I’m turning 25 on Saturday, and with my birthday literally around the corner I’m starting to think about the things I’ve achieved while travelling as well as the things I thought I would’ve experienced by now. The result is a list of 25 travel experiences you should experience before turning 25.
1. Work abroad
Having done this for the past 8 months, I cannot recommend enough that you work abroad at one point in your life. Nothing can teach you about a country’s culture better than working in a local company.
This is something I’ve yet to master, but I have still done a bit of videos from my travels the past few years. And there are loads more to come. My favorite one yet is the one where I share some clips from my time in Hong Kong.
3. Catch your own food
In my early teenage years I was a girl scout, which meant that most of my weekends were spent in a tent and at a campfire, and all of my summers consisted of a few weeks of hiking through the incredible nature of Norway and Sweden. On those trips we were far away from any civilization and had to catch our own food in the nearby rivers. Nothing tastes better than the first bite of a fish you’ve caught yourself!
4. Watch an epic sunrise
I mean, do I really need to defend putting this on the list? Nothing beats waking up way too early just to catch a glimpse of the sun waking up over a beautiful landscape.
5. Get lost
In a technological society it is easy to get tempted to rely too much on your phone and planning while travelling. But I must admit some of the most amazing gems and memories from my travels I’ve found when I forget all about maps and just got lost. If I hadn’t gotten lost during my travels, I would never have found that amazing mask shop away from the crowds of tourists in Venice, or that amazing dumpling place in Beijing.
This may sound a bit odd, as all the other experiences on this list are positive. But I truly believe that we all should have at least one bad travel experience, whether it being a bad hotel/hostel, a terrible flight delay, or visiting something super overrated and touristy. This way you can appreciate all good or even mediocre experiences to the fullest, because you know it could’ve been worse.
7. Go skiing
As a kid I used to go with my parents to either Norway or Sweden for skiing every single winter. Now that I’m grown up, I don’t go quite as often, but I did still go skiing a few times in the Alps with my Frenchie (who was pretty much born with skis stuck on his feet). Nothing beats the fresh winter air and the beautiful snow covered landscape that you pass while skiing down the slopes.
I dined at my very first Michelin-starred restaurant during my time in Hong Kong, which is known to have some of the world’s cheapest Michelin restaurants. Our choices were One Dim Sum and Tim Ho Wan and we ended up paying no more than about $ 20 for several incredible courses for the both of us. Hands down one of the most amazing dining experiences I’ve ever had!
Whether through study trips or or guided group tours, you gotta experience this at least once in your life! My first time in China was for summer school in Beijing when I went with a bunch of other Danish students. Although I had never met any of those people before, I still bonded so quickly with them thanks to all the incredibly weird experiences (and people) we encountered along the way. My blogger trip to Morocco is another example of a successful trip with a group of people I’d never met before.
Yet another experience from my time in Hong Kong. Hong Kong is an incredibly expensive place to visit when it comes to the accommodation, but since I was gonna spend the next 5 months in a youth hostel far from central Hong Kong, Ollie and I had decided to splurge on a fancy hotel in central for my first week in the city, before Ollie went back to France. I will never forget that comfy bed and that incredible view over the city of Hong Kong!
13. Go scuba diving
14. Eat local
15. Live abroad
There’s no secret that I’m a big fan of the expat life, and I take any chance I get to encourage you guys and people that I meet to live abroad at least once in your life. So far I’ve lived in Arkansas, Hong Kong and Amsterdam, and I’m hoping to be able to add more places to the list in the future. There’s no better way to explore a new country and culture than becoming part of it and living in it for a while.
16. Camp in the middle of nowhere
Yet another throwback to my days as a scout, when we went hiking and camping in no man’s land in Norway and Sweden. Hands down one of the best memories I have from my childhood. Just our group in the middle of the most incredible nature and no other people for the few weeks we spend hiking or canoeing there. Quite the contrast to when I decided to live in Hong Kong for a while.
Whether you decide to do this as an exchange student or via couch surfing, there really is no better way to explore a new culture than when you’re staying with locals. When we travelled around China in 2015, we decided to stay at an Airbnb in Guilin, where we got to interact with the people in the tiny village, taste some amazing local food and explore places with the owner, which I’m sure no other Danish person has experienced before!
19. Study abroad
Just because you’ve decided to go to university, it doesn’t mean that you cannot travel. One of the best and most life changing experiences I’ve had during my time in uni was when I spent a semester abroad in Arkansas. I really cannot recommend enough that you do it if you get the opportunity!
20. Travel first class/business class
This is something that I’ve yet to try. I mean, when you’re only a student, it’s kinda hard to defend spending all your money on first class rather than something else (like school books). Hopefully the corporate life can make that a reality at one point.
The most of us probably only remember the family holidays from our teenage years when we really just thought that our parents were super lame. Now that we’re all past those teenage hormones and aggressions, nothing beats a good family holiday when you’re somewhat on the same level as your parents. My favorite trips with my family in the recent years has been visiting the south of France and of course when they picked me up from my semester abroad in Arkansas, and we did a road trip through the Deep South.
Whether it is just a summer fling or something that evolves to something more serious, I believe we all truly deserve having a romance while travelling. I found my Frenchy when living in the US, and with him I’ve had some of the most amazing experiences in my life.
All the current politics aside, the US is an incredibly beautiful and diverse country, and the best way to discover it is through a road trip.
24. Find yourself
As much I like to encourage you guys to get out there and find new places, I think it’s just as important to allow yourself to focus on finding yourself. It was through travelling that I learned to deal with my depression and really just find peace with myself and quit worrying about what (I think) everyone is thinking.
25. Take a gap year to travel full-time
This is something that I’m yet to experience. Since I decided to be a good daughter and citizen, I followed the Danish government’s guidelines, and went straight to high school after elementary school, then took my bachelor’s degree and finished my master’s degree this summer, younger than any of my classmates. Although I’ve had some quite amazing experiences along the way, one of the things that I dream the most about lately is to take a gap year like my fellow classmates just to travel full-time. Hopefully I will be able to fulfil that dream one day.