One of the best parts of my 20s was having the privilege and ability to travel and see the world. I started The Blonde Abroad when I was 24, and having just turned 30 this past year, it’s safe to say I had some of my biggest adventures before hitting the big 3-0!
There are SO many amazing, unique and life-changing destinations and experiences around the world that make for some incredible memories. Whether it be an African safari, traveling solo for the first time, an epic road trip, or facing your fear of heights (or the deep sea), there are so many things to add to your “30 Before 30” bucket list.
Here’s my “30 Things to Do Before You Turn 30” travel bucket list!
There are few things as liberating and exciting as traveling alone. My first solo trip changed my life (it’s when I started this blog), and the experiences it’s given me are priceless.
Before you hit the big 3-0, plan a solo trip. You can start with a small road trip in your country or book a ticket to a faraway place you’ve been dreaming of. Whichever you decide, you’ll find that solo travel empowers you. You get to decide what you want to see, when you’re going to see it, if you’re going to sleep in late, where to eat, and so much more!
Learn to Cook a Traditional Dish
Whenever I travel abroad, I make it a priority to check out the local food and learn how to cook a new cuisine. Over the years, I’ve learned how to whip up traditional dishes from Amman, Chiang Mai, Barcelona, Tokyo, Rome, and New Orleans.
Adding a global twist to your cooking repertoire will wow your friends and family, but also transport you back to an incredible trip.
Go on an African Safari
During my first trip to Africa in 2016, I fell hard for South Africa and the beauty of the African bush. With stunning landscapes and incredible wildlife, going on safari has quickly become one of my favorite travel experiences. My favorite safari experiences have been in South Africa, Kenya, Namibia, and Botswana so far!
There’s nothing like seeing a cheetah run at full speed over the arid plains of the Masai Mara or waking up at dawn and watching the bush come to life!
Backpack Around Europe
Staying in hostels and exploring Europe on the cheap is a rite of passage and an amazing travel experience in itself. When I first started my blog, I traveled around Europe with less than $30 per day.
I learned important travel skills, like how to plan and budget for trips, tips for finding cheap flights, and figuring out public transportation in another language all by myself.
Go Somewhere That Requires a Visa
Since I started dating a South African, I’ve really come to appreciate how fortunate I am to have a first-world passport. I don’t need to apply to Europe, Australia or Canada. More often than not, I get a free visa on arrival, or I pay a small fee.
Before entering a whole new decade of your life, travel somewhere that’s not easy. Go to places like Brazil, India, Mozambique or China where you’ll need to visit a consulate beforehand. It will make you appreciate the trip and your passport that much more.
Plan a Road Trip
There’s nothing like hitting the open road! From the California Coast to Iceland to Namibia, I’ve experienced some unforgettable road trips over the years. The best part? You’re in total control.
If Iceland is on your bucket list, I highly recommend taking 7-10 days (or more!) and driving the Ring Road around the island! If you crave desert sunsets and dirt roads, be sure to road trip through Namibia.
You don’t have to worry about sticking to a rigid itinerary, making it an empowering travel experience.
Overcome a Fear
If you scroll through my Instagram, I might seem fearless on the surface. I’ve jumped out of a plane, gone scuba diving around the world and hiked the world’s most dangerous trail in China.
But, before I did any of those things, I was terrified.
Try doing something that scares you– whether it’s heights, flying or the deep ocean. When you step out of your comfort zone you grow as a person.
Get a Travel Rewards Credit Card
Curious about how I afford to travel? I signed up for a rewards credit card a few years ago, and it’s changed how I travel!
It’s helped me afford bucket list worthy trips, travel more comfortably on long-haul flights and stay in luxury hotel rooms for a fraction of the price. Recently, I’ve started using my miles to upgrade my seat from economy to business class.
It’s totally worth it!
With so many different travel credit card options out there, it’s easy to find one that works for your lifestyle. Plus, many of the sign-up bonuses are super generous, and you’ll be able to afford a trip before you even make your first swipe.
Learn to Scuba Dive
I love everything about scuba diving! I got my PADI Open Water certification in Panama, I completed my Advanced Open Water in Mexico and received my Nitrox certification in French Polynesia.
Fast forward a few years, and I’ve dived in over 12 countries!
With more than 71% of the Earth covered by water, there’s so much to discover beneath our oceans. Gift yourself with a PADI certification and open yourself up to how beautiful life “unda da sea” truly is!
Get a Job Working Abroad
Want to stay on the road for longer? Get a job that will let you live abroad! You can get your TEFL qualification and teach English in destinations like China, Thailand or Cambodia.
But if the classroom life is not for you, there are tons of other career options. You can become a bar crawl leader, work in a hostel or a tour guide for companies like Contiki or G Adventures.