YOLO. FOMO. Full Send. How many times in your life have you been somewhere and done something just For The Story, barely registering it? I'm old enough to know that some distant day from now, when you're on the verge of exiting your 20s, you're going to want to remember how you spent this incredible decade of your life. You're going to want to leave it not just with a full Instagram page to prove that it happened (although that's good too), but also with the mental imprint of what it felt like to be who you are in this very place and time. That you were here. That you were sometimes scared, sometimes brilliant, sometimes ridiculous, but that you were always brave, and that you did it all in an effort to discover more and more about who you are and what you want. And so, with that in mind, we bring you Elite Daily's first ever Experiences issue: Here For It.
We kick off our issue with an interview and photo shoot with Riverdale's one and only Cheryl Blossom. Madelaine Petsch is all the proof you need that the journey is the story. The 24-year-old YouTube and TV icon nabbed the Riverdale role after 247 auditions and rejections and is not even close to slowing down. As she heads into the next phase of her career, with Season 4 of the show and a packed slate of new opportunities ahead of her, she says she's ready "to do other things and for people to see me in different lights." Petsch is supremely focused, energized, and she knows this is exactly the road she's supposed to be on. It's exhilarating to watch.
But if you're not like Pestch and still very much figuring out what comes next, welcome to the club. Our For The Content package gives our issue its heart and soul. We joke that everything we do now is for Instagram, but the real opportunity of your 20s is filling up on the experiences that will become the content of your memories, aka Who You Are. Whether it's breaking up without completely breaking; moving to a new city across the globe where you don't know anyone or, really, anything; taking a weird job on a whim (that definitely isn't what you majored in); completely changing your hair; or moving back in with mom and dad after graduating — your 20s are defined by the things you do... and also by the things you don't. So we asked 15 writers to sum up the experiences that changed this part of their lives, and trust me, you'll want to drink in every last word. Can you imagine telling your crush how you feel, on stage, in front of dozens of strangers, by performing a song you wrote about them? I can't. But is writer Amanda Fama better for it? And do I want to read all about it? You bet.
And though you might've been saving all your cash to splurge on products to buy from our recommendations, this time around, we've curated our shopping picks a little differently. In this list, you won't find a single thing to buy — only things to do. From $60 for a "Tequila, Tacos, and Tombstones" culinary tour in San Diego to Uniworld's $1,700 Rolling On The Rhine millennial cruise from Amsterdam to Frankfurt, our Add To Cart: Experiences > Things edition won't accessorize your outfit or your apartment, but it'll sure as hell change your life.
But this issue isn't just about escapes. It's about making your everyday an experience you want to remember. That's much easier, of course, if your job is creating fun. For our ongoing content series I Have The Job You Want, we interviewed Disney Dream Cruise Ship Fun Director (yes, that's her real title) Carly Scott, whose gig might inspire you to think outside the box (and the continental United States) when you're considering your next professional move. Or maybe you've been dying to get a tattoo. Lucky for you, one of our editors rode along with Chilling Adventures of Sabrina's Tati Gabrielle to do it for our Take Me With You series, and you'll be as wowed by Tati's energy and her tattoo as we were. And sometimes, being here for it does mean escaping. For our latest Wander Or Bust installment, Associate Dating Editor Veronica Lopez headed off for a one-of-a-kind solo vacation to the Galapagos, and wowwww, are you going to want to, too.
Speaking of vacations, you'll want to consider your outfit vibe for the beach or cruise or whatever seaside adventure the warm weather may bring. Our Suit Up photo shoot offers insight on the biggest swimwear trends you'll see in stores and on the sand, with stylist-approved tips on how to wear them. And when the sun sets, you'll know how to get from the beach to the bar in record time, thanks to our latest Ready In 5 video with Elite Daily's Senior Style Editor Theresa Massony. Never before has wavy, salty beach hair and sun-kissed skin looked this good in just five minutes. Yep, we timed it.
An experiences issue wouldn't be complete without tackling the most awkward scenario of all. I'm talking, of course, about blind dates. If you never thought you'd say yes to being set up, we're strongly advocating that you do — and we're using your zodiac sign to help you figure out how it's going to go in our Each Sign @.
No matter what you do in your 20s, the Elite Daily editors and I agree that you should go all the way for it. It might be amazing, or awful, or awkward, or some combo of all three. Either way, it's going to make for one amazing memory. So, are you here for it?