So you’re coming up on the big three zero. Maybe you’re thinking you should grow up more, maybe you’re trying to think of ways to avoid it, but it’s almost certain that you’re thinking “what haven’t I done yet?”
Well if travel is on your agenda, here are five absolute must-see destinations to visit before people start calling you a grown-up.
Paris truly is a city for lovers. There are iconic buildings and monuments for lovers of history and architecture. There’s the unparalleled experience of a visit to the Louvre for lovers of art. There are some of the finest restaurants in the world for lovers of food. There is exclusive designer shopping for lovers of fashion. There are even dazzling theme parks for those who love to indulge the child at heart.
Paris is a must see for young travellers, the Parisian culture holds lessons and experiences that nobody should enter their 30s having missed out on. There’s a thriving nightlife and always the promise of a whirlwind French romance. Paris is the kind of place you should visit many times, but make at least one of those before you hit the big three-oh.
The Amalfi Coast
A summer playground in paradise for young travellers, the Amalfi Coast is a sun-drenched haven of Italian beauty and culture. Explore the pristine azure waters by yacht or boat, or join a tour of the incredible grottos – ancient coastal caves that you can paddle through. You’ll be truly inspired by villages perched on cliff faces, hanging onto the ancient rock and decorating the coast with traditional Italian villas.
Experience Italian hospitality and culture as you explore these coastal towns on foot or by scooter, and don’t forget to try the lemon sorbet – no cheap imitations here, just the most incredible traditional recipes, passed down through generations to share with welcomed travellers.
Croatia is not usually found on the worn-down tourist track, it’s a destination that stuns travellers but is not swamped by them. The natural landscape here is simply breathtaking, with mountains, valleys, rivers, beaches and national parks that look like something straight out of a fairy tale.
Traditional food and culture seems to meld Italian and Slavic influences in a truly unique way, with a generous serving of Croatian hospitality making it a truly enticing destination for travellers who want to experience the true culture, no tourist-tailored imitations.
The city that never sleeps is for travellers who need none. Young folk flock to New York from far and wide to experience the city pulse that you can otherwise only read about in books. It’s a city of hustle and bustle, of action and intrigue, of love and lust and rich experience. There’s no other like it.
There are museums, art galleries, historical landmarks and performance art city-wide, if you’re looking for a more academic or cultural experience. But there are also the dingy bars, the kitschy old diners, the late-night street food stands, all the weird and wonderful raw elements that make New York a destination of opposites and extremes to suit any taste.
As you approach that looming date, the day you enter your thirties, you’re going to want a little time to take a break, relax, chill out and feel ready to welcome this exciting new era.
Well there’s no better place for that than Tahiti. Lie in the sun all day and drink cocktails if you like, watch the palms sway in the breeze, feel the sand and surf under your feet, there’s no way you can feel apprehensive here, even about a 30th birthday.
Or to get your mind off things, how about snorkelling, diving, fishing, jet skiing, volcano tours, there’s never an end of ways to explore the natural beauty of Tahiti. Air Tahiti Nui have some great holiday specials available so why not book in for a low-key entrance into your thirties.
Some are wonderful, some are wacky, some are just plain amazing, but a trip to any or all of these destinations will leave you feeling utterly satisfied that you’re prepared for that thirtieth birthday.
Written by Jasmine Poole
Jasmine has travelled across 30 countries in the last 18 months. She is currently in Darwin, Australia.Photo credits: Paris, New York, Croatia, Amalfi Coast, Tahiti