4 Risks Millennials Should Take Right Now
If you want to achieve rewards, you have to be willing to take risks. And what better time to risk something than while you’re still in your 20s or 30s? If you have wanderlust or big dreams — or you simply want to take annual trips to places you’ve never been — now is the time to do it, before life’s many waiting responsibilities get in the way and prevent you from pursuing your goals.
Want to bring your dreams of seeing the world to fruition? To accomplish this, you’ll have to put some effort into planning, as travel plans don't come together by osmosis. Here are four risks you can begin taking right now that will help you achieve your travel goals and create some fantastic memories.
1. Become a digital nomad
Many millennials have firmly decided they don’t want to work for someone else, chained to cubicles and building someone else’s retirement fund. They've found a solution for these preferences by becoming digital nomads. They can often be found moving from place to place, often working from cafés, libraries, coffee shops, and wherever else they can temporarily hang their proverbial hat. This lifestyle is a perfect fit for the ever-growing gig economy: Towards the end of 2018, there were 60 million gig workers in the U.S. Taking it a step further, many digital nomads freelance a variety of gigs or start their own businesses.
Traveling while working is a great opportunity for people in their 20s and 30s. Travel gives them the opportunity to network and meet new people, attend trade shows to promote themselves, or simply gain new professional experiences by working in different places. Freelancers typically establish several streams of income, meeting people along the way and picking up side hustles or establishing long-term professional partnerships.
If a nomadic lifestyle sounds appealing to you, why not explore the idea of ditching conventional living, hit the road, and take complete control of your own destiny?
2. Find a new job in a different city
If you want to stretch yourself out of your comfort zone but aren’t ready or willing to live a completely nomadic lifestyle, try starting out in a new city and see what opportunities await. Relocating still offers the benefits of learning to navigate unfamiliar terrain, like a more open and receptive attitude, greater mental agility, and the potential for new friendships and relationships.
And if you choose an economical city with many opportunities, you can get a great gig and save up for future travels. For instance, Tampa is an up-and-coming city for STEM jobs and one of the most affordable cities in the U.S. (not to mention the famous Orlando theme parks and attractions less than 90 minutes away). Whatever city you choose, pick one where you can enjoy plenty of travel experiences and destinations close to home.
3. Push yourself to your limit
In your 20s and 30s, you’re still young enough to really push yourself to the limits. How far can you go, physically, mentally, intellectually, professionally? You don’t know what you can do until you try! Now’s the perfect time to take a few risks. Try the things you’ve wanted to do but were always apprehensive about. And while you’re at it, try some of the really scary stuff, too! For example:
- Zoom down a zip line. Try to choose ones in different environments so you can see different sights as you cruise down the line and enjoy the rush!
- Invest in some good hiking gear and climb to different peaks. The reward will be some incredible views once you reach the top, plus a massive feeling of accomplishment.
- Go scuba diving and explore the underwater worlds not many people get to see.
- Travel to different theme parks to experience the scariest rides on the planet.
- Go skydiving and experience the thrill of speeding towards the ground.
- Try some other thrilling experiences. Maybe even find something truly unique that most people wouldn't even think of doing.
- Head in another direction entirely and learn to dance or speak in front of a crowd.
Pushing yourself to the limits or conquering fear and apprehension is a great way to build your inner confidence and develop your ability to face life’s challenges. Once you hit your 40s and 50s, you can probably still take on some of this stuff (especially if you take care of your body now) but it’s important to realize your body eventually starts to change, as does your psyche. Down the road, you may not be able to handle activities you can easily handle now. Don’t have any regrets and miss out on the good stuff! Indulge in these experiences and make the memories now.
4. Plan to fund your travels
The funny thing about travel is that you need money to do it. Take some steps now so you’ll have a nice little chunk later to fund your next trip. Here are a few strategies:
- Divert a few bucks out of each paycheck to stash away and grow your adventure fund.
- Do some tax calculations and have a little more money deducted from your paycheck so that in the spring, you’ll have a larger refund to add to your vacation account.
- Apply for a reward-based credit card (many give big travel perks). Use it for your everyday spending and watch your points/dollars/other rewards add up.
Your experiences now will help shape your future. Why not take advantage of the time you have now before you get married, have kids, or acquire a mortgage? Taking risks is definitely worth the effort. You’ll probably make a few mistakes along your journey, but that’s OK. Some of the best life experiences, lessons, and achievements come from overcoming adversity or solving a problem yourself.
Time flies, so use it wisely. Don’t let yourself wake up in 20 years wondering where it all went while you were too busy dreaming or planning — or worse, reflecting on all those times you said to yourself, "Oh, I'll do it later." Are there any risks you’ve thought about taking, but just haven’t taken the plunge? If so, what are you waiting for? Get out there now!
Molly is a freelance writer at www.DigitalNomadLife.org.
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