It’s hard to sell all your chattels, pack your bags, and travel the world when you’re 30 something, a married professional with family and other responsibilities. However, when you’re young, taking risks are your second nature and packing up and traveling is a much easier decision. These 15 amazing destinations range from natural wonderlands to high-octane party spots. So, save your money, pack your bags and set off on the journey of a lifetime while you’re still young and free from worldly worries to weigh you down.
1. Prague, Czech Republic
Prague stands out as one of the few cities in Europe that emerged from WWII with its medieval old town almost entirely intact. As you wander its cobblestoned streets and look to the castle lit up at night, it can sometimes feel like you’ve been inserted into a fairy tale. You could explore this city for days at an end and still find newer and prettier things to see each day. Also, it has something for everyone – starting from its history and culture to the most amazing party places and night clubs.
2. Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Rio is a destination that’s best visited sooner rather than later. It’s not because it’s a destination that’s just for young people but because the Rio of old is quickly disappearing. Incredible beaches, world famous street parties, and some of the best food in Brazil all make Rio de Janeiro an amazing destination for young travelers seeking a truly Brazilian experience. Better yet, it’s just a few hours away from North America. You can visit Rio any time, but it’s more fun to take in this amazing city while you’re young and adventurous.
3. Tokyo, Japan
Tokyoites might be reserved and shy but their city is every bit as exciting to visit. From the mind-blowing transportation system to the curious and surprisingly comfortable capsule hotels, Tokyo is a city that combines the best of modern living with total sensory overload. No wonder it was the inspiration for Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner. Whether you love visiting cultural hotspots and historical monuments or incredible nightclubs and world-class shopping districts, Tokyo will make you wonder why it took you so long to get there.
4. Amsterdam, Netherlands
Paris is beautiful, London is full of incredible history, but Amsterdam offers the best combination of fun, history, and culture in Northern Europe. From its infamous Red Light District to its coffee shops, Amsterdam has a huge amount of amazing sights. Add to that an incredible canal system that makes the entire city look like a work of art, some of Europe’s best museums, and fantastic nightlife and you have one of the best cities in Europe to work, relax, and play in before you begin your career.
5. Boryeong, South Korea
Every summer, the small South Korean city of Boryeong is invaded by millions of young tourists taking part in a bizarre ritual: the annual Boryeong Mud Festival. Originally a marketing gimmick for a Korean cosmetics company, today the festival attracts millions of visitors looking to take part in what must be the world’s biggest mud fight. If the massive mud wrestling battle is too much for you, take refuge in the mud pool, mud skiing course, or the festival’s famous mud spa.
6. Madrid, Spain
Spending downtime outdoors is a weird concept to Indians. Madrid’s social hub will change your opinion real fast. Walk down to one of Madrid’s beautiful historical streets and you’ll feel like you’ve stepped back in time. Then step out again at night and you’ll enter one of Europe’s most exciting party cities. Spain is also home to some of Europe’s best beaches for meeting fun new people and making friends. Warm, welcoming, and full of life, Madrid is one of the first European cities you should visit once you start traveling.
7. Jelly Fish Lake, Palau
Palau is world-renowned for its incredible diving — it’s considered one of the 7 underwater wonders of the world. Divers come here to see colorful coral reefs and tropical fish, as well as the submerged relics of World Word II fighter planes and ships. For the non-diver, there’s always snorkeling to see these same sights. And then there’s Jellyfish Lake, an experience not to be missed.
8. Cape Town, South Africa
You really can’t overstress the case for visiting Cape Town. First, there’s the in-your-face beauty of a craggy mountain range that drops precipitously into a glittering sea. Yet Cape Town has a cool urban edge too: excellent art galleries, hip bars, world-rated restaurants, design-savvy shops and innovative artists and designers – just some of the reasons why it is the 2014 Design Capital of the World. A haven for the adrenaline junkie, a quarter of the world’s shark species (98 to be precise) dwell in South African waters and around 40 of these call the waters around Cape Town home. Shark cage diving is big business here and the tourism bureau endorses a whopping eight companies.
9. California, USA
Sunny beaches and surfers in the waves, dazzling cities filled with culture and entertainment, jaw-dropping parklands and vistas worthy of any bucket list—California has incomparable star quality. In parklands including World Heritage sites Yosemite National Park and Redwood State and other National Parks, enjoy year-round activities. Celebrate the state’s music scene at festivals like Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival near Palm Springs, Monterey Jazz Festival on the Central Coast, and San Francisco’s Outside Lands. Experience diverse cultures in San Francisco’s Chinatown, or Mexican-influenced Old Town San Diego.
10. Budapest, Hungary
Wes Anderson’s latest flick, The Grand Budapest Hotel, was mostly filmed in Gorlitz, in eastern Germany. But its fantasy pastel hues and sepia-toned aesthetic do whet the appetite for a central Europe escapade. Renaissance and art-nouveau architecture provide a romantic backdrop to an increasingly hip destination; Budapest is also a great foodie destination with many gastro-themed events throughout the year. There is a feast fit for every palate ranging from sausage festivals to foie gras celebrations.
11. Taktsang, Bhutan
Perched on a cliff-top, Bhutan’s Taktsang monastery, popularly the Tiger’s Nest, is one of the most breathtaking temples in the world. The Buddhist place of worship is built on a rock around 3,000m (10,000ft) above sea level. The main temple complex was built in 1692 and is considered to be one of the holiest for the Bhutanese people. Padmasambhava, known as the “Second Buddha,” meditated in this cliff-top carve-out for three years, three months, three weeks, three days and three hours. Close your eyes for three minutes, and inspiration will find you, too.
12. Havana, Cuba
Able to both confound and exceed expectations in equal measure, Cuba is an endlessly fascinating place. The archetypal montage of revolutionary rhetoric, breathtaking beaches, classic cars gliding past faded colonial buildings and a population who dances on an endless ribbon of salsa and rum does of course exist, but for those prepared to dig beneath the dazzling surface, Cuba hands over so much more. Art Deco architecture peeks between the crumbling mansions; unobtrusive art galleries are filled with exciting contemporary art to rival the scenes of London, Los Angeles and New York; while private restaurants hidden in backstreets throughout the country nudge Cuba towards the upper echelons of fine dining experiences. Delve into the countryside and you’ll find cloud forests and mountain ranges, bird-watching trails ripe for exploring, and panoramic plains filled with green-gold sugar cane that are a siren call for a growing number of visiting cyclists.
13. Koh Phangan, Thailand
The setting of Alex Garland’s famous travel novel ‘The Beach’, Koh Phangan is one of Asia’s most legendary party destinations. Every month, tens of thousands of young travelers descend on the island’s Had Rin beach for the famous Full Moon Party. Originally held at a local disco established in 1985, the Full Moon Party has grown into one of the world’s most infamous events. The festivities start as the sun goes down and carry on until the sun rises the next morning. From fire shows to massive psychedelic trance stages, the Full Moon Party’s lineup of music and activities is pretty extraordinary indeed.
14. Bali, Indonesia
Unbelievable scenery, world class waves, and some of the best food on the planet all make Bali the perfect place to relax and recover. Whether you’re coming down off a global party trip or just seeking the perfect tropical island to relax on, Bali delivers. This amazing Indonesian island has something for everyone, from $5,000-per-night private beach villas to $5-per-night hostel beds. When it comes to a combination of natural beauty, affordability, and variety, Bali is very tough to beat.
15. Munich, Germany
The Munich Oktoberfest justly lays claim to being the largest of its kind in the world– last year more than six million people attended the festivities. The festival - which spans just over two weeks - is held annually in a meadow just outside Munich’s city centre. In addition to eating, drinking and dancing, visitors can enjoy colorful parades, a variety of fairground rides – and for those not themselves in traditional Bavarian gear, admire those that are.
Some travel to change their lives, others the world. But, a truly transformative trip has the power to do both. Traveling is more than just a distraction from your regular life. It’s a learning experience every time you hop onto that plane. You not only learn new things about people and different cultures but also about yourself and your 20’s are best time to indulge yourself in these adventures.
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