Youth, it’s so often said, is wasted on the young. Full hair, single-digit body fat, that way of saying “yes” to an outlandish adventure. The good news is that many of the things that made our twenties so memorable can be sampled later on in life too. Read on for 20 top tips for how your 20s — at least the best parts — can be relived. And when you’re done, check out the report that’s changed thousands of lives: 100 Best Ways to Live to 100!
Imagine your ideal life
Sometimes life can feel so busy and complex that we lose sight of our original big plan. Or we believe that we’ve gone too far down one path to reconnect with the future we mapped out in our 20s. Think back on how you wanted your life to be when you were fresh out of college. See if there’s any part of that vision that’s worth recovering. Then figure out if you can plot a route there.
Travel a lot and alone
Our 20s are a great time to strap on a backpack and wander the earth. There are plenty of reasons why we stop adventuring once we hit our 30s. But there are also many good reasons to indulge our wanderlust a little further down the line. Need ideas? Start working through this list of the 20 Cities to Visit Before You Die!
When you were younger, did you paint or make music? Have an interest in film, photography or writing? Often our creative endeavors get sidelined when we get caught up in catching up with our peers — finding a partner, forging a career or starting a family. Remember that feeling of being consumed in a creative endeavor, regardless of how it turned out? Maybe it’s time to get up into the attic and dust off that old Telecaster, Nikon or easel, and see if you can experience that feeling again.
Chase your dream job
Do you jump out of bed excited to get to work? If so, good for you! If not, you’ve probably made some sacrifices in the name of security, career advancement or convenience. You might remember a time when you had a slightly more idealistic view of work. Think about whether you can strive for a position in which your enjoyment of the job is its key benefit. To make the most of every day, make sure you do these amazing 40 Things You Must Do in Your 40s!
Make time for friends
With no families of our own, friends were a major part of our lives in our younger years. When we get into our late 30s and beyond, catching up with friends happens less frequently, with months or even years going by — even if they live a short distance away. Think about some of the people you consider your best friends, and make a point of getting some face time — or at the very least, some Facetime — with them.
Splurge on an item of clothing
The impetuousness of youth means doing things like spending a week’s pay on an item of clothing and eating ramen for the the rest of the month. Nowadays, you’re likely not living hand to mouth, which is all the more reason for you to go out and treat yourself to a piece that would raise the eyebrows of the most decadent spendthrift. Invest in one of these 15 Things Every Man Should Have in His Closet!
Go out dancing
In your twenties, going dancing was what you had to do to meet women. Now that there are apps like Tinder, going dancing means exactly that. Sure, you get up and do a little side-to-side at a wedding twice annually, but if you really want to relive your 20s, make a point of heading out and shaking your stuff. Without the pressure of looking cool to meet women, you might actually enjoy it more this time around.
Take some risks
Now that you have more to lose, it’s understandable that you don’t feel like lurching from one dangerous adventure to the next. That said, you can probably remember the exhilarating experience of doing something that had an element of risk back in your 20s. Whether it’s starting your own small business or heading out to ski the backcountry, reconnect with an unfamiliar part of you by taking a few more calculated chances. Why not go for one of these 25 Adventures Every Man Should Have?
Learn something new from scratch
No, learning how to navigate the your iPhone’s latest operating system doesn’t count. We’re talking about engaging with something that you haven’t made the time — or given yourself the permission — to get your head around. Whether it’s playing bass guitar, speaking Portuguese or surfing, your 40s and beyond are a great time to do something you haven’t tried since your 20s and learn completely new skills. Diaper changing doesn’t count.
Yeah, 20-somethings are known for their propensity to burn the midnight oil, but that’s easy when the word “weekend” isn’t synonymous with ambling around Home Depot, shuttling kids around and facing an ever-growing list of odd jobs around the house. A Gallup poll shows that 40% of Americans get fewer than the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep. So get in touch with how it felt to hit the hay in your salad days. Follow these scientifically proven 10 Tips for the Best Sleep of Your Life!
If we’re austere in our 20s, it’s because we’re short on cash, not because we’ve committed ourselves to a certain amount of indulgence. Remember making a decision to blow off whatever you’d planned for the day and spending it in bed eating junk food? We’re not suggesting you do that, specifically, although you’ll get a lot of satisfaction from doing what you want to do, not what you ought to do, once in awhile.
Give yourself permission to overdo it
Seriously: When was the last time you fully took the opportunity to tie one on? Don’t worry — hangover-mitigation technology has come a long way since your post-college years. Invite friends over for some of these 20 Cocktails Every Man Should Know How to Make!
Join a community with a shared passion
Making small talk with the fathers of your kids’ friends or the husbands of your wife’s friends can be its own special type of hell. But it’s easier when you counter those superficial interactions by spending quality time with people who share your interests and obsessions, whether it’s CrossFit, Star Wars or your indefatigable support of the New York Mets.
Go on a long road trip — without the kids
With friends or a partner, hitting the road can be life changing. Sure, planes are quicker and often less expensive, but good luck trying to get a JetBlue pilot to swing into a Wienerschnitzel when you get the urge, or pull off their trajectory to take in Carhenge in Alliance, Nebraska. Better still: Do it in one of the 14 Best Sports Cars to Buy Now!
Train for something
Tough Mudder. A marathon. An Iron Man. Training for something is all about you, a time you can devote your mind solely to the task ahead. The beauty part? It’s possible to exhibit more endurance and stamina when we’re a little more mature. So even if you’re up against a fleet of young bucks, you can place better than you’d think.
Attend a festival
Maybe you went to Burning Man “when it was still cool,” or you took in the first Coachella back in ’99. Perhaps you’ve never experienced what it’s like to spend days in a dusty/muddy, hot/cold, field/desert surrounded by ripe-smelling people you’ve just met who love you and think you’re beautiful. Or maybe you haven’t, and you’re intrigued. Either way, heading out to a music/arts festival is often a rite of passage for people in their 20s. Try it. You might like it. That’s only one of these amazing 50 Things to Do Before You Die!
Make new friends
Making new friends is something we do much less of as we grow older. Most people’s closest pals are from their college years, or even their high school. It’s easy to see why — people get busy. But isn’t it a little weird that you met much of your inner circle playing beer pong when you were 21? It’d be good to have some friends that fit your life now. So don’t be afraid to reach out to people with whom you think you’d get along.
Stay up all night
No, staying up all night with a colicky infant doesn’t count. We’re talking about a night of reflection about life on this blue marble. Watching the sun set in the west and rise in the east — and in the interim, pondering the distance between you and the stars. (The most distant star visible with the naked eye is 16,308 light years away, meaning that you’re looking at V762 Cas as it was 6,000 years before the development of agriculture. Cosmic!)
As with making new friends, our propensity to network drops off when we get a little older and find a career groove. Meeting new people in a professional capacity is a big factor in the keeping your options open, even as you become established in your field.
Eat off the schedule
Settling down means sticking to a schedule, even when it comes to how we fuel our bodies. Three square meals a day and all that. But in your 20s, you’d think nothing of demolishing a whole pizza and a gallon of beer, then skipping the next meal or two because you were wrapped up in a random adventure. Sure, a younger man’s metabolism helped you stay lean and mean, but you were also on an intermittent-fasting regimen, a weight- and fat-loss fad that research shows is very effective. Why not take yourself out ot one of the 50 Best Steakhouses in America?
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