Hi Wanderers! I turned twenty five this week, and although the quarter century milestone hasn’t driven me into an existential quarter life crisis as of yet (day three and going strong), it did make me think a little bit of what I’d like to accomplish in my first year in the quarter century club. In some ways I think our generation makes too big of a deal of birthday milestones; it seemed like it used to be 18, 21, for obvious reasons, and then…well nothing really, until maybe 50. Now 25 is the big “quarter century”, and thirty is the #dirtythirty, warranting big life changes and a trip to Vegas. I think a lot of it has to do with this “me” culture we’ve created, but that’s a story/rant for another day.
Regardless, my peers, the internet, and many in between have just maybe put a little more pressure on my turning 25 than I would have put on myself organically. So of course I started thinking about how when I was 16 I thought I would be married by 25 (LOLZ), a homeowner and/or somehow simultaneously on a wild backpacking adventure through Europe, and wealthy and fabulous. Things haven’t quite panned out like my white picket fence cum Bedouin traveler 16-year-old image, but c’est la vie. I did however, come up with 25 (cheesy, I know, just let me have it) travel goals to set for myself at 25:
- Really get the 9to5wanderer up and running as a full blown travel blog with lots of great content on a regular basis. This blog has been such a cathartic outlet for me, and I hope you all have enjoyed reading it so far too!
- Finally get the quantities of travel toiletries right. I’m always double what I need or way under-equipped. True nirvana where you’ve got just enough shampoo to make it through your last day? Never achieved it.
- Solve the travel shoes dilemma. This is always my light packing downfall, I’ve got the rest nearly right, but then I go and throw 5 pairs of shoes in there for 7 days of travel. Sigh.
- Travel somewhere entirely new, either in the US or overseas.
- Buy a travel towel. I’ve never had one but I’m convinced it will be a GAME CHANGER.
- Go to at least one of my three cousins’ weddings in Cairo this year (yes, three in one year). More on why I’m not going to the one in August in a different post.
- Go to Istanbul and Marrakesh, my top two travel dream destinations, some time in the next four years, if not sooner.
- In the spirit of remembering that there is lots of global exploration to do here at home, eat at least one different cuisine from around the world here in Boston each month.
- Successfully negotiate a raise/promotion at work.
- Having acquired said promotion (fingers majorly crossed), don’t immediately blow money on random stuff/immediately elevate standard of living. Make small changes, top up the #travelfund, and put some in savings and towards student loans.
- Maximize my credit card flight rewards scheme. I opened one up, but I haven’t really used it to its full potential yet. There are lots of purchases I could be making with the card to gain points, but I still don’t trust myself enough to live fully on credit cards.
- Stay in a hostel at least once. I’ve been lucky that a lot of my travel recently has come with a friend’s place to crash at, aka no accommodation expenses, but I do love a good hostel experience.
- Finally get How to Travel the World on $50 a Day on loan from the library. I have been on the waitlist 5EVER and I have a feeling it is going to change my life forever.
- On that note, start really getting serious about travel hacking. Does anyone have experience with this? I’m hoping the book in #12 will help, but so far I’ve only opened up a flight rewards credit card.
- Go on a girly reunion trip with my two best friends from college. One lives in Philadelphia, the other in NYC, we are all poor, and our only rule is it has to be accessible by bus for all three of us.
- Keep up the French classes. Hopefully reach the point where I can have full conversations with native speakers.
- Enjoy home home, Cape Cod, to the fullest. I grew up in a beach travel destination that people all over the world die to go to, and there’s a lot of awesome fun stuff I should be taking advantage of this summer (not to mention quality time with the good old fam!)
- Have a healthier balance between my emergency fund and my travel fund (aka have separate funds and stop eyeing the emergency money to book your next flight, Amani).
- Once that is settled, start building a “when the price is right” travel fund. Over the last few months I’ve come across more than one flight flash sale, where if I had a liiiiiittle more financial flexibility (assuming #taxpocalypse didn’t happen) I would have been able to get some crazy steals. Australia for $600, Istanbul for $400? YES PLEASE.
- Go to Cartagena, Columbia this winter with my girls from grad school. Not only are they the best and also fellow wanderlusters, but one of them has an uncle with a house there!
- Figure out more of a focused career trajectory, aka stop applying to jobs in Paris and/or Brussels and/or Geneva every month or so when you get unhappy or frustrated with your current role. Or do. Just pick one. Or more. No pressure.
- Go back to London with enough money to buy all the tea, treats, and snacks and face creams I want, rather than accidentally run out of money on the last day like I did this time.
- Be smart about vacation days and use them to their fullest potential.
- Be more laid back about travel and life in general. I can’t do it all, even if I want to.
- That’s really all I’ve got to be honest, 24 is close enough, right?
Happy wandering! -xo