I moved to Singapore earlier this year, and thought it was the best time for me to start this blog in the hope that I could inspire others to do something similar rather than spending their life thinking, 'What if I had lived abroad when I was younger?'.
Without further ado - here are the reasons why I find travelling over 30 is different from in your teens and 20's!
It's less about hostels and more about boutique hotels
I did things a bit differently to other people I know. I worked super hard (too many hours) and got my career nailed first, then decided to travel a bit later in life. The beauty of this is I have the financial backing I wouldn't have had when I was 10 years younger.
I travel everywhere with my partner and we are lucky enough to be able to pick nicer hotels than we would've been able to afford when we were younger. Although we do try to budget as much as we can, we try not to worry about doing any organised day trips we fancy and enjoying that extra cocktail here and there! One of my fave hotels we have stayed in this year was Hotel Stripes in Kuala Lumpur: you can read my full review here.
Natural beauty is suddenly, well... beautiful!
I honestly feel like I appreciate the world so much more than I would have done if I'd done a gap year straight from University. I remember being a teenager and my grandparents pointing things out from the car window: the seasons changing, the sunny weather, the formation of clouds, and I just used to think why are you telling me this, I don't care (such a moody devil)!
I am now at that age where I find myself appreciating the changing seasons, beautiful greenery and all aspects of nature just so much more. I honestly have so much gratitude for every country I visit and the small moments that make each trip unique.
For example, I visited the Angkor temples in Siem Reap earlier this year and found myself completely overwhelmed by their age and magnificent beauty. I just couldn't believe I was actually there. This destination would have never even appealed to me a few years ago and I certainly wouldn't have been as mesmerised! I visited Japan for the first time last week which is where these photos were taken, and I couldn't have felt more at home surrounded by this amazing woodland.
You know how to 'adult' that bit better
Now I certainly wouldn't say I have it all figured out (nowhere near, but that's a story for another day!) However, some things are just a bit easier when you are travelling over 30 with that extra bit of life experience.
I know how to pack lightly now and can easily do a holiday on hand luggage only (I recently did the Maldives just with carry-on!). Part of this is down to having more confidence which I will come onto next. Also, I have done enough trips lugging a massive case to realise that it just isn't worth taking that extra pair of shoes if it means I will have an awful time getting around!
Instawanderlust is a thing
Facebook came in when I was at University with Instagram following in October 2010. Fast forward to now and it literally just takes a few taps on your phone to find thousands of inspirational photos.
I have mixed feelings on this and try not to let Instagram dictate all my travel plans but it has certainly opened my eyes to destinations I never would have known about otherwise. This definitely makes me glad I did my travelling over 30 and had my 'gap year' when there is so much more information out there!
You are more confident in yourself
This is true not just for travelling, but for life in general. My mum always said to me that her 30's were her favourite decade because she accepted who she was and had loads more confidence. I have to agree, it's my favourite decade so far and when it comes to travel that extra confidence really helps.
I am not shy about asking for directions or help from strangers now. 20 year old me would've been a right wuss and ended up wandering around aimlessly not daring to speak to anyone.
I remember going to Rio de Janeiro in Brazil with work when I was 22 and I didn't even dare leave my room on my own. I bought crisps from a corner shop to have for my dinner as I was too nervous to even order room service! 32 year old me is actually laughing at 22 year old me for being that shy, but it was so far away from home and so different that I just felt constantly frightened.
You do the right things, not everything
I guess what makes things a little more different when travelling over 30 is the fact that I am just more tired. Anyone else of a similar age knows that once you get to your late 20's you start to get those random aches and pains and when it comes to nights out you need to allow 1-3 days to get over the hangover.
The same applies to travel: it takes me a good few days to get back to normal after a trip and feel less worn out. I just can't pack as much into a day trip as I used to, even though I try! This is good in some ways as it means I have to select the best things to do in each destination, rather than trying to pack in every single thing. I like to do walking tours, especially food ones, as they tie in my interests (eating, trying new food!) with also seeing plenty of a new city on foot.
You have less leave time
Sad but true, most of us travelling in our 30's are restricted to our measly annual leave allowance as we have most likely got ourselves into 'proper jobs' by now! This means that those lengthy trips aren't always an option and your travels are constricted to long weekends and one or two longer trips a year.
However, particularly when I lived in Singapore I found that it was so easy to pack plenty into a long weekend. I recently blogged about a long weekend in the Cameron Highlands and you can see from that how much is possible to fit into a two or three day trip.
I guess the positive aspect of having less time is that you can be more choosy about how you use your holiday allowance and do lots of research to really make the most of that leave. Bank holiday weekends are great to use for exploring new cities; I fully intend to get round Europe over the next couple of years using lots of mini weekend breaks.
You know what you like
I guess by the time you reach 30 you know what interests you and what doesn't, and whilst finding new interests is amazing you are more aware of what floats your boat and therefore can prioritise things to do quite easily.
I suddenly like art galleries - never thought I'd be saying that, and I tend to like an organised tour when going for a day trip out of a city just so I feel taken care of and can relax.
I don't do water sports. I am not a confident swimmer and I've tried to do this kind of thing over the years and just don't enjoy it! It's very liberating to know what you like to do and make sure your trips are full of your kind of activities. I love history, art and especially temples.
The future bucket list
I have no intentions of abandoning my travels any time soon and hope that over the next few years we can explore more of what Europe has to offer. Meeting people in Asia made me realise that we are lucky to live in Europe with the ability to travel to exciting places like Paris, Milan and Copenhagen so easily: they are so jealous of our cheap European flight options. It's funny isn't it, I could say the same to them about having access to cheap flights with Scoot to explore exotic Asian destinations.
I guess the main aspect that makes travelling over 30 different is that extra gratitude. I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be able to travel and explore everything this wonderful world has to offer. 30 countries down and I'm only just getting started...
I hope you enjoyed reading and I'd love to know your thoughts on this. Do you think travelling over 30 is different? Have I missed anything? Please let me know in the comments below!