On my flight home from my latest trip, I put on a movie that completely changed my perspective on travel:
Eat Pray Love, starring Julia Roberts. For those of you who don't know, this movie is based on a real-life story of a woman who goes to Italy, India, and Bali, to find herself. She eats plates of rich spaghetti, makes new friends, learns how to meditate, and falls in love in some of the dreamiest places around the world. More importantly, though, she reminds you and me of the beauty of solo travel and having travel goals to do alone in your 20s or any decade of your life. Don't miss out, OK?
Now, full disclosure: I haven't gone on a solo trip of my own yet. It's on my mind, but other trips have simply taken priority. In the past year, I've hopped on planes more times that I thought was possible or affordable, and it was always worth it. But, I'm looking forward to getting out into the world again, and working these new goals into my plans this time.
These are the goals that are so rewarding and meant to be on our bucket lists. They're the memories that you could, and
should, make with yourself. As always with solo travel, make sure you're prepared and safe, and don't do anything that you're not comfortable with or that gives you a bad gut reaction. Then, get to checking off these seven things. 01
Navigate An Airport By Yourself
One travel goal that you should have in your 20s is to
navigate an airport by yourself. Up until now, you may have only walked through the various terminals and gates with one of your best friends or a family member. You went on an island vacation or spent a semester studying abroad. But, you've never faced the security lines or checked a bag on your own.
So, it's now your mission to go on a trip that requires a flight
and following your inner compass. At first, getting your boarding pass and finding time to grab food before take-off may seem overwhelming. You'll get a routine down, though. Pinky promise. 02
Stay In An Airstream For A Night
A cozy addition to your bucket list should be staying in an airstream or camper for a night. You could rent one in the middle of the desert, or one that's in a beach town, surrounded by other campsites and cute things to do. You could stay close to home or go far out into the world — it's entirely up to you!
Either way, bring a camera along for this solo getaway, because it's going to be picture-perfect. You'll wake up in the morning feeling refreshed and relaxed, and want to capture those moments of bliss for later on. Not to mention, the string lights over your tucked-away bed will be begging to be on the 'Gram.
Take A Train Ride Across Europe
As long as you can remember, Europe has called your name. It's the one continent that you can never get enough of — that is truly worth visting time and time again. But, if you're looking to add a solo trip to your bucket list, don't settle for just grabbing an Airbnb in Rome and seeing the usual sights. Instead, choose a one-of-a-kind experience that's even more worth your time.
Hop on a train that brings you through the mountains of Switzerland or along the rivers of Germany and France. Hop off at cities that you want to explore a bit more, and befriend solo travelers who are on their own expeditions, too. You'll likely see landscapes that you couldn't have otherwise, and discover dreamy corners of the world to call your own.
Go On A Solo Beach Vacation
Sometimes, you just want to
get some rest and relaxation. Life can get so busy, and traveling doesn't always help your schedule to calm down. But, there are other options that don't require sight-seeing and dealing with airport lines — like a solo trip to the Caribbean, or a beach vacation in a town nearby.
Start by picking a long weekend or few days when you don't have work or school, and grab your beach bag and some sunscreen. Stay in a cute cottage on the East Coast or at a resort you've been dreaming about since forever. The sunshine and salt water will cure your mind and make you feel at peace. Sweet!
See Your Favorite Band Play In A New City
Visiting a new city that's been on your bucket list is perfect for a solo trip in your 20s. But, seeing your favorite band or artist play in a venue there brings the whole experience to the next level.
During the day, you can explore the best sights and eat at the best restaurants this place has to offer — following your own schedule and itinerary, and nobody else's. At night, you get to sing along to songs that your friends or family members wouldn't appreciate quite as much as you. What could be better? Um, nothing that I can think of!
Spend A Weekend Riding Down The Coastline
In my lifetime thus far, I've discovered one thing to be true: Not much is better for you and your soul than a road trip and being near water. There's just something about being in the outdoors and driving down new roads and highways that is overwhelmingly beautiful.
Now, you might not find this experience to have the exact same healing powers as me. But, you may find that it's a great addition to your travels in your 20s.
You'll put on some tunes and
coast down the Pacific Coast Highway or up into the mountains of New Hampshire, stopping at lakes, waterfalls, and picturesque views along the way. There won't be a skyscraper or city skyline in sight — that I can guarantee. 07
Visit A Country That's Always Been On Your Bucket List
Last but not least, make it a priority in your 20s to take a solo trip to a country that's always been on your bucket list. This may be a place that none of your friends and family members have ever shown any interest in, but that you've saved pictures of over and over again. (For me, this would be a dreamy destination like Portugal or the colorful cities of Morocco.)
Take the leap, and get yourself there. Do all of the prior research and planning that you need to make sure that you have an amazing and safe experience, and then
go. The result will be so rewarding, as you'll be completing a travel goal and having a major moment in your life. It'll feel like a movie — your very own Eat Pray Love, if you will.