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Can you solo travel after 30?

One of the most common questions on digital nomad and solo travel forums is some form of: Are you allowed to travel solo after 30? Can you be a digital nomad over 40? The answer is a resounding yes! In fact, there are many benefits to solo travel in your 30s. Also, it’s understandable if you’re asking this question because of some anxieties. Let’s explore.

Palette knife painting of a traveler with a cane walking into a wall because so many people post questions on travel forums asking if they're allowed to do solo travel if they're over 40
Based on the questions people like to ask about solo traveling, I assume this is what you think a traveler over 30 looks like, walking into walls all day, complaining about the youths.

What's good about being a digital nomad over 40?

Everything. As somebody who traveled around the world and worked in a few different countries in my 20s, and did a lot of business travel in my 30s, I can’t think of anything that is not better about travel now in my 40s. The experience of the past decades equipped me to take care of my brain and my business on the road in a way that I couldn’t before.

I do meet a lot of people in their 30s and 40s who complain about having worse hangovers now than they would in their 20s. So yeah, your capacity to poison yourself might be slightly reduced. But you might actually have the skills and resources now to do something like travel to an interesting brewery in the Mexican countryside and enjoy a unique beer you can’t get anywhere else and let that experience be way more enjoyable than getting black-out drunk and puking on a street corner in Manchester.

A digital nomad over 40, carefully navigating the streets on their way to a cat cafe where they'll do their digital worky work on a Commodore 64 hooked to a dot matrix printer.

Why are you anxious about solo travel at your age?

These questions about being allowed to solo travel at a particular age seem to emerge from uncertainty and anxiety. What will what others think? How will I eat alone? (Five tips for eating alone when traveling solo…) What if the infrastructure is designed for whippersnappers partying? 

That image above comes from a post on Reddit from a person checking if they can do solo travel after 30 because they’re afraid that the hostel will be full of “18-23 year old topless westerners topless lounging by a pool, all drinking and with loud music blaring.” Topless is so terrifying it’s mentioned twice. 

The fact that person is aware of an accommodation they don’t want to stay at is great! It’ll be useful to identify the characteristics of the places you do want to stay at. And then find those. 

Staying at a quieter places that encourages clothes and less partying, might mean you have to do more work to meet people. That’s ok! Take classes, join group day trips, connect with people professionally or around interests you care about.

Making friends as an adult, whether you’re traveling or staying in one place, can be more challenging. So be aware of those beliefs and judgments about yourself or others that can get in the way of that. 

And enjoy adventuring at any age!

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