Travel when you’re young. If you don’t, you’ll regret it.

One of my readers, Shivanna Samlal sent me the following link … “10 Trips You NEED To Take In Your 20s” and asked my thoughts …

If you weren’t paying attention to the words, here are the bullet points

  1. Go on a road trip across the country with your friends.
  2. Use a Eurail pass to see Europe … preferably on your own.
  3. Go on a cheesy spring break trip (in your 20’s)
  4. Lose yourself in South-East Asia, preferably with new friends, who you meet on the road.
  5. You should go to Burning Man or Bonnaroo.
  6. Go to the Himalayas and embrace your inner Beastie Boy.
  7. Go on a camping trip in the middle of “nowhere”
  8. Spend a week on the beach with someone you love.
  9. Take a last minute trip to see a friend … you can use a train, car or fly.
  10. Spend a week in Paris with a friend who you secretly likes you back.

As a Trinidadian living abroad, I can easily understand that there aren’t many Trini 20-somethings that would be able to even attack half this list. By the end of my 20’s I was done with basically 8 items on this list, but it was because I made travel a priority … I didn’t buy a flashy car or spend on expensive things/clothes. I just had my own priorities. Many have criticized this list as being ridiculous, geared towards white kids with parents who have money to burn and giving the message that doing this stuff later in life isn’t as valuable.

You only live once, but if you do it right, once is enough … Mae West

I can say without a doubt, that I wouldn’t have had it any other way. For instance, my trip to Paris was deliciously bitter sweet, because I met an ex-girlfriend there. I was sad and excited by the end of my stay, but it was unforgettable because everything was up in the air. It was also my first time in Paris … and there is something magical amidst the derison, scorn and contempt that you’ll face while you’re there. Doing this in your 30’s just wouldn’t be the same, as would be taking a ridiculous spring break trip. In your 20’s, getting completely plastered, doing insane stunts, making out with random women and other sorts of debauchery is almost socially accepted … try doing this in your 30’s and absolving your personal guilt or rationalizing this to your 30-something year old friends. I can feel the “eye rolls” and “headshaking” already.

It’s not the years in your life that count. It’s the life in your years … Abraham Lincoln

I personally don’t care about the criticisms of such a video. We all have very different circumstances in our lives. For some of us, success is defined as getting clean water and a place to sleep. My heart will always go out to those people, but in the end, we’re living in vastly different realities, and drawing a comparison is unjust and unfair.

If I’d followed all the rules, I’d never have gotten anywhere … Marilyn Monroe

For a large percentage of us … the opportunity is there, but we choose to sit at home, live in fear, listening to other people’s opinions rather than forming our own or having other people’s experience fed to us. The video above is aspirational  … wasting the chance, when you have the opportunity, seems to be a sin to me. I don’t think that the vast majority of 20-somethings would wander off … but I know many 20 somethings who have gotten jobs, bought houses, gotten married or had children. Those are all harder than wandering off and having some adventure … so why not attempt the list above when you’re 20? You have your whole life to get a job, house, married or kids.

Action expresses priorities … Mahatma Gandhi

You can only be an ass in your 20’s and get away with it … but you can be a boss at any age … ask my dad!

Take time to be the biggest ass you can be … you won’t regret it!

Rishi Sankar is a Cloud HRMS Project Manager/ Solution Architect. Over the past 15+ years, he has managed to combine his overwhelming wanderlust with a desire to stay employed, resulting in continuing stints with 3 major consulting firms (IBM, Deloitte, Accenture). He documents his adventures around the world on "Ah Trini Travelogue" with pictures and stories from the road/tuk-tuk/camel/rickshaw. You can follow him on Twitter at @rishiray and on Facebook at "Ah Trini Travelogue . He doesn't like Chicken Curry but loves Curry Chicken and is always trying to find the perfect Trinidadian roti on the road. He also doesn't like cheese and kittens ... and definitely not together. E-mail from his blog is appreciated like a 35 yr old Balvenie at [email protected]