20 Things to Do In Your 20s – Ep. 32

This episode is from the bottom of my heart, as it started off as a conversation between me and my younger brother Gary who is 20 years young. You only live once, and you’re not young forever, so it’s time to start adding things to your bucket list! Whether you’re in your 20s, 30s, 40s, or 50s, I can’t wait for you to listen to this episode. Don’t forget to rate and subscribe!

In this episode, we cover bucket list ideas for your 20s surrounding travel (02:48), starting something new (06:22), following your passions (16:05), and self care (18:25).

Audio Transcript

The Wanderlover Podcast was created with a mission to enable travel and freedom through entrepreneurship. I’m your host, Danielle Hu, business mentor, content creator, and founder of The Wanderlover. Tune in every week for episodes about travel, online business, social media, and mindset that will inspire you to take massive action towards living the life of your dreams. Hello, my loves, I am so excited for this week’s episode of The Wanderlover Podcast. I looked at the past few weeks episodes and realized there was a lot of business strategy, a lot of mindset.

And I really wanted to take this episode to bring it back to why we start our businesses in the first place, which is to enable travel and freedom through entrepreneurship. It’s to enable this living life with no regrets, having the perspective that you know, you only live once. And so I’m really excited to share with you this week, 20 things to do in your twenties. And I actually want to shout out my younger brother, Gary. He is the sweetest sibling ever, and I had a FaceTime catch up with him the past week. He is turning 21 in July.

(1m 25s):
So we are seven years apart. I am currently 27 turning 28, and we had this really deep discussion, older sibling, a younger sibling kind of life advice. And I realized I wanted to share my advice with all of you guys, because I know there are listeners. You might be in your twenties. You might be in your thirties and your forties, but it’s important to always have this perspective that every day you have the power to live your life differently and how you come up with these new things to do, right? These different ideas is by implementing well first listening to other people’s perspectives and then implementing them into your own.

(2m 6s):
So shout out to my brother, thank you for always being my inspiration and to you guys, as I said, I’m 27, a lot of these things I’ve implemented them myself, and I really recommend that you take note of them and try them out for yourself. So I have a list in front of me of 20 things and they are listed in no particular order. I kind of just opened up my notes app. It was like, Hmm, one, two, three, four, up to 20. And I also want to mention that these aren’t exclusively for people in their twenties. Like you could be older, you could be younger again. It’s all about perspective and adding things to your life that you may not have thought of before.

(2m 49s):
Number one on my list that pops straight into mind is go backpacking, backpacking Europe, backpacking Southeast Asia and backpacking South America in my early twenties were experiences that completely transformed the way I lived and the risks I took in my early twenties. And this is because you meet so many people who live a different lifestyle than the people you grow up with, or the people you go to college with and the people you’re interviewing for corporate jobs with you see so much of the world on a shoestring budget and you’re young, right? Everyone, you meet same age. And I actually wish this was more normalized in American society.

(3m 31s):
You learn so much about how other countries operate. You learn about things. You didn’t know that you didn’t know. And so this was my first piece of advice to Gary. I gave him the resources hostelworld.com. He had mentioned he wanted to go to Madrid. So I also gave him the resource skyscanner.com. That’s S K Y S C a N N E r.com, where you look for a budget airlines. That’s what I use when I traveled Europe, as I was studying abroad in Milan. And a lot of Americans don’t know this, but like traveling doesn’t have to be expensive. So when I was 21, I backpacked Europe went to, I think like eight different countries over the course of five weeks, including flights, accommodation to and from New York, all my flights, all my accommodation, four or five weeks granted, I was backpacking and couch surfing, but I didn’t spend more than a thousand dollars for the entire trip.

(4m 29s):
And so this is why I recommend traveling in your early twenties, because you can afford to kind of give up these luxuries. It’s okay if you’re in an eight person dorm or like a four person dorm and you have so much energy and partying all night, you know? So like, yes, number one thing to do in your twenties is go backpacking. Number two, on this list is go on a solo trip. It was on my solo trips where I learned how to be independent, how I, how to be, self-sufficient how to get myself out of tricky situations. And essentially where I had my most profound Epiphanes about life, about how I wanted to live, what I wanted to do.

(5m 13s):
It made me question social norms around me when I would meet new people. And they would be in a country for months at a time. And I was like, how do you even do that? Like if I went back to my corporate job, I would never be able to stay in another country for months at a time. So it made me question the way I was living. And I feel like you really reach those conclusions when you’re by yourself, when you don’t have the influence of your friends or your family around you, and you really can sit with yourself and ask, what do I really want to be doing with my life? And with my time, it also forces you outside your comfort zone. And through every experience outside of your comfort zone, you realize that you have what it takes to get through the largest discomforts, like approaching a stranger or making a new friend or talking to someone in a different language.

(6m 7s):
You realize you’re like, Oh wait, I didn’t die. I’m still alive. And life is awesome. So whatever doubts and fears are all in your head, you realize that you can maneuver through them. And that just is so powerful when you truly believe in yourself and your capabilities, okay? Number three is start a business. In this day and age, there are so many opportunities, especially with the internet to make income outside of a corporate salary, just look around there’s eBay, there’s Amazon, there’s Etsy. You can start your own website. You can sell on Instagram. You can sell on Google. You can sell on Facebook. There are just so many different ways and in your twenties, just try to whatever it takes to get into the flow of making money independently.

(6m 58s):
Instead of relying on a corporation, I mean, you can always have that option, but multiple streams of income, you won’t regret it if you just play around when you’re young or as soon as possible, which brings me to point number four on this list, which is take risks. And this is more of a concept in life where the younger you are, the more risk that you can take because you can bounce back easier and faster than if you were older. So this goes with investments. So riskier investments, stock market, cryptos businesses, and anything where it’s literally just, you either bootstrapping it or trying to find funding and hustling all of this do in your twenties.

(7m 44s):
You can bounce back from it. Even if you fail, there’s really nothing stopping you, except your own limiting beliefs. And again, this is back to mindset, but it’s all in your head, what you think you can or cannot do. It’s funny, because last week we had a picnic and I met this guy who was working in finance. And he was saying how he really hated his job, but everything that he enjoyed doing, he couldn’t make money from, or there’s no way that he could make money from it. And I asked, I was like, well, have you tried to make money from it? And he was like, no. And so it was all a limiting belief, right? Like he thought he couldn’t make money from it.

(8m 24s):
So he doesn’t even try to, but like really what is there in the world that you can’t make a business out of? We were watching shark tank the other day. And one of the guys, he pitched to the sharks 100 K for like 10 or 15% equity. And his whole business was drawing cats. He had this like little jingle where it’s like, I will draw a cap for you. And he draws, he draws these like really simple 10 seconds drawings of cats. And he partnered with Mark Cuban. So it’s like, you literally can make a business out of anything. You just need to start. And you learn how to market yourself properly. Number five is live in a different country.

(9m 6s):
You learn so much about the world around you about how other countries work. And I think overall, it just makes you realize that every single person on this world is the same. Like we are one being and the concept of having to stay exactly where you were born. It just doesn’t really make sense, right? Like, why are we confined to that one plot of her for our entire lives? Like, why not be mobile? This is again stepping outside your comfort zone and it can start in college, like study abroad or take a gap year, or find a remote job and move to a different country. There are a lot of ways if you have initial thoughts, like that’s not possible for me, I would encourage you to explore that and ask yourself why you think that’s all possible for you and ask, is it something you would really like to do?

(10m 0s):
So number six is get a travel rewards credit card. And this goes for mainly all my American listeners. You all know rags is British and I’ve helped thoroughly investigate British rewards, travel rewards, credit cards, and they simply don’t exist. I don’t think the credit market anywhere else in the world is as big as it is in America. So we have very lucrative rewards cards that all Americans should take. Advantage of. This also goes hand in hand with managing your finances in your twenties and maximizing every dollar spent. So a lot of credit cards don’t have annual fees. And if you choose to sign up for one of those, you, a lot of the times get cash back, get miles, get points, which you can then use for future purposes.

(10m 47s):
So you’re basically spending the dollar to get whatever product or service you want and you get points or miles or whatever that you can reuse for the future. And at the same time, if you pay everything on time, it builds your credit score. So get that credit card and work on your credit score, learn how it all works to your advantage. Number seven on this list is volunteer abroad. And with any volunteer program, you really want to do your due diligence. Read the reviews, the recommendations through one where the founder graduated from Cornell, my Alma mater. So I’ve only heard like raving reviews about them.

(11m 27s):
And I really didn’t join my experience. If you’re interested, let me know on Instagram, just DME. And I can give you more information, but volunteering abroad is where I was the most humbled by how privileged we were, or we are in America. I volunteered in Cusco, Peru when I was 21 years old. And I just remember, after coming back to New York and going to the supermarket, I almost cried of joy, just how convenient and how fresh and just how you can basically buy anything within such a small radius. I, you know, suffered from stomach troubles for, I think more than a month straight while I was abroad.

(12m 12s):
So yeah, really being comfortable and being healthy is such a luxury that Americans have. It also is such an impactful experience where you can pay it forward. You can make such a difference in people’s lives around the world. And even as an early, like a 20, 21 year olds, you have the power to change someone’s life forever. I am still in touch with all the parents that, you know, who’s like children. I taught in Cusco and it’s just the most heartwarming thing ever. So I really recommend this experience for anyone in their twenties. Number eight is learned to build habits. This comes in the form of learning a new language, learning a new instrument, even drinking a glass of water every day.

(12m 58s):
You really learn self-discipline in your twenties because this is a period of time where it’s really hard to be disciplined as your life is crazy. And you’re doing different things every day. And you know, it’s hard to get into a routine, but really learned the power of self-discipline in your twenties. Get excited about something and stick to it. Number nine is yacht week in Croatia. So a lot of these experiences, including number one, which is like go backpacking. I told Gary, there’s an expiration date for some activities where if you wanted to do it at a certain age, you might be too old.

(13m 39s):
I mean, you’re never too old to sign up for them, but the crowd is going to be different. And you’re probably not going to want to partake in them when everyone is like 20, 30 years younger than you. Right? So yacht week in Croatia, it’s a two week sailing experience with all of your friends on a yacht and you just Island hop. They do it all. I think also in Greece, in the British Virgin islands. And it’s just one of those things where you party, you don’t really worry about anything. And it’s just a really fun time with your friends in your twenties. Number 10, Whoa, we’re halfway there. Number 10 is write down your life goals.

(14m 20s):
I started this habit a few years ago when I got my first passion planner. And you guys just know how much I embody writing down your goals, breaking them down and working towards them every single day, because a map only works when you know where you want it to go, right? So in your life, where do you want to go write down every single goal? Every single aspect. I always say, imagine the piece of paper in front of you was magical and anything you wrote on would come true. What would you write on it? Number 11, learn more about your family. This really hit hard when my grandmother passed away a few years ago and I realized that there were so many questions.

(15m 6s):
I just never thought to ask her. And now I can’t anymore. So while you still have your family around, I know that sounds dark, but it’s the inevitable truth. Spend time with them and learn about their past, learn about their childhood and really take in this information and cherish it because that’s where you came from. And you really can’t take that for granted. Number 12, go to a music festival. So I’ve definitely been to my fair share of music festivals. At one point in my life, I wanted to go to the top 100 clubs and festivals in the world. Like that was my life goal.

(15m 46s):
I wanted to travel to go clubbing and to go festival hopping. And there just so much fun. I don’t think I would go out of my way to travel somewhere and go to a festival anymore. But I am so grateful for those crazy wild nights. And this is another item with an expiration date. So that’s why it’s on this list. Number 13, follow your interests and hobbies. I notice a lot of people, even with Gary, this is what I warn him all the time is when you’re going through the schooling system, when you’re trying to apply for internships, when you’re trying to find a job, it’s really easy to be sucked in to what you’re studying in school and really excelling at that without giving the freedom and flow of exploring your interests and your hobbies and what you were interested in when you were younger, right?

(16m 42s):
Like I always loved R I love drawing. I love being creative. And I felt that going through my college years and working in finance really made me lose sight of what I really enjoy doing. So give yourself permission to spend time outside of your job and just do things that light you up, really follow with that flow because you’re following the path of least resistance. You don’t want to be forcing yourself into things consistently that you don’t want to be doing. And it’s awesome. Like once you have a new interest or a new hobby, and you’re so passionate about it, and it just makes you a happier person, you make everyone around you, a happier person to number 14, learn to cook your favorite dishes.

(17m 30s):
So I’m guilty of not ever cooking for like most of my life. I lived off of delivery apps and just eating out. But it was really during quarantine in Brazil, where I had a Chinese supermarket or a Japanese supermarket really close by. So a lot of Asian spices and foods that I grew up eating, and I had a lot of time on my hands and a lot of time at home. And it occurred to me that I could learn to cook all of my favorite dishes. I don’t know why that just never occurred to me, but I guess I never explored that thought. And it’s so nice. Being able to just whip up your favorite noodles or your favorite dish that you’ve tried abroad, or you’ve tried at some point in your life and being able to make it yourself.

(18m 19s):
So recommend doing that. Because again, everyone around you will be happier too, because they’re obviously going to want to try number 15 on my list as brush and floss. This kind of goes hand in hand with taking care of your body, but especially with teeth to not ignore them. And this also has like a deeper meaning, which is one little part of your body can have a huge impact. Like having a tooth ache sucks and you only have this one set of teeth, right? So really take care of even the smallest things before they get bad.

(19m 1s):
Before you start having cavities before you need to start pulling teeth out. And this goes for business too. Like maybe there’s one thing that you’re just putting off to the side, but you know, you have to keep consistent with, give it attention and don’t ignore it because when the problem magnifies, you’re not going to want to deal with it. Next is wear sunscreen and start a skincare routine. Again, I’m 27 and I can already see that on my face. I’m starting to grow like little sunspots, constant sun exposure, and it’s irreversible. So if you don’t have it yet, a lot of my skincare friends like yell at me cause I never used to wear sunscreen, wear sunscreen.

(19m 43s):
Your skin is going to thank you for it. As you grow older and all of these habits. So bringing everything together, having these habits, having these routines and really taking care of yourself, focus on that in your twenties, number 17 date and get your heartbroken and fall in love and get your heartbroken again and fall in love. When you’re still young, you’re still learning about yourself. You’re learning about other people you’re learning about the whole world around you, right? So obviously your interests are going to change. The people you’re interested in are going to change. Your values are going to change. And as you are changing, expect to have your heart broken, like expect to go on this roller coaster of maybe I want this in a partner, or maybe I want that.

(20m 32s):
But either way, there’s no failures. You’re just constantly learning more about yourself and more about the people that you want to date. And ultimately it will create the perfect companionship for you. When the time comes, I have so much to say when it comes to relationships and I feel like this could almost be an episode in itself, but when it comes to relationships, do not lower. Your standards do not change who you are for the other person. And I feel like society has this unrealistic expectation that people are high school sweethearts, or they find love in their early twenties. And they are expected to just stay in this one relationship for the rest of their lives.

(21m 14s):
Obviously nothing wrong with that. But if you find yourself in a relationship that’s no longer serving, you give yourself permission to break free. It’s not a failure. Like I don’t like how society views it as a failure. Give yourself permission to just say no and put yourself first, because ultimately this translates to every other aspect of your life, where you’re filling your own cup first and not living on other people’s terms. And when you’re dating and falling in love and getting your heartbroken, you bounce back from that. So it’s all about resilience like in your twenties, just have fun with it.

(21m 54s):
Give yourself permission to fall over and over again and realize that you’re going to be fine through it. All. This is the key to happiness. The inner knowing that everything is always going to be okay and everything is happening exactly as it should be. Number 18, read more. There are so many books. There’s eBooks, there’s audio books. And it’s so amazing how you can learn from billionaires, from people you admire from people on all walks of life. Simply through a book, you get the insight to their brain, how they grew up.

(22m 37s):
You can find any piece of information from Elon Musk, from Gary Vaynerchuk, from people who are so brilliant. And you can read about that. You can get their same knowledge just by reading a book. So find a list of, or make a list of 10 books that you want to read from people you really admire and make it a daily habit, read 10, 15 minutes a day and expand what you think as possible. Because if they can do it, you can too. And similarly to how Gary gets his advice from me, because I’m older, a few years older and a few years wiser, right?

(23m 20s):
But we can get the same advice from people older and wiser than us at any point in our lives. So reading is just really powerful and really try to implement it into your daily routine. 19 is value your time because you’re not going to be young forever. And time is your most precious resource. Every second, that passes, you’re not going to get back. So thinking back on times where I really could have used my time better, it was maybe when I waited like three hours to go into a museum that I spent five minutes in or waiting in line for two hours in New York city to get a donut.

(24m 1s):
I could’ve probably used my time better in those situations. But again, I was young. Maybe at that time, I just really prioritized museums and donuts. But the older you get, the more you realize you only have a certain number of hours in a day and you start prioritizing who you want to spend it with, what you want to be doing. Is it going to make you happy? Is it going to make you money? Is it going to just create a better life for you? Which brings me to my last point. The last thing to do in your twenties is ask yourself if you were to die tomorrow, would you be happy with the life?

(24m 47s):
You’ve lived realize that there is only one life and in your twenties, imagine living to a hundred, right in your twenties is probably where you’re going to have the most life-changing experiences. You’re still learning so much about the world around you. There’s still so much possibility and you want to make the most out of it. You don’t want to play it safe and then grow up and regret, not having certain experiences. And the thing is, they’re going to be uncomfortable. They’re always going to feel like you can choose to stay in your comfort zone because you can. But those are usually the times where you have to ask yourself if I were to die tomorrow, would I be happy with not trying this right?

(25m 33s):
Not going to this place, not taking that risk. And if your answer is no, no, I would not be happy. Write down the things that you want to try, write down a list of everything that would make you happy. That’s always been on your bucket list and start working towards crossing them off because life is not a dress rehearsal. And again, this is so cliche, but you literally only live once. And my whole intention with this episode, it started from talking with my beloved brother, Gary, but also to all of you guys, my dear, dear listeners, I want to empower you to take those risks and to realize that anything is possible.

(26m 18s):
If you work towards it and you take inspired action. So if you need help executing any of these items, feel free to DM me. I would love to have a conversation with you about this. And if you love this episode and feel like more people need to hear this message. So they too can take notes and shift their lives and start living a life of no regrets. It would mean so much to me. If you can screenshot right now. So screenshot this episode, wherever you’re listening, post it on your Instagram stories and tag the wander lover and the wander lover podcast. I repost every one of my listeners stories and it really helps spread the wander, love our mission of enabling travel and freedom through entrepreneurship, designing a life that you’re wildly obsessed with and living with no regrets.

(27m 13s):
Thank you all so much for being here. I’m so excited to have shared this episode with you. It’s from, you know, my heart. It was advice from my brother and now it’s advice for all of you. And I really hope you guys journal about it and just take it with intention. I will speak to all of you guys next week, have a fabulous week. Love you all.


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Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu

Danielle Hu is a multiple 6-figure travel influencer, business coach, and Founder of The Wanderlover. She has traveled to over 65+ countries running her online business and surfing in remote tropical destinations. Her mission is to help creatives and coaches achieve time freedom, location freedom, and financial freedom through online entrepreneurship.

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