As you’ve probably guessed (!) already, travel is one of my biggest joys and where I spend most of my disposable income. It’s true: the best time to do it is when you are young and have no children. I thought the list in this article, “30 Things Travelers Must See and Do Before They’re 30,” by Lacy Morris for Huffington Post was worth posting and seeing how I measured up (I achieved all those crossed off by the time I was thirty.)
Some of the commenters say that it is not possible to do this without being rich or going into debt. I say this is definitely not true and depends on what your priorities are (i.e., fancy designer clothes and $14 cocktails while cabbing it home or saving for a few months.)
Below I’ve listed Lacy’s list items and crossed out the *things* I’ve done complete with commentary. How do you add up?:
- Jump off something.
See one of the Seven Wonders of the World.This is highly debatable, as there seem to be various lists. I visited the The Roman Colosseum, Italy in May 2013. Didn’t go inside, though. Party in Las Vegas.Well, maybe not “party”, but spent a day and a half there around Christmas 2005. Take a vacation that isn’t Spring Break.See my Destinations page- ’nuff said. Attend at least one large celebration.Unbeknownst to me, I ended up in Guayaquil, Ecuador during its Independence Day. St. Patrick’s Day in New York City a few times, obviously. Hit up a nude beach.Gunnison Beach in Sandy Hook, New Jersey the summer of 2012.
- Spend several days with only what will fit in a backpack.
Swim in the ocean.I live and grew up on the East Coast. Duh. Sleep somewhere where you have to light a fire to stay warm.In April 2006, I spent my birthday/Easter Weekend in La Ceja, Colombia (and yes, I took that picture of the sunset), a village about 45 minutes from Medellín. Because it’s in the mountains, it can be 80 degrees during the day, then you’ll need a sweater at night. I’ve also slept next to the wood burning stove in my childhood home near New York City .
- Do some sort of adrenaline sport.
Hit up one of the Caribbean islands.Technically, though it is a small archipelago of islands of of mainland Panamá- not a Bahamas or Dominican Republic: Bocas del Toro.
- Take one ultimate road trip.
Go somewhere alone.I go everywhere alone. Read this article about solo travel. Take a train somewhere.I traveled all around Italy via train and from Kilkenny to Dublin, Ireland.
- Go to a music festival.
- Have one iconic Americana experience.
- Go to at least one of the Smithsonian museums. I’ve never been to the Smithsonian, nor to D.C., but I live and grew up in New York and naturally went to the American History Museum a bunch of times during field trips.
Summit a mountain.My family and I drove our van to the top of Mount Washington in North Conway, New Hampshire in the White Mountains when I was about 11. Be able to name your top five dream vacations.Oh, the places I’ll go… See a game at a classic ballpark.I grew up in less than an hour from the iconic Yankee Stadium. I saw a number of games at the real Yankee Stadium. I lived about five blocks away as it was being demolished. Visit a neighbor to our north or south.I’ve traveled to Mexico and five other countries in Central and South America.
- Do something so adventurous that it requires a doctor’s visit.
Save pennies to go somewhere you really want to go.I saved for months to go to Paris for my 30th birthday (before that it was Colombia- trice.) Never happened. Am I bummed? No: I lived the Dolce Vita in Italy instead! I used Pinterest to plan. Check out where I went. Go to New York City.I grew up close by and where do I live, again?
- Sleep under the stars.
Eat an iconic city meal.How ’bout pizza in Naples? Know all of the best places to take tourists in your home city.I wouldn’t take them to Times Square, that’s for sure! I would take them here, however. Have one close encounter with a wild animal.I should write about the time I got lost in Parque Tayrona in Colombia in 2007. I was ambushed by a frog about the size of my head. I’ve also swam with starfish who were about the side of a basketball in Bocas del Drago in Bocas el Toro, Panamá. The most beautiful beach I’ve seen to date. Unfortunately, about a day after that swim my camera was stolen. : ( Do something you can’t tell your parents about.What happens in Colombia stays in Colombia. ; ) Know a dance well enough that you could keep up with the locals.All I’ve got to say is Medellín 2010. Unfortunately, the bar with live music that I visited at least twice closed as of January 2013.