10 Things To Do In Your 20s That Are Far More Important Than Traveling

woman reading a ton of magazines
God & Man

1. Discovering your truth.

The truth for a handful of people in their 20s nowadays is more travel = success. I used to be onboard with this philosophy at 21. But once you hit rock bottom and realize that you can’t make big moves in life because the balance in your bank account is a joke, you will never remember the trip that you took in the past. Traveling makes you feel good, but it doesn’t solve many things. It doesn’t linger within you when you’re stressed out.

2. Defining what is important to you.

You only have less than 20 hours a day to make a difference in your life. Which means you won’t be able to do everything that is on your list of goals. Forget about being the best or the most popular or the greatest. Trust me, it’s no fun constantly worrying about being number one 24/7. What you can do, however, is rank the things that are important in your heart. Pay attention to those that bring life to your body. And devote all your attention to them.

3. Saving some cash.

Stop listening to people who say, “The only thing that will help you know yourself is to go out there and travel.” This is not true! There are millions of ways that you can do to figure yourself out. And most of them are cheap. You shouldn’t be spending a huge chunk of your money to be somewhere new, believing you will come back home a different person. Change comes from within. Yes, your external surroundings can inspire you. But completely change you? Nope.

4. Knowing what you don’t like in life.

Disliking something or someone doesn’t make you a horrible person. Not everyone will be a fan of you and you will not like everyone too — this is one truth about life. Deciding not to talk to a person you don’t feel comfortable with is okay. Making a choice not to patronize a certain thing is not bad. You don’t have to force yourself to do something that you don’t want to do. The more honest you are to yourself, the more peaceful your mind will be.

5. Doing something that sparks your soul.

Climbing mountains, sailing the oceans, and stepping inside beautiful cities will definitely ignite something inside of you. But so does cultivating your skills and learning how to make your craft better. My grandma always says that tourist spots will never go away. But time will. And time wasted is worse than missing out on some backpacking adventure. You have the option of actively improving your situation now or keep roaming around the world. Your 30s will ultimately tell you if you’ve made the right decision.

6. Finding true friends.

I swear it’s not that hard to search for friends that you can trust. I used to believe that I would make it into my 30s not having real friends. But I was very wrong. Because I have found people who are just like me. The secret is that you have to open yourself up to the world. It’s going to be challenging at first. But at least try. You’ll be surprised at what’s going to happen when you allow people to come into your life.

7. Learning how to be okay on your own.

Silence is not scary. Staying on your bed during weeknights or weekends isn’t sad. It’s cool to be surrounded by people, but they will not be there all the time. You have to learn to rely on yourself. It’s okay to not be present in every social gathering out there. To not be the kind of person who has been to a dozen of countries. Your fear of missing out will not kill you. So stop checking on what everyone’s doing. And instead, start caring about how you can make yourself genuinely happy.

8. Working on your resume.

You can’t complain about being broke and not earning much when you’re not putting extra effort into your work. I’ve heard enough people whine about being underpaid to last a lifetime. You need to understand that employers pay you based on your skillset, on what you can do as an employee, and how you can give value to the company. Evaluate your capabilities and check your resume if you’ve worked hard enough to be deserving of higher pay. If you’re feeling kind of doubtful, then it’s time to hustle some more.

9. Growing thicker skin.

I know being thrown in unfamiliar places improves your confidence and your instincts. Talking to people who don’t speak your language somehow makes you more sociable. However, I also do know that facing your fears and not running away from them makes you stronger. You can grow thick skin by rising up from uncomfortable situations within or outside the city where you live in. You can learn courage anywhere else, really. You don’t necessarily have to find it on the other side of the world.

10. Falling in love with yourself.

The most important thing that you can do in your 20s is to take good care of yourself. It’s not easy to be kind to the face that you see in your bathroom mirror when you always have something to hate. But you can try again and again to smile and like the person staring back at you. Acceptance takes a lot of work. Knowing how to love yourself requires time. So instead of leaping out there in the world, hoping to find pieces of yourself in different places, it’s better to search for a place you can call home within yourself. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

About the author

Angelo Caerlang

Angelo Caerlang is the author of Sparks in Broken Lights.

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