I believe with all my heart that we should explore the world while we are young. In my 20s, I have been privileged to go on many life-changing adventures that opened my eyes, challenged me, humbled me, and empowered me. If it weren’t for those experiences, I would not be the badass person that I am today. 😉 Today, I want to share an epic 30 before 30 list for all the travel addicts like me. This article is not meant to shame anyone who have not completed these activities by a certain age. Rather, it is a fun bucket list for those who like to set travel goals. Even I have not checked off all of these items. Now in my late 20s, I hope to accomplish the whole list before I hit the big three zero.
Tell me at the end of the article how many things on this list have you done!
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Climb an iconic mountain
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Until you cross the bridge of your insecurities, you can't explore your possibilities. Do you agree? ::: The trek to EBC in Nepal has a few suspension bridges like this. Looking down may be pretty scary for those with a fear of heights. But the thrill of crossing over one is equally as great. ::: Most of our fears in life are not real. A lesson I continue to learn and try to break through. What are some of your irrational fears? Let me know in the comment below. Happy exploring! • • • • #discovernepal #mounteverestbasecamp #mounteverest #getoutside #optoutside #exploremore #sheisnotlost #nepal #wearetravelgirls #ladiesgoneglobal #getoutstayout #darlingescapes #femmetravel #girlslovetravel #sidewalkerdaily #thetravelwomen #globelletravels #travelstoke #letsgosomewhere #keepitwild #dametraveler #theoutbound #getoutdoors #thegreatoutdoors #girlsborntotravel #femaletravelbloggers #travelbloggeres #girlslovetravel #mondaymotivations #mountainlovers
Life is very much like climbing a mountain. You pant, you sweat, you may even lose a shoe on the way up. But once you arrive at the top, you’ll look back and marvel at how the whole journey was worth it. This may sound a little cheesy, but you truly discover how you are so much stronger than you think through a trekking journey. Whether you are a hiker or not, challenge yourself to climb at least one iconic mountain before you turn 30.
Doing a 9 days trek to Mount Everest Base Camp was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. I climbed seven hours a day despite suffering terrible altitude sickness. Playing songs like “The Climb” by Miley Cyrus definitely helped. The moment we arrived at base camp, I ugly cried because I was so proud of myself that I did it. From that moment on, I told myself that I can do anything. Want more inspirations? Read these amazing quotes about mountains.
More mountains to conquer:
Go on a safari
It has always been my dream to see animals in the wild in their natural habitat. (Hence my favorite Disney movie is the Lion King.) While I haven’t done an African safari yet, I have gone on a safari in Sri Lanka. Watching herds of elephants in the wild was so mesmerizing. It reminded me to always cherish our world and all of its creatures.
See animals in the wild in:
- Okavango Delta, Botswana
- Ranthambore National Park, India
- Kruger National Park, South Africa
- Serengeti, Tanzania
Go sky diving
Conquering fears is a big part of growing up. So how about jumping out of a plane? When I went sky diving in New Zealand for the first time, I was absolutely petrified. I thought I was dying when my tandem skydive coach casually popped out of the plane, dragging me down with him from 15,000 feet in the air. But when the universe finally stopped spinning, I opened my eyes and saw stunning mountains and lakes below my feet. It was an exhilarating feeling.
Beautiful spots to skydive:
- Fox Glacier, New Zealand
- Victoria Falls, Zambia
- Palm Jumeirah, Dubai
See the northern lights
The aurora borealis is one of the greatest natural wonders of the world. It is a pure spectacle that you can chase but will only catch if you are lucky. I went to Iceland a couple of years ago in hopes of seeing the northern lights. After several miserable nights of rain, the sky blessed us with some magic. Although it was somewhat faint in colors compared to my over the top expectations, I am forever grateful for witnessing it.
Surreal places to see the northern lights:
- Tromso, Norway
- Swedish Lapland
- Reykjavik, Iceland
- Yukon, Canada
Ride in a hot air balloon
Being in the air is just such a liberating sensation. A hot air balloon ride is a romantic activity that can be done in many places in the world. I went on a sunrise hot air balloon ride with my friend in Pamukkale, Turkey. From watching the giant baskets take off from the ground to gazing down at breath-taking sceneries, I adored every minute of the experience.
Great places for hot air balloon rides:
- Cappadocia, Turkey
- Bagan, Myanmar
- Napa Valley, California USA
Travel for a festival
Participating in a festival is a great way to immerse yourself in a culture. You get to share laughs with locals, learn about a place’s identity, and possibly catch a glimpse of someone’s childhood memories. I loved celebrating the Holi festival in India. I still remembered the random strangers showing me Bollywood dance moves, naughty kids splashing colors on everyone, and all the joy in the atmosphere.
Famous festivals around the world:
- Carnival, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
- La Tomatina, Valentia, Spain
- Mardi Gras, New Orleans USA
- Dia de Los Muertos, Mexico
Learn Scuba diving
Under the sea is a whole different world. Even though I have a fear of being deep underwater, I tried Scuba diving for the first time in Okinawa, Japan. After getting over the panic in my head, I was able to appreciate the beauty and tranquility that surrounded me. There were tropical fish of all colors and so many coral reefs.
Stunning places to scuba dive:
- Great Barrier Reef, Australia
- Coron, Philippines
- The Blue Hole, Belize
- Galapagos Island, Ecuador
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I’m just a girl, standing in front of the world, wanting to love her ❤️….Who knows the original quote I’m hinting at and the movie it’s from? 😛 :::: After traveling through four incredible (and very different) countries, I’m home again. Going to take this time to reflect, write and take a much needed breather (not for too long though 😄). Thank you everyone who has followed along my journey. Those who hosted me, guided me, traveled with me, met up with me…you are all amazing. I may travel solo but I rarely feel alone. Because I know a friend is never too far away, whether I know them yet or not. :::: Traveling continues to show me the abundance of kindness that exist in the world. Thank you universe for always looking after me. Until the next adventure! • • • • • #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #uk #ladiesgoneglobal #thisislondon #darlingescapes #femmetravel #girlslovetravel #sidewalkerdaily #thetravelwomen #globelletravels #londonlife #igerslondon #england #visitlondon #dametraveler #girlsborntotravel #londoncity #london_only #timeoutlondon #londonpop #shutup_london #travellushes #girlsmeetglobe #toplondonphoto #prettycitylondon #ilovelondon #london4all #londontown #londonlove
It’s not always about where you go, but how you go. The thought of traveling solo used to freak me out. What about safety? What about loneliness? Who will take my photos? Who will share food with me? But now, I love traveling solo. There is literally nothing more free-ing in the world. Remember that solo doesn’t always mean alone. Through my journeys, I have met many wonderful people whom I keep in touch with to this day. Stop waiting for someone to join you in your travel dream. Just go!
If you are really nervous about traveling by yourself for the first time, start by joining a group tour. I recommend G Adventures, a great small group tour company that brings together travelers from all over the globe. I went on a trip with them in India and Morocco and really enjoyed the well-crafted itineraries and authentic activities. Even though I began the trips alone, I ended the trips with awesome new friends.
Best countries for solo travellers:
Everyone should live abroad at least once in their 20s. It is an experience that pushes you to grow and widens your horizon. You can gain live abroad opportunities through study exchange, volunteering, or work. My first time living abroad was in university when I went on an exchange to Australia. That was pretty much the trip that gave me the wander bug forever. I had also lived in Sendai, Japan for 2 years teaching English through the Japan Exchange Teaching program. I will forever be thankful for these programs, because it was through these times that I really learned how to be independent.
Great places to live abroad:
- Bali, Indonesia
Try van life
Van life is a millennial trend that has exploded in recent years. There is a lot of appeal in living in a van. You have freedom of mobility. It is cost-effective. As well, it teaches you to appreciate simplicity and not take things for granted. I’ve spent copious hours watching vanlife videos on Youtube and Instagram. They are just so fascinating. Before my bones get old and stiff, I would love to try getting a van or RV and explore all the US national parks. Here is the story of someone solo RVing and traveling full-time that inspired me.
Best places for living the #vanlife:
- Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming USA
- Banff, Alberta Canada
- Big Sur, California, USA
Stay in a tropical paradise
Tropical paradise is not only for rich retirees. You also deserve to unplug in a slice of heaven. Go somewhere remote with gorgeous water and sunshine, disconnect from all of life’s stresses. Let’s be real, being young is not always fun and games. It is a confusing wild time. You need these moments of total relaxation, which will give you time to rejuvenate and reflect.
Heaven on earth:
- Isla Mujeres, Mexico
- Bora Bora, Tahiti
Learn a new language
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Do you know how to say thank you in Turkish? “teşekkür ederim” Seems difficult? I thought so too 😅 Until a Turkish guy taught us how to remember it…“Tea Sugar and Dream” ☕️🍭🌟Isn’t it genius? The beautiful thing is, the word sums up Turkey so perfectly. I have never drank so much tea, eaten so much sweets, and seen so many dreamy sights all in one trip.😍 ::::: Tea Sugar and Dream Turkey! See you again next time ❤️ Photo by @finmei.h i 📸You can spot her in the mirror 😜 ::::: Any clever ways to remember a word from your language? Teach me one! • • • • • #sheisnotlost #turkey #denizli #wearetravelgirls #ladiesgoneglobal #darlingescapes #femmetravel #turkiye #türkiye #girlslovetravel #sidewalkerdaily #thetravelwomen #globelletravels #dametraveler #izmir #girlsborntotravel #ankara #antalya #istanbuldayasam #bodrum #travellushes #girlsmeetglobe #bursa #adana #alanya #instagramturkey #istanbulturkey #istanbul🇹🇷 #istanbulfood #istanbulturkey
Learning a second language is a window into a different culture, a different perspective. It is a way to travel without actually traveling. Of course, nothing accelerates language learning quicker actual emersion in an environment that speaks the language every day. Which brings us back to point #9 above, live abroad! If that’s not a realistic option at the moment though, start with Rosetta Stone.
Backpack around Southeast Asia
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One of the secrets on how I can travel often is simply that Asia is so inexpensive. That’s why you don’t see me prancing around Europe. Can’t afford those 10 euro salads.😂 :::: In the latest collaboration post on The Blessing Bucket, I asked bloggers to share their favorite cheap places to travel in Asia. Just in time to give you some inspirations for summer vacation! Find your way to the link in bio and let me know where you would like to go. I have my eyes on Sri Lanka. :::: Thank you to all the amazing travel bloggers who contributed to this collaboration. Tap on the picture to find their accounts and check them out! • • • • • #girlvsglobe #wearetravelgirls #sheisnotlost #darlingescapes #ladiesgoneglobal #dametraveler #globelletravels #girlslovetravel #femaletravelblogger #femmetravel #thetravelwomen #igtravel #traveltheworld #travelblogger #travelblog #exploremore #traversephilippines #choosephilippines #travelph #travelphilippines #palawan #itsmorefuninthephilippines #ig_philippines #travelphotograph #doyoutravel #sidewalkerdaily #travelasia #earthpix #acolorstory #traveldreamseekers
Busy roads full of tuk tuks, cheap massages, eating street foods at night markets, backpacking around Southeast Asia is a rite of passage. Right after I graduated from university, I flew to Vietnam, from where I hopped to Cambodia and Thailand. Even though my mother showed great disapproval for my choice (I should have started job searching right away, she said), I never regretted this trip for a second. For the food alone, I would do this continent again in a heartbeat.
Best places to travel in Southeast Asia:
Backpack around Europe
While Southeast Asia captured my heart with its food and budget-friendliness, Europe wooed me with its art and culture. From the Louvre Museum in Paris to the Palazzo Pitti in Florence, Europe oozes romance in the air. While you are there, don’t limit yourself to France, Italy, and Spain. Check out Eastern Europe, which has many more underrated destinations that are just as beautiful.
Cities to visit in Europe:
- Budapest, Hungary
- Sofia, Bulgaria
- Krakow, Poland
Take a bike trip
Everyone knows to take a road trip in a car. Traveling on two wheels, however, is a whole other level. Cycling is a way of moving at a slower pace, which allows you to connect more deeply with your surroundings. It is also a lot cheaper and a great form of physical exercise. Of course, biking for days at a time is quite intense, but what is life without a little challenge? When I was working in a hostel in Cancun, Mexico, I met a guy who biked all the way down to Cancun from Northern Canada. I was shocked and inspired to hear his story. I don’t know if I’ve ever have the resiliency for a multi-month bike expedition, but I would like to try it for a couple of days.
- Constance: Three countries on three wheels – 7 days, Austria, Switzerland, Germany
- Cycle the Camino de Santiago – 8 days, Spain
- Hike & Bike China – 9 days, China
Fly Business Class
Before you laugh in my face and tell me you can’t afford it, I feel you. Most 20-something-year-olds starting their careers would not think to pay for the expensive business class on a plane. But there is a way for you to upgrade without spending extra money, and that is through travel rewards. Get yourself a travel credit card as soon as you can and start racking up points. Before you know it, you can redeem these points for free trips and perks like an upgrade to business.
Join a Yoga retreat
Of course, I, a Yoga teacher, would tell you to do this. I am passionate about wellness travel. Often, people get so caught up in organizing their trips that a holiday ends up being stressful. Those days of trying to visit every landmark are great, but you also need days where you can just breathe. Yoga is a great way to do that and there are many destinations in the world that offer fantastic retreats. Get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy a journey into yourself.
Great wellness destinations in the world:
I will always admit my love for Disneyland even when I’m 50 years old. I have been to Disneyland in Florida, Los Angeles, and Tokyo (twice!) It really is a place that makes you believe in magic. Release your inner child and let nostalgia take you back to those good ol’days of watching Mickey Mouse on TV.
Disneylands to compare:
- Disneyland Los Angeles
- Disneyland Japan
- Disneyland Paris
Take a sailing trip
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Happy World Oceans Day!🌊 :::: Oceans cover 71% of our planet and are integral to the survival of humans and animals around the world. 🐳 The ocean is in need of our help and care more than ever. 🐬 Here are a couple of simple things we can do for a greener (or blue-er) lifestyle: 1️⃣Leave no trail. Take your trash with you when you leave the beach. 2️⃣Seek plastic alternatives. Replace plastic products with more sustainable material such as fabric, bamboo, glass and stainless steel. 3️⃣Reduce your carbon footprint. Instead of driving all the time, ride a bike or use public transportation. 4️⃣Avoid ocean-harming cosmetics. Support company that use eco-friendly and natural ingredients in hairspray, sun screen and make-up. :::: Where have you seen the most beautiful ocean in the world? 💙 For me, I got to say the Philippines and Mexico. 🤩 • • • • • #worldoceanday #oceanlovers #vitaminsea💙 #sheisnotlost #itsmorefuninthephilippines #oceanwater #wearetravelgirls #oceangang #oceanic #oceanshores #ladiesgoneglobal #oceana #oceania #oceanblue #nicemood #oceangrove #openwater #oceanbreeze #darlingescapes #femmetravel #breathing #oceanlove #oceanbeach #girlslovetravel #sidewalkerdaily #thetravelwomen #choosephilippines #globelletravels #O2 #travelphilippines
Live your best Moana fantasy and hop on a sailboat. There’s something about the ocean that calls to our souls. Floating on these deep blue waters, you learn to let go and trust that each wave will eventually carry you to shore. Don’t worry if you don’t have sailing skills or your own boat. Travel companies like G Adventures can provide expert-led journeys. You can lay back as the traveler. Enjoy sun-soaked days on pristine beaches, explore isolated coves, and swim in tranquil lagoons.
Out of this world sailing destinations:
Attend a world sports event
Sports is one of those things that brings people together no matter what country you are from. Even I get infected by the energy at games despite not being a big sports person. Major sporting events ignite excitement and anticipation around the world. When you go to one of these games, you witness moments in history.
World’s biggest sporting events:
Trek through a jungle
Jungles are mysterious and beautiful with a hint of danger. Under the canopy, you are immersed in the deep heart of nature. Jungles are homes to the rarest wildlife on earth. Exploring the Amazon has been on my list for a long time. I can hardly wait for the day that I can put on my Crocodile Dundee hat and whisper “The jungle, it’s alive…” 😛
Best destinations for jungle trekking:
Stay in a local’s home
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Saying goodbye to Casablanca today! I had a lovely stay here with my host @tourwithtarik whom I found on @airbnb I definitely recommend Tarik’s beautiful home for anyone visiting Casablanca. 🇲🇦 First of all, I mean, look at this room. 😍😍😍😍Enough said. Second of all, Tarik is super helpful and knowledgeable. He showed me around the city and told me a lot about Morocco life. I also enjoyed having meals with his family everyday. A local experience doesn’t get more authentic than this! 🇲🇦 Next up, I am joining @gadventures, my favourite small group tour company, on a 13 days tour through Morocco. Tomorrow we are heading to Chefchaouen, the Blue Pearl. It’s going to be epic and I’m so excited 😊 Stay tuned to my stories! • • • • • #morocco🇲🇦🌅 #moroccophotography #moroccotravel#moroccovacations #moroccantiles #moroccostyle #morocco_vacations #casablancamorocco #hassaniimosque #casablanca_ig #globetrotter#prettylittleiiinspo #journeysofgirl #girlaroundworld #damestravel #thedreamytravels #GLTlove #globelletravels #travelingwomen_ #womenwhotravel #darlingescapes #explorererbabes #shetravels #dametraveler #traveltagged #girlpowertravel #womentravel #travelinbetween #shetravels #femaletravelbloggers
Seeing the way someone else in the world lives is a special privilege. I love to stay with locals wherever I go. Thanks to platforms like Airbnb, you can find unique accommodations including people’s homes. While traveling in Morocco, I stayed with a wonderful family in Casablanca. They invited me to have traditional Moroccan breakfast (Mint tea and pan with jam) with them every morning. The son Tarik guided me around the city and was very kind in giving me all sorts of advice about the country.
Use my code to receive $45 off if it is your first time booking on Airbnb.
Play in the desert
Deserts are like golden oceans. They are so expansive that you feel like a tiny humble speckle in the vast universe. Last year, I checked off my bucket list goal of visiting the Sahara Desert in Morocco. My friends and I attempted sand surfing, rode camels into the sunset, and sang songs by the bonfire at night. I still remember the surreal long shadows of the camel caravan against the setting sun. It looked like a painting of an Arabian Night story.
Beautiful deserts around the world:
It is also sometimes called “caving” but the word “spelunking” is so much more fun to say. The first time I tried it was in New Zealand’s Waitomo Caves. My friend and I felt like badass explorers geared up in our wetsuits and headlamps, wading through water in a dark maze of rocks. Well, we had guides, but you know, it still felt pretty hardcore. We saw glow worms like stars glittering from stalactites as we floated on tires in an underground river. It.Was.Incredible.
Maybe for those who are claustrophobic, spelunking does not sound the most inviting. But I urge you to give it a chance. It would be a great opportunity to conquer a fear.
Magical places to go spelunking:
- Chapada Diamantina, Brazil
- El Capitan Cave, Alaska
- Carlsbad Caverns, New Mexico
Camp under the stars
Go somewhere far from the lights of civilization, and camp under the stars. Enjoy quietness other than the sounds of nature and campfire. The best starry sky I’ve seen was in the outback Australian desert when I was traveling with a group. At night, we laid our sleeping bags right on the ground and gazed up to the milky way from our cocoons.
Amazing stargazing spots in the world:
- Natural Bridges National Monument, United States
- Rhön Biosphere Reserve, Germany
- Aoraki Mackenzie International Dark Sky Reserve, New Zealand
Get on a famous train
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[Press trip] I finally got to ride the famous blue train in Sri Lanka! 🚊 @travelandleisure had called this one of the most scenic train rides in the world. It definitely did not disappoint.❤️ . We got first class tickets with seats on the train but ended up standing by the door for majority of the ride because we wanted to enjoy the views.😂 . Along the way, you can see so many lush green tea fields and pretty villages nestled in mountains. 🌱⛰Absolutely stunning! . I got put up a disclaimer though that the train is pretty rocky. Hanging by the door is not as effortless and graceful as you think. 😅 I was not warned by any of the pretty pictures I saw on Instagram so I want you guys to be prepared. Safety always comes first so please know your limits and don’t go crazy. Otherwise, enjoy the exhilarating wind in your hair! 😄 . What’s the most scenic train ride you’ve ever taken? 🚞 • • • • • #visitsrilanka #sosrilanka #showlovesrolanka #slbloggers #sheisnotlost #wearetravelgirls #ladiesgoneglobal #darlingescapes #femmetravel #girlslovetravel #sidewalkerdaily #thetravelwomen #globelletravels #dametraveler #girlsborntotravel #travellushes #girlsmeetglobe #girlsvsglobe #sheexplores #radgirlslife #traveletting #timeoutsociety #myfavtourlina #lifewelltravelled #backpackerstory #takemethere #revistaviajar #vamospraonde #letsgoeverywhere #srilankatrain
“Get on board fast train. Travel on a jet plane. Far away. Break away…” I had loved the idea of train travel since I was a little girl, when I discovered my favorite Kelly Clarkson song. Being on a train is an experience in itself. Not only will it take you to your destination, but it will also show you lovely sceneries along the way. All you have to do is to be unhurried and appreciate the views.
Stunning trains to hop abroad:
- The Trans-Siberian, Moscow Russia to Beijing China
- The blue train, Sri Lanka
- The Canadian, Canada
- The Chocolate train, Switzerland
See the 7 Wonders of the World
While there are several versions of the 7 Wonders of the World, I like the New 7 Wonders list. I always thought that architects back in ancient times really put us modern people to shame. Their imagination and execution really leave you wondering “how did they do it?” So far, I have visited Macchu Picchu in Peru, Chichen Itzá in Mexico, the Colosseum in Italy, and the Taj Mahal in India. Every one of these sites blew me away. I cannot wait to see Petra in Jordan, Christ the Redeemer in Brazil, and the Great Wall of China.
Visit every continent
This is an ambitious goal for most of us. I have been to 6 continents by now. Antarctica is the one I still have not covered. The thought rocking on a boat to an icy land slightly intimidates me. But the pictures of cute waddling penguins make me think that I do wish to visit the southernmost point of earth one day.
Explore your own country
All this talk about traveling to exotic lands is exciting, but we often forget that our own country is someone else’s destination. For years, I would have people tell me enthusiastically about how much they loved Banff National Park when they heard that I am from Canada, only to have me say embarrassingly that I have not ever been there. Finally, I took a road trip across Alberta Canada last year with my friend. The turquoise lakes, the dramatic mountain ranges and the endless blue sky in western Canada simply left me speechless. Never have I been prouder to live in the Great White North.
Fall in love abroad
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Half a decade with my favorite adventure buddy. Thank you for always supporting me in pursuing what I love to do, sticking by me through distance and time. Happy five years. Love you.💕 • • • • • #taichungcity #coupletravels #coupletraveller #taiwan #台灣 #traveltheworld #igtravel #exploremore #iseetaiwan #travelstoke #wanderer #igerstaiwan #exploretaiwan #letsgosomewhere #lonelyplanet #traveller #globetrotter #amazingtaiwan #travelbug #traveladdict #wander #traveldeeper #instapassport #prettylittletrips #acolorstory #acolourstory #acolorfullife #instablooms #flowersofinstagram #flowerfields
Ok, I know you have no control over this one. All I’m saying is that if you ever meet someone special on the road, don’t be afraid to explore those feelings. Almost a decade ago, I met a boy in Sydney, Australia. Although I had to leave soon, we fell in love. I will save the details of this story for another day, but I will share that despite being oceans apart and fighting through up and downs, we are still together after all these years and are as in love as ever. Now, I would not wish a long distance relationship as the first choice for anyone, but you never know how things will turn out. Maybe it will be just a fling, or maybe it will burgeon into a real-life rom-com movie-esque love story. If travel has taught me anything, it’s that you got to let yourself explore and go with the flow.
I hope you enjoyed this 30 before 30 list for travelers. Take advantage of all the beautiful time, freedom, and energy that are on your side, and experience as many things as you can in your 20s. After all, we only get one chance to be young.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?” – Mary Oliver
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