The Finances of Travel – And Being Young
So, I first need to clarify that this isn’t an attack on anyone, including some of the folks that I know visit my ole corner of the web and have posted on this topic. Just want to get that out.
As I wander more and more around the blogosphere (do people still use that term?) it seems like every day I come across more and more posts about;
- being in your 20′s
- being an expert on traveling
- how money drives everything
I hate all of them. Almost.
I’ve found one post that I actually appreciate and because it’s on a site that I can’t figure out how to ‘reblog’ from, you’ll just have to go read the damn thing, or put up with my poor attempt to copy it onto my site.
Catherine Skroch’s 26 Tips for Surviving (and loving!) Your 20′s.
1. Nurture relationships with (at least four) close friends. You will need them when the going gets rough.
2. Nurture relationships with old professors. You will need them when filling out job and school applications.
3. Break up with that person who is wasting your time. Also, if your ex has moved on, you should too.
4. Open a savings account and put 10% of everything you make into it (even that birthday money from Granny). Also, establish a regular pattern of giving to causes you believe in.
5. Eat a plant every day. At least, something that grew from a plant: fruit, vegetable, legume, etc.
6. Drink a glass of water in between each alcoholic drink.
7. Stay active. Pick a sport or form of exercise that you love/tolerate and continue to do it throughout your 20’s. You’re never too old to join a flag football team, and never too young to join a bowling league.
8. Perfect the art of kissing.
9. If it’s cold outside, wear reasonable clothing. There’s a time and a place to be cute, but let’s be real: pneumonia is never cute.
10. Forgive people who hurt you in the past. Ancient wounds will only eat you alive. And those jerks have no right to control your future.
11. Pay off your student loans by the time you’re 30.
12. Get mono. If you survive it once, you’re set for life.
13. Seek out a mentor – an older, wiser person who has an objective view on your life (preferably not your parents).
14. Get some good anti-virus and security software on your computer.
15. Remember this: life is too short to stay at parties that are lame.
16. Keep all your tax forms in one place, so that you can pull out last year’s as needed (yes, you can be audited in your 20’s).
17. Emergency contacts. When you travel (as we 20-somethings do), bring a card with emergency contact numbers to be able to cancel your credit cards and phone. Keep this in a different place than your passport, credit cards, and cell phone.
18. Back up your computer files. Technology fails.
19. Be humble. Clearly we DO know everything in our 20’s, but humility will sail you far in the real world.
20. Live as simply as possible. Having less stuff frees you up to be able to pack up and go wherever you want whenever you want. Reducing your expenses allows you to do the crazier stuff that makes your 20’s memorable (see #17).
21. Do not live too far in the past (in memories or regrets), nor too far in the future (in expectations or anxieties). Be present. Cultivate mindfulness, while you’re eating, working, spending time with friends, or suffering through another holiday dinner with family.
22. Learn to cook. This is cheaper, easier, and sexier than going out for food all the time … or than relying on your mom to make your meals.
23. Pray. Find a mechanism to connect with your spiritual side and be unapologetic about it … it’s like free therapy any time you want!
24. Professional growth. We’ve all got to pay our dues at crappy jobs, but if yours is truly stealing your soul, give yourself a time limit there. Your 20’s are too precious to spend cooped up in an office you hate. Also, take mental health days when you need them!
25. Consider what your dream job is before you get that tattoo. Are they compatible?
26. Don’t plan too far ahead. Do you have a 10-year plan? That’ll change. If you put all your trust in well-laid plans, you risk falling to pieces if they do too.
The reason I love this list? Aside from number 11 it focuses on relationships, rather than financial success. Being young should be about living life and having fun. I recognize that I’m lucky. My parents have allowed me back in to their house for 2 months, I was able to get a college degree from a private liberal arts college and I’m able to travel. Others in this world are not nearly so blessed, but this list doesn’t really necessitate a distinction. Or maybe it does and I’m too blind to see it.
Go live life. Be a grownup later.