It’s no secret that my twenties were kind of hectic. Pretty much on a whim (and because I liked the ring it had to it) I set myself the challenge of visiting and blogging 40 countries before my 30th birthday.
I was 26 when I came up with the idea of naming my blog 40before30 and was over half way towards my goal at the time. I worked in international events so it wasn’t so much of a stretch and I tucked into my new challenge with gusto.
But what I never revealed at that time was my how my travelling to all those countries was about more than just adding another number to a list. I was searching for something. Sometimes the search was for the ‘perfect man’, other times a ‘dream career’. Often I would travel to a new country and just repeatedly ask myself ‘Can I live here?’
I certainly wasn’t unhappy with my lot in London. Looking back I realise I was incredibly lucky to have found such amazing jobs. My work as an international events manager led to incredible experiences including briefing the president of Estonia on when to begin his opening speech, and my job at Flight Centre as Content and Community Manager taught me so much that is integral to my work as a blogger and freelance social media consultant now. In the end, even the right man turned out to be right under my nose, on Twitter no less.
But of course at the time I didn’t know where all this was going. So I kept travelling, at every and all possibility. Sometimes hurried, often frenzied.
My thirties have been a little different. Last December I took the big step into my 3rd decade and decided to slow down. I made a vow to travel less in 2015 and have stuck to it. I’m very content with my base here in Sydney and work has been (thankfully) steadily forthcoming and a lot of fun. I’ve only taken trips that I really, really want to do – not just because there was a window of opportunity I threw myself through head first – and I’ve travelled slower, more thoughtfully, particularly around Australia.
I’ve taken long road trips and marvelled at different landscapes, loved the randomness of lonely wayside inns and the unusual yet charming people you meet there. I’ve sought out people (either online or in location) who know the places I visit better than me – asking for their perspective on their country and what they think I should see outside of my personal wish list. I’ve travelled more with Justin (that man I met on Twitter) because I’ve found that sharing travel experiences makes them twice as special and the memories last much longer. I’ve also prioritised travelling home whenever I can, to spend time with friends and family and be content doing nothing but soaking up their company.
I share these thoughts today because the team at G Adventures want to help you take your next big step towards an extraordinary life. Entering a new decade or searching for a new career can be challenging so G Adventures will be sending 3 lucky winners on life-changing travel adventures. All you need to do is tell them why you’re ready to take the #NextStep.
Update: The G Adventures ‘Make Your #NextStep Count’ competition has now closed but you still have a chance to take the next step and choose to travel with a purpose. For more information click here.
I’d also love to know if the way you travel has changed as you’ve grown older? Have work or relationships effected your decisions? Let me know in the comments below.
*This post was produced in conjunction with G Adventures. Contest is open to residents of Australian and New Zealand. Hurry, entries close 6th December 2015 (also my 31st birthday!)