30 Things Every Traveler Must Do Before They're 30

They say life begins at 30, but that doesn't mean you shouldn't squeeze as much adventure as possible into your 20s. Here, Away.com editor Lacy Morris lists 30 things every person with a bit of wanderlust must see and do before they're 30.
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Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California
Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, California  (Brand X Pictures)

We all have personal milestones, whether it's owning a house by so-and-so age or paying off student loans before taking on new ones. As the big 3-0 creeps up on me, I've started to think about my own. And perhaps it's that I'm just starting to take notice, but I feel like I'm bombarded with reminders of my age every day. (Relax, baby boomers, I know I'm not old.) One day I'm seeing an advertisement for a book that I'm supposed to buy called 30 Things Every Woman Should Have and Should Know By The Time She's 30, and the next I'm staring at a New York Times headline that reads, "What is it about 20-somethings?" So what is it? Does my generation need more guidance than those of the past? According to a study done by the Pew Research Center, we're "confident, connected, and open to change." And that, I'll accept. But as I contemplate the idea that in the next two years I should buy an expensive piece of furniture, master the use of a cordless drill, and know how many kids I want and when, I can't help but pull out my iPad (ah, the perks of being a Millennial) and compile my own list...it's the whole bring-order-to-chaos idea. The brainchild of a travel writer—whose goals after college ranked seeing the world much higher than getting a job (double points that I did both at the same time?)—here is my highly subjective list of 30 things every traveler should see and do before they're 30.

1. Jump off something.
Whether it be a tree by the river next to your childhood home or bungee jumping from the Victoria Falls Bridge in Zimbabwe.

2. See one of the Seven Wonders of the World.
This is a tough one, because at 30, well, you still have the bank account of a 29-year-old. The good news here is that it doesn't necessarily have to be one of the originals—go for the Golden Gate Bridge (modern world), the Grand Canyon (natural wonder), or the Mayan ruins in the Yucatán Peninsula (USA Today new wonder), an affordable flight from most U.S. cities.

3. Party in Las Vegas.
No person should exit their 20s without doing something they regret in Sin City. The place was basically built for us.

4. Take a vacation that isn't Spring Break.
You had your opportunity to drink beer upside down and insist you don't need sunscreen while in college. Besides, you don't remember anything from those trips anyway.

5. Attend at least one large celebration.
Mardi Gras, Full Moon Party, Easter Mass—I don't care, as long as you have to throw elbows to get to the bar, or the alter.

6. Hit up a nude beach.
If for no other reason, use the time to look around and remind yourself of how young you actually are.

7. Spend several days with only what will fit in a backpack.
If you can brush your teeth with river water and comb your hair with a tree branch, you can most certainly figure out how to stop turning all of your white clothes pink.

8. Swim in the ocean.
This is a must.

9. Sleep somewhere where you have to light a fire to stay warm.
Kudos if you can do so without matches.

10. Do some sort of adrenaline sport.
Raft a Class V rapid, mountain bike Whistler in the summer, surf a wave larger than your torso—meaning: do something that scares you.

Published: 25 Jan 2013 | Last Updated: 28 Jan 2013
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication
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