Traveling for Dummies In Their Twenties

Here I am staring down the barrel of month number two and just getting back from my first independent trip and I have realized one thing. I am 21 years old and am just now learning how to travel. It is absolutely amazing to me how public travel is accessible and actually encouraged here. I have met so many people who don’t have a drivers license nor a car simply because they don’t need one. Young people are exposed to and have easy access to public transportation, so why would they drive? Back home, you have limited freedom until your sixteenth birthday when you can get a drivers license and, if you’re lucky, a car. When you meet someone who is eighteen and license-less, it’s weird. If you live in a small town, such as Choctaw, Oklahoma, you are virtually cut off from the world, unless you travel with parents. Here in England, it’s typical to see young teenagers going from the small market town of Ormskirk to Liverpool for the evening or weekend. To this day, I have never used a taxi, bus, or train to travel anywhere in the U.S. other than within New York City. Keeping that in mind, getting accustomed to the transportation here has been difficult. Though, with weekend trip number one under my belt, I feel like I finally understand how to navigate using this foreign thing they call ‘public transportation.’ On another note: It is absolutely crazy to me that young teenagers have the same opportunities that I have while I am here. We are all on the same playing field. On the train to Windermere, you can see people of all sorts: a group of teenagers going to hike in the Lake District for the weekend who are staying in a hostel, a quiet older woman staying in the same hostel who has come to enjoy the environment, an older gentleman who is ‘through hiking’ the fells with his dog, myself and Lizzie who are visiting for the weekend, hiking the same fells and staying in the same hostel. Everyone is here for the same thing. I now realize that you don’t have to be a certain age to travel. You don’t have to be rich and you don’t need to live luxuriously. You can actually travel young and travel cheap which makes me wish I had began travelling sooner. It makes me wish that when I turned sixteen, I “just went.” On a camping trip to the Wichita Mountains, a day trip to Dallas, or even a weekend trip to Galveston or Table Rock Lake. When I get back, I plan on “just going” a hell of a lot more often. The world is my oyster (Queue the cliché travel quotes.) I live in such a beautiful place and have taken its availability for granted. There are so many places I haven’t been, even in the States! I will most definitely be going to as many places as time and funds permit while I’m here! See my Facebook page for albums of the destinations I’ve visited thus far! On yet another note: During our last night of the trip to Watershead/Ambleside in the Lake District, Lizzie and I compiled a list of travel tips, things we wish we had been advised or warned of before we left home. Tips not listed written on the napkin below include:

  • Never assume you will visit the same place twice
  • Always overestimate the amount of money that will be spent on food and transportation (public transportation is expensive!)
  • Look into a National Trust membership because you can get free access into many properties/museums/tours for 27GBP.
  • Don’t carry your real passport with you on weekend trips (oops)
  • Have a padlock
  • If you’re hiking in England, there’s bound to be rain, so definitely look into WATERPROOF boots
  • Don’t focus on missed opportunities, but the things you accomplished and got to experience (You can’t do everything in one weekend/visit)
  • Use the bathroom when one is available. Please.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask for directions or advice, just remember and learn from the answers
  • And I’m sure there are many more to come!
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One thought on “Traveling for Dummies In Their Twenties”

  1. Brookie…… sounds like you have officially been bitten / infected by the same travel bug as your Aunties Tina and Jill. Life is a trip….enjoy each and every destination. And while you are there….talk to the people….this is learn some of the best life’s lessons. Love you. Be safe. TT

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