“5 Life Lessons I Learnt Travelling the World in My Twenties”

Jayne Gorman Travel Life Lessons

Editor’s Note: I first met travel blogger Jayne Gorman in 2012, on a press trip to Toronto. At the time she was focused on the rather-ambitious goal of visiting 40 countries before her 30th birthday. Now, with her mission complete, I invited Jayne to share her experiences with Coco’s Tea Party. So read on for her story.

I’m the type of person that relishes a challenge, so when I started blogging in 2010 I thought there should be a goal attached to the project. I was 26 at the time, and having already started writing about the travels of my early twenties decided to blog my way around 40 countries before my 30th birthday. I chose some of the destinations myself, and others (through work and random opportunities) chose me. This challenge not only taught me a lot about the world, but I also picked up some valuable life lessons along the way…

1. Travel Makes & Breaks Many A Relationship

Throughout all of my adventures I never once had a big bust up with my travel companions. I must have chosen them wisely. But I met many people along the way who had started out in a couple or a group of friends and quickly became a solo adventurer. You learn a lot about someone by travelling with them: how they react in unusual situations, the way they treat strangers, how they chose to spend their money… If you find someone you can travel with – who is compatible with you on all these levels, and fun to be around too – hold onto them. Marry them if you have to!

Travel Life Lessons Jayne Gorman
Heart Reef Girl Tweets World

2. Bartering Is A Skill That Takes Lots Of Practise

I spent two months in Asia in my early 20’s and thought I was the queen of bartering, only to return a few years later and discover I needed to learn the skills all over again. Bartering in markets (particularly in Asia and Africa) requires confidence, sass, patience, determination and a really good poker face. Skills I usually master just as I’m about to come home.

3. Solo Travel Is Empowering

Solo travel is one of the most indulgent things you can treat yourself to. Choosing what to see and when, planning your activities, accommodation and meals according to your needs and no one else’s is an absolute gift. It’s also incredibly liberating and thrilling to know you can navigate parts of the world with your own wit (and a little help from an iPhone GPS). You often notice more as a solo traveller too; I feel hyper aware of my surroundings when I’m exploring a place on my own and I can be more flexible with plans if something comes up that peaks my interest. I recommend everyone try it at least once.

Bondhi Icebergs Travel Life Lessons
Jayne Gorman 40 Before 30

4. When You’re Sick You Want Your Mum. No Matter How Old You Are.

I remember lying on the floor of a hostel in Byron Bay, pressing my head to the cold concrete in order to cool myself down, prising my mouth shut in case spiders or creepy crawlies tried to enter it. A single thought kept running through my head, “I wish my mum was here. She’d know what to do.” And even though I was 23 years old and almost 10,000 miles away I rang my mum. And she did indeed know what to do. Mums are the best.

5. Shared Experiences Are Everlasting

The biggest thing I learnt from travelling the world in my twenties is that the best bits are the ones I shared with other people. It’s the moments of exploration, celebration and relaxation that I shared with friends (both from home and those I met along the way) that stand out most in my mind. These are the moments that we reminisce about; shared memories binding us together no matter how far apart we might be now.


Jayne Gorman is a sun-loving travel blogger who left London to sample the expat lifestyle in Sydney. Discover more of the lessons she learnt in those 40 countries plus keep up with her present travels on her blog, Girl Tweets World.

{Photos courtesy of Jayne Gorman. From top, Sydney Opera House, Bangkok, Heart Reef, Bondi Icebergs and Sri Lanka}

  • really great goal to set for yourself! love this idea xx

  • Such great advice, looking forward to being able to do something similar myself soon! (London, for all it’s greatness, can become too much of a concrete jungle at times).