Even though I recently turned, ahem, 30, this is not necessarily a personal reflection. My maturity levels aren’t always up there. And some of the street-smartest people I’ve met definitely have a lot more youth on their side.
But we should remember age is just a number, and we should have selective early onset Alzheimers when it comes to that number. Get your trigenarian self out there!
1. People are shocked when you tell them your age and you should take it as a compliment. It’s not because they’re thinking “I didn’t realise people that old travelled, I thought you were all hosting baby showers and getting lost in Ikea.” It’s because travelling keeps you young.
2. You’re mature enough to not sweat the small stuff. You know what is a big deal (like the end of happy hour) and what is not so big (like a plane cancellation). Even if you think that should be the other way round, you know what is going to matter tomorrow and what will soon become a funny story.
3. Homesickness is less prevalent and you know how to deal with it. A quick phone call home or an unforgettable moment in your current place and you’re back on track.
4. You have already forged amazing long lasting friendships at home that will remain intact when you return.
5. Your parents have less say in what you get up to. Which can be handy when you want to stay out past midnight, don’t want to eat your crusts or make your bed. But you’re 30 so you do these things anyway. Except for be home by midnight, you’re the owner of three decades, not Cinderella’s great aunt.
6. You’re generally more financially responsible and have life savings. Less day old bread and edam, and more baguettes, brie and vino.
7. You have already had a career. You’re allowed to go for your second, or third. We have seven in a lifetime, right (meow)?
8. You have a great credit rating, making it easy to get credit cards and personal loans should they be required.
9. You’re not scared to try new things. In fact you have to or it just doesn’t seem right. It doesn’t matter that you have the balance of a tipsy Bambi on ice, you’ve got to give that slack-line with the smelly hippies a go.
10. You can recognise slime balls and sleazes a mean mile away. I know your game pal. You know when to trust someone. And when to run in the immediate opposite direction.
11. You can legally drink anywhere in the world. And it’s uber easy to hire a car.
12. You are adaptable. You give pretzels (they’re bendy and flexible or something) a run for their money. You’re in a 32-bed dorm instead of 4? No biggie, hi new friends. There is a festival on the week before you’re meant to be in Spain? Hola aforementioned money that provides flexibility for you to do you.
13. You know what you’re passionate about. Everyone is going to to the hottest new house club and you’d rather chew your own arm off. Nobody wants to wake up for an early morning surf. You will follow your heart and say yes to what gets you excited.
14. You don’t suffer from severe FOMO. You’re not the last person at the party. You don’t attend every event.
15. You know it’s okay to have lazy days where you marathon-watch sessions of TV shows, eat care package snacks, and crawl up in bed.
16. You are pretty good at giving advice. In love, in life, and in travel. Without sounding like a know-it-all twat.
17. You realise the importance of health. You get necessary shots, you get sleep, you exercise occasionally, and you get some green vegetables.
18. You understand what friendship means and how essential it is. You have friends in every country. Years of pen pals, exchange students, and travelling friends all have couches and awkward conversation to offer.
19. You recognise the shyness and social insecurities of those around you that need someone to talk to.
20. You have the confidence to ask necessary questions of strangers.
21. You give oh so many less fucks.
22. You have a palette that can appreciate great and different food and wine when it’s put in front of you.
23. You can have a decent conversation. You’ve mastered small talk and are also mentally and intellectually capable to delve into the deeper stuff.
24. You know all your levels of drunk. From tipsy on wine, to I love you man, to passing out in toilets. As such you know when to party on and when it’s time to stumble home.
25. You don’t take chances when it comes to real safety. Sure you’ll probably be right walking down that back alley, but that can of pepper spray isn’t that hard to hold on to.
26. You have mastered the ultimate bitchy resting face. You can walk the unknown streets late at night and project the confidence of someone who’s lived there their whole lives. Do not fuck with me.
27. You have strong family relationships. Your fambam aren’t afraid to open up about that time they put on 10kg in Switzerland, went to a special show in Thailand, or tried shrooms. They are on a similar page as you, as scary as it is to think about.
28. You have mastered the nap. You can refresh and sleep anywhere. There will be no trouble falling asleep on that 8-hour overnight bus ride.
29. Your social media news feed will be filled with engagements, weddings, babies, house renovations, maybe even anniversaries. Thanks to you, theirs will be filled with sick-ass sunsets, new hot faces, and annoying specially selected vicarious living travel albums.
30. You find your own skin mighty comfy. You are not focused on trying to lose pounds, eliminate wrinkles, or finding the latest outfit to complete your wardrobe. Instead you’re trying to lose worries, eliminate stress and find the latest moment to complete your three decades of memories.