and in the way I travel in my 30’s are taking me down slightly different paths. And while it’s no better or worse, I think as we age, we do start changing the way we do and see things and travel is no different. When I think about how travel has changed for me in my 30’s, I think of a few distinct things that have helped me see the world in a completely new way.
I still want to see it all, but I’m not in such a rush.
In my 20’s, all I wanted to do was travel. I didn’t care if we were only some place for a day and half, I just wanted to see everything. As I’ve gotten older, I still like shorter trips than most people but I’m also not in such a rush. In the past few years I’m more prone to see less of a place and want to go back to see more, rather than trying to fit everything in. We’ve started staying a little longer in places and just really seeing what’s in front of us, rather than worrying about seeing everything.
I value the experience of food, culture, people, emotions of travel over everything else.
For me, travel has always been about the experience first and foremost. But as I’ve gotten more into my 30’s, it’s magnified even more. I live for those moments of eating incredible food around the world, of meeting people from different walks of life, of hearing local music and witnessing with my own eyes a completely different place, that for me is when I’m at my absolute best. The emotional connection with travel is, for me, why I travel in the first place. I’m not the traveler that lands and heads straight for the tourist spots, that packs in as much as possible and follows a tour group itinerary. I like to wander, take everything in, enjoy the moments and enjoy life in whatever destination I’m in and that has only grown stronger as I’ve gotten older.
Chasing more life-changing moments.
In my 30’s, and here on out, I’m prioritizing chasing more life-changing moments, moments that truly change who I am, that make me think of the world in a new and challenging way. I want magnificent landscapes and moving spiritual moments in my traveling future. As I get older, I want more and more to just be in awe of the planet and to witness as much as I can in my lifetime.
It’s more about education than just seeing.
While I’ve always felt strongly to this point, as I get older it only amplifies. I whole heartedly believe that travel without the education, without the storytelling, without your eyes opening up wide, serves no purpose. Travel should be about educating yourself about different places, different cultures, different religions. It should leave you with a new found openness, an education that comes with everything you witness while traveling. And while seeing is great, witnessing is great, while traveling, what’s even more vitally important is to return home and share those stories, share what you saw and witnessed. That is how the world is going to become a better place, when we stop fearing what we don’t understand and as travelers, we have an immense power to help foster that. As I get older, this becomes more vitally important to me as I see how much a more open mind is necessary in our world.
Relish the moments.
As I get older, I become more and more aware of how lucky we are to have each day we do on this amazing planet. And as my early 30’s have brought many challenges already, I’m reminded daily that there might not always be tomorrow or down the road. A lot of people always tell me that they want to travel “when I get to this point…” or “when life dies down…”, etc., and while that’s fine, pushing things off might mean they don’t happen. I don’t know if I’ll be in a position down the road to travel, who knows what might lie ahead both in my own life and in our world. So as I get older, as I travel, I relish every moment even more than I used to knowing that our time here, our time traveling, is finite.