‘They’re your selfish years. They’re the years that you grow; make mistakes, the years that you learn from. The best years of your life where you can revel in being spontaneous, reckless and free’
To kick-start our all-new Le Nurb Travel & Lifestyle section, and eagerly anticipated launch of our travel supplement Holdall, we’re sharing with you the ultimate twenties travel bucket list. Whether it’s celebrating hitting milestones in Miami, cliff jumping in Croatia or post break-up self reflection in Sri Lanka, grab our hand and follow us as we take you round the world on the ultimate twenty-something’s journey.
1. To budget backpack – Interrailing, Europe
Nothing screams reckless living than sharing a dormitory with 15 strangers and hopping on and off public transport for 6 weeks.
We couldn’t leave out this classic, especially since we could fill a whole list with 20 European destinations you just HAVE to visit. Stuff your backpack with essentials, hop over the pond and enjoy carefree travelling as you backpack across Europe. Set foot in the Colosseum in Rome; gaze up at Gaudi’s architecture in Barcelona and cliff jump in Croatia. Make global friends drinking sangria and learn how to swear in Spanish, then climb hazily onto the train to your next destination. Paris? Amsterdam? Berlin? Madrid? Istanbul? An interrailing global Europe ticket includes 30 countries so all that’s left to decide is where will your next stop be!
2. To cleanse your mind, body and soul – India
The country that sees with its heart. Take yourself away from the pressures of modern life; meditate at sunrise and practice yoga at sunset. Surrounding yourself with the spirit of India will focus even the most sceptical soul. Explore the traditions of Rajasthan before heading south to the juxtaposing Goa where you will party until daybreak. Have your senses aroused as you wander through the aromatic spice markets, browse the bazaars picking out your favourite bejewelled sari and feast on traditional Indian cuisine. A country that is built on karma, you’ll come away with a new, infectious and positive outlook on life.
3. To learn something – Bali, Indonesia
This is the kind of education you won’t find in the library. Whether it’s struggling into a wet suit to catch a ‘sick wave brah’ or infusing spices in an Indonesian kitchen, Bali is the place to go to learn something. With just the right clash of Eastern to Western culture it’s the kind of backpacking that will see you drinking cocktails that fall well within your budget. Venture North to Ubud and take a moped through rice paddies, stop off to mediate at temples filled with ghoulish monuments and learn to fish with local fishermen in Balinese jakungs. Marvel at your new skills that can’t be learnt from a YouTube tutorial.
4. To go crazy – Carnival, Rio de Janeiro
No one can claim they know how to party until they’ve tackled carnival. Rio de Janeiro world famous carnival sees 90,000 spectators descend on the Sambadrome to marvel at the outrageous costumes and captivating performances, as the top samba schools in Brazil compete in one enormous parade. Continue the after party and head over to Lapa where the bars overflow to the streets, food vendors pour vodka into open mouths and you dance until morning. My advice? Leave your dignity at home, grab a caprichana and cover your face with glitter and you’re good to go.
Words by Fleur Rollet-Manus
5. To fall in love - Iceland
An Icelandic adventure will have you declaring Iceland as your one true love. Become mesmerised under the gaze of the Northern lights or dine out harbour-side and try traditional Icelandic cuisine as the dark descends on the city of Reykjavik. Bathe in the blue lagoon and reflect whilst you are submerged in the hot spring waters, after all, what could be more seducing than a mud mask selfie? Iceland isolates the senses as the whale watching seas and picturesque places such as Thorsmork Valley and Snaefellsnes Peninsula make you feel like you’re the only person in the world.
Psst, want to know more about Iceland? Check out our feature on Reykjavik in our latest issue of Holdall
6. For a girl’s getaway – Miami, USA
Fancy a girls holiday you’ll never forget? Take a walk under the palm trees as the warm sand at Miami Beach Boardwalk gets stuck between your toes. The night life calls for a spray of Chanel and your platform heels as Ocean Drive boasts booming music and promotes the Instagram aesthetic with it’s 1920s Art Deco buildings. Mix it up and visit Europe by way of Coconut Grove at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens. This will be a trip of a lifetime creating memories that go in hand in hand with the saying ‘what happens in Miami, stays in Miami!’
7. For a cultural city break – Edinburgh, Scotland
If a relaxing, yet vibrant, city break is on your bucket list then head up to Edinburgh with a friend. Grassmarket is bustling with boutiques stretching up winding hills against a grey-stone backdrop, with quaint smoothie bars and traditional pubs hidden along the way. Try your chances at climbing Arthur’s Seat and, after a satisfying climb equipped with a picnic, take in the jaw dropping views of the city. The promising nightlife will take you back to the days of the Prohibition as the city’s speak-easy bars are nestled behind barbershop windows and down secret staircases.
8. The trip to take with your family- Guernsey
Arrive into St Peter Port and excite the eyes on a family trip to Guernsey. The port dazzles with colourful buildings stacked on top of each other whilst the street by the water has bars and restaurants with balconies that provide the opportunity to dine with a sea-view. Stumble across rows of shops as you climb up the incline towards the historic gardens. Guernsey may be close to home but it certainly doesn’t feel that way as you transport yourselves to an idyllic, yet urban, island, peaceful in nature and ever so chic.
Words by Charlotte Hulme
9. The off the beaten track trip – Valparaiso, Chile
If you want to escape the monotony of your London routine, grab your back pack, your Canon reflex and leave behind the chaos of a city that never sleeps and fly to a Latino paradise. Armed with the freshest lemon margarita, walk down the colorful streets of Valparaiso, Chile and emerge yourself in a new revitalizing culture. Get an insight into what they call 'living la vida loca' and take the time to admire the city's famous remarkable street art. Climb up the Andean mountains, watch the sun set, close your eyes and exhale.
10. The ultimate road trip – Route 66, USA
If you fancy a road trip, don’t hesitate and head on to the United States of Freedom. Do as Lana Del Rey says and just ride. Main Street America, one of the oldest highways in the land, goes from east to west, crossing multitudes of changing landscapes. From Kanye’s Chicago to Texas and Arizona's barren wastelands, Route 66 will offer you and your friends road trip memories that you’ll be reminiscing over for years to come. For the daredevils amongst us? Fire up the Harley and take on the open road solo.
11. To get your foodie fix - Verona, Italy
Who doesn't want to go to the city of Romeo and Juliette for a weekend break? Forget the romantic cliché here and focus on the real Italian language of love, FOOD! Leave the Pinot Grigio in halls and let the fizzing Italian Prosecco bubbles go to your head. Enjoy delicious antipasti, proper pizza (there is seriously no place for Dominoes here) and leave with your heart as content as your stomach.
12. The once in a lifetime trip – Grand Canyon, USA
Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon, despite having travelled across the globe, is an incomparable sensation of limitless power and liberty. The emptiness beneath your feet coupled with the dark sky that seems to never end ...it is an electrifying experience that will shock you alive. My daydreams are forever occupied with escaping back to my experience here. If you fancy an adrenaline trip this summer than swap your backpack for a parachute and take flight over this momentous landscape – a bucket list essential.
Words by Alex Marill
13. To reinvent yourself – Taiwan
This tropical island is considered the heart of old Chinese tradition. Vary your trip by visiting Taipei’s night markets one night, then escape to the country and hike to the hot springs the next. Swap the skyscrapers for surfboards (surf culture is huge here) and ‘shoot the curl’. Facing such a different culture will break boundaries and will help you discover yourself. You don’t know who you are until you try smelly tofu or order food in a restaurant using basic Mandarin and hand gestures. Taiwan is a challenge you’ll definitely want to accept!
14. To relive your childhood – Disneyland, Paris
Before you graduate and get thrown into adult life, it’s good to remember just how great being a kid is. Disneyland Paris is only a short train ride away, and one of the only places you can (legitimately) wear Minnie Mouse ears on your head all day. You can let your fantasies of being a Disney princess take over and bring your besties to the happiest place in the world. Age is nothing but a number here, and hey, we were around for the VHS originals so move aside kids!
15. The well deserved study break – Budapest, Hungary
Do you ever feel like you really need to get away? Deadlines are done and exams are looming…want to runaway and leave all your problems far behind? Reward yourself with a spontaneous break to Budapest and get your studies back on track. Budapest is a great option if you’d like to catch a breath and just relax. Sit in one of the artsy cafes and enjoy a good book, marvel at the grand architecture or pamper yourself in the thermal spas. Inject a cuteness overload and check out the cat café, nothing is more adorable than coffee and kittens.
Words by Justyna Galazka
16. The do it alone trip - Havana, Cuba
There is no better way to treat yourself and find out who you really are, than to go on a solo trip… to Cuba! Be selfish and see all the sights you want to see in Havana, the capital. A city that is filled with history and old style colonial architecture, go at whatever pace suits you in the 1950’s Chevys that takeover. Enjoy the addictive spirit of a new city by learning how to salsa dance or trying the famous Cuban cigars. Small businesses across the country are opening and expanding making now the perfect time for you to enjoy quaint back street cafes and quirky local shops. Staying in a locals home for accommodation is typical in Cuba, this along with low crime and friendly persona of the people means going to Cuba on a solo trip is very safe and so much fun!
17. Adrenaline Trip - Dubai, UAE
When you think of Dubai, you might picture pristine beaches and luxurious shopping malls, but it is also the perfect place for adrenaline junkies. Dubai is home to SkyDive Dubai, where you can jump out of a plane and soar over the Arabian Desert, the palm islands and turquoise blue waters of the Arabian Gulf. Dubai is a playground for daredevils; dune buggy down vertical sand dunes, quad bike through the desert, bungee jump against the backdrop of the Burj Khalifa, take a hot air balloon ride over the desert, drive jet skis along the coast, visit incredible water parks with 32m high slides and get behind the wheel of a race car. Yep, a real racecar that goes 0 to 100 km/h in 4 seconds is available to anyone with a valid drivers license. So what are you waiting for? Dubai is the place to be for the ultimate adrenaline rush.
18. The Post Break Up Trip - Sri Lanka
After a break up, you want to escape. Go somewhere different and very, very far away. Sri Lanka will mend your broken heart. The country is mainly Buddhist and the local people are very friendly and welcoming. The interior of the island is filled with plantations, untouched rainforest and old cities, while the coast has sandy beaches and crashing waves to ride the Indian Ocean. This is the perfect place to unwind, relax and forget about whoever broke your heart. It is common to support the local community here and staying in an Eco-lodge is the way to go. You will be off the grid, with no Wi-Fi, no signal and limited electricity. But wow, is it rewarding. There’s no better way to forget the pain of your recent break up by forgetting the whole world just for a little while! Disconnect, wake up with the sunrise, listen to the birds and animals rise with you, hike in the rain forests and eat the local cuisine with local people and settle down at night with a good book by candle light. Simple life reminds you what is important, and what true happiness feels like. Goodbye old relationship, hello new mindset!
19. The Charity Trip - South Africa
Sometimes travelling can be extremely fulfilling, exciting and unforgettable. But travelling to help those in need is beyond rewarding. Change someones world whilst exploring it - South Africa is a great place to give back to society. Join rural villages to teach children in schools, help build homes, and help small business to get struggling communities on their way to success. Prefer fury friends to real ones? Endangered animals are a sad reality due to the increase in poaching, but you can help to save the rhinos and elephants and truly make a difference to beautiful, wild creatures. Reward your hard work with safaris at sunset. Once you experience a real adventure, witness a lion kill, see a herd of elephant passing through, build schools for children, and become friends with the kindhearted locals; Africa will seize your heart.
20. The experimental trip - Tokyo, Japan.
Tokyo is the place to travel to if you crave something unique! While Japan has astounding culture, beauty and history, it also has very modern cities, strange activities and a one of a kind society! You will see young people dressed in Cosplay daily as anime and cartoons are as typical as commuters in the city. Tokyo is the tech capital of the world so fill your suitcase with the coolest thing that you really don’t need. Grab a cup holder that attaches to your windowsill or a watch that beeps when it is close to a police car and there is even a Robot Restaurant. In Tokyo, there exists every type of ‘cafe’ you can imagine. From maid cafes, to owl/cat/bunny cafes and even cuddle cafes! Why not spend a compact (but wallet-friendly) night in the well-known capsule hotels that are common in the city? Tokyo is the place to try new, quirky things and to broaden your mind with everything you didn’t know existed.
Words by Siobhan Cannell
Don’t forget to pick up the first issue of Holdall from campus and join our journey!