9 Places Around The World To Visit In Your 20s, According To Grandmas
When my grandmother was younger, she traveled from Iran to Bombay, where she resided with her sisters and her father. She speaks incredibly fondly of Bombay — the rich aroma of spices that lingered in the air, climbing trees with her siblings and looking out over the city. My grandmother remained in Bombay until she married my grandfather at the age of 22, and moved back to Iran. Her love for the destination has always made me want to visit myself one day. It lead me to wonder: if I were to ask my grandmother what the one place I need to travel to in my 20s is, what would she say?
My attitude towards travel is kind of contradictory: I love adventure and crave discovering new spots to claim as my own. I am the definition of a tourist in my own city — I regularly consume art, culture, and landscape in New York, as if every day is my last. But while I am passionate about the allure of a new experience, I also find myself dependent on routine. Whenever I travel for several weekends in a row, my body feels out of whack and I begin to long for normalcy. But as I constantly remind myself, If I am ever to travel on a whim, it would be now: right smack in the middle of my 20s, before I have any real obligations to anybody but myself.
If these tidbits of advice below from grandmothers on must-see travel destinations doesn't inspire you to pack up and go wherever the wind takes you, I don't know what will.
"My grandmother always told me to travel to Lanzarote, this small island of Spain. One of her best friends moved there more than 50 years ago while there was nothing but lava and fishermen. She went there in the 80's and was astonished how life was possible on an island completely covered with lava. She met Cesar Manrique, the Gaudi of Lanzarote, and fell in love with his unique style. I'm going there in May and I can't wait to discover this place that has always been a fascination to my grandmother." —Bernard Sury, Business Developer at GuruWalk
"My grandmother was originally from Germany and the one place she always said that i should visit when I was young were the Greek Islands. She said her family went when she was young and that there was so much to see, do, and explore there. She also mentioned a vibrant night life that she missed out on but that her parents seemed to enjoy while they were there." —Kelly Duhigg, Founder of Girl With The Passport
4Yellowstone National Park, USA
"My grandmother told me that I need to travel to Yellowstone National Park... She recalled a story when she was in college in her early twenties when she went with a few of her classmates on a Geology assignment. They were camping and my grandmother was making chili when a brown bear dipped its head in the cauldron of food while she had been in the tent. When she got out of the tent she saw the bear eating out of the pot. She frantically, but quietly notified her friends, who fortunately were packing the car at the time. They got away with most of their stuff, the tents, however, were shredded to pieces. She told me that was the most afraid she’s been in her life. She also says that it was traveling to places like Yellowstone that she rid herself of any life regrets.
She stressed to me that traveling the world was the best thing she could have done with her twenties. By the time she left college, she had been to Brazil, Mexico, France, Poland Italy, Greece, and Ireland. After college, she continued traveling Europe, but never went to Asia." —Caleb Backe, Health and Wellness Expert for Maple Holistic
"My grandmother was born in Calabria, a region in southern Italy, and lived there into her twenties before immigrating to America. A few of her relatives had already moved to the States and they all told her that's where she needed to go. My grandfather and her left Italy after their wedding and started their family in Pennsylvania. Because of that, she has always told my cousins and I to go to Italy while we were young to truly experience and understand the culture and to let it mold us. She remembers her summers on the beaches and the beauty of the Mediterranean — and all the growing up she did there.
My cousins and I visited Italy and her hometown together and we learned so much about her (and ourselves) that words couldn't teach. She told me to visit where you come from because you might learn something about yourself that you haven't yet discovered." —Emma Goodson, Assistant Account Executive at Karma Agency
"My grandmother is from Hamilton, Ohio. Hamilton is a small community located right on the Great Miami River in southwestern Ohio. The nearest major city to Hamilton is Cincinnati, which is about 33 miles away. The city is full of historical charm with modern entertainment, with a small town feel. I love visiting it, and walking in my grandmother's shoes" –Amanda Ensinger, publicist at Inspire PR Group
"I am from the UK and my grandparents on my father's side were always wild about the USA, since forever. After the Second World War, my grandad's cousin moved to America and made hay in a country that couldn't have been more different from post-war England.
My grandparents went to visit him at his ranch in Texas one year, just the once, and it stuck in my grandmother's mind forever. 1950s America was truly special for them. As kids, she used to serve me and my brother cake with ice cream on the side 'just like they eat in America' and I know if she'd said we should go anywhere, it would be there.
The truth is that for her generation, travel wasn't like it is today. She'll be 84 this year. She didn't travel widely as it was expensive, time consuming and not possible with young children. EasyJet wasn't around; long haul travel was for the seriously intrepid, and there was plenty to do at home in any case, so it really wasn't the fashion. I think about her going to the USA and how amazing that would have been! And yes, I've been to the states more than a few times, but I've not had cake served with ice cream anywhere I've been!!" —Laura Hall, Director of Comms and Marketing at Kid & Coe
9Quebec City, Canada
"For me, it's Quebec City. My grandmother always used to tell me about her memories of going to the Chateau Frontenac, and looking over the St. Lawrence river.
Quebec City is cute and quaint, and my grandmother loved that about the Ville. She felt like Quebec was closer to a small European town than anything in the U.S. Also, with it being so close to her home in New Hampshire, she could practice her French without ever getting on a plane." —AJ, Manager at Uncommon Grounds, The Corp.
When I imagine my grandmother in her 20s, I picture her carefree whimsical, and as beautiful then as she is now. There is something so utterly romantic about the notion of revisiting a place that holds a special significance in the heart of a family member — it creates a sense of nostalgia for what could've been, and all that could be. I hope to one day advise my grandchildren on where to travel. I'll assure them that there's no time like the present, and nothing worse than one day living with regrets.