Scientists are now recognising the rise of the quarter-life crisis amongst people aged between 25 and 34. A quarter-life crisis can start with young adults feeling ‘stuck’ in their education, job or relationship, which in turn prompts them to rethink or adjust their lives and break free from their everyday routines.
Dr Oliver Robinson, Senior Lecturer in Psychology at Greenwich University says that these changes can be good for young people, allowing them to explore new possibilities. Well, there’s no better way to explore than by travelling, and with the help of Contiki, here’s the top 10 places for a quarter-life crisis trip, to experience the best of the world’s cultural and iconic attractions.
Thailand is home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and also offers a fun, sociable nightlife thanks to its popularity with travellers from all over the world, so you’ll be in good company for a quarter-life break. You’ll also find that food, accommodation and travel are cheap, making it a popular choice for those on tight budgets. Popular areas include Krabi, Koh Samui, Koh Phangan (home to the world famous Full Moon parties) and divers of all skill levels rave about tiny Koh Tao, which is home to gentle whale sharks.
If you haven’t travelled before you hit your quarter life then Australia is safe and easy to explore, with great hostels and budget accommodation, and a huge variety of wonderful sights. Famous for its sunny weather, beautiful beaches and friendly people, a trip here could be just the kind of pick-me-up you need to escape your daily routine.
Peru is a hotspot for backpackers and travellers seeking adventure thanks to the country’s thick Amazonian jungle, dune filled deserts and the stunning Machu Picchu archaeological site. High in the mountains and the final destination on the rewarding Inca Trail, this ancient citadel has to be seen to be believed and the trek to get there is tough, but rewarding – a great way to push yourself if you feel unchallenged at home.
If you’re bored of the daily grind and feel you need to push yourself outside of your comfort zone, then New Zealand is a great destination for heart-racing adventure. There’s a wealth of accessible bungee jumping, skydiving, caving and whitewater rafting spots, all set to the stunning backdrop of this green and beautiful country. Here you can see hot volcanic springs, hike volcanoes, climb glaciers, float through dark caves and slide down sand dunes – a great spot for blowing off some steam.
Offering some of the world’s most iconic sights, like the Great Wall of China and the ancient Terracotta Army, China offers a unique and ancient culture that is both sharply contemporary and steeped in tradition. Soak up some of the country’s modern side in the bustling cities of Hong Kong or Shanghai, or experience traditional China in the historic villages of Wuyuan or Pingyao.
You don’t need to fly long haul for a life changing getaway – if you feel yourself in need of some reflection time but can’t spare months for travel, Greece is just a few hours away and is jam-packed with heavenly beaches and astounding historical sites. Take time to explore landmarks like the Acropolis in Athens or ancient Delphi on the peaceful slopes of Mount Parnassos – they’ll help give you some perspective on what man is capable of!
Taking time out with nature is a wonderful way to gather your thoughts and rethink your next steps in life. Outdoors enthusiasts in particular will love hiking the soaring mountains of Argentina or horse riding on the hillsides around Bariloche. The breathtaking Iguazu Falls on the border of Brazil are some of the largest in the world and are a bucket-list sight for many travellers – you can hike around these or even see them from below by boat.
For a quarter-life experience that’s pure escapism, head to the USA and relive countless movie scenes touring around this vast and varied country. From iconic New York and the dazzling hedonism of Las Vegas to the arid Arizona desert and the lush Rocky Mountains, each destination can be both brand new and at the same time inherently recognisable.
If you want to maximise your time away, then beautiful and exciting Cambodia offers exotic sights and beautiful beaches with cheap prices, meaning you should easily be able to sleep, eat and spend time there for as little as £15 per day. Considered an Empire of Temples, Cambodia’s huge Angkor Wat is definitely its most impressive. With wild mountains in the north and secluded, tropical beach islands to the south, Cambodia is an unspoilt wilderness and a perfect destination for eye-opening experiences.
Not all lifetime experiences need to be in the wilderness – Europe’s sophisticated beauty makes it an enchanting and diverse place to travel, from peaceful countryside to historic cities and lots of incredible food. Take a tour of Europe starting in Paris, then heading to Florence and Rome, Venice to Austria, then Switzerland and Amsterdam. Experiencing so much different culture and so many diverse landscapes is a great way to get perspective on your life and inspire you to make the changes you need to make at home.