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What age is "best" to travel?

At what age did you travel or at what age would you have preferred to have done your travelling?
15 years ago, July 18th 2008 No: 1 Msg: #42326  

I am currently 23 and as all of us here, i want to see the world.

But, i also have fears about what i will do when i finish travelling, if i was to travel now.

The reason i say this is i am deeply considering spending the next 4/5 years in the navy. Getting personal skills, CV experience and some much needed character building. In that time i could save for my worldwide trip.

Or i could go now, whilst i am still very young.

I think if i went now, i would still be very naive and might not be as brave as i might be in future years, although in future years i may infact be more reserved and take a more laid back approach.

Do you think the 4/5 delay would have that much effect?

Reply to this

15 years ago, July 18th 2008 No: 2 Msg: #42327  
Hello Simon 😊

Here is a thread which may interest you .

General travel age.

Mel Reply to this

15 years ago, July 18th 2008 No: 3 Msg: #42346  
Thanks mell :D Reply to this

15 years ago, July 19th 2008 No: 4 Msg: #42398  
B Posts: 104
Hey Simon,

I think the only person that can answer this question is you. However I would say if you are having to ask the question in the first place, then maybe it is better to wait......

I waited until now to travel not due to age but because it was the right time for me. I also had more money to actually enjoy all the places I've seen. I've met quite alot of people (of all ages) who haven't been able to see and do everything they want due to financial constraints and that seems to be a bigger barrier than age.

Whatever you decide it will be right for you.

Oh and would being in the navy not get you to visit quite alot of places too??

Good Luck, Sarah Reply to this

15 years ago, July 21st 2008 No: 5 Msg: #42524  
N Posts: 47
hi Simon,

I'm 18 and I have just returned from a working/backpacking trip of Europe. I made friends on the way, but I was always the youngest, and I think that especially as a girl travelling mostly alone I held back on a lot of things .. maybe if I was older I would have had more confidence.

But, on the other hand, I'm sure that the travelling itself built up my independence, and it was really worthwhile to me to learnt that I could do things on my own.
I think either way you'll have a good time! Reply to this

15 years ago, July 21st 2008 No: 6 Msg: #42602  
B Posts: 212
the only thing I would say to think about is that as you're thinking of travelling now, would you maybe feel trapped if you committed yourself to 4 or 5 years in the navy before going? It might be fine, or you might get a year or two down the track and find you want to leave... I don't know enough about these things, but am imagining you have to sign up for a certain time and then it's possibly tricky if you want to leave earlier?
Having said that, I was an older traveller (38) and feel I definitely gained more than I would have done when I was younger because I think I handled things better and didn't get freaked out. Also with some life experience behind me, I think I was able to appreciate things that I maybe wouldn't have. But that was a personal thing for me, and based on my personality and the fact that I was very immature in my late teens and twenties. I met a lot of young travellers who were really happy they were travelling and were gaining loads from the experience. Travelling in itself is character-building as you learn to cope with things that you didn't think you could cope with. the fact you're already thinking things through in a considered way and aware that you might not be 'ready' makes me think that you ARE ready! In any case, you can travel now AND later, it doesn't have to be a just once-in-a-lifetime thing. And I don't think you need to worry about what you'd do when you come back - you don't know where your travelling will take you (inside and outside) or how you'll feel when you're back. I gave up everything to go away, some may have called it stupid, (including me!) but I resolved not to worry about 'when I'm back', and just be in the present while I was away - and everything worked out fine!
Go with your heart, is my advice - work out what you really WANT to do now, and then do it 😊 Reply to this

15 years ago, July 27th 2008 No: 7 Msg: #43244  
I feel go to navy first and then start world over. You are still young. Reply to this

15 years ago, August 2nd 2008 No: 8 Msg: #43989  
B Posts: 29
Hi Simon

I've been travelling on and (mainly) off since I was 20. I got my career and life sorted and then stopped phaffing and moved to the UK last year to focus on travel. I'm now 38, so maybe a little older than your typical Aussie backpacker!

You need to do what works for you. I'm sure with the Navy you would get the opportunity to see some amazing places and then when you get out you could look at going back and exploring those places in more detail. If you are 23 now then you should still be ok for most of the Working Holiday Visa schemes as they usually hang around until 31.

I enjoy my travel more now as I'm less interested in pubs and bars and more interested in the places and people. Reply to this

15 years ago, August 5th 2008 No: 9 Msg: #44385  
I have never regretted completing my teaching training before I left home. I didn't want to , but my mum convinced me that I could always leave and go back once trained. I listened ...probably for the only time in my life! ...to her and have never regretted doing so. I got my Cert, left , took any and every job under the sun except teaching, for nearly ten years until I found myself in Nepal , wanting to stay longer. Began teaching English, stayed and had 18mths there. (and into Tibet for four) I've made it (ESL) my travelling career ever since....

Left home at 21 , now 50+ and still away! So what's a few years at the beginning? Skills to use for work overseas? Good idea!

On my travels I met a few ex-navy guys who were travelling and doing things with what they had learnt in the navy - electrics/electronics/building houses/crew on boats etc Reply to this

15 years ago, August 25th 2008 No: 10 Msg: #46661  
A lot can happen in 4-5 years. Heck, a lot can happen in a month! At 23, I went to Oz for a year. I met travelers of all ages, from 17 to 75. Any age is the right age to travel!!

Now that I'm back in Canada, my original plan was to "backpack" around my own country. I found, however, that being a bit older than the average backpacker in the places that everyone wants to work (aka anywhere in the Rockies), I wasn't willing to live in dorms for months on end or share rooms anymore. Had I been a bit younger I might've gone for it...as we get older, we do set certain standards for ourselves based on experiences. Your traveling experience at 23 and 4-5 years later will be drastically different!
Why not do a bit of both? Pick a few countries to visit now, do some time in the Navy (I'm sure they'd send you to some interesting places), then see where life takes you? Reply to this

15 years ago, August 25th 2008 No: 11 Msg: #46698  
B Posts: 228
I think for me, I see things differently at different ages, so there is no right or wrong age - I just get different things out of it. I loved traveling in high school and right out of college and now when i go back to some of those same places, I see it in a new llight - either because my view on life has changed over the past few years or because I physically am drawn to see different things than I was at a younger age. I think a lot depends on your destination and your "reason" for traveling. So i think you can get Perhaps as others have suggested, you make a list of some of your top destinations, try to hit a few now and see how you feel. Maybe you'll love it so much that decide not to do the navy right now, or maybe you'll get your "fill" of traveling for a while (if there is such a thing! :-), join the navy (where most likely you'll be traveling a bit) and then travel some more after 4 or 5 years. Reply to this

15 years ago, August 26th 2008 No: 12 Msg: #46783  
Hey there - don't underestimate the character building and personal skills that travel will bring! Give it a shot, see if you like it, whether it's for you right now - then make your decision.

Would the 4/5 year delay entering the navy have that much effect?!!!

Enjoy! E Reply to this

15 years ago, August 29th 2008 No: 13 Msg: #47235  
I am young myself (soon to be 22) and think that NOW is the best time to travel!!! Do it while you can, do it while you have that passion and fire pushing you forward, because who KNOWS what could happen in a year, two years, 5 years, or 10 years. You don't want to have any regrets down the road and I always tell myself, if I don't do it now, then I might never do it. SO that's my advice. listen to what your heart is telling you you want most. hope this helps! Reply to this

15 years ago, August 30th 2008 No: 14 Msg: #47332  
To quote Dara Torres (US Olympic swimmer who won a silver medal at 41), "You don't have to put an age limit on your dreams."

I agree with Jane, Debbie, Maya, etc. you might enjoy travel a lot more when you are more settled in yourself, have a bit of money saved, and can really enjoy the little things. The navy will probably give you a good taste for travel, and you can save and plan the whole time, and travel knowing you are building some job skills to implement when you get back. Not to be pessimistic, but when you get back from a long trip, exhausted, without a penny to your name (maybe even sold your car in the process) it can be a hard slog to get rolling again. Just a thought, but maybe the fact that you are questioning your choice is your answer. I heard in a movie or something that when we can't decide, it is usually more that we have already made the choice, we just don't like the choice we made!! 😊
Reply to this

15 years ago, September 6th 2008 No: 15 Msg: #48125  
Lol, love the movie quote! Perhaps that is why I am always so indecisive, I can never make a good choice!

Have you thought about taking a year to travel around the world before going into the Navy? I have several friends in the military and their lives revolve around work. Although many get to live in different states and even countries, one person I know is on a Navy ship for 6 months at a time traveling to various ports. THAT would be fun to read! Some of them do quite a bit of traveling, even though they only get two weeks off at a time.

Again, the military is not too kind to older folks, or at least it seems like a lot of people I know who are in the military are all in their twenties. My parents have traveled for years, and are now in their sixties. They told me that I should travel while I'm young because it gets a lot harder as the years go on.

Reply to this

15 years ago, September 8th 2008 No: 16 Msg: #48238  
It is odd to read comments by so many young travelers. I lived in Florence for 5 months when I was 23 back in 1975. I think that it was the perfect age to travel. My life has been very different because of that experience. I still take every opportunity to travel and have since seen many places but because of work I never will have an extended stay...at least not before I retire.

I tell everyone who will listen that they should travel while they are young. It may change what they want out of life. Reply to this

15 years ago, September 8th 2008 No: 17 Msg: #48244  
Thanks for all of the replies, i appreciate them.

I have decided that i will travel now rather than later.

As LarryC said "It may change what they want out of life" - i agree with this statement. I feel my traveling will sculpture my future. It could confirm that i want to join the navy in the future, could give me a new route in life or if anything else will give me a great adventure to always look back on.

Again thanks for the replies. Reply to this

15 years ago, September 9th 2008 No: 18 Msg: #48288  
B Posts: 228
Great!!! good luck!! Reply to this

15 years ago, September 10th 2008 No: 19 Msg: #48373  
Brilliant decision. I reckon it's the right one!

Reply to this

15 years ago, September 15th 2008 No: 20 Msg: #48772  
I think 23 is a great age to go. I am 25 and heading off in a couple of months on a 7 month trip. I don’t think I could have gone when I was 18. I just would not have had the life skills to deal with it nor the money for that matter. The problem with waiting is that how do you know where you will be in 4/5 years time you might have a wife and kids by then. You wont be able to go travelling then! I would say go now while you have the opportunity. If you don’t have the money the work as you travel and get working visas. Stay longer in the places that are cheap like Thailand or Cambodia. At 23 you should have more than enough life skills to deal with it. I am going of by my self and am sure I will meat plenty of interesting people along the way. Reply to this

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